Pictured: Christian Yelich
Source: Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images North America

Chicago Cubs

Though still loaded with team-controlled talent and star-caliber names, the Cubs enter 2019 looking to rinse out the sour taste of a brutal end to their 2018 campaign. Though Javier Baez has emerged as a terrific, dynamic complement to the steady slugging of Anthony Rizzo, and though the anchors of the starting rotation are as sturdy and established as any in the National League, huge questions hang over the team. They’re still banking on development and improved offensive consistency from catcher Willson Contreras, outfielders Kyle Schwarber and Albert Almora Jr. and utility man Ian Happ, and their success will hinge in some meaningful part on the health and effectiveness of Kris Bryant, who was hampered by a shoulder injury in 2018. No longer a budding dynasty, the Cubs are now an expensive team trying to reclaim its place atop the NL Central.

Cincinnati Reds

The year 2019 marks the sesquicentennial of the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first professional (i.e., salaried) team in baseball history. In celebration, Reds players will wear commemorative patches on their jerseys and caps throughout the 2019 season. The team will also feature 15 throwback uniforms on various home dates. The 1869 Red Stockings, playing amateur teams from coast to coast, went 67–0.

Ironically, the Reds are coming off a season in which they exactly matched the 1869 team’s total of 67 wins. Unfortunately, the 2018 edition played 95 other games, finishing last in the National League Central for the fourth straight year.

The offseason focus has been to improve a perennially weak pitching staff that has, more than the offense, kept the team in the cellar. A blockbuster trade sending prospects and the disappointing Homer Bailey to the Dodgers for Alex Wood, Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig strengthens the team, though probably not enough to avert another losing season. But with a new manager and young arms moving up the farm system, better days could lie ahead.

Milwaukee Brewers

What was expected to be a long organizational rebuild by the Milwaukee Brewers quickly shifted into overdrive late last January when, in a 24-hour span, they traded for Christian Yelich and signed Lorenzo Cain to the largest free agent contract in team history. The moves couldn’t have worked out better. Both were named to the All-Star Team, and behind a huge second half that had him flirting with a triple crown up to the season’s final day, Yelich was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player.

Their performances, coupled with breakout seasons from first baseman Jesus Aguilar, righthander Jhoulys Chacin and relievers Josh Hader and Jeremy Jeffress helped set the stage for Milwaukee’s unexpected late-season successes. The Brewers beat the Cubs at Wrigley Field in Game 163 to win their first Central Division title since 2011 and then fell just a game shy of advancing to the World Series for the first time since 1982.

All of that has set the bar even higher for 2019. Can Yelich somehow improve upon one of the best individual performances in recent memory? Can Aguilar and Hader continue to ascend? Will the team once again utilize the bullpen-centric approach to pitching that worked so well down the stretch?

Salary-cap considerations led the Brewers to play the offseason conservatively. They made minor trades for reliever Alex Claudio and outfielder Ben Gamel and signed second baseman Cory Spangenberg — not exactly matching the major moves made by division foes St. Louis (Paul Goldschmidt and Andrew Miller) and Cincinnati (Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp and Alex Wood).

St. Louis Cardinals

For years, the Cardinals have been guided by past championships that set expectations for future contention. A new force steered them into the coming season: the present — and its demand to win. “We realize the importance of 2019,” says John Mozeliak, president of baseball operations. “I’ve always been one for the longer-term decision making. But we’re trying to win now.”

The Cardinals landed their desired blockbuster hitter in a trade for Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt. The six-time All-Star has one year remaining on his contract, as does cleanup hitter Marcell Ozuna, last winter’s big-bat addition. Include Matt Carpenter’s team option for 2020, and the Cardinals’ top three hitters could all walk by season’s end. Franchise favorites Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright near the end of their contracts as well, adding to the Cardinals’ emphasis on immediacy and a sprint for the division title. The push is on to punctuate this era with a return to October.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates hope to build on the momentum of the final three months of the 2018 season to contend in 2019. General manager Neal Huntington believes that he helped paved the way for better days last July when he traded for Tampa Bay righthander Chris Archer and Texas reliever Keone Kela. The Pirates wound up finishing 82–79, better than expected following the winter trades of Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole.

It was only the franchise’s fourth winning record in 26 years, and it was still only good enough for a fourth-place finish in the National League Central behind the Brewers, Cubs and Cardinals. All three teams look strong again in 2019 — and the Reds will be improved as well — meaning the Pirates will have their work cut out, though the team believes that it is on the rise.

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MLB InGame Showdowns

Another two games are set for InGame action.  A maximum of 5 swaps are allowed in this contest with play time of 5 consecutive minutes necessary before a starting player can be benched. Each entry will receive 2 Power Multiplier which can be applied to any starting player to receive 2x points for a duration of 15 minutes respectively. Check out the matchups previews below and play.

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Indians at White Sox Preview

The Chicago White Sox just finished off a series win against one powerhouse opponent and will try to make it two in a row when they host the Cleveland Indians in the opener of a four-game series on Monday. The White Sox took two of three from the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park over the weekend and are winners of six of their last 10 games.

Chicago is slowly climbing the standings and owns series wins over both Boston and Milwaukee in the last two weeks, although the current run of success began after it dropped three in a row at Cleveland from May 28-30. The White Sox beat the Red Sox with pitching, allowing a total of six runs in the three games while getting solid starts from Dylan Covey, Carlos Rodon and Reynaldo Lopez. The Indians totaled 25 runs against Chicago’s staff in last month’s three-game sweep and polished off a series win at the Detroit Tigers over the weekend by bashing their way to 14 hits in Sunday’s 9-2 triumph. The White Sox will try to slow that offense with the struggling Lucas Giolito while Cleveland counters with fellow right-hander Carlos Carrasco.

TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland), NBCS Chicago

PITCHING MATCHUP: Indians RH Carlos Carrasco (7-4, 4.23 ERA) vs. White Sox RH Lucas Giolito (4-6, 7.08)

Carrasco battled through a rough four-start stretch but snapped out of the funk while allowing one run and striking out 10 in seven innings to get the victory Wednesday against Milwaukee. The 31-year-old Venezuelan was ripped for six runs in 3 2/3 innings at Minnesota in his previous turn on June 1. Carrasco had little trouble in four starts against Chicago in 2017, posting a 3-0 record with a 1.23 ERA.

Giolito is trying to battle out of his own funk and earned a win at Minnesota on Tuesday while surrendering two runs and six hits over six innings. The 23-year-old issued just two walks over 12 innings in his last two starts after handing out 37 free passes across 49 frames over his first 10 starts. Giolito started at Cleveland on May 29 and absorbed the loss while allowing five runs and nine hits in six frames.

WALK-OFFS

1. Indians C Roberto Perez left Sunday’s game after being hit in the hand with a pitch and could be forced to the disabled list.

2. Chicago 1B/3B Matt Davidson is 0-for-13 with eight strikeouts over his last four games.

3. Cleveland SS Francisco Lindor snapped out of a five-game hitless funk by going 3-for-5 on Sunday.

Cubs at Brewers Preview

Milwaukee hasn’t hosted postseason baseball since 2011, but the atmosphere will be about as close as can be expected in June when the Brewers host the Chicago Cubs for a three-game National League Central showdown starting Monday. The first-place Brewers lead the Cubs by a half-game despite dropping seven of eight against Chicago this season.

The Cubs had a four-game winning streak snapped Sunday but have won 11 of 14 to close the gap on the Brewers, who dropped five of their last eight after posting two victories in three contests at Philadelphia over the weekend. The Brewers could have slugger Eric Thames, who has been on the disabled list since April 25 with a torn ligament in his left thumb, back as soon as Monday to provide some pop in the middle of the lineup. The Cubs’ rotation will remain short-handed, though, as manager Joe Maddon told reporters Sunday there is no timetable for right-hander Yu Darvish’s return and it is unclear whether he will pitch before the All-Star break.

TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, NBCS Chicago Plus, FS Wisconsin (Milwaukee)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs LH Jose Quintana (6-4, 4.20 ERA) vs. Brewers RH Junior Guerra (3-4, 2.83)

Quintana’s performance has been uneven, but he has put together two strong outings in a row. The 29-year-old recorded a season-high 10 strikeouts Wednesday against Philadelphia, allowing two runs and three hits over 5 2/3 innings in a no-decision. Quintana has been dominant against the Brewers, going 4-1 with a 0.63 ERA in six meetings – including two wins this season in which he has allowed only five hits over 13 scoreless innings.

After a couple of rough outings to begin May, Guerra has gotten back on track with quality starts in four of his last five outings. The 33-year-old allowed three runs over six innings in a tough-luck loss at Cleveland last time out. Guerra is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in seven games (four starts) against the Cubs, but he was tagged with the loss in a 3-0 defeat April 28 at Chicago despite giving up one run and three hits over six frames.

WALK-OFFS

1. Chicago RF Jason Heyward has recorded an extra-base hit in four straight contests for the first time since a six-game streak in 2015.

2. The Brewers on Sunday added depth by acquiring INF Brad Miller from Tampa Bay in exchange for 1B Ji-Man Choi.

3. Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo has driven in a run in seven straight contests with an at-bat, the longest streak by a Cub since Moises Alou had an RBI in 10 consecutive games in 2004.

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Posted in MLB

MLB InGame Showdowns

Another two games are set for InGame action.  A maximum of 5 swaps are allowed in this contest with play time of 5 consecutive minutes necessary before a starting player can be benched. Each entry will receive 2 Power Multiplier which can be applied to any starting player to receive 2x points for a duration of 15 minutes respectively. Check out the matchups previews below and play.

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Yankees at Orioles Preview

The New York Yankees are riding high with victories in 10 of their last 11 completed series to remain right in the thick of the race for first place in the American League East. The Yankees (35-17) will take their show on the road Thursday as they begin a season-high 11-game trek with the opener a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles (17-39), who won three of four from New York last month.

Aaron Judge collected two hits and a run scored in back-to-back outings for the Yankees, who exacted a small measure of revenge against Houston following the 2017 AL Championship Series by taking five of seven meetings this season. The 26-year-old slugger is 1-for-5 with a homer against Thursday starter Andrew Cashner after collecting five hits – including a blast – to go along with four RBIs and three runs scored against Baltimore from April 5-8. The Orioles’ beleaguered offense continues to be stymied, as the club saw its losing skid extend to five games after being shut out for the second time in three contests following Wednesday’s 2-0 loss to Washington. Manny Machado had a double off Max Scherzer to push his hitting streak to five games heading into a tilt with the Yankees, against whom he went 7-for-19 with two homers, five RBIs and three runs scored in last month’s series

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, YES (New York), MASN (Baltimore)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Yankees RH Sonny Gray (3-4, 5.98 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Andrew Cashner (2-6, 5.07)

Gray answered a sterling performance with a less-than-desirable one, as he followed a one-run effort over eight innings in a 10-1 romp at Kansas City on May 20 by allowing five runs in 3 2/3 frames six days later in an 11-4 setback versus the Los Angeles Angels. The 28-year-old issued at least three free passes for the fifth time in his last seven starts to give him a staggering 28 walks in 10 starts (49 2/3 innings). Gray improved to 3-4 in his career against Baltimore after recording a quality start in an 8-3 win on April 7.

Like Gray, Cashner surrendered five runs in his last outing on Saturday as he was blitzed by Tampa Bay to fall to 1-5 in his last eight starts. The 31-year-old permitted season highs in hits (11) and walks (four) against the Rays while limping through five innings. Cashner pitched significantly better in his last appearance against the Yankees on April 5, improving to 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA in four career appearances after yielding one run on two hits in six frames of a 5-2 win.

WALK-OFFS

1. Baltimore CF Adam Jones is 11-for-26 with a homer and two RBIs in his last six games.

2. New York is just 11-9 versus AL East foes and 24-8 against the rest of the major league teams.

3. Orioles 2B Jonathan Schoop has struck out at least once in each of the last 13 games, including three times on Wednesday

Cubs at Mets Preview

The revolving door that is the New York Mets’ bullpen came through last time out, but it will be tested again during a four-game series against the visiting Chicago Cubs that begins Thursday. The Cubs have averaged nearly six runs over their last 21 contests and have won five of their last seven on the road.

The Mets won for just the third time in 10 games Wednesday, posting a 4-1 victory in Atlanta as four relievers combined for four innings of one-run ball. New York made several roster moves before the contest to reinforce its beleaguered bullpen, which could be taxed again with Seth Lugo stepping out of his relief role to start on short rest in the series opener against the Cubs. After an inconsistent start to the season, Chicago’s offense has come to life in May, though it squandered plenty of opportunities in Wednesday’s 2-1 loss at Pittsburgh. Anthony Rizzo has heated up to contribute largely to the resurgence, hitting .299 with seven homers and 28 RBIs this month after batting .149 with only blast and nine RBIs in March and April combined.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, NBCS Chicago, SNY (New York)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs LH Jose Quintana (5-4, 4.78 ERA) vs. Mets RH Seth Lugo (1-1, 2.48)

Quintana has failed to get through five innings in three of his last five starts, issuing 15 walks over 26 innings in that span. The 29-year-old was pulled after 4 1/3 frames last time out, allowing four runs and five hits in a loss to San Francisco. Quintana is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA in two career starts against New York.

Lugo has been a valuable member of the Mets’ bullpen but will make a spot start after 20 appearances in relief. The 28-year-old worked 17 consecutive scoreless innings before allowing three runs in his last outing Monday at Atlanta. Lugo is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in three career games (one start) against the Cubs.

WALK-OFFS

1. Cubs RF Jason Heyward is 6-for-8 over his last two games, raising his batting average from .222 to .256.

2. Mets CF Brandon Nimmo has recorded eight extra-base hits and six RBIs over his last nine contests.

3. The Cubs on Wednesday placed Carl Edwards Jr. (shoulder) on the 10-day disabled list and recalled fellow RHP Cory Mazzoni from Triple-A Iowa.

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Posted in MLB

MLB InGame Showdowns

Another two games are set for InGame action.  A maximum of 5 swaps are allowed in this contest with play time of 5 consecutive minutes necessary before a starting player can be benched. Each entry will receive 2 Power Multiplier which can be applied to any starting player to receive 2x points for a duration of 15 minutes respectively. Check out the matchups previews below and play for free.

Play Now!!!

Cubs at Pirates Preview

The Chicago Cubs – and especially star first baseman Anthony Rizzo – aren’t making any friends during their three-game road series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Rizzo and the Cubs will try to wrap up a sweep of the slumping Pirates when the series concludes Wednesday.

A day after angering the Pirates and their fans by making contact with catcher Elias Diaz on a controversial slide to break up a double play, Rizzo homered to set off a three-run seventh inning in Chicago’s 8-6 win Tuesday. Although Rizzo was ruled safe on the slide and the call was upheld after a replay review, Major League Baseball said Tuesday that the slide was not legal and Rizzo should have been called out. The three-time All-Star first baseman was booed in each of his at-bats Wednesday, but he went 2-for-3 with a double and a home run to help send Pittsburgh to its fourth straight loss and its ninth in 11 games. The Cubs have won three straight overall and four in a row on the road.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, NBCS Chicago, AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs RH Kyle Hendricks (4-3, 3.16 ERA) vs. Pirates RH Joe Musgrove (1-0, 0.00)

Hendricks has posted quality starts in five of his last six outings and seven of his 10 starts this season. The 28-year-old was dominant last time out, striking out seven and allowing only two hits, including a solo homer, over seven innings to beat San Francisco. Hendricks is 4-3 with a 3.21 ERA in 11 starts against the Pirates, including a 2-0 mark and a 3.00 ERA in five outings at PNC Park.

Musgrove was outstanding in his first big-league start of the season Friday against St. Louis, striking out seven and allowing five hits over seven scoreless innings. The 25-year-old bounced between the bullpen and the rotation with Houston the past two seasons but had more success as a reliever. He is 9-12 with a 5.11 ERA in 26 career starts, including a loss to the Cubs in 2016.

WALK-OFFS

1. Rizzo is 15-for-42 with two homers and 14 RBIs during an 11-game hitting streak.

2. Pittsburgh RF Gregory Polanco has been out of the lineup the past two games while he is mired in an 0-for-16 slump, but he should be back Wednesday, as he is 10-for-25 with two homers versus Hendricks.

3. Pirates C Francisco Cervelli (illness) missed his third straight start Tuesday.

Nationals at Orioles Preview

Bryce Harper looks to build off a potential slump-busting performance as his Washington Nationals go for a three-game sweep in the Beltway Series when they visit the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night. Harper launched a solo homer in the first inning and added a pair of singles – after going 3-for-20 with 12 strikeouts over the previous five games – in Washington’s 3-2 victory on Tuesday.

Harper leads the National League with 17 homers despite batting just .238 while 19-year-old rookie outfielder Juan Soto is starting to make an impact after going 8-for-15 with three doubles in the last four games for the Nationals, who have won five straight. Three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer has won seven straight decisions and goes for his 150th career victory Wednesday when he takes the mound for Washington against Baltimore rookie David Hess. The Orioles have cooled off with the bats again, managing just six runs during a four-game losing streak after leaving two runners on base in the ninth inning during Tuesday’s loss. Manny Machado belted his 16th homer in the setback – his first in eight games – for Baltimore and has hit safely in four straight despite his batting average slipping slightly to .326.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, MASN2 (Washington), MASN (Baltimore)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Max Scherzer (8-1, 2.13 ERA) vs. Orioles RH David Hess (2-1, 4.15)

Scherzer had his streak of eight straight quality starts halted at Miami last Friday when he allowed four runs and seven hits over six innings in a victory. The 33-year-old Missouri product, who boasts a National League-leading 108 strikeouts along with just 18 walks, also saw a run of 10 straight games giving up two or fewer earned runs end. Adam Jones is 13-for-29 with four homers versus Scherzer, who is 5-2 with a 3.20 ERA in 10 career games against the Orioles.

Hess earned his second win in three starts last Friday when he permitted four hits and three walks across 6 2/3 scoreless innings to beat Tampa Bay. The 24-year-old Tennessee native blanked the Rays in 11 2/3 frames during two wins after surrendering a three-run homer to Matt Duffy in the first inning on May 12 in his major league debut. Hess has struck out 10 and walked five over 17 1/3 innings overall while opponents have smacked four homers against him.

WALK-OFFS

1. Jones had a pair of hits with an RBI on Tuesday and is batting .325 in 50 career games against the Nationals.

2. Washington SS Trea Turner is 13-for-46 with seven RBIs during a 10-game hitting streak.

3. Orioles OF/DH Mark Trumbo had two hits Tuesday and is 6-for-10 in his last three contests, improving his batting average to .310.

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Posted in MLB

5 new faces key to the National League Central race

Yu Darvish, SP, Chicago Cubs

Cubs’ projected record (FanGraphs): 93-69
Cubs’ projected record (PECOTA): 91-71
Darvish’s projected 2018 WAR (Steamer): 3.9

Unwilling to cede their position as the unequivocal favorite in the NL Central, the Cubs replaced Jake Arrieta this offseason with a younger, bat-missing-er stud in Darvish, giving the four-time All-Star $126 million to prevent their potential dynasty from derailing. Now, barring injury, the Cubs are poised to be an elite run-prevention team again in 2018 following a perfectly-fine-but-not-quite-spectacular performance from their rotation a year ago. Seeing as they’re also going to score a lot of runs in 2018it’s fair to presume that the Cubs will win a lot of games this season. Like, a lot. Darvish wasn’t quite as dominant last year in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery (and, for the record, his World Series struggles have been way overblown), but the 31-year-old is still a top-end starter, having finished 18th in the majors in WAR (3.5) in 2017 despite allowing more hard contact with a drop-off in strikeout rate, too. His velocity didn’t degrade at all from 2016, either – over 17 starts, Darvish managed a 3.09 FIP – and his bloated homer-to-fly-ball rate suggests there’s room for positive regression. Ultimately, though, even if Darvish’s 2017 numbers (3.86 ERA; 3.83 FIP) are indicative of a new performance baseline, the Cubs are going to be fine. Better, even.

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Christian Yelich, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

Brewers’ projected record (FanGraphs): 78-84
Brewers’ projected record (PECOTA): 84-78
Yelich’s projected 2018 WAR (Steamer): 3.9

Following an unexpectedly competitive 2017 season, the Brewers – who finished one game back of the second wild-card spot – took major steps this winter to expedite their rebuild, none more significant than the January trade in which they sent top prospect Lewis Brinson, an ostensible centerpiece of their future, to Miami for Yelich. They’re still not quite good enough to challenge the Cubs for the division title, but it’s clear that the future is now (or at least rapidly approaching) for the Brewers given that they’re expending prospect capital to improve their 25-man roster and signing free agents on the wrong side of 30 (more on that later). As such, expect the Brewers to be in the thick of the wild-card race again in 2018, as Yelich – who boasts a career 120 OPS+ – should help offset regression from the likes of Eric Thames, Travis Shaw, and Domingo Santana, keeping Milwaukee firmly in maybe-good-but-definitely-not-great territory. Yelich, after all, has quietly been one of the game’s most valuable players over the past few seasons, accruing 15.9 WAR since 2014 while slashing .290/.368/.436 with an average of 14 homers, 34 doubles, and 16 stolen bases per season.

Marcell Ozuna, OF, St. Louis Cardinals

Cardinals’ projected record (FanGraphs): 86-76
Cardinals’ projected record (PECOTA): 85-77
Ozuna’s projected 2018 WAR (Steamer): 3.8

One of the first teams to take advantage of the Marlins’ dismantling, the Cardinals – undeterred by their surplus of outfielders – shipped a pair of middling prospects and two more non-prospects to Miami in December for Ozuna, a power-hitting left fielder who likely improves their roster more than any free-agent position player could have. Though the 27-year-old may not be able to replicate his numbers from last year, when he set career highs in WAR (4.8), OPS (.924), home runs (37), and defensive runs saved (10), Ozuna still raises the floor significantly. He’s been worth at last 2.5 WAR in three of the last four seasons, and his arrival in St. Louis had ancillary benefits, too; Stephen Piscotty and Randal Grichuk were rendered superfluous, and enabled the Cardinals to trade both outfielders for help on the farm and in the bullpen. Frankly, the Cardinals should’veearned a wild-card berth last year – at 83-79, they finished four wins shy of their expected (Pythag) record – and they didn’t lose any key contributors this winter, so even if the upgrade that Ozuna offers is marginal, they’re still going to be competitive. If he does continue to perform at his 2017 level, though, it’s conceivable that they’re fighting for the division come September.

Lorenzo Cain, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

Brewers’ projected record (FanGraphs): 78-84
Brewers’ projected record (PECOTA): 84-78
Cain’s projected 2018 WAR (Steamer): 2.8

Mere moments after landing Yelich back in January, their increasing glut of everyday outfielders notwithstanding, the Brewers finalized a deal to reunite with Cain, handing their former 17th-round pick the biggest free-agent contract in franchise history (5 years, $80 million). Unlike the Yelich trade, however, which has both immediate and long-term value, the Cain deal is – despite its term – a short-term move, a surprisingly aggressive salvo that reinforces the Brewers’ plan to compete in 2018. Cain, after all, turns 32 a couple weeks after Opening Day, and diminishing returns should be expected within the next few seasons given his speed-centric profile. For now, at least, the Brewers have a bona fide stud in center field – a major upgrade over Keon Broxton – as Cain has been the fifth-most valuable outfielder in the majors since his breakout 2014 campaign, combining elite defense and baserunning with an above-average bat. As evidenced by the projections above, the Brewers’ 2018 campaign has a fairly wide range of outcomes, but with Cain holding it down in center, Milwaukee’s less-established players don’t necessarily have to realize their 90-percentile projections for the club to earn a wild-card berth.

Brandon Morrow, RP, Chicago Cubs

Cubs’ projected record (FanGraphs): 93-69
Cubs’ projected record (PECOTA): 91-71
Morrow’s projected 2018 WAR (Steamer): 0.7

Instead of picking up a proven closer to replace Wade Davis, who landed a mammoth $52-million deal with the Rockies, the Cubs opted for the value play in Morrow, the resurgent right-hander who dominated out of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ bullpen last year following a largely unsuccessful and injury-marred seven-year run as a starter. Armed with an 98-mph four-seamer and a nasty slider, Morrow crafted a 2.06 ERA with an 0.92 WHIP over 45 appearances, tossing 43 2/3 innings without allowing a home run while also managing the fifth-lowest expected wOBA(.211) in the majors (his postseason, incidentally, was a different story). Still, believing in a breakout season from a relief pitcher and building a bullpen around that guy are two entirely different things. Relievers are notoriously volatile, after all – only a handful can be relied upon to dominate year after year – and Morrow, who turns 34 in July, has been a good one for roughly 3 1/2 months. If he turns back into a pumpkin, or if he’s simply unable to stay healthy, the ninth inning could be a real problem for the Cubs, as each of Morrow’s potential replacements has some kind of red flag: C.J. Edwards struggles to throw strikes; Pedro Strop’s strikeout rate dropped significantly last year; and Steve Cishek can’t really get lefties out.

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Posted in MLB

August 14 Fantasy Baseball Preview

Sunday Evening Matchups

The Cubs will seek to start a fresh winning streak, while the Cardinals will go after a series split, when the two clubs meet at Wrigley Field in a nationally televised game tonight. FanPicks has your august 14 fantasy baseball preview of this evening game to get ready for today’s MLB contest. Get the info you need and play right here! With the NFL back in our contests, don’t forget to test our cross-sport contests with millions in prizes to win.

 

August 14 Fantasy Baseball Preview

Cardinals vs Cubs

The Cubs took the first two games before the Cardinals won 8-4 on Saturday to snap Chicago’s 11-game winning streak on a come from behind victory Saturday. The Cubs still have a huge 13-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central.

Mike Leake will have the start for the Cards (8-9, 4.79 ERA, 96 K). After allowing 19 earned runs over his last 3 starts, Leake has the ability to complete a quality start, with his last time out seemed like he was stepping in the right direction. He did however walk a season (4 walks) and recorded no strikeouts for the first time this year, but is outing against the Angels was solid over 8 innings. Right handed hitters are batting .195 against him this season and he’s 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 3 starts against the Cards this season.

 

Right-hander John Lackey (9-7, 3.56 ERA) will take the mound for the Cubs and try for his fifth straight quality start. He allowed three hits and one run in eight innings in a 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels in his last start Tuesday. Lackey is 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA this season in three starts against the Cardinals, his only starts against his former team. He went 16-13 with a 3.10 ERA in 43 starts with St. Louis in 2014-15.

 

The Cardinals will be looking for a leadoff hitter now that Matt Carpenter is batting third in the absence of Matt Holliday, who sustained a broken thumb when he was hit by a Mike Montgomery pitch Thursday. Greg Garcia went 0-for-5 batting leadoff Saturday, when Holliday went on the disabled list. Carpenter was 2-for-5 with three strikeouts.

 

Though well behind the Cubs in the division, the Cardinals (61-56) remain in the mix for a wild card spot. The Cubs are 6-6 against St. Louis this season.

 

 
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Fantasy Baseball Draft Picks

The Major League Baseball is getting  trimmed to eight games on Thurdsday. There will be four early evening game and four evening ones. The Chicago White Sox will look to extend their winning streak seven game in Baltimore. They trail the other Cubs by a single game in the league standings. Speaking of the other Chicago team, they will begin their matchup against the Brewers at two-o-clock and will send the virtually un-hittable Jake Arrieta to the mound. Things couldn’t look any better for manager Don Mattingly. His Miami Marlins will attempt to sweep the series against his former team, the Los Angeles Dodgers. And all of this at Dodger Stadium. They’ll have to face the red hot Kenta Maeda though. Here is the top 20 Fantasy Baseball draft picks. Pick your fantasy baseball team right here.Fantasy baseball

It’s sure is surprising to see Tanner Roark on top of the list. Even more so above Jake Arrieta. Phillies Aaron Nola rounds out the top three pitchers. Dustin Pedroia has seen his stock raise with some stellar play. The second base position is one that usually keeps daily fantasy sports managers guessing. Not this time, since Pedroia is the only secon baseman entering the list. Other lone player leading their position, depending on the list, are Cardinals rookie shortstop Aledmys Diaz and Colorado’s third baseman slugger Nolan Arenado. Tigers outfielder JD Martinez collected a lot of fantasy points yesterday, but has yet to prove that he’s riding on a consistent hot streak. Some of the less expensive options that are driving a solid stretch picks are first baseman Mark Reynold and Freddie Freeman, with outfielders Khris Davis, Ryan Raburn and Joey Rickard. Rounding out the top 20 is the most inexpensive pick Alex Presley from the Milwaukee Brewers.

Posted in MLB

Major League Baseball Fantasy Draft News October 17th 2015

Chicago Cubs versus New York Mets Game 1 MLB NLCS Fantasy Preview 10-17-2015

The NLCS begins on Saturday October 18th as its Game 1 between the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets. Fantasy baseball draft GMs can tune to TBS TV at 7:30PM Eastern Time to track the results of their roster picks.

The Mets qualified for the NLCS after disposing of the LA Dodgers in five games. They win a deciding fifth game at Dodgers Stadium on Thursday by the score of 3-2. The Cubs were able to dispose of the St Louis Cardinals in four games as Chicago earned the 6-4 victory in the series clincher on Tuesday at home in Chicago. The Cubs and Mets have met seven times during the regular season with Chicago winning all seven games. The Cubs pitching staff put on a dominating effort limiting New York to one run or fewer in five of the seven games.

Chicago Cubs LF:

Chris Coghlan

The Cubs don’t have much history facing Harvey over their careers. Coghlan stands out as he is 3 for 8 life time against the Mets starter with two RBIs.

Chicago Cubs P:

Jon Lester

On the year the Cubs left hander is 11-12 with an ERA of 3.34 and WHIP of 1.12. He had a start in the NLDS at St Louis and went 7 1/3rd innings and gave up three earned runs in a 4-0 road loss at St Louis.

New York Mets RF:

Curtis Granderson

New York Mets 1B:

Lucas Duda

The Mets first baseman is 2 for 6 life time against Lester with a home run.

Curtis Granderson has a long history against Lester in his career. In 44 at bats Granderson is batting .273 with two homers and four RBIs.

New York Mets P:

Matt Harvey

The Mets right hander on the season is 13-8 in his 29 starts with an ERA of 2.71 and WHIP of 1.02. He worked Game 3 of the NLDS against the Dodgers and allowed two earned runs and seven hits over five innings in a 13-7 home victory to the LA Dodgers.

Toronto Blue Jays versus Kansas City Royals Game 2 MLB ALCS Fantasy Baseball Preview 10-17-2015

This will be Game 2 of the ALCS series. It was the Kansas City Royals behind a great six innings no run performance by Edinson Volquez as they posted the 5-0 victory to take 1-0 lead in this best of seven series. The outstanding Royals bullpen shut out the power hitting Blue Jays the rest of the way to their victory.

Toronto Blue Jays RF:

Jose Bautista

Not too much history for Blue Jays hitters battling Ventura. Jose Bautista stands out with a 3 for 5 against Ventura with a homer and RBI.

Toronto Blue Jays P:

David Price

The Blue Jays left hander is 18-5 on the year with an ERA of 2.45 and WHIP of 1.08. He faced Texas twice in the ALDS and allowed a total of eight earned runs and eleven hits over ten innings of work as he went 1-1 in those two playoff games.

Kansas City Royals RF:

Alex Rios

The KC Royals have had good success hitting David Price with a Team Batting average of .293. Royal’s right fielder Alex Rios has crushed Price by batting .400 against him with two homers and ten RBIs in 30 at bats.

Kansas City Royals P:

Yordano Ventura

The KC right hander is 13-8 in his 28 starts on the season with an ERA of 4.08 and WHIP of 1.30. Ventura faced the Astros twice in the playoffs and allowed a total of six earned runs and eight hits over seven innings of work.

Posted in MLB

Fantasy Baseball NLDS update – Chicago Cubs vs St-Louis Cardinals

It’s the MLB playoffs and cash draft contests Fantasy Baseball NLDS update – Chicago Cubs vs St-Louis Cardinals are under way. The fantasy baseball matchup between the Cubs and the Cardinals is tied 1 game apiece. It all started on Friday, with John Lackey shutting out Chicago. The Cubs rebounded on Saturday with a win, playing small ball against the Cardinals. The series now shift to Wrigley Field. Division rivals, both team saw each other 19 times during the regular season. St-Louis ended up winning 11 of those games, while Chicago won 8. Here are the matchups:

Potential Pitching Matchup:

Schedule Chicago Cubs St. Louis Cardinals
October 9

at Busch Stadium

Final Score: 4-0 Cards

LHP Jon Lester

Post-season (0-1, 3.68 ERA)

 

RHP John Lackey

Post-season (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

October 10

at Busch Stadium

Final Score: 6-3 Cubs

RHP Kyle Hendricks

Post-season (0-0, 5.79 ERA)

LHP Jaime Garcia

Post-season (0-1 , 0.00 ERA)

October 12 6 PM ET

at Wrigley Field

RHP Jake Arrieta*

Season (22-6, 1.77)

Post-season (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

Vs Cards this season (2-1, 2.42 ERA)

RHP Michael Wacha*

Season (17-7, 3.38 ERA)

Vs Cubs this season (1-2, 6.86 ERA)

October 13  4:30 PM ET

at Wrigley Field

 

RHP Jason Hammel

Season (10-7, 3.74 ERA)

Vs Cards this season (1-1, 5.73 ERA)

LHP Tyler Lyons

Season (3-1, 3.75 ERA)

Vs Cubs this season (0-1, 4.43 ERA)

October 15 4:30 PM ET

at Busch Stadium

LHP Jon Lester

Vs Cards this season (1-3, 2.60 ERA)

RHP John Lackey

Vs Cubs this season (2-0, 1.27 ERA)

(*)Confirmed

Series Fantasy Value Picks:

P Jake Arrieta – Chicago Cubs – Postseason (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 11 SO)

Arrieta was nearly untouchable against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NLWC game. The pitcher with the most wins in the league did not record a loss since July 25.  That’s almost three month ago.

P John Lackey – St-Louis Cardinals – Postseason (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 5 SO)

Lackey didn’t record any run during the first game of the series. He’s been solid against the Cubs all season long.

C Miguel Montero – Chicago Cubs – Postseason (1 Run, 0 HR, 1 RBI, .143 AVG)

Montero is one of the best offensive catchers in the MLB. He caught two no-hitters for his pitcher during his career. Once in 2010, with Edwin Jackson in a Diamondbacks uniform. And the second time, with ace Jake Arrieta this past season.

1B Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs – Postseason (1 Run, 0 HR, 0 RBI, .000 AVG)

Rizzo had a great end to the 2015 regular season, going 5-for-13 in his last three games. He’s also leads the majors in hit-by-pitch with 30. He’s the second player since 1914 to hit over 30 homers and get hit by a pitch over 30 times in a single season.

1B Mark Reynolds – St. Louis Cardinals – Postseason (0 Run, 0 HR, 0 RBI, .000 AVG)

Despite being a bench player, Reynolds is still a solid power hitter. He had his fourth grand slam off Cubs lefty reliever Travis Wood back on May 4th.

SS Addison Russell – Chicago Cubs – Postseason (0 Run, 0 HR, 1 RBI, .200 AVG)

Russell is one of the best prospects in fantasy baseball, right now.

3B Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals – Postseason (2 Runs, 1 HR, 1 RBI, .143 AVG)

Carpenter raised his total of home runs and RBI’s at the expense of his average. He can change the momentum of a game with one swing of the bat.

OF Jason Hewyard – St. Louis Cardinals – Postseason (0 Run, 0 HR, 0 RBI, .250 AVG)

Heyward has yet to repeat on his home runs and RBI’s total from 2012, but the southpaw was at least able get his batting average 25 points above his career average.

OF Dexter Fowler – Chicago Cubs – Postseason (4 Runs, 1 HR, 2 RBI’s, .385 AVG)

Fowler has been tremendous as the Cubs leadoff. He had 1 dinger and 3 runs in the NLWC game against the Pirates.

 

 

 

Posted in MLB

Daily Fantasy Baseball NLWC Preview – Chicago Cubs vs Pittsburgh Pirates

Cash Draft Baseball Contest continues Wednesday with the National League Wild Card Game between the Chicago Cubs and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Is this the year that Chicago can finally lift the curse of the Billy Goat, or will Pittsburgh follow up on their best season since 1991? One thing for sure, the winner will move on to face the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS.

The Chicago Cubs have won 11 out of the 19 matchups against the Pittsburgh Pirates this season. They’ve also defeated them 6 time in 10 games at PNC Park, Pittsburgh home stadium, during the year. You can follow the game this Wednesday on TBS at 8pm Eastern Time.

Pitching matchup: Chicago Cubs Jake Arrieta (22-6) vs Pittsburgh Pirates Gerrit Cole (19-8)

Two N.L. CY Young contenders will take the mound in the NLWC. The Cubs have the MLB leader in wins Jake Arrieta. He became, this season, the 14th player in Cubs history to get a no-hitter and the 6th in the league this year. The 29 years-old did not lose a game since July 25th, racking up 11 wins and a 0.57 ERA in that stretch. This season, he’s holding an ERA of 1.77 and 236 strikeouts. The Pittsburgh Pirates will turn to their young ace to even the odds. Gerrit Cole finished the year with a 2.60 ERA and 202 strikeouts. What’s going for Cole is that he already has playoff experience (1-1, 2.45 ERA), as opposed to Arrieta who will make his post-season debut.

Arrieta has faced the Pirates 5 time, this year. He’s 3-1 with a 0.75 ERA against them. His counterpart, Gerrit Cole, also had a 3-1 record in 4 games against the Cubs. His earned run average is a bit higher at 2.15. Cole is going to come to the game with a week rest under his belt. He hasn’t pitched since September 30th. Even with the quality pitching Cole bring to the field, he needs to be perfect to defeat Arrieta and the Cubs

Catchers: Chicago Cubs Miguel Montero vs Pittsburgh Pirates Francisco Cervelli

Francisco Cervelli proved that he’s more than a defensive catcher. He bested his career numbers in home run (7), run batted in (43) and runs (56) this season. He has completed the year with a .295 batting average. Miguel Montero has been tagged as one of the best catchers over the last few years. He has hit 15 homers and 53 RBI’s, scored 36 runs and batted .248 in 2015.

First basemen: Chicago Cubs Anthony Rizzo vs Pittsburgh Pirates Pedro Alvarez

Chicago Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo reached over a 100 RBI’s for the first time in his career. He’s been the big bat for his team all season long, hitting .278 with 31 blasts and 101 RBI’s while stealing base 17 times. Opposing Rizzo at first base is Pedro Alvarez. The 2nd overall pick in the 2008 MLB draft is in the prime years of his career. He has 77 RBI’s with 27 dingers and a .243 average.

Second basemen: Chicago Cubs Starlin Castro vs Pittsburgh Pirates Neil Walker

Neil Walker is a solid second baseman, one might even say underrated. With 16 homers, 71 RBI’s and a .269 average this year, the 30 year-old will need to raise his low post-season batting average. The Chicago Cubs shifted Starlin Castro from shortstop to second base back in August. Depending whether he’s still playing at shortstop in your Daily Fantasy League, Castro still needs to improve his bat to become an offensive infielder. He’s hitting .265 with 11 home runs and 69 RBI’s this year.

Third basemen: Chicago Cubs Kris Bryant vs Pittsburgh Pirates Aramis Ramirez

It’s rookie vs veteran in this third base head-to-head. Aramis Ramirez had an illustrious career in the majors. But at 37 years-old saw his bat start to slow down. He had 17 home runs and 75 RBI’s with a .246 batting average, this year. Kris Bryant delivered in his first season in the big leagues. A total of 26 deep flies, 99 RBI’s and a .275 average has him lead the race for the N.L. rookie of the year.

Shortstops: Chicago Cubs Addison Russell vs Pittsburgh Pirates Jordy Mercer

Addison Russell is another Chicago prospect that performed well for the team. Batting .242 with 13 home runs and 54 RBI’s, he’s likely to be the sleeper in this Fantasy Baseball competition. Jordy Mercer hits in the bottom of the order and it shows. He has 3 homers, 34 RBI’s and a .244 average.

Outfielders: Chicago Cubs Dexter Fowler, Kyle Schwarber & Chris Coghlan

vs Pittsburgh Pirates Gregory Polanco, Starling Marte & Andrew McCutchen

Nobody is really standing out in the Cubs outfield this year. Yet again, another rookie has the potential to be a sleeper. Kyle Schwarber was the 4th overall pick in the 2014 MLB draft. A player making the team this soon definitely has something special. He has collected 16 homers, 432 RBI’s, 52 runs and a .246 average this season. His fantasy position is still iffy. He could still be a catcher in some one day cash draft league. Dexter Fowler is the better, more seasoned fantasy option. He is batting .250 with 17 home runs, 46 RBI’s and 20 stolen bases. Chris Coghlan has 41 RBI’s with 16 homers and a .250 batting average.

The Pirates outfield is probably the team best feature. And it’s all thanks to the 2013 National League Most Valuable Player. Andrew McCutchen is a definite fantasy pick in the NLWC. He had 96 RBI’s, 23 homers and a batting average of .292, in 2015. Both Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco made some strides to become stars, this year in the big league. Marte had 81 RBI’s, 19 dingers and 30 stolen bases with an average of .287, while Polanco finished his year with 9 homers, 84 runs, 27 stolen bases and an average of .256.

Daily Fantasy NLWC Picks

P Jake Arrieta – Chicago Cubs

C Miguel Montero – Chicago Cubs

1B Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs

2B Neil Walker – Pittsburgh Pirates

3B Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs

SS Addison Russell – Chicago Cubs

OF Dexter Fowler – Chicago Cubs

OF Andrew McCutchen – Pittsburgh Pirates

OF Starling Marte – Pittsburgh Pirates

Posted in MLB

Fantasy Baseball Best Pick of the Evening – September 21th 2015

We’re less than two weeks away from closing out the Fantasy Baseball regular season. Come learn how to play fantasy baseball before it’s too late. There is 10 games to be played Monday evening. The most interesting matchup today is the one between the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jay. They begin a crucial 3 game series for the top spot in the A.L. East. Blue Jays ace, David Price (16-5), will start with Yankees Adam Warren (6-6) opposing him. Now let’s take a look at some hot fantasy picks:

P Jason Hammel – Chicago Cubs

 Season: 8 W, 6L, 3.73 ERA, 159 Ks, 39 BBs

The Chicago Cubs have been on a tear lately. They are in a battle against the Pittsburgh Pirates for the wild card spot in the National League. The Cubbies begin a three-game stand at Wrigley against the Brew Crew. Jason Hammel (8-6) will be on the mound for Chicago. He has struggled in his last outing allowing four runs in 3 2/3 innings. After the game, he made it clear that he blew it and had to be better. Now is the chance to prove it. He’s undefeated in 10 games against Milwaukee, with 7 decision wins and a 2.13 ERA. His opponent Wily Peralta (5-9) as failed to reproduce the numbers that made him successful last year. Against a team that has no more playoff aspiration, this should be a cake walk for Hammel.

C Travis d’Arnaud – New York Mets

Season:  .283 AVG, 12 HRs, 41 RBIs, 30 Runs

D’Arnaud has been ripping it up in the month of September, hitting for .327. He will face starter Shelby Miller, the National League leader in losses. Besides that, Miller hasn’t won since May 18th. This is good for D’Arnaud.

1B Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks

Season: .315 AVG, 28 HRs, 100 RBIs, 91 Runs, 21 SBs

With the D-Backs eliminated from the playoffs yesterday, players will want to take out their frustration on the field. One of those players is Paul Goldschmidt who his batting .538 in 13 at-bats against opposing pitcher Brett Anderson. Goldy has 2 homers and 5 RBI’s this season alone, when facing the Dodgers hurler.

2B Brandon Phillips – Cincinnati Reds

Season: .293 AVG, 12 HRs, 65 RBIs, 66 Runs, 21 SBs

Phillips is on a roll as of late hitting .338 and getting 13 RBIs in the month of September. He has been able to get 2 hits in each season off Jaime Garcia the past five years. This year, Phillips has none in 4 at-bats against the lefty. It’s his last chance to get some before season end.

3B Chase Headley – New York Yankees

Season: .264 AVG, 11 HRs, 61 RBIs, 72 Runs

This is a big one between the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays. The fantasy score will come from an unlikely hero. That hero will be Chase Headley. He has success this season against David Price with a batting average of .600.

SS Xander Bogaerts – Boston Red Sox

Season: .322 AVG, 6 HRs, 73 RBIs, 74 Runs, 13 SBs

Who knew Bogaerts was going to soar this year. The last shortstop to have had that much talent with the bat for the Red Sox was Nomar Garciaparra. The 22 years-old his way to be the next Garciaparra. He’s currently on a nine game hitting streak and is the second best in the American League with an average of .322.

OF Melky Cabrera – Chicago White Sox

Season: .274 AVG, 11 HRs, 73 RBIs, 66 Runs, 3 SBs

It will be the Melky way tonight at Comerica Park. Cabrera has had past success against the 39 years-old Randy Wolf, batting .571 since 2010. They haven’t faced off since 2012, but the aging Wolf is in the decline and Cabrera will make him pay for it.

OF Carl Crawford – Los Angeles Dodgers

Season: .265 AVG, 4 HRs, 15 RBIs, 17 Runs, 9 SBs

He is not the all-star as he once was, but he is hitting .298 and has stolen 9 bases since the beginning of August. Back in 2013, he has faced Jhoulys Chacin 6 time, and has collected 5 hits against him. You can say that Crawford will have Chacin’s number Monday night.

OF Scott Van Slyke – Los Angeles Dodgers

Season: .248 AVG, 6 HRs, 29 RBIs, 19 Runs, 3 SBs

Adrian’s Gonzalez is questionable for Monday’s matchup between the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers. This could allow Scott Van Slyke to play his second game in a row. He knocked a solo-home run last night. The son of former MLB player Andy Van Slyke is no slouch against Jhoulys Chacin, hitting .600 against him in the past 2 years.

Fantasy Baseball Picks Recap

P Jason Hammel – Chicago Cubs

C Travis d’Arnaud – New York Mets

1B Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamonbacks

2B Brandon Phillips – Cincinnati Reds

3B Chase Headley – New York Yankees

SS Xander Bogaerts – Boston Red Sox

OF Melky Cabrera – Chicago White Sox

OF Carl Crawford – Los Angeles Dodgers

OF Scott Van Slyke –Los Angeles Dodgers

Posted in MLB

Chicago Cubs vs St-Louis Cardinals – 7/8/15 MLB Fantasy Sports, Baseball Picks, Odds & Predictions

Fantasy Baseball

The St Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs will continue their series from Major League Baseball on Wednesday July 8th. Fantasy Baseball mock draft managers can follow the scoring of their rosters at 8PM Eastern Time over ESPN TV.

This will conclude a four game series between these teams who had to play a doubleheader on Tuesday. The Cardinals defeated Chicago in the opener of this series on Monday winning by the score of 6-0. That extended the winning streak to five straight by St Louis over the Chicago Cubs. The teams have met ten times this year with St Louis winning eight of the games.

The Cardinals possess Major League Baseball’s best pitching staff. They are number one in Team ERA (2.56), number one in quality starts (57) and third best in WHIP (1.19). Heading into the Tuesday doubleheader the Cardinals have allowed two runs or fewer to nine of their past ten opponents.

The Cubs have pitched well as the club has allowed two runs or fewer in six of their past seven games entering Tuesday’s action. Chicago ranks in the lower third in a couple of major offensive categories. The team is 24th in runs scored (3.88 per game) and 27th in hitting percentage (.239).

1 day fantasy football

St Louis Cardinals SS: Jhonny Peralta is hitting .297 on the campaign with 11 homers and 42 RBIs. That leads the current active everyday hitters on the Cardinals roster to this point.

St Louis Cardinals C: Yadier Molina is on a good run hitting .315 over his past 15 games. He began the season on a slump and has moved his average up to .292 with 2 homers and 28 RBIs.

St Louis Cardinals 2B: Kolton Wong is 2 for 6 in the first two games of this series with the Chicago Cubs as he looks to break a slump. His average is .281 with nine homers and 37 RBIs.

St Louis Cardinals RF: Jason Heyward is batting .309 over his past 30 games. His average is now up to .280 with nine homers and 29 RBIs.

St Louis Cardinals LF: Matt Carpenter is slumping as he is 4 for his past 23 at bats. His average has dipped to .271 with eight homers and 39 RBIs season to date.

St Louis Cardinals 1B: Mark Reynolds has struggled through the 2015 season with a batting average of .225 with five homers and 27 RBIs. After Game 1 of a doubleheader on Tuesday against the Cubs, Reynolds is just 5 for his past 50.

St Louis Cardinals P: Michael Wacha is 10-3 on the year with an ERA of 2.66 in his 101 1/3rd innings worked. In his last start on July 3rd, Wacha held the San Diego Padres to just one earned run and five hits in seven innings.

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Chicago Cubs 1B: Anthony Rizzo is batting .295 with 16 homers and 47 RBIs season to date. He is looking to break through a 3 of 25 slump at the plate.

Chicago Cubs 3B: Kris Bryant has been a surprise for the Cubs in his rookie campaign by hitting .278 with 12 homers and 49 RBIs.

Chicago Cubs SS: Starlin Castro is in a slump right now as he is just 4 for his past 26. Castro’s batting average has dropped to .250.

Chicago Cubs LF: Chris Coghlan is another Cub at the plate who has hit a slump. Coghlan is just 3 for his past 19 at the plate. His batting average has dropped to .250 with eight homers and 19 RBIs.

Chicago Cubs CF: Dexter Fowler has struggled for the 2015 season with a .234 batting average with 8 homers and 24 RBIs.

Chicago Cubs P: Jason Hammel is 5-4 on the year with an ERA of 2.89 and WHIP of 0.95 working 102 2/3rd innings. He has lost two straight decisions heading into the start on Wednesday. Hammel held Miami to just two earned runs over seven innings and with a lack of run support took the loss.

Fantasy Baseball Real Money League Picks

P: Michael Wacha (Cardinals)
SS: Jhonny Peralta (Cardinals)
C: Yavier Molina (Cardinals)
RF: Jason Heyward (Cardinals)
2B: Kolton Wong (Cardinals)
3B: Kris Bryant (Cubs)

Posted in MLB

Chicago Cubs vs St-Louis Cardinals – 7/6/15 MLB Fantasy Sports, Baseball Picks, Odds & Predictions

Fantasy Baseball

It will be two rivals from the NL Central kicking off a series from Major League Baseball for Monday July 6th as the Chicago Cubs are at home facing the St Louis Cardinals. MLB draft managers can track the scoring of their fantasy baseball rosters from Wrigley Field at 8PM Eastern Time on ESPN TV.

The Cardinals and Cubs have met nine times in the 2015 campaign thus far. St Louis has been dominant with seven wins. They met in late June for a three game series in St Louis with the Cardinals pulling out the sweep limiting the Cubs to a total of four runs in the three games combined.

St Louis possesses the best pitching staff in Major League Baseball with a Team ERA of 2.59 ranking tops in the league. They do so by not allowing many baserunners and their starters make quality starts. The Cardinals are number one in quality starts (56) and fifth best in WHIP (1.20). Entering Sunday’s action the Cardinals were six games in the loss column ahead of Pittsburgh in the division.

The Chicago Cubs enter this series on an up note winner of two straight and five of their past six games. The pitching has been fantastic as Cubs hurlers have allowed a total of five runs in their past six games.

St Louis Cardinals SS: Jhonny Peralta is having a good July with a batting average of .353. His average has moved to .297 with 11 homers and 42 RBIs.

St Louis Cardinals C: Yavier Molina was off to a slow start with the bat. He has improved greatly the past two months to move his batting average up to .292. His power numbers are down with two homers, 27 RBIs and a slugging percentage of .373.

St Louis Cardinals RF: Jason Heyward is hot to start the month of July with a .333 batting average. He has hits in seven of his past eight games. On the year Heyward is hitting .281 with nine homers and 29 RBIs.

St Louis Cardinals 2B: Kolton Wong is ice cold right now going through a 3 for 22 bad spell at the moment. He is hitless in his past seven games as his average for the year is down to .279.

St Louis Cardinals P: John Lackey is 6-5 in his eleven starts with an ERA of .257 and WHIP of 1.29. He has held his past four opponents to two runs or fewer and has wins in five of his past seven games.

Chicago Cubs 1B: Anthony Rizzo leads the everyday players with a batting average of .292 with 15 homers and 45 RBIs. He has produced solid power with a slugging percentage of .543.

Chicago Cubs 3B: Kris Bryant is hot at the moment with a batting average of .333 over his past seven days. On the year Bryant is hitting .279 with 12 homers and 49 RBIs. He enters play on a six game win streak.

Chicago Cubs SS: Starlin Castro is in a 4 for 21 slump as he enters play on Monday. Castro has a season batting average of .257 with five homers and 36 RBIs.

Chicago Cubs LF: Chris Coghlan has his average down to .254 as he is in the midst of a 2 for 12 slump. He has no extra base hits over his past six games.

Chicago Cubs CF: Dexter Fowler is slumping as he is 3 for his past 20 at the moment. Fowler is hitting just .228 with eight homers and 23 RBIs.

Chicago Cubs P: Jon Lester in his 16 starts as a Cub in 2015 has a record of 4-6 with an ERA of 3.74 and WHIP of 1.33. He had a bad start on June 25th against the Dodgers giving up four runs in four innings. He had a bounce back effort on July 1st against a weak hitting New York Mets team as he posted seven shutout innings. Lack of run support has Lester looking for his first win since May 16th.

Real Money MLB Fantasy Picks

P: John Lackey (Cardinals)
SS: Jhonny Peralta (Cardinals)
C: Yavier Molina (Cardinals)
RF: Jason Heyward (Cardinals)
1B: Anthony Rizzo (Cubs)
3B: Kris Bryant (Cubs)

Posted in MLB