MLB 2017 Season Preview

National League East

FanPicks examines the National League East division for the upcoming Major League Baseball season. Get ready for fantasy baseball.

Atlanta Braves

The Braves are in an enviable position for a team on a rebuilding track. They already have a franchise player in Freddie Freeman and the makings of one in Dansby Swanson. They have a couple of players who have already bloomed into good role players, but they really only have a starter kit for a pitching staff beyond Julio Teheran and too many positions where they will be fielding placeholders. The consensus is that the Braves have one of the best farm systems in the game after their flurry of trades, but while some of the youngsters will be seen at SunTrust Park this year, it will be another two years at least before they are collectively ready to make their mark.

Miami Marlins

Whether the Marlins snap baseball’s second-longest postseason drought (13; the Mariners’ streak stands at 15) depends upon their success at resolving the rotation. In the end, the biggest factor will be health. The Marlins were at the top of the Wild Card standings until injuries became too much to overcome with their lack of depth.

New York Mets

If the starting rotation of Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz all pitch to their talent level, the Mets could be scary good and have a rotation that rivals any in baseball. And the lineup could be in the top half of the NL, too, with enough hitters still around their prime. But there are no certainties with the Mets, as we’ve learned in recent seasons. If all goes well, this is a team capable of winning the World Series. If it doesn’t, the Mets could struggle to reach .500.

Philadelphia Phillies

The experience gained by a handful of important young players should allow for more improvement in 2017, though the offense is still woefully short of making this team a contender. Finding out which young players are going to be difference makers and getting even more youngsters to the majors remains the chief goal.

Washington Nationals

Ninety-five wins, the same number as 2016, would be a pretty good over-under for the Nationals in 2017. They shouldn’t have too much trouble winning the NL East, a division they carried by eight games last year. But the question remains whether they have the firepower to get past whatever other team emerges as playoff competition in October. But success in October is fickle, and this year could be the Nats’ year, if only because the law of averages says it should be.

Posted in MLB

MLB September 23, 2016 Primetime Preview

Diamondbacks (64-88) vs Orioles (82-71)

The Arizona Diamondbacks may have the Baltimore Orioles’ number during their rare interleague contests (Enter Contest), but right-hander Yovani Gallardo routinely has gotten the better of the desert dwellers throughout his career. Gallardo looks to improve upon his 7-2 mark and 2.32 ERA in 12 career starts when he takes the mound at Camden Yards.

Nationals (89-63) vs Pirates (76-76)

The Washington Nationals have an opportunity to shower themselves in champagne as soon as Friday. They can win their third National League East title in five years. Washington’s magic number resides at two.

Yankees (79-73) vs Blue Jays (83-69)

The Toronto Blue Jays’ pursuit of a wild-card spot in the American League heats up on their final homestand of the season, beginning Friday against the New York Yankees. The Yankees are three games out of the second AL wild card and four behind the Blue Jays, who stands atop the wild card. They are one game ahead of Detroit and 1 1/2 clear of the Baltimore Orioles.

Red Sox (89-64) vs Rays (65-87)

The Boston Red Sox have won eight straight games against American League East opponents for the first time in 26 years and can extend the streak to nine when they face the Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox pushed their lead in the AL East to 5 ½ games and reduced their magic number to five to clinch the division after sweeping four each from the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees.

White Sox (72-80) vs Indians (89-63)

The Cleveland Indians would prefer to clinch their first American League Central title since 2007 at home and have a good chance to do it this weekend against the struggling Chicago White Sox. The Indians have won five of six to trim their magic number to four and own a seven-game lead over Detroit in the AL Central as they prepare to host the White Sox.

Royals (77-76) vs Tigers (82-70)

The Detroit Tigers may be a bit tired after their sweep of a doubleheader in Minnesota on Thursday but should be ready for their final homestand of the season against the Kansas City Royals. The Tigers took over sole possession of the second wild card in the American League. They moved one-half game ahead of Baltimore with 10 games remaining to the season.

Braves (62-91) vs Marlins (76-77)

One of baseball’s hottest teams has spent 2016 buried in the National League East basement, but the Atlanta Braves are providing plenty of optimism. They are bringing a six-game winning streak into Friday’s game at Miami. Matt Kemp slugged two homers in Thursday’s series-opening 6-3 victory and Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to 26 games. Atlanta has won 14 of their past 22 games and are hitting .281 since the start of August.

Phillies (69-84) vs Mets (81-72)

The New York Mets’ pitching carousel took another unfortunate turn. Starter Steven Matz experienced soreness following a 20-pitch bullpen session. His scheduled Friday start is pushed back due to a left shoulder impingement. The Mets instead will turn to rookie Gabriel Ynoa as they attempt to strengthen their tenuous hold on the first wild card in the National League versus the Philadelphia Phillies.

Posted in MLB

Saturday’s Primetime Games

MLB September 17, 2016

Join our FanPicks MLB September 17, 2016 Primetime Games right here.

Marlins (73-74) vs Phillies (66-82)

The Philadelphia Phillies have long since been removed from any playoffs discussion, and they are doing their best to make sure the Miami Marlins are not involved in that conversation as well. After posting a 13-inning triumph in the series opener, the Phillies will look to deal another blow to visiting Miami’s slim playoff aspirations. Guaranteed by manager Pete Mackanin to start each contest of the three-game stand, former National League MVP Ryan Howard belted a solo homer on Friday. This could be the beginning of his swan song in the City of Brotherly Love.

While the Phillies are playing out the string, the Marlins have fallen nine of 17 decisions to their NL East rival and reside five games behind the New York Mets for the second wild card. Giancarlo Stanton walked twice and scored once in his return to the starting lineup. He has struggled hard though when facing off against Saturday starter Jeremy Hellickson, going 1-for-15 with five strikeouts. Marcell Ozuna has collected back-to-back multi-hit performances overall and is 18-for-57 versus the Phillies this season.

Rays (63-84) vs Orioles (81-66)

After watching an eighth-inning comeback bid fall short in the series opener of their four-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays, the Baltimore Orioles finished the job one day later to maintain their grip on a potential postseason berth. The Orioles hope to avoid the need for yet another rally and try to extend their season-long domination of the Rays.

Baltimore surrendered three first-inning runs and seven over the first four innings in Thursday’s 7-6 setback to Tampa Bay, creating just enough of a gap that eighth-inning RBIs from J.J. Hardy and Michael Bourn couldn’t complete the rally. Baltimore fell behind by four runs early Friday as well before eighth-inning RBIs from Hardy and Bourn capped a five-run resurgence and proved to be the difference this time around. This allowed the club to improve to 12-5 against the Rays. The win also allowed the Orioles to stay two games behind division-leading Boston and hold one of the two AL wild-card spots. Tampa Bay saw its three-game winning streak end as a result and stumble to 8-10 since Aug. 29, when it began a 26-game stretch in which it will not play a contest outside of the division.

Twins (55-93) vs Mets (78-69)

While the two teams they are fighting with for the two wild-cards in the National League are playing one another, the New York Mets are strengthening their lineup with a number of injured players set to return. Slugging first baseman Lucas Duda, sidelined for nearly four months, is expected to rejoin the team on Saturday.

New York cruised to a 3-0 victory in the series opener to improve to 9-3 over its last 12 games and remain one game behind San Francisco for the top wild-card spot as well as two games ahead of St. Louis for the final wild-card. Along with Duda, who was out because of a stress fracture in his back, Juan Lagares is back after undergoing thumb surgery and Wilmer Flores should return soon after receiving a cortisone injection in his sore right wrist. Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera clubbed back-to-back home runs on Friday. Cabrera provided a brief anxious moments when he exited the game in the eighth inning with what turned out to be a leg cramp. Brian Dozier had one of Minnesota’s three singles Friday to prolong his hitting streak to a career-best 20 games.

White Sox (72-75) vs Royals (74-73)

A disastrous homestand has likely buried any chances for the Kansas City Royals to hope of postseason birth. The defending World Series champions have been gouged for 50 runs during that ugly skid. The Royals have dropped to seventh place in the quest for the two wild cards spots and another loss will plunge them back to the .500 mark.

Kansas City’s normally reliable bullpen was unable to maintain a late two-run lead in Friday’s 7-4 loss, giving up five runs over the final two innings. Carlos Sanchez, who delivered a walk-off single for the White Sox on Thursday, smacked a go-ahead three-run home run in the eighth inning Friday. This was his first blast since Sept. 21, 2015. Jose Abreu is now batting .300 after gathering multiple hits in 12 of his last 18 contests.

Posted in MLB

Friday’s Primetime Games

MLB September 16, 2016

Join our FanPicks MLB September 16, 2016 Primetime Games right here.

Rays vs Orioles

The Tampa Bay Rays are making quite an impact on the American League East race from last place and look to cause some more damage when they visit the Baltimore Orioles. The Rays have won four of their last five contests, all against teams in the chase for the division crown. Chris Archer goes to the mound Friday trying to avoid a club-record 19th loss for the Rays and attempting to keep the major league’s best home run-hitting team in check for the second straight night. The Orioles, who occupy one of the two AL wild-card spots, trail Boston by two games in the East after stranding a runner at third in the ninth inning and going without a blast on Thursday. Veteran Ubaldo Jimenez goes for Baltimore on Friday after winning each of his last two starts, including a complete-game gem at Tampa Bay almost two weeks ago.

Marlins vs Phillies

Slugger Giancarlo Stanton could make his return to the starting lineup, as the Miami Marlins look to keep their flickering postseason hopes alive versus the Philadelphia Phillies. Stanton has received limited duty since being activated off the disabled list on Sept. 6, following a near-month absence due to a Grade 3 left groin strain. Miami flexed its offensive muscle by recording seven runs in each contest of its three-game series with Atlanta, improving to 5-2 in its last seven to reside four games out in the second wild-card spot with 16 to play. Marcell Ozuna is 16-for-52 versus the Phillies this season and is batting .318 against them in his career. Philadelphia suffered its fifth loss in seven outings in embarrassing fashion, permitting five homers in Thursday’s 15-2 rout by Keystone State-rival Pittsburgh. All-Star Odubel Herrera is 5-for-9 with two doubles in his last three games overall, but just 4-for-17 with five strikeouts against Friday starter Tom Koehler.

Yankees vs Red Sox

The Boston looks to ride the momentum of just its third walk-off win of the season as it plays the second contest of a four-game series versus visiting New York. Veteran David Ortiz launched a solo shot for his 537th career homer on Thursday, passing Yankees icon Mickey Mantle for 17th place on the all-time list. The sixth win in nine outings for the Red Sox pushed their lead in the division to two games over second-place Baltimore and five over New York, which has answered a seven-game winning streak with four losses in five contests. New Yorks’s Starlin Castro collected four hits in the series opener and is 11-for-17 during his four-game hitting streak. The 26-year-old Dominican is 29-for-84 with nine RBIs and 11 runs scored in 22 career encounters with Boston.

Tigers vs Indians

The Detroit Tigers have a last-gasp chance to make a run at the American League Central Division title. They are coming off a four-game split against the AL-worst Minnesota Twins to remain six games behind the Indians and in a six-team cluster fighting for the two wild cards. Detroit will send rookie Michael Fulmer to the mound in the series opener after its starting pitching combined for only 9 1/3 innings in the last three games against the Twins. Cleveland squandered an opportunity of its own to pull away from the Tigers, but dropped three of four at the Chicago White Sox. The Indians have the luxury of turning to ace Corey Kluber, who has won both starts against Detroit this season in dominant fashion.

Twins vs Mets

Locked in a three-team battle with San Francisco and St. Louis for the two wild cards in the National League, the New York Mets couldn’t ask for a more favorable schedule entering their final 16 games. The Mets kick off a 10-game homestand against the Minnesota Twins, owners of the worst record in the majors. New York could use a boost from outfielder Jay Bruce, who is batting .192 in 36 games since he was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds. Winners of eight of their last 11, the Mets send 43-year-old Bartolo Colon to the mound Friday in search of his 14th victory. Minnesota is coming off a four-game split at Detroit but has lost 21 of its last 27 games overall.

Pirates vs Reds

Andrew McCutchen has powered his way out of a pronounced slump with three homers in his last two contests. The 2013 National League MVP looks to keep the Pirates’ faint hopes for a fourth straight postseason berth alive against the Cincinnati Reds. McCutchen was mired in a 2-for-22 slump before belting a homer on Wednesday and two more to highlight a three-hit performance in Pittsburgh’s 15-2 triumph over Keystone State-rival Philadelphia. The Pirates’ fourth victory in 17 outings moved the team within 5 1/2 games of the second wild-card spot with 17 to play. Cincinnati is long removed from contemplating its postseason chances, although it has won five of six overall. Veteran Brandon Phillips recorded back-to-back three-hit performances to conclude the last series against the Pirates and is 12-for-24 in his career versus Friday starter Ryan Vogelsong.

Nationals vs Braves

The Washington Nationals continue to close in on the National League East title, and their dominance of the Atlanta Braves is a big reason why. The Nationals won 14 of the 16 meetings with the Braves this season, and start the weekend with a 10-game lead over the New York Mets and a magic number of seven to clinch the division crown. Washington appears to be peaking at the right time, winning eight of its past 10. Rookie infielder/outfielder Trea Turner hit .364 during the Nationals’ 10-game homestand and has at least one hit in 43 of 53 games since the All-Star break. Atlanta, which trails the Nationals by 31 games, has allowed 31 runs in its last four games and has held opponents to fewer than five just once in its past nine contests. First baseman Freddie Freeman brings a career-best 20-game hitting streak into the series, hitting .333 in that span with four homers and 17 RBIs.

Posted in MLB

August 18 MLB Rundown

Thursday Evening Matchups

FanPicks has your August 18 MLB rundown to get ready for today’s fantasy baseball contests. Get the info you need and play right here!

Astros vs Orioles

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, who reached 1,000 hits against the Cardinals on Tuesday, has had a lot of success against Baltimore, just not recently. In Houston’s three-game sweep of the O’s earlier this season, Altuve went 1-for-13.

Dodgers vs Phillies

Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager has hit safely in eight straight games, going 15-for-36. Teammate Adrian Gonzalez is 18-for-40 with 11 RBIs and 12 runs scored during a 10-game hitting streak.

White Sox vs Indians

Cleveland’s first baseman Carlos Santana has a career batting average of .364 (4-for-11) off Rodon. Santana is the only Cleveland batter with double-digit career at-bats vs. the southpaw hitting over .200.

Marlins vs Reds

Veteran second baseman Brandon Phillips returned to the Reds lineup on Wednesday after missing the previous two contests due to injury and delivered the key hit with a go-ahead, two-run double in the seventh.

Nationals vs Braves

Nats outfielder Jayson Werth has reached base in 45 consecutive games. He has a chance to tie the franchise record if he reaches base on Thursday.

Twins vs Royals

Twins rookie right-hander Tyler Duffey goes for his second win over the Royals in six days.

Mariners vs Angels

Fourteen game winning pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma has dominated the Angels’ two biggest threats in large sample sizes. Mike Trout is hitting just .214 (9-for-42) and Albert Pujols only .133 (3-for-45) vs. Iwakuma.

Padres vs Diamondbacks

Arizona right fielder Yasmany Tomas isn’t having any issues at the plate as he went 3-for-4 with two homers and a career-best six RBIs in Wednesday’s 13-5 victory over the New York Mets. Tomas has slugged 12 homers in his past 19 games and has seven multi-homer games while belting 25 this season.

Mets vs Giants

Giants ace Madison Bumgarner has been superb against the Mets in his career by going 4-0 with a 1.03 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in five career outings. Mets counter-attacks with their ace Jacob deGrom, who is 3-0 with a 0.84 ERA in three career starts against the Giants. Pitching duel to be expected.

Posted in MLB

August 17 MLB Preview

Wednesday Evening Matchups

FanPicks has your August 17 MLB preview to get ready for today’s fantasy baseball contests. Get the info you need and play right here!

Red Sox vs Orioles

Red Sox ace David Price face off against heralded O’s rookie Dylan Bundy. Outfielder Mookie Betts has been a real thorn for Baltimore’s pitching, as he has hit seven homers in five games at Camden Yards this season.

Dodgers vs Phillies

Jake Thompson’s progression from Phillies prospect to Major League starter continues. He will have to watch out for Los Angeles Howie Kendrick though. The veteran outfielder  is 14-for-25 with two homers, eight RBIs and six runs scored during his six-game hitting streak.

White Sox vs Indians

Indians first baseman Mike Napoli extended his hitting streak to 16 games Tuesday, the longest active streak in the Majors. 

Marlins vs Reds

In his third start back from Tommy John surgery, Reds pitcher Homer Bailey looked like his pre-surgery self with 11 strikeouts over six scoreless innings. He needed 31 pitches to get out of a jam in the fifth but had enough in the tank to fan the side in the sixth. On Wednesday, Reds fans will get reacquainted with Homer Bailey, and he with the mound at Great American Ball Park. It will be the Cincinnati right-hander’s first time pitching at home since August 7th 2014.

Twins vs Braves

The wait is over for Braves fans, as top prospect Dansby Swanson is set to make his Major League debut at shortstop Wednesday against the Twins. The move is in line with Erick Aybar Tuesday trade to the Tigers.

Brewers vs Cubs

For all the deserved hype surrounding their star-studded lineup, the Chicago Cubs have leaned on their starting pitching during a red-hot start to the second half. After two more strong pitching performances powered the Cubs to a doubleheader sweep of the visiting Milwaukee Brewers, left-hander Jon Lester looks to help Chicago make it three straight.

Athletics vs Rangers

Yu Darvish and rookie left-hander Sean Manaea will go at it again for the series finale between the Rangers and A’s. The two matched up in Arlington on July 27, a game in which Manaea had a career-high nine strikeouts.

Mets vs Diamondbacks

Jonathon Niese has been waiting for the opportunity to prove he deserves a spot in the Mets’ starting rotation. Niese, who was acquired from the Pirates for right-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo at the non-waiver Trade Deadline on Aug. 1, will make his first start since the trade in the spot previously occupied by recently optioned Logan Verrett. The D-backs counter with Zack Godley.

Mariners vs Angels

Seattle’s Cody Martin steps up into the rotation as fill-in for the injured James Paxton. It will be Martin’s first satrt with the Mariners. He’ll face the Angels and Tyler Skaggs, who allowed seven runs in his last start.

Posted in MLB

August 9 Fantasy Baseball Preview

Tuesday Primetime Matchups

FanPicks has your august 9 fantasy baseball preview to get ready for today’s MLB contest. Get the info you need and play right here!

Padres vs Pirates

Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen, benched for three games last week, is 3-for-21 over his last six contests. To make matters worse, right fielder Gregory Polanco has not started in each of the past three games due to a sore left shoulder. Padres left fielder Alex Dickerson homered Sunday to extend his hitting streak to five games.

Indians vs Nationals

Max Scherzer will toe the slab for the Nats, and he’s undefeated in his last five appearances. Scherzer (12-6, 2.87 ERA) allowed three runs on four hits, striking out 11 in eight innings in an 8-3 win at Arizona his last time out. He absolutely owns the Indians, with a record of 4-0, 3.46 ERA in his last eight starts against them.

Rays vs Blue Jays

Devon Travis is doing his best to carve out a full-time role as the Toronto Blue Jays’ leadoff hitter. The 25-year-old looks to follow up a career-best four-hit performance in the opener and give manager John Gibbons added incentive to keep him atop the lineup. Travis, who is 12-for-22 with three homers and seven RBIs during his five-game hitting streak, drove in a run in Monday’s 7-5 triumph and has four homers and eight RBIs in his 12 games as the club’s leadoff hitter. Brad Miller, who recorded a two-run double on Monday for the Rays, is 10-for-25 with three homers and nine RBIs during his seven-game hitting streak.

Yankees vs Red Sox

The modern chapter of the rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees kicked into high gear in the offseason between 2003 and 2004, when Alex Rodriguez was at the center of the controversy. Rodriguez, who ended up with New York that winter, will begin his final series in Boston Tuesday. Rodriguez has 696 career home runs but is suffering through the worst season of his career at age 41 and has no place in the Yankees future after the team elected to go younger at the trade deadline and start inserting the youth into the major league roster.

Giants vs Marlins

Brandon Crawford did his best to give ailing manager Bruce Bochy quite the get-well gift by recording Major League Baseball’s first seven-hit performance in 41 years in the series opener. With Bochy  expected to exit the hospital and return to his post in the dugout, Crawford will look to continue the hit parade on Tuesday. He collected a triple, a double and five singles, with his last base hit plating Brandon Belt in the 14th inning for an 8-7 victory. The 29-year-old recorded only six hits in his previous 11 games for the Giants. Miami’s Christian Yelich fell a triple shy of the cycle on Monday but improved to 17-for-40 with 12 RBIs and eight runs scored in his last nine games.

Diamondbacks vs Mets

Zack Greinke’s return from an oblique injury that forced him to miss more than a month should help Arizona’s struggling staff, and the former Cy Young Award winner declared himself ready to go after a rehab start at Triple-A Reno last Wednesday. Greinke surrendered three or fewer runs in six straight starts, including an abbreviated two-inning stint on June 28 before being placed on the disabled list. He is 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in six career starts against the Mets.

Posted in MLB

Fantasy Baseball August 5 Preview

Friday Primetime Matchups

FanPicks has your fantasy baseball august 5 preview to get ready for today’s MLB contest. Get the info you need and play right here!

Indians vs Yankees

The Cleveland Indians used the long ball to avoid a sweep. They are swinging the power bats at the perfect time as they begin a three-game series against the host New York Yankees. Yankee Stadium possess the highest home run rate of any American League park. It will be hard-pressed to contain the Indians, who have hit 15 shots over their previous seven games.

Giants vs Nationals

Riding some momentum after wrapping up a road trip with a dominating sweep at Arizona, the Washington Nationals will receive the San Francisco Giants in the opener of an eight-game homestand. Washington gathered 32 runs in a three-game set against the Diamondbacks to finish 6-3 on the nine-game trek.

Reds vs Pirates

Struggling Andrew McCutchen is expected to return to the lineup when the slumping Pittsburgh Pirates open a three-game stand against Cincinnati Reds. McCutchen was benched for the whole three-game series versus the Atlanta Braves. The Pirates lost two of three and have fallen back to .500 on the season.

Mets vs Tigers

The red hot Detroit Tigers continue their pursuit of the top spot in the American League Central when they host the New York Mets. Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander, who was unbeaten in six starts last month, will takes on Mets fireballer Noah Syndergaard.

Twins vs Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays and Minnesota Twins have been competing much better than their current lot in the standings would indicate. The cellar dwellers in the American League East and Central divisions, respectively, look to continue their rock solid play of late at the other’s expense.

Orioles vs White Sox

Chicago White Sox right-hander Miguel Gonzalez likely won’t need extra motivation heading into the opener of a three-game series versus the Baltimore Orioles. After spending his first four seasons with the Orioles, the 32-year-old Gonzalez was let go by the club in late March. He posted a 1-4 mark with a bloated 9.78 ERA back in spring training with Baltimore.

Rangers vs Astros

The Texas Rangers will try to extend their dominance of in-state rival Houston. Texas is 9-1 versus Houston this season. They have won seven of the eight match-ups decided by fewer than three runs.

Posted in MLB

Fantasy Baseball August 4 Preview

Thursday Primetime Matchups

FanPicks has your fantasy baseball august 4 preview to get ready for today’s MLB contest. Get the information you need and enter right here!

Athletics vs Angels

Yonder Alonso is heating up for the Athletics, going 2-for-4 in each of his last three games and notching at least one hit in five of his last six. Los Angeles improved to 4-2 on its seven-game homestand and used the long ball to do it, belting three home runs — including a walk-off, two-run blast by Albert Pujols in the ninth inning. The veteran slugger finished with three RBI and went 3-for-5, giving him four multi-hit performances in the past six games. Jefry Marte homered for the second straight day to extend his hitting streak to six games and has knocked in a run in four consecutive contests.

Mets vs Yankees

Nathan Eovaldi, the American League’s hardest-throwing starter with a 97.1-mph average fastball, will start for the Yankees against the Mets’ Bartolo Colon, the National League’s second-softest thrower with an 87.8 mph average fastball. For Eovaldi (9-7, 4.78 ERA), the fastball is his primary pitch but not his only weapon, as he also mixes in a cutter and a slider, both of which move approximately as fast as Colon’s fastball. But for Colon (9-6, 3.58 ERA), the heater is truly the alpha and the omega. The veteran right-hander throws his fastball on 89 percent of his pitches.

Orioles vs Rangers

The Baltimore Orioles will look to complete a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers in a battle of first-place teams on Thursday. The Orioles won the opener 5-1 with the help of four solo homers and a masterful performance by starter Dylan Bundy. Kevin Gausman then outdueled Texas ace Cole Hamels, leading the Orioles to a 3-2 victory the following night. Wade Miley (7-8, 4.98 ERA), acquired from the Seattle Mariners on Aug. 1, will make his Orioles debut and try to keep the momentum going in the series finale.

Pirates vs Braves

Don’t expect to see Andrew McCutchen on Thursday when the Pittsburgh Pirates make the final appearance at Turner Field. He won’t be playing. Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle, looking for anything that might get the center fielder’s bat in gear, decided to bench him for the three-game series against the Braves.

Posted in MLB

MLB Daily Fantasy Baseball News

FanPicks (click to play) has you covered with Thursday’s MLB Daily Fantasy Baseball News!

Clayton Kershaw sidelined for 2 weeks.

The Los Angeles Dodgers placed the name of ace Clayton Kershaw on the 15-day disabled list due to a back injury. In his last start Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates, he got the worst of it allowing 4 runs on 9 pitches. It was his second worst start this season.

Kershaw, who has been getting at-least 30 starts in six of his last seven season, is having one of it’s best campaign ever. Even with the Sunday’s loss, he shows a record of 11-2 and leads the National League with a 1.79 ERA. He’s also first in innings pitched (121), strikeouts (145), walks allowed per innings (WHIP, 0.727) and walks allowed per games (0.7). The Dodgers hold a record of 14-2 when Kershaw is on the mound and 29-35 when he’s not.

The O’s are on fire!

With Mark Trumbo’s 23rd home run of the season, the Orioles collected their 55th total since the start of June. It equals an MLB all-time June record held by the Oakland Athletics. They recorded 55 long balls in 29 June games back in 1996.  Trumbo pushed back over the wall one of Padres Christian Friedrich pitch in the fourth inning Wednesday. Manny Machado was on-base on that play and two runs were scored. Baltimore won the game 12 to 6. The O’s will have the opportunity to break the A’s record on Thursday night against the Seattle Mariners. This will be their 28th game in June.

The record for most homers hit in a single month is held by both the Orioles and Mariners, who knocked 58 long balls back in May 1987 and 1999 respectively.

A first in 40 years.

For the first time in 40 years, one team has chosen to not go with a designated hitter on purpose. Giants manager Bruce Bochy revealed that pitcher Madison Bumgarner will take the spot in an interleague game versus the Oakland Athletics Thursday night. It is the first time that an MLB manager makes this call since 1976. It’s not suprising though that this happens with Bumgarner, as he’s in a class of it’s own when it comes to solid pitching and hitting. No other MLB daily fantasy baseball pitchers is has talented as him with the bat. Since the beginning of his career, the 26 year-old pitcher picked up 13 home runs and 45 runs-batted-in.

New York, night of reunion .

The Mets and the Cubs will go head-to-head for the first time since the National League Championship series last October. The Mets will send Steven Matz (7-3) to the mound to start this four game series. In the Cubs side, they will hand the ball to John Lackey (7-4). The Mets have been underwhelming this season. They present a 40-37 record, which is good for third in the N.L. East division behind the Nationals and Marlins. The Cubs, on the other hand, are having an amazing year, standing above all 29 MLB teams with a 51-26 record.

Posted in MLB

Fantasy Draft MLB Hot Picks

June 28th 2016

Tuesday brings back the full lineup of Major League Baseball. With 15 matchup on tap beginning at 7PM EST time, it the perfect time to play Fantasy Draft MLB at FanPicks (click to play). All eyes will be on the Cleveleand Indians as they aim for their 11th straight win. Corey Kluber will take the mound for the tribe and he will face-off against Atlanta Braves Matt Wisler.

This season as been dwindled by top prospects making their debut, with the likes of Julio Urias, Blake Snell and Jameson Taillon entering the fold. Time to make room for the best MLB prospect Lukas Giolito who will start for the Washington Nationals. It will be a challenge against the New York Mets, as he will take on ace Matt Harvey. With so many stories in baseball tonight, let’s see who could steal the show in the hot picks of primetime fantasy baseball contests.

Top Pitchers

Top Pitchers

 

Corey Kluber threw a shutout in his last outing, his second of the year, and third complete game. He allowed three hits and two walks with nine strikeouts against the Tampa Bay Rays. Kluber is 3-1 in June and 5-2 in his last seven starts.

Cole Hamels has won three straight starts and is 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA in five June starts. He has quality starts in seven of his last eight outings.

In five of Adam Conley’s 15 starts, the left-hander has not allowed a run. One of those is his last outing, a win over the Atlanta Braves. It was a career-most eight innings game.

Michael Wacha snapped a 10-start winless streak his last time out, but has made three consecutive quality starts.

Top Hitters

Top Hitters

 

Kendrys Morales is hitting .444 (20-for-45) with four home runs and 15 RBIs over his last 12 starts.

Matt Wieters caught the second game of a double header Saturday and hit two homers, giving him nine on the season.

Jose Altuve extended his career-long on-base streak to 30 consecutive games with a third-inning single in Monday’s series opener at Angel Stadium. He’s the first Astros player to reach in 30 consecutive games since Willy Taveras a decade ago. It’s the longest active streak in the Majors.

Posted in MLB

Fantasy Baseball MLB Top Picks

May 27th 2016

It’s another day of fantasy baseball MLB at FanPicks (click to play) and we’ve got you covered with the top picks for today’s contests. The Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies start it off at 2:20 PM ET with the follow-up matchup between the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals begins at 7:05 PM ET. Here is the top 20 players today.

Player Pos Team Opp Last Game FP Two Game FP Avg Four Game FP Avg Ten Game FP Avg
Adam Lind 1B SEA MIN 66 23 19.8 13.3
Cole Hamels P TEX PIT 58 37.3 41.2 32.8
Matt Shoemaker P LAA HOU 56.5 26.7 12.6 14.6
Joe Kelly P BOS @TOR 46.5 26.3 14.3 19.7
Max Scherzer P WAS STL 46.5 59.2 48.2 38.9
George Springer OF HOU @LAA 41.5 21.7 13.2 11.6
Aaron Sanchez P TOR BOS 39.5 30.2 31.1 27.6
Williams Perez P ATL MIA 37 25.7 17.9 18.4
Felix Hernandez P SEA MIN 37 34.3 28 27.1
Rafael Ortega OF LAA HOU 36 11.8 7.5 9.9
Kris Bryant 3B CHI PHI 35.5 17.3 15.8 14
Masahiro Tanaka P NYY @TB 34 21.3 26.4 23.2
Peter Bourjos OF PHI @CHI 33.5 11 8.2 5.9
Matt Cain P SF @COL 33.5 32.7 19.4 14.3
Eduardo Nunez SS MIN @SEA 33 11.7 13.6 10
Adeiny Hechavarria SS MIA @ATL 32.5 14.5 9.8 8.7
Nelson Cruz OF SEA MIN 32.5 15.3 13.8 14.4
Miguel Gonzalez P CWS @KC 32.5 19.3 14.5 8.7
Dustin Garneau C COL SF 32.5 11.7 8.7 7.8

Fantasy Baseball MLB Notables

  • Nationals Daniel Murphy is expected to be back in the lineup for Washington after getting the day off Thursday. The second baseman has carried a hot bat, hitting .394, but has struggled in the field with five errors in the month of May.
  • Friday is likely the final day St. Louis will be without third baseman Matt Carpenter, who is on paternity leave following the birth of his daughter Wednesday morning. The Cardinals have used Ruben Tejada and callup Greg Garcia at the hot corner in Carpenter’s absence.
  • Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is expected to make his return for Friday night’s game. Tulowitzki missed the previous two games because of tightness in his right quad that he sustained while stealing second during Toronto’s 6-0 loss to the Yankees on Tuesday.
  • Dodgers uber prospect Julio Urias will be making his Major League debut. Just 19 years old, the left-hander, who is rated Los Angeles’ top prospect, is being called up to start the Dodgers’ first of three games against the defending National League champion Mets at Citi Field.
  • The Mets are optimistic that infielder Wilmer Flores can come off the disabled list in time for Friday’s game. Flores, who has been sidelined since May 12 with a strained left hamstring that he hurt at Dodger Stadium, should slot in as the Mets’ everyday first baseman with Lucas Duda on the disabled list.
  • Miami Marlins center fielder Marcell Ozuna extended his on-base streak to 33 consecutive games with a single in the first inning on Thursday against the Rays.
  • Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado is hitting .414 (12-for-29) with three home runs and 14 RBIs against the Giants this season. He hasn’t hit for a better average or driven in more runs against any other team.
Posted in MLB