Pictured: Francisco Lindor
Source: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images North America

Chicago White Sox

The safest prediction to make for the White Sox is that 2019 cannot be as miserable as 2018, even if the franchise manages to lose 100 games again.

It couldn’t be. Not after relief pitcher Danny Farquhar nearly died in the dugout with a blood clot on his brain in April. And 2017 top draft pick Jake Burger ruptured his left Achilles tendon in spring training before tearing it a second time in May. And top pitching prospect Michael Kopech was shut down for Tommy John surgery in early September after making four impressive starts in the big leagues. And the team’s aggressive rebuilding push was stalled when other top prospects Zack Burdi, Dane Dunning, Alec Hansen, Micker Adolfo and Luis Robert lost significant development time to injuries. The Sox needed more than a talent infusion — they needed an exorcism.

Add that backdrop to a team that set the major league record for strikeouts and lost 27 of its first 36 games, and the Sox have to be better this season, especially with the additions of Ivan Nova to the starting rotation, Alex Colome to the bullpen, catcher James McCann and first baseman Yonder Alonso.

But the primary improvement must come from the team’s young veterans as well as the touted arrivals from the farm system. 

Cleveland Indians

The Indians will dip their big toe into the uncertain waters of rebuilding this season. It’s not a total rip-it-down-to-the-studs rebuild, but the signs are there. Besides that, they’ll try to do the hardest thing in baseball — win while turning over big chunks of the roster. Thank goodness for the AL Central.

Manager Terry Francona’s team has won three straight division titles and is favored to win a fourth in 2019, but the cast of characters has changed. Free agents Michael Brantley, Andrew Miller, Lonnie Chisenhall, Josh Donaldson and Rajai Davis are gone. Edwin Encarnacion, Yonder Alonso, Yan Gomes and Yandy Diaz were traded so the Indians could reduce the payroll.

What remains is a finely tuned starting rotation led by two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber and two of the best young position players in baseball — Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez. The bullpen has closer Brad Hand and little else. The outfield is an empty page of players such as Bradley Zimmer, Tyler Naquin and Leonys Martin coming off injuries and/or life-threatening illnesses. The final story in the green pasture of Progressive Field is a long way from being written.

The Indians have posted six straight winning seasons. In that time they’ve made four postseason appearances, won three division titles, one pennant and reached Game 7 of the World Series. A seventh consecutive winning season is in order, and so is another trip to the postseason, but this is the most vulnerable the Indians have been since they shocked baseball by winning 92 games in 2013 after losing 94 games the previous year. If a hot team emerges from the rubble of the rebuilding AL Central, they’ll have a chance to beat the Indians.

Detroit Tigers

Four years after their last playoff appearance and 20 months after the trade of Justin Verlander signaled a new direction, the Tigers are deep in the throes of a difficult rebuild as the 2019 season approaches, having nearly halved their payroll from the free-spending days of just a couple years ago. Longtime designated hitter Victor Martinez, who retired, is the latest glory-era cornerstone to disappear into the sunset, but the Tigers are still hamstrung by the $55 million — roughly half their projected 2019 payroll — they will pay this year to untradeable veterans Miguel Cabrera and Jordan Zimmermann. The meager pickups the Tigers made this winter — lefty Matt Moore, shortstop Jordy Mercer, righthander Tyson Ross — are best viewed as stopgaps or potential trade chips in July. On the heels of consecutive 98-loss seasons, this should be another tough year at Comerica Park.

Kansas City Royals

Speed and defense (along with a shutdown bullpen) were at the heart of the Kansas City Royals’ surge, culminating with the 2015 World Series championship. The club hasn’t finished above .500 in the three seasons since, matching the second-most losses in franchise history in 2018 (104). But GM Dayton Moore has made it clear that nothing has changed philosophically for Kansas City, which plays in a relatively cavernous ballpark and still covets athleticism — the fuel for its speed and defensive preference. The Royals largely sat on the sidelines during free agency, but the addition of former Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton — one of the league’s fastest players and best defenders — reinforced Moore’s vision for victory as the rebuild enters its second year.

Minnesota Twins

In almost every way imaginable, 2019 will mark the dawn of a new era in Minnesota. New manager Rocco Baldelli takes over a team missing the on-field and off-field cornerstones of its last half-decade. The front office tandem of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine has a hand-picked skipper, a new-age coaching staff and a roster they’ve begun to reshape in a manner more affirmatively characteristic of their approach to the game. 

Joe Mauer’s retirement and various expiring contracts left the team tremendous payroll flexibility, and they used it to collect players whose price tags made them undesirable to other teams, despite good talent. Betting on talent, in the absence of consistent production, will define 2019 and could set the direction of the franchise in years to come.

Posted in MLB, Top Fantasy Picks

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.

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Nationals at Yankees Preview

The New York Yankees have relieved heavily on homers of late, with 20 of their last 22 runs scored courtesy of the long ball. After Didi Gregorius recorded his third multi-homer performance of the season in the opener, the Yankees (43-19) vie for a sweep of the abbreviated two-game interleague series versus the visiting Washington Nationals (36-28) on Wednesday.

Gregorius is batting .313 over his last 12 games after belting a pair of solo homers in Tuesday’s 3-0 triumph for New York, which has won 10 of 12 overall and 18 of its last 22 at home. The Yankees’ bullpen pushed its scoreless innings streak to 21 2/3 innings with 3 1/3 spotless frames in the opener, lowering its ERA to a majors-best 0.63 in 42 2/3 innings over the last 14 games. New York’s fourth shutout this season resulted in the second time in as many games that Washington has been blanked, with the latter collecting just eight hits in the process. Manager Dave Martinez said Bryce Harper is expected to be fine after the 2015 National League Most Valuable Player was hit in the elbow and foot by a pair of pitches in Tuesday’s tilt.

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

PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Erick Fedde (0-1, 4.76 ERA) vs. Yankees RH Sonny Gray (4-4, 4.81)

Multiple media outlets reported that Fedde is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Syracuse to replace fellow right-hander Stephen Strasburg, who was shuffled to the disabled list on Sunday with an ailing shoulder. The 25-year-old allowed three runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings to take the loss against San Diego on May 23 in his lone spot start with the Nationals. Fedde has a 3-2 mark with a 4.76 ERA in 56 2/3 innings with Syracuse this season.

Gray was saddled with a no-decision on Wednesday despite retiring the first 12 batters he faced while scattering two hits and striking out eight over eight scoreless innings against Toronto. The 28-year-old has recorded quality starts in three of his last four trips to the mound. Gray has limited the current crop of Nationals to just a .219 batting average against him, although the hurler has yet to pick up a decision in two career starts versus the club.

WALK-OFFS

1. New York manager Aaron Boone said slumping C Gary Sanchez, who is mired in a 4-for-53 stretch with 18 strikeouts, is expected to sit out his second straight game on Wednesday.

2. Washington CF Adam Eaton has hit safely in both games since being activated from the 60-day disabled list.

3. The Yankees are expected to call up Jonathan Loaisiga to replace fellow RHP Masahiro Tanaka to start either Thursday or Friday’s game against Tampa Bay.

Rockies at Phillies Preview

Scott Kingery has been shuffled around the field this season as the Philadelphia Phillies try to find a home for the promising prospect. The 24-year-old looks to follow up a season high-tying four-RBI performance on Wednesday as the Phillies (34-30) bid for a series victory versus the reeling Colorado Rockies (32-34), who have dropped a season-worst five straight and nine of 11.

Kingery belted a three-run homer for his first blast since April 10 as Philadelphia claimed an early lead and held on for their second straight win with a 5-4 triumph on Tuesday. Cesar Hernandez has hit safely in four consecutive contests and scored a run in three straight and six of his last seven for the Phillies, who evened their six-game homestand at 2-2 and improved to 21-11 at Citizens Bank Park this season. Trevor Story had two singles to record his fourth straight multi-hit performance on Tuesday and crossed the plate twice in the opener to give him six runs scored during his six-game hitting streak. Story will get his first look at right-hander Nick Pivetta while left-hander Tyler Anderson will get the nod for the Rockies.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, AT&T SportsNet-Rocky Mountains (Colorado), NBCS Philadelphia

PITCHING MATCHUP: Rockies LH Tyler Anderson (3-1, 4.81 ERA) vs. Phillies RH Nick Pivetta (4-5, 3.76)

Anderson recorded his fourth straight no-decision on Thursday despite working a season high-tying seven innings against Cincinnati. The 28-year-old allowed just two runs on five hits versus the Reds and kept the ball in the park after being taken deep eight times in his previous six outings. Hernandez (6-for-9) and Maikel Franco (3-for-7) have gotten their licks in on Anderson, although the left-hander has flustered both Aaron Altherr (0-for-5, three strikeouts) and Odubel Herrera (0-for-3, three strikeouts).

Pivetta has answered a three-start winning streak with three straight losses after permitting four runs on six hits in five frames in Thursday’s 4-3 setback versus the Chicago Cubs. The 25-year-old British Columbia native has yielded nine earned runs over 14 innings while allowing the opposition to bat .294 against him during his losing skid. Pivetta was torched in his lone appearance against Colorado, yielding eight runs on as many hits in 2 2/3 innings at Coors Field on Aug. 5.

WALK-OFFS

1. Colorado LF Gerardo Parra has recorded five multi-hit performances in his last eight games.

2. Philadelphia 1B Carlos Santana has gone 0-for-5 — albeit with three walks — in his last two contests on the heels on a seven-game hitting streak.

3. Rockies C Tom Murphy excelled in his major-league debut with three hits on Tuesday after batting .289 with 16 homers in 49 games with Triple-A Albuquerque to open the season.

Twins at Tigers Preview

The Detroit Tigers went nearly the entire month of May without Miguel Cabrera earlier and now will be without their slugging first baseman for the remainder of the season. Cabrera ruptured a tendon in his biceps in Tuesday’s 6-4 loss to Minnesota and will undergo season-ending surgery, leaving Detroit scrambling as it resumes the three-game set versus the Twins on Wednesday.

Cabrera was hurt when he took an awkward swing at an offspeed pitch and immediately grabbed his arm, but the severity of the injury wasn’t revealed until after he was sent for an MRI exam. “It’s a very sad day for our baseball team,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He’s a special player and a special person to have around here. It’s a blow. I feel terrible for him.” Minnesota vaulted past Detroit into second place in the American League Central as Ehire Adrianza belted a grand slam as part of a three-hit game in the series opener. Jose Berrios owns a 3-1 record against the Tigers despite an 8.49 ERA, but he beat them with eight strong innings on May 21, allowing two runs on three hits.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FS North (Minnesota), FS Detroit

PITCHING MATCHUP: Twins RH José Berríos (7-5, 3.66 ERA) vs. Tigers LH Matthew Boyd (4-4, 3.20)

Berrios tossed his second complete game of the year and his first since his season debut, striking out 10 and limiting the Chicago White Sox to two runs and six hits to improve to 4-1 over his last five starts. The 24-year-old has racked up 44 strikeouts over his last five starts, including nine in the victory over Detroit last month. Nicholas Castellanos is 5-for-10 with a homer and four RBIs off Berrios.

Boyd posted his first road victory of the season at Boston in his last outing, limiting the Red Sox to two runs and four hits over 6 1/3 innings. The 27-year-old had his second shortest outing of the season at Minnesota in a 6-0 loss on May 17, permitting only one hit while allowing two runs and walking four. Brian Dozier has been a nemesis for Boyd, going 13-for-32 with three homers, three doubles and five RBIs.

WALK-OFFS

1. Adrianza is 9-for-20 with two homers, seven RBIs and seven runs scored in his last seven games.

2. John Hicks, batting .285 with five homers and 22 RBIs, will take over as Detroit’s starting first baseman.

3. The Twins signed RH Matt Belisle one day after he was released by Cleveland.

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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.

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Red Sox at Orioles Preview

The visiting Boston Red Sox will try to clinch their fourth straight series win over the Baltimore Orioles when the teams play the second of three straight at Camden Yards on Tuesday. Two sacrifice flies in the top of the 12th inning accounted for all the offense in a 2-0 win for the Red Sox in the series opener Monday night.

Steven Wright and five relievers combined on a five-hit shutout for Boston, which is 10-1 in the last 11 contests against the Orioles dating to last season and has claimed six straight games in Baltimore. Mookie Betts returned from an oblique strain and had a hit in five trips to the plate in the opener of a 10-game road trip for the Red Sox. Orioles shortstop Manny Machado missed Monday’s contest due to an illness and could return Tuesday to face Eduardo Rodriguez, against whom he is 6-for-31 with five strikeouts. Baltimore counters with streaking rookie David Hess as it attempts to end a five-game slide.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), MASN2 (Baltimore)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox LH Eduardo Rodriguez (7-1, 3.68 ERA) vs. Orioles RH David Hess (2-2, 3.07)

Rodriguez has won four straight and already surpassed last season’s win total after emerging victorious against Detroit on Wednesday. He limited the Tigers to one run and five hits over 5 2/3 innings while striking out five in his fifth consecutive home outing. The 25-year-old started his current winning streak with 5 2/3 scoreless innings in a victory over Baltimore on May 20, improving to 5-5 with a 3.97 ERA in 12 career meetings.

Hess has a 0.96 ERA over his last three starts after stifling the Toronto Blue Jays through six innings his last time out. The solid stretch began after a rocky effort opposite Rodriguez at Fenway Park last month, when Hess gave up five runs across 4 2/3 frames. The Tennessee native has a 3.00 ERA in two home starts while yielding 10 hits and a walk in 12 innings.

WALK-OFFS

1. Orioles 1B Chris Davis was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts Monday as his average through 57 games fell to .150.

2. Red Sox LF Andrew Benintendi is 13-for-30 with six walks in eight games against Baltimore this year.

3. Boston 1B Mitch Moreland is 2-for-19 over a six-game span to drop his average from .310 to .287.

Nationals at Yankees Preview

The New York Yankees have seen their notoriously loud bats fall silent of late as the club matched a season low with three hits in its last outing and is batting .176 over the last four games overall. The Yankees (42-19) look to avoid hitting the snooze button once again Tuesday when they open an abbreviated two-game interleague series against the visiting Washington Nationals (36-27).

Gary Sanchez is mired in a 4-for-53 stretch while teammates Greg Bird (1-for-16) and Aaron Judge (2-for-23) are also slumping. Slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who has answered a six-game hitting streak by striking out five times in his last two contests, scored a run in the last meeting with Washington – a 3-3 deadlock on May 15 that was suspended after 5 1/2 innings. While the Yankees became the final major-league team to get shut out when they were blanked by the cross-town Mets on Sunday night, the Nationals also lost a 2-0 decision to San Francisco hours earlier to fall to 4-5 in their last nine outings. Anthony Rendon, who belted a solo homer in the suspended game versus the Yankees, is 6-for-16 with five RBIs and six runs scored in his last four games.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, MASN (Washington), WPIX (New York)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Tanner Roark (3-6, 3.56 ERA) vs. Yankees LH CC Sabathia (3-1, 3.59)

Roark recorded his first win since April 30 after allowing two runs on six hits in an 11-2 romp of Tampa Bay on Wednesday. The 31-year-old worked six innings in that contest, marking the 11th time in 12 starts that he has ventured that far into a game. Roark will be making his first career start versus the Yankees, although he is very familiar with Stanton (8-for-33, four home runs) from the slugger’s time with Miami.

Like Roark, Sabathia also snapped a prolonged winless drought in his last outing after yielding two runs on three hits in seven innings of a 7-2 triumph over Toronto. The 37-year-old, who won for the first time since April 29, was taken deep twice to raise his home run total to seven in his last five trips to the mound. Mark Reynolds is 4-for-18 with a homer versus Sabathia, but the left-hander owns a 2-1 career mark against the Nationals with a 2.25 ERA and an 0.92 WHIP while limiting the club to a .185 batting average.

WALK-OFFS

1. Washington rookie OF Juan Soto is 20-for-61 and has reached base safely in 16 of 19 games played.

2. New York’s bullpen allowed only two unearned runs and struck out 25 in 19 1/3 innings over the past week.

3. Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy (right knee surgery) is expected to accompany his club to Yankee Stadium and could be activated from the disabled list this week, according to the Washington Post.

Twins at Tigers Preview

The Detroit Tigers just suffered the scheduling misfortune of having to play three of the best teams in the American League – the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians – in consecutive series and took one game from each opponent. After a well-deserved day off, the Tigers will host the division-rival Minnesota Twins on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series.

Detroit battled all three of the likely playoff teams while finishing up a stretch of 18 games in 17 days and managed to go 10-8 before getting a day off. “We’re hanging in there,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters. “We played a lot of close ballgames. One swing here and there could’ve changed it, and one good pitch here and there. So, 10-8, yes, but we could’ve been better, and I think that’s what keeps driving these guys. We can do better.” The Twins are hoping they can do better as well after dropping four of their last six and scoring three runs or fewer in each of the four setbacks. Minnesota will try to get the bats going against Detroit left-hander Blaine Hardy while countering with veteran Jake Odorizzi on Tuesday.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FS North (Minnesota), FS Detroit

PITCHING MATCHUP: Twins RH Jake Odorizzi (3-3, 4.24 ERA) vs. Tigers LH Blaine Hardy (2-1, 3.66)

Odorizzi is winless in his last five starts and is coming off the lone loss in that span after allowing three runs on six hits and a walk in five innings against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday. The 28-year-old is struggling to work deep into games and completed six innings only twice in his last 10 starts. Odorizzi is seeing Detroit for the first time this season and is 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA in four career starts against the Tigers.

Hardy is trying to hang onto a spot in the rotation and followed up two strong performances with a loss at Boston on Wednesday. The 31-year-old was ripped for five runs on eight hits in six innings and allowed a home run – just his third homer surrendered in 32 innings. Hardy was better in a no-decision at Minnesota on May 21, when he scattered two runs and seven hits across five innings while striking out four.

WALK-OFFS

1. Tigers RHP Jordan Zimmermann (shoulder) will make his third minor league rehab start on Monday and could return to the majors this weekend.

2. Twins SS Eduardo Escobar was named AL Player of the Week on Monday after batting .462 with nine extra-base hits and eight RBIs last week.

3. Minnesota 3B Miguel Sano struck out at least once in each of his last 13 games.

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Posted in MLB

What each American League Central team should be hoping for in 2018

Cleveland Indians – “Win the whole f—— thing”

At the outset of spring training, Francisco Lindor refused to characterize his club’s 2017 campaign as a successful season “because we didn’t finish.” It’s hard to disagree with him. After falling one win shy of a World Series triumph in 2016, the Indians waltzed to a second straight division title, riding a historically dominant pitching staff to a 102-60 finish and home-field advantage in the American League Division Series only to be ousted by the New York Yankees in five games. Disappointing, to be sure, but it’s not like there’s somebody to blame for the Indians’ early postseason exit, or for their close-but-no-cigar finish the year before; even if they were the majors’ best team in 2016 or 2017, after all, the correlation between regular-season dominance and postseason success is tenuous in baseball, as randomness has lots of room to maneuver in a best-of-seven series. Often, in fact, the best team doesn’t win.

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Still, at this point, there is no solace in a division title. Merely winning the AL Central won’t cut it anymore, and a pennant won’t suffice either, frankly. They have to win it all. For this group, that’s all that remains. In all likelihood, the Indians already squandered their best chance of a championship in their current competitive window – without Carlos Santana and Jay Bruce, both of whom left via free agency this winter, it’s hard to imagine Cleveland being better in 2018 than they were the two seasons prior – but they’ll still nab a third successive AL Central title relatively effortlessly this year, at least. Come October, they’ll be there again; they just have to finish this time.

Minnesota Twins – Deuces wild

Following a disastrous 59-win season in 2016 that cast a pall over the viability of their rebuild, the Twins were vindicated last year, clawing their way to a wild-card berth on the back of breakout performances from burgeoning stars like Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario, and Miguel Sano (with considerable contributions from veterans Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer).

And now, based on the offseason they just had, the Twins expect to be a regular contender in 2018 and beyond, having augmented their increasingly impressive core – comprised of the five players mentioned above, plus 25-year-old Max Kepler and newly suspended shortstop Jorge Polanco – with a glut of useful free agents, including Logan Morrison, Lance Lynn, and Addison Reed, as well as Jake Odorrizi, whom they acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay. Anything less than a second straight trip to the wild-card game would surely be a disappointment, then, not only because the Twins are appreciably better, talent-wise, than they were last year, but because the shrinking middle class in the American League has trimmed the list of legitimate wild-card contenders down to four teams, at most.

Chicago White Sox – Baby steps

The White Sox aren’t ready to compete just yet, but their roster is increasingly upside-laden these days, as highly touted youngsters like Yoan Moncada and Lucas Giolito – both of whom debuted with Chicago late last year – are poised to become everyday contributors in 2018, with the likes of Michael Kopech, Eloy Jimenez, Alec Hansen, and Dylan Cease not far behind. As exciting as it is, however, to see the club’s rebuild start to bear fruit, it’s important to remember this is still a development year for the White Sox, notwithstanding the fact that certain service-time clocks have started ticking.

Clearly, the White Sox expect to at least be on the fringes of the postseason picture by next summer, having elected not to trade either Avisail Garcia or Jose Abreu this offseason (they’ll both be eligible for free agency following the 2019 season), but it was only eight months ago, after all, that the club traded away Jose Quintana, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle to further bolster their farm system. Pump the brakes, in other words; the White Sox are firmly in the growing-pains stage of their renaissance. And, with that in mind, a successful 2018 season would see continued growth not only from the shiny, new additions to the big-league club and the soon-to-be studs working their way up the minor-league ladder, but also from the already-established youngsters on Chicago’s active roster, like Tim Anderson and Matt Davidson, who took steps backward last year.

Detroit Tigers – Unload Miggy

After the venerable-but-increasingly-unplayable Albert Pujols, no player in the majors has a more unmovable contract than Miguel Cabrera, the soon-to-be 35-year-old who put up a .728 OPS in 2017 and still has six years and $184 million left on his deal, not to mention complete no-trade rights. For the Tigers, who ceded halfway through the 2017 campaign and decided to rebuild, that’s a huge problem. More than anything, with their competitive window currently closed and their farm system in dire straits, the Tigers desperately need the 11-time All-Star to rebound this season so they can at least try to liquidate him, converting the money still owed into some prospect capital (they don’t have any consensus top-50 prospects, and didn’t have any position players crack the recent top-100 lists at FanGraphs or Baseball Prospectus).

In the rapidly evolving baseball economy, it should be noted, wherein bat-only players in their mid-30s wield little value, Cabrera’s contract looks especially bloated – even if the Tigers eat all the money left on his deal, they won’t get a particularly noteworthy return – but they’re on the hook for the money, regardless, and there’s really no compelling reason to hang onto him. By the time the Tigers are ready to contend again, after all, Cabrera will be dangerously close to 40, with an annual salary that could impede the front office’s ability to augment the core of young talent that, ideally, they will have graduated through their minor-league system. Cabrera, for what it’s worth, said he played hurt last year, so perhaps restored health in 2018 can help the two-time MVP at least approximate the version of himself that averaged 5.3 WAR per season over the previous decade. If he can, the Tigers should do everything in their power to move him, because merely unburdening themselves from that albatross of a contract will make their 2018 season a success.

Kansas City Royals – Lose

Make no mistake: the Royals didn’t re-sign Mike Moustakas because they hope to be competitive in 2018. They brought him back so they can swap him for a prospect or two at the trade deadline, and same goes for newcomers Lucas Duda and Jon Jay. They’re investing in their future, in other words, and it makes sense, because their present is … yeesh.

Ravaged by the losses of Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, and Jason Vargas to free agency, the denuded Royals may well be the worst team in the American League in 2018, and with their farm system floundering, too – their prospect reserve was gutted over the past few seasons to help bolster the big-league club – the best thing Kansas City can do this season is lose. A lot. The compensatory draft picks they’ll receive for losing Hosmer and Cain will help expedite the process of revitalizing their farm system, but a last-place finish in 2018 – and the resulting first overall pick in the 2019 draft – would be a massive boon for a club without a single prospect on MLB.com’s Top 100 list. And, in the meantime, if they can get something of value at the trade deadline for any of the aforementioned one-year placeholders – who cost the Royals a grand total of $13 million, mind you, considerably less than the value of the qualifying offer they gave Moustakas in November – that’s gravy.

Posted in MLB

Minnesota Twins vs Chicago White Sox – 6/22/15 MLB Fantasy Sports, Baseball Picks, Odds & Predictions

Fantasy Cash DraftIt will be an AL Central matchup for MLB mock draft managers to catch on TV as the Minnesota Twin battle the Chicago White Sox. The teams begin play from Minnesota on Monday June 22nd at 8PM Eastern Time and follow the scoring results from your rosters over ESPN2 TV

Free Baseball Cash DraftThe Chicago White Sox are hoping to gather some momentum after winning the final two games of a weekend series with the Texas Rangers. The White Sox bats have been ice cold. Even in victory they could only push across three runs on Saturday and Sunday. The win on Saturday broke an eight game losing streak. The White Sox have scored a total of 12 runs total over their past eight games. The team is 28th and third worst in the Majors in runs per game (3.41) and batting average (.237). The bad part is the pitchers don’t hit in the American League and Chicago uses a DH.

Minnesota has slipped in the standings of the AL Central as the club is 37-32 and trails the Kansas City Royals by five games in the loss column for the lead in the division. The Twins enter play on a two game losing streak scoring a total of just one run in their final two games against the Chicago Cubs.

Chicago White Sox 1B: Jose Abreu leads the everyday players for the White Sox with a .279 batting average. He has 12 homers and 40 RBIs season to date. He is having a good month of June with a batting average of .297. He enters play off a six game win streak with a 2 for 5 day on Sunday.

Chicago White Sox RF: Avisail Garcia is hitting .267 on the campaign with seven homers and 26 RBIs. He is in the midst of a 3 for 23 slump and is hitting just .148 for the month of June.

Chicago White Sox LF: Melky Cabrera has hit a June swoon as well for the White Sox with a batting mark of .219. Hopefully for Cabrera he has some positive momentum to build from as he goes 5 for 5 on Sunday at home to Texas.

Chicago White Sox CF: Adam Eaton after a slow start to the season has improved his hitting numbers. For the month of June Eaton is batting .286 and has raised his batting average up to 2.42.

Chicago White Sox P: John Danks is having a poor season with a record of 3-7 with an ERA of 5.16. He taxes the White Sox bullpen with his inability to go very far in games.

1 day fantasy footballMinnesota Twins RF: The veteran Torii Hunter is batting .261 for the Twins with eight homers and 36 RBIs on the season. He has hits in three straight games as he is trying to break a 5 for 25 batting slump.

Minnesota Twins 2B: Brian Dozier has a .259 batting average with 13 homers and 32 RBIs. He does produce extra base hits with a slugging percentage of .513 season to date.

Minnesota Twins 1B: Joe Mauer is slumping for the month of June with a batting average of .190 as he has just 12 hits in his 63 at bats. He is just 2 of his past 24 heading into Monday night.

Minnesota Twins 3B: Trevor Plouffe has the June bug going around known as a hitting slump. He is just batting .174 this month and enters play 0 for his past 8 at bats.

Minnesota Twins LF: Eddie Rosario has earned playing time for Minnesota with his .282 batting average in 36 games. He doesn’t produce much power with three homers and 15 RBIs.

Minnesota Twins P: Tommy Milone in seven starts for the Twins in the 2015 campaign has a record of 3-1. His ERA has been dropping after three consecutive good starts as he has allowed just five earned runs total in that span. His ERA is 3.67 on the season.

Fantasy Baseball One Day League Draft Picks

P: Tommy Milone (Twins)
1B: Jose Abreu (White Sox)
RF: Avisail Garcia (White Sox)
LF: Eddie Rosario (Twins)
2B: Brian Dozier (Twins)
CF: Adam Eaton (White Sox)

Posted in MLB