Pictured: Khris Davis
Source: Ezra Shaw / Getty Images North America

Houston Astros

Though their quest to repeat as World Series champions went unfulfilled in 2018, the Astros assembled their greatest starting rotation in franchise history and set a club record for regular-season wins.

In 2019, Houston’s proverbial window remains wide open, even after losing three starting pitchers. Offensive regression from a historic 2017 pace was offset by the incredible pitching the Astros received. Getting the heart of their once-potent lineup back to full health, while relying on their plethora of pitching prospects to fill a noticeable void, will key their quest for a third straight American League West title.

Los Angeles Angels

The Los Angeles Angels are entering a new era: After 19 seasons, Mike Scioscia will no longer be the manager. In 39 years before Scioscia became their manager, the Angels averaged 76.6 wins per full season, had only 12 winning seasons and made the playoffs three times (without winning a series). In 19 seasons under Scioscia, the Angels averaged 86.8 wins, had 12 winning seasons, made the playoffs seven times and won the franchise’s only World Series title (2002). The challenge now shifts to new manager Brad Ausmus to make the most out of a roster that includes baseball’s best player (Mike Trout) and its most unique (Shohei Ohtani) but probably not enough pitching to be more than a fringe contender.

Oakland Athletics

A year ago at this time, the A’s were just another rebuilding team. And then the games were played in earnest, and the team showed muscle and perseverance. A 97-win season and a strong second-place finish got them a Wild Card berth. And now, with the 2019 season upon us, Oakland is a team that still factors strongly in the American League West. 

The A’s are going to have to get their starting rotation together, or maybe not. Manager Bob Melvin looked positively adroit at using an “opener.” Last year it was done because of injuries that crippled the rotation, but in 2019 it will be no surprise if the A’s stay with the opener concept simply because they’ve shown they can make it work. And, yes, many of the same players who were injured last year are injured still, including some of the organization’s best arms.

The A’s will continue to lean on their power and defense. In the cases of third baseman Matt Chapman and first baseman Matt Olson, they have both qualities. In Khris Davis, they have a year-in, year-out contender for the homer title, and they have depth in power — eight players in double figures for homers last year and five with 20 or more bombs.

Three-quarters of the infield — shortstop Marcus Semien in addition to Chapman and Olson — were in Gold Glove range last year, and the outfield is in good shape, too, with Ramon Laureano and Stephen Piscotty. But there is no answer yet as to a real replacement for catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

Seattle Mariners

The Mariners’ postseason drought, which dates back to 2001 — the longest active streak without a playoff appearance for any of the four major sports in North America — will likely continue for another season. It’s an outcome they are willing to accept in hopes of more sustained success in the years to come. 

As part of a rebuild — GM Jerry Dipoto is calling it a “stepback” — the Mariners culled the roster of several players in their 30s who had expensive contracts or were in their final years of arbitration and headed for free agency. Beginning in early November, Dipoto made nine trades that removed nine contributing players from the Mariners’ 25-man roster, including top pitcher James Paxton, closer Edwin Diaz, shortstop Jean Segura, catcher Mike Zunino and second baseman Robinson Cano. Dipoto admits the team likely won’t match the 89 wins of last season, but will the Mariners even win 70 games in 2019?

Texas Rangers

Two years of going for it and another with the best intentions — if not the all-in financial expenditures — led the Texas Rangers to a point of no return last season. By June, the decision was made that the Rangers would be rebuilding, and 2019 will be more of the same from the team that won back-to-back American League West titles in 2015-16.

And the Rangers get to do it without Adrian Beltre.

Posted in MLB, Top Fantasy Picks

Seattle Mariners vs San Diego Padres Preview

A little afternoon confrontation between the Seattle Mariners and the San Diego Padres is set to go down Wednesday. Pick your players and winning pitcher from that game in FanPicks Single Event contest right here. This inter-league contest will be the second and last matchup of a 2 game series.

Game: Wednesday, Aug 29 at 3:40 p.m. ET

Starting pitchers

Seattle Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales (12W-9L / 4.32ERA / 128K) – Gonzales has lost four straight starts, all in August, while posting a 10.35 ERA over that span. He had won five consecutive starts prior to that. The lefty will be facing the Padres for the first time in his career.

San Diego Padres: LHP Joey Lucchesi (6W-7L / 3.74ERA / 105K) – The rookie rebounded from a rough outing against the D-Backs to give up two runs over six innings to the Rockies Thursday at Coors Field. Since returning fom the DL on June 20 from a hip strain, he has been asked to go over 90 pitches just twice.

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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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Orioles at Blue Jays Preview

The Toronto Blue Jays seemingly can’t buy a break at home, as they failed to take advantage of a sterling pitching performance in their last outing to fall to 1-10 in their last 11 contests at the Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays (26-35) bid to change the narrative on Thursday as they open a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles (19-41).

Sam Gaviglio scattered three hits over seven scoreless innings on Wednesday for Toronto, but his offense failed to get it in gear as it struck out 15 times in a 3-0 setback in 13 frames against the New York Yankees. Kendrys Morales had two of his team’s four hits for the Blue Jays, who have lost seven of their last eight and 17 of 22. Baltimore knows a thing or two about losing skids as it owns the majors’ worst mark, but it did record consecutive victories for just the fourth time this season after capping a two-game interleague sweep of the New York Mets with Wednesday afternoon’s 1-0 triumph. Manny Machado saw his eight-game hitting streak halted in the matinee, but his sacrifice fly in the eighth inning proved to be the difference.

TV: 7:07 p.m. ET, MASN (Baltimore), Sportsnet (Toronto)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Orioles RH David Hess (2-2, 3.47 ERA)) vs. Blue Jays LH Jaime Garcia (2-4, 6.08)

Hess sustained a hard-luck defeat on May 30 after Bryce Harper’s solo homer in the third inning accounted for his lone damage among four hits in six innings of a 2-0 setback versus Washington. The 24-year-old rookie, who took over for Chris Tillman in the rotation, has helped a beleaguered bullpen by pitching six or more innings in three of his first four starts. Hess threw a first-pitch strike to 17 of the 23 batters he faced to get ahead in the count against the Nationals.

Garcia was blitzed for four runs on seven hits in a season-low 1 2/3 innings during Friday’s 5-2 setback versus Detroit. The 31-year-old has allowed the opposition to bat a robust .291 against him this season. Danny Valencia is 2-for-3 in a small sample size versus Garcia, but the left-hander won his lone start against Baltimore despite being touched for five runs on 10 hits — including two homers – in 5 1/3 innings.

WALK-OFFS

1. Toronto LF Curtis Granderson is 0-for-17 with nine strikeouts in his last five contests.

2. Baltimore CF Adam Jones is 17-for-42 with six runs scored in his last 10 games.

3. Blue Jays top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. exited Wednesday’s Double-A game against Akron with an apparent leg injury after sliding into second base in the fourth inning.

Mariners at Rays Preview

Nelson Cruz is enjoying his best stretch of the campaign and the Seattle slugger looks for his seventh multi-hit outing in nine games Thursday when the Mariners open a four-game series against the host Tampa Bay Rays. Cruz is 12-for-31 with three homers during the stretch after going deep for the 11th time this season during Wednesday’s 7-5 loss to the Houston Astros.

Seattle had a five-game winning streak halted with Wednesday’s setback but owns a one-game lead over Houston in the American League West due to a 14-4 stretch. Shortstop Jean Segura went 5-for-9 in two games against the Astros and the back-to-back multi-hit outings raise his major league-leading count in that category to 27. Tampa Bay has scored only 12 runs during a six-game slide and manager Kevin Cash defended the recent practice of starting a reliever after Jonny Venters retired only one batter and allowed five runs in the first inning of Wednesday’s 11-2 loss to the Washington Nationals. “(Wednesday) was one of those gut-wrenching days,” Cash said afterward. “It didn’t go our way and smacked us right in the face. One bad outing, one bad whatever you want to call it. I don’t think it’s fair to get away from it.”

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, ROOT Sports Northwest (Seattle), FS Sun (Tampa Bay)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Mariners RH Mike Leake (5-3, 4.71 ERA) vs. Rays RH Ryne Stanek (1-1, 3.65)

Leake allowed two runs and six hits over seven innings against Tampa Bay on Friday but didn’t get a victory because closer Edwin Diaz blew the save in the ninth inning. The 30-year-old Leake is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in three career starts against the Rays but has struggled with Carlos Gomez (8-for-20, one home run). Leake has a solid 1.66 ERA over his past three starts and hasn’t issued a walk over his last four turns.

The Rays are 3-5 when opening with a reliever as Stanek will start a game for the third time under the unique approach. The 26-year-old is unscored upon in seven of his past eight appearances and has allowed only three hits in 8 2/3 innings during the stretch. Stanek retired all five Mariners he faced in a relief appearance Saturday and has given up one hit in 2 2/3 innings in two career outings versus Seattle.

WALK-OFFS

1. The Mariners swept the Rays in Seattle last weekend while holding Tampa Bay to five runs.

2. Tampa Bay announced that it will recall 1B Jake Bauers from Triple-A Durham prior to Thursday’s contest.

3. Seattle released veteran LHP Marc Rzepczynski five days after designating him for assignment.

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Posted in MLB

Athletics at Mariners Preview

The Seattle Mariners look to continue their winning ways at the expense of a division rival as they host the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday for the middle contest of their three-game set. Seattle has won three in a row and six of its last seven after posting a 6-3 victory in the series opener.

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Dee Gordon went 5-for-5 with two stolen bases while Nelson Cruz belted a three-run homer for the Mariners, who won two of three against Oakland at home in mid-April. The Athletics registered only four hits en route to their third consecutive defeat, which dropped them to 3-4 on their nine-game road trip. Jed Lowrie hit a solo homer in the setback, giving him at least one RBI in 11 of his last 15 games. Mark Canha has recorded a hit in 11 of his last 12 contests after delivering an RBI single on Tuesday,

TV: 10:10 p.m. ET, NBCS California (Oakland), ROOT Northwest (Seattle)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Athletics LH Brett Anderson (2017: 4-4, 6.34 ERA) vs. Mariners LH James Paxton (1-1, 5.12)

Anderson will be brought up from Triple-A Nashville to make his season debut as he begins the second tour of duty with Oakland. The 30-year-old Texan, who spent his first five years in the majors with the Athletics, split last campaign between Toronto and the Chicago Cubs. Anderson owns an 8-4 record and 1.90 ERA in 15 career starts and one relief appearance against Seattle.

Paxton has not lost since his season debut against Cleveland on March 31, but he has recorded just one victory in five starts during the stretch. The 29-year-old Canadian is coming off a no-decision at Cleveland on Thursday in which he allowed two runs and five hits while registering a career high-tying 10 strikeouts in six innings. Paxton has yet to lose to the Athletics, going 3-0 with a 3.96 ERA in six career starts.

WALK-OFFS

1. Athletics SS Marcus Semien has hit safely in eight of his last nine games.

2. The Mariners placed RHPs Erasmo Ramirez and Dan Altavilla on the 10-day disabled list with shoulder injuries on Tuesday and recalled OF Guillermo Heredia and RHP Casey Lawrence from Triple-A Tacoma.

3. Oakland and Seattle will begin next season with a two-game series in Tokyo, with the Athletics serving as the home team in both contests.

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Posted in MLB

Mariners at White Sox Preview

Mitch Haniger hopes to continue a power surge when his Seattle Mariners visit the slumping Chicago White Sox on Monday for the opener of their three-game series. Haniger, who is among the major-league leaders with 22 RBIs, has homered in three straight contests and is 9-for-19 during his five-game hitting streak after launching a two-run shot during Sunday’s 7-4 loss at Texas.

Will Haniger make your starting lineup or warm up the bench to be called up later in the game. You can now choose with our In Game Fantasy contest. Manage your team as the game happens.

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The 27-year-old Haniger has led the way for a star-studded lineup that includes Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager with seven homers, and he is batting .314 after the Mariners took two of three in Texas. Mike Leake will try to give Seattle a boost on the mound when he starts the opener, while Miguel Gonzalez looks to turn around his season for the White Sox. Chicago has lost seven straight games – allowing a total of 61 runs – and 12 of 13, with poor pitching being the biggest culprit (league-worst 6.20 ERA). Jose Abreu is 8-for-25 during his six-game hitting streak and Avisail Garcia recorded two hits in Sunday’s 7-1 loss to Houston after going 2-for-32 in his previous eight contests for the White Sox, who are 1-8 at home.

TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, ROOT Northwest (Seattle), NBCS Chicago

PITCHING MATCHUP:

Mariners RH Mike Leake (2-1, 4.50 ERA) vs. White Sox RH Miguel Gonzalez (0-3, 12.41)

Leake suffered his first loss of the season on Wednesday as he allowed five runs and seven hits over six innings against Houston, but he did register the 1,000th strikeout of his career. The 30-year-old Arizona State product recorded two quality starts and a pair of victories in his first three outings, giving up seven runs over 18 innings. Welington Castillo is 4-for-20 with two doubles against Leake, who will be facing the White Sox for the first time in his career.

Gonzalez has struggled in his first three starts, putting forth his worst performance on Tuesday, when he was touched for eight runs and eight hits in three frames. The 33-year-old Mexican has completed five innings once in his three turns and opposing hitters are batting .400 with four homers. Ichiro Suzuki is 6-for-19 with three doubles and a pair of homers versus Gonzalez, who is 1-2 with a 6.49 ERA in five career games against Seattle.

WALK-OFFS

1. Chicago 1B-DH Matt Davidson leads the team with five homers and 11 RBIs but is batting just .207.

2. Cruz is 8-for-18 with a home run and two RBIs during his four-game hitting streak.

3. The Mariners took four of five from the White Sox last season, including a three-game sweep at Chicago in July.

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Posted in MLB

What to cheer for in 2018 for non-Astros fans

Like the gunslingers of generations past, the Houston Astros are a force to be reckoned with out west – specifically, the American League West – and anyone who dares trifle with the reigning champs, emboldened by their first-ever World Series title and trigger-happy one-through-nine, will be swiftly vanquished.

Jeff Luhnow, the Astros’ longtime general manager, knows it, too.

“I think we got a better team this year than we did last year,” Luhnow told MLB Network Radio.

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Conservatively, the Astros are going to win 95 games in 2018, and the two most prominent, publicly available projection models – FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus – have pegged them to finish closer to 100. Between Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, George Springer, and Alex Bregman, the Astros boast a trove of MVPs, recognized or not, while their ostensible worst starter, Charlie Morton, finished tied for 22nd in the majors in WAR last season, ahead of Robbie Ray and Ervin Santana – both of whom earned All-Star nominations. Tanking may be a contemptible practice, but the Astros’ burgeoning dynasty isn’t exactly a cautionary tale.

So what, then, can the rest of the AL West get up for in 2018, knowing that the Astros’ second straight division title is practically preordained? It’s still March, after all, and hope springs eternal at this time of year, but is there any reason for excitement in Anaheim, Seattle, Oakland, or Arlington? Well, of course there is!

Los Angeles Angels – Sho-time!

For the first time in years, the Angels actually have a pretty decent team behind Mike Trout thanks to a fine offseason of wheeling, dealing, and Shohei Ohtani-reeling from general manager Billy Eppler. It was so good, in fact, that the Angels, even with glaring deficiencies in their rotation, are some observers’ favorite for the second American League wild-card berth (although, in fairness, the league’s glut of non-competitive teams has helped their prospects in a big way, too).

Irrespective of their postseason chances, though, the Angels are going to be an unbelievably fun team to follow this year, seeing as they now have the game’s best player (Trout) and its most compelling attraction (Ohtani). Trout, the two-time MVP who managed a career-best 1.071 OPS (187 OPS+) in 2017, is never not entertaining, after all, and it should be both fascinating and frustrating watching manager Mike Scioscia try to incorporate Ohtani into the offense on his non-pitching days; his starts, meanwhile, at least at the outset of the campaign, will be appointment viewing, his unimpressive spring notwithstanding.

Seattle Mariners – Ichiro’s return

Typically, at this time of year, pundits are heaping praise on Jerry Dipoto for the 742 marginal moves he brokered over the preceding winter months and picking the Mariners’ as a wild-card team. This year, however, while only the most optimistic prognosticators have the Mariners sneaking into the postseason, Dipoto should be anointed Executive of the Year for repatriating Ichiro Suzuki, the 44-year-old legend who, following an extended sojourn in Miami (via New York), has returned to Seattle on a one-year deal.

Now, is there a quantitative argument to be made that Ichiro’s roster spot should go to someone who can actually improve the Mariners’ remote playoff chances? I mean, sure. But do you want to be the person who craps all over his long-awaited return to the Mariners, the club that brought him over from Japan back in 2001 and watched him bloom into an eventual first-ballot Hall of Famer? Don’t be that person. And to you, Mariners fans, rather than bemoan another middling season and the continuation of the longest playoff drought in the majors, just relish this final summer with Ichiro. Head down to Safeco early to watch him smack BP homers. Give him a standing ovation before every at-bat. Shower him with praise after every spectacular catch. Because he’ll be gone before you know it, and this time for good.

Oakland Athletics – Prospects, prospects, prospects!

Languishing in a perpetual rebuild is no way to live, and while the A’s are once again poised to field one of the worst teams in the majors in 2018, at least a few of their most prized prospects are expected to spend considerable time with the big-league club this year.

Of the three A’s prospects on the recent Top 100 list at MLB.com, for example, the most highly regarded position player, 22-year-old Franklin Barreto, has already made his big-league debut and is expected to be Oakland’s everyday shortstop this year after hitting .290/.339/.456 with 15 homers and 15 stolen bases at Triple-A in 2017. A.J. Puk, meanwhile, received at least semi-serious consideration for a rotation spot this spring despite making just 13 starts above High-A in 2017, his first full professional season, in which he struck out a whopping 34.5 percent of opposing hitters; if all goes well, the 6-foot-7 left-hander will make his A’s debut in June, after the club has manipulated his service time to the point that he won’t be eligible for a fourth year of salary arbitration. Finally, Jorge Mateo, a speedy shortstop acquired from the New York Yankees in the Sonny Gray trade, could also find himself in Oakland come July, as the 22-year-old hit .296/.357/.521 with eight homers, 14 doubles, and 10 triples with 24 stolen bases in 60 games at Double-A last season. (Honorable mention goes to roster hopeful Dustin Fowler, another gem acquired in the Gray deal, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in his MLB debut with the Yankees before getting shipped to Oakland.) It’s easy to be cynical in Oakland, of course, given the club’s track record, but the wealth of impact talent on the horizon is reason for optimism.

Texas Rangers – Beltre’s potential swan song

When it comes to the venerable elder statesmen of the AL West, Ichiro is definitely the straight man, all austere and regimented, and Adrian Beltre is his zany foil, a Cooperstown-bound goofball whose talents are (almost) as compelling as his hilarious antics. Sadly, not unlike Ichiro, Beltre’s future beyond 2018 remains murky, as he turns 39 in a few weeks and his contract expires at season’s end. If he wants to keep playing, he probably will – last year, though he played only 94 games, Beltre still managed a .915 OPS (135 OPS+) – but it’d be presumptuous to think the four-time All-Star will definitely be back in Arlington next year, swatting home runs from down on one knee and horsing around with Elvis Andrus.

As such, while Rangers fans can invest their emotional currency, if they so choose, in what’s likely to be an unrealized wild-card run, they would probably be better served just coming out to the ballpark to enjoy the terrific theater that is Beltre, a walking GIF who messes with anybody and everybody on the diamond (umpires included) and happens to have 3,048 hits and 462 home runs on his resume. And, for at least one more season, he’s all yours, Rangers fans. Cherish him.

Posted in MLB

MLB Trade Deadline

Check out the latest news in MLB trade deadline… and join fantasy baseball at fanpicks.com (click to play).

Latest rumors!

Baseball teas are looking to complete their shopping before the cut off transaction time of 4PM ET. Los of players are in the middle of rumors, and it all starts with the big catch of All-Star Chris Sale. The ace has apparently been linked to the Boston Red Sox beginning Sunday night. Other sources believes that there will be likely less than 5% chance of Sale being traded before the deadline. While those two possibilities are the most probable scenarios, other teams interested in the White Sox pitcher would be the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Texas Rangers. Sale presents a record of 14 wins and 4 losses in 20 starts since the beginning of the campaign, with a 3,17 earned run average.

There could also be some major additions to the Mariners roster before the deadline. They look to put their hands on Cincinnati Reds shortstop Zack Cozart. He has 15 homers and 41 runs batted in this season.

Done Deals!

The New York Mets added some punch in their outfield with the acquisition of Jay Bruce from the Cincinnati Reds on Monday. The transaction should be concluded pending physical, which has been reported has hit some issues. If the deal goes through, the Reds would receive outfielder Brandon Nimmo and two prospects in return. 29 years-old, Bruce presents a batting average of ,265. He crushed 25 long balls and has 80 RBI’s since the beginning of the season. The new Mets was a highly coveted trade target during the last few days. The Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians, Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros, Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Dodgers were all in the running for the sluggers services.

The Los Angeles Dodgers made the acquisitions of outfielder Josh Reddick and lef-handed pitcher Rich Hill from the Oakland Athletics in return for a trio of promising right-handed pitchers (Jharel Cotton, Grant Holmes and Frankie Montas). Hill signed a 6 million dollar contract for one season with the A’s during the off-season and his currently injured due to blisters on his left hand. The 36 years-old has a record of 9-3 with a 2,25 ERA in 14 starts this season. As for Reddick, the 29 years-old post an average of ,296 with 8 home runs and 28 RBI’s in 68 games this year.

Posted in MLB

Fantasy Baseball Seattle Mariners Projection

For the upcoming 2016 Major League Baseball season, FanPicks take a look at every single team and what are their expectations for the upcoming year. It’s been a mess last year for the Seattle Mariners, and changes were made to avoid another difficult year. Here’s a look at this year’s expectation in the Fantasy Baseball Seattle Mariners Projection.

Fantasy Baseball Seattle Mariners Projection

Over fifty percent of the team’s 40-man roster got overhauled by new general manager Jerry Dipoto since his arrival in office. He kept the core in Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Kyle Seager and Felix Hernandez. This group will be joined by newcomers Nori Aoki, Adam Lind, Chris Iannetta and Wade Miley. Dipoto, being the analytic specialist he is, hopes that this lineup combination brings back baseball fever in the emerald city.

Player to watch

  • Robinson Cano
  • Ketel Marte
  • Felix Hernandez

Robinson Cano began the 2015 MLB season dealing with a stomach issue, which affected his game for the first two month. By June 1st of that year, he collected 19 homers, 63 RBI’s and a hitting percentage of .303. All of this despite playing the final 58 games with a double hernia. Cano had surgery in the offseason and should be healthy by the start of the season.

Cano has played next to six different shortstops in his two years in Seattle. Ketel Marte could finally fill the full-time job as Cano’s double-play partner. At just 21 years old last season, Marte took control of the shortstop job after being called up from the minors on July 31. The young Dominican batted .283 with a .753 OPS in 57 games during his rookie season.

Hernandez had a down season by his standards. He posted an 18-9 record with a 3.53 ERA. It was the first time that he exceeded the 3.00 ERA mark since 2012. With a new team behind him, look for Hernandez to bring elite pitching for another year.

With so many changes among management and roster, it’s hard to believe that this team will immediately challenge for the American League West crown.

Posted in MLB

Fantasy Baseball Best Picks of the Day – September 22nd 2015

It’s a beautiful day for Fantasy Baseball, as all 30 teams get back into action. That means it’s time to play fantasy baseball for real money. The race is on for the pennant and there is some heavy battle out there. Yesterday, the Blue Jays distanced themselves 3.5 games from the Yankees in the American League East. David Price had a stellar performance once again. He won every single game he played this month (4-0). Another pitcher that never seems to lose (especially at Minute Maid Park) is Dallas Keuchel, who is now 14-0 at home. He’s the only pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball to accomplish this feat. The Astros were able to get back one game behind the division leading Rangers. With all this drama unfolding, what is to be expected today in Daily Fantasy Baseball? Let’s get to today’s hot fantasy picks:

P Hisashi Iwakuma – Seattle Mariners

 Season: 8 W, 4 L, 3.90 ERA, 92 Ks, 20 BBs

Sure, he will be facing the best team in the American League, but Iwakuma has been efficient for the Seattle Mariners since August. We are talking about a 6-2 record and a 2.99 ERA in that stretch. Let’s not forget the no-hitter he threw back on August 12th against the Baltimore Orioles. Not only does he ride a good spell, but he also has a great record against the opposition. He holds 2 wins and no losses with a 2.14 ERA in three outings against the Kansas City Royals. Tonight, the Japanese will spoil the opportunity for the Royals to clinch a playoff spot.

C Brian McCann – New York Yankees

Season:  .238 AVG, 26 HRs, 90 RBIs, 65 Runs

The Toronto Blue Jays got the win yesterday with ace David Price on the mound. Today, it’s Marco Estrada’s turn. I’m not saying Estrada is no good, but he’s no David Price. The Yankees will take the opportunity to swing their big bats, and that means that McCann will cash in a few RBI’s in the cleanup spot.

1B Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks

Season: .243 AVG, 10 HRs, 60 RBIs, 36 Runs

I said yesterday that Arizona needed to take out some frustration out on the Dodgers, and that’s exactly what they did. 17 hits and an 8-4 win in last night game was what they needed. Paul Goldschmidt has been in the middle of this rumble, knocking out one out of the park. He will continue to ride this out against starter Alex Wood. Goldy has 2 homers and 4 RBIs in 7 at-bats when facing Woods.

2B Cory Spangenberg – San Diego Padres

Season: .264 AVG, 3 HRs, 18 RBIs, 32 Runs, 9 SBs

He has been kept in the shadows playing for the San Diego Padres, but this 2011 first-round pick will become one of the best second baseman in the league. He will have an easy task tonight against San Francisco starter Chris Heston, who has been awful lately.

3B Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs

Season: .277 AVG, 25 HRs, 95 RBIs, 84 Runs, 13 SBs

He started the season as one of the best prospect in baseball. Now he leads all rookies in RBI’s, with 95, and is tied for first in home runs, with 25. The third baseman will have no problem helping pitcher Jake Arrieta get his 20th win against the winning less Tyler Cravy.

SS Xander Bogaerts – Boston Red Sox

Season: .323 AVG, 7 HRs, 78 RBIs, 76 Runs, 10 SBs

On the 10th game of his hitting streak, he has belted a grand slam and finished the night with 5 RBI’s. Leading all shortstop in batting average, Bogaerts his quickly becoming the building block of the Boston Red Sox. He will have no problem following up on his memorable night against Matt Moore. Moore never had good outings at Fenway.

OF Rusney Castillo – Boston Red Sox

Season: .270 AVG, 5 HRs, 29 RBIs, 33 Runs, 4 SBs

The Cuban import is still getting used to playing in MLB this year. He doesn’t show big numbers but the everyday left fielder should produce against Matt Moore at Fenway Park. The Red Sox are still seeing something in him. So should we.

OF Seth Smith – Seattle Mariners

Season: .247 AVG, 11 HRs, 41 RBIs, 48 Runs

Nelson Cruz doesn’t have success against Jeremy Guthrie. It will be on Robinson Cano and Seth Smith to take charge of the offense. Smith has had some quality at-bats facing Guthrie.

OF Angel Pagan – San Francisco Giants

Season: .266 AVG, 2 HRs, 32 RBIs, 48 Runs, 9 SBs

It was a little over one week ago that Pagan was able to steal 3 bases against the Padres. He could pull another trick up his sleeves once again in San Diego.

Fantasy Baseball Picks Recap

 P Hisashi Iwakuma – Seattle Mariners

C Brian McCann – New York Yankees

1B Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks

2B Cory Spangenberg – San Diego Padres

3B Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs

SS Xander Bogaerts – Boston Red Sox

OF Rusney Castillo – Boston Red Sox

OF Seth Smith – Seattle Mariners

OF Angel Pagan – San Francisco Giants

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Seattle Mariners vs Los Angeles Angels – 6/27/15 MLB Fantasy Sports, Baseball Picks, Odds & Predictions

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A couple of AL West clubs get together over national television on Saturday as the Seattle Mariners meet the LA Angels on June 27th. Follow your MLB draft rosters at 7:15PM Eastern Time from Anaheim over FOX TV.

As these two clubs opened up their weekend series on Friday it was Anaheim winning four of the six previous meetings of the year between these clubs.

It has been a disappointing year for the Mariners as the club is 33-40 heading into Game 1 of this series. The Seattle offense has been anemic as the club is 30th and last in batting average (.231) and 29th and second last in MLB in runs scored per game (3.40).

The Angels have been hovering around the .500 mark for some time now. They enter this series at 37-36. The have had trouble scoring runs pushing across just 12 runs total over their past five games. The team ranks in the lower third of the league in the major offensive categories.

Seattle Mariners RF: Nelson Cruz is the only everyday Mariners player with a batting average over .300 as he is batting .303 with 19 homers and 44 RBIs. He looks to break out of a 10 for 49 batting slump as this series opens on Friday.

Seattle Mariners 3B: Kyle Seager is hitting .265 with 11 homers and 37 RBIs. He doesn’t draw many walks with an on base percentage of .319. Seager is also battling a slump as he is 4 for 24 as they took the field on Friday night.

Seattle Mariners DH: Seth Smith is batting just .261 with six homers and 18 RBIs season to date. He has moved up his batting average in recent games with a hitting average of .280 over his past fifteen games.

Seattle Mariners CF: Austin Jackson is batting .256 with three homers and 13 RBIs. Jackson is slumping right now as he is 4 for his past 26.

Seattle Mariners 1B: Another slumping Mariner is their first basemen Logan Morris who is 5 of his past 26 as his batting average has dropped to .248 on the campaign. Morris has nine homers and 25 RBIs.

Seattle Mariners 2B: Robinson Cano is battling a major slump in his second season with the Mariners since coming over from the Yankees. Cano is batting .246 on the year with only three homers and 23 RBIs.

Seattle Mariners SS: Add Brad Miller to the slump wagon for Seattle as he is 3 for his past 23 as he took the field on Friday night.

Seattle Mariners P: J.A. Happ is 3-4 on the campaign with an ERA of 3.78 and WHIP of 1.36 in his 78 2/3rds inning of work. In his previous start Happ allowed two earned runs in five hits in a loss to Houston. Happ is 0-3 in his past three starts.

LA Angels RF: Sadly no LA Angels everyday player is hitting at least .300 this season. Mike Trout is close as he enters Friday with a mark of .296 with 18 homers and 41 RBIs. Trout is on a .340 tear the past fifteen games.

LA Angels 1B: Albert Pujols has had a great month of June. He has raised his average to .272 with 23 homers and 47 RBIs on the campaign. Pujols has seven homers over his past 15 games as the weather is heating up in Anaheim making the balls fly out of the park.

LA Angels 2B: Johnny Giavotella is batting .266 with three homers and 26 RBIs. Giovotella has heated up in June after a very slow start to the season.

LA Angels RF: Kole Calhoun is battling a 5 for 28 batting slump. His average has dropped down to .262 on the campaign. He has six homers and 32 RBIs this year.

LA Angels SS: Erick Aybar is batting .333 over his past seven games. He is coming off a 3 hit game on Wednesday.

LA Angels P: Garrett Richards is 7-5 on the year with an ERA of 3.66 and WHIP of 1.26. He rebounded with three good starts after his poor outing June 6th in New York where he couldn’t get out of the first inning by giving up six earned runs.

Fantasy Baseball Best Draft Manager Tips

P: Garrett Richards (Angels)
1B: Albert Pujols (Angels)
CF: Mike Trout (Angels)
RF: Nelson Crus (Angels)
3B: Kyle Seager (Mariners)
SS: Erick Aybar (Angels)

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