Tag Archives: Clayton Kershaw

Early Award Predictions

Winter is beginning to fade away and spring is just around the corner. The light at the end of the tunnel is finally approaching and I could not be more excited. Spring Training games have commenced, albeit they most likely bore you to tears after the third or fourth inning, so let’s give you guys something to look forward to. How do predictions for the Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, and MVP sound?

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This year there are two distinct favorites for the Rookie of the year award. Dansby Swanson of the Atlanta Braves will run away with this award in the National League. Swanson played just 38 games after being called up at the end of the 2016 season. In his limited time in the Big’s, Swanson showed exactly why he was drafted first overall in 2015. The 23 year old does it all. Swanson is smooth in the field, can hit for average, steal bags, and has shown some pop in his bat. Swanson debuted in the middle of August and still finished with a .302 Avg., 3 home runs, 17 RBIs, and 3 stolen bases in just 38 games. Another year of experience will be extremely valuable for Swanson and should propel him to the next level of stardom.

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From the American league I see Red Sox young stud, Andrew Benintendi taking home the Rookie of the Year award. Most Red Sox fans fell in love with Benintendi last season after his debut on August 2nd. Benintendi hit .295 with 2 home runs and 14 RBIs, in just 34 games. These numbers aren’t jaw-dropping but they show the potential that Benintendi has. At the age of 22, he is poised to take over the everyday role in Left field, with the Green Monster looming over him.

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In 2016 Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello took the league by storm, receiving the Cy Young Award in their respective leagues. This year I see the honor going to Clayton Kershaw and Corey Kluber. Kershaw is an extremely safe pick, seeing that he is constantly dominant year in and year out. Last season was an enigma for Kershaw. He suffered through a nagging back injury that kept him to just 21 starts. With that being said, Kershaw still finished with a 12-4 record and an outrageous 1.69 ERA. If Kershaw can stay healthy, there is no question in my mind that he can win his 4th Cy Young in 7 years.

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Corey Kluber took the bull by the horns last year, finishing in third place for the Cy Young just behind Justin Verlander and Porcello. Kluber took his amazing statistics into the playoffs where he continued to dominate, leading the Indians to the World Series. Kluber has been a silent killer for the past three years. Staying out of the headlines, Kluber continues to produce amazing numbers as the ace of one of baseball’s best rotations.

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Now the moment you have all been waiting for; the MVP award. It would be a safe choice to pick Mike Trout and Kris Bryant but this year is going to be different. These players will obviously have sensational seasons but in 2017 Nolan Arenado and Jose Altuve will take home the award. Arenado doesn’t get much attention playing in Colorado but has been one of the best players in the MLB for the past two seasons. At 25, Arenado is a 4 time Gold Glove winner and 2 time Silver Slugger. Arenado will be turning 26 this year, baseball players prime. Over his four seasons, his statistics have continued to escalate. This year will be no different. Even though the Rockies are going nowhere fast, Arenado has certainly earned his spot as one of baseball’s best players.

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Jose Altuve has owned the American League for the past three seasons. Standing at just 5’6” and weighing 165 pounds, you would think Altuve would be better suited as a jockey rather than a MVP candidate. Altuve has proven that he is a 5 tool player. Altuve has 600+ hits over the course of the last three seasons and can still hit the long ball, racking up 24 last season. The Astros are poised to have a bounce back season this year, giving Altuve a better chance at winning the MVP award.

Keep an eye out for these players. All of them are stars or stars in the making. This year is going to be a fun one, make sure you strap in for the long ride.

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Wild N.L. West

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Late last week, I was raving about how the Diamondbacks are making moves to win now with the signings of pitchers, Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller. But I forgot about what the 2016 season means…

An even year. Which means the San Francisco Giants are going to win the World Series. It’s only appropriate to give them the trophy now, right? I mean come on, they have won the World Series the past three even years (2010, 2012, and 2014) and after the moves they have made lately, you wouldn’t be crazy if you made them the early favorites to win the N.L. West.

Earlier last week, the Giants agreed to terms with right handed pitcher, Jeff Samardzija with a 5 year contract worth 90 million bucks. A couple days later, Johnny Cueto signed with the Giants as well with a 6 year contract worth 130 million dollars. These two deals alone make the Giants  contenders yet again.

The 2015 season for the Giants was a disappointing one. They finished with an 84-78 record and failed to make the playoffs. If other teams finished the season like the Giants did, they would think it would be a successful one. But with the Giants’ résumé being the way it is, if you don’t make the playoffs and contend for a championship, you have failed.

With the 2016 season around the corner, Giants knew that they had to make improvements. They already have their ace in postseason legend Madison Bumgarner, but why not put a little more depth to the rotation with the additions of Samardzija and Cueto. So having those three work horses carrying the load at the top of the rotation, the Giants also have veteran, Matt Cain. Cain, who hasn’t plugged in 100 innings the past two seasons due to injuries with his right elbow and forearm, wants to show that he can still help this team contend. Cain was once a top of the rotation pitcher. He even has a perfect game under his belt. If he can go out there every fifth day and give them a quality start, he will just make this team ten times more dangerous. They also have Chris Heston and Jake Peavy fighting for those last two spots, along with Cain. Heston had an on and off year finishing with a record of 12-11 and an E.R.A of 3.95. His no-hitter was the highlight of last season, but showing inconsistency and  having his E.R.A being close to four, I would see him being the number 5 starter at best. With Peavy, the intense veteran who seems to go crazy on the mound, finished last season with an 8-6 record and an E.R.A of 3.58. Peavy, like Cain, was on the DL for a chunk of last season and hopes to turn it around.

Having the Giants ready to bring it in 2016, the Dodgers hope to do the same thing. But after losing Zack Greinke in free agency and then agreeing to terms with pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, but potentially losing him after a failed physical, they’re asking their ace, Clayton Kershaw, to do a lot for them next season. The Dodgers have been contenders for the past couple of seasons now, but if they can’t fix the rotation, L.A. may have problem.

With the Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres being in re-build mode, the Arizona Diamondbacks may have me eating my words. A couple of articles ago, I said that the Giants and Dodgers would be fighting for the N.L. West crown. But after what has been happening in L.A., the D-Backs may have a chance.

As the weather gets cooler and the ball drops to celebrate the new year, it is still too early to predict anything. But as of right now, the Giants just made a statement with these two deals. Like I said earlier, knowing it is going to be an even year, they should feel pretty confident with their upcoming season.

David Price is heading to Beantown

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What is that?!

It’s a bird?! It’s a plane!?…yup, it’s a plane.

But that plane is bringing over someone who is about to become the richest pitcher in Major League baseball history. On Tuesday, December 1st, the left handed flamethrower, David Price, decided to sign with the Boston Red Sox for 7 years worth 217 million dollars.

Yup, you read that right.

217,000,000 dollars.

He surpassed Clayton Kershaw for being the richest pitcher ever by 2 million dollars. A lot of fans think that President of Baseball Operations, Dave Dombrowski, went way overboard on signing Price. But did he really?

Price was one of the best, if not the best, pitcher in the free agent market this year. People knew he was going to be expensive to play for any team. But the Sox weren’t going to let him go. They wanted Price to know that he’s worth the amount of money they offered him. There were reports that the St. Louis Cardinals were in the hunt for Price, and he was actually going to choose them before Boston offered him the mega deal.

Do I think that Boston should make one more trade for a good number 2 pitcher in the rotation? Yes. Because, as of right now, we have a number 1 and a bunch of number 3’s and 4’s. I like Eduardo Rodriguez being in our rotation with Price for the next few years. I wouldn’t be upset if they gave away Rick Porcello, Clay Buchholz, or Wade Miley plus an outfielder, and a prospect or two to a team that gives us back a good quality pitcher to back up Price.

I know I am beating a dead horse right now, but what was Boston’s biggest problem last year? Pitching. So why not get arguably the best closer, Craig Kimbrel, and one of the best starting pitchers in the game, David Price. Also, Price has been dominant in his career at Fenway Park. His 1.95 career earned run average there can speak for itself. He said before, however, that he doesn’t like Boston’s fan base. But who would like them if you are the away team? Now that the fans will be with Price than against him, he will see how supportive they are and that they will feed off his energy on the mound. Price is now the ace of the staff that we can rely on for years to come, hopefully.

Price can opt out of his contract after his third year and leave Boston if he chooses. But hopefully he can lead the Sox to a championship and want to stay in Boston.

That’s another thing people are questioning. Price’s playoff struggle. His career record, 2-7 with a 5.12 earned run average is Price’s kryptonite so far in his career. But how about we worry about getting in the postseason first before thinking about Price’s playoff woes. He is dominant in the regular season and can carry a team to the playoffs; he proved that last year in Toronto and for most of his years in Tampa Bay. Besides, there was a pitcher who was known to be a choke artist back in 2001. Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson. Going into the 2001 National Championship Series where the Diamondbacks were going to play to the Atlanta Braves, Johnson had lost his last 7 straight outings through the 1990’s and that years Divisional Series.

You want to know what happened next?

Johnson helped lead the D-Backs to the World Series going to 2-0 with an 1.13 earned run average in that series. Then in the World Series, he went to go 3-0 with an earned run average of 1.04 and being named C0-MVP with teammate, Curt Schilling.

What I am getting at is that pitchers can change their destiny. That’s what David Price has the opportunity to do in Boston, show that he can pitch in October and bring anther championship to Beantown.

To the Red Sox fans who thought we paid too much for the soon-to-be Opening day starter, the price was expensive, but the Price was right.

Are the Cubs the real deal?

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IS THIS THE YEAR!?

I can picture it now. Game 7 of the World Series, Jon Lester is working on a complete game shut out, and the fans are about to witness history. Lester hurls his go-to cutter and rings up the batter. THE CHICAGO CUBS ARE THE 2015 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS!!!!

Not so fast.

This young team is very talented. 97 wins to back that up. Also, they have two big time pitchers with Cy Young candidate, Jake Arrieta, and postseason star, Jon Lester. The Cubs spent the big bucks this season to pick up Lester and this is exactly why they got him, to bring his postseason success to the Windy City and end this dreaded curse. But they first have to get by Pittsburgh in the N.L. Wild Card game. That’s going to be a challenge with Garret Cole on the mound. On a cool October night in Pittsburgh, the only thing that will be hot is Cole’s flame throwing, 98 mile per hour fastball.

Now don’t get me wrong here. The Cubs have a pretty good pitcher throwing for them tonight with Jake Arrieta. He will be bringing his sub-2 ERA to Pittsburgh and I will be shocked if either team scores more than 3 runs.

So let’s say the Cubs grind out a win in the Steel City and they head to the NLDS where they will play the Cardinals. This is the one series where I can see them being pretty successful. The Cardinals are missing Adam Wainwright and Carlos Martinez from their starting rotation and, as we all know, pitching wins championships. So I personally think they will beat St. Louis and face the Dodgers or Mets.

This is where it gets interesting.

The Dodgers and Mets have a pretty stacked rotation. While the Mets have Jake deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and the Dark Knight, Matt Harvey, the Dodgers carry Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke; all of those pitchers I have mentioned have strikeout stuff. If you check out this stat, the Cubs don’t do well with pitchers that seem to have the ability to strikeout any hitter they see. This makes me worried that the Cubs magical season may end in the NLCS. It’s pretty simple, if you don’t score, you don’t win.

So there you have it. I have to break it to all the Cub fans out there, but you have to wait another year to win the glamorous championship. But I don’t think you have to worry because it may be coming in the next few years.