Tag Archives: Colorado Rockies

Who will be the Best in the West?

The National League West has been dominated the past four years by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Is 2017 the year they relinquish the title, or are they built to make a run at a fifth consecutive divisional championship?

  1. San Francisco Giants 92-70
  2. Los Angeles Dodgers 90-72
  3. Colorado Rockies 83-79
  4. Arizona Diamondbacks 77-85
  5. San Diego Padres 69-93
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2017 is going to shake up the National League West, and the San Francisco Giants are poised to be the ones to do it. In 2016 the Giants got off to a red-hot start going 57-33 before the all-star break. Unfortunately, injuries up and down the roster crippled the Giants chances of riding that momentum into the second half of the year. Their bullpen also did not help their cause, as they were one of the worst bullpens in the entire MLB.

On the bright side, the Giants spent their offseason focusing on the bullpen. They were able to sign veteran, Mark Melancon, to a hefty contract, as the new closer on the team. On top of that, the Giants have a top-notch pitching staff, headed by Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto. Historically, both of these pitchers have stayed healthy and continue to dominate their opponents even as they progress in age. If the Giants can finish out the season the way they started it in 2016, then they should have no problem competing against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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The Dodgers have superstars up and down their roster, but never seem to take it anywhere further than the first or second round of the playoffs. This year they will have to hope for a wildcard spot. In the offseason, the Dodgers were able to retain both Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner. Jansen is the anchor of the Dodgers bullpen and was a huge reason why the Dodgers were the divisional champions in 2016. Turner adds some meat to the lineup, after having a career year, notching 27 home runs and tallying 90 RBIs.

It’s hard to talk about the Dodgers without mentioning the game’s best pitcher, Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw is coming off a year full of injuries. If he can return at full strength, then the Dodgers have a fighting chance. After Kershaw in the rotation, I don’t see much help. Kershaw is going to have to put this team on his shoulders if they want to compete for a championship.

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Moving away from the Giants and Dodgers, the rest of the division doesn’t impress me much. In third place I have the Rockies. The thin air of Colorado will certainly be helpful to their lineup as they have one of the best 3-4-5 combinations in the league, with Carlos Gonzalez, Nolan Arenado, and Ian Desmond. Unfortunately for fans of the Rockies, pitching wins championships, and the Rockies lack that tremendously. Their lineup can only take them so far and to me, that’s third place in this division.

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The Diamondbacks may have been the most disappointing team in 2016. After going out and signing Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller to mammoth contracts, the Diamondbacks only won 69 games. The Diamondbacks are in a rebuilding stage so don’t expect them to be good for a while.

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The same goes for the San Diego Padres. The Padres will not be good anytime soon so it isn’t even worth talking about them.

The Giants are the team to watch out for this upcoming season, but don’t count out the Dodgers. This division will be one to keep an eye out for if you love a close divisional race.

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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.

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.

M-V-P! M-V-P!

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As the 2015 regular season is coming to an end and we all gear up for yet another great postseason, where legends are made, and many tears will be shed, we also have to get ready to see who the MVP’s will be in each talented league.

For the American League, Josh Donaldson is my front runner. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t think the Blue Jays would be saying they came in first place in their heavy-powered division. His 41 home runs, 123 RBI’s, and batting average just below .300, you have to believe there is no one else in the American League that is even comparable to Donaldson’s 2015 season. You can say that Chris Davis, Nelson Cruz, and even Miguel Cabrera can be mentioned in the MVP race. But Davis and Cruz weren’t really consistent in the big three categories (batting average, home runs, and runs batted in). Also, Cabrera was injured for some of the season, so I believe he is out of contention. For what Donaldson did for the city of Toronto and the numbers he put up, there is no question in my mind that he will be smiling to the cameras with the MVP trophy in his hand.

Now for the National league, there are a couple names to be talked about. I will first mention the player I think should get the award, and that’s Bryce Harper. Granted that the Washington Nationals don’t have a lot to smile about after this season’s meltdown, Harper was the fan favorite down in D.C. Before this season began, many sport writers believed that he was one of the most overrated players in all of Major League Baseball.

Let’s just say he proved them wrong.

His .331 batting average, 42 dingers, and 99 RBI’s was the only constant offensive power the Nationals had all year.

One other player you should think about spoiling Harper’s MVP parade is Colorado Rockies’s third basemen Nolan Arenado. He exploded with 42 home runs and a Major League leading 130 RBI’s with a .287 batting average. No one really knows about his career year because his team was in the basement of their division.

So there are my predictions. Love em’, hate em’, disagree with em’? Feel free to comment back and share your opinions!