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2015 Major League Baseball Predictions

With 40 days until Opening Day, take a look at our season predictions:

(*) = 1st Wild Card Team
(**) = 2nd Wild Card Team

American League East:

Place Brett Malamud’s Pick Alex Horowitz’s Pick
1 Boston Red Sox Boston Red Sox
2 Toronto Blue Jays Baltimore Orioles
3 New York Yankees Toronto Blue Jays
4 Tampa Bay Rays Tampa Bay Rays
5 Baltimore Orioles New York Yankees

 

American League Central:

Place Brett Malamud’s Pick Alex Horowitz’s Pick
1 Cleveland Indians Cleveland Indians
2 Detroit Tigers* Kansas City Royals**
3 Kansas City Royals Chicago White Sox
4 Chicago White Sox Detroit Tigers
5 Minnesota Twins Minnesota Twins

 

American League West:

Place Brett Malamud’s Pick Alex Horowitz’s Pick
1 Seattle Mariners Seattle Mariners
2 Oakland Athletics** Los Angeles Angels*
3 Los Angeles Angels Houston Astros
4 Houston Astros Oakland Athletics
5 Texas Rangers Texas Rangers

 

National League East:

Place Brett Malamud’s Pick Alex Horowitz’s Pick
1 Washington Nationals Washington Nationals
2 New York Mets New York Mets**
3 Miami Marlins Miami Marlins
4 Atlanta Braves Atlanta Braves
5 Philadelphia Phillies Philadelphia Phillies

 

National League Central:

Place Brett Malamud’s Pick Alex Horowitz’s Pick
1 St. Louis Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals
2 Pittsburgh Pirates* Pittsburgh Pirates*
3 Chicago Cubs Chicago Cubs
4 Milwaukee Brewers Cincinnati Reds
5 Cincinnati Reds Milwaukee Brewers

 

National League West:

Place Brett Malamud’s Pick Alex Horowitz’s Pick
1 San Diego Padres San Francisco Giants
2 San Francisco Giants** San Diego Padres
3 Los Angeles Dodgers Los Angeles Dodgers
4 Arizona Diamondbacks Arizona Diamondbacks
5 Colorado Rockies Colorado Rockies
With some added big bats, the Red Sox are ready to head back to October baseball (Via WBZ-TV

With some added big bats, the Red Sox are ready to head back to October baseball (Via WBZ-TV

Playoffs:

Game Brett Malamud’s Pick Alex Horowitz’s Pick
ALCS Red Sox defeat Mariners Red Sox defeat Indians
NLCS Nationals defeat Cardinals Cardinals defeat Nationals
World Series Nationals defeat Red Sox Cardinals defeat Red Sox

 

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Yankees Hot Stove: Players to Watch

By Brett Malamud

The Yankees have signed Andrew Miller and have traded for Didi Gregorius, but they’re not done yet. Here’s the players that I think Yankees fans should keep an eye on. What should they do? Let us know in the comments.
-Chase Headley, 3B, Free Agent
Signing Headley is important for the Yankees. It was reported that the Yankees and the San Francisco Giants, who lost Pablo Sandoval to Boston, are the teams interested in Headley. Unless of course the Yankees want A-Rod at third base (HA).
The Yankees must look at bringing back Chase Headley (Via NY Post)

The Yankees must look at bringing back Chase Headley (Via NY Post)

-Aroldis Chapman, RP, Cincinnati Reds (Requires a trade)
If I were Brian Cashman, I’d call to inquire about acquiring Chapman. The 26 year old Cuban fireballer would be a perfect addition to the bullpen, and could very well take over the closer role in the Bronx. Imagine Miller, Betances, and Chapman closing out games for the Yankees. Currently, the Marlins are the only other team being speculated as a destination for Chapman.
-Jonathan Papelbon, RP, Philadelphia Phillies (Requires a trade)
The Yankees were linked to Papelbon late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. It would definitely be interesting to see a former Red Sox closer pitching for the Yankees.
-Sergio Romo, RP, Free Agent
Interesting option here. Wednesday morning, reports surfaced that the Dodgers, Red Sox, and Yankees were the interested teams. I don’t think he’d be the closer if the Yankees signed him. He’d likely setup Betances.
-Max Scherzer, SP, Free Agent
The big fish. Scherzer would immediately impact the Yankees. The Bombers had injuries to the rotation all year, and adding Scherzer would fix the need for another starter.
-Brandon McCarthy, SP, Free Agent
Reports are that McCarthy will probably wind up with a three year deal. This would be a cheaper option than Scherzer.
-Tyler Clippard/Jerry Blevins, RP, Washington Nationals (Requires a trade)
Wednesday morning, it was reported that the Nationals were getting offers for Clippard and Blevins. The teams that were making offers were not mentioned though. Could the Yankees be interested?

Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

Lester to Decide Soon

By Alex Horowitz

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, free agent starting pitcher Jon Lester has narrowed down his potential destinations to either the San Francisco Giants or Chicago Cubs. A decision is expected to be made no later than Tuesday.

 

Lester would instantly join the top of the rotation for either team, but he’d especially be a significant upgrade in the Windy City. The Cubs currently lack a true ace, so Lester would need to carry Chicago’s young pitching staff.

 

In San Francisco, Lester would most likely slide into the #2 spot in the rotation, behind reigning World Series MVP and 2014 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Madison Bumgarner. It wouldn’t be a far move for him, either, as he played across the bay in Oakland for the second half of last season.

 

Jon Lester is expected to decide his final destination within the next 48 hours

Jon Lester is expected to decide his final destination within the next 48 hours

Between Boston and Oakland in 2014, Lester compiled a 16-11 record with a very formidable 2.46 earned run average. He was the starting pitcher in Oakland’s eventual loss to Kansas City in the AL Wild Card game, and received a no decision despite allowing 6 earned runs in 7.1 innings.

 

Lester’s contract will be one of the more expensive ones of this free agent class. According to several reports, a contract seems to be in the range of $140 million for 6 years, although those in Lester’s camp are quietly pushing for a deal in the $150 million / 7 year range (via MLB Trade Rumors).


Alex Horowitz is a senior at Briarcliff High School and is an aspiring sports writer. As a lifelong sports fan, he has rooted for the New York Knicks, New York Mets, and Detroit Lions. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhorowitz3

 

Sox Open Their Wallets, Sign Hanley and Panda

By Brett Malamud

The Red Sox broke the bank on Monday when multiple news outlets reported that the team came to terms with shortstop Hanley Ramirez on a four-year, $88 million deal with a fifth year option for an additional $22 million. Ramirez now heads back to the team that drafted him, before Boston traded him and four other players to the Marlins for a three player package highlighted by pitcher Josh Beckett.

The Red Sox inked a pair of left side infielders (Via AP)

The Red Sox inked a pair of left side infielders (Via AP)

Earlier in the offseason, it was reported that the 30-year-old Ramirez would be the Red Sox’s backup plan, had they failed to sign third baseman Pablo Sandoval. However, Monday afternoon brought an important announcement from Sandoval’s agent.

The man they call the Kung Fu Panda is expected to ink a deal with the Red Sox worth at least $90 million over five years. Sandoval’s agent informed the San Francisco Giants that the switch hitting slugger had chosen to play for Boston. Sandoval was believed to have been choosing between San Francisco, Boston, and the San Diego Padres.

Ramirez isn’t expected to play shortstop for Boston due to the presence of the 22-year-old Xander Bogaerts. The Red Sox wouldn’t replace Bogaerts, would they? It would be more likely to see Sandoval at third and Ramirez in the outfield. With six other potential outfielders, the signing could lead to the Red Sox dealing one of their current outfielders in a trade. Many will speculate that the odd man out will be the recently acquired outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, simply because of his value. Cespedes will be a free agent at the end of the 2015 season, so he seems like a likely candidate. At the end of the day, the Red Sox improved and that’s what matters most to the fans of Boston. They’re sure to make some noise this season.


Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

Positives of the 2014 Mets Season

By Dan Lagnado

It was another losing season for the New York Mets, but one with a few more positives than there were in years past. So, I’m going boost everyone’s expectations, on a realistic level, for 2015.

Here were the biggest positives of 2014:

  1. Lucas Duda proved he can start everyday

It’s safe to say at this point that the Mets won the Ike Davis trade. We haven’t even seen either of the players they got back play in major leagues yet. But the trade’s edge is clear and Lucas Duda is the reason. Thirty home runs, good for third in the NL, 92 RBI, more than enough to lead the team, and Duda did all that while hitting a respectable .253 on the season. Davis couldn’t even settle into a full time role for the needy Pittsburgh Pirates.

  1. Daniel Murphy continued his solid play

By far the most consistent player on the roster for the last three seasons, Murphy continued to prove how valuable he is. He upped his power numbers from last season while still hitting an impressive .293 this season. While it remains to be seen if he is still on the roster come opening day, if he is, he just about guarantees production from the #2 hole in the lineup.

  1. Emergence of young players

Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia, Jenrry Mejia and Travis d’Arnaud are the four names that stick out to me as having truly arrived this season. deGrom and Familia may well have been the team’s two rookies of the year, with deGrom having a real chance for the big award as well. Familia proved to be a lockdown reliever late in the game working mainly in the eighth inning, but also picking up a save spot every now and then. Mejia showed that he’s capable of being put into clutch positions and succeeding in them. He converted 28 saves in his first chance at being a closer. d’Arnaud was a slow starter but really got it together after his demotion. He ended the year with 13 home runs, third on the team, and got his batting average up to .243 before the season ended. It’s also possible to include on this list, Wilmer Flores. He showed that he is capable of playing the position of a competent shortstop and certainly will provide more than Ruben Tejada would. The only question is whether he can hit for average and get on base more. I think Flores has the inside track to be at least a backup middle infielder, if not the starting shortstop, if the team doesn’t sign a free agent. Additionally, Dilson Herrera was fairly impressive in his handful of games while Murphy was sidelined.

Travis d'Arnaud and the Mets have a bright future ahead of them (Via NYDN)

Travis d’Arnaud and the Mets have a bright future ahead of them (Via NYDN)

  1. The bullpen got it together

This was an area that the Mets have not been able to figure out in recent years. At the beginning of this season it was Jose Valverde, Kyle Farnsworth and Bobby Parnell who were supposed to fill the late inning roles. Parnell was out since opening day for Tommy John surgery and Valverde and Farnsworth both found themselves released soon enough. As a result, Mejia, Familia and Vic Black locked down the late inning roles, with Carlos Torres as everyman, Josh Edgin and Dana Eveland handling the lefties with Daisuke Matsuzaka, Buddy Carlyle and Gonzalez Germen filling roles as they popped up as a result of injury, demotion or release.

It was a less than impressive season for the Amazin’s but the future is bright and if the ball bounces the right way, 2015 could be the year. With Matt Harvey’s return, and some potential trade chips, many people believe that this team can compete with the Nationals for the division.


Dan Lagnado is studying communications, law economics and government at American University. He’s a fan of both the Mets and Jets and has been writing about sports for four years. You can follow him on twitter at @dlag1995

Yes, We Can.

Was put up on Twitter during the seventh inning by Dabuzzza founder Brett Malamud. Jeter hit a walkoff in the ninth.

A Tribute to Derek Jeter

By Brett Malamud

The day that Yankees fans have been dreading for the entire season is finally here. Tonight, Derek Jeter will take the Yankee Stadium field for the final time. After being officially eliminated from playoff contention in yesterday’s game, today’s game will strictly be about Jeter. I view the loss yesterday as a positive thing because in my mind, the Yankees have been out of the playoff hunt for a few weeks now. By losing yesterday, it allows the Yankees a final night at home in which they can properly honor and thank their captain. Could you imagine if they won yesterday and their playoff hopes were still alive? There would be no focus on Jeter, but rather the game, which of course is the way Derek would want it. But instead it’ll give fans a night that they’ll probably remember for the rest of their lives.

The Yankees have been doing a promotion called “#OneWordFor2” in which fans, players, and managers describe Derek Jeter in one word. While I don’t think I can only come up with one word, I’d like to give a few words that best describe Derek.
Heart
I’ve never seen a athlete play his sport with more heart than Derek Jeter. Day in and day out, Jeter gives it his all. From hustling on every ground ball, to that iconic fist pump, nobody has more heart than him, and nobody ever will.
 
Legend
Jeter will most likely be a first ballot hall of famer, and could very well be the first player to be unanimously voted in to the Baseball Hall of Fame. His five rings help him with this category too.
 
Two
There’s only one number two out there that people will remember and that’s Derek Jeter. When his number is retired by the team (next season?), It’ll mark the final single digit number to be retired by the Yankees.
 
Yankees
When I think of the Yankees, my first thought is Derek Jeter. Derek has been the face of the Yankees for twenty years. He’s been a Yankees fan for his entire life, even when growing up in Michigan. Derek also puts the Yankees before himself, and doesn’t like being the lone man in the spotlight. When asked about himself, he’s been known to always bring it back to the team. In fact, he announced his retirement online so that it didn’t have to be all about him.
 
Irreplaceable
Sure Jeter can be replaced when looking at this season’s statistics, but there’s never going to be a player of his class, attitude and demeanor. The way Jeter handles himself on and off the field cannot be replicated. Many players try to mold their characters based on Jeter, but nobody can truly be the same.
Derek Jeter will finish an iconic career this weekend (Via Getty)

Derek Jeter will finish an iconic career this weekend (Via Getty)

I’ve been a bit upset over the past few days, watching Derek play out the homestretch of his career. Derek Jeter has been my favorite athlete for my entire life. I’ve never watched a Yankees team that didn’t have Jeter on the roster. Derek has been a huge inspiration to me both on and off the field. Watching the Yankees play while Jeter was injured last year was a bit tough, and I knew that Jeter’s career would be soon be over, but he taught me to never give up and to battle back when the odds are against you. He taught me to put the team before yourself, and that if you try hard enough, your dreams will come true. Tonight marks the end of an era, for both Derek and myself. Derek will always be my role model, and I’m always striving to be the kind of person that he is. He will always be my favorite athlete, and I’ll miss him dearly.
So with all of that, here’s my top ten favorite Derek Jeter moments:
10. 6/3/03- The Captain Becomes The Captain 
Derek was named the 11th Yankees captain in history, and would go on to be the Yankees’ longest tenured captain.
9. 7/28/13- Back with a Bang
Jeter came back from injury last season by crushing the first pitch he saw for a home run.
8. Jeffery Maier
I’ll never forget this moment either. Thank god there wasn’t instant replay at that time.
7. 9/21/08- The Final Game at Yankee Stadium
Derek gave one of the most memorable speeches you’ll ever see.
6. 7/9/11- 3000th Hit
Derek took David Price deep and homered for his 3000th hit.
5. 11/1/01- Mr. November
A huge walkoff home run that took place just after midnight on November 1, earning Derek the nickname, Mr. November.
4. 10/13/01- The Flip
I remember watching this game live on television and at the age of 7, I knew that it was one of the greatest defensive plays I’d ever see.
3. 7/1/04- The Dive
One of the more iconic plays that I’ll remember. It came in one of the greatest regular season games you’ll ever watch.
2. 2000 World Series
One of the first World Series in which I watched every out of every game. In first grade, the Yankees-Mets rivalry was strong, and so I knew it would be a series that I’d remember. Of course, my guy Derek won the MVP in that series and I didn’t have to bother with the Mets fans in school.
1. 9/11/09- Hit Number 2722
An excerpt from my Letter to Derek Jeter: “No hit will be bigger to me than hit number 2722. It came on September 11, 2009, the eight-year anniversary of the tragic attacks. It drizzled all afternoon and the game was in danger of not being played. I came home from school that day and my dad surprised me with tickets. I was so excited and I ran to my room to put on my Derek Jeter jersey. This could be the night that Derek passes Lou Gehrig to become the Yankees all time-hit leader. But as I hopped in the car, the drizzle became worse and my dad said, “I think we should turn around and go home.” I grew upset. “No!” I replied. “We have to go. If there’s a rain delay, we’ll just walk around the stadium. We have to go! It’s Derek Jeter and he has a chance to make history.” My dad complied and we proceeded to Yankee Stadium. There was a rain delay but we waited it out. You hit the ball down the right field line, and history was made. That is one moment I will never forget and I’m thankful that I was a there to see it in person.”

Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy