Tag Archive | World Series

MLB Staff Picks

The smell of peanuts and cracker jacks is in the air. After 152 days since the Red Sox walked off the field as champions, baseball is back. Our picks are in for this year’s fall classic. Here they are:

Writer

Pick

Brett Malamud

 I’m taking the Yankees over the Dodgers. Both teams have proven this offseason that they want to win now. The Yankees unloaded after missing the playoffs by opening their checkbook and spending close to $500 million. The additions of Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, and Masahiro Tanaka immediately make the Yankees a legitimate threat. But don’t think they’re the only team spending the big bucks. The Dodgers passed the Yankees for the MLB’s highest payroll, ending the Yankees 15 year streak, by spending $235 million this season. All and all I’d say Derek Jeter better start spreading the news that his final season will end with a ticker tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes.

Sam Breiter

 As an extremely optimistic Mets fan with nothing but the highest expectations, I’m always going to take my team. So along with my Mets, I’m taking the rival Yankees. The Mets have young talent in there rotation, and a growing lineup. They may make a huge move by the deadline, and Zach Wheeler will suprise people this year. Yankees, because they spent money this offseason and are clearly doing anything to win a year after missing the playoffs

Dan Lagnado

 In the NL I’ll take the Dodgers and in the AL I’ll take Detroit. Dodgers win a six game series behind Kershaw and Greinke who each win two games

Josh Halilej

 Tigers over Cardinals. Lots of solid pitching between the two of them. I think Justin Verlander comes back big this year and comes out as the Tigers’ #1 with Rick Porcello having an awesome year too finishing ahead of Max Scherzer in the pitching rotation. The Cards are going to need Yadier Molina to manage the pitching staff well, but they just don’t have the overall offensive firepower that Detroit does with the addition of Ian Kinsler. Watch out for the Rangers though if they can have someone aside from Yu Darvish step up in their rotation.

Seth Schuster

 Red Sox over Dodgers. Only a little bit of bias plays into this one…Both are great teams with amazing young talent. With the recent resurgence of John Lackey, John Lester, a healthy Clay Buchholz, and a young and very talented Xander Bogaerts, the Red Sox will be the 2014 World Series Champions. With the leadership of David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, and Mike Napoli, look for the Sox to make a push for the repeat.

Ben Ozur

 Rays vs Dodgers. There’s no explanation for why the Rays are good every year, but the undeniable fact is that they are. However nobody is on the Dodgers level in terms of overall talent. Despite multiple holes including infield depth and major league ready pitchers in the minors, their superstar talent everywhere else will cover that up.

Ryan Gillman

 Dodgers over Tigers. The Dodgers are armed with a wealth of talent and the largest payroll in history. Anything less than a championship would be a disappointment.

Sam  Iryami

 Nationals vs Tigers. Nationals win. The Nationals have the best pitching rotation in baseball with the front four being Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, and Doug Fister. Pitching wins games. Although the Tigers have a great all around team, the team is full of veterans. However, they are definitely a contender for the World Series because of their many stars such as Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler, and Max Scherzer. Both teams have unbelievable pitching and hitting, but I have the Nationals taking home the trophy in this one.

Zach Pokorny

 Dodgers vs Angels, but I’d pick the Angels because Mike Trout is amazing
Derek Jeter has one last season in his hall of fame career and will make the most of it (Via Sabo News)

Derek Jeter has one last season in his hall of fame career and will make the most of it (Via Sabo News)

We hope everyone enjoys Opening Day and stays locked in to Dabuzzza here and on our twitter page this MLB season. We know we will.

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Texas Rangers Offseason Report

By Josh Halilej

After winning the American League West and making the World Series in back to back years (2010-11), the Texas Rangers have been in a period of regression these past two seasons due to an increase in competition with the emergence of Billy Beane’s not-so-underdog Oakland A’s, and the massive spending from the Angels. In 2012, the Rangers managed to stay afloat with a wild card worthy 93-69 record, but they lost their grip of the top of the division to Oakland, who bested them by one game. While this one game may not seem like a big deal, the Rangers were forced to play the first ever one game wild card playoff against the Baltimore Orioles, where they lost 5 to 1. Ron Washington and company vowed to come back next year with a vengeance, and after some offseason moves like trading away Michael Young, they seemed fine, until star player Josh Hamilton abandoned ship to go take his talents to the city of Angels. This season, the Rangers tried to cope with the loss of Hamilton who was their offensive rock, but ultimately could not make the playoffs with a record of 91-72. Someone could look at the loss of Hamilton and assume that the Rangers’ problem was largely offensive-related, but with stellar performances from Adrian Beltre and pre-suspension Nelson Cruz, in addition to receiving Alex Rios from the White Sox, I would have to disagree. Their problems lie within the pitching staff.

The Problem:

Pitching wins ballgames. It’s that simple. A solid rotation that can go out on to the baseball diamond with a different threat every game will wear out opponents in a series and make it that much easier to achieve baseball immortality. Having only two pitchers register more than 20 starts (Derek Holland and Yu Darvish) is not going to strike fear into opponents’ eyes. Aside from Darvish (who put up ridiculous strike out numbers this season with 277Ks in 209 innings pitched) and Holland, three of the next four pitchers who had the most starts on the team were eligible rookies. No disrespect to them, but consistency is key in a pitching rotation because you want to have the same guys out there that you had all year to rely on in situations where the team needs it most. That being said, the Rangers definitely need to address pitching this offseason.

The Rangers need more than Yu Darvish in the rotation (Via Star Tribune)

The Rangers need more than Yu Darvish in the rotation (Via Star Tribune)

The Solution:

I suggest that the Rangers don’t have to go after some of the ‘bigger’ names in the pitching market this year, but maybe make some trades with the wealth of young talent they have and add consistent veterans to the rotation. I think Scott Feldman, a Ranger from 2005-2012, could potentially be a good fix on the cheaper side because he gave a solid 30 starts to the Orioles/Cubs this year with an ERA at a respectable 3.86. On the pricier side, there is Ricky Nolasco, whose 199.2 innings last year and 33 starts for both the Marlins and Dodgers make him the #7 ranked free agent this season according to ESPN. Possible trades that the Rangers could approach almost always include trading either highly touted prospect, Jurickson Profar or starting Shortstop Elvis Andrus. However, they have been in talks with the St. Louis Cardinals about a possible trade involving Cardinals rookie sensation Shelby Miller, Oscar Taveres or Matt Adams for either Profar of Andrus.

The Verdict:

I think that the moves that would give the Texas Rangers the best possible chance to succeed would be performing the trade with St. Louis, making a play for free agent centerfielder Chris Young to fill in the vacancy of Nelson Cruz, and signing Ricky Nolasco to a 4 year, 42 million dollar deal. Maybe with that, the Rangers will make a playoff push and possibly make a title run like they did in 2010 and 2011.

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Josh Halilej is a die hard fan of both the Jets and the Mets, and is an avid fantasy sports player. He participates in leagues for baseball, basketball and football. You can follow him on twitter at @Mrmet2323

Don’t Hate, Appreciate, Reggie: Comparing Mr. October and Señor Octubre

By Seth Schuster

The Boston Red Sox are World Series Champions once again, thanks to the contributions of “Big Papi” David Ortiz. Ortiz, fresh off of winning his third World Series Championship as a member of the Red Sox, was soon bestowed with an honor that had eluded him twice before – World Series MVP. Ortiz lost out on the honor in 2004 to Manny Ramirez, and in 2007 to Mike Lowell, but there was no doubt as to who was taking home the hardware this October. This time, Ortiz not only had a World Series worthy of discussion for the award, but also as one of the best postseason hitters of all time. His name now graces lists full of great postseason hitters, most notably Reggie Jackson, also known as “Mr. October.” Papi hit a stellar .688 this World Series featuring two homeruns, six RBIs, with a slugging percentage of 1.188, an OBP of .760, while only striking out once in 16 at-bats. This added to his nearly incomparable career World Series resume of a .455 batting average, a .576 OBP, and a .795 slugging percentage. He has 14 RBIs in 14 World Series contests.

David Ortiz certainly has a case to be compared to Reggie Jackson. (Via AP)

David Ortiz certainly has a case to be compared to Reggie Jackson. (Via AP)

Reggie Jackson, “Mr. October,” won five World Series rings over the course of his career, batting .357, with a .457 OBP, and a .755 slugging percentage. Jackson also had 10 homers and 24 RBIs in his World Series career. Jackson’s numbers, compared to Ortiz’s statistics are very close, but fall slightly short of the mark when discussing World Series competition. The only edge Reggie seems to have is the power numbers, where his homerun totals edges Papi by seven and his RBI total bests Ortiz’s by 10. Jackson, however, played in one more WS than Ortiz (Jackson tore his hamstring in the 1972 ALCS, and subsequently did not play in that year’s Series).

Now it’s important to remember that although Ortiz’s numbers may best Jackson’s in the World Series, the moniker “Mr. October” was earned due to Reggie’s spectacular play throughout the entire month.

Reggie hit .278 in his postseason career, tallying 18 homeruns and 48 RBIs in 77 appearances.

Papi is a .295 hitter in his postseason career with 17 homers and 60 RBIs in 82 games.

Ortiz has one less total homerun, and has played five more postseason games, he has 12 more RBI’s than Jackson does on his resume. Jackson hit an average of 0.6 RBIs per game in his postseason career, and even with the added five games his RBI total, would still only be 51, still nine less than Ortiz’s current total. Now, let’s play devil’s advocate for just a minute here. We shouldn’t dub Ortiz “Mr. October” just yet. Although his stats are extraordinary, Ortiz’s name has been linked to Performance Enhancing Drugs in the past.

In 2009, reports surfaced about a failed MLB drug test in 2003. The source was never able to provide any evidence of the failed test, and more importantly, it never reported the drug that Ortiz had allegedly tested positive for. Ortiz, the character guy he his, brushed off the allegations and continued to do the talking with his bat – especially in the postseason. After a name is linked to PEDs, however, it is hard to make that connection disappear even if Ortiz never actually broke any rules. The mere allegation will always linger and serve as a backdrop. The PED link will most likely stay with Ortiz quietly for the rest of his baseball career, whether the rumors are true or not. The connection will most likely be a deciding factor in whether Papi, arguably the greatest Designated Hitter of all time, is enshrined in the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown somewhere down the road. The only other Designated Hitter who has ever received HOF considerations is Frank Thomas, whose numbers aren’t even comparable to David’s. Could Papi’s postseason statistics drive him up to Cooperstown? It’s might, but we’re not sure. What we do know, however, is that Ortiz “Lives for this,” and it is evident that he does, the man thrives on the crisp October air. The decision on Ortiz’s HOF fate could come down to two deciding factors -PEDs, and postseason play.

He certainly has the numbers to support his case. He certainly has the numbers to be called “Mr. October,” but out of courtesy to Mr. Jackson who said it was “Silly” to call Ortiz “Mr. October.” Let’s call “Big Papi” David Ortiz, “Señor Octubre.” Maybe someday we will call Ortiz “Cooperstown.” He certainly has the numbers to do it. And the numbers never lie.

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Seth Schuster is a student at Blind Brook High School in Westchester, New York. He is an avid sports fan, who knows it all when it comes to the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, New England Patriots, and Boston Bruins. Yup, that’s right – a Boston sports fan living in New York! Seth’s favorite all-time athletes include David Ortiz, Tom Brady, and Paul Pierce. Follow Seth on Twitter for all your Boston Sports updates at @redsoxseth