Midway Team Rankings Review – American League

Baseball, Rankings
It's halfway through the 2015 season and the writing is starting to go up on the wall for some teams.  Though this is baseball, and anything can happen. Before the season started, I broke down projected standings for all six divisions.  How does that compare to how teams stand now?  Would I change anything for the second half? AL West Actual (my projection in parentheses) 1. Astros (4) 2. Angels (1) 3. Rangers (5) 4. Mariners (2) 5. Athletics (3) The Astros and Rangers have been surprising on the good side, while the Athletics and Mariners have been surprising for other reasons.  Billy Beane's off season meddling did pretty much what I thought it would - and slightly worse.  He went all in for 2014 and now has to rebuild.…
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2015 MLB Predictions

Baseball
It's finally baseball season in a couple days, which means it's time for Baseball Chick's 2015 predictions.  Let's get this party started with the best division in baseball. AL WEST Los Angeles Angels, 95-67 Seattle Mariners, 90-72 Oakland Athletics,  84-78 Houston Astros, 81-81 Texas Rangers, 68-94 Of course I'm going to put the Angels on top, but let's face it - Aside from Howie Kendrick, this team remains largely unchanged from 2014 when they wont 98 games.   There are some question marks around second base still and pitching (as always), but there is little reason the Angels can't repeat as division champs. I'm also going to predict the first non losing record for the Astros since 2008. AL CENTRAL Detroit Tigers, 90-72 Chicago White Sox, 87-75 Cleveland Indians, 86-74 Kansas…
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Angels Spring Training – Non Roster Position Players

Angels, Baseball, Spring Training
The Angels have invited 11 non roster position players to join them in sunny Tempe this spring.  Some names you have probably heard of, and others not so much.  Let’s break them down, including chances of a roster spot (at any point) in 2015. Charles Cutler - C Cutler was signed to a minor league contact with a Tempe invite.  He has decent numbers with 7 seasons in the minors batting .304 and he only strikeouts about once every 8 at bats.  Cutler can also play 1B and OF, the later of which is odd for a catcher who has no speed (8 SB in 7 years). Cutler is one of many catchers the Angels signed this past off season. 2015 Roster Chance: 0% Stephen McGee - C Picked in the…
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Gold Gloves

Baseball
Rawlings has announced finalists for the 2014 Gold Glove - an award that is only 25% based on actual fielding stats (the other 75% on managers opinion). Teams absent from this list include the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Twins, San Diego Padres, and New York Yankees.  No gold gloves for you! Teams with multiple candidates include: 4 - Los Angeles Dodgers, Kansas City Royals 3 - Atalanta Braves, Seattle Mariners, Florida Marlins, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Red, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers 2- Los Angeles Angels, Cleveland Indians, Saint Louis Cardinals, Washington Nationals, Chicago White Sox
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MLB Pace of Play Experiment

Baseball
Today, MLB announced they are going to be experimenting with some pace of play rules in the Arizona Fall League (AFL). Personally, I don't think a lot needs to change, and baseball is supposed to be a slower sport. It's supposed to be America's pastime that teaches us to relax, slow down, and enjoy what is happening around us.  Baseball is an escape. That being said, It's possible there are some changes that could help the game (like shorter commercial breaks) and it's appeal to our modern fast-paced society. Here are the rules being tested, along with my thoughts: (see link for details on each rule) Batter's Box Rule - I think this one is rather silly and really messes with the batting experience.  I'd rather see them say something like…
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Ranking the MLB Playoff Teams

Baseball, Rankings
Can you smell October?  MLB playoffs are right around the corner with the first wildcard matchup happening tonight at 8PM EST.  There are a lot of intangibles in determining who the best teams are in the post season but I've taken a stab at doing some rankings based on some statistics from each team's season.  Of course you pretty much throw the regular season out right now, but don't think it doesn't play an impact. Team WAR: 1 Dodgers 31.2 2 Angels 30.3 3 Orioles 29.0 4 Pirates 26.9 5 Nationals 25.4 6 Giants 23.7 7 Tigers 23.7 8 Athletics 23.4 9 Royals 22.6 10 Cardinals 22.0 It's no surprise to see the Dodgers on the top of the WAR charts.  After all, they have bought some top players and…
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Angels Game #158 – LeBlank

Angels, Baseball, pitching
LeBlanc has been pitching so well lately I'm going to stop calling him Joey from Friends (I guess his first name is Wade, not Matt. In fact, Wade LeBlanc has pitched a string of 16 scoreless innings, including the last 10 2/3 as a starter.  This guy has been tossed around more times in the past few years than a female an elevator with Ray Rice (too soon?).  Sometimes it doesn't take an ace, but a pitcher pitching well at the right time.  And right now that pitcher is Wade LeBlanc. LeBlanc did what Wilson could not one night earlier - throw strikes - and throw them somewhere they weren't too hitable.  He only walked one and only struck out one but he pitched his heart our and did it…
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Pace of Play Committee – Where are the Players?

Baseball
He's not done yet!  Bud Selig may be on his way out, but he has established a "Pace of Play" committee comprised of not one single current manager or player. There are perhaps some things that could be done to help control the pace of play, but it's debatable if they are needed. The committee members are: Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson MLB Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark Boston Red Sox partner Michael Gordon MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred MLB Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations Joe Torre Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner Their Baseball pedigrees: John Schuerholz, 73 - 22 years as a general manager, 5 years as president.  Never played.  Never coached. Sandy Alderson, 66 - Lawyer, been a general…
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AL Central Race + AL Wildcard

Baseball
The Angels and Orioles have locked in their division championships, but there are still a lot of unknowns in the American League.  Most notably - who is going to win the AL Central?  With a half game spread, this is the closet race in baseball, and after the Tigers and Royals meet in Kansas City this weekend for a three game series, will the AL Central race be decided? Let's look at three factors to see who may take the AL Central crown. Head to Head in 2014 so far Recent performance of both teams Series match-up for this weekend Strength of remaining schedules ---------------------------- The Tigers are 11-5 against the Royals this year and won their last series 2-1.  ADVANTAGE: TIGERS The Royals at 9-7 in September with 3…
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Magic Number Update

Baseball
Magic numbers are starting to change rapidly - at least for a few teams.  Let's take a look at how things are shaping up going into the weekend. Magic Numbers of Division Leaders: Baltimore Orioles = 8 (17 games to play) Kansas City Royals = 17 (18 games to play) Los Angeles Angels = 9 (17 games to play) Washington Nationals = 10 (18 games to play) St. Louis Cardinals = 14 (16 games to play) Los Angels Dodgers = 14 (16 games to play) There are three teams that are close to locking in their division championship and may do so sometime in the next week: Orioles, Angels, Nationals.  Of course anything is possible but the Orioles could go 8-9 the rest of the season while Toronto goes on…
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