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The Mark Reynolds home run barrage

You may know Mark Reynolds as the player who has 1092 career strikeouts in 828 careers games. You may know Mark Reynolds from his .237 career batting average and 32.7% strikeout rate absolutely wrecking your fantasy baseball team. Well, opposing pitchers know Mark Reynolds for a different reason over the last week: Home Run Machine!

Reynolds has 8 home runs in his last 26 at-bats after he hit 2 against the Yankees last night. He leads the majors in OPS over the last 30 days, and he’s hit 12 of his 20 home runs over that time as well.

He’s batting an outrageous .409 this month*, and has been a key to the Orioles battle for the AL East.

*6 days! Small sample size!

Since August 1, when the Orioles were 6.5 games behind the Yankees, they’ve had a record of 22-10 while forcing their way into a tie for first in the division. That coincides with Reynolds hot month of August, which has carried over to September. That’s not to say Reynolds is the only reason the Orioles are on fire. Continue reading

Philly Phanatics!

WikipediaThe Mets and Phillies have a strong rivalry due to proximity of their fan bases and relatively sustained success on the field. One of the two teams has won each NL East division title since 2005, and many years they have directly battled for playoff position. In 2007, you may remember the Mets completely collapsed at the end of the season, blowing a 7 game lead with 17 games remaining. The rivalry even dates back to Jim Bunning’s perfect game for the Phillies over the Mets in 1964; the 7th perfect game in the history of baseball.

The two teams met for the 869th time in the history of their series at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia in what was our 26th stadium this season.

We had been getting very excited about seeing Phillies starter and 2008 World Series MVP Cole Hamels pitch against the Mets.

Hamels has been one of the best pitchers in baseball since he came up with the Phillies in 2006, and he has been an anchor of the best starting rotation in baseball the last few years. Unfortunately, he also recently signed a large contract extension with the Phillies, so you can’t speculate trade rumors that he might be dealt to your team. Continue reading

NL East showdown B4B-style

B4B is headed to DC to check out two of the best teams in baseball. The Nationals take on the Atlanta Braves in an extremely crucial series for each team. The Nats have been consistently 3-5 games up on the Braves in the NL East most of the season, and the series this week is a chance for either the Nats to distance themselves or the Braves to make a move on the division leaders.

Look at these pitching matchups.

The Nationals have the best staff in baseball, and despite being wrecked by injuries and starting 10 different pitchers this season, the Braves have a very good deep staff.

Monday: Tim Hudson (12-4, 3.59) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (9-7, 2.38), 7:05 p.m. ET

Tuesday: Paul Maholm (2-1, 1.57) vs. Stephen Strasburg (14-5, 2.91), 7:05 p.m. ET Continue reading