As we head into Tuesday nights action with the NL teams in contention having between 42 and 46 games left, I felt it was a good time to break down the NL Playoff races both for the division titles and wild cards.
Washington – The Nationals are up 4 games on the Braves and 5 in the loss column. The Nationals play the Braves 6 more times in their remaining 46 games. Recent history has had the Nationals struggle mightily against Atlanta. The Nationals do have some soft games left on the schedule with 6 against the Phillies and 4 against the D-Backs. The Nats who won have played very well against the Mets in recent times play them 10 times in their final 46 games.
Brewers – The Crew is up 2.5 games on the Pirates and 3 against the Cards, although only 2 in the loss column on both squads. The Reds trail Milwaukee by 5.5 games and 5 in the loss column. The Brewers still have to play the Cardinals 7 more times and the Pirates & Reds 6 more times each. That’s 19 games of the Brewers final 43. Keep in mind the Brewers play the Cubs 9 more times and the Padres 3 more times so they have to take advantage against those weak teams. Continue reading
With the non waiver trade deadline over it’s time to take a sneak peek at the upcoming MLB off-season. Outside of the 3 very big starting pitchers in this winters free agent class this years crop of free agents is lacking. This should open the door for a lot of trades this off-season. Potentially could be a wild winter meetings.
Free Agent Class:
Let’s start with the starting pitching. No doubt there are 3 aces in this years class in Jon Lester (will be 31 in January), Max Scherzer (just turned 30) and James Shields (will be 33 in December). There is no doubt both Lester & Scherzer will get 6 years plus at big dollars (20 Million and above). Interesting to note there will be no draft pick compensation with Lester due to the trade with the A’s. Shields is a little bit older than Lester and Scherzer and not having as good of a year as those two it’s possible Shields might have to settle for a 4 year deal but at big dollars as well. The second tier starting pitchers have their pluses and minuses in J.Beckett (LAD), J.De la Rosa (Col), J.Hammel (Oak), A.Harang (Atl), R.Hernandez (Phil), F.Liriano (Pitt), J.Masterson (Stl), J.Peavy (SF), E.Santana (Atl) & E.Volquez (Pitt). In terms of the closers there really is 3 guys to watch out for in C.Janseen (Tor), D.Robertson (Yankees) & K.Uehara (Red Sox).
In terms of the hitters this is probably one of the weakest classes in years. In terms of the top of the class you have M.Cabrera (Tor), N.Cruz (Balt), H.Ramirez (LAD) & V.Martinez (Det). All 4 guys will be at least 30 come this off-season and in the case of Cruz and Martinez in their mid 30’s. Also Cruz and Martinez are not great fits for the NL. Continue reading
2014 will be in all likelihood the 4th straight losing season for the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies entering into action on July 9th own a record of 38-53, which is only a half a game better than the worst record in baseball. 2014 is pretty much over but how do the Rockies make 2015 and beyond meaningful seasons?
The Rockies this year have a lot of reoccurring themes just like past seasons. Even though the Rockies are 15 games under .500 they are very competitive at home (22-23) but poor on the road with the worst road record in baseball (16-30). The Rockies can hit (1st in the NL in runs by 35) but have the worst pitching in the NL with a team ERA of 5.02. Arizona has the second worst pitching staff in the NL with a team ERA of 4.28. Shows you how bad the Rockies pitching has been.
Rockies Have the Bats But:
The Rockies have plenty of bats to build around between Tulowitzki, Cargo, Morneau, Blackmon, Arenado, Rosario among others. They have plenty to offer via the lineup. However the Rockies do not have any foundation pitchers on their staff currently in my opinion other than Jordan Lyles and Jhoulys Chacin who is having a very rough year. It’s quite simply for the Rockies even though Colorado is a very tough place to pitch this is where they have to drastically improve. Continue reading