Archive for the ‘baseball’ Category

How was your week

Posted: October 12, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Did you have Anibal Sanchez throwing 7 2/3d no-hit innings and leading the Washington Nationals to a 2-0 win in Game  of the National League Championship Series. If you where predicting or expecting this type of outing from Sanchez you’re better at picking baseball than I am. I actually questioned the choice of starting Sanchez last night, but it was clear the Nationals and their manager Dave Martinez knew what they had in the veteran starter.

There always seem to be certain things that you need in a no-hitter and it seemed like Sanchez had those going for him last night. Sanchez had good command of his fastball and even though he’s not a hard thrower get strikes and outs with the fastball is important. Sanchez also had all of his off speed pitches working for him. The only thing that seemed to be missing was a great defensive play. Ryan Zimmerman ended up providing that in the bottom of the 8th inning. Tommy Edman hit a line drive that looked like it was ticketed for rightfield when Zimmerman dove to his right. Zimmerman had to fully extend his body, but he made the catch to preserve the no-hitter.

Paul DeJong was the next batter for the Cardinals. DeJong went after the first pitch an hit a routine flyball to centerfield for the second out of the inning. Jose Martinez was announced as a pinch hitter and stepped into the batters box for his at bat.

Martinez has been a very good pinch hitter for the Cardinals this post season. In the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves Martinez had three pinch hit appearance. In those three at bats Martinez came through with two hits.

Martinez worked the count to full and pushed Sanchez pitch total over the 100 mark. Sanchez threw his 103rd pitch of the night which was a change-up to Martinez who hit that pitch into centerfield to break up the no-hitter attempt and end Sanchez’s night.

In his 7 2/3rds inning of work Sanchez threw those 103 pitches; 67 for strikes. Out of the 27 batters Sanchez faced he threw 20 first pitch strikes. He allowed just the 1 hit to Martinez, he walked 1 and struck out 5 while also hitting 2 batters.

Sanchez left the Nationals with a 2-0 lead and turned the game over to a much maligned bullpen. To make things even a little more interesting for that Nationals Bullpen they where without their closer Daniel Hudson who is on paternity leave because of the birth of his daughter.

The Nationals turned to Sean Doolittle who did have 29 saves during the regular season, but also had an ERA of 4.05. Washington was looking at Doolittle to get a 4 out save in Game 1 of the NLCS.

Doolittle got Dexter Fowler to ground out to end the 8th inning. Kolten Wong tried to bunt hos way on to start the bottom of the 9th for St. Louis, but Doolittle was able to make the play and get the out at 1st base. The play was reviewed, but the call stood. Paul Goldschmidt grounded out for the 2nd out of the inning and then Doolittle struck out Marcell swinging to end the game and give the Nationals a 2-0 win in Game 1.

Sanchez’s run at a no-hitter overshadowed the quality performance that the Cardinals got out of their Game 1 starter Miles Mikolas. Mikolas pitched threw 6 innings giving up 7 hits, but holding Washington to just 1 run while striking out 7 and walking 2. Mikolas threw 98 pitches; 67 of those for strikes.

Washington got their only run off of Mikolas in the top of the 2nd inning. Howie Kendrick started the inning with a double, but Mikolas got the next two hitters out before Yan Gomes hit another double to drive Kendrick in and give Washington a 1-0 lead.

In the top of the 7th Giovanny Gallegos came out of the Cardinals bullpen to replace Mikolas. Gallegos got the first out of the inning, but Adam Eaton followed that up with a triple. Anthony Rendon was intentional walked putting runners on 1st and 3rd. Gallegos was taken out of the game for left hander Andrew Miller who was brought in to face Juan Soto. Miller struck Soto out for the 2nd out if the inning. Miller was then removed for right hand pitcher John Brebbia. Kendrick greeted Brebbia with a single driving in Eaton and giving the Nationals that 2-0 lead.

It’s a pretty quick turn around for these teams as they have the afternoon game today. Adam Wainwright will make the start for St. Louis while Max Scherzer gets the start for Washington.

The 37 year old Wainwright had a fantastic start in the NLDS against the Braves. Wainwright pitched 7 2/3rd shutout inning. He struck out and walked 2 in that start. Can he give the Cardinals another start like that in what is almost a must win type of game for St. Louis.

Scherzer has made three post season appearances this year. He got a no decision in the wild card game against the Milwaukee Brewers. He went 5 inning s giving up 3 run while walking 3 and striking out 6. Scherzer worked an inning of relief in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He threw one inning of relief and picked up a hold as he struck out 3 in his one inning. Then Scherzer came back as a starter in Game and got the win. He went 7 innings giving up just 1 run while walking 3 and striking out 7.

I forgot to mention that if Sanchez would’ve been successful in his no-hit bid he would’ve been the third pitcher to throw a no-hitter in post season history. Sanchez would’ve joined Roy Halladay and Don Larsen as pitchers who threw post season no-hitters.

This also would’ve been the second no-hitter of Sanchez’s career. Back in 2006 when Sanchez was a rookie with the Miami Marlins he no-hit the Arizona Diamondbacks in just the 13th start of his career. Sanchez was 22 years old when he no-hit the Diamondbacks. He’s now 35 years old and if he would’ve completed the no-hitter he would’ve had the second largest gap between no-hitters. Only Randy Johnson would have had a bigger one.

Do you have the Cardinals bouncing back and winning Game 2? Or do you see the Nationals taking both games in St. Louis and heading home with a commanding two games to none lead?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you end up missing the podcast live all you have to do is head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast at your leisure.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: October 9, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

So the division round of the Major League Baseball playoffs has given us one sweep. The New York Yankees over the Minnesota Twins while the three other divisional series are all headed to a winner take all Game 5.

Both of the National League Game 5’s are today. The Atlanta Braves host the St. Louis Cardinals in the first game while the night cap has the Washington Nationals at the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Cardinals have Jack Flaherty as their starter while the Braves list Mike Foltynewicz as their starter. The Nationals have Steven Strasburg listed as their starter while the Dodgers are countering with Walker Buehler. Now I expect all four of these pitchers to start for their respective teams right now they are all listed as the probably starter.

Flaherty made the start for the Cardinals in Game 2 and had a solid outing. He went 7 innings giving up 8 hits and 3 runs while striking out 8 and walking 1. Flaherty took the lose as the Cardinals didn’t score in Game 2.

Foltynewicz was on the winning side in Game 2 for Atlanta. He went 7 innings allowing 3 hits and 0 runs while striking out 7.

Strasburg was the Nationals starter in Game 2 and picked up the win. He went 6 innings giving up 3 hits and 1 run while striking out 10.

The Dodgers are bringing back Buehler who was their Game 1 starter. He pitched 6 innings giving up just 1 hit and not allowing a run; he struck out 8 and walked 3.

Each one of these teams is bringing back a starting pitcher who had a good outing for them in their first start. It might be the pitcher who can repeat that first outing that gives his team the best chance to advance. The question of course is; which pitcher will that be?

How big of a failure would the Dodgers season be if they lost tonight’s Game 5 to the Nationals?

The Dodgers won 106 games in the regular season and have been to the World Series the past two seasons. Now unfortunately the Dodgers didn’t manage to win ether of them World Series, but they where the first team to get into back to back World Series since the Kansas City Royals did it in 2014 and 2015.

Now we know that Walker Buehler is getting the start for the Dodgers tonight, but what is the availability of Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu if needed. Kershaw last pitched on October 4th while Ryu lasted pitched on October 6th. Being that it’s Game 5 you have to figure that all hands are on deck for both teams tonight, but especially the Dodgers.

The Dodgers have solid numbers in the series against the Nationals except for in the bullpen. Pedro Baez, Joe Kelly, Ross Stripling and Julio Urias have all had issues coming out of the Dodgers bullpen. Baez and Kelly have double digit ERA’s while Stripling isn’t far away from a double digit ERA. Kenta Maeda has been the Dodgers most consistent reliever this series. Adam Kolarek has appeared in three out of the four games in this series, but he’s only pitched 1 total inning. With the way this series has went Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen has only made one appearance and has only pitched 1 inning.

How will the Dodgers use the bullpen tonight. Will a starter be the first pitcher we see out of the bullpen or will they trust one of the relievers who have struggled in this series. Jansen should be available for multiple innings if needed. I guess will have to see how the game goes and what the Dodgers do with there bullpen.

We have to wait one more day for the American League series to play there Game 5. The teams are headed back to Houston since the Astros had the best record in baseball for the regular season they get to host Game 5.

You could ask the same thing about the Astros that we just did about the Dodgers. How would you quantify the Astros season if they get knocked out tomorrow night by the Tampa Bay Rays.

Both the Rays and the Nationals are the upstart wild card teams in this situation and I’m sure they’ll have a lot of people rooting for them. Do you think that either of these teams can get a Game 5 victory on the road? It should make for some must watch baseball.

With the division series winding down you have to wonder if we’ve seen some of these players in that uniform for the last time. There are quite a few players in the division series that will hit the free agent market this off season.

The Nationals made a big money offer to 3rd baseman Anthony Rendon, but there’s been no word on how close the two sides might be to agreeing on a deal. Will Rendon be in Washington next season?

Gerrit Cole picked the best time to have a career year. The Astros have a decent amount of money already tied up in two of there starting pitchers; so you have to wonder if they have room for the salary Cole is going to command.

Hyun-Jin Ryu accepted the Dodgers qualifying offer last season and then preceded to have the best season of his career. The Dodgers are loaded with starting pitchers; so you have to wonder if they’ll allow Ryu to leave as a free agent this off season.

The Braves have two players that we might see elsewhere next season. Josh Donaldson signed on for just one season in Atlanta and the Braves have said they’re open to bringing him back next season. The Braves have a strong farm system and everyone thought that Austin Riley would be taking over at 3rd base next season. I guess will have to see what they do. Dallas Keuchel ended up with Atlanta after not signing with a team until June. Keuchel was solid for the Braves going 8-8 with a 3.75 ERA. I think there’s a better chance of Donaldson returning to Atlanta than Keuchel.

That is just a small sample size of players currently in the playoffs that might be with another team next season. As free agency gets closer will take harder look at who might end up where. Right now it’s just way too early to tell.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast at your leisure.

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: October 5, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, pro wrestling, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I was interested to see how much mainstream media talk there was about the WWE moving their Smackdown show to Fox. Obviously it was a big topic of conversation on Fox itself and FS1, but I heard people talking about it on ESPN and the MLB Network. There was so much talk about this that I even tuned in for the start of the show.

Now I use to watch every minute of wrestling that I could. As a child I was introduced to wrestling by my father. My father worked two jobs and his second job was overnight on Friday and Saturday night as a security guard. He’d work from 11:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. and then on Sunday’s when he got home he’d make a big breakfast for my mother and I. After that he’d sit down to read the Sunday newspaper and turn on the television. We’d watch AWA which was a professional wrestling company owned by Verne Gagne. After that wrestling show there was another one on from time to time that I believe was called Bob Luce wrestling. I don’t remember the name of the federation that wrestled on that show, but I do remember the wrestlers doing some of the local commercials on that show and they where classic.

That’s how I got started as a wrestling fan and I just continued to watch wrestling after that. Believe it or not I actually spent some time as an independent pro wrestler, but sadly I’ve lost most of my interest in wrestling over these last few years.

Last night I turned on the pre-show on Fox, but I quickly became bored and turned it off. I just didn’t enjoy what they where doing on the pre-show, but I was interested to see who got to open the show and who was in the first match. I thought it would be a pretty big deal to open the show or get to be in the first match. I was figuring that it would be a wrestler that WWE was high on and that they’d have some type of interaction with one of the many special guest that had been advertised for the show and I guess I was kind of right.

Becky Lynch was the first wrestler out to start Smackdown. As Lynch was doing her promo she was interrupted by Baron Corbin. as the banter was going o between these two they where interrupted by Dwayne Johnson who WWE fans know as “The Rock”. If you’ve seen “The Rock” perform in the WWE before you kind of knew what you where in for. He did his usual shtick, but he was very entertaining and the fans loved him. After “The Rock” with some help from Lynch made fun of Corbin the segment ended with Corbin being beaten down by “The Rock” and Lynch which the crowd again loved.

I flipped over to check the score of the New York Yankees/Minnesota Twins game; so I didn’t see the introduction for the first match, but I got back to Smackdown before the first match started.

I was a little surprised to see that Lynch not only got to do the opening segment, but was also in the first match. Lynch teamed with Charlotte Flair against the team of Sasha Banks and Bayley. In the end Lynch and Flair picked up the win as Flair was able to make Bayley tap out to her figure eight finisher.

Now I was done with the WWE and Smackdown after this match; so I don’t know how the rest of the show went, but there are some very interesting take a ways just from these two opening segments.

While Lynch her “The Man” persona started on Smackdown she is currently the RAW women’s champion, but she was chosen to open this show. Corbin just won WWE’s King of the Ring tournament, but he is also a RAW wrestler. Now I know that it’s typical for wrestlers from one of WWE’s show to show up on another show even though I believe this is going to end by Fox’s choice. It’s interesting that the first two wrestlers to make appearances on Fox’s new show where wrestled that are prominently featured on WWE’s other show.

Maybe it’s just me and I’m reading too much into it, but I would’ve thought that a new show would’ve wanted to feature a performer from it’s show to start off.

If you watched Smackdown let me know what you thought of it and let me know fi I missed anything of note since I turned away after the first match.

We had four MLB playoffs games last night as every playoff team was in action.

The first game of the day saw the Houston Astros win the first game of their series with the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2. Justin Verlander went 7 shutout innings striking out 8 as he got the win for Houston.

The next game saw the Atlanta Braves even up their series with the St. Louis Cardinals at one game apiece as the Braves picked up a 3-0 win in Game 2.

Mike Foltynewicz pitched 7 shutout inning for the Braves while Adam Duvall came up with a big pinch hit 2-run homer in the bottom of the 7th to make it a 3-0 game. After getting knocked around in Game 1 Mark Melancon picked up a save. Melancon did give up 2 hits, but also stuck out two in his inning of work.

There where five home runs hit in Game 1 of the New York Yankees/Minnesota Twins series and even though the Twins out homered the Yankees three to two the Yankees picked up the win in Game 1 10-4.

Neither starting pitcher made it into the 5th inning, but James Paxson the Yankees starter got close pitching 4 2/3rds. Jose Berrios the Twins starter pitched 4 innings. The Yankees put the game away by scoring 2 runs in the 5th and 6th inning and 3 runs in the 7th inning. Even though Tommy Kahnle gave up a run in the 2/3rd of an inning he worked he still got credit for the win.

The day of baseball wrapped up with the Washington Nationals evening up their series with the Los Angels Dodgers by getting a 4-2 in in Game 2 if that series.

Coming off his first career relief appearance in the Nationals wild card victory Steven Strasburg return to his role as a starter and picked up the win going 6 inning and striking out 10. Clayton Kershaw was solid for the Dodgers, but his bad luck in the post season continued as he took the loss despite pitching 6 solid innings.

The National League teams are off today, but we’ll get Game 2 in each of the American League series today.

Remember that you can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live you can just head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen anytime you want.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter. I’m @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: October 2, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, sports, Uncategorized

It took 8 innings, but the Washington Nationals found a way to get past the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League wild card game last night.

Milwaukee got off to a quick start as they picked up two quick 1st inning runs on Max Scherzer. Trent Grisham drew a lead off walk to start the game and then Yasmani Grandel brought them both home with a 2-run home run to rightfield.

The Brewers then added another run in the Top of the 2nd inning when Eric Thames hit a solo home run off Scherzer to centerfield to give the Brewers an early 3-0 lead.

The Nationals got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the 3rd inning when Trea Turner hit a solo home run to left-center off of Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff to make it a 3-1 game.

Scherzer settled down and then turned the ball over to Steven Strasburg in the 6th. This was Strasburg’s first career relief appearance, but he was clearly up for the task as he pitched three scoreless inning giving up 2 hits and while striking out 4.

Woodruff gave the Brewers four strong innings throwing 52 pitches which is what he’s been doing since returning from injury. Brent Suter gave the Brewers and inning of shutout relief which was followed by two shutout innings of relief by Drew Pomeranz.

All that led us to the bottom of the 8th inning and the Brewers turned the game over to their closer Josh Hader. It looked good for Hader as he struck out Victor Robles swinging for the first out. Michael Taylor pinch hit for Strasburg and was hit by a pitch. This was a bit of a controversial hit by pitch, but they took a look at it and the call stood. The hit by pitch looked like it might not matter as Hader stuck out Turner swinging for the 2nd out of the inning. Ryan Zimmerman pinch hit for Adam Eaton and hit a 2-1 fastball into centerfield for a single as Taylor advanced to 3rd base. Andrew Stevenson entered the game as a pinch runner for Zimmerman. Anthony Rendon drew a walk to load the bases for Juan Soto. This looked like it might be a good match up for the Brewers with the left-handed Hader facing the left-handed hitting Soto, but Soto took third pitch of the at bat to rightfield for a single. Taylor and Stevenson easily scored to tie the game and when Grisham had trouble with the ball in rightfield it allowed Rendon to score all the way from 1st to give the Nationals a 4-3 lead. Soto was tagged out in a rundown between 1st and 2nd to end the inning.

The Nationals where just three outs away from a wild card game victory, but it’s been well publicized just how bad their bullpen has been this season. Washington’s manager Dave Martinez had said that he had no problems using Strasburg or Patrick Corbin out of that bullpen and you had to wonder if maybe Corbin would be called upon to try and close this game out.

Instead Martinez turned to Daniel Hudson. The Nationals acquired Hudson at the trade deadline from the Toronto Blue Jays and while he was 3-0 with 6 saves and a 1.44 ERA in 24 games for Washington he has been a set up man for most of his career.

Up until last night Hudson had one other post season appearance. In 2011 Hudson started an NLDS game for the Arizona Diamondbacks oddly enough against the Brewers and it didn’t go so well. In 5 1/3rd inning Hudson gave up 5 runs on 9 hits and took the loss in Game 2. Milwaukee went on to beat Arizona 3 games to 2 in that series.

So how would Hudson fair against the Brewers as a closer in a wild card game? As it turns out pretty well. Thames struck out swinging for the first out of the inning. Lorenzo Cain singled to out the tying run on base, but Hudson got Orlando Arcia to foul out to the catcher for the second out. Ben Gamel then lined out to centerfield stranding Cain at 1st base and ending the game.

Strasburg picked up the win for the Nationals out of the bullpen while Hudson got the save. Hader was tagged with the loss. The Nationals advance to the NLDS to face the Los Angeles Dodgers. Game 1 is tomorrow in Los Angeles. Corbin will get the start for the Nationals while the Dodges starter is currently undecided.

Tonight the American League wild card game will be played as the Tampa Bay Rays are in Oakland to face the A’s. The game is scheduled to start around 7:10 Central time.

Charlie Morton gets the start for Tampa bay while Oakland is going with Sean Manaea. Morton went 16-6 in 35 starts with an ERA of 3.05 over 194 2/3rds innings. Manaea has pitched in just 5 games this season covering 29 2/3rd inning, but he is 4-0 with an ERA of 1.21.

On paper it looks like the Ray might have a big advantage on the mound to start as it’s been asked how many innings Manaea can give the A’s. Out of his five starts Manaea has two in which he went 6 innings and one where he went 7 innings; so if he’s pitching well innings shouldn’t be an issue for him or the A’s tonight.

Both of these teams have deep quality bullpens; so it will be interesting to see how long of a leash each starting pitcher has. You have to wonder if either starter will be allowed to work out of a little trouble fi they get in it or if they bullpen will be ready to go in that case.

The winner of tonight’s game moves on to face the Houston Astros in the ALDS. So who do you have moving on? Do you have the Rays or the A’s getting the win tonight?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you do happen to miss the podcast live all you have to do is find your way over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast at your leisure.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: September 28, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

We’re into the final weekend of the Major League Baseball season. Every team has two games left except the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox who have three game left and are scheduled to play a doubleheader today to even their schedule up with the rest of the teams.

It seems as everything is decided for the baseball playoffs except where the American League wild card game will be played. The Tampa Bay Rays and the Oakland A’s have identical records heading into today’s game. If these two teams end up tied after the final two games it would be the A’s that get to host the wild card game since they won the season series between the two teams.

Now there still is a chance that the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals could end up tied for 1st place in the NL Central. If this was to happen the teams would have to play a game 163 to decide who is the NL Central champion and who the wild card team would be. The losing team in this scenario would then have to go to Washington to face the Nationals in the wild card game since the Nationals are the home team for the National League wild card game. Both the Brewers and the Cardinals lost last night; so the Cardinals held on to their one game division lead.

I did find it humorous that there was quite a bit of complaining out of the Brewers about the line up the Chicago Cubs where playing against the Cardinals last night. Oddly with a line up that Milwaukee saw a sub-par the Cubs managed to break their 9-game losing streak as they beat the Cardinals last night 8-2. The Cubs scored all 8 of their runs against the Cardinals bullpen.

Maybe the Brewers should’ve been more focused on their match up with the Colorado Rockies instead of what line up the Cubs had for there game. Colorado easily beat Milwaukee 11-7 last night. The score actually makes the game look closer than it was as Milwaukee scored 2 runs in the 8th inning and 3 runs in the 9th inning to make the final score closer than what the game actually was.

The Brewers had bullpen issues just like the Cardinals did last night. Milwaukee’s bullpen gave up 10 runs over a 3 inning span. The only Milwaukee reliever than didn’t give up any runs last night was Jimmy Nelson who worked the 8th inning and walked one hitter, but he also recorded a strikeout.

Honestly though I think if you looked at every team the biggest issue they probably have is a bad bullpen as that seems to be the theme around Major League Baseball this season; well besides the juiced up baseballs.

I’m sure that the fans of the Boston Red Sox where thrilled when the team came out yesterday and mentioned that one of their top priorities heading into the off season was the get themselves under MLB’s luxury tax. I’m guessing trying to cut payroll isn’t something Red Sox fans will be excited about. The question now becomes; how can they get there?

The Red Sox are about $60 million dollars under the luxury tax with the contracts that they’re committed to for next season. The Red Sox have 6 free agents and 1 player with a mutual option; so they will probably let most if not all of those players walk away after this season or should I say these final two games. The problem the Red Sox have to deal with is that they have 9 players headed to arbitration and there are some interesting names that the Red Sox will have to make some tough decisions on.

Brandon Workman, Steven Wright, Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree and Sandy Leon are five of the players the Red Sox have going to arbitration. There’s a chance that the Red Sox may just let these five players go into free agency and not offer arbitration to any of them. That would help the Red Sox towards their luxury tax goals, but it probably won’t get them all the way to where they need to go.

The Red Sox are going to have to make some tough decisions on the other four players headed to arbitration. Those four players are Jackie Bradley Jr, Eduardo Rodriquez, Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts. Is there a chance that we could see one or more of these players dealt this off season? If the Red Sox do decide to trade one of these players; who is the most likely to get traded? and what could they get in return for that player?

Benintendi is just headed into arbitration and while his salary is going to jump up from the $717,500 he made last season I don’t think he’s the guy that Boston trades.

Rodriquez is coming off a career year; 19-6 with a 3.80 ERA in 33 starts while pitching 196 1/3rd innings. With all of the pitching issues the Red Sox had this season and the fact that Rick Porcello is one of their impending free agents you have to think that Rodriguez will be sticking around.

That leaves Betts and Bradley to try and help the Red Sox meet that luxury tax threshold they’ve talked about. While Betts numbers are down from last season when he won the MVP there’s nothing wrong with hitting close to .300 with 30 home runs. Betts was awarded $20 million dollars in arbitration last season and you have to think that number is going to go up, but how high will it go? Could we see his salary jump to $25 million dollars for next season. This is Betts last year of arbitration and he could bring a good return in a trade. Bradley Jr is an interesting case. Bradly Jr has just never hit at the major league level and has a career batting average of .236. He will hit about 20 home runs a season, but he is one of the best defensive centerfielders in baseball. The question is; what’s that worth to another team? Bradley Jr. made $8.55 million dollars in arbitration last year; so you have to figure that his salary will be $10 million dollars or more for next season. What can Boston get for a light hitting, but great defensive centerfielder?

Who do you see the Red Sox trading Betts, Bradley or maybe both?

Now the wild card in this for Boston is J.D. Martinez who can opt out of his contract this off season. While I think it would be foolish for Martinez to walk away from the $23.75 million dollars he’s scheduled to make next season he is a Scott Boras client. If Martinez does opt out there’s very little chance that the Red Sox would be interested in bringing him back as getting that salary off of their books would really help them with their goal of getting under the luxury tax. Also I’m not sure if Martinez would get anywhere near that salary number o the free agent market. I believe that Martinez can also opt out of his contract after next season and that may make a little more sense for him to do as his salary drops to $19.35 million dollars for the final two years of his contract.

What do you think Martinez will do? Does he opt out of his deal? Or will he stay wih the Red Sox?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkrado.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast whenever you choose to.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: September 21, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

With the Major League Baseball season winding down I just randomly started thinking about next season and I realized something. There is a really good chance that the American League plays out the exact same way that it did this season. And when I say the same I mean division winners wild card teams and even the standings themselves. Here’s what I mean.

In the AL East the Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays aren’t going to be playoff contenders even though the Blue Jays have some good young talent at the major league level they’re still a long way away from contending. The New York Yankees should be good again and they could be even better if they just stay healthy. If the Yankees perceive they have a weakness they’ll attempt to sign a free agent or make a trade. The Tampa Bay Rays should contend just because it seems like they always contend even when everyone counts them out. At times you wonder how they do it but they always seem to be in the playoff race. The only thing that could have an effect on the division is what the Boston Red Sox decide to do this off season. The Red Sox fine themselves trapped up against the luxury tax and there aren’t too many choices for them. They can either hang onto their players and pay the luxury tax or they can deal a player or two and try to get under or close to under that luxury tax. Will have to see how the new front office handles things as we head into the off season in about a week.

As we jump into the AL Central again we have two teams that you can eliminate right away. The Detroit Tigers and the Kansas City Royals won’t be contending for a playoff spot next season as their rebuilds continue. Even though the Minnesota Twins seem to be a playoff contender ever other year there’s a good chance will see them at or near the top of this division next season. The Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox hold the keys to how this division goes next year. Remember last off season the Indians where doing everything they could to cut payroll and at the trade deadline they finally moved Trevor Bauer. Will the payroll cut continue or will the Indians go a different route? Cleveland does seem to have built a good young core of pitchers; so maybe they could hang around in the wild card race if they do decide to trade off some of their higher salaried players. The White sox are an interesting team heading into next season because their rebuild seems to be coming along very well and it looks like they’ll have another young player or two in their everyday line up next season. It looks like the White Sox have two very good young pitchers at the top of their rotation, but if they add one of the top veteran starters this off season that could allow them to contend. The question is; are they ready to spend some money?

As we head out to the AL West it is clear that the Houston Astros are at and look like they’ll be at the top of this division for the time being. While the Astros do have some key free agents that they have to make decisions on it appears as even if they loose a couple of them they have young players in their farm system ready to try and step into that opening. The Oakland A’s are an interesting team as they just seem to hang around and the next thing you know they’re a wild card team. The A’s have been waiting for some help from the young pitchers in their organization, but they seem to keep getting hurt; so who knows if or when they’ll get that help. I think that you could lump the Texas Rangers and the Los Angeles Angels in the same group. It doesn’t look like either team is rebuilding, but it also doesn’t look like either team will contend. It seems like the Angels have been looking for pitching help since Mike Trout was a rookie while the Rangers just seem to have a mix of veterans and they hope they’ll all have big seasons at the same time. Even though they got off to a fantastic start the Seattle Mariners weren’t going to be a payoff team this season and they won’t be a playoff team for the foreseeable future as they just started to tear down this team.

Obviously we’re quite a ways away from next season; so this could all change due to free agent signings and injuries, but even with those moves I’m not sure how much this would change. I believe that there are only a few American League teams that could improve enough to challenge for a playoff spot next season and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we see the same American League teams in the playoffs next season as this season.

Now the National League is a completely different story. Remember not too long ago there where seven teams that still had a chance at a wild card spot. It seems like the only thing that looks like it might play out the same in the National League next season as it did this season is the Los Angeles Dodgers winning the NL West. There are multiple contenders in the NL East and NL Central; so those divisions should be up for grabs next season.

In the end what I’m wondering is if this is good for baseball if the American League plays out the same next season. Will fans of the rebuilding teams get bored with the fact that there is no movement in the division and wild card races or will they continue to support their team as they pile up losses as they go through those rebuilds?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you do miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast  any time you want.

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How was your week

Posted: September 14, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, fantasy, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well this week’s Thursday night NFL game had more offense than the first game of the season did, but I still don’t think you could call it good football.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers where able to even their early season record at 1-1 with a 20-14 win over the now 0-2 Carolina Panthers.

It does look like there where some decent fantasy players for your weekly league though. Jameis Winston didn’t throw for a lot of yards 208, but he did throw a touchdown pass and picked up 9 yards running the football. Cam Newton did manage to throw for a decent amount of yards 333, but that was the extent of his stats. Newton did run the football 2 times, but didn’t get any yards. Depending on how your league is score will be the determining factor o of either of these quarterbacks where useable, there could be some help here.

Running back wise Christian McCaffrey is going to be a let down this week for his fantasy owner. McCaffery racked up just 37 rushing yards on 16 carries. He also caught 2 passes for 16 yards, but was unable to find his way into the end zone. Peyton Barber averaged just 3.6 yards per carry, but that doesn’t matter to fantasy owners. What is important to them is that Barber had 23 carries for 82 yards and scored a rushing touchdown. H also had 1 reception for 7 yards to add a couple of fantasy points to his total.

If you own Chris Godwin in fantasy this season I hope you started him this week. Godwin had the best game of his career catching 8 passes for 121 yards with a receiving touchdown. Mike Evans had a below average game this week as he caught 4 passes for 61 yards. Tight end wise even though Greg Olson didn’t find his way into the end zone his 6 receptions for 110 yards will put him up towards the top of the tight end scoring in fantasy this week. If your in a league that score more for yardage Curtis Samuel had 91 yards on 5 receptions, but if you’re in a PPR league D.J. Moore would’ve been the better play as he had 9 receptions for 89 yards.

It’s always tough to judge how a team defense scored, but since there where no interceptions in this game and just one lost fumble with each team record just 3 sacks apiece I don’t think that either of these defenses will be much help in fantasy this week. If your league gives you enough points for it Carolina did record a safety, but I think that asking a lot.

If you did happened to pick up Carolina’s kicker Joey Slye he had a good night for you. Slye went 4 for 4 hitting field goals from 32 yards, 37 yards, 51 yards and 54 yards. That should score out to be an above average night for a kicker. Matt Gay of Tampa Bay hit 2 of his 3 field goal attempts. Gay hit from 323 yards and 40 yards while making both of his extra point attempts.

Hopefully you where able to make the right chpices and you had the players in you line up that will help you out of this game.

We’re at the point of the baseball season where it’s time to start debating who should win what award. Now I’ve talked about the MVP awards here before; so today let’s talk about Rookie of the Year.

While it seems that with his 47 home runs and 109 RBI’s that Pete Alonso will win the National League Rookie of the Year award, but I think this is a closer vote than everyone else.

Mike Soroka of the Atlanta Braves has put up some good numbers, but for some reason hasn’t really been mentioned as a Rookie of the Year candidate. Soroka has made 27 starts with a 12-4 record and a 2.57 ERA. He has thrown 164 2/3rd innings so far tis season. He’s struck out 130 hitters while walking just 39.

Danial Hudson of the St. Louis Cardinals is also haveing a season that worth consideration for Rookie of the Year. Hudson has appeared in 30 games this season making 29 starts for St. Louis. He is 15-7 with an ERA of 3.38 over 159 2/3rd innings.

While I don;t think either of these players have a chance to win the Rookie of the Year award I believe that both Bryan Reynolds and Kevin Newman of the Pittsburgh Pirates should be on every voters ballot. Reynolds has been battling for the National League batting title and is currently hitting .323. Newman has just had a solid all around season for the Pirates and is hitting .315 right now.

Even with his injury that ended his season I’m sure that Fernando Tatis Jr. will get some votes for Rookie of the Year and you have to wonder if he hadn’t gotten hurt where he’d fit into this race.

Unfortunately it appears that it’s been decided that Alonso will win this award and when you add in the fact that he plays in New York it’s probably a lock. I just wish the voters would take a close look at some of these other candidates before casting their vote.

There are quite a few pplayers that should be considered for the American League Rookie of the Year award, but sadly it looks like the media has settled on one player and when they do that it’s difficult to knock that payer out of that spot.

It seems that the award has already been giving to Yordan Alvarez of the Houston Astros. Alvarez has played in 75 games and has hit 24 home runs with a .316 batting average and 72 RBI’s.

I’m not sold that the award should be handed to Alvarez, but I don’t have a vote. Either way I think we should look at some other candidates.

In 79 games Luis Arraez of the Minnesota Twins is hitting .347 and has 17 doubles. Arraez doesn’t have Alvarez’s power and that hurts him in the voters eyes, but he’s been a quality player for the Twins since they called him up.

While Alvarez seems to grab all of the headlines it’s actually Eloy Jimenez that leads all American League rookies in home runs with 27 and is scond in RBI’s with 68. Jimenez has also played in the second most games 110.

I think that the only pitcher that win get any Rookie of the Year votes is John Means of the Baltimore Orioles. Means was the Orioles All-Star this season and has managed to win 10 games on a bad team. Means has made 24 starts and has pitched in 28 total games this season. He has an ERA of 3.47 over 137 1/3rd innings.

I think you’ll also see player like Vlad Guerrero Jr. Oscar Mercado, Bo Bichette and Zach Plesac get some votes, but like I said it looks like they’ve already given this award to Alvarez.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you happen to miss the podcast live just head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast any time you want.

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: September 11, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

 

This will be the We’re under 20 games left in baseball’s regular season and a couple of teams that are fighting for a wild card spot just lost their top players.

Last week the Chicago Cubs lost Javier Baez to a fractured thumb. Then just last night the Milwaukee Brewers lost Christian Yelich to a fractured kneecap To no one’s surprise both players will be out for the remainder of the regular season.

There are actually some reports that have Baez returning in October, but I think that’s going to be more of a wait and see type of situation.

As for Yelich you have to figure he’s done and you have to wonder if the Brewers playoff chances went with him.

Over the weekend Milwaukee took three of four from the Cubs. The Brewers have won of their last  games and have cut the Cubs lead for the second National League wild card spot to just one game.

Obviously it’s going to be tough for the Brewers to make up even that one game with their best player out, but don’t count them out. The one thing that Milwaukee has on it’s side is going to be the schedule. After the Brewers wrap up this series with the Miami Marlins they head to St. Louis for a three game series with the NL East leading Cardinals. That the series with the Cardinals Milwaukee won’t play a team with a winning record as they close out the season.

Once the Brewers are done with the Cardinals this weekend they’ll have two series at home. One against the San Diego Padres and then one against the Pittsburgh Pirates before they finish the season on the road. They’ll got to Cincinnati to play the Reds before they wrap up the season with 3 games in Colorado against the Rockies.

As for the Cubs they’re wrapping up a series against the Padres before coming home for three series. They’ll host the Pirates for 3 games, the Reds for 3 games and then the cardinals in a four game series. The Cubs also wrap up their season on the road, but there games are in the division as they go to Pittsburgh for 3 games before finishing the season with 3 games in St, Louis against the Cardinals.

The Cubs do have the second best home record in the National League, but they’ve been terrible on the road. The Brewer as have been good at home as well. They have the fifth best home record in the National League, but just like the Cubs haven’t been very good on the road.

You might also be surprised to learn the Brewers actually have a negative run differential. Milwaukee is -27 in that category while the Cubs are a +81.

Don’t forget that if either or both of these teams falter there are still three teams that are close enough to take that final wild card spot away from them. The Philadelphia Phillies are two games back. The Arizona Diamondbacks are two and a half games back while the New York Mets are still in the mix just three games back.

The St. Louis slowly pulling away in the NL Central and the Washington Nationals looking like they’ve locked down one of the NL wild card spots this is the last race left undecided down the stretch.

So who do you have taking the last wild card spot? Will the Cubs hold on? Or can the Brewers continue to stay hot without Yelich? Will one of the other three contenders end up with that final playoff spot?

The Most important part of Yelich’s injury was how it affect the Brewers and their playoff chances, but his injury also affects something else; the MVP race.

Yelich was the National League MVP last season and was definitely in the race for the award again this season. It seems to me that with Yelich most of the reports I’ve heard have just more or less handed the award to Cody Bellinger, but that may be a little quick to judgement there.

Bellinger is clearly the best player on one of if not the best team in baseball, but his batting average has fallen to .306 and he’s had some second half struggles. I’m not sure if this has opened the door for another player, but there are some options out there.

Has no one noticed the kind of season that Anthony Rendon has had and just imagine where the Nationals would be without him. Rendon is currently leading the National League in hitting at .335. He also has 41 doubles, 32 home runs and 114 RBI’s. Sounds like an MVP candidate to me.

I’m also hoping that people are considering Freddie Freeman as an MVP. Freeman is hitting .305 and he has 38 home runs and 117 RBI’s and is the clear leader of this Atlanta Braves team that is running away with the NL East.

Now Yelich is still going to get MVP votes and deservedly so, but missing the final 18 regular season games is going to hurt his chances of repeating.

I’m not even going to get into any kind of debate on who the MVP in the American League is. There are no if and’s or but’s about it; Mike Trout is going to win the MVP and I won’t be surprised if he’s a unanimous choice for the award.

Now there have been a lot of seasons where the media has tried to force Trout into the MVP conversation when he didn’t belong there, but this season is not one of those. Even with though he’s missed a few games lately due to a toe injury he still has 45 home runs and 104 RBI’s for a under .500 Los Angeles Angels team. Trout is also hitting .291 this season and while he has struck out 120 times he has walked 110 times. He has also made it into double digits in stolen bases as he’s at 11 right now.

This will be the sixth time in the last seven seasons that Trout has finished 1st or second in MVP voting and the one time he didn’t finish in the Top 2 he finished 4th. He was also hurt that season and only played in 114 games the year he finished 4th.

Even with Trout putting up these numbers the Angels have only managed to get into the playoffs one time in 2014. Trout is signed with the until 2030, but at this point you have to wonder if will see Trout in the playoffs at some point in time.

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How was your week

Posted: August 31, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The New York Mets found a way to get themselves back into playoff contention earlier this season when everyone had counted them out. It looks like the Mets have put themselves in another hole as they entered last nights game against the Philadelphia Phillies on a 6 game losing streak. The Mets where swept in back to back series first on the road by the NL East leading Atlanta Braves and then at home by the Chicago Cubs; a team they’re batting for a wild card spot.

With a starting rotation like the Mets have they’d hoped that these type of losing streaks would be avoidable, but each starter had a chance to stop the losing streak and couldn’t get it done. Last night it was Zach Wheeler’s second shot at stopping the streak.

Wheeler pitched well as he allowed just 1 run over 6 innings, but Phillies starter Aaron Nola matched him also giving up just 1 run over 6 1/3rd innings. So as it turned into a bullpen game you had to think that the Mets might be looking at another loss with the bullpen issues they had this season.

Mike Morin came out of the Phillies bullpen to start the 8th inning Mori had been pitching very well for the Phillies out of their bullpen as he had given up just 1 earned run in his last 10 appearances, but the Mets where able to get to him.

Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto started the inning off with singles before J.D. Davis popped into an infield fly rule for the first out before Joe Panik walked to load the bases. Amed Rosario singled to centerfield to score Alonso and Conforto to give the Mets a 3-1 lead and end Morin’s night. Jared Hughes came out of the Phillies bullpen and Todd Frazier greeted him with a 3-run home run to leftfield to give the Mets a 6-1 lead. Frazier was the only better Hughes faced as after the home run Edgar Garcia came in and got Wilson Ramos and Juan Lagares to hit into ground outs to end the inning.

In the bottom of the 8th inning Edwin Diaz was on the mound for the Mets and he worked a 1,2,3 inning picking up two strikeouts in the inning. It looked like it might be a night for Diaz to work 2 innings, but after the Mets top half of the 9th they went a different route.

Jeff McNeil lined out to start the inning, but them Alonso singled again before Conforto hit a 2-run home run to give the Mets a 8-1 lead. Davis drew a walk before Panik doubled to put runners on 2nd and 3rd. Rosario struck out for the 2nd out and that brought up Frazier who proceeded to hit his second 3-run home run in as many innings to make it 11-1. Ramos struck out to end the inning, but it looked like the Mets losing streak was going to end, but they didn’t make it easy on themselves in the bottom of the 9th.

With a 10 run lead Diaz was taken out of the game and Chris Mazza came in out of the Mets bullpen for some hopefully mop up duty. Mazza got the first hitter he face Scott Kingery to line out for the 1st out. Adam Haseley singled and then pinch hitter Logan Morrison drew a walk. Corey Dickerson singled to drive in Haseley and move Morrison over to 3rd making it an 11-2 game. J.T. Realmuto was able to drive Morrison in with a sacrifice fly to make it 11-3, but that was also the 2nd out; so things where looking good for the Mets. Dickerson moved up to 2nd base on defensive indifference before Bryce Harper drove him in with a double to make it 11-4. That wasn’t quite the end for Mets fans as Rhys Hoskins followed Harper’s double with a double of his own to drive in Harper and make it an 11-5 game. Finally Mazza was able to end the Mets losing streak as he got Jean Segura to ground out to 2nd for the final out of the game.

Not the most convincing way to end a losing streak, but on the plus side the Mets did score 5 runs in each of the final two innings. The Mets losing streak official ends at 6 even with an interesting 9th inning.

The Mets will look to extend this new winning streak to 2 games today. Steven Matz (8-8) gets the start for the Mets this afternoon and he’ll face his former teammate Jason Vargas (6-6) who’ll be making the start for the Phillies.

This is a big series as far as the NL wild card race is concerned. It appears as that both the Mets and the Phillies are too far behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East; so winning the division is out of the question. That leaves both teams in the hunt for a wild card spot. Currently the Washington Nationals have a 2 1/2 game lead over the Chicago Cubs for the first wild card spot while the Cubs are 3 1/2 games ahead of the Phillies with the Arizona Diamondbacks 4 1/2 games back. The Mets and the Milwaukee Brewers are still hanging around in the wild card race, but both teams are 5 games back and really can’t afford to lose any more ground.

If the Mets can win or even sweep this series with the Phillies it would allow them to gain quite a few games on a team ahead of them in the wild card race. The Brewers are in a similar position as they are visiting the Cubs this weekend. The Diamondbacks have a tough weekend series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Arizona will need to find a way to stay in the wild card race against one of the best teams in baseball.

All of these teams are chasing the Nationals and they seem to have the easiest weekend series as they’re facing the team with the worst record in the National League the Miami Marlins.

Now you didn’t see the St. Louis Cardinals name come up in the wild card talk and that’s because they currently lead the NL Central. St. Louis has a 1 game lead over the Cubs heading into today’s action, but it looks as though the Cardinals schedule isn’t going to do them any favors over the weekend.

After a rain out last night the Cardinals will host the Cincinnati Reds in a doubleheader to make up that game. While there aren’t a lot of doubleheaders in today’s game they’re not unusual. What makes this whole situation odd is the fact that not only are the Reds and the Cardinals scheduled to pay a doubleheader today, but they are also scheduled to play a doubleheader tomorrow.

This is a huge quirk in the schedule and I’m surprised that the players union hasn’t said something about this. Just imagine of the Cardinals lost all four of these games or even three of four it could be a huge swing in the standings. Of course it could go completely the other way of St. Louis won all four of these games or took three of four.

How do you think this goes for the Cardinals?

you can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast any time you want.

You can look me up on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: August 21, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I’m not sure how any people remember this and I know that the people who said and wrote it will never admit to it now, but when the New York Yankees signed DJ LeMahieu they didn’t think it would be a good signing. By the time the Yankees had signed LeMahieu they had already added Troy Tulowitzki and believe it or not these people thought that Tulowitzki was the answer at shortstop until Didi Gregorius returned from his injury. How did that work out?

Tulowitzki managed to stay healthy for 5 games and hit just .182 before announcing his retirement. Good thing the Yankees where smart enough to sign LeMahieu as well as Tulowitzki even though there where people out their who thought it was a bad idea.

Of course sign LeMahieu was coming to the Yankees from the Colorado Rockies there was immediately talk about if his stats would translate, but they seem to forget that LeMahieu isn’t a power hitter.

In 7 seasons with the Rockies LeMahieu hit .299 and won a batting title. He only hit 49 home runs in his seven seasons with the Rockies, but he 161 doubles while with them. As a 2nd baseman for the Rockies LeMahieu picked up three Gold Gloves.

There may have been one or two people after the signing who realized that LeMahieu’s swing was going to play really well in Yankee Stadium and it has. LeMahieu is hitting .339 and has set a career high in home runs already with 21. For some reason people seemed to forget that LeMahieu has always been good at hitting the ball to the opposite field and Yankee Stadium has that short porch in rightfield; so that may explain the increase in home runs. LeMahieu is currently sitting at 86 RBI’s; so it looks like he’s on his way to his first career 100 RBI season.

With the injuries the Yankees have had this season imagine if they would’ve listen to some of the people out their and passed on LeMahieu. The Yankees may still be a playoff team if they had made another choice and let LeMahieu sign somewhere else, but they might not have the 10 game lead that they have in the AL East and their road to the playoffs might’ve been a lot tougher.

Pretty much every year they try to stuff Mike Trout down everyone’s throat for AL MVP, but this season there’s no need for that as he is probably going to be a unanimous for that award. If not for Trout having the season he’s having it may be LeMahieu who would be the player being talked about as an MVP. It looks like LeMahieu will finish a strong 2nd in the MVP voting which would be the highest finish in his career.

On the plus side for Yankees fans when they decided to sign LeMahieu they signed him to a two year deal; so he’ll be with the team next season.

Each team in Major League Baseball has a little over 30 games to play and there are still quite a few teams hanging around in the playoff race even if it is just for a wild card spot. We’ve seen wild card teams win the World Series before; so teams just need to get in.

As the Boston Red Sox slowly fade away it looks like there will be three teams in a race to for wild card spots. Right now the Cleveland Indians have one of those wild card spots while the Oakland A’s and the Tampa Bay Rays are pretty much tied for the final wild card spot.

In the National League it’s a different story as you can rightfully say there are seven teams with a legitimate shot at earning one of the two wild card spots. Currently the Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs who are holding down the wild card spots, but there are some teams nipping at their heels. The Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets are just 2 games out of a wild card spot. The Milwaukee Brewers are just 3 1/2 games out of a wild card spot. The Arizona Diamondbacks are 4 games out of a wild card spot and even though the San Francisco Giants have cooled off from the way they played in July they are still hanging around just 4 1/2 games out of a wild card spot.

The A’s don’t have any games left against either the Indians or the Rays, but next Friday the Rays will host a three game series with the Indians. Since we are looking at just three games with over 30 games left it might not mean a whole lot in the standings, but it could send one of those teams in a direction they don’t want to go.

Of course with so many teams involved in the wild card race they’re going to have quite a few games against each other. Also the Cubs and the Brewers are still right there in the race for 1st place in the NL Central; so it may be the St. Louis Cardinals as the Central team that’s chasing a wild card berth. The Cubs are just a 1/2 out of 1st place in the NL Central while the Brewers are currently 4 games out of the division lead.

In an interesting move the Atlanta Braves claimed outfielder Billy Hamilton off of waivers from the Kansas City Royals. Hamilton struggled with the Royals hitting just .211 in 93 games with the Royals. Now the Braves have suffered some injuries in the outfield as Nick Markakis and Ender Inciarte have recently joined Austin Riley on the Injury List. The interesting thing about the Hamilton signing is the way the Braves had said they’re goin to use him.

Atlanta has more or less said that they have no plans to let Hamilton make any plate appearances. That means he’ll be used exclusively as a defensive replacement and pinch runner. Hamilton has always bee a top base stealer and even in a down season he still had 18 steals which put him 2nd on the Braves as soon as he was acquired.

How do you think the Hamilton signing will work out for the Braves? Do you think that he’ll get any at bats with them?

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