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    MLB 2018

    Spring training has begun, lots of rule changes, and I can't remember if that bollocks about the final 3 batters is happening or not.

    Welcome to the new season.

    And, yes, I really think the Yankees are going to win it all, IF the pitching holds up.

    #2
    Padres have had some decent results in spring training. But they've likely peaked for the year now.

    Comment


      #3
      They picked up Hosmer from Kansas, so he should give them a bit more oomph in their hitting. And help the youngsters too, I should think.

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        #4
        They are blooding the kids. Margot and Renfroe will probably be permanent fixtures this year. But the whole side seems very young really. Even the manager is one of the youngest in MLB.

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          #5
          Unless a team has multiple major injuries to starting pitchers, it seems like picking division winners is pretty easy this time around but I'll lay out my picks so I can look back late in the season to see what happened in terms of wild card and playoffs. Plus I have to at least have something that leads up to my annual pick of the Dodgers winning the World Series.

          AL East
          Red Sox
          Yankees
          Blue Jays
          Orioles
          Rays

          I will say more about this later but I worry that the expectations surrounding the Yankees are too inflated. Stanton is injured for long periods of time most seasons, Judge had an incredible season but maybe that was the best he will ever perform, and the starting pitching is a concern. I'm tempted to think that Buck will work some magic with the Orioles to finish higher than the Blue Jays but Manny might be traded late on and I have no idea who is starting for them.

          AL Central
          Cleveland
          Twins
          Royals
          White Sox
          Tigers

          Royals could surprise here and finish second. They lost Vargas, Hosmer, and Cain. I think Hosmer is the only huge loss.

          AL West
          Astros
          Angels
          Rangers
          Mariners
          As

          I think this will be a very competitive division but the Astros will have it won early on.

          NL East
          Nationals
          Mets
          Phillies
          Braves
          Marlins (will have a record that competes with some of the most losses in the history of MLB in the expansion era)

          NL Central
          Cubs
          Cardinals
          Brewers
          Pirates
          Reds

          NL West
          Dodgers
          Giants
          Rockies
          Diamondbacks
          Padres

          I think the Giants will make a comeback, although starting pitching is going to be a concern (along with an old team but an old team that has another year or two in them). I think the division will also be tight with the Diamondbacks falling back to earth.

          Wild Card: Yankees and Twins, Giants and Cardinals
          World Series: Dodgers beat Red Sox (maybe I said the same thing last year)

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            #6
            Alex Cobb for 4/$57M. We finally have something resembling a rotation.

            Red Sox and Yankees are likely to be sent to London for 2 games next year.

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              #7
              Originally posted by jefe View Post
              Alex Cobb for 4/$57M. We finally have something resembling a rotation.
              The reports were that the Cubs offered 3 years/$42million so his decision to turn that down seems to have had no change on the AAV but the extra year is good for him.

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                #8
                The venue for the London series is supposed to be the Olympic/London Stadium, which I would expect to result in significant issues with field dimensions and sight lines.

                I’m glad that Cobb finally found a home.

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                  #9
                  I cannot recall a season in which there was more of a consensus as to the division winners on Opening Day.

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                    #10
                    A number of these are very good

                    https://twitter.com/sportslogosnet/status/976488266714071040

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                      #11
                      Hope springs eternal, danielmak.

                      An LA Times data wizard did an analysis of what parts of Dodger Stadium get the most shade and the most sun, and broke down game-by-game where the shade will be, and at what time of the day. It's a pretty impressive feat.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                        GHOST CRABS OF THE CHESAPEAKE.

                        Sweet Jesus crap.

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                          #13
                          Madison Bumgarner fractured his pitching hand on a hard-hit line drive in his final appearance in Spring Training and will need to have surgery to have pins put in it. He's looking at being back in June at the earliest. Terrible news for the Giants, who already had Samardzija on the DL.

                          With Justin Turner out for a month or so, Arizona will be hoping to jump out to an early lead in the NL West.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                            That's brilliant. It's only a matter of time before I start trawling for some Omaha Cazadores de Tormentas merch.

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                              #15
                              The flying chancla hat is for sure a must cop.

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                                #16
                                I'll be joining in the fun in August, with three new ticks (A's, Giants, Padres) and a return visit to Dodger Stadium.

                                If that all goes to plan, it'll leave me with the following to tick off:

                                Red Sox, Yankees, Orioles, Cleveland, Tigers, Brewers, Pirates
                                Rays, Royals, Nationals, Braves, Marlins, Rockies, D-backs

                                The ones on the top line I've cleared by sight, but I still want to tick them off properly.

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                                  #17
                                  The A's have offered to purchase the entire Coliseum site from the city of Oakland in exchange for paying off the $135M the city owes in debt service on it still.

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                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                                    Is this post an embedded tweet? If so, hurrah because that means I can now see them, and what a doozy to start off with. Eugene Monarcas for me!

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                                      #19
                                      Huzzah!

                                      Here is another one

                                      https://twitter.com/TodayintheMLB/status/978806538780512256

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                                        #20
                                        Iím going to opening day at the Trop to see Rays vs Red Sox. The Rays are going for a complete rebuild but Archer will start so they might win that one, at least.

                                        Comment


                                          #21
                                          Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                                          The venue for the London series is supposed to be the Olympic/London Stadium, which I would expect to result in significant issues with field dimensions and sight lines.

                                          Iím glad that Cobb finally found a home.
                                          Field dimensions should be fine. The Olympic Stadium is truly enormous - supposedly it can fit an oval of Test cricket size (so at least 137m square) inside of it in Olympic configuration. Cricket was certainly mentioned in the planning application for it.

                                          They got to 330 down the lines at the SCG for the DBacks-Dodgers games in 2014 with a few feet to spare on each side, so you really have to think that the Olympic Stadium will offer at least respectable foul distances. If they can only get to 310 down the line, it's so deep in the outfield that they can make it a fair park by just having some deep power alleys.

                                          If anything that might be preferable, as there are going to be some outfield seats a looooooong way from the action. It's an oval, so the sight lines should be OK, but you'll need binoculars to see anything.

                                          I imagine the field layout will look pretty similar to Sydney, but with a lot more decentish seats down the lines, which will make MLB very happy. I'm absolutely going to go - although it would be bizarre to see my first ever Red Sox-Yankees game in London* - but I expect to be charged eye-watering prices. Decentish seats at Sydney down the lines were about £100. There might be some slightly better value since the Olympic Stadium has 15,000 more seats and a better configuration than the SCG -almost half the SCG's seats were beyond the foul lines - but they're gonna charge along the principle of "if you want cheaper tickets, go and spend the £1000 for flights and hotels to America".

                                          * we always used to go back East in August, when the two teams never play each other

                                          Comment


                                            #22
                                            Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                                            I cannot recall a season in which there was more of a consensus as to the division winners on Opening Day.
                                            And where the winners are the same as last year, Red Sox and Yankees possibly switching aside (although I think the Sox are likely underrated, the Yanks still have a thin pitching staff).

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                                              #23
                                              Good to know about the dimensions.

                                              As to sight lines, I was concerned about the athletics track and the rake of the stands, though I imagine that there will still be less foul territory than in Oakland.

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                                                #24
                                                Can they not just make the fence higher to make up for shorter distance?

                                                Edit: Oh hang on, that would reduce the number of seats wouldn't it? Stupid idea.

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                                                  #25
                                                  Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                                                  Good to know about the dimensions.

                                                  As to sight lines, I was concerned about the athletics track and the rake of the stands, though I imagine that there will still be less foul territory than in Oakland.
                                                  The rake in the lower levels isn't that bad, actually quite comparable to Oakland to be honest.

                                                  It won't be terribly dissimilar to watching games at the old cookie-cutters like Oakland or Fulton-County Stadium in terms of sightlines. A long way from the field, but you'll probably be pointed in something like the right direction.

                                                  They'll need to build a temporary press box or something like that behind the plate though, because there's just scoreboard there at the moment.

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