Three things over the past week:
Trevor Bauer: This is the the biggest thing that happened in the baseball world the past week. The reigning champs got the reigning Cy Young winner. That just does not happen, especially when he is slated as a number three starter. The Dodgers were already the deepest team, kinda by a lot, and adding Trevor makes this team an empire. Dustin May is an absolute stud and that is the Dodgers 7th/8th option… I am trying to think of a team that compares to the starpower and depth the Dodgers have… ever. They are the best baseball team I have seen. Last year, they cruised through the entire season without David Price (former Cy Young winner) and he will probably be their 5th starter, unless traded. I get zero joy talking about how good the Dodgers are but adding Mookie Betts, David Price, and Trevor Bauer in a year on top of an already World Series Caliber team, is just stupid. The Dodgers have the potential to go on a 1998-2000 run like the Yankees.
Love him or hate him, Bauer will be the highest paid player for the next two seasons. He will literally earn over a million dollars every start (good or bad). Trust me when I say, nothing would make me happier watching the Dodgers meltdown and choke. I will manifest that into existence. MLB fans believe the Dodgers and Padres can be the new Yankees/Red Sox rivalry over the next five years. I agree, but the Padres are going to have to win to make it a rivalry. Currently, the only advantage the Padres have is that “the hungry dog runs faster,” one of my favorite quotes. Baseball is weird so keep your heads-up Padre fans. This city is starving and the Pads have the chemistry/ talent to do the impossible. Friars aren’t going anywhere for awhile. “Keep the faith” as Uncle Teddy (Ted Leitner) would say.
MLB Health Protocols: MLB and the MLBPA came to agreement on the health and safety protocols for 2021. Here they are: 7- inning double headers, Runner starts on 2nd base in extra innings, No DH in National League, Active roster of 26, wearable contact tracing devices, and face mask enforcement officers.
I only cared about the universal DH. I think the only positive from the agreement is that baseball will start on time. I get where the players are coming from and wanting to do 7 inning double headers instead of 9 innings, but I feel like double headers are too rare to make it a rule. Never was a fan of the runner starting on 2nd base in extra innings because it feels like you are playing a mini mode in a baseball video game. However, I didn’t take my eye off a pitch in extra-inning games knowing how quick it could end (maybe the rule will grow on me). Shoot me if the universal DH is not implemented after the CBA next year. Nobody wants to watch a pitcher hit. It’s not exciting and makes little sense for how serious player safety is taken these days.
PECOTA: PECOTA stands for Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm. It takes a player’s past performance and projects the most likely outcomes for the upcoming season. So, a computer is predicting the future. Three teams’ projections stood out to me. The Angels, Braves, and Cardinals.
PECOTA projects the Angels 87 wins which seems laughable because they haven’t addressed their pitching issues. Yes, they got Raisel Iglesias for their bullpen and added starting pitchers Jose Quintana and Alex Cobb who were good… ya know four years ago. I am not saying these can’t be decent pitchers still, but the Angels do this every year. Remember Trevor Cahill? Matt Harvey? I’ll even be half glass full guy. Let’s say the Angels starters click and have a top 5 rotation in the AL. Who is going to pitch the 7th, 8th, and 9th? I’m waitng… They led the MLB in blown saves with 14 last year. I can’t imagine how frustrated Mike Trout is. He’s turning 30 this year. That means the Halos have about four years to give him a true shot at a ring.
I don’t see the Angels beating the A’s by 8 games because the A’s have won 88 plus games six of the last nine years. I don’t care that the A’s lost Liam Hendriks, Marcus Semien and Khris Davis. This is how they work. Of course there are still the Astros. This is the most vulnerable they have been in years. They won’t have Verlander, lost Springer in free agency, and are we sure Altuve and Bregman are still that good? The fans will gladly remind them about the trash cans and I still want to see how they can adjust. I am not going to waste yours or my time trying to come up with a case for the Rangers and Mariners. The Angels had the best record in baseball in 2014 and then got 85 wins in 2015. They have been under .500 every year since. This is the worst the AL West has been in a bit. Good luck Anaheim.
Braves: How are the Braves are going to finish 4th in the NL East? The Braves were the only team to make the Dodgers sweat last year when they went up 3-1 in the NLCS. Keep in mind that Mike Soroka was injured and now they added Charlie Morton. They have MVP winner Freddie Freeman and arguably the most exciting player in Ronald Acuna Jr. They brought back Marcell Ozuna and I just want to know what am I missing here? Im laughing seeing that the Mets are projected 96 wins. I do not care who they added. They are cursed and always get plagued with injuries/ drama. The Phillies are basically the National League Angels. They do have Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler but I don’t buy into them at all. I think the Nationals give a better run towards Atlanta before Philadelphia. And last there is Miami, who actually made the NLDS. That was cute but Miami will come back to reality this year. I’m taking the Braves every time.
Cardinals: The Cardinals are one of the best run organizations in all of sports. They are always in the hunt for playoffs and if your team has to play them you never feel secure. They are pesky and I believe they are the clear frontrunners after adding Nolan Arenado. The NL Central have made virtually no moves other than the Cubs trading away Yu Darvish. The Pirates stink. Brewers seem average and need Yelich to have an MVP year to have a shot. The Cubs are trying to figure out if they want to rebuild or not. And the Reds lost Raisel Iglesias and Trevor Bauer. Also, Cincy finished last in team batting average. So what does the smart front office do? They add an MVP player to pair up with Paul Goldschmidt. Yeah, I’m taking St. Louis to win more than 80 games and the division, sorry computer.
See you next week