These Cubs are Here to Stay

These Cubs are here to stay. Sure, they were flat out average and boring in the first half, but it certainly feels like they have turned a corner in this post all-star break world. They entered the break 2 games under .500 and a few games back in the division, looking like they were in desperate need for a shake up, and that’s exactly what they got.
Looking like they must have needed that rest, they have won 6 straight out of the break, are 4 games over .500, and are just 1 game back of the Brewers who are just as cold as the Cubs are hot, losing 5 in a row. Both of these teams were in need of starting pitching, and the Cubs struck first, landing a block buster deal with the cross-town rival White Sox for stud lefty Jose Quintana. Small side note on this deal, adding a lefty seems like a bigger bonus, given that the front-runner Dodgers struggle big time against left handed pitchers. Quintana came out hot in his first start, giving the Cubs a badly needed spark, pitching 7 shutout innings, racking up 12 strikeouts and 0 walks to earn a win against the Orioles, making it seem like, for the time being, that this was a trade worth making.

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That isn’t all the Cubs have going for them, as it seems like they are finally getting healthy and clicking as a team. Javy Baez and Willson Contreras have been on fire in the 2nd half, and it is just making this team look more and more dangerous. Zobrist and Heyward are finally healthy, Hendricks looks to be coming back soon (he just through 5 perfect innings the other night in a rehab start), and everything seems to be running smoothly, with the exception of Kris Bryant’s nasty looking pinky injury. The first half Cubs are a thing of the past, and I think we should treat them that way. Time to forget it and move on.

All in all, things are trending in a very positive direction for the Cubs, and I only see it getting better. Ultimately  this team is en route to winning the division and will make some noise heading into October, especially if they can land another starter (they’ve been linked to Darvish and Gray). I’m sticking with the prediction I made a few days ago on twitter, the Cubs will not drop back below .500 this season.

By @ChiCubsCoverage on Twitter

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Twins Finalizing Deal to Bring in Jaime Garcia

The Atlanta Braves are Sending Jaime Garcia to the Twins as reported by multiple sources including @ken_rosenthal and @jonheyman

Garcia is 3-7 with a 4.33 ERA so far this year with the Braves. 

It is being said that a minor leaguer will be headed the other way in this trade! We will update you as more information becomes available. 

The Twins are just 0.5 games behind in the wild card and could continue to buy as the trade deadline approaches. 

Per @MikeBerardino a Twins beat writer, the deal is not expected to be completed tonight. 

Stay with us at @1N2W_ on the latest trade. 

We Could Be Seeing Alex Avila In a Cubs Uniform Very Soon

The other day we found out that the Cubs were wanting another catcher in Alex Avila, well it appears that they will probably acquire him. 

@BNightengale (on twitter) at USA TODAY sports tweeted, “The Tigers next trade chip to fall will be catcher Alex Avila, and no team has expressed stronger interest than the Cubs. It’s a perfect fit.”
Alex Avila has the best OPS as a catcher in the Majors. This would be huge to have behind Contreas who does need a break every once in a while. 
I would expect the Cubs to acquire him within the next couple of days, but you never know what may happen. 
Keep up with all the big trade news on our twitter @1N2W_
@jteeter67

Yankees OF Clint Frazier to be sent down to AAA?

Yankees GM Brian Cashman was on WFAN earlier today and was asked about when might OF Aaron Hicks return and what might follow. Cashman stated that when Hicks is taken off the DL, Clint Frazier will be sent down to the Yankees AAA team in Scranton. Frazier will still be in the majors for the at least another week as Hicks is not expected to resume baseball activities until they return from their road trip on Monday. Frazier is batting .298 with 3 HR and 8 RBI in his 13 games with the Yankees.

 

This comes as a surprising move to send down one of your hottest hitters, but it seems like the Yankees do not want to carry 5 outfielders. Frazier still has time to help the Yankees get back on track as they start a crucial series with the Seattle Mariners. Even when Frazier is sent down, he won’t be down for long as he will most likely be apart of the September call-ups when the rosters expand, barring injury.

Is Justin Verlander Headed to Chicago or Milwaukee?

Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander has been on a lot of teams radar lately, but are the Cubs and Brewers up there?
According to @anthonyfench who is a free press sports writer, covering the Tigers states, “that the Brewers are interested, … and the Cubs are said to be monitoring the situation.” 
I do not believe that the Cubs will go after Verlander that hard, but I could see the Brewers going after him. If the Brewers have any desire to make the postseason, they will have to be active this trade deadline and make some splashes and Verlander could be that piece. The Brewers could really use an experienced pitcher who could bring some leadership into their clubhouse.
Verlander has posted a 4.54 ERA so far this year.

Follow us on twitter to keep up with all the trade deadline news @1N2W_

Seattle Mariners Acquire David Phelps

News broke at 12:22 am by Mark Feinsand on Twitter that the Mariners were close to acquiring a  relief pitcher. He followed that Tweet up with saying that the Mariners had been in contact with the Marlins about David Phelps. Well at 9:27 this morning Feinsand broke news that the deal was complete and that the Marlins would be receiving 4 players back from the Mariners. At 9:41 Joel Sherman tweeted that those 4 players would be OF Brayan Hernandez, RH Brandon Miller, RH Pablo Lopez, RH Lukas Schiraldi. Below is my report describing the type of players that both the Mariners and the Marlins got.

Mariners get…

David Phelps

Phelps is a 30 year old reliever that has been a solid reliever. He is nothing flashy, but he gets the job done. Phelps had an outstanding 2016 season in which he made 5 starts in 64 appearances for a 2.28 ERA acrossed 86 ⅔ innings. He had a 1.142 WHIP. 6.3 H/9, 0.6 HR/9, 3.9 BB/9 and 11.8 K/9. He has struggled a little bit more in 2017, but has still been effective as the Marlins set-up man. He has gone 2-4 with a 3.45 ERA acrossed 47 innings in 44 appearances. In those 44 appearances he has a 1.34 WHIP, 8.0 H/9, 1.0 HR/9, 4.0 BB/9, and a 9.8 K/9. The bonus with Phelps is that he is arbitration eligible through next year so this isn’t just a rental. Nothing spectacular, but a solid addition to a very depleted bullpen.

Marlins get…

Brayan Hernandez

Hernandez is the prize of this trade, ranking as Seattle’s 6th best prospect. He is 19 years old and is very much a project. He is 6’2 and 175 lbs. He has a lot of potential in his bat that could develop into a very solid hitter. To go along with that, he flashes plus speed that will help him swipe bases and give him the ability to stay in CF defensively. He has a career .257 average across the Dominican Summer League, Rookie ball and Everett. In 2017 with Everett he has slashed .252/.306/.408 with 2 HR, 15 RBI, and 4 SB in 112 plate appearances in 28 games.

Brandon Miller

Miller is a 22 year old, 6’4 210 lb starting pitcher. He is Seattle’s 16 best prospect and was drafted in the 6th round of the 2016 draft. He is very much a strike thrower, as evidence by his 51/7 K/BB ratio across 56 ⅓ innings in his first full pro season. In that season he went 4-2 with a 2.72 ERA at Low-A Everett and has followed that up with a 9-4 record at Single-A Modesto. He has a 3.65 ERA to go along with his 9-4 record.

Pablo Lopez

Lopez is a 21 year old 6’3 200 lb starting pitcher. He was signed out of Venezuela in 2012. In his first 3 major league seasons he combined for 188 ⅓ innings across the Venezuelan Summer League, rookie ball, and Single-A Clinton. In those 3 seasons he had a combined 16-3 record with a 2.48 ERA. This year at High-A Modesto he has a 5-8 record with a 5.04 ERA across 18 starts. He had Tommy John, so his velocity is slowly ticking up. But right now he flashes an 88-91 mph FB with good sink and an average changeup and curveball. He has plus control and projects as a possible back end starter.

Lukas Schiraldi

Schiraldi is a 23 year old relief pitcher that isn’t ranked in Seattle’s top prospects. In 2017 at High-A Modesto he has a 2-1 record to go along with a 4.58 ERA. He has a 6.5 BB/9 and a crazy 15.2 K/9. Schiraldi is 6’6 and is a very imposing figure on the mound. He has used his height to register plenty of strikeouts as evidence of his 15.2 K/9. With these impressive numbers come a lot of free base runners to the tune of a 6.5 BB/9 and a 1.5 WHIP.

*All of my stats were found at BaseballReference.com*

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for continued sports articles! @TVo_20

 

Why the Miami Marlins should Rebuild 

 
 The Marlins haven’t made the postseason since 2003, and that trend looks to continue this season. The Marlins are currently 42-51 and 14.5 back of the divison leading Washington Nationals. The White Soxs finally decided to sell last season after underperforming in 2014 and 2015, and it has worked out great for them as they now have 10 top 100 prospects in MLB. 

 

The Marlins could potentially bring in the same haul as the White Soxs brought in. The Marlins have a great offense but a below average pitching staff. The Marlins have a team ERA of 4.69 which ranks 24th in the Majors. They are in a tough NL East where the Nationals are one of the best teams in the Majors, the Braves and Phillies are in rebuilding mode and the Mets are a solid team when healthy. The Marlins haven’t finished 2nd in the division since 2009 and it was the last time they’ve finish the season over .500.

 According to Baseball America the Marlins have the 30th ranked farm system the worst in the majors. That could quickly turn around to being the best. They have the players to bring in strong hauls from Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, Dee Gordon, Justin Bour, J.T. Realmuto, A.J. Ramos and Dan Straily an co trading these players would start their rebuild with a bang. By the end of the deadline, the Marlins could end up with one of, if not the best farm system if they decide to go all in.

Written by @marcosmen12 on Twitter 

The Official Pro Sports Fandom Midseason MLB Team of the Year

We are officially underway in the second half of the 2017 MLB season. And that means we can recap what a tremendous first half of the season we saw this year. A few of the writers here at Pro Sports Fandom came together and voted a Midseason MLB Team of the Year complete with players from every position. The player with the most votes was deemed as the Midseason player of the year at that respective position. 

The format for the team is simple, there are 4 starting pitchers, 8 starting position players, 1 designated hitter, 3 bench position players, and 5 bullpen pitchers. Now let’s jump right in to see the options for positions and who won the vote!

Starting Pitchers:

The Ace: Dodgers SP Clayton Kershaw    (6 votes)

15-2 with a 2.07 ERA.

Red Sox SP Chris Sale (6 votes)

11-4 with a 2.59 ERA.

Nationals SP Max Scherzer (6 votes)

11-5 with a 2.01 ERA.

Indians SP Corey Kluber (4 votes)

7-3 with a 2.86 ERA

Others receiving votes: Nationals SP Gio Gonzalez (1 vote), Dodgers SP Alex Wood (2 votes)

Bullpen:

Pirates CP Felipe Rivero (2 votes)

4-2 with 8 saves and a 0.71 ERA.

Dodgers CP Kenley Jansen (5 votes)

4-0 with 24 saves and a 0.88 ERA. 

Red Sox CP Craig Kimbrel (5 votes)

2-0 with 24 saves and a 1.32 ERA.

Rockies CP Greg Holland (5 votes)

1-1 with 30 saves and a 1.53 ERA.

Blue Jays CP Roberto Osuna (2 votes)

2-0 with 23 saves and a 2.11 ERA.

Others receiving votes: Brewers CP Corey Knebel (1 vote), Orioles CP Zach Britton (1 vote), Phillies RP Pat Neshek (1 vote), Astros RP Brad Peacock (1 vote), Rays CP Alex Colome (1 vote), Yankees RP Tommy Kahnle (1 vote), Reds CP Raisel Iglesias (1 vote)

Starting Lineup: 

NOTE* Starters in bold.

Royals C Salvador Perez (3 votes)

.282/.309/.513 with 18 HRs and 58 RBIs

Others receiving votes: Giants C Buster Posey (2 votes). 

D-Backs 1B Paul Goldschmidt (5 votes)

.317/.435/.583 with 21 HRs and 72 RBIs

Others receiving votes: Reds 1B Joey Votto (1 vote), Dodgers 1B Cody Bellinger (1 vote). 

Astros 2B Jose Altuve (3 votes)
.353/.420/.556 with 14 HRs and 52 RBIs

Others receiving votes: Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy (2 votes). 

Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado (4 votes)

.309/.356/.584 with 21 HRs and 80 RBIs

Others receiving votes: Nationals 3B Anthony Rendon (2 votes), Dodgers 3B Justin Turner (1 vote). 

Astros SS Carlos Correa (5 votes)

.320/.400/.566 with 20 HRs and 67 RBIs

Others receiving votes: None. Correa was the only shortstop voted for. 

Yankees OF Aaron Judge (4 votes)

.313/.434/.647 with 30 HRs and 67 RBIs

Nationals OF Bryce Harper (5 votes)

.337/.442/.632 with 24 HRs and 73 RBIs

Rockies OF Charlie Blackmon (3 votes)
.324/.377/.604 with 23 HRs and 65 RBIs

Others receiving votes: Angels OF Mike Trout (1 vote), Marlins OF Marcell Ozuna (1 vote), Astros OF George Springer (1 vote). 

Mariners DH Nelson Cruz (4 votes)

.288/.372/.532 with 20 HRs and 74 RBIs

Others receiving votes: Rays DH Corey Dickerson (1 vote)

Bench Position Players:

Nationals 2B Daniel Murphy

.340/.393/.581 with 16 HRs and 71 RBIs

Nationals 3B Anthony Rendon

.320/.424/.597 with 20 HRs and 64 RBIs

Giants C Buster Posey

.329/.409/.508 with 11 HRs and 40 RBIs

The Batting Order:

  1. Rockies OF Charlie Blackmon
  2. Astros 2B Jose Altuve
  3. D-Backs 1B Paul Goldschmidt
  4. Nationals OF Bryce Harper
  5. Yankees OF Aaron Judge
  6. Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado
  7. Astros SS Carlos Correa
  8. Mariners DH Nelson Cruz
  9. Royals C Salvador Perez

Manager of the Team is…

Astros manager A.J. Hinch

Now we will all be able to see how our Predictions fan out at the conclusion of the 2017 season but for now let us know ur squad on Twitter @TB24Gaming or @ProSportsFandom. I’ll leave the twitter handles of each of the writers who voted and participated in this article. 

Writers who participated on Twitter:

  • @anderslee
  • @Dbeard13
  • @17riegel
  • @DadSox
  • @TVo_20
  • @PeteAgler        
  • @ProSportsFandom
  • @Ian_Cusick
  • @japodaca

Thanks for reading! Hope you all enjoyed!


Six “Outrageous” Hot Takes for the Remainder of the MLB Season

Below are six “outrageous” hot takes for the second half of the MLB season. Most will have you scratching your head with disbelief or asking yourself “are they crazy” but that’s the point of this piece. We hope you enjoy your read!


Someone on the Nationals will win MVP… But his name is not Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, Ryan Zimmerman or even Max Scherzer. By@dadsox

Yes, you heard me. Anthony Rendon will end up being the 2017 NL MVP even though he wasn’t elected into this year’s All Star Game. Rendon didn’t hit his first home run until April 30th, but since then Rendon has been on an absolute tear. Since the homer on April 30th, he is slashing .356/.462/.731 to go with 20 home runs and 59 RBI (Rendon has 64 RBI on the season) while adding in 5 stolen bases for the Nationals powerful lineup. Rendon currently leads all National League hitters in WAR at 5.0 the only player he trails in the MLB is Aaron Judge who currently sits at 5.3 on the season. Usually, with that type of power comes strikeouts, but the Nationals’ 3rd baseman has a terrific K/BB ratio with 53 walks against 49 strikeouts this year! Anthony Rendon may not be the first name you think of when you think about the Washington Nationals, but he will finish first in the 2017 National League MVP race after continuing his dominance throughout the remainder of the regular season.

 


The winner of the American League East will not be the Red Sox….or the Yankees. By @bstabz1

The Tampa Bay Rays will win the AL East. Boom. There it is. Boston and New York are favorites by Vegas and by many baseball watchers to win the AL East, however, the Rays have remained at least 4 games above .500 all season and are currently 2 games behind Boston for the top spot in the division. They also have the 3rd highest slugging percentage in the AL with breakout seasons from Corey Dickerson, Logan Morrison, and a healthy Wilson Ramos. The Rays rotation isn’t eye-popping but could improve mightily with the potential call up of screwballer Brent Honeywell and if Honeywell meets Rays fans’ expectations. The Rays are currently 7-3 in their last 10 while Boston and New York are 4-6. While powers of the division struggle, look for the Rays to use the upcoming trade deadline to potentially bolster their pitching staff, specifically their bullpen. 


Milwaukee Finishes 4th…in the National League Central. By @pdnorton3

After three teams in the NL Central won 90+ games back in 2015 and the Cubs won the World Series in 2016, the division has been a bit of a disappointment. If the restart after the All Star Break is any indication of what the next sixty-five games may entail, the Brew-Crew will slip into fourth place only ahead of the Reds to end the 2017 season. After a promising start and a comfortable division lead heading into the break, a slump will overtake their season and their young core won’t be able to recover without strong veteran leadership in the clubhouse. They’ve exceeded expectations to this point, but watch for them to come back down to earth in the near future. 


The Nationals will choke away the NL East. By @jacksongilbride

This is easily one of the most outrageous posts in this piece but, to this point (7/19), Washington is 57-36 and no other team is even above .500 in their division. But the Miami Marlins are using the long ball to their advantage this year and have a drive like no other since Jose Fernandez passed last September, with Stanton on fire at the moment (nine HRs in last 10 games) look for Miami start piling on some wins and get within reach of Washington. Don’t count out Atlanta, either. The Braves are a young and talented squad potentially looking to make a run if they can acquire some pitching before the trade deadline, as reported. If the Nationals do nothing other than adding Madson and Doolittle to their bullpen from the Athletics, it’ll be Doolittle, Doo-late. Relying on starting pitching only gets you so far in the National League and they are lacking all effort in the bullpen. 


The AL MVP plays for the Houston Astros… but is not named Jose Altuve or Carlos Correa. By @prosportsfandom

At the moment, Aaron Judge looks like the sure-fire pick for winning AL MVP.  I predict Aaron Judges will simmer down in the second half and one player will grow his game exponentially. That player is George Springer of the Houston Astros. Springer is hitting .304 on the season with 27 homers and has played a pivotal role in the Astros’ dynamic offense. Then again, for this to happen, Aaron Judge will have to slow down rapidly along with the Yankees. What I predict to happen is Judge to slow down his efforts and George Springer to light-up the world in the second half, finishing the year with 45 HRs while hitting over .320 and finishes the year leading the league in WAR.


The Diamondbacks will win the NL West. By @rjsmith_99

The Arizona Diamondbacks are 54-39 but find themselves 10.5 games back in the NL West behind the scorching hot Dodgers. With the acquisition of slugger, JD Martinez, the D-Backs look to continue their strong play into the second half of the season. Led by MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt and co. I feel the D-Backs are in a position to go on an impressive run. But keep in mind, getting to the Dodgers will be tough and in order to do this, the Dodgers will need to slow down and I feel that is a possibility. You should expect regression from players like Alex Wood who is currently 11-0 on the year with a 1.56 ERA and even Bellinger who is on pace for over 45 HRs. In order for the D-Backs to catch up to the Dodgers a lot will need to happen, but nothing that is impossible.


Thank you for reading our some-what outrageous takes for the remainder of the MLB season. Each writer’s Twitter handle can be found next to the title of their take. Make sure to follow @prosportsfandom on Twitter for more

 

Yoan Moncada has officially been called up by the Chicago White Sox

After months of waiting and developing in AAA Charlotte, Yoan Moncada has officially gotten the call to return to the majors, according to Brian Bilek (  on Twitter.

This time however, he will be wearing a different color of socks.  Yoan Moncada originally made his major league debut with the Boston Red Sox on September 2nd, 2016 where he went 0/2 with a walk and a strikeout in that game.  Moncada then collected 4 hits in the next 2 days, but struggled over his next 9 plate appearances, striking out every single time.

The White Sox traded for Yoan Moncada as part of the Chris Sale deal on December 6th, 2016 after seeing the potential he flashed in the few games he played.  The Cuban native has spent the entire season in AAA Charlotte for the Chicago White Sox working on his defense at second base and his plate discipline, raising his walk rate by 0.7% and lowering his strikeout rate by nearly 2%.  Yoan Moncada has been putting together a great season in Charlotte with 12 home runs to go along with 17 stolen bases (getting caught stealing only 7 times for a 70.8% stolen base rate).

This call-up of the #1 prospect in baseball was announced shortly after the White Sox dealt 3B Todd Frazier, RHP David Robertson, and RHP Tommy Kahnle to the New York Yankees for a package of RHP Tyler Clippard, CF Blake Rutherford, CF Tito Polo, and LHP Ian Clarkin.  The White Sox waited to bring up the young Cuban infielder because Rick Hahn and the rest of the front office wanted Moncada to have an every day spot to play. The last thing the Sox wanted to do is have the young superstar sit on the bench when he needs the at-bats to improve his game and show that he can make it at the major league level.

White Sox fans have had a fairly exciting season even in the middle of a rebuilding year. They have been treated to Jose Abreu returning to his rookie year form, Avisail Garcia make the All Star Game while also turning into the hitter they expected him to be, and now they will get to be treated to one of the biggest pieces of their farm with Yoan Moncada making the big league club.  The call-up of the young star will clearly not make or break the season, but the South Side fans will finally get to see some of the returns from the trades they have made in the past calendar year.