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Friday, May 3, 2013

MLB Weekly Walk-off

Wild on Sports
MLB Weekly Walk-off
By Wild on Sports Analyst Kyle Kargel

It’s a month into the season and already teams are making headlines that you wouldn’t expect to. The Boston Red Sox who own baseballs best record thus far have shocked many with their pitching staff. The Tigers along with the Red Sox are set to challenge the 1998 Chicago Cubs record for strikeouts by a pitching staff in a season. Mets catcher John Buck is off to one of the most surprising starts of any player this season. Buck has already hit nine homeruns and 27 RBIs this season when his season averages the past couple years are 14 homeruns and 49 RBIs. On the other hand, Astros starting pitcher Philip Humber is wishing to start the season over. Humber has been known for throwing a perfect game as a member of the White Sox, but Humber has lost all six of his starts this season posting a 7.58 ERA. His future doesn’t look too bright either as he has a matchup with Justin Verlander in his next start. Still, a great deal of the season left for Humber and other slumping players to pick it back up for the remainder of the year.

Studs of the Past Week
1. Carlos Gomez OF Mil- Posting seven multi-hit games in the past nine, Gomez has been a surge to the Brewers offense that is looking for someone else besides Ryan Braun to do the heavy lifting. The Brewers didn’t know if they were going to get a powerful bat from Gomez to start the season, but they may have their answer now. Gomez has hit three homeruns his past six games and is always a threat to steal a base as he has four stolen bases in his past three games.

2. Jordan Zimmerman SP Wash- It’s not Stephen Strasburg that is making headlines in D.C., but rather Zimmerman who has already thrown two complete games this year compared to zero last season. His past two starts he has compiled 17 innings pitched while only allowing three hits and a walk. He won both those games with only three runs of support as well.

3. Miguel Cabrera 3B Det- Big shocker here, Cabrera is already at the 30 RBI mark while hitting a cool .373 on the year, picking up where he left off last season. He has five multi-hit games in the past week. He leads the MLB with 41 hits, so expect Cabrera to have a repeat performance of last year as he is capable of putting up the highest numbers possible.

Duds of the Past Week
1. Josh Hamilton OF LAA- Unable to get out of his funk, Hamilton is only hitting .216 this season, but has mustered a couple homeruns. In the 19 inning extravaganza with the A’s he went 0-8 with three strikeouts. In his last 32 at-bats he only has six hits which doesn’t add up with the contract he signed at the beginning of the season. The Angels are off to a lowly 10-18 start which is going to force them to win a lot of games come end of summer. If they want to win any games, Hamilton has to put up significantly better numbers.

2. Adrian Beltre 3B Tex- Although Beltre’s last three hits have all been homeruns, it seems as if he forgot to hit for average over the past week. The fact is, Beltre has only gone three for his last 24 and dropped his average from .250 to .215. He’s far from the .321 he hit a season ago, but he should get his average back up around .250 or .275 in the next few weeks.

3. Joey Votto 1B Cin- Votto isn’t having a bad season or really didn’t have a terrible week last week. He is only putting up average numbers compared to what was expected of him at the beginning of the season. Votto hasn’t hit a homerun in over a week and only has 11 RBIs on the year. He should be getting a lot more opportunities hitting out of the three spot for the Reds for the rest of the season.

Sleepers for Next Week
1. Omar Infante 2B Det- Called by some as the best number nine hitter in baseball, Infante has put up above average number compared to his stint with the Tigers last season. He won’t put up the highest power numbers, but hitting .300 with 15 homeruns and 60 RBI isn’t out of the question especially if manager Jim Leyland decides to move him around in the batting order.

2. Matt Joyce OF TB- After hitting four homeruns in his past five games that was enough for Joyce to land on this list for the week. Joyce always is a threat to hit for power; it’s just been the playing time that’s been a problem for Joyce in a crowded Rays outfield. As long as he’s able to cumulate at-bats Joyce has the capability of hitting 20 homeruns this season.

3. Scott Feldman SP/RP CHC- Feldman was a hidden gem with Texas, but then signed with the Cubs as a fill in starter or long reliever. He went 2-0 his past couple starts pitching 15.2 innings while only allowing three runs. As long as he can keep his ERA below 3.50, Feldman can secure a spot in the rotation and can possibly win 10-12 games.

Best Match-ups Next Week

Kansas City vs. Baltimore- This will be a true test to the Royals durability to stay atop the AL Central. Baltimore is on track to contend for the AL East once again, but is forced to win because of the surprising starts by the Red Sox and Yankees.

Yankees vs. Rockies- Let’s see how the Bronx Bombers handle themselves in the Rockies. Coors Field is known for allowing a mass amount of homeruns and the Yanks should take advantage and take the series between the two teams.

Atlanta vs. San Francisco- The Braves have been depleted with injuries to Freddie Freeman, Brian McCann and Jason Heyward among others, but slowly are finding their identity while winning games. Winning on the West coast will be a true testament to their lineup.


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