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Saturday, May 11, 2013

2011:Year of the Receiver

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2011: Year of the Receiver
By Wild on Sports Analyst Justin Davis

From year to year we see a strength of at least one position in the draft and in 2011 it was wide receivers. In 2011 3 guys were taken who have already made names for themselves as top tier players at their position and each has put up numbers as well as highlights that are remarkable.

A.J. Green was the first receiver taken off the board at number 4 overall to the Bengals and has since put on a show. Paired up with a second round quarterback in the same draft Green wasn’t supposed to be as good as he is as early as he is. Since being drafted the two time pro bowler has caught 162 balls for 2,407 yards and 18 TD’s. Green was impressive as a rookie going over 1000 yards and making a name as a spectacular hands receiver for his roll of highlight catches but last year was even better when he caught almost 100 passes for 1350 yards and 11 scores. So much for the sophomore slump. Green should continue to get better and as long as he does, he has potential to be one of the most prolific receivers in the history of the NFL.

Julio Jones was the next receiver taken at number 6 when the Falcons traded five picks to the Browns, jumping all the way from the 27th spot, and Jones as been worth it ever since. In Julio’s two seasons he has caught 133 balls for 2,157 yards and 18 TD’s. In his rookie year Jones lead all rookie receivers in touchdowns with 8 and finished second in yards behind A.J. Green with 959. Jones would have had even better numbers but he only played in 13 games his rookie season which makes his numbers even more impressive for a rookie. Last year Jones played in all 16 games and caught 79 passes for just under 1200 yards and 10 scores while earning his first pro-bowl nod. The difference in Green in Jones is that Green takes on the bulk of the load while Julio shares the glory with another pro bowl receiver in Roddy White and future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzales. When Jones puts up these numbers with the other receiving talent on his team, there’s no telling what he will do in the future when he’s the number one guy.

Torrey Smith was the 5th receiver taken in the draft when the Baltimore Ravens selected him 58th overall in the second round. The two guys taken between Jones and Smith have combined for 12 touchdowns and about 1500 yards (Jonathan Baldwin and Titus Young) which is less than what Torrey has done in his short career. Torrey has made a name for himself as a speedy sideline receiver who can blow the tops off of the defense and doesn’t look to slow down anytime soon. Torrey has been the number two receiver on the Ravens for the last two years but has still caught 99 passes for 1,696 yards and 15 scores averaging a ridiculous 17.1 yards per reception. Smith has been consistent in his two years catching 50 passes for 841 yards and 7 touchdowns as a rookie and 49 passes for 855 yards and 8 touchdowns in his second year. Smith should become even more of an impact this year with the loss of Boldin to the Niners but regardless who is playing with him, he will be a burner. Torrey also gains a little extra of an advantage since he has already won a Super Bowl.

All three of these guys already have played in the playoffs in both of their first two years and have already made an impact for their teams. Julio Jones has appeared in 3 playoff games catching 24 passes for 305 yards and 2 scores including a breakout performance last year in the NFC Championship where he caught 11 passes for 182 yards and both of his scores. A.J. Green has appeared in 2 playoff games catching 10 passes for 127 yards while losing to the Texans both years. Torrey Smith has the most experience playing in 6 career playoff games including a Super Bowl. In his 6 postseason games Smith has caught 15 passes for 324 yards and 3 scores. These three receivers have combined for 49 catches for 756 yards and 5 touchdowns in the playoffs in only two years which only helps in my argument of what I think of these three receivers.

I believe the 2011 draft will go down in history as one of the greatest receiving drafts of all time. There are a few good receivers outside of these guys that were drafted the same year but these guys alone make it what it is. If these three guys continue to play the way they are now, for 10 more years, we are looking at 3 Hall of Famers at the same position in the same draft class. Obviously they are not the 3 single best receivers in the league right now, but I would put all of them in the top 15 in the league and all of them are only entering their 3rd year. Don’t be surprised if these 3 guys slip into the top 10 at their position this year and don’t be surprised to see them continue to improve.

AL East Bound?

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AL East Bound?
By Wild on Sports MLB Analyst Aaron Dorman


The next installment of possible landing areas for Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. If the Red Sox and Yankees are in the mix anything could happen, right?


1. Blue Jays trade rhp Aaron Sanchez, rhp Robert Osuna, of Anthony Gose for of Giancarlo Stanton
WHY IT WORKS: There goes the rest of Toronto’s prospect cache, but it’s worth it for Stanton, right? It’s the least Miami can do for them after dumping all those contracts into Toronto’s lap. In fact, maybe they can take Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle back. Stanton would fit right in with Toronto’s righty-bopping sluggers.
WHY IT WON’T: Toronto is currently in no position to deal away more prospects in a futile bid to contend. If somehow they make a miraculous comeback, it will be because all those veterans halt their declines and remind fans why they were acquired in the first place. Surely someone in that rotation can manage an ERA under 5.00? No matter what, they’re probably done trading with Miami, who haven’t exactly gotten much production from their end of the trade either. What they really need is a new hitting coach. It would be a shame if Toronto acquired Stanton only to watch him hit .220 and strike out 200 times.
PROGNOSIS: THEY CAN COME IN LAST WITHOUT STANTON JUST FINE

2. Orioles trade rhp Dylan Bundy, lhp Zach Britton, rhp Eduardo Rodriguez, and 3b Jonathan Schoop for of Giancarlo Stanton
WHY IT WORKS: Bundy was the best pitching prospect in baseball before the start of the season, although he’s dealt with some concerning arm issues so far this year. He’d still be a great centerpiece for a Stanton deal. Baltimore’s pitching has been solid this year so they can afford to trade him, as well as Britton, who’s gotten a bit lost in the shuffle but is doing fine in AAA right now. Rodriguez is a live arm in A-ball and Schoop is a power third basemen who’s been rushed. Baltimore has taken some real steps forward this year and could be one big bat away from another 90+ win season. Stanton would be a nice complement to Machado, and would represent a strong commitment by Baltimore to try and turn their lucky 2012 a prolonged run of success.
WHY IT WON’T: It’s a lot for Baltimore to give, and would leave them with only one true prospect in Kevin Gausman, currently throwing strikes in AA. It’s hard to tell what Baltimore wants to do with this team, as they were not major players at all this winter for big ticket free agents or trade candidates. It’s uncertain what their financial situation is either, or what they plan to do with extra money. Also, they can’t make this deal without Bundy, and another team might not want to deal for Bundy until his health issues are clarified. If Bundy goes under the knife, Stanton will not be an Oriole.
PROGNOSIS: UNLIKELY TRADING PARTNERS

3. Rays trade of Wil Myers, rhp Chris Archer, rhp Enny Romero and ss Jake Hager for of Giancarlo Stanton
WHY IT WORKS: The future Stanton for the current Stanton; Miami couldn’t ask for a better replacement, as Myers boasts some of the best power in the minors and right now only Super Two status concerns are keeping him from the major leagues. The other prospects are all decent enough and make up for the risk inherent in acquiring any prospect, even someone as ready and touted as Myers. Archer could start immediately, while the other two players are further away. Stanton would definitely make the Rays pretty formidable going forward, although it’s a shame he can’t play catcher.
WHY IT WON’T: It just doesn’t seem like Tampa’s style, does it? After all, they didn’t acquire Myers just to deal him away again. Tampa values cost-controlled players like Myers and may not have the budget for both Longoria and Stanton long-term. If Tampa does shell out money, you’d figure it’d be for David Price, who’s already with the team. The steady pipeline of prospects is what keeps the Rays competitive every year (and I do think they will get better as 2013 goes on), so it’s hard to see them dealing depth unless they can acquire a young catcher.
PROGNOSIS: UNLIKELY TRADING PARTNERS

4. Red Sox trade of Jackie Bradley, 3b Garrin Cecchini, rhp Matt Barnes, rhp Anthony Ranaudo for of Giancarlo Stanton
WHY IT WORKS: Bradley is close to contributing as a leadoff hitter with some pop, and Cecchini is an underrated third base prospect with a great hit tool. The pitchers Barnes and Ranaudo could both be solid starters in the major leagues, or better. Overall it would be a very solid package in return for Stanton, mixing quality and quantity. If preferred, the Red Sox could swap out Bradley for slugging shortstop wunderkind Xander Bogaerts, but for now this trade scenario assumes they can avoid dealing him. The Red Sox are off to a great start but currently lack a player of Stanton’s caliber in the lineup. They also have a history of dealing with Miami.
WHY IT WON’T: If Miami insists on Bogaerts, that could be a hold-up in trade negotiations. Perhaps Boston is placing more value on their young talent after getting burned by high-profile acquisitions like Carl Crawford and all those failed relievers they’ve piled up. Of course, Stanton is still younger than most “young talent” and he’s not expensive yet. And didn’t they trade away all that money so they could use it towards someone like this?
PROGNOSIS: LIKELY TRADING PARTNERS

5. Yankees
trade of Tyler Austin, inf Corban Joseph, inf JR Murphy, of Greg Bird and rhp Ivan Nova for of Giancarlo Stanton and rhp Ricky Nolasco
WHY IT WORKS: Austin is currently doing the best out of the Yankees’ trio of vaunted outfield prospects (the other two are Slade Heathcott and Mason Williams, both off to slow starts). The other two position players offer potential at second and third, although JR Murphy, who is hitting very well for AA-Trenton, could be converted back to catcher. Nova is still fairly young at 26 and his ERA is almost a full run lower (4.05) away from Yankee stadium, so he would be a fine replacement for Nolasco. Hot-hitting 20-year-old Greg Bird gives the package an extra bit of ceiling to balance out the trade. The Yankees could obviously use Giancarlo Stanton in their lineup. He’d certainly be an upgrade over Brennan Boesch. He’d also take the sting away from losing Robinson Cano.
WHY IT WON’T: Speaking of, you’d think the Yankees first priority would be to lock up Cano, as he’s not only the best second basemen in baseball, a tough position to fill, but he’s the Yankees only healthy and productive asset in the lineup right now. Trading for Stanton only to lose Cano might actually be a downgrade when you consider positional strength. The Yankees have plenty of outfield prospects but they are very light on young pitching and still ought to be focusing on finding another young starter, as Andy Pettitte and Hiroki Kuroda are not long term solutions, and along with Phil Hughes all are free agents at the end of this year. CC Sabathia can’t pitch every day. PROGNOSIS: UNLIKELY TRADING PARTNERS

Friday, May 10, 2013

Hoopshysteria: Semi-final Predictions

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Hoopshysteria: Conference Semi's Predictions
By Wild on Sports Analyst Talyon Perry

For the first time in NBA history all 4 conference semis are 1-1 to start, and it only gets better from here...

Oklahoma City vs. Memphis
The grizzlies are playing at full force, while Kevin Durant has his team on his back (35.3 ppg since Westbrook's injury). The Thunder could be in serious trouble with this series heading to Memphis.
Prediction: Memphis in 7

San Antonio vs Golden State
The Warriors are showing that they can beat anyone thanks to Curry (44pts game 1) and Thompson (34 pts in game 2). This series could easily be 2-0 if Golden State hasn't blown their 16pt lead in game one. San Antonio has looked strong but is missing the firepower that the Warriors have.
Prediction: Warriors in 6

Miami vs Chicago
Who would have thought that the Bulls would get to round 2 and beat the Heat in game one (especially without Rose)? Unfortunately for them, the Heat have the momentum and will be impossible to stop, The Big 3 will win the next 3.
Prediction Heat in 5

New York vs Indiana
Carmelo did it! He got out of the first round, but will face lots of trouble beating a defensive juggernaut like the Pacers (Paul George and Roy Hibbert could both be 1st team all defense in most seasons). Luckily for the Knicks, Carmelo leads one of the most dangerous offensive teams.
Prediction: Knicks in 6

Puckmania: 1st Round Review

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Puckmania: 1st Round Review
By Wild on Sports NHL Analyst Josh Tarr

So, uh, playoff hockey anyone?

I have no clue how to highlight the first round so far… possibly the resilience of the young and inexperienced New York Islanders team? EVERYONE picked them to lose in either 4 or 5 games and yet, after 5 games they only trail their best of 7 series 3-2. Not to mention their offense has essentially knocked Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury out of the series after letting up 11 goals in games three and four. It’s pretty impressive stuff overall for a team who’s missed the playoffs for the last 7 years.

Speaking of playoff droughts…

A nine year post season absence is proving to be costly for the Toronto Maple Leafs, as the Bruins currently hold a 3-1 series lead. What’s been most devastating for the Leafs in this series is that they lost both of their home games and will have to play their do or die game 5 in Boston.

Speaking of devastation…

In the Western Conference, the 3rd seed Vancouver Canucks were swept in four games by the San Jose Sharks. Also out west, the 8th seed Minnesota Wild lost their series to the Chicago Blackhawks in five games. In the Eastern Conference, the 2nd Montreal Canadiens lost their series in five games to the Ottawa Senators, who really never stood a chance, being outscored 20-7.

Come to think of it, the highlight of this first round thus far has to be the entertainment value of every single one of these games.

Ever since my summer vacation started on Tuesday, all I’ve wanted to do was watch Hockey from 7PM-1AM, and beyond (EST, of course). What I previously summarized about these games doesn’t even begin to explain how good this post season has been so far. Ten days in and there have already been 13 games decided in sudden death overtime. No Shootouts! Just nonstop cutthroat Hockey until someone scores. There have been bench clearing brawls, hat tricks, unbelievable saves, huge hits and LOTS of blood. everything a Hockey fan loves to see, whether you’re a diehard or a fair weather fan.



Thank You Readers!
For those of you who didn’t know, WOS ran a page views contest amongst the writers for the month of April. Whosoever article got the most “unique page views” won a $100 visa gift card. Thanks to all of you incredible people who took the time to read my “Hearts Go Out to Boston” blog regarding the marathon bombings, I, no, WE won the contest.

I have decided in the nature of the article and in good spirit, that my earnings would go straight to One Fund Boston. Give yourself a hug if you read that article, all 468 of you! (and another if you’re reading this one.) WOS has also decided to match my donation, so to that, thank you everyone for investing your time in my work, for now One Fund Boston is $200 richer.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

New Goaltenders, New Result?

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New Goaltenders, New Result?
By Wild on Sports Analyst Jason Gillson

For the top two teams in the Eastern Conference it will be a much different look on Thursday night. With their backs against the wall the #2 seed Montreal Canadiens (down 3-1) and #1 seed Pittsburgh Penguins (tied 2-2 with the #8 seed) will turn to their back up goaltenders for game five. Both teams have struggled mightily and while certainly not solely responsible, goaltending has been a major buggibo and has fallen under serious scrutiny over the past 48 hours.

The Pittsburgh Penguins organization has to be scratching their heads. GM Ray Shero pushed his chips all in at the trade deadline and by most accounts hit a home run in terms of the offensive talent he was able to amass. Goal scoring is all well and good but they forgot one critical element -- if you can't keep the puck out of your own net it doesn't matter how many goals your team has the potential of scoring. For as good as Marc-Andre Fleury has been during the regular season over the past five plus season he has been equally if not exceedingly worse in the post season. Deer in headlight is a understatement. 

What makes you really scratch your head regarding Fleury is he had been, up until two seasons ago, a pretty solid, if not elite playoff goaltender. During the Penguin's back to back trips to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2007 and 2008 Fleury was 30-14 with a .920 save percentage and goals against just north of two. In four seasons since that 2008 Championship season the same goaltender is 14-16 with a .881 save percentage and 3.13 goals against.

What is different? His regular season numbers are incredibly consistent both during and since those finals seasons. Yet, when those cup crazies come out of the wood works to kick off the second season the "Flower" we used to know and love plays softer than the nickname itself.

Pittsburgh will turn to Tomas Vokoun in game five. Vokoun had a very respectable regular season in his own right going 13-4 with a .919 save percentage and 2.45 goals against. He was particularly strong against the Islanders during the regular season, going 3-0 while stopping 98 of 101 shots. That is a .970 save percentage for those of you keeping track at home. If that is able to translate to the playoffs it could completely change the outlook of the series and playoffs moving forward.

For the Montreal Canadiens the change in net was not necessarily a move they got to make but more one that was made for them. The Canadiens announced this morning that goaltender Carey Price, who suffered a lower body injury during the third period of Game 4, will be out for the remainder of the series. Unlike the situation in Pittsburgh, the issue for Montreal was not that Price was underachieving but rather the team in front of him was spending more time in the penalty box than it was in the offensive zone. Regardless, like Pittsburgh, the Canadiens have a very capable back up in Peter Budaj.

Budaj finished the regular season with an 8-1-1 record along with a 2.29 goals-against average and .908 save percentage. While he does not have a ton of playoff experience (five games, 0-1 with a 4.00 GAA and an .887 save percentage in 2007-08 with the Colorado Avalanche), his regular season number this season suggest that the change in net might just give Montreal the shot in the arm it will need if it hopes to get out of the 3-1 hole.

For both Montreal and Pittsburgh the time is now if either wants to see their highly anticipated playoff runs extended beyond a one and done. Will the change in net be enough? All eyes and pressure will be on the top dogs in the East tonight.

Giancarlo Trade Saga Continues - NL West

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The Giancarlo Stanton Trade Saga
NL West Edition
 By Wild on Sports Analyst Aaron Dorman

1. Diamondbacks trade lhp Tyler Skaggs, of AJ Pollock, ss Chris Owings and 3b/1b Matt Davidson for of Giancarlo Stanton

WHY IT WORKS: Arizona has shown a willingness to fill needs with their enviable pitching depth, and although Skaggs may represent the best of their young pitching crop he’s also the most unproven, and they have no room for him right now anyway. Pollock would replace Stanton in Miami but the real meat of the deal would be Owings and Davidson, who’d plug holes in the Marlins’ lineup with, at the very least, above-average power. Stanton would make the crowded outfield even more crowded but he’d go a long way towards erasing the mistake Arizona made by dealing away Justin Upton.

WHY IT WON’T: You can’t bench Cody Ross! Jason Kubel!! Eric Chavez!!! Would the Diamondbacks really trade both Trevor Bauer AND Skaggs within six months? Didn’t the Upton trade show that Kevin Towers doesn’t know how to build a team prefers depth and a strong collection of solid all-around players as opposed to one centered around a few stars? Does Stanton even fit into their budget?

PROGNOSIS: UNLIKELY TRADING PARTNERS


2. Dodgers trade of Yasel Puig, rhp Zach Lee and 3b Corey Seager for of Giancarlo Stanton

WHY IT WORKS: This trio of prospects would definitely be a strong, competitive package for Stanton. Puig and Lee are doing well in the high minors, and Seager is having a solid debut in full-season ball after being drafted in the first round last year. Miami could install Puig almost immediately in Stanton’s place, and could call up Lee later on this year. The Dodgers would have to trade Carl Crawford or Andre Ethier but the new ownership group seems to have bottomless pockets full of cash and Stanton would be the best player acquired so far since they began hoarding high-profile (and high-salaried) stars.

WHY IT WON’T: The Dodgers budget has to hit a ceiling somewhere, right? More importantly, they currently have no open spot in the outfield; that’s one of the reasons why Puig is still down there in the first place and until they can find a taker for Andre Ethier or Carl Crawford, they can’t trade for Stanton. Also, do they even want to? Crawford’s having a tremendous bounce-back season so far, and Ethier, while off to a slower start, helps balance out the lineup. The Dodgers are also somewhat thin, particularly in position player prospects, and may want to use depth to trade for guys up the middle or more pitching. Still, the Dodgers haven’t really operated recently with respect to need. After all, they had about eight or nine possible starting pitchers earlier in the spring. Bad luck and the Aaron Harang trade has trimmed that quite a bit. PROGNOSIS: POSSIBLE TRADING PARTNERS.

3. Giants trade 1b/of Brandon Belt, of Gary Brown and rhp Clayton Blackburn for of Giancarlo Stanton

WHY IT WORKS: Belt has already proven he is at least an on-base machine at the major league level. He’s off to a slow start but at age 25 there is still reason to hope he develops more power and consistency. Brown and Blackburn are solid complementary pieces who could help a team although neither is expected to be a star. The Giants have had some trouble filling the outfield corners with everyday players; Stanton would obviously help fix that. They also will have money to burn after this year when Barry Zito, Tim Lincecum and Hunter Pence all become free agents.

WHY IT WON’T Over the past decade the Giants have seemed to prefer developing their own stars, something which they’ve been exceedingly good at. Bumgarner, Cain, Lincecum, Posey and Sandoval have all come from within, and even Ryan Vogelsong was once a highly touted Giants prospect. The last time San Francisco traded away a top prospect backfired, in 2011 when they dealt Zack Wheeler for Carlos Beltran, who was solid but couldn’t push San Francisco over the top. Their farm system is already thin. San Francisco seems to enjoy success with their current model of tremendous pitching and defense, with Posey being the only significant threat in the lineup.

PROGNOSIS: POSSIBLE TRADING PARTNERS

4. Padres trade Chase Headley for prospects, trade those prospects and of Rymer Liriano for of Giancarlo Stanton

WHY IT WORKS Let’s just assume for now that a Chase Headley package could be used to acquire major-league ready and/or high profile young arms, or really talent of any kind, which along with the athletic Liriano, could be enough to land Stanton.

WHY IT WON’T Chase Headley will be traded in the hope of landing two or three future stars, not simply to swap out one marquis player for another. However, outside of Headley the Padres just don’t have the kind of high-end talent needed to acquire Stanton, unless they plan on shooting themselves in the foot. Yonder Alonso, Jedd Gyorko and Yasmani Grandal are the kinds of guys who could be traded for Stanton…but the Padres have no replacements for them. Down on the farm, the Padres currently lack any real blue-chip talents, although last year’s first round pick, Max Fried, could move into the top 50 prospects in baseball by the end (or middle?) of this year.

PROGNOSIS: THIS IS CARLOS QUENTIN’S TEAM

5. Rockies trade of David Dahl, of Eric Young inf Josh Rutledge and lhp Drew Pomeranz for of Giancarlo Stanton and rhp Ricky Nolasco

WHY IT WORKS: David Dahl is a five-tool player in the low minors, a potential superstar, but with CarGo, Dexter Fowler and Stanton, the Rockies could afford to deal him. Young and Rutledge are young but essentially placeholders, filler so the Marlins get more depth in the deal. Pomeranz has lost his rookie status after struggling in Colorado last year but he’s dominated in AAA, even in the hitter-friendly environment of Colorado Springs, so it’s not hard to envision him finding success after a move to another ball club. The Rockies could compete all year with this new version of the Blake Street Bombers…

WHY IT WON’T …or, as expected before the year began, their hitting could regress and their pitchers, who have surprised thus far, could fail to pick up the slack. It’s still safest to bet the Rockies don’t have enough pitching to compete this year, and that as good as he is, Troy Tulowitzki will not continue to hit like Mickey Mantle at shortstop. The Rockies may have a great lineup with “Tulo”, Fowler, Gonzalez, Wilin Rosario and the young phenom Arenado at third, but they still have no first baseman and nobody who looks like even a third starter outside of Jhoulys Chacin, himself a big question mark. Stanton could be the next Larry Walker, but what Colorado really needs to get back on top is the next Ubaldo Jimenez.

PROGNOSIS: DON’T WORRY, COLORADO WILL ACQUIRE JOSE FERNANDEZ NEXT YEAR

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

MLB Power Rankings - May 8

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MLB Power Rankings
May 8, 2013

After an impressive sweep of last week's top dog (Boston Red Sox) the Texas Rangers come in at #1 in our latest edition of MLB Power Rankings.  Not to worry Sox fans, your team did not drop too far (#2 this week). The Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves round out the top five. Speaking of the Tigers, they are this week's biggest climber moving from 10 all the way up to 3 thanks to four straight wins. The distinction of the week's biggest losers goes to the LA Dodgers (down 6) who have now lost six games in a row and find themselves in last place in the NL West. So much for that largest payroll in the NL. 
Where does your team rank this week?


1. Texas Rangers
2. Boston Red Sox
3. Detroit Tigers
4. St. Louis Cardinals
5. Atlanta Braves
6. San Francisco Giants
7. Baltimore Orioles
8. Washington Nationals
9. Colorado Rockies
10. Kansas City Royals
11. New York Yankees
12. Oakland Athletics
13. Cincinnati Reds
14. Pittsburgh Pirates
15. Arizona Diamondbacks
16. Cleveland Indians
17. Milwaukee Brewers
18. Tampa Bay Rays
19. Seattle Mariners
20. San Diego Padres
21. Philadelphia Phillies
22. Chicago White Sox
23. Minnesota Twins
24. Los Angeles Dodgers
25. Toronto Blue Jays
26. Chicago Cubs
27. New York Mets
28. Los Angeles Angels
29. Miami Marlins
30. Houston Astros 

Tebow'd Out

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Tebow'd Out
By Wild on Sports Analyst Justin Davis

I cringe every time I turn on SportsCenter and see the name or face of Tim Tebow. Never in any sport, at any level, should a terrible backup quarterback receive so much publicity. I don’t care if he is playing in Denver, N.Y. or wherever, the Tebow fanatics come out of the wood works and chant this guys name. Is Tim a great guy? Sure, he probably is one of the best. Is he a decent player? Sure, he loves the game and pours his heart and soul into every down. Is he an overrated, inaccurate, over-drafted bust? Yes, the sad but ever evident truth is that Tim Tebow can not play quarterback in the NFL.


Tim had a solid run in Denver and that will be the highlight of his career. Way over-drafted by Josh McDaniels in the first round, Tebow signed a bigger deal that Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, and RG3 and I wouldn’t let Tebow pay me to let him be in the same film room as those guys. Tebow was a great college QB but that’s where it ended. Since being drafted Tebow has had a great stretch leading to a win in the playoffs, but has done basically nothing else. He has terrible numbers, but even the numbers don’t explain how bad he is. How many times did we see a starting Tebow play terrible for 3 quarters, and then make some plays when the other team is playing the bend but don’t break style? And what happens the next day? “Tebow has done it again” is what we hear all week long. Luckily for us this year, he was actually a back up and didn’t play much but wouldn’t you know it, we still heard about him every week and still do now.



I could go on and on about Tebow’s numbers but I wouldn’t want the “experts” to hear that I’m over here talking trash. I wouldn’t want Tony Dungy who said that he would “take Tebow with a top 10 pick over any other quarterback in the 2010 draft” to know that Tebow’s career completion percentage is 47.9 percent or that he QBR in the “remarkable” 2011 season was a whopping…..29.9. Of coarse Dungy said that before the draft and probably would take that back now but he’s the expert, not the billion non Florida Gator fans who said he was not going to be great. Im not going to tell the forever Tebow loving cast that is everyone at ESPN that Tebow lead the NFL in fumbles with 14 in only 11 starts that year or the fact that he had 12 passing TD’s in those 11 starts which for sure ranks high with great quarterbacks. I of coarse am not even going to entertain his stats from last year with the Jets since he threw 8 passes for 39 yards or his rookie season when he only started 3 games going 1-2.


When the Jets released Tebow I said to myself, “self, thank God he’s finally released so I don’t have to hear about that controversy”. What I didn’t know was that during the beginning of rookie mini camps and basketball and hockey playoffs, I would still hear about Tebow. I DON”T CARE if Tebow plays in the CFL or what team might take a chance on him and neither does anyone else who isn’t a die hard Tebow follower. As if that wasen’t enough, now ESPN is offering him a job to be an analyst if he doesn’t continue to play football. I can deal with guys like Tim Hasselbeck being an NFL analyst because at least he knew the mechanics of being a quarterback and even though he wasen’t good, he knew the fundamentals. How am I going to listen to Tim Tebow criticize an NFL quarterback for anything when he couldn’t use the fundamentals to be an NFL quarterback.


I think Tebow is probably a stand up guy who means well and is a decent human being but I don’t think his backup quarterback career is worth my ratings on TV. We don’t hear anything about actual backups who show promise one day so why do we hear about a guy who couldn’t keep a spot in April on a roster with 6 quarterbacks in which almost all were drafted lower than him. Tebow could land a spot as a 3rd down back or a number 3 or 4 TE as a project and maybe even on a practice squad but if that’s not enough, take your overpaid talent and do something else. The media has ruined my ability to look past Tebow as a person with their coverage of him and that’s not Tim’s fault, I blame the media.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Trading for Giancarlo Stanton (NL)

Wild on Sports
http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2012/0605/mlb_u_stanton_gb1_600.jpg
Trading for Giancarlo Stanton
National League
By Wild on Sports MLB Anayst Aaron Dorman

It is inevitable. At some point before the start of 2014, Giancarlo Stanton will be playing for another team. Probably before the end of 2013. Only something unexpected, such as a regime change for the Marlins, or a devastating injury (his current monthly vacation does not count), could keep him in Miami. Even though the Marlins have denied shopping him, the fact is that the Loria ownership group are pathological liars and it’s hard to imagine them keeping around a disgruntled Stanton. The Marlins have a consistent track record of trading their young stars before they become too expensive through arbitration. Hanley Ramirez and Josh Johnson were rare exceptions, except they were both traded anyway and neither of them expressed open dissatisfaction with the franchise the way Stanton did.

Still, Stanton is such a rare commodity, a sure-thing superstar who has yet to hit his prime (at 23, he’s younger than many prospects!), so he’ll command quite a haul. Interested teams may have to give up their best two or three prospects in order to obtain him. At least the Marlins have plenty of holes; they’re scoring less than 3 runs/game this year, almost any position player prospect would be valuable to them. Now, the question becomes, what teams have both the need in the outfield, the prospects to trade, and feel they could contend soon(ish)?

The answer is: EVERYBODY. Seriously, Stanton is younger than many top prospects. His top comparisons include guys like Mickey Mantle and Hank Aaron according to this article: http://www.baseballnation.com/2012/12/31/3822048/giancarlo-stanton-trade-rumors-miami-marlins.

As such, almost every team could have some interest in Stanton. So I’ve tried to put together a ‘realistic’ trade for every team in baseball. However, I starred teams that would seem to be more likely to actually make a play for the guy. I’m also pretending that the Marlins are run by a competent management team who would take the players from the Stanton trade, as well as their current crop of rookies and prospects, and try to build a real team around them. Instead of, you know, trading them as soon as they are arbitration eligible.

NL East


1. Braves trade rhp Julio Teheran, rhp JR Graham, c Evan Gattis, ss Andrelton Simmons for Giancarlo Stanton and ss Adeiny Hecheverria.
WHY IT WORKS Shortstop is currently the hardest position to fill, so adding Smimons, who is adequate with the bat and a rising defensive star, helps offset the fact that neither Teheran nor Graham will be aces, and Evan Gattis is already 26.
WHY IT DOESN’T This is quite a reach, as the Braves currently lack top tier talent in the minors and are currently relying too much on their youngsters to deal any of them without create major holes. Most importantly, they are pretty set in the outfield with the Upton brothers and Jason Heyward, a criminally underrated outfielder who is not as far below Stanton in terms of talent as people would think. Maybe Stanton moves to first? More likely, the Braves contend and make a deep playoff run without him.
PROGNOSIS: NOT HAPPENING


2. Mets trade rhp Zach Wheeler, c Travis D’Arnaud, and rhp Noah Syndergaard for Giancarlo Stanton
WHY IT WORKS How nuts would it be if the Mets traded all those Blue Jays prospects for Stanton? A fun and eye-catching maneuver but that’s about what it would take for the Mets to pull off a deal. You can substitute Syndergaard for Rafael Montero or Michael Fulmer if you like. The Mets have some pitching depth to offset the loss of Wheeler and a second significant pitching prospect. They also have a catcher hitting .400 in a-ball right now, Kevin Plawecki, and if they wish upon a star you could see two more years of John Buck and friends holding down the fort until he’s ready. D’Arnaud gives the Marlins a significant upgrade over Rob Brantly.
WHY IT DOESN’T The Mets really are counting on D’Arnaud and Wheeler being ready to contribute this year and giving them a young core to supplement with free agents (and thus compete by 2014). While it’s easy to see Stanton being more valuable than either of those players combined, can Stanton, Matt Harvey, and David Wright be enough to build around? The current Mets management team has craved flexibility. That means depth. Lacking depth can really torpedo a franchise. Look what happened to Toronto this year after Jose Reyes went down. Superstars are nice. Pennants are nicer.
PROGNOSIS: POSSIBLE TRADE PARTNERS


3. Phillies trade lhp Jesse Biddle, of Domonic Brown, and 3b Maikel Franco for Giancarlo Stanton.
WHY IT WORKS Brown is no longer a prospect but he’s a young outfielder who is now holding his own in the big leagues. As someone who has proven this year (so far) he can at least be an average outfielder, his presence in a trade could make up for the Phillies’ relative lack of star-caliber prospects. The only two who really stand out right now are Biddle, who profiles as a no 2 or 3 in the major leagues, and Franco, who has some swing issues but is currently mashing (.300/.360/.560) for high-A Clearwater.
WHY IT DOESN’T The Phillies have a lot of question marks right now, and a Stanton trade would gut the system, but acquiring him could also keep them on the fringe of contention, as he would fill the void left by the sudden disappearance of Roy Halladay. Stanton, Hamels, and Cliff Lee are a core anyone can build around. But if they fall further behind, do the Phillies see it that way?
PROGNOSIS: LIKELY TRADING PARTNERS


4. Nationals trade 3b Anthony Rendon, rhp AJ Cole, 1b tyler moore and utilityman Steve Lombardozzi for Giancarlo Stanton
WHY IT WORKS Rendon has revived his top prospect status so far by hitting in AA and even making a big league cameo filling in for an injured Ryan Zimmerman. He is definitely a star-level talent, although no sure thing considering his injury. AJ Cole is probably the best remaining pitcher in the Nats’ minor league system, not counting a recovering Lucas Giolito who will not see action until some point next year. Lombardozzi and Moore are both capable of being full-time players for a developing Marlins team but are currently depth on the Nats’ deep big league roster. Denard Span would make one hell of a fourth outfielder/trade bait.
WHY IT DOESN’T The Nationals probably don’t have enough young and cost-controlled talent to make a trade for Stanton. The above four players are basically everybody, the Nats would have no ability to make further trades, and the back end of their roster could get ugly. Like the Braves, the Nationals have a pretty killer outfield. They also seem just fine without Stanton. In a few years their money will be tied up to the Zimmerman(n)s, Strasburg and Harper, and that should give Washington fans enough to cheer about. No need to get greedy!
PROGNOSIS: UNLIKELY TRADING PARTNERS


NL Central

1. Brewers trade of Norichika Aoki, rhp Wily Peralta, rhp Mike Fiers, rhp Jimmy Nelson, of Victor Roache (???) for Giancarlo Stanton and Ricky Nolasco, Marlins trade Aoki to Mets for 3b Wilmer Flores
WHY IT WORKS See that last part? Creative, right? The Marlins used to be great at finding creative ways to trade everybody, trading veterans for other veterans so they could then trade those guys. Remember when they had Mike Piazza for a week? Todd Zeile for a month? Mike Hampton for three hours? Anyway, in theory this is how a Brewers trade would work; Aoki and some of their pitching prospects for Stanton (and I threw in Nolasco since obviously if Milwaukee does this they’re going all in this year).
WHY IT WON’T The above trade is probably the best the Brewers can do…and it’s nowhere near good enough. The Brewers already have no depth and although they are ‘contending’ right now, any team that is playing Yuniesky Betancourt and Alex Gonzalez out of position in the same lineup is tempting fate in a bad way. They do not have the minor league talent to trade for another team’s star, and really, they don’t need to, not now anyway. Ryan Braun is a big offensive star, Jean Segura is coming into his own this year and maybe Milwaukee can find enough pennies to retain at least one of either Carlos Gomez or Corey Hart after this season. Home Run power is the least of Milwaukee’s worries. The biggest problem is that none of their young pitching has stepped up yet in the majors or minors. This year’s Mike Fiers, Hiram Burgos, doesn’t really count, since last year’s Mike Fiers, Mike Fiers, is back in AAA.
PROGNOSIS: BREWERS FANS BE THANKFUL YOU HAVE KYLE LOHSE AND LEAVE IT AT THAT


2. Cardinals trade of Oscar Taveras, rhp Carlos Martinez, and 2b Kolton Wong for of Giancarlo Stanton (and a relief pitcher???)
WHY IT WORKS Taveras is a ready-now blue-chip prospect who can immediately replace Stanton as a loud-hitting outfielder, one of the rare (only?) players who could straight-up replace Stanton without losing value. The uncertainty involved with any deal makes adding live arm (and big league ready?) Carlos Martinez and potential everyday middle infielder Wong necessary. Throw in an arm to replace Tommy John victim Jason Motte and you’ve got a deal!
WHY IT DOESN’T How crazy is it that St Louis would probably have to trade Oscar Taveras…just to make ROOM for Stanton in their outfield? Already Taveras is blocked by the formidable trifecta of Jon Jay, Carlos Beltran, and Matt Holliday. Poor Jay and his career .357 OBP is the weak link in the chain. What the Cardinals chiefly need is a real shortstop, as it looks like Pete Kozma might be AAAA material after all and Rafael Furcal is not coming back to St. Louis. Can Stanton play in the middle infield? However, you can’t rule it out entirely. St. Louis does have the financial flexibility to add him and has been missing a true superstar since Pujols said goodbye.
PROGNOSIS: UNLIKELY TRADE PARTNERS


3. Cubs trade ss Javier Baez, of Al Almora, inf Logan Watkins, of Rock Shoulders and of Nate Schierholtz (majors) for Giancarlo Stanton
WHY IT WORKS Well, this would mean putting together a package of talented but unproven prospects, a whole lot of quantity, for Stanton. The Cubs could certainly use a young star like Stanton. Tony Rizzo is hitting home runs and Starlin Castro is young but both players are flawed; the rest of their roster is pretty uninspiring. Javier Baez plays the same position as Castro so he is somewhat more expendable in the Cubs search for other needs around the diamond. Baez is a top 25-30 prospect but he’s very aggressive at the plate, to the point where he has some bust potential. Al Almora was Chicago’s first round draft pick last year.
WHY IT WON’T The Cubs need everything, but what they really need is pitching. They don’t have much in the majors and they have even less in the minors. I’m sure the Cubs would love to add Stanton but he wouldn’t make them a contender by himself. Chicago still needs to see what they can get for veterans like Alfonso Soriano and David Dejesus. Also, it’s hard to see a good fit prospect-wise with the Marlins. Outside of Baez and Jorge Soler, Chicago’s best prospects are just too raw (or, at higher levels, not talented enough) to compete with offers from other teams with deeper systems. I doubt Miami would risk a Stanton trade where they could end up without an impact major league contributor. Baez could be an all-star next year…or his strikeouts could pile up in AAA.
PROGNOSIS: SCOTT HAIRSTON’S JOB IS SAFE


4. Pirates trade rhp Jameson Taillon, rhp Kyle McPherson, of Josh Bell, warm body Travis Snider for of Giancarlo Stanton


WHY IT WORKS Taillon is a top 10 prospect right now, he’s finally striking out hitters in AA which means he may not be far. McPherson is a competent mid-rotation prospect and Josh Bell is a high-profile draft pick (he got $5 million two years ago) who is hitting for power at high-A Bradenton and building back up his prospect mojo. Snider holds down the fort in the outfield for Miami until Christian Yelich comes along. Or maybe Snider lives up to his past promise. WHY IT WON’T The exact combination of prospects might need some tweaking, but in theory this is a very possible trade scenario. The Pirates are competing this year, and they have enough depth at both the major league and minor league level to make a play for somebody like Stanton. Perhaps the emergence of Starling Marte makes a deal less necessary? There’s not much precedence for the Pirates spending money and/or acquiring someone as tasty as this. There’s also not much precedence for the Pirates being in the position they are now: realistic contenders. Might the Pittsburgh brass go for the kill? Pirates fans deserve it. There’s no buzz around such a move, but the puzzle pieces fit. PROGNOSIS: LIKELY TRADING PARTNERS


5. Reds trade of Billy Hamilton, rhp Mike Leake, rhp Chad Rogers, something nice from the low minors (Tanner Rahier? Jesse Winkler?) for Giancarlo Stanton and lhp Wade leBlanc
WHY IT WORKS The fastest man in baseball for the most powerful? Has a nice ring to it, yes? Hamilton is off to a very slow start in AAA but he’s still just 21 and figures to have a better approach and more gap power than your typical speed demon (a la Juan Pierre). Mike Leake may or may not have any more upside than Miami’s gaggle of fourth starters but he has big league experience and is still under control for at least 3 more years. Rogers or someone similar such as Danny Corcino, as well as somebody else, could fill out the rest of the trade. Leblanc replaces Leake as pitching depth for the Reds.
WHY IT WON’T The Reds have the pieces to make a deal, and a clear need in one of the outfield corners, but a trade for Stanton will empty the minor league coffers and put a lot of pressure on their 2013 draft class. Might Miami demand both Hamilton and lefty phenom Tony Cingrani in such a deal? And does insisting those two result in a deal breaker? Can Cincinnati afford Stanton long term after throwing crazy money at almost every player on their roster this winter? Also, Hamilton isn’t just struggling: he’s hitting .197. That won’t play.
PROGNOSIS: POSSIBLE TRADING PARTNER

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