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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Kansas City Royals: From the Bottom to the Top

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Started from the Bottom Now They’re…
In Playoff Contention?
Team: Kansas City Royals

By Wild on Sports Analyst Anthony Cortese Jr.

The MLB league has been on a mass turn around. Teams you could find in the bottom rankings, just a couple years ago, are now fighting for a spot in the playoffs, while last season’s Champions (San Francisco Giants) are sitting 17 games behind the L.A. Dodgers in last place. So, what are some of the factors behind this league wide phenomenon? That question can’t be answered with a simple explanation. It all depends on the organization you’re talking about. This post is part one of a series dedicated to the analysis of breakthrough teams, with a breakdown of just why they’ve made it this far.

If you begin to breakdown the American League

Let’s start with the Kansas City Royals. This was a team who finished in last place in 2009, last in 2010, second-to-last in 2011, then made it somewhere in the middle at third place in 2012. Each year has been a step in the right direction.

The Royals made some improvements on the mound with a totally rebuilt rotation, adding James Shields, Wade Davis and Ervin Santana to the mound. Both Shields and Santana have proven to be a nice addition to the pitching squad; Shields with a 3.33ERA, while Santana holds onto a 3.19ERA. There’s no question the pitching staff if doing their part, but let’s not forget about the young talent in the batter box.

The bats have been on the move for the Royals this season. Beginning with Mike “Moose” Moustakas who the team drafted in 2007, is showing signs of life. The 24 year old is hitting .231 after the All-Star break. Although, that’s nothing to write home about, it’s the team with the most hitters, not the guy who hits most. However, something to take note of is Moustakas 30 RBI’s this season. Moose is still working through a calf injury; he was reported to be involved in some light activity in Thursday’s practice.

Eric Hosmer, who’s batting .328 through August with 10 RBI’s, has been one of the hottest hitter’s over the past month. Hosmer has 69 hits in the last 50 games, including 13 doubles and 10 homeruns. Partial credit should be given to interim batting coach, George Brett; the Hall of Fame player who signed up to help the squad in late May. Since Brett had stepped in, the offence has been improving with the likes of Moose and Hosmer getting their bats around consistently.

Aside from the changes made to the bullpen and lineup, the attitude of younger guys hungry for a championship mixed with skills of veteran players, seems to have given the Royals a jolt of determination. The team has 35 comeback wins this season, the most in the league. Now the fans of Kansas City must wait to see, if the fairly recent second Wild Card has their name on it.

The test continues tonight when the Royals try and gain some ground on first place Detroit Tigers, during their five game series. After last night, the Tigers lead the series 1-0.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

MLB Power Rankings - August 14th

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MLB Power Rankings
August 14, 2013

The surging Atlanta Braves sit atop this week's edition of MLB Power Rankings. The jump marks the first time the Braves have checking in at the top in three months. Last week's #1, the Pittsburgh Pirates fall three places to #4. The Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox check in at 2 and 3 respectively while the piping hot (9-1 over last 10) LA Dodgers crack the top five for the first time this season.

Where does your team rank this week?


RK Team RECORD
1 Atlanta Braves 73-47
2 Detroit Tigers 69-49
3 Boston Red Sox 72-49
4 Pittsburgh Pirates 70-48
5 L.A. Dodgers 69-50
6 Texas Rangers 69-51
7 Tampa Bay Rays 66-51
8 Oakland Athletics 67-51
9 St. Louis Cardinals 68-50
10 Baltimore Orioles 65-54
11 Kansas City Royals 62-55
12 Cincinnati Reds 67-52
13 Cleveland Indians 64-56
14 Arizona Diamondbacks 61-57
15 Washington Nationals 58-60
16 New York Yankees 61-57
17 L.A. Angels 53-65
18 Seattle Mariners 55-63
19 Minnesota Twins 53-64
20 San Diego Padres 54-65
21 Chicago Cubs 52-67
22 Colorado Rockies 56-65
23 San Francisco Giants 52-66
24 Toronto Blue Jays 54-65
25 New York Mets 54-63
26 Philadelphia Phillies 53-66
27 Milwaukee Brewers 52-67
28 Chicago White Sox 46-72
29 Miami Marlins 45-73
30 Houston Astros 38-80

Monday, August 12, 2013

NFL Fantasy Football WR Rankings

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2013 Fantasy Football WR Rankings
 
With the pre-season under way it is time for Fantasy Footballers everywhere to have their 2013 Drafts. Here at Wild on Sports we've got you covered breaking down the top 20 players at each position as well as a couple of sleepers to help you win your league this season!
 
Wide receiver is a position full of year to year surprises. This year is certainly no exception. With several marque names switching teams there are bound to be some surprises. How will Peyton Manning distribute the ball with three stud receivers? Without Welker and Hernandez who will Tom Brady be throwing to in New England? For those answers and more we turn to our 2013 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings...


Rank Player Team Bye
1 Calvin Johnson DET 9
2 A.J. Green CIN 12
3 Brandon Marshall CHI 8
4 Julio Jones ATL 6
5 Dez Bryant DAL 11
6 Demaryius Thomas DEN 9
7 Roddy White ATL 6
8 Victor Cruz NYG 9
9 Larry Fitzgerald ARI 9
10 Andre Johnson HOU 8
11 Randall Cobb GB 4
12 Anquan Boldin SF 9
13 Marques Colston NO 7
14 Wes Welker DEN 9
15 Vincent Jackson TB 5
16 Eric Decker DEN 9
17 Reggie Wayne IND 8
18 Danny Amendola NE 10
19 Mike Wallace MIA 6
20 Greg Jennings MIN 5

MLB Weekly Walk-Off

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MLB Weekly Walk-off
August 12, 2013
By Wild on Sports Analyst Kyle Kargel

The return of A-Rod has been at the top of all baseball headlines in the past week with his return to the Yankees lineup. He’s appealing his 211-game suspension which is allowing him to play out the rest of the season because of the appeal process. He only had a few singles before hitting his first homerun of the season during Sunday’s game versus the Tigers, off Justin Verlander in a 5-4 win. The Braves had a 14 game win streak snapped over the past week which was the longest win streak since the A’s 20 game streak in 2002. That catapulted them into a 15 game lead over the second place Nationals in the NL East. The defending champion Giants have fallen all the way into last place in the NL West which no one had seen coming. The loss of Nelson Cruz hasn’t seemed to have fazed the Rangers as they have built up a seven game winning streak to take over the AL West lead. The Rangers also acquired outfielder Alex Rios from the White Sox to fill in for Cruz. The AL Wild Card standings see six teams that are within seven games of the two playoff spots. The NL Wild Card has only three teams that even have a shot at the two spots as the Cardinals and Reds have the spots all but secured as of now and the Diamondbacks being five games out.


Studs of the Past Week

1. Justin Morneau 1B Min- We haven’t seen a lot of Twins on this list this season so I figured Morneau’s five homeruns and 12 RBIs over the past week is a great reason to notch a Twins player in the top spot for the week. The special thing about the past week for Morneau is that most of those stats came on the road. The Twins aren’t in contention for anything, but as long as Morneau stays healthy he should be in the starting lineup for the Twins from here on out.

2. Josh Reddick OF Oak- Reddick is only in this spot for his tremendous two game stint he had against Toronto where the ball generally flies out of the park. Reddick hit five homeruns between last Friday and Saturday and upped his average to .214, from .203. Reddick had gone zero for his last 17 at-bats before last Friday.

3. Anibal Sanchez SP Det
- After going 3-0 in his last four starts, Sanchez has lowered his ERA to a miniscule 2.58 and has 19 strikeouts in his last two starts. He’s already surpassed his win total from last season and will be a key component should the Tigers make the playoffs. Sanchez’s pitching would get more recognition if Max Scherzer had not gone 17-1 so far.


Duds of the Past Week


1. C.C. Sabathia SP NYY- The Yankees number one starter hasn’t won a game since July 3, but their trying to stay in the wildcard hunt with the return of A-Rod and Curtis Granderson. He’s allowed 22 earned runs in his past four starts and has raised his ERA to a career high 4.73. If he doesn’t start producing wins soon the Yankees can kiss their playoff hopes goodbye sooner rather than later.

2. Troy Tulowitzki SS Col- Going only one for his last 19 through Saturday, Tulo hasn’t exactly been helping the Rockies get back into NL West hunt. His average was at .325 just a week ago, but it’s dropped to .309 as of Saturday. Injuries have plagued Tulowitzki over the past couple seasons, but he has 20 homeruns in only 86 games played this season.

3. Pablo Sandoval 3B SF- Part of the reason why the Giants have fallen into the basement of the NL West is because of the lack of hitting from their two stars of Buster Posey and Sandoval. Sandoval is two for his last 25, and it’s a shame since most of those at bats came against a dismal Brewers team. He’s still trying to get to ten homeruns on the year which is a shame considering how well of a hitter Sandoval has the potential to be.


Top Pickups for the Next Week

1. Will Venable OF SD
- The power of Venable has come out of left field (no pun intended). He already has 15 homeruns this season which is a career high. Two of those homeruns and four steals have come in the past week as the Padres are still trying to hang around the division.

2. Robbie Grossman OF Hou- Grossman is doing a great job in holding down the leadoff spot for the Astros. He’s just gotten the power going and as long as he can keep producing hits as a leadoff hitter he will stay there for the rest of the season. The Astros have only won two of their past ten games, but Grossman has raised his average over .250 for the first time this season.

3. Nathan Eovaldi SP Mia- Surprisingly enough the Marlins have discovered a pitcher to build off of for the future that’s not named Jose Fernandez. Eovaldi hasn’t won since July 12, but he has only allowed three earned runs in his past four starts. The Marlins have given him almost zero run support hence why he hasn’t won in almost a month. His ERA has been over four the past two seasons, but this year it stands at 2.82.


Top Matchups in the Next Week


Orioles at Diamondbacks- These two teams are battling in their respective leagues for the wildcard spot. If the Diamondbacks can come away with a sweep, they might be able to get within a game or two of the last wildcard spot if the Pirates handle the Cardinals in their series.

Royals at Tigers- This can be a division changer as these two teams meet for a five game series in Detroit. If the Royals can surprise the Tigers and take four or even all five games, they can be right there with the Tigers at the top of the division as they have won eight of their past 11 games.

Indians at A’s- Both these teams sit in second place in their divisions, but the A’s hold one of the best home records in the AL so it will be hard for Cleveland to keep any sort of pace with the Tigers for the top of the division.

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