National League Early Reactions

We’re not quite a quarter of the way through the baseball season, but there’s been plenty to talk about so far. Both World Series teams from 2016 are currently not in first place in their division, everyone is hurt, and dirt bike riding is the new least favorite activity among people in San Francisco. There’s still plenty of games left to be played, but we can learn a lot about teams through the first quarter of games. Let’s see who and what has caught my eye so far.

Also, check out the AL piece here if you missed it.

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Los Angeles Dodgers 2017 Team Preview

2016 Recap: 91-71, 1st in the NL West. Lost in NLCS to Chicago 4-2. For the fourth season in a row, the Los Angeles Dodgers won the NL West and for the fourth season in a row the Los Angeles Dodgers came up short in the playoffs. It was a pretty wild year for the guys in blue. Troubled outfielder Yasiel Puig hit an all time low in late summer and was sent to Triple A. Meanwhile, LA’s starting pitching staff dealt with injuries all season as 15 different players started at least one game for the Dodgers in 2016. The Dodgers spent most of the offseason resigning their own as they handed out new contracts to Justin Turner, Rich Hill and All-Star closer Kenley Jansen. The Dodgers also dipped into their loaded farm system and dealt right handed starter Jose De Leon to Tampa Bay for second baseman Logan Forsythe in an attempt to add some consistency to the top of their batting order.

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MLB National League Offseason Review

The calendar has officially turned to 2017 and that means it’s time to start talking some baseball. The NFL has been extra stupid this season with all the bad teams and quarterback injuries affecting the playoffs, meanwhile the Hot Stove reached some pretty high temperatures this winter. We broke down the American League yesterday and are back to do the same with the National League today.

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MLB 2016 Playoff Preview

It’s that time of year again baseball fans. We already know will have a new champion this year as the analytics community rejoices over Ned Yost’s Kansas City Royals not getting a chance to repeat as World Series champions in 2016. The baseball playoffs are always one of the hardest things to predict in sports. Since 2000, the team with the best regular season record (close your eyes Cubs fans) has gone on to win the World Series just twice. We have real parity in the postseason this year. In addition to Kansas City not making it back, we have four new teams playing in Division Series that missed the playoffs last year. Take that NFL. So without further adieu, here are my predictions that I of course feel very confident about today, but will more than likely hate in about 10 days because that’s baseball and that’s why we love it.

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2016 MLB Trade Deadline: Deals That Need to Happen

The MLB All Star Game and festivities are finished which only means one thing: it’s time for the hot stove to be turned all the way up. In 1986, Major League baseball changed the non-waiver trade deadline from June 15th to July 31st (unless July 31st falls on a Sunday which this year it actually does making the deadline August 1st) and since then we have seen our fair share of trades. We have seen deals that did not amount to much at all, but we have also seen plenty of franchise altering trades occurring minutes before the deadline as well as during the weeks leading up to it.

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Unknown 2016 All-Stars You Need to Watch

The 2016 MLB season has hit the halfway mark and the Midsummer Classic is upon us once again. Baseball fans from across the world will tune in on July 12th to watch the game’s top sluggers like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado step into the batter’s box to face the major’s top ace pitchers like Jake Arrieta, Madison Bumgarner and Chris Sale. Watching the game’s biggest and brightest stars go at each other in a game that does actually mean something is unlike any other event in professional sports right now (that is until the Warriors start playing). Outside of watching the superstars of baseball do what they do best, it is also a blast to see lesser known names who slide under the national radar. Players that are on the verge of becoming superstars or are just flat out fun to watch play the game finally getting a chance to showcase their skills on the big stage. The following list includes guys to keep an eye on during the game Tuesday night, to admire throughout the rest of the season and then follow the rest of what should be long and successful careers.

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Clayton’s World

In the post-steroid era, there has been an enormous amount of impressive pitching performances including perfect games, no hitters, twenty strikeout games, and microscopic ERA’s; now is the time to be a pitcher. In this stretch of dominant pitching there has been one man who has managed to stand above the rest, Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw already has three National League Cy Young awards and an N.L. Most Valuable Player award under his belt. The southpaw may have already cemented himself as the best pitcher of this generation and just may be working on the best season of his career which is really saying something about a player with his resume. Through ten starts, Kershaw is 7-1 with an ERA of 1.48, a WHIP of 0.658 and after Monday’s win against Cincinnati, has already thrown three complete game shutouts. When looking over Kershaw’s current season you could say it is like looking at numbers from a video game, although I am not sure you could end up with numbers this good if your four-year-old nephew was holding the opposing controller. Kershaw’s 2016 season is filled with eye popping numbers and some insane statistical comparisons to his peers who despite what some of the stats may say, are in fact playing the same sport as Kershaw.

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