PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 12:  Ryan Howard #6 of the Philadelphia Phillies in the dugout during the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 12, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Phillies defeated the Diamondbacks 7-6.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Phillies have finally escaped from payroll hell

By the time the 2015 season has concluded, the Philadelphia Phillies will have spent over $1.1 billion on their payroll from 2009 (the year after their 2008 World Championship) through 2015. The only teams to spend more over the same time period are the Yankees, Red Sox, and thanks to a surge over the last three […]

NL East doormat Miami Marlins

Exactly how bad is the NL East?

As of this writing, the Mets have a 6.5 game lead over the Nationals in the National League East. There is nothing noteworthy about that fact, aside from the Nationals continuing to struggle. However, as you move down the standings within the division, that’s when eyebrows will be raised. The third place Atlanta Braves sit at […]

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 08:  Andrew McCutchen #22 of the Pittsburgh Pirates slides in safe against Yadier Molina #4 of the St. Louis Cardinals on a force out at second in the sixth inning during the game at PNC Park on May 8, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Cardinals remain division favorites, but Pirates aren’t far behind

The Cardinals have long been the favorites to win the NL Central. They entered the season as the presumed favorites and certainly haven’t disappointed. Even now, they possess a healthy 4.5 game lead on the second place Pirates. But healthy isn’t the same as insurmountable, and if any team has a chance of knocking down […]

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 25:  Jay Bruce #32 of the Cincinnati Reds flips his bat in the air after striking out with bases loaded to end the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Great American Ball Park on August 25, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Los Angeles defeated Cincinnati 5-1.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

The Cincinnati youth movement that isn’t happening

The Cincinnati Reds are a mess. The sit 27.5 games back in the NL Central, 21 back in the Wild Card race, and are further hampered by the fact that the three best teams in the National League currently reside within their division. While they had initially expected to compete for the division this year, […]

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 18:  Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after the Dodgers got the last out of the seventh inning of their game against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum on August 18, 2015 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Does anyone want to win the NL West?

The National League West had a legitmate claim to the toughest division in baseball when the season began. You had the defending world champion Giants and the defending division champion Dodgers, both reloaded and looking like contenders. The Padres had made a ton of moves over the winter and boasted a dangerous lineup on paper. […]

Freddie Freeman of the Braves offense

The Braves offense is still bad – but in a different way

In 2014, the Atlanta Braves offense was a horror show. For the year, they hit just .241/.305/.360. The club’s .296 wOBA was fourth-worst in baseball (ahead of just the Phillies, Reds, and Padres), and their 87 wRC+ was fifth-worst (ahead of those three aforementioned teams and the Arizona Diamondbacks). They scored just 573 runs, the […]

TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 8: Josh Donaldson #20 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits a solo home run in the first inning during MLB game action against the Boston Red Sox on May 8, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Josh Donaldson

Best hitters and pitchers: Week 19

Welcome to Week 19 in our ongoing series highlighting the best hitters and pitchers from the previous week. This week an MVP candidate helps propel his team into first place. A bench player gets more playing time and almost wins the top offensive slot. We also dissect a pair to fantastic pitching performances and ask […]

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 28: Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers sticks out his tongue as he reacts to fouling a ball off his foot in the fourth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Dodger Stadium on July 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Joc Pederson has lost his starting job with the Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers have struggled in the second half this season, scuffling their way to a 16-17 record after the All-Star Break. Rookie center fielder Joc Pederson has also struggled since a breath-taking performance in the Home Run Derby, hitting just .163/.333/.293 with only three homers in 30 second-half games. Manager Don Mattingly isn’t exactly […]

TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 22: Fernando Rodney #56 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates his save after getting the final out of the ninth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 22, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

The Mariners have finally ended the Fernando Rodney era

The Seattle Mariners finally put their foot down and said “enough”. After Saturday’s ten inning loss to the Chicago White Sox, Seattle DFAed closer Fernando Rodney six weeks before the end of his two-year, $14 million deal signed prior to the 2014 season. Rodney was great last year for the Mariners, striking out 76 and […]

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 21:  Mike Fiers #54 of the Houston Astros throws a pitch in the second inning during their game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Minute Maid Park on August 21, 2015 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Mike Fiers no-hits the Dodgers

On Friday night, Houston Astros starter Mike Fiers threw the fifth no-hitter of the 2015 season, blanking the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-0. Fiers struck out ten, walked three, and threw 134 pitches during the no-hitter. This is Houston’s first since a combined no-hitter at Yankee Stadium in 2003 and the first by a single pitcher […]

ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 15: Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Miami Marlins hits a pop fly in the fifth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on August 15, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Michael Thomas/Getty Images)

Combining Japanese and American turns some players into legends

Last week, Ichiro Suzuki made history when he tied (and ultimately surpassed) Ty Cobb on the all-time hits list. Well, actually, no: Ichiro is still 1,270 hits behind Cobb. But because he had 1,278 career hits in the Japanese League, people decided to combine the two and come up with that Cobb-beating number. Depending on […]

DD_RedSox

Dave Dombrowski’s immediate challenges as new Red Sox president

On Wednesday, the Boston Red Sox officially announced Dave Dombrowski as their new team president. It was a rather stunning move, if for no other reason than its timing. Dombrowski was rumored to be considered for other opportunities throughout MLB and Boston already had a general manager in Ben Cherington. But owner John Henry saw […]

TORONTO, CANADA - AUGUST 14: Josh Donaldson #20 of the Toronto Blue Jays makes a throwing error in the third inning during MLB game action against the New York Yankees on August 14, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Josh Donaldson

Josh Donaldson is giving Mike Trout a run for the MVP

Mike Trout, to nobody’s surprise, is having another marvelous season. He’s the clear front runner for the American League MVP, posting his usual gaudy stats while playing league best defense in center field. Trout’s MVP play usually means there aren’t many other players playing near his level, but Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson […]

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