Tag Archive Gerrit Cole

Much-Despised Alex Bregman Actually Sees AL MVP Odds Improve

Alex Bregman and the Houston Astros are dealing with fallout from their sign-stealing scandal
Despite the heat, Bregman’s AL MVP odds have actually improved
Is there value in the 25-year old? Or is your money misplaced?

Alex Bregman is supremely talented. He’s coming off of a 2019 season where he set career-highs in homers, RBI, On-Base Percentage and Slugging Percentage among others.

He’s also the poster boy for the disgraced Houston Astros.

Bregman, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa have found themselves taking the most heat for Codebreaker.

Despite that, two of those three still land among the top-12 in the AL MVP odds.

2020 AL MVP Odds

2019 AL MVP Vote Share
Odds at Bovada

Mike Trout (LAA)

Aaron Judge (NYY)

Alex Bregman (HOU)

Gleyber Torres (NYY)

Shohei Ohtani (LAA)

Matt Chapman (OAK)

Francisco Lindor (CLE)

Anthony Rendon (LAA)

Gerrit Cole (NYY)

Marcus Semien (OAK)

Rafael Devers (BOS)

Jose Altuve (HOU)

Odds taken Feb 28th.

So far it’s been unrivaled dominance from 2019 MVP Mike Trout when it comes to the 2020 AL MVP odds.

Since the books opened, Yankees teammates Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres have been neck-and-neck. Judge just saw his biggest jump since the odds were posted.

But Bregman is the surprising one. He opened at +1600, bumped up to +1500,  and now sits at +1414 on average.

Despite Controversy, Alex Bregman is a Rising Star

Aside from the tainting of the 2017 World Series, Houston’s cheating scandal has scarred a bright and promising career.

Bregman’s career year in 2019 underscored a steady rise over his first four seasons. Since debuting at age 22, the third baseman has quickly ascended to baseball’s superstar ranks.

Alex Bregman’s Career






As that improvement has taken place, the lineup around Bregman has matured, and he’s been given prime opportunities.

In 2019, Bregman was a staple in Houston’s top four. He spent the majority of his time hitting third (78 games), but also saw some time in the cleanup spot (34 games). The rest of his time was spent leading off or hitting second.

Mike Trout is currently -120 to win the AL MVP at @CaesarsEnt.

The players with the next-best odds are Alex Bregman and Francisco Lindor … at 12-1.

— Ben Fawkes (@BFawkesESPN) February 20, 2020

The one category where Bregman fell off in 2019 was doubles. In 2018 he led all of baseball with 51. As the home runs rose, that dropped to 37 last year, but the proof is there that he’s a threat to do almost anything in the box.

Bregman’s MVP Candidacy Falls on Votes

Here’s the thing. Bregman could walk to the plate topless for all 600+ at-bats this season, proving he can do it without the wire. Even if he smacks 70 homers, drives in 150 and steals 50 bases, it’s not up to him if he’s named AL MVP.

It’s the voters. And it’s safe to say they’re probably pissed.

MVP of the bush league

— The Rally Mullet Nats Fan (@TheRallyMullet) February 20, 2020

Baseball’s voters are fickle. Need proof? Ken Griffey Jr was left off of three ballots when he was voted into the Hall of Fame. Nolan Ryan missed on six of them, and eight people didn’t vote for Cal Ripken Jr.

And we’re expecting them to vote in favor of naming a cheater AL MVP?

2020 World Series Odds TrackerRead More

If Not Bregman, Then Who?

Bregman will likely have a fine season, but he won’t be AL MVP.

One name that has some interesting value is Shohei Ohtani.

On last Halos Hot Stove of 2019 I made 5 predictions for 2020. I feel the same way today…

1- Rendon will be a gold glove finalist & win silver slugger. 2- Angels will be buyers at trade deadline3- Ohtani 10 wins, 20 HRs4- Trout wins 4th AL MVP5- Angels make playoffs.

— Trent Rush (@TrentRushSports) February 21, 2020

While it remains to be seen how effective he’ll be, Ohtani will be back on the mound this year. And there’s a chance the two-way star could at least have the Angels in the playoff hunt. The one drawback? He has yet to play more than 106 games in either of his Major League seasons.

Give me your under-the-radar, dark-horse 2020 MVP candidates.

Mine are:• Matt Chapman (OAK)• Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD)• Shohei Ohtani (LAA)• Giancarlo Stanton (NYY)• Eloy Jiménez (CHW)• Yoenis Céspedes (NYM)#MLB pic.twitter.com/LZ0Adxq06Y

— Danny Vietti (@DannyVietti) February 24, 2020

Staying in the division, Matt Chapman is enjoying a similar trajectory to Bregman. He’s finished in the top-10 in AL MVP voting each of the last two years. And if the Astros stumble and the A’s take advantage? Chapman will be at the center of it.

Buzzers or not, don’t be surprised if Houston keeps on hitting. But there’s no way any of them take home AL MVP in 2020.

The post Much-Despised Alex Bregman Actually Sees AL MVP Odds Improve appeared first on Sports Betting Dime.

Read more: sportsbettingdime.com

Grading Theo Epstein’s Cubs Free Agent Signings

Theo Epstein has acted as the Cubs’ President of Baseball Operation for nine offseasons now. With an see on contending starting in 2015, the club committed at least $191 MM in three of four offseasons. The Cubs were able to avoid paying the indulgence charge in 2018, resetting their disadvantage percentages for 2019. Under the designation of a first-time payor, the squad received a $7.6 MM comfort duty greenback for’ 19. For 2020, it performs Cubs ownership under the Ricketts family is again treating the base tax doorstep- $208 MM for 2020- as something of a stipend detonator. Located on the team’s quiet offseason, it appears that the Ricketts aren’t willing to go much beyond that point.

Had the Cubs touched up against the second surcharge doorstep of $248 MM, they would have been subject to a tax statute in the neighborhood of $14 MM, and have had an opportunity to potentially reset in 2021 with Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, and Tyler Chatwood coming off the books. Given that relatively modest one-time penalty, the question must be asked: is there more at are participating in the Ricketts’ unwillingness to expend? For precedent, could ownership’s reluctance to devote be a function of Epstein’s track record in free organization? In other paroles, can the Cubs’ top exec trust each other with the checkbook?

To answer that question, I’ve assigned a word evaluate to each of Epstein’s 15 Cubs free agent signings of $10 MM or more. Aside from the evaluates, this will also cater context on how the Cubs got to their present situation. Note that this analysis omits some effective bargain contracts, such as the Cubs’ 2012 signing of pitcher Scott Feldman. That ratifying webbed the Cubs Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop in a trade a few months later, which turned out to be a masterstroke. Still, that’s more a testament to Epstein’s trading ability than a measure of his track record in indicating substantial free agents.

The Rebuilding Years

David DeJesus– signed on 11/30/ 11 for two years, $10 MM. Grade: B

What we said at the time: Given the lack of offense he added the Athletics, DeJesus didn’t come at a bargain price for the Cubs. Still, the 32 -year-old will be worth the money if he ricochets back in his first diversified National League exposure.

DeJesus was Epstein’s first free agent signing of his Cubs tenure. This signing used to work fine. At the time, the Cubs were still running out the clock on left fielder Alfonso Soriano‘s bargain, while they had little to speak of in claim or center field. DeJesus wound up conducting the team in defensive innings at both of those positions in 2012, and performed as a classic second-division regular. In August of the second year of DeJesus’ contract, the Cubs essentially gave him apart to the National to avoid paying his remaining $2.5 MM.

Edwin Jackson– indicated on 12/20/ 12 for four years, $52 MM. Grade: F

What we said at the time: They paid about market value for Jackson, which could net a profit if he improves. The contract will compile more sense to me if the Cubs aim to contend in 2014. Otherwise, they won’t get a lot out of the first three months of the contract, when Jackson is closest to his prime. A contract of this sort might have been a better move during the 2013 -1 4 offseason, when the team will be presumably closer to winning.

Jackson was Epstein’s first major free agent signing for the Cubs, and at the time the move had a” this fund is burning a depression in our pocket” vibe. The Cubs had extended parallel pastimes of the second and third-best free agent starters that winter, Jackson and Anibal Sanchez. You probably don’t remember it this path because Sanchez’s transaction pointed inadequately, but his first two seasons of that five-year, $80 MM deal with the Tigers were good enough to pay for nearly the part contract.

Jackson’s selling detail was taking the ball every fifth day and putting up an ERA around 4.00, perhaps with a little bit of upside to open. Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said at the time,” He sloped all of last year at 28 years old, he’s been incredibly sturdy, had some really excellent seasons during his time in the big leagues, and we actually think his best days are ahead of him .” That outlook was a tolerable one, although Jackson still seemed unnecessary for a crew with two rehabilitating seasons ahead of it. More sensible were the Cubs’ smaller gyration breadth administers that winter, for Scott Feldman, Scott Baker, and Carlos Villanueva.

Ultimately, Jackson bombarded in Chicago, concluding 58 starts with a 5.58 ERA over the first two seasons. By June of the third year, the righty was secreted. The exercise, perhaps, was not to spend significant coin on non-star free agents.

Carlos Villanueva- indicated on 12/20/ 12 for two years, $10 MM. Grade: B

What we said at the time: He’ll be a helpful swingman.

Villanueva was indeed able to serve as a useful swingman for the 2013 -1 4 Cubs, accommodating 20 starts due to a Matt Garza injury and the Feldman, Jeff Samardzija/ Jason Hammel trades. But it wasn’t hard to move him back to the bullpen when the Cubs needed a discern for Arrieta.

There’s a chink here, as the Cubs had a quiet 2013 -1 4 offseason. It wasn’t for lack of trying, nonetheless, as they made a $120 MM bid for Masahiro Tanaka.

Creating a Winner

Jason Hammel- ratified on 12/12/ 14 for two years, $20 MM. Grade: B

What we said at the time: Signing Hammel would help them stabilize the middle of their gyration, but probably would not preclude them from continuing to pursue an a-one like Lester. The reported calls make for an handsome toll for Chicago.

The Cubs had included Hammel with Samardzija in the trade that webbed them Addison Russell from Oakland in the summer of 2014, and then they created Hammel back as a free agent in December. The squad was able to avoid a three-year commitment and contributed a secondary rotation piece as Epstein made his first real push for contention. Though Hammel failed to make an impact in the playoffs in his time with the Cubs, he plied solid regular season work with a 3.79 ERA across 61 regular season starts.

Jon Lester- indicated on 12/13/ 14 for six years, $155 MM. Grade: A

What we said at the time: The grand $155 MM price tag paired expectancies, and after years of conserving payroll, the Cubs can certainly afford it. The Cubs need their brand-new wizard to be a workhorse, a idiosyncrasy that’s missing from the team’s other projected starters. Any deal of such magnitude and period for a starting pitcher carries a lot of risk, but the Lester signing addressed the team’s biggest need without sacrificing young cornerstone actors or a enlist pick.

The Cubs put a majestic effort into their pursuit of Lester, convincing him that the team was ready to contend. His signing recognized a turning point for the dealership. Lester gave, especially on the front end of the is working with 9.1 WAR in the first two seasons and 35 2/3 brilliant, crucial chassis in their 2016 postseason guided. The Cubs don’t win the World Series without Lester, cementing his status as a franchise mythology. Even as Lester changes into more of a back-rotation arm, he’s continued to provide the Cubs with solid innings, signifying the Cubs will likely get an even-money return on their investment.

The Cubs ratified Lester in the 2014 -1 5 offseason, and too engaged free agent Russell Martin and James Shields that winter. After the 2015 team surprisingly reached the NLCS, the Cubs propagandized in more microchips on their heaviest-spending offseason to date.

John Lackey– indicated on 12/4/ 15 for two years, $32 MM. Grade: B

What we said at the time: I anticipated Lackey would require a three-year deal even at his advanced age and with a qualifying present fixed, so plucking him from the Cardinals on a two-year term was a big win.

After entering the offseason seeking influence starting pitching, the Cubs finished a” remote third” to the Red Sox in the entreat for David Price, according to Epstein. That resulted him to a much more modest commitment with Lackey. Lackey’s tenure with the Cubs was similar to that of Hammel: good value in his first season with the team, and negligible postseason impact.

Ben Zobrist– ratified on 12/8/ 15 for four years, $56 MM. Grade: A

What we said at the time: I was surprised by the Cubs’ plan to move Castro to make room for a second baseman from outside the organization. Instead of plugging Baez in at second base, the Cubs became with veteran Ben Zobrist, who turns 35 in May. Zobrist dished as Joe Maddon’s Swiss Army knife for six seasons after demonstrating himself in the Majors with the Rays. While Zobrist may not be the defensive asset he once was, he’s still an excellent high-contact hitter and potential three-win player. The Cubs should get good value with Zobrist at $14 MM a year, despite the riskiness of ratifying a participate through age 38. He’s a clear improvement over Castro, and with the Yankees taking on Castro’s contract, two-thirds of Zobrist’s transaction is covered.

Like Lester, Zobrist became an integral part of the Cubs’ 2016 championship team, prevailing World Series MVP. The dissemination of his regular season cost to the Cubs was uneven, with two seasons of around 4 Combat and two that were close to zero. Eventually, Zobrist sacrificed the Cubs much more than $56 MM importance of value.

Jason Heyward– indicated on 12/11/ 2015 for eight years, $184 MM. Grade: D

What we said at the time: I was surprised to see the Cubs aggressively seeking Jason Heyward, because right field didn’t seem like a primary be required for the golf-club. Nonetheless, they signed the offseason’s best location player to an eight-year deal guaranteeing $184 MM. That the Cubs will effectively be indicating Heyward away from the Cardinal simply honeys the cope for the golf-club. Including an opt-out clause was a prerequisite to signing Heyward, who was an remarkably young free agent at 26 years old. Now that the Cubs have Heyward and this contract, they have to hope he does opt out after 2018, making this a three-year, $78 MM deal. If Heyward’s 2018 season is good enough to compel him to opt out( to which Matt Swartz assigns a 50% likelihood ), then it likely makes the Cubs got more than their money’s worth.

The best available free agent that wintertime- David Price- paired the Cubs’ inclination for an impact starting pitcher. Once Price signed with the Red Sox, the Cubs swiveled to the second-best available free agent in Heyward, much like the Angels indicating Anthony Rendon after missing out on Gerrit Cole this wintertime. The project was for Heyward to serve as the Cubs’ center fielder, a position he had rarely played in the past but was thought to be able to handle due to his stellar right field defense.

Defense and baserunning made up a large part of Heyward’s value, but he was still a 116 wRC+ hitter over the three previous seasons. Heyward was, in essence, a younger form of Carl Crawford: a low-power reces outfielder known for great defense and baserunning and a respectable bat. Crawford, signed by Epstein in Boston five years prior, became an epic bust. Halfway through Heyward’s contract with the Cubs, the results have been similarly thwarting. Heyward has managed to climb his way up to league average offense in the past two seasons, resulting in a duet of 2 WAR safaruss. It’s not nearly enough for a musician earning $23 MM a year. Barring a return to form, Heyward’s contract could wind up more than $100 MM underwater for the Cubs.

A Cubs fan might be inclined to say,” Hey, it’s not my money, and you can’t framed a dollar ethic on the rouse speech Heyward delivered in Cleveland during the rain delay of Game 7 of the World Series .” Those things are true. We can’t know whether Kyle Schwarber, Ben Zobrist, and Miguel Montero would have gotten those knocks without the communication or if Carl Edwards and Mike Montgomery ought to have been held onto the lead in the bottom of the inning. But we do know that Heyward has failed to live up to his contract on the field, and that he’s a large part of the payroll crunch that has saved the Cubs from improving the team the past two wintertimes. Long thought to be of interest to the Cubs, Bryce Harper inked a contract with the Phillies with an average annual ethic exclusively$ 2MM beyond that of Heyward.

Dexter Fowler– indicated on 2/25/ 16 for 1 year, $13 MM. Grade: A

What we said at the time: Fowler’s talks with the Orioles precipitated apart when they wouldn’t give him an opt-out clause, and the Cubs swooped in with a low-risk one-year deal. While it’s true the Cubs relinquished another possible draft select, Fowler mostly fell into their laps.

From a squad position, when a low-risk free agent opportunity comes along, even after Spring Training starts, the payoff can be huge if you can find a few coins in the couch cushions and snag the participate. The Cubs had all but moved on from Fowler, but when he became available for one year and $13 MM, they found the money and moved Heyward back to his natural position. The sudden contract became critical to the Cubs’ 2016 championship, as Fowler put up 4.6 WAR in the regular season and produced off Game 7 of the World Series with a home run.

Attempting To Add Pitching

Tyler Chatwood- ratified on 12/7/ 17 for three years, $38 MM. Grade: D-

What we said at the time: After come through here short on returning expat Miles Mikolas, the Cubs indicated former Rockie Tyler Chatwood to a surprisingly huge contract for a pitcher coming off a 4.69 ERA. Now that he’s out of Colorado, Chatwood has several things going for him: his age( 28 ), his ability to induce groundballs, and a fastball approaching 95 miles per hour. Though it was surprising to see Chatwood land at virtually $13 MM a year, he’s a solid upside selection to supplant Lackey.

The Cubs were unwilling to go beyond $15.5 MM for Mikolas- who purposed up having a spectacular 2018 season- and instead set the market for Chatwood. You might be noticing a trend here: when Epstein has won the bidding for a youth free agent the Cubs perceive to have upside- Edwin Jackson, Jason Heyward, and Tyler Chatwood- the contracts going to go atrociously. Chatwood’s longstanding problem with the Rockies had been a lack of control, and the Cubs weren’t able to fix that. In fact, in 2018, Chatwood accompanied nearly 20% of smashes faced, by far the worst in the game among those with 100 innings. Chatwood’s contract seems likely to land him the Cubs’ fifth starter place out of camp in 2020. It’s another case of the Ricketts’ recent monetary conservatism thwarting the team from concluding upgrades- clearly the free agent and busines sells offered better alternatives for the Cubs’ rotation this winter.

Brandon Morrow– signed on 12/10/ 17 for two years, $21 MM. Grade: D-

What we said at the time: While his contract is reasonable, the risk comes in the Cubs’ reliance upon a pitcher with Morrow’s interminable gash autobiography and heavy 2017 postseason workload. Given the volatility of relievers, the contract itself is no riskier than those given to Wade Davis, Mike Minor, Jake McGee, Bryan Shaw, Tommy Hunter, Juan Nicasio, and others.

In 2017, Morrow emerged from a minor league deal and a long injury history to serve a key role in the Dodgers’ World Series operate. Though he may have been burned out pitching 13 2/3 postseason innings, Morrow’s only real flaw was a four-run drubbing in Houston at the pass of George Springer, Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, and Carlos Correa that cost the Dodgers Game 5 of the World Series. HMMMM.

It wasn’t trash can banging that did Morrow in with the Cubs, nonetheless. He induced it only to mid-July of the contract’s first season and hasn’t appeared in the Majors since due to hurts, though Morrow is currently healthy and in clique with the Cubs on a minor league deal. To is equitable, the 2017 -1 8 offseason is so littered with free agent reliever busts that it’s difficult to say Epstein should have known better and indicated, say, Craig Stammen.

Drew Smyly– indicated on 12/12/ 17 for two years, $10 MM. Grade: D

What we said at the time: The Cubs softly made a different free agent signing with a Maddon/ Hickey communication, lefty Drew Smyly. Smyly had undergone Tommy John surgery in June of 2017, and was signed with an eye toward the 2019 pirouette. If Smyly returns to full health and clevernes for 2019, the Cubs will have a good kind of problem on their hands in that they’ll have six installed starting pitchers under control for that season.

Though it’s only been two years, the Cubs seem far removed from a day when they would throw $10 MM at a pitcher in the expectation that he could specify depth a full season into the future. Smyly was a luxury and a magnitude stockpile, and while he did return to a Major League mound in 2019, it wasn’t for the Cubs. In the first omen of the club’s clamping down on payroll, Smyly was carried to the Rangers as a pure wage drop so that the Cubs could “afford” Cole Hamels‘ guild option. That the Cubs off-load$ 7MM of Smyly’s contract and he was subsequently frightful for most of 2019 saves this from an F gradation, but it’s hard to say whether Epstein got lucky or actually expected the lefty to struggle.

Steve Cishek– ratified on 12/14/ 17 for two years, $13 MM. Grade: B

What we said at the time: Cishek, 31, has had a few ups and downs at times in recent years and has played with four organizations in the past three seasons. For the most part, though, he has continued to function as a quality setup option. The sidearming Cishek will offer a different look out of a re-worked Cubs pen.

It’s hard to complain about research results the Cubs get out of Cishek, who affixed a 2.55 ERA across 134 1/3 innings in his two seasons. Though he was generous with free passes, hitters generally couldn’t square him up.

Yu Darvish– signed on 2/10/ 18 for six years, $126 MM. Grade: C

What we said at the time: Darvish’s $21 MM average annual evaluate was surprisingly low. Like other large-scale grocery squads, the Cubs are intent on staying below the $197 MM competitive match tariff threshold, and the sixth year given to Darvish cured accomplish that. With Darvish in the crease alongside Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks and Tyler Chatwood, the rule NL Central champs will have one of the more complete( and daunting) spins in all of baseball.

Darvish’s debut season with the Cubs in 2018 was a disaster, as he made simply eight starts due to hurts. At that detail, his contract was like relatively the albatross. Even as late as July 3rd of the 2019 season, the righty’s ERA sat at 5.01. Then, he reeled off a 13 -start run with a 2.76 ERA, 118 strikeouts, and a merely seven moves in 81 2/3 innings. A pitcher who the hell is exhibited shitty govern for the Cubs abruptly had the best control in baseball. Darvish’s turnaround and the potential for strong work in the final four years of his contract entails this contract could become a win for the Cubs. Of track, Darvish is 33 now, so it could easily go south as well.

Craig Kimbrel– indicated on 6/5/ 19 for three years, $43 MM. Grade: F

What we said at the time: With a busines 1.91 ERA, 14.7 K/ 9, and 4.23 K/ BB rate over nine seasons and 532 2/3 career innings, Kimbrel’s resume could very well eventually territory him in Cooperstown down the road. While 2018 wasn’t as reigning as some of his past years, Kimbrel still seemed to have a viable platform year with a 2.74 ERA, 13.86 K/ 9, and 3.10 K/ BB over 62 1/3 chassis for the World Series-champion Red Sox. Beyond the surface amounts, however, there were some red flags. It was hard to ignore Kimbrel’s increased skirmishes in the second half of the year of last season, and then through Boston’s playoff race.

It could be a win-win situation for Chicago, as the team glances to both avoid the top levy threshold while also getting a closer to bolster a bullpen that has generally been around the middle of the multitude this season. The hulk question could concern Kimbrel’s effectiveness, as other participates whose qualifying offer-induced long waits in free agency( Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales in 2014) both struggled seriously after sitting out months of the season.

That concern from MLBTR’s Mark Polishuk proved prescient, as Kimbrel affixed a 6.53 ERA while allowing nine home runs, more than a slam per inning, and a 12.5 BB% in his 20 2/3 innings. Kimbrel has two more seasons with the Cubs to turn the contract around, with the possibility of an additional season vesting. You can see how one bad sign beget another. Morrow was unable to serve as the team’s closer in 2019 as contrived, fight the Cubs to use the money they saved from Ben Zobrist’s leave of absence on Kimbrel. Now, due to Kimbrel’s presence and contract, the biggest addition to a questionable bullpen this winter was Jeremy Jeffress.

Of these 15 free agent contracts, Darvish, Heyward, Lester, Kimbrel, and Chatwood remain on the books for 2020. For luxury tax roles, that’s just under $97 MM. Epstein was able to win a World Series in Chicago in part due to free agent contracts for Lester, Zobrist, Fowler, and Lackey, but gaffes on other musicians have led to the Ricketts family turning off the spigot- perhaps even at the expense of contention.

Read more: mlbtraderumors.com