MLB best bets of the day: July 25, 2012

Texas rangers holland

My mother always told me “if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all”. So, for this reason I won’t get into yesterday’s Best Bets, and hopefully you won’t either. Before we get into things I’d like to first mention that the MLB trade deadline is coming up quickly and you should checkout Jason Zemcik’s two-piece coverage on the happenings surrounding the deadline.

There has been one big trade, and no it has nothing to do with Ichiro but rather the Dodgers acquisition of Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez should give the Dodgers, and Matt Kemp, some extra ammunition while trying to regain the division lead from the Giants. L.A. sent Nate Eovaldi and minor leaguer Scott McGough in the deal. Now then, let’s get to it.

Cincinnati at Houston 8:05 PM Bailey vs Norris

Homer Bailey is on the mound today for the Reds and that is a very good thing for Cincinnati fans. In his last four starts Bailey has allowed just six earned runs in 30.2 IP and the Reds have won all four games. Bailey will likely continue his hot July against the abysmal Astros as he will look to go for his third straight game of eight innings pitched.

While Bailey has been hot, and owns a .231 BAA when facing the Astros, Houston’s starter has been quite the opposite. Bud Norris has had a terrible month of July, allowing nearly an earned run for every inning pitched. With owing a 7.27 ERA in July and allowing a nearly .800 OPS to the Reds’ hitters, this one could get ugly.

Picks: Reds -1 ½ (+110) and Over 7 (EVEN)

Read more here…

Will Barry Bonds reach the Hall of Fame before Pete Rose?

Baseball hall of fame

Baseball hall of fameFor years the debate has been if Pete Rose deserves to be in the MLB Hall of Fame. The question has been answered by many opinionated people and debated until it consistently fades away. As players of the ‘steroids era’ become eligible,  the question needs to be asked if Barry Bonds will reach the Hall of Fame before Pete Rose?

Barry Bonds played from 1986 to 2007 for the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. The son of major league player Bobby Bonds started his career as a lead-off-hitter with the Pirates in 1986. He led all National League rookies with 16 home runs, 48 RBI’s and 36 stolen bases.

Between Bonds, Andy Van Slyke and Bobby Bonilla the Pirates faithful rallied around the team as they would reach the playoffs.

Bonds won his first MVP award in 1990 by hitting .301 with 33 home runs and 114 RBI’s. His 52 stolen bases were good enough for third in the league and he was also honored with his first Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards.

In 1993, Barry would sign a lucrative free agent contract with the San Francisco Giants, which at that time, was the largest in baseball history. He responded by hitting .336, led the league with 46 home runs and 123 RBI’s which would earn him his second consecutive MVP award, and third overall.

He would continue his record pace and in 1998 was the first player ever to enter the 400-400 club as he accumulated 400 home runs and 400 stolen bases.

Bonds’ was touted one of the best players in the 90’s and was ranked as The Sporting News 6th Greatest Baseball Players of all-time.

Not many believed that Bonds would continue his pace and actually improve on it, but in his mid 30’s his numbers exploded and so did the records.

Not only were his cap size and shoe size doubled so were his home run numbers.

In 2001 Bonds would hit 73 home runs and set a new major league record for home runs in a single season previously set by Mark McGwire (70).

Bonds stats speak for themselves as there is no doubting the numbers, but it is also well-known that Bonds had a legendary ego and was disliked by the media. He was accused of using steroids to achieve the numbers and records that he set.

The debate will now go on for years if players of the “steroids era” deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. Players like Mark McGuire, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds will be discussed the same way Pete Rose was and still is.

Pete Rose has his similarities to Bonds. He is the all-time leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053) and won three World Series rings, three batting titles, one MVP award, two Gold Gloves, the Rookie of the Year award and 17 All-Star appearances at five different positions.

In 1989 Rose was questioned regarding reports that he had bet on baseball and his own Reds team that he was managing. Rose denied the allegations but Commissioner Bart Giamatti continued the investigation. According to the report, no evidence was found that he actually bet against the Reds. After the sides went back and forth, Rose would voluntarily accept a permanent place on baseball’s ineligible list. Rose accepted that there was a factual reason for the ban; in return, Major League Baseball agreed to make no formal finding with regard to the gambling allegations.

“Charlie Hustle” remains the only living member of the ineligible list of players to considered for the Hall of Fame.

The question now becomes which is worse?  Assume both did what they are accused of, do either of them belong? One over the other?

It has been argued that Barry Bonds was putting up Hall of Fame numbers before he allegedly started to use steroids, but isn’t the situation the same for Rose?

By not putting in players of the steroids era is taking away from baseball and the entire decade that made baseball interesting again. Isn’t the damage done anyways?

Sammy Sosa, Mark McGuire and yes – Barry Bonds increased the popularity of baseball during a steady decline, but to put them in before Pete Rose is ridiculous.

The fact that Pete Rose is not in the Hall of Fame and not even considered is asinine and leaves me dumbfounded, but the fact that Barry Bonds could get in before him is even more of a slap in the face.

4 Random MLB achievements that you probably didn’t know

The MLB season is amazingly getting set to reach the half-way mark as Tuesday most teams will be playing their 75th game of the season. How fast did that go by? With the All-Star break around the proverbial corner, we thought it only fitting that we come up with some of the more obscure achievements of players and teams as MLB completes it’s third month of games. See how many of these you really knew…but be honest.

1. BEST BATTING AVERAGE WITH 2 STRIKES: Joey Votto- Most of you do know what an outstanding season Votto is having so far this year, but in case you didn’t he has played in 20 games in June and through June 23rd has 10 multi-hit games. What that has done is raise his batting average 31 points from 3.29 to .360!

#19 Cincinnati Reds 1B Joey Votto will be one of those under consideration for MVP honors. Photo: cbssports.com

But aside from being a mega star slugger, here’s something you might not know; through 233 at bats this season, Votto is hitting .266 when he has two strikes on him. The league average is 90 points lower at .176. How’s that an amazing stat!

2. BEST OFF-SEASON TRADE: Melky Cabrera-What a steal this was! The S. F. Giants should be charged with a felony for the theft they pulled off acquiring Melky Cabrera from the Kansas City Royals! The soon to be 28-year-old has been enjoying an MVP season and is one of the main reasons that the Giants are 8 games over .500 and 3 games out of first place in the N.L. West.

For starters Cabrera has the most hits the majors (102) as of Sunday. His .355 batting average which is 73 points higher than his career average, puts him in second place behind the aforementioned Joey Votto (.360). His 49 runs scored ties him for second in the N.L. and third in MLB. Was there any other trade in the off-season bigger than this one? Read more here…

MLB Power Rankings: Week 13

Power Rankings
Current Team Previous
TEX MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 1 Texas Rangers N/A
The best team in baseball has won 8 of its last 10 games, and has just 1 starting position player with an OPS+ below 100.
NYY MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 2 New York Yankees N/A
Andy Pettite continues to impress this season. He has a 3.29 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 54.2 innings so far this season.
LAA MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 3 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim N/A
 Since starting off 6-14, the Angels have gone 34-19. The addition of Ernesto Frieri has helped greatly as he has struck out 26 in just 20.2 innings without allowing a run. Despite spending the first 20 games of the season in the minors, Mike Trout now leads the American League in WAR. He is on pace to post the highest single season WAR total by a rookie position player since Dick Allen in 1964
WAS MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 4 Washington Nationals N/A
Bryce Harper leads all Nationals position players in wins above replacement so far this season.
CIN MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 5 Cincinatti Reds N/A
Joey Votto, who leads baseball in OPS+ and WAR among other categories, is possibly the best player on the planet right now. While Votto has taken over the offense, Johnny Cueto has been leading the rotation. His 187 ERA+ ranks 4th in the National League.
LAD MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 6 Los Angeles Dodgers N/A
The Dodgers who once held a commanding lead in the NL West, have lost 7 of their last 10 games and are just 3 games ahead of the Giants in second place. The loss of Matt Kemp and an offense that ranks 20th in baseball in runs scored have been their downfall. The offense will have to pick it up if they want to win games, but I think LA may have finally come back to reality.
TB MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 7 Tampa Bay Rays N/A
The delayed return of Evan Longoria has definitely hurt the Rays, but they’re still just 3.5 games back in the AL East. Matt Joyce has replaced Longoria as the team’s catalyst for now, as he is hitting .279/.387/.512.
SF MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 8 San Francisco Giants N/A
Bruce Bochy spent most of the first part of the season playing Brandon Belt sporadically, when he probably should have been the starting 1st baseman. In his past 14 games since earning the starting job, Belt has hit .348 with 4 home runs, 12 RBIs, and 8 walks.
STL MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 9 St. Louis Cardinals N/A
Despite having the 2nd best run differential in baseball, the Cardinals are just 3 games over .500. Adam Wainwright has finally started to return to form. In his past 3 starts, he has pitched 21 innings, striking out 21, while allowing just 5 runs.
BOS MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 10 Boston Red Sox N/A
The Red Sox, winners of 8 of their last 10, seem to have found a nice little groove. The Red Sox don’t have a single starting pitcher with an ERA below 4.00, so pitching will be the key if they want to reach the postseason.
CHW MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 11 Chicago White Sox N/A
 This weekend, the White Sox acquired Kevin Youkilis in a trade with the Red Sox. The trade is a huge upgrade for the White Sox who have had their 3rd basemen combine to hit .167/.244/.221 with just 1 home run this season
BAL MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 12 Baltimore Orioles N/A
 In Jason Hammel’s last 2 starts, he has combined to pitch 17 innings, striking out 18, allowing just 6 hits and no earned runs.
NYM MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 13 New York Mets N/A
 While RA Dickey has been dominating the majors with his knuckleball, Johan Santana has quietly been having an all star caliber season of his own. He is striking out a batter per inning and his ERA sits at exactly 3.00. He has won 4 of his last 5 starts and has allowed more than 4 runs just once this season.
PIT MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 14 Pittsburgh Pirates N/A
The Pirates offense has been pretty much dormant all season, but since June 16th, they have scored 45 runs in just 8 games. The offense has been sparked by Pedro Alvarez who has hit .444 with 5 home runs and 10 RBIs during the streak.
ATL MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 15 Atlanta Braves N/A
 After missing part of last season, Tommy Hanson leads the majors with 15 starts this season and he appears to be back to his pre-injury form.
TOR MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 16 Toronto Blue Jays N/A
 The Blue Jays are the only team in the majors with 2 players that have hit 20 or more home runs so far this season in Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.
CLE MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 17 Cleveland Indians N/A
The Indians are only a half game back from the White Sox for first place in the AL Central, despite having a negative run differential. While the offense has been strong, it is important to note that the Indians rank 28th in the majors in ERA and don’t have a single player in their starting rotation with an ERA+ above 96.
ARI MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 18 Arizona Diamondbacks N/A
The D-backs are 6-4 in their last 10 games and have finally gotten above .500 for the first time since May 4th. They have outscored their opponents by 28 runs since June 14th and are slowly creeping up on the 1st place Dodgers.
DET MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 19 Detroit Tigers N/A
The Tigers have suffered through injuries and rotation problems that have really set them back so far this season. Their offense is extremely potent, but they may have the worst defensive team in all of baseball. According to Baseball Reference WAR, the Tigers defense has cost them over 3 wins so far this season.
PHI MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 20 Philadelphia Phillies N/A
The Defending NL East champs currently sit 8.5 games out of first place in the NL East. The veteran laden team has really struggled this season. One exception being Carlos Ruiz, who is enjoying a nice breakout season as he leads all catchers in wins above replacement.
OAK MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 21 Oakland Athletics N/A
Oakland has been on a bit of a run lately, going 7-3 in their last 10 games. Brandon McCarthy and rookie Jarrod Parker have been leading the rotation, while Josh Reddick is enjoying a career year offensively.
MIL MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 22 Milwaukee Brewers N/A
Ryan Braun is on pace to match his monstrous 2011 campaign. He is projected to hit .319/.399/.612 with 45 home runs and 29 steals. Zack Grienke is also on pace for a CY Young caliber season as he has been worth nearly 3 wins already this season.
KC MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 23 Kansas City Royals N/A
Disappointing seasons from both Eric Hosmer and Jeff Francoeur, as well as injuries to the pitching staff, have really hampered this team. Despite their poor play this season, they are just 6 games back in an underwhelming AL Central, so a 2nd half surge could potentially push them into October.
SEA MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 24 Seattle Mariners N/A
The Mariners have just 2 position players with an OPS+ of 100 or better in Michael Saunders and Kyle Seager. Felix Hernandez is the only starting pitcher with an ERA+ above 100. The Mariners have a bright future on the horizon, but time will tell if some of their current young big leaguers can make the necessary adjustments to be a part of the Mariners long term plan.
MIA MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 25 Miami Marlins N/A
Heath Bell started the year by allowing 15 runs in his first 14 appearances, blowing 4 saves. Since then, he has allowed just 3 runs in 14.2 innings, converting all 10 of his save opportunities. The Marlins are 20-3 in games he has pitched in since the start of May.
HOU MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 26 Houston Astros N/A
According to Elias, Dallas Keuchel is the first player to throw a complete game in his 1st or 2nd career start since Clay Buchholz threw a complete game no-hitter in his 2nd career start on 9/1/2007.
COL MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 27 Colorado Rockies N/A
The Rockies have the worst ERA in the majors this season, and a 4 man rotation of fly ball pitchers in Coors field is probably the worst idea since the invention of saves.
MIN MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 28 Minnesota Twins N/A
Since starting off 18-32, the Twins have essentially been playing .500 baseball since the start of June. They were fueled by Trevor Plouffe who hit 9 home runs in the first 12 games of June, but since then, Plouffe has hit just 1 in his last 8 games.
CHC MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 29 Chicago Cubs N/A
In their last 3 games alone, the Cubs have been outscored 23-6. The good news is that Alfonso Soriano is quietly enjoying somewhat of a comeback year. He is on pace to post his highest WAR since 2008.
SD MLB Power Rankings : Week 13 30 San Diego Padres N/A
Chase Headley is playing great, but that’s pretty much the only positive for this struggling team. They rank last in the majors in runs scored and have been outscored by their opponents 40-24 in their last 8 games. The Padres have won just 4 series all year, and two of those were against the Rockies and Mariners.