Tag Archives: Chicago Cubs

MLB’s Best Lineups of the Past Decade (Part One)

Joel Dorcas | April 13th, 2020

Now that we have the best pitching rotations covered, we can take a look at the best offenses of the past 10 years. To no one’s surprise, the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Houston Astros are on the list at least once. Also not a surprise, the highly potent offensives mostly are coming from the American League. It’s not to say the Dodgers and Cardinals weren’t stacked with productive players, it’s the fact that the A.L. just scores more runs with the Designated Hitter. Just a heads up, 2019 was a good year for offense, teams from that season are well represented here. Three teams with at least 900 runs and two teams with 300 HRs or more. O.K. let’s get to the list already! Continue reading

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MLB’s Best Pitching Rotations of the Past Decade (Part One)

Joel Dorcas | April 7th, 2020

This quarantine has turned into compiling lists of best and worst for me as we have no present-day gameplay to write about. My focus has been on the NHL lately, let’s change gears and take a crack at baseball. One of my favorite things about the sport is the construction of rotations and batting orders/ lineups. First up will be Starting Rotations. (Feel free to comment with your favorites/ ones that should be on the list).We will break it up into two parts. Continue reading

Chicago Cubs 2020 Season Preview

Joey Ricotta | March 14th, 2020

Well, we don’t know for sure when the 2020 season will get underway, or how many games will be played, but we still need something to look forward to. 2019 was a disappointing season for the Cubs. They finished 84-78, good for a third-place finish, which led to the firing of curse-breaking World Series Champion manager Joe Maddon, and the hiring of former beloved catcher David Ross.

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Five MLB Teams Who Will Surprise in 2020: Part One

Givanni Damico | March 8th, 2020

It is finally baseball season! This is the best time of the year for me because we’ve got nonstop baseball from now till late October. Everybody knows that the Yankees, Dodgers, Braves, and Twins will have success this year, but who are some teams that fly under the radar? That’s what I will get into right now.

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Podcast- MLB Hall of Fame and Astros/Red Sox Reactions with Joe Ricotta and Johnnie Black

Tom Greene  | January 24th, 2020

It’s been a while since I tapped into doing some MLB Content! So, I thought I’d get some reaction to the ongoing Astros and Red Sox scandals along with some Hall of Fame talk.
For that, Johnnie Black (@jball0202) and Joe Ricotta (@theriot326) join the show for some analysis.

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Cole Hamels Signs With the Atlanta Braves

John Lepore | December 4th, 2019

Left-hander Cole Hamels has signed with the Atlanta Braves for one year at $18 million as per Jeff Passan. Hamels will be 36 years old later this month but still can offer some solid innings. Let’s take a look at what the Braves are getting.

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Chicago Cubs 2019 Season Recap

Tom Greene | November 14th, 2019

In the middle of July, things seemed great on the North Side. The Cubs were leading the division by multiple games and it seemed as if the Cubs were going to cruise to a division title… until the bottom fell out and the Cardinals ended up division champs. Joe Maddon jumped ship and the North Side is now asking the question, “How do we get back to 2016?”

With the help of our @theriot326, Cub Fan and DFS Man, Let’s dive deeper into our 2016 question by looking back at what went right and wrong. Continue reading

Lions-Bears Preview with Anthony Pasquale and Joe Ricotta

Tom Greene  | November 9th, 2019 

The Lions lost another one last week in Oakland. The Bears are 3-5, and the offense is NOT looking pretty.
I brought in Illinois Student Broadcaster Anthony Pasquale and fellow Scorecrow writer Joe Ricotta (yes, our @theriot326!) to break it down.
We rant. We talk Lions, Bears, and Cubs. Animal activists may want to avoid this podcast. But, for the rest of you, it’s a great one! Check it out! (Warning- multiple curse words used. We’re not happy.) Continue reading

Cubs Speak, Cub-eesh? With Anthony Pasquale and Joe Ricotta

Tom Greene  October 2nd, 2019 

The Cubs were once multiple games up in the division and the playoffs looked like an almost certainty. Now, they’re out and so is Maddon. What Happened, and what should we do next? @Ant_Pasquale3, Illinois student and @theriot326, Scorecrow Writer and Cubs fan, break it down with me. Continue reading

DraftKings Around the Horn September 18th, 2019

Joel Dorcas |September 18th, 2019

Tonight we have flamethrower Gerrit Cole and his 0.82 ERA in September as the easy favorite as the number one starting pitcher, in turn, we will have to find value at SP2 to pay up for Cole. As for bats, the Twins, Cubs, Indians, and Astros are all in good spots and will likely lead the way as popular options to target for offense. Let’s take a trip around the diamond, let’s go Around the Horn! Continue reading

MLB DFS: Arms, Bats, and Stacks for September 17th, 2019

Joey Ricotta | September 17th, 2019

With the MLB season winding down, we won’t have many more opportunities to take advantage and make some money playing DFS. We need to capitalize on the remaining opportunities. That brings us to tonight’s slate of 14 games, starting a little later than normal at 7:05 ET. On the docket, we have a game at Coors Field which we always have to prioritize one way or the other, as well as some pitchers in good spots. To save you time and research, I went ahead and put some work in for you. The daily grind keeps rolling and we aren’t slowing down for anything or anyone. It’s time to get right back to it. Here are some of my favorite DFS plays for tonight’s games. Continue reading

Two-Start Pitchers: Week 23 and Streamer of the Week

Matt Bishop | September 9, 2019

STREAMER OF THE WEEK

Mitch Keller, SP PIT 

(37% CBS, 4% ESPN, 9% Yahoo)

9/10: @ San Francisco Giants (69-74) 3rd in NL West

9/15: @ Chicago Cubs (76-66) 2nd in NL Central

I know this is cheap and a bit lazy being that I used Mitch Keller last week, but he was hit on the hand by a line drive in his outing on 9/03 and was forced to leave the game after only 1,2 innings and striking out 3 batters. This forced him to miss most of his first start and all of his second, but he is slotted back into the rotation and on track for Tuesday 9/10 and Sunday 9/15, so why not?

Firmly solidified as the Pittsburgh Pirates top prospect and ranked as the 25th best prospect in baseball, Mitch Keller carries an electric skill set and an array of plus offerings. But since his callup on 5/27, the results have been lack-luster, pitching to a butt clenching 8.62 ERA 1.98 WHIP. While his 11.86 K/9 is encouraging, Keller has never really been known for his control, which is evident from his 3.45 BB/9. This is slightly higher than his 2.83 BB/9 minor league career mark, but not terrible for his first exposure to major league hitters. Continue reading

DraftKings Around the Horn September 5th, 2019

Joel Dorcas |September 5th, 2019

Just seven games to break down in MLB DFS tonight. Stephen Strasburg is the number one pitcher option in a tough matchup at Atlanta. After that, is a whole bunch of mediocrity. A strategy that is likely to be popular will be rostering two mid-tier pitchers to go along with some higher-priced bats. Minnesota will face Nathan Eovaldi at Fenway, the Rays get a home matchup against Trent Thornton and the Jays, and the ‘Stros will look to tee off at home against Marco Gonzalez and the Mariners. Let’s “Step into a Slim-Jim” and go Around the Horn! Continue reading

September Call-Ups: NL Central Edition

Alex Kielar | Aug 28th, 2019 

With September looming and pennant races tightening, it’s almost time for major league rosters to expand from 25 to 40. So I am going to give you a series of articles breaking down the likely most impactful September Call-Ups for all 30 teams. Now for the National League Central. Continue reading

Week 21 MLB Power Rankings

Daniel Corrigan | August 27th, 2019

Not too many shake-ups in this weeks power rankings. We do have some change in the middle, but the teams listed are the ones that we will see playing in October.

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Week 20 MLB Power Rankings

Daniel Corrigan |August 20, 2019

We are slowly approaching September Call ups. This is how the top contenders have ranked in the Week 20 power rankings.

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5 MLB Field/Sideline Reporters to follow for the rest of 2019… and beyond

Tom Greene  Aug 16th, 2019

If you’ve watched any sporting event, you notice that there are sideline reporters at every game. These reporters present info that is key to the game you’re about to watch, whether it’s an update on an injury to a player, field condition, or even a story about a player that you may not know. Continue reading

MLB DFS: Core Plays and Stacks for August 15, 2019

Joey Ricotta \ Aug 15th, 2019 

A nice and easy slate of games on hand for tonight. What makes DFS easy? Nothing. But we feel like it’s easier when there aren’t as many games being played. It helps us narrow down our research and eliminate overlooking good match-ups. With that said, you still never know what is going to happen. That is the beauty of sports. That is the beauty of baseball. Anything can and most likely will happen. But that shouldn’t stop us from trying to predict how the games will go. Here are some guys in good spots that I’ll be using as Core Plays tonight. Continue reading

MLB All-Decade Team: 2010s

Alex Kielar  Aug 14th, 2019

The 2019 MLB season is now in its stretch run, closing out the final year of this decade. So I thought it would be fun to put together a team of the best players by position for the 2010s All-Decade Team. A couple picks are definitely no-brainers, with others being tougher to come to a decision. Without further ado, here we go. Let the arguments commence. Continue reading

DraftKings Around the Horn August 9th, 2019

Joel Dorcas |August 9th, 2019

L.A. Dodgers ace Walker Buehler appears to be the safest option at SP1. However, a couple of lesser-priced options are a good way to balance out your lineup. Houston is facing Dylan Bundy and the Orioles at hitter-friendly Camden Yards.  The Yankees are facing another one of the Blue Jays young prospects. The Red Sox are in plus-matchup at home to the Angels and the Padres are at home against Kyle Freeland who has really hit the skids of late. These are all prime spots for high scoring totals. Let’s get the weekend kicked off right and go Around the Horn! Continue reading

The Chicago Cubs’ August Survival Guide

Tom Greene \ Aug 7th, 2019

The trade deadline has come and gone. The National League Central remains highly contested. The Cubs bullpen, per some fans, seems to be in disarray. However, with all that being said, the Chicago Cubs are in first place in the division. Wrigley Field has been the friendly confines that it advertises to be… for the Cubs. The road hasn’t. Just a few days into August, here are three things the Cubs should do to stay in the race for the division title. Cubs fans, here’s your survival guide to the month of August. And no, watching the Bears isn’t on this list. Sorry, coach Ditka. Continue reading

Locks, Stacks, and Barrels: MLB DFS for August 7, 2019

John Lepore | August 7th, 2019

The baseball season is a grind. It’s every single day. We will approach DFS the same way and be winners at the end of the season even if we have our hot streaks and slumps. Every day there are safe bets that flop and values that hit big, but we need to stick with our strategy in evaluating and playing. Let’s take a look at what we have today.

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MLB DFS: Arms, Bats, and Stacks for August 5, 2019

Joey Ricotta \ Aug 5th, 2019

Welcome back. We jump right into the week with a bigger slate than normal for a Monday. A 12-gamer with a decent amount of value along with some fun match-ups to exploit. So, let’s dive right in and take a look at the Arms, Bats, and Stacks for tonight’s games. Continue reading

Post Trade Deadline Power Rankings

Daniel Corrigan |August 5th, 2019

Barring any late-season injuries, the final rosters are set after the trade deadline has passed. A familiar face in the AL has soared right to the top and a surprise team is slowly making its way into the top 10. Here are the new rankings.

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What Teams Need To Give Up To Land Noah Syndergaard

John Supowitz| July 30th, 2019

There was a lot of expectations in Flushing this year: Wilson Ramos, Jed Lowrie, Robinson Cano, with a Cy Young deGrom, the Mets looked to be a force in that heavy National League East. Unfortunately, the familiar injury bug and some players not living up to expectations have them in fourth place. They have said Noah Syndergaard is available, and a few teams could use an ace quality pitcher like him. He won’t come cheap; The Mets will look to rebuild their franchise as a result of trading him. Here’s what some teams may need to give up to land the Syndergaard. Continue reading

Trade Deadline Spotlight: Whit Merrifield

Daniel Corrigan | July 30th, 2019

One of the more versatile players in baseball, Whit Merrifield is one of the most sought after trade deadline targets this season.

Merrifield has been one of the lone bright spots for the Kansas City Royals. He has been sitting at an above-average WAR his whole career and is improving his defense. He has that .300 BA and 20 HR capabilities at the dish as well. He is also a great base runner. He stole 43 bases last season and 34 the year before that.

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Two-Start Pitchers: Week 17 (7/29 – 8/04)

Matt Bishop | July 29, 2019

STREAMER OF THE WEEK

Tyler Beede, SP SF

(36% CBS, 7% ESPN, 11% Yahoo)

Tyler Beede’s seasonal stat line leaves much to be desired.  Currently pitching to a 4.85 ERA 1.48 WHIP with an 8.6 K/9, he doesn’t really stand out as a highly touted waiver wire add. But since the calendar has turned to July, he seems to be putting it together:

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Chicago Cubs Not So Minor Additions

Joey Ricotta| July 27th, 2019

With the trade deadline approaching rapidly, Theo Epstein and the Chicago Cubs needed a response from their 2016 World Series MVP Ben Zobrist. They needed to know whether or not he would be returning to the team. This season has been rough on the veteran as he took an extended leave of absence due to personal life issues. Continue reading

7&7: First Call For The Second Half

John Supowitz| July 24th, 2019

DJ LaMehieu – Second Base – New York Yankees

Hopefully, La Machine thanks me after the end of the season with all the promotion I’ve been giving him. Just like the weather this weekend the man stayed hot. He batted .423 this week and has only been hitless in one game since the end of the all-star break, and 27 of his last 29 games. Continue reading

Nicholas Castellanos Comerica Park Rant Is Not All Wrong

Antonio Losada| July 23rd, 2019

Moments after winning their 30th game of the season, the Tigers had someone to thank for it. His name, Nicholas Castellanos. Detroit’s outfielder hit a homer in the 10th inning to seal the victory and, well, not much more given the season the Tigers are in the middle of.

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Week 17 Power Rankings

Daniel Corrigan | July 22nd, 2019

We have a new number one in the power rankings. It is a familiar face and should come as no surprise. With the trade deadline approaching, there is going to be some serious movement in the rankings as we approach the playoffs.

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Two-Start Pitchers: Week 16 (7/22 – 7/28)

Matt Bishop | July 22nd, 2019

STREAMER OF THE WEEK

Adrian Sampson, SP TEX

(16% CBS, 4% ESPN, 6% Yahoo)

2019 Season Stats:

(6-6) 4.92 ERA 1.45 WHIP 7.42 K/9 2.04 BB/9

13.6% K-BB% 1.76 HR/9 Continue reading

MLB DFS: Tough Tuesday Picks for July 16, 2019

Joey Ricotta | July 16th, 2019

When I first looked at the pitchers lined up for tonight’s full boat of games, I may or may not have vomited in my mouth a little bit. With this many games, you wouldn’t expect it to be such a struggle to find good pitching, from a fantasy perspective at least. The pitching we would normally pay for at certain ranges is priced ridiculously high because of the lack of pitching overall. Nothing against Lance Lynn, because he’s been terrific so far this season, but when he’s the highest-priced pitcher on Draftkings, you know it’s going to be an uphill battle and similar to pulling teeth to put together some solid lineups. The best advice I can give, don’t watch any of these guys actually pitch. Not because they are terrible pitchers, but because you will drive yourself crazy. Watch the games you have hitters from unless there is some correlation between the two and then I don’t know what to tell you. I’m sorry but suffer away. Now, let’s get into the toothaches and picks for tonight’s games. Excuse me. Locks and Stacks. Continue reading

Week 16 Power Rankings

Daniel Corrigan | July 16th, 2019

 

The Trade deadline is quickly approaching. Most of these teams listed will look different in two weeks. But for now, let’s rank them as is.

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Buy High, Trade Targets and High Floor Waiver Wire Adds

Matt Bishop | July 12, 2019

I am wrong a lot. I was wrong when I said Matt Strahm had an elite skill set and proceeded to pitch to a 9.00 ERA since June 20 and get demoted to the bullpen. I was wrong when I called Kole Calhoun a league winner only to watch him hit .227 with a .764 OPS and 100 wRC+ since June 3. And I was way off base when I called Jose Peraza a serviceable SS option the rest of the season after turning in a dreadful .755 OPS and 95 wRC+ since April 25. But no matter how off base these claims can be, 3 out of 10 in baseball ain’t bad. Good luck and godspeed. Continue reading

MLB DFS: Monday Money Plays and Stacks for July 15, 2019

Joey Ricotta | July 15th, 2019

Welcome back. It’s been a little over a week since I’ve last written a DFS article but hopefully, the winning hasn’t stopped for you. The All-Star break was much-needed for me personally, but I’m very excited to be back full force, ready to drop some knowledge that may help drop some dollars into our accounts. With that said, let’s get right into the Monday Money Plays and Stacks for tonight’s games. Continue reading

Pitchers Primed For a Better Second Half

Michael Simione  | July 11th, 2019

Max Fried

Max Fried started the year off hot with a 2.43 ERA in May. He has since cooled off putting up an ERA of 4.11 in May and 5.68 ERA in June. I wouldn’t shy away from him though; in fact, I would be buying anywhere I can. Continue reading

Team Grades: National League Central

Alex Kielar| July 10th, 2019

The NL Central is the tightest division race in the Majors at midseason, with only 4.5 games separating first and last place. By season’s end, it will probably end up being a three-team race between the Cubs, Brewers, and Cardinals. Let’s dive into each team in this division, starting with the first-place Chicago Cubs. Continue reading

Post All-Star Break Power Rankings

Daniel Corrigan | July 10th, 2019

 

We are officially back to real baseball. A wonderful weekend in Cleveland has come to an end, and we have teams to rank. Continue reading

MLB DFS: Cash Core and Stacks for July 7, 2019

Joey Ricotta | July 7th, 2019

The holiday weekend is almost over. So, let’s try to end it on a high note by making some DFS cash. Here are some of my favorite cash game core plays and stacks for today’s games. Continue reading

MLB DraftKings Around the Horn July 4th, 2019

Joel Dorcas |July 4th, 2019

Happy Independence Day! What better way to spend your holiday than watching baseball and playing daily fantasy. Summer is just getting started and the mid-summer classic is just around the corner. By now we have a pretty good handle on who we can count on for production so let’s keep grinding out solid lineups. Put on the spikes kids, we’re going Around the Horn! Continue reading

Week 13 MLB Power Rankings

Daniel Corrigan | July 2nd, 2019

 

 

1. New York Yankees (54 – 28)

New York Yankees Franchise Logo

The Yankees went to London and promptly kicked ass. They scored 29 runs over the pond. The Yankees are red-hot and with a healthy (sort of) team, we can only watch as they get hotter.

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MLB DFS: Pitching and Core Hitters for July 1, 2019

Joey Ricotta | July 1st, 2019

To me, it is clearly time to spend up for the big hitters tonight. With only five games on the menu, the pitching options are few and far between. I’ve narrowed down a couple that I will be targeting and have included some of the hitters I like for tonight. It’s a new month and the same old grind. Let’s get into some Pitching and Core Hitters to target for tonight. Continue reading

MLB DFS: Pitching and Core Targets for June 25, 2019

Joey Ricotta | June 25th, 2019

You need to set your lineups. So, let’s get right into some picks for this huge Tuesday night slate of games. Continue reading

Week 12 MLB Power Rankings

Daniel Corrigan | June 25th, 2019

 

1. Los Angeles Dodgers  (54-26)

Los Angeles Dodgers Franchise Logo

The Dodgers continue to stay red-hot. They have the best record in baseball and the best team in baseball. Cody Bellinger continues an unreal season. You know this team is special when they have won three straight games off a rookie walk-off home run. Continue reading

MLB DFS: Core Plays and Stacks for June 24, 2019

Joey Ricotta| June 24th, 2019

A small slate of games on deck for tonight with one potential rain out. The New York Yankees are huge favorites at home. Meanwhile, the wind should be blowing heavily straight out to center at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Let’s take a look at some core plays and stacks for tonight that can help us maneuver around the madness we call DFS. Continue reading

The MLB Schedule should change. Here’s How

Tom Greene | June 21st, 2019

This week in Baseball (Yes, that #TWIB show on FOX is something I miss, too!) sees the return of Albert Pujols to St. Louis for the first time since 2012. It also saw the Astros visiting Cincinnati for the first time since their move to the American League in 2013. Let’s break this down for a second. Continue reading

Week 11 MLB Power Rankings

Daniel Corrigan | June 17th, 2019

We once again have a change at the top spot for this week’s power rankings. You can find my week 10 power rankings in the link below.

Week 10 Rankings

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Pat Maroon- St. Louis’s Hometown Hero

Tom Greene | June 13th, 2019

On April 23rd, 1988, the dream of hoisting a Stanley Cup in St. Louis became closer to reality, but nobody knew it. This was the day Pat Maroon was born. In the time before Maroon could play hockey, the Blues were met with success as well as failure. Let’s break down how Pat Maroon and his St. Louis Blues brought the cup home, looking from the Blues and then Maroon’s perspective.

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My 2019 NL All-Star starters

Marcos Mendoza | June 13, 2019

We’re just under a month away from the 2019 MLB All-Star game in Cleveland, so here are my starting nine for the National League squad:

CATCHER

Yasmani Grandal, Brewers

2019 stats: .282/.381/.544 .925 OPS .385 wOBA 138 wRC+ .262 ISO 14 HR and 2.6 WAR.

Grandal ranks 1st among NL catchers in every statistic listed above and he’s been just what the Brewers expected as they signed him in free agency.

Runner Up: Willson Contreras, Cubs Continue reading