Tag Archives: baseball

This Week in Bill

cespedes

(Credit: Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports)

– Bill Annechino

News broke on Tuesday that the Mets had reached a deal to bring Yoenis Cespedes back.  The details of this contract are four years and $110 million.  The more mathematically-inclined readers will point out that this is an average of $27.5 million dollars per season.  If that sounds like a lot, it’s because it is:  This represents the second-highest annual average guarantee for a position player, ever.  So, the question on everyone’s mind is:  Is this a good deal?  Let’s find out.  Continue reading

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The Definitive MLB Free Agency Preview

Aroldis Chapman is a World Series Champion and is about to get a whole hell of a lot richer. (Getty Images)

Aroldis Chapman is a World Series Champion and is about to get a whole hell of a lot richer. (Getty Images)

– Bill Annechino

With the Hot Stove season of MLB about to start, I figured this would be as good a time as any to offer a free agent primer.  I wanted my primer to be a little different than the typical Listicles that you will find in that I will not be ranking my free agents by traditional “slash line” stats or the Triple Crown stats.  Instead, I am focusing on advanced stats.  For hitters, this means I will be looking at weighted on base average (wOBA), park-adjusted weighted runs created (wrc+), batting average on balls in play (BABIP), and wins above replacement (fWAR).  For pitchers, those statistics are going to be park-adjusted expected fielding independent pitching (xFIP-), batting average on balls in play (BABIP) and wins above replacement (fWAR), of which the “f” signifies that it is the Fangraphs stat, as every statistics outlet calculates WAR somewhat differently.  Since I’m a great guy and I want you, the reader, to have a more nuanced understanding of baseball for having read my article, I’ll take a second to explain these statistics.  For the purposes of this column, all statistics and terminologies are via Fangraphs.com, which is a website that you should be reading and using, if you aren’t already. Continue reading

The Flagrant Foul’s Top 5 Baseball Games Ever and a NFL Week 9 Preview

While you were dodging frozen pigs and escaping from a frozen hell, the impossible happened: the Cubs won the World Series.

While you were dodging frozen pigs and escaping from a frozen hell, the impossible happened: the Cubs won the World Series.

– Bill Annechino

If you want a quick recap of what’s happened in sports since my last column, there are really only three things you need to know:  

The first thing is that the Thursday night game was yet another non-competitive game, this time by way of a Falcons blowout.  It has to be considered troubling for Tampa Bay that Jameis Winston’s development has largely plateaued.  This is only his second season in the league, so it’s possible for him to take a big step forward between this year and next year (think Derek Carr), but you have to think that the Buccaneers were expecting to be getting more out of their franchise quarterback by now.   Continue reading

Game 7 World Series Preview: A Prelude to History

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The Cubs bats (especially Kris Bryant’s) came alive as they rolled over Cleveland in Game 6. (Getty Images)

Bill Annechino

Yesterday, I predicted the Cubs would win Game 6, and go on to win the World Series in 7 games. So far, the first half of that prediction has come true. Both the Indians and the Cubs now stand 1 game away from their first World Series title in quite some time; perhaps you have heard this storyline? With the Cubs sending Kyle Hendricks to the mound to face off against Corey Kluber, this is probably the best match up that either fan base could have asked for. If you’re Cleveland, you have to feel good about Kluber’s chances, after he has already come out and dominated 2 starts in this World Series, not unlike Madison Bumgarner in 2014. Chicago, meanwhile, should feel good about Kyle Hendricks, who led the Majors in ERA this year. In a fascinating wrinkle, Cleveland’s home field advantage has been effectively neutralized by the presence of Kyle Schwarber, who is only hitting as a DH, due to his miraculously quick recovery from a torn ACL suffered at the beginning of this season. This game, to me, hinges on whether or not the Indians’ ace will be able to dominate like he has all Series, or if a combination of the Cubs seeing him a third time in 9 days and this being his second straight start on short rest proves to be too much for Kluber to overcome. In this article, I am going to compare Kluber’s first 2 World Series starts to see if we can gain any insight into what his third might look like, as well as look at Kyle Hendricks’ lone start to try to figure out what a winning game plan for him may look like, before making my pick for Game 7 and whether or not I will stick to my original prediction. Continue reading

Baseball’s Back! A NL West Preview

The Dodgers won the division last year. Can they repeat and make the next step this season? (Getty Images)

The Dodgers won the division last year. Can they repeat and make the next step this season? (Getty Images)

Cruz Serrano

The seasons still early, and the hope of spring still burns on for almost all 30 major league teams outside Minnesota and Atlanta. As things start to heat up, the races will follow suit. The Wild West will be no exception, with at least three possible contenders in that division (sorry Rockies and Friars, maybe next year?).

Mike Tolsma and I have decided to take turns previewing divisions, and I would like to thank him for his awesome format for doing so. Like Mike, I also value depth, but I will also try and look at things from an analytical standpoint as I am often prone to doing. Continue reading

Baseball’s Back! – NL Central Preview

Jason Heyward was among the Cubs big acquisitions this offseason. (Getty Images)

Jason Heyward was among the Cubs big acquisitions this offseason. (Getty Images)

Cruz Serrano

As I’m typing this, I’m watching the Atlanta Braves play in one of their split squad games against the Houston Astros. The chill is still in the air here in Buffalo, but the spring equinox has passed and regular season baseball is less than 10 days away.

Mike Tolsma and I have decided to take turns previewing divisions, and I would like to thank him for his awesome format for doing so. Like Mike, I also value depth, but I will also try and look at things from an analytical standpoint as I am often prone to doing. Continue reading

Baseball’s Back! – AL Central Preview

Mike Tolsma

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Kansas City, coming off their first title in 30 years, will look to repeat in 2016. (Getty Images)

Spring is finally here and boy could I not be happier. Over the course of the next couple of weeks I am going to hit you guys with my way to early MLB Division previews. Baseball is a long, sometimes too long – grind. April, all the way through October, has its peaks and valleys.

You will notice I will value depth – teams that can go to more than their active 25 man roster are typically the ones who can hang around into August and September. The dog days of May, June, and mid July are very, very real my friends.

First up! The AL Central.

Continue reading

For The Mets, The Future Is Now

Mike Tolsma

November 1st, 2015. Mark that day down, as the New York Mets were still playing baseball. If I have said it once, I have probably said it 1,000 times – if you were to tell me the Mets would be playing baseball in November I would have laughed at you (probably hysterically). Who knew one trade (Cespedes), and a few young, blossoming stars (Syndergaard, D’Arnoud) would pave the way for a run all the way to the baseball seasons winding days. Terry Collin’s took the blame for Sunday nights 9th inning meltdown, and let’s face it – he was out-managed all series long by Ned Yost, of all people. But Yost pushed the right buttons for his side while New York and Terry Collins’ club just didn’t have the answers for the Royals pressure.

Continue reading

The 2015 New York Yankees: A Disappointing Surprise

– Scott Goodwin

Brian McCann tears off the batting gloves as Houston celebrates a 3 - 0 victory over the NY Yankees on October 6th/Photo Credit: Adam Hunger USA Today Sports

Brian McCann tears off the batting gloves as Houston celebrates a 3 – 0 victory over the NY Yankees on October 6th/Photo Credit: Adam Hunger USA Today Sports

The New York Yankees lost to the younger, more athletic and lesser compensated Houston Astros in the AL Wild Card Game by a score of 3 – 0. The sold out crowd roared throughout the opening frame as Yankee’s ace Masahiro Tanaka aimed strike after strike at the Houston batters. Vinny Milano, the leader of the Bleacher Creatures clearly had a rough time leading his traditional roll call. He added an absent C.C. Sabathia to the call, the pitcher departed from the team on Monday to enter an alcohol rehab clinic.   Continue reading

Hard Ball with Hard Foul: Episode 1

Yoenis Cespedes and the Mets are having a Cinderella season. (Getty Images)

The Mets are one of several teams returning to the postseason after a long absence (Getty Images)

A new podcast from the Hard Foul Sports team for the MLB Postseason! Featuring MLB writer Cruz Serrano and Hard Foul Sports podcasters Steve Stich and Evan Sally, this week we preview each divisional series.

Two ways to listen:

iTunes

SoundCloud

Feedback is always appreciated! Tweet us @hardfoulsports, message us on Facebook or email us at hardfoulsports@gmail.com.

As always thank you for listening, and if you like the show tell a friend, give us a review on iTunes or a like on SoundCloud and help us continue to bring you great content!