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Edward Mass
Sep 14, 2011

*dubstep intensifies*


It's time again to put on your baseball cap, as the baseball season starts tomorrow. Do you not have a team to root for? Read this thread and get introduced to Major League Baseball's clubs!


The Defending Champions in GIF form (mostly)

Manager - A.J. Hinch


There were no good GIFs of A.J. Hinch.

Key Gains
Gerrit Cole (SP)

Key Losses
Carlos Beltran (DH)
Luke Gregerson (RP)
Cameron Maybin (Taco Hero)

Catcher - Brian McCann (.241/.323/.436)

One of the two burly catching lads, McCann is perfectly serviceable as the day-to-day catcher. Maybe I'm spoiled by the 1-4 of the lineup.

First Base - Yulieski Gurriel Marwin Gonzalez (.303/.377/.530)

With Yuli sidelined due to injury + racism, The Darvish Killer will get the start at 1st for the first few weeks. Gonzalez is a Jack of All Trades both as a fielder and a batter, and it wouldn't surprise me to see him get traded as part of a deadline deal for some mega-player.

Second Base - Jose Altuve (.346/.410/.547)

The second regular-season MVP the Astros have ever had, Altuve is as good as his stats say he is. If he stays healthy and doesn't regress too hard, will get to 3,000 hits. Very short.

Shortstop - Carlos Correa (.315/.391/.550)

The other half of the double play combo, Correa might be a better player than Altuve and was in contention for the MVP before getting hurt last year. Should be the favorite for MVP this year if he's healthy and plays 150+ games.

Third Base - Alex Bregman (.284/.352/.475)

Drafted as a Shortstop and converted to 3B, Bregman is, without a doubt, the defensive MVP of this team. Twice in the postseason he timed out throws to catch a baserunner out at home.

Left Field - Derek Fisher (.212/.307/.356)

It's impossible to see if Derek Fisher is the long-term solution to our LF needs, but he's going to start for us on Opening Day, what with Marwin playing 1B. If Fisher doesn't cut it, Kyle Tucker will get called up, and we'll see if his dog-javelining carries over.

Center Field - George Springer (.283/.367/.522)

World Series MVP. Hits home runs. Like that one!

Right Field - Josh Reddick (.314/.363/.484)

Despite his poor showing in the post-season, Reddick was pretty reliable as a RF in 2017. He's the Astro most likely to get naked.

Designated Hitter - Evan Gattis (.263/.311/.457)

Former janitor and current homeless Kurt Angle, Gattis was de-emphasized last year for Carlos Beltran at DH. With Beltran retired, expect Gattis to be a fantasy favorite. Probably won't get 11 triples this year.

SP1 - Justin Verlander (15-8)

Acquired from the Tigers with two seconds to midnight (or so the story goes), the ALCS MVP has one loss to his name as an Astro. Wins? 9. I personally would have put him at SP2, but I'm not managing the World Series champions.

SP2 - Dallas Keuchel (14-5)

Former Cy Young winner Keuchel is the lone lefty in the rotation. King of the groundout, not so much the strikeout.

SP5 - Lance McCullers, Jr. (7-4)

I'd like to show you 24 consecutive curveballs, but I can't find it.

SP4 - Gerrit Cole (12-12)

The big acquisition (if the only one that matters right now). If we're lucky, becomes 2018's Charlie Morton and stuns us all with how good he can be.

SP5 - Charlie Morton (14-7)

The man who won Game 7 of the World Series is SP5. Think about THAT for a second.

Closer - Ken Giles (1-3, 34 saves)

Giles had more saves in 2017 than he had in his last three years combined. Baseball's a funny game.

PREDICTION
Oh, we're winning the AL West again. After that, who knows? I'm not saying we're going back-to-back, but we've got as good a chance as any team to win it all.

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Intruder
Mar 5, 2003

Hitting the Submit Post button


Prediction: Kyle Tucker will be the every day LF the very first game possible that will delay his service time by a year

BigBallChunkyTime
Nov 25, 2011

Kyle Schwarber: World Series hero, Beefy Lad, better than you.



Illegal Hen

Prediction: Kyle Schwarber will finish in the top 5 in MVP voting.

IcePhoenix
Sep 18, 2005

Take me to your Shida



There is already a predictions thread you dweebs

Though at least Intruder's post was relevant to the thread since it was a reaction to the teampost.

CubsWoo
Aug 17, 2005

Where the big boys RAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGH FUCK YOU


The Chicago Cubs Are Still Good So Get Ready For Another Six Or Seven Months Of Cubsposting

2017 Record: 92-70 (1st NL Central, defeated Nationals 3-2 in NLDS, lost 4-1 to Dodgers in NLCS)

The Cubs got hit hard by the post-title hangover, were a sub-.500 team in the first half, turned on the afterburners after the ASB and won the Central by 6 games over a scrappy Brewers squad punching above expectations. Most of their offseason has been about swapping one ace for another and shoring up a leaky bullpen while the young hitting core gets a year older and hopefully a year better! While the 25-man has not been finalized as of this post, there is a very good chance the Cubs will only carry one position player over the age of 30 on Opening Day as they try to reach the playoffs for the fourth straight year and win a third consecutive division title.

DID YOU KNOW: This is now the second-longest Cubs World Series title drought after winning a title.

Manager: Joe Maddon (292-193, .602 record with Cubs, 19-17 postseason record with Cubs)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZGqQDWD2MA

Joe Maddon has 19 Cub postseason wins in 3 years. The Cubs had 18 postseason wins from 1909 to 2014. He's quirky and weird and will absolutely mismanage a bullpen and grind a few arms into fine powder but you're a fool if you don't think this guy hasn't already earned himself a statue outside Wrigley someday. He will not quit the team, but simply be seen driving off in an RV and never been seen again.

Losses from 2017:

Jon Jay (CF, Royals)
Miguel Montero (C, Nationals)
Alex Avila (C, Diamondbacks)
Rene Rivera (C, Angels)
Jeimer Candelario (IF, Tigers)
Matt Szczur (OF, Padres)
Leonys Martin (OF, Tigers)

Jake Arrieta (SP, Phillies)
John Lackey (SP, FA/Retired?)
Brett Anderson (SP, A's/MiLB?)
Felix Pena (RP, Angels)
Dylan Floro (RP, Reds)
Justin Grimm (RP, Royals)
Hector Rondon (SU, Astros)
Koji Uehara (SU, Japan)
Pierce Johnson (P, Giants)
Zac Rosscup (P, Rockies)
Jack Leathersich (P, Indians/MiLB)
Wade Davis (CL, Rockies)
Seth Frankoff (P, Korea)



New faces for 2018:

Yu Darvish (SP)
Tyler Chatwood (SP)
Steve Cishek (RP)
Brandon Morrow (CL)

Catcher: Willson Contreras (.276/.356/.499, 119 OPS+, 4.0 WAR)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgoNWotRgOs

Willson had a promising second half of 2016 and built on that to become what looks like a long-term solution at the catcher position for the Cubs. Loves surprising runners with back-picks and has been talked up by some as a dark horse NL MVP candidate this year.

First Base: Anthony Rizzo (.273/.392/.507, 132 OPS+, 4.3 WAR)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sm3q14hgXYE

A good guy and a good baseballer who will probably have his forearm shattered sooner or later taking his 54th HBP of the season.

Second Base: Javier Baez (.273/.317/.480, 103 OPS+, 2.9 WAR)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8P5lYZzDTc

If you had told me those offensive numbers were improvements over 2016 I would not have believed it but there we are. Maybe this is the year that breaking balls 18 inches outside won't look like juicy swing targets but don't count on it.

Third Base: Kris Bryant (.295/.409/.537, 143 OPS+, 6.2 WAR)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7X4FGKapYM

Had a small (but not that small) dropoff from his MVP year. Will probably have another 'average' KB year where he's worth 6 WAR, bats nearly .300 and socks 30 dingers.

Shortstop: Addison Russell (.239/.304/.418, 85 OPS+, 2.4 WAR)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rki0cQ5V2U

One of the bigger regressions from 2016, Addison still played solid defense and will hope to rebound, even if he'll probably never be a plus hitter.

Left Fielder: Kyle Schwarber (.211/.315/.467, 99 OPS+, 0.0 WAR)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu4Rs09KBmQ

The Beef is leaner this year and fans are hoping his .340/.419/.660 spring training slash line will hold up while not being as much of a defensive liability in left field.

Center Fielder: Ian Happ (.253/.328/.514, 114 OPS+, 1.8 WAR)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyAZLyg5ZZM

Happ entered Spring Training as a utility bench guy and is likely leaving as the leadoff hitter and starting center fielder after an absolute monster spring. Happ slashed .321/.400/.811 with 7 homers in 53 AB and has looked like a breakout star.

Right Fielder: Jason Heyward (.259/.326/.389, 85 OPS+, 2.3 WAR)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGCOOu_pboE

I was going to type a bunch of words about Heyward but in the time it took to think of something he tapped another slow grounder directly to the second baseman

Likely bench players:

C Victor Caratini (.254/.333/.356, 80 OPS+, 0.1 WAR)
IF Tommy La Stella (.288/.389/.472, 123 OPS+, 0.3 WAR)
UT Ben Zobrist (.232/.318/.375, 79 OPS+, 0.5 WAR)
OF Albert Almora (.298/.338/.445, 101 OPS+, 1.1 WAR)

Starting Pitchers:

Jon Lester (13-8, 4.33 ERA, 1.323 WHIP, 100 ERA+, 1.0 WAR)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-e94ZUvGJk

Jon took a massive step back from his 2015/16 form and the jury is out on whether it was just an off year or the start of a decline as he enters his age-34 season. Either way I think he's probably more like the #3 or #4 on this team but he's going to be used like a #1.

Kyle Hendricks (7-5, 3.03 ERA, 1.189 WHIP, 144 ERA+, 3.3 WAR)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeDE4JlHP9Y

Kyle will keep throwing 86 and having no outward emotions and will get a lot of people out and nobody will have a good explanation for any of it.

Yu Darvish (10-12, 3.86 ERA, 1.163 WHIP, 118 ERA+, 3.7 WAR)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rW6uF7JThqI

That one guy who runs the Clark Street stall that got suckered into 20 boxes of "Horry Kow" shirts back in the late 2000s is ready for everyone to get racist again. Darvish was arguably the best starter on the market this year and he seems motivated to atone for his poor performance with the Dodgers in the World Series.

Jose Quintana (11-11, 4.15 ERA, 1.224 WHIP, 117 ERA+, 2.3 WAR)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICBnHa90spI

I think Quintana will end up being the best starter across the year for the Cubs in 2018 and it may not be close.

Tyler Chatwood (8-15, 4.69 ERA, 1.442 WHIP, 107 ERA+, 2.0 WAR)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIRLQIY_z7U

Chatwood is a good "will be much better when he doesn't have to pitch half the year at Coors" candidate and even if he isn't he's a perfectly serviceable fifth starter.

Relief Pitchers:

Mike Montgomery (7-8, 3.38 ERA, 1.209 WHIP, 129 ERA+, 2.4 WAR)
Eddie Butler (4-3, 3.95 ERA, 1.427 WHIP, 111 ERA+, 0.8 WAR)
Pedro Strop (5-4, 2.83 ERA, 1.177 WHIP, 157 ERA+, 1.1 WAR)
Steve Cishek (3-2, 2.01 ERA, 0.896 WHIP, 174 ERA+, 1.5 WAR)
Brian Duensing (1-1, 2.74 ERA, 1.219 WHIP, 159 ERA+, 1.3 WAR)
Justin Wilson (4-4, 3.41 ERA, 1.293 WHIP, 133 ERA+, 1.5 WAR)
Carl Edwards, Jr. (5-4, 2.98 ERA, 1.010 WHIP, 146 ERA+, 1.5 WAR)
Brandon Morrow (6-0, 2.06 ERA, 0.916 WHIP, 204 ERA+, 1.2 WAR)


PREDICTION: The Cubs will win at least 90 games and another NL Central title. If they remember to bring a bullpen and contact in the playoffs, they'll win the World Series. If they don't, they'll lose the NLCS in 4-5 games again.

CubsWoo fucked around with this message at 00:33 on Mar 29, 2018

Timby
Dec 23, 2006

Your mother!



CubsWoo posted:


Shortstop: Addison Russell (.239/.204/.418, 85 OPS+, 2.4 WAR)

.304, not .204. Be pretty difficult to have an on-base percentage 35 points lower than your BA.

Intruder
Mar 5, 2003

Hitting the Submit Post button


Timby posted:

.304, not .204. Be pretty difficult to have an on-base percentage 35 points lower than your BA.

Yet possible!

CubsWoo
Aug 17, 2005

Where the big boys RAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGH FUCK YOU


Timby posted:

.304, not .204. Be pretty difficult to have an on-base percentage 35 points lower than your BA.

Jason Heyward is hard at work at this puzzler

R.D. Mangles
Jan 10, 2004




i'm so loving pumped for yu, i'm so happy he's on the team i like and also we finally got rid of john lackey

elentar
Aug 26, 2002

Congratulations! Your bonsai is dead!

Photos/gifs later if time allows.

The Cobb County Holding Patterns

2017 Record: 72-90, good for 3rd in last year's astonishingly bad NL East

Little was expected, and little delivered. This year: more of the same at a very, very slightly higher pitch.

Manager: Brian Snitker

Popular with the players, otherwise replacement-level. Not Bobby Cox (in the dugout anyway, no idea how he is on a bender) but also not Fredi Gonzalez, which goes a long way.

Losses from 2017:

Various bums.

New faces for 2018:

Additional bums. Oh, and Brandon McCarthy.

Should also probably count Alex Anthopoulos here too, after incessantly flirting with Dayton Moore the Braves managed to fall rear end-backwards into a much, much savvier GM.

Catchers: Tyler Flowers and Kurt Suzuki

Bizarrely productive, Suzuki in particular has revitalized his career by affecting a moonshot launch-angle swing. Flowers is widely considered one of the best pitch framers in baseball. Both due for a serious regression.

First Base: Freddie Freeman

On track for a loving golden season till he took one off the wrist, lost two months, and had to settle for merely a very good season instead. It'd be nice for him not to lose a big chunk of this year; if he stays healthy and near his best he's a match for almost anyone.

Second Base: Ozzie Albies

Top of the lineup fixture for years to come.

Third Base:Johan Camargo

At least, once he works back to health, the spot should be his. Not a dynamo but any rights but unexpectedly decent. Ryan Flaherty will cover till then.

Shortstop: Dansby Swanson

Disastrous 2017 that saw him get benched repeatedly and even demoted. Recovered a little by the end but hard to argue there isn't a lot of luster lost, maybe has more to prove than any other single member of the team apart from maybe Teheran.

Left Fielder: Nick Markakis

Doubles machine, Veteran Presence™. Not much good at anything else, really just biding time for a trade. Right fielder until Ronald Acuña comes up, so LF will be some dumb platoon involving Lane Adams, Preston Tucker, Peter Bourjos, Danny Santana, or others till then.

Center Fielder: Ender Inciarte

Incredible in the field, not too shabby at bat. The real gem of the Shelby Miller trade.

Right Fielder: Ronald Acuña

New god, at least once he gets two indispensable weeks of seasoning in AAA. Until then, Markakis.

Likely bench players:

C Kurt Suzuki
C Chris Stewart
IF Charlie Culberson
UT Ryan Flaherty
OF Peter Bourjos

Extra catcher since whoever of Flowers/Suzuki isn't playing is easily the team's best PH.

Starting Pitchers:

Julio Teheran

Downright bad for long stretches of 2017, didn't seem to like pitching at the new home field. Likely trade bait if he can recapture his form.

Brandon McCarthy

The new old guy, albeit most younger than last year's models.

Mike Foltynewicz

Has all the stuff to be a top-line starter,

Sean Newcomb

Improving, might actually be the first of the

Anibal Sanchez?!

Awful but also extremely short term, keeping SP5 warm during Luiz Gohara's DL stint.

Relief Pitchers:

Arodys Vizcaino
Sam Freeman
Jose Ramirez
A.J. Minter
Peter Moylan
Dan Winkler
Shane Carle
Rex Brothers

After being one of the worst pens in the league last year, they might aspire to mediocre this year?


PREDICTION: The Braves will flirt with .500 for a while and then fade badly in early summer, triggering trades of veterans and opening up slots for the farm system kids. That's the hope and plan, anyway, but really the only thing that matters is moving from one game to the next and waiting for various of the prospects to come up.

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tadashi
Feb 20, 2006



elentar posted:

Photos/gifs later if time allows.

The Cobb County Holding Patterns

2017 Record: 72-90, good for 3rd in last year's astonishingly bad NL East

Little was expected, and little delivered. This year: more of the same at a very, very slightly higher pitch.

Manager: Brian Snitker

Popular with the players, otherwise replacement-level. Not Bobby Cox (in the dugout anyway, no idea how he is on a bender) but also not Fredi Gonzalez, which goes a long way.

Losses from 2017:

Various bums.

New faces for 2018:

Additional bums. Oh, and Brandon McCarthy.

Should also probably count Alex Anthopoulos here too, after incessantly flirting with Dayton Moore the Braves managed to fall rear end-backwards into a much, much savvier GM.

Catchers: Tyler Flowers and Kurt Suzuki

Bizarrely productive, Suzuki in particular has revitalized his career by affecting a moonshot launch-angle swing. Flowers is widely considered one of the best pitch framers in baseball. Both due for a serious regression.

First Base: Freddie Freeman

On track for a loving golden season till he took one off the wrist, lost two months, and had to settle for merely a very good season instead. It'd be nice for him not to lose a big chunk of this year; if he stays healthy and near his best he's a match for almost anyone.

Second Base: Ozzie Albies

Top of the lineup fixture for years to come.

Third Base:Johan Camargo

At least, once he works back to health, the spot should be his. Not a dynamo but any rights but unexpectedly decent. Ryan Flaherty will cover till then.

Shortstop: Dansby Swanson

Disastrous 2017 that saw him get benched repeatedly and even demoted. Recovered a little by the end but hard to argue there isn't a lot of luster lost, maybe has more to prove than any other single member of the team apart from maybe Teheran.

Left Fielder: Nick Markakis

Doubles machine, Veteran Presence™. Not much good at anything else, really just biding time for a trade. Right fielder until Ronald Acuña comes up, so LF will be some dumb platoon involving Lane Adams, Preston Tucker, Peter Bourjos, Danny Santana, or others till then.

Center Fielder: Ender Inciarte

Incredible in the field, not too shabby at bat. The real gem of the Shelby Miller trade.

Right Fielder: Ronald Acuña

New god, at least once he gets two indispensable weeks of seasoning in AAA. Until then, Markakis.

Likely bench players:

C Kurt Suzuki
C Chris Stewart
IF Charlie Culberson
UT Ryan Flaherty
OF Peter Bourjos

Extra catcher since whoever of Flowers/Suzuki isn't playing is easily the team's best PH.

Starting Pitchers:

Julio Teheran

Downright bad for long stretches of 2017, didn't seem to like pitching at the new home field. Likely trade bait if he can recapture his form.

Brandon McCarthy

The new old guy, albeit most younger than last year's models.

Mike Foltynewicz

Has all the stuff to be a top-line starter,

Sean Newcomb

Improving, might actually be the first of the

Anibal Sanchez?!

Awful but also extremely short term, keeping SP5 warm during Luiz Gohara's DL stint.

Relief Pitchers:

Arodys Vizcaino
Sam Freeman
Jose Ramirez
A.J. Minter
Peter Moylan
Dan Winkler
Shane Carle
Rex Brothers

After being one of the worst pens in the league last year, they might aspire to mediocre this year?


PREDICTION: The Braves will flirt with .500 for a while and then fade badly in early summer, triggering trades of veterans and opening up slots for the farm system kids. That's the hope and plan, anyway, but really the only thing that matters is moving from one game to the next and waiting for various of the prospects to come up.
If you give Swanson the benefit of the doubt, their only holes in the lineup going forward are at catcher and left field (because Flowers/Suzuki are getting older and they'll replace Markakis, eventually, even if it's just to bench him). That's not bad considering how loaded they are on the pitching prospect side.
I used to think the Phillies had the short term advantage (their floor seems higher right now) and the long term advantage because of the bigger payroll but I'm wondering if the Braves can challenge that.

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