The term “utility” or “super-utility player” has become as much a part of baseball jargon as “Web Gem”, “Tommy John” or my personal favorite “Eephus”. Utility simply refers to players with the ability to suit-up at numerous positions, on any given day. Once used as a slight on a player’s ability to be an everyday big leaguer, “utility players” have never had it better. Continue reading “Super-Utility Players of 2016: Kris Bryant”
JD’s Pick & Methodology
Took a personal day yesterday to drown out my sorrows, because every-time I begin to gain momentum, I lose a few games and get right back into the red. It’s frustrating. As a general rule of thumb, I prefer to see the first game of series and see what happens because it gives me a better idea of what I want to do. Let’s get a little crazy today and shoot for the moon. I’m parlaying both New York teams today, the Mets and Yankees.
The Yankees are in the midst of a dominating spell against the Twins, rolling off 18 of 23 at Target Field. No team seems to be as streaky as The Bronx Bombers, rattling off 4 or 5 wins at a time with ease and then giving it right back with a streak of losses. Michael Pineda has pitched well of late, with a 2.89 ERA (Earned Run Average) over his last three starts. With the depth and talent at the back end of the Yankees’ bullpen, the Bombers just have to keep it close. Pretty dominating.
The New York Mets face rookie starting pitcher Aaron Blair, who hasn’t pitched deep into a game yet, making it to the sixth inning only once. Albeit a small sample size, Blair’s numbers are nothing short of ugly. With an 0-4 W/L record, 25 Walks to 23 Strikeouts and an astronomical 1.82 WHIP; its easy to see why I am confident that the Mets will be able to put a few runs on the board. Although the Atlanta Braves have won 3 in a row, I don’t see them overcoming a power arm in young lefty Steven Matz. I’m simply picking the Mets because they have much more talent. Period.
I’m also taking the over in the Chicago Cubs / Pittsburgh Pirates game today, with the line currently at 7.5 runs. The Pirates will hopefully cause havoc on base-paths because Jon Lester has shown a complete inability to control the opponents’ running game. Meanwhile, the Cubs’ lineup is absolutely stacked with right-handed hitters, which should bode well because they are facing lefty Jonathon Niese. With the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, look for this game to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 5-4.
I’m betting $50.00 on both the parlay and the Over in the CHC/PIT game. If both the Yankees and Mets are able to win, the parlay would pay-out $60.00. Meanwhile if 8 or more runs are scored at Wrigley today, the pay-out would be $45.00.
You can track all of JD’s picks here: JD’s Pick Tracker
Foreward & Editing By: Thomas L. McLaughlin
Jd, phenomenal work. Great research and analysis on the development process and statistical analysis of Jake Arrieta’s career. An interesting and obviously relevant discussion needs to be had within the Cubs’ front-office as to the club’s future financial obligations. Strasburg got 7 yrs / $175 million from the Nationals earlier this offseason and that deal will obviously be the starting point from which Arrieta’s negotiation begins. The club already has Jon Lester signed through 2020 at $25+ million a year but I am not as optimistic as to the depth of the Cubs’ starting pitching. Lackey is likely done after the 2017 season, when his 2 yr / $32 million deal expires. The Cubs have several years of control left with Bryant, Russell & Schwarber. Rizzo is signed through 2019, to what now looks like a bargain, via a 7 yr / $41 million extension signed in 2013.
Overall the front-office has prepared this team to have a great shot at a long-term dynasty. Outside of the Lester & Heyward contracts, the team has spent frugally on FAs. The real question is whether the Cubs believe Arrieta will be the guy he’s been over the past calendar year, going forward or not. In my opinion, the Cubs will end up signing him to a record deal, with an opt-out; as has been the case with recent elite free-agent SPs in their prime.
Prediction: Cubs agree to a 7 yr. / $250 million contract with Jake Arrieta, after Arrieta tests the free-agent market this summer. Deal will include a player opt-out after three seasons, or the conclusion of the 2019 season.
Jake Arietta has quickly developed into a star during his time with the Chicago Cubs. Currently, Arrieta is considered one of baseball’s most dominant pitchers. The numbers speak for themselves, 9-0 with a 1.56 ERA so far this year. Does this mean big money? A player the Cubs must sign? A face of the franchise? I think not. And let me tell you why.
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