Game 1 (St. Louis Cardinals vs. Cincinnati Reds)

TEAM THUMB

It’s that time of the year again, baseball.

For those that don’t my SPORTS INSIGHTS blog, I’m a prediction guru. For those that will follow, they know I predict starting pitcher lines because its about frequencies. Decisions have to be made and how a pitcher pitches in time of year determines a lot.

Today, the St. Louis Cardinals, the National League Champion, are in Cincinnati to face a Reds team that is led by new manager, Bryan Price. The Opening Day matchup are two aces who carry veteran leadership in the starting rotation. Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright will lead the starting rotation with a bunch of young minds who had impressive 2013 seasons. Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto leads a group that has been in the rotation for more than two seasons, the experience is good for the Reds.

The Cardinals as a team are favored to win the National League Central and to win it by 10 or more games. Reds, on the other hand, struggled to make big name signings this offseason and will have to play with what they have. Reds big season long issue is offense, lost Shin-Soo Choo to free agency and the new center fielder, Billy Hamilton, will have to pick up the slack. If Hamilton is at the league level of OBP, the offense as a whole will not miss Choo.

On to the Opening Day Starters

Adam Wainwright

Adam Wainwright numbers.

WAINWRIGHT’S LAST 7 

  • 45 IP/36 H/15 R/ER/4 BB/44 SO/2 HR
  • BAA .211/ERA 3.00/WHIP 0.89
  • GRADE: 85.60% (B)=1-(ERA+WHIP)/27
  • RATES: 19.89% H/8.29% R/2.21% BB/24.31% SO/1.10% HR
  • WAINWRIGHT’S FIRST 27 RATE: 7.2 IP/5 H/2 R/BB/7 SO

WAINWRIGHT VS. CINCINNATI

  • 93.1 IP/98 H/57 R (53 ER)/28 BB/68 SO/17 HR
  • BAA .259/ERA 5.11/WHIP 1.35
  • GRADE: 76.07% (C)
  • RATES: 24.26% H/14.11% R/15.47% BB/16.83% SO/4.21% HR
  • WAINWRIGHT’S FIRST 27 RATE: 7 IP/7 H/4 R/4 BB/5 SO/HR

WAINWRIGHT AT GREAT AMERICAN BALLPARK

  • 59 IP/55 H/30 R/ER/16 BB/41 SO/9 HR
  • BAA .237/ERA 4.58/WHIP 1.20
  • GRADE: 78.59% (C)
  • RATES: 22.27% H/12.15% R/6.48% BB/16.60% SO/3.64% HR
  • WAINWRIGHT’S FIRST 27 RATES: 7 IP/6 H/3 R/2 BB/4 SO/HR

Johnny Cueto

Johnny Cueto’s numbers.

CUETO’S LAST 7

  • 22.1 IP/15 H/ 8 R/ER/10 BB/26 SO/3 HR
  • BAA .183/ERA 3.22/WHIP 1.12
  • GRADE: 83.91% (B)
  • RATES: 9.93% H/5.30% R/6.62% BB/17.22% SO/1.99% HR
  • CUETO’S FIRST 27 RATE: 7.2 IP/3 H/R/2 BB/5 SO/HR

CUETO VS. ST. LOUIS

  • 83 IP/89 H/43 ER/R/28 BB/39 SO/9 HR
  • BAA .263/ERA 4.66/WHIP 1.41
  • GRADE: 77.51% (C)
  • RATES: 24.79% H/11.98% R/7.80% BB/10.86% SO/2.51% HR
  • CUETO’S FIRST 27 RATE: 7 IP/7 H/3 R/2 BB/3 SO/HR

CUETO AT GREAT AMERICAN BALLPARK

  • 454.1 IP/418 H/187 R (171 ER)/119 BB/381 SO/52 HR
  • BAA .235/ERA 3.39/WHIP 1.18
  • GRADE: 83.08% (B)
  • RATES: 22.28% H/9.97% R/6.34% BB/20.31% SO/2.77% HR
  • CUETO’S FIRST 27 RATE: 7.1 IP/6 H/3 R/2 BB/5 SO/HR

GAME 1

PREDICTION:

ADAM WAINWRIGHT: 7.1 IP/6 H/3 R/2 BB/4 SO/2 HR

JOHNNY CUETO: 7.1 IP/5 H/3 R/2 BB/5 SO/HR

PICK:

If prediction holds, then the bullpen that is currently in good shape wins. That bullpen right now are the St. Louis Cardinals. Offensively, the Cardinals look good on paper, but that talk is now over with the off-season moves they’ve made.

SCORING THREATS FOR TODAY’S GAME

CARDINALS

  • MATT HOLLIDAY
  • YADIER MOLINA
  • JON JAY
  • JHONNY PERALTA

REDS

  • JAY BRUCE
  • RYAN LUDWICK
  • TODD FRAZIER
  • CHRIS HEISEY

Great American Ballpark

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Pre-Season Ranking #1

PRE-POLL (MARCH 29th, 2014)

  • 1-6 A
  • 7-12 B
  • 13-18 C
  • 19-24 D
  • 25-30 F
  1. ST. LOUIS (2013 FINAL RANKING: 6)
  2. ATLANTA (10)
  3. BOSTON (2)
  4. CLEVELAND (4)
  5. KANSAS CITY (3)
  6. WASHINGTON (13)
  7. OAKLAND (11)
  8. CINCINNATI (9)
  9. NEW YORK YANKEES (17)
  10. COLORADO (28)
  11. SAN DIEGO (23)
  12. TEXAS (7)
  13. DETROIT (5)
  14. SAN FRANCISCO (16)
  15. PITTSBURGH (1)
  16. BALTIMORE (12)
  17. NEW YORK METS (20)
  18. LOS ANGELES DODGERS (8)
  19. TAMPA BAY (18)
  20. TORONTO (19)
  21. ARIZONA (15)
  22. MIAMI (26)
  23. PHILADELPHIA (21)
  24. SEATTLE (22)
  25. MILWAUKEE (24)
  26. CHICAGO WHITE SOX (29)
  27. MINNESOTA (25)
  28. CHICAGO CUBS (27)
  29. LOS ANGELES ANGELS (14)
  30. HOUSTON (30)

*Poll is measured for only 2,430 games of the MLB season, it does not carry into Postseason play.

*Poll does not include Opening Series in Sydney, Australia

*Poll based on Winning, Strength of Schedule, and Opponent’s Strength of Schedule

Concerned where your team is, bottom or top? Don’t be, the last ranking matters on September 29th.

Next Poll is released on April 14th, 2014

Previous Post. Offseason Recap and Postseason Prediction

2014 MLB Opening Day/April Notes

Time to refresh on what has happened in the MLB since October. In October, the Boston Red Sox are the World Champions and win the World Series at home for the first time since 1918. Now here comes the fun stuff after that October 30th night.

HOT STOVE

  • The New York Yankees are the winners for free agent signings amount, but the Texas Rangers won the free agent battle with the signing of Shin-Soo Choo. One big signing versus 5 signings that fill position spots. The 5 signings were big names, but we’ll see how it pays off the Yankees.

OTHER HOT STOVE TOPICS

  • The Hot Stove was by far in my opinion one of the quietest, expect for Robinson Cano. Cano was the only free agent that declined price offers from his incument Yankees. Cano and his agent, Jay-Z, chose the Seattle Mariners as his home with a 10-year, $240 million contract. The Free Agent signing was one of the highest in MLB history.
  • Another story that seems to be forgotten is the Clayton Kershaw 7-year, $215 million contract extension and avoided arbitration for Kershaw. The Dodgers are loaded in cash with Magic Johnson owning the team.
  • Reload, the St. Louis Cardinals did some house cleaning and took players that are weak at the plate and replace them with those that reach base constantly. Who wouldn’t want a guy in the .340-.400 range for OBP?

They are other Hot Stove news, but most know that they’re some quiet acquisitions, so no need to deeply explain those moves.


BEST OF THE BEST

  • BEST STARTING ROTATIONS (NOT IN TOP ORDER)
  1. NEW YORK YANKEES
  2. TAMPA BAY RAYS
  3. DETROIT TIGERS
  4. ATLANTA BRAVES
  5. NEW YORK METS
  6. CINCINNATI REDS
  7. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
  8. LOS ANGELES DODGERS
  • BEST BULLPEN (NOT IN TOP ORDER)
  1. OAKLAND ATHLETICS
  2. TEXAS RANGERS
  3. ATLANTA BRAVES
  4. MIAMI MARLINS
  5. MILWAUKEE BREWERS
  6. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
  7. SAN DIEGO PADRES
  8. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
  • BEST PITCHING STAFF (NOT IN TOP ORDER)
  1. BOSTON RED SOX
  2. ATLANTA BRAVES
  3. MIAMI MARLINS
  4. CINCINNATI REDS
  5. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
  6. LOS ANGELES DODGERS
  7. SAN DIEGO PADRES
  • BEST DAILY LINE-UP (NOT IN TOP ORDER)
  1. BOSTON RED SOX
  2. NEW YORK YANKEES
  3. TORONTO BLUE JAYS
  4. DETROIT TIGERS
  5. OAKLAND ATHLETICS
  6. TEXAS RANGERS
  7. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
  8. COLORADO ROCKIES
  • BEST BENCH/PINCH HITTERS (NOT IN TOP ORDER)
  1. BALTIMORE ORIOLES
  2. BOSTON RED SOX
  3. NEW YORK YANKEES
  4. CLEVELAND INDIANS
  5. DETROIT TIGERS
  6. KANSAS CITY ROYALS
  7. OAKLAND ATHLETICS
  8. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
  9. COLORADO ROCKIES
  • BEST OFFENSIVE TEAM (NOT IN TOP ORDER)
  1. BALTIMORE ORIOLES
  2. BOSTON RED SOX
  3. NEW YORK YANKEES
  4. CLEVELAND INDIANS
  5. DETROIT TIGERS
  6. OAKLAND ATHLETICS
  7. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
  8. COLORADO ROCKIES

*BOLD/ITALICS DENOTES LEADER IN CATEGORY BASED ON FREQUENCIES


OCTOBER PREDICTION

The amount of Spring Training injuries can either make or break a team. The MLB is what many call “The Big 162”, it is really hard to predict the division winners and wild cards in March. In 2013, I had the Cincinnati Reds beating the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series in 2013, that didn’t happen.

WILD CARD

  • CLEVELAND-NEW YORK (NEW YORK)
  • ATLANTA-CINCINNATI (ATLANTA)

DIVISION

  • DETROIT-NEW YORK (NEW YORK)
  • ST. LOUIS-ATLANTA (ST. LOUIS)
  • BOSTON-OAKLAND (BOSTON)
  • WASHINGTON-LOS ANGELES (LOS ANGELES)

LEAGUE 

  • BOSTON-NEW YORK (NEW YORK)
  • ST. LOUIS-LOS ANGELES (LOS ANGELES)

WORLD SERIES

  • LOS ANGELES DODGERS 4, NEW YORK YANKEES 2


To the Pre-season Poll, which lasts from March 22-April 14. The Poll is not a voting system, it is more of a performance index that reflects the 30 teams season. The index is measure by winning (the given), the strength of schedule (what they face) and the opponents strength of schedule (what the opponent’s face). How can your team be highly ranked in the index? Winning and facing a tough schedule. The poll is not biased and it is based on formula.

PRE-POLL (MARCH 29th, 2014)

  • 1-6 A
  • 7-12 B
  • 13-18 C
  • 19-24 D
  • 25-30 F
  1. ST. LOUIS (2013 FINAL RANKING: 6)
  2. ATLANTA (10)
  3. BOSTON (2)
  4. CLEVELAND (4)
  5. KANSAS CITY (3)
  6. WASHINGTON (13)
  7. OAKLAND (11)
  8. CINCINNATI (9)
  9. NEW YORK YANKEES (17)
  10. COLORADO (28)
  11. SAN DIEGO (23)
  12. TEXAS (7)
  13. DETROIT (5)
  14. SAN FRANCISCO (16)
  15. PITTSBURGH (1)
  16. BALTIMORE (12)
  17. NEW YORK METS (20)
  18. LOS ANGELES DODGERS (8)
  19. TAMPA BAY (18)
  20. TORONTO (19)
  21. ARIZONA (15)
  22. MIAMI (26)
  23. PHILADELPHIA (21)
  24. SEATTLE (22)
  25. MILWAUKEE (24)
  26. CHICAGO WHITE SOX (29)
  27. MINNESOTA (25)
  28. CHICAGO CUBS (27)
  29. LOS ANGELES ANGELS (14)
  30. HOUSTON (30)

*Poll is measured for only 2,430 games of the MLB season, it does not carry into Postseason play.

*Poll does not include Opening Series in Sydney, Australia

*Poll based on Winning, Strength of Schedule, and Opponent’s Strength of Schedule

2014 National League West

*Top 5 Players are Active Roster as of 3/30/2014. Disabled List does not count.

Arizona Diamondbacks

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

TOP 5 HITTERS IN 2013

  1. PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT
  2. MARK TRUMBO
  3. GERARDO PARRA
  4. MARTIN PRADO
  5. AJ POLLOCK

TOP 5 PITCHERS IN 2013

  1. BRAD ZIEGLER
  2. JOSH COLLMENTER
  3. BO SCHULTZ
  4. WADE MILEY
  5. BRONSON ARROYO

Colorado Rockies
COLORADO ROCKIES

TOP 5 HITTERS IN 2013

  1. MICHAEL CUDDYER
  2. CARLOS GONZALEZ
  3. TROY TULOWITZKE
  4. WILIN ROSARIO
  5. JUSTIN MORNEAU

TOP 5 PITCHERS IN 2013

  1. TYLER CHATWOOD
  2. LaTROY HAWKINS
  3. JORGE De La ROSA
  4. WILTON LOPEZ
  5. MATT BELISLE

Los Angeles Dodgers
LOS ANGELES DODGERS

TOP 5 HITTERS IN 2013

  1. ADRIAN GONZALEZ
  2. YASIEL PUIG
  3. HANLEY RAMIREZ
  4. CARL CRAWFORD
  5. ANDRE ETHIER

TOP 5 PITCHERS IN 2013

  1. CLAYTON KERSHAW
  2. ZACK GREINKE
  3. HYUN-JIN RYU
  4. JAMEY WRIGHT
  5. CHRIS PEREZ

San Diego Padres
SAN DIEGO PADRES

TOP 5 HITTERS IN 2013

  1. CHRIS DENORFIA
  2. WILL VENABLE
  3. JEDD GYORKO
  4. CHASE HEADLEY
  5. EVERTH CABRERA

TOP 5 PITCHERS IN 2013

  1. DALE THAYER
  2. ANDREW CASHNER
  3. TYSON ROSS
  4. TIM STAUFFER
  5. ERIC STULTS

San Francisco Giants

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS

TOP 5 HITTERS IN 2013

  1. HUNTER PENCE
  2. BRANDON BELT
  3. BUSTER POSEY
  4. MARCO SCUTARO
  5. BRANDON CRAWFORD

TOP 5 PITCHERS IN 2013

  1. SANTIAGO CASILLA
  2. MADISON BUMGARNER
  3. MATT CAIN
  4. TIM HUDSON
  5. GEORGE KONTOS

DISLCAIMERS: Top 5 Pitchers and Hitters are determined on a 5 number summary. Pitchers that are in Quartile 1 in Batters Faced qualify. Hitters that are at Maximum runs scored qualify. The 1 to 5 ranking is a reflection of R/PA (Runs per Plate Plate Appearance). R/PA comes in decimal format. Pitchers with the lower decimal point rank from 1st and 2-5 follow pursuit. Hitters with Maximum Runs qualify for 1st and 2-5 follow pursuit. Numbers are based on 2013 season’s, not career numbers. 

 

2014 American League Central

*Top 5 Players are Active Roster as of 3/30/2014. Disabled List does not count.Chicago White Sox

CHICAGO WHITE SOX

TOP 5 HITTERS IN 2013

  1. ALEJANDRO De AZA
  2. ALEXEI RAMIREZ
  3. ADRIAN NIETO
  4. ADAM DUNN
  5. CONOR GILLASPIE

TOP 5 PITCHERS IN 2013

  1. CHRIS SALE
  2. JOSE QUINTANA
  3. RONALD BELISARIO
  4. ERIK JOHNSON
  5. NATHAN JONES

Cleveland Indians

CLEVELAND INDIANS

TOP 5 HITTERS IN 2013

  1. NYJER MORGAN
  2. NICK SWISHER
  3. JASON KIPNIS
  4. CARLOS SANTANA
  5. MICHAEL BRANTLEY

TOP 5 PITCHERS IN 2013

  1. DANNY SALAZAR
  2. JUSTIN MASTERSON
  3. BRYAN SHAW
  4. COREY KLBUER
  5. JOHN AXFORD

Detroit Tigers

DETROIT TIGERS

TOP 5 HITTERS IN 2013

  1. MIGUEL CABRERA
  2. AUSTIN JACKSON
  3. TORII HUNTER
  4. IAN KINSLER
  5. VICTOR MARTINEZ

TOP 5 PITCHERS IN 2013

  1. MAX SCHERZER
  2. JUSTIN VERLANDER
  3. AL ALBURQUERQUE
  4. JOBA CHAMBERLAIN
  5. RICK PORCELLO

Kansas City Royals

KANSAS CITY ROYALS

TOP 5 HITTERS IN 2013

  1. ALEX GORDON
  2. ERIC HOSMER
  3. NORICHIKA AOKI
  4. BILLY BUTLER
  5. ALCIDES ESCOBAR

TOP 5 PITCHERS IN 2013

  1. JAMES SHIELDS
  2. AARON CROW
  3. BRUCE CHEN
  4. JASON VARGAS
  5. KELVIN HERRERA

Minnesota Twins

MINNESOTA TWINS

TOP 5 HITTERS IN 2013

  1. BRIAN DOZIER
  2. JOE MAUER
  3. PEDRO FLORIMON
  4. TREVOR PLOUFFE
  5. JOSH WILLINGHAM

TOP 5 PITCHERS IN 2013

  1. GLEN PERKINS
  2. ANTHONY SWARZAK
  3. JARED BURTON
  4. BRIAN DUENSING
  5. RICKY NOLASCO

2014 National League East

*Top 5 Players are Active Roster as of 3/30/2014. Disabled List does not count.Atlanta Braves

ATLANTA BRAVES

TOP 5 HITTERS IN 2013

  1. JUSTIN UPTON
  2. FREDDIE FREEMAN
  3. ANDRELTON SIMMONS
  4. JASON HEYWARD
  5. DAN UGGLA

TOP 5 PITCHERS IN 2013

  1. CRAIG KIMBREL
  2. LUIS AVILAN
  3. DAVID CARPENTER
  4. ALEX WOOD
  5. JULIO TEHERAN

Miami Marlins

MIAMI MARLINS

TOP 5 HITTERS IN 2013

  1. JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA
  2. GIANCARLO STANTON
  3. GARRETT JONES
  4. CASEY McGEHEE
  5. CHRISTIAN YELICH

TOP 5 PITCHERS IN 2013

  1. STEVE CISHEK
  2. JOSE FERNANDEZ
  3. MIKE DUNN
  4. A.J. RAMOS
  5. NATHAN EOVALDI

New York Mets

NEW YORK METS

TOP 5 HITTERS IN 2013

  1. DANIEL MURPHY
  2. DAVID WRIGHT
  3. ERIC YOUNG JR
  4. CHRIS YOUNG
  5. LUCAS DUDA

TOP 5 PITCHERS IN 2013

  1. BARTOLO COLON
  2. BOBBY PARNELL
  3. CARLOS TORRES
  4. ZACK WHEELER
  5. DAISUKE MATSUZAKA

Philadelphia Phillies

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES

TOP 5 HITTERS IN 2013

  1. MARLON BYRD
  2. CHASE UTLEY
  3. JIMMY ROLLINS
  4. DOMINIC BROWN
  5. JOHN MAYBERRY

TOP 5 PITCHERS IN 2013

  1. ANTONIO BASTARDO
  2. CLIFF LEE
  3. JONATHAN PAPELBON
  4. JAKE DIEKMAN
  5. A.J. BURNETT

Washington Nationals

WASHINGTON NATIONALS

TOP 5 HITTERS IN 2013

  1. RYAN ZIMMERMAN
  2. JAYSON WERTH
  3. IAN DESMOND
  4. NATE McLOUTH
  5. DENARD SPAN

TOP 5 PITCHERS IN 2013

  1. AARON BARRETT
  2. TYLER CLIPPARD
  3. RAFAEL SORIANO
  4. JORDAN ZIMMERMAN
  5. GIO GONZALEZ

DISLCAIMERS: Top 5 Pitchers and Hitters are determined on a 5 number summary. Pitchers that are in Quartile 1 in Batters Faced qualify. Hitters that are at Maximum runs scored qualify. The 1 to 5 ranking is a reflection of R/PA (Runs per Plate Plate Appearance). R/PA comes in decimal format. Pitchers with the lower decimal point rank from 1st and 2-5 follow pursuit. Hitters with Maximum Runs qualify for 1st and 2-5 follow pursuit. Numbers are based on 2013 season’s, not career numbers. 

2014 National League Central

*Top 5 Players are Active Roster as of 3/30/2014. Disabled List does not count.Chicago Cubs

CHICAGO CUBS

TOP 5 HITTERS IN 2013

  1. ANTHONY RIZZO
  2. STARLIN CASTRO
  3. NATE SCHIERHOLTZ
  4. EMILIO BONIFACIO
  5. DARWIN BARNEY

TOP 5 PITCHERS IN 2013

  1. WESLEY WRIGHT
  2. CHRIS RUSIN
  3. CARLOS VILLANUEVA
  4. JEFF SAMARDZIJA
  5. HECTOR RONDON

Cincinnati Reds

CINCINNATI REDS

TOP 5 HITTERS IN 2013

  1. JOEY VOTTO
  2. JAY BRUCE
  3. BRANDON PHILLIPS
  4. ZACK COZART
  5. TODD FRAZIER

TOP 5 PITCHERS IN 2013

  1. SAM LeCURE
  2. J.J. HOOVER
  3. JOHNNY CUETO
  4. ALFREDO SIMON
  5. TONY CINGRANI

Milwaukee Brewers

MILWAUKEE BREWERS

TOP 5 HITTERS IN 2013

  1. CARLOS GOMEZ
  2. JEAN SEGURA
  3. JONATHAN LUCROY
  4. ARAMIS RAMIREZ
  5. LYLE OVERBAY

TOP 5 PITCHERS IN 2013

  1. BRANDON KINTZLER
  2. KYLE LOHSE
  3. WEI-CHUNG WANG
  4. MARCO ESTRADA
  5. MATT GARZA

Pittsburgh Pirates

PITTSBURGH PIRATES

TOP 5 HITTERS

  1. ANDREW McCUTCHEN
  2. STARLING MARTE
  3. PDRO ALVAREZ
  4. NEIL WALKER
  5. RUSSELL MARTIN

TOP 5 PITCHERS

  1. VIN MAZZARO
  2. FRANCISCO LIRIANO
  3. GERRIT COLE
  4. CHARLIE MORTON
  5. JEANMAR GOMEZ

St. Louis Cardinals

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

TOP 5 HITTERS

  1. MATT CARPENTER
  2. MATT HOLLIDAY
  3. JON JAY
  4. ALLEN CRAIG
  5. YADIER MOLINA

TOP 5 PITCHERS

  1. MICHAEL WACHA
  2. JOE KELLY
  3. TREVOR ROSENTHAL
  4. ADAM WAINWRIGHT
  5. SHELBY MILLER

———–

DISLCAIMERS: Top 5 Pitchers and Hitters are determined on a 5 number summary. Pitchers that are in Quartile 1 in Batters Faced qualify. Hitters that are at Maximum runs scored qualify. The 1 to 5 ranking is a reflection of R/PA (Runs per Plate Plate Appearance). R/PA comes in decimal format. Pitchers with the lower decimal point rank from 1st and 2-5 follow pursuit. Hitters with Maximum Runs qualify for 1st and 2-5 follow pursuit. Numbers are based on 2013 season’s, not career numbers.