All posts by TheNaturalMevs

Diamondhoggers wins their first Gentleman Cup Series Game of the Year

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 2.54.05 PM

You knew it was only a matter of time….. if you were bat shit crazy that is.

The founding father of The Gentleman’s Game finally put the weekly title back in Tinsel Town, sneaking by the defending champion DStars45 with the help of King Felix Hernandez and his old teammate Ichiro Suzuki. Suzuki led off and was only owned by the winning gent, so for the low price of 2500 he provided quite the surplus of points for what he cost.

The Gentleman’s game MVP was Juan Nicasio; surprisingly popular and rolled out by three of the five players against the lowly Cincinnati Reds. He delivered in racking up 33.35 points and keyed the week for Diamondhoggers.

We now have a two way tie for second place, with the man in first putting a little distance between him and the other four contestants. We have some work to do.

Yearly Standings:
DStars45 – 20 points
t3bird04 – 15 points
Diamondhoggers – 15 points
Swindaman3 – 14 points
Jsquad34 – 12 points

Screen Shot 2016-05-01 at 2.54.14 PM

Short write up this week, because I’m watching a WWE pay per view (like that’s a good excuse) and because it was a long weekend. We will be back with more shenanigans next weekend.

Every day should be Friday thanks to the Gentleman’s Cup Series. We have a long summer ahead of us, sure to make many whacky twists and turns.

Your Saturday Baseball Post

1993-0221-Tom-Glavine-Greg-Maddux-Pete-Smith-John-Smoltz-Steve-Avery-05087941

You know the drill, it’s Saturday; and even though it’s NFL Draft weekend, this is still baseball’s day during the springtime.

Friday was pretty quiet as far as offense goes, so this is sure to be a wild and whacky day of action and who even knows what is in store.

Saturday is of course the greatest day of the week. And we’re here each Saturday to remind you during baseball season that it’s the greatest sport on earth.

Your classic rock song of the week that should be blared on a ballpark loudspeaker nearest you is Bruce Springsteen, Out in the Street:

So don’t peak too much at the NFL Draft. No one exciting is being chosen today. Use your precious spare time to watch more baseball. Thank you for your continued support of Diamond Hoggers. Enjoy your Saturday, folks.

I can’t Freakin’ believe Dee Gordon is a PED user

image

Huge news broke late after midnight about 24 hours ago. Baseball’s latest cheater is Dee Gordon. He’ll serve an 80 game suspension, and holy shit to anyone who owned him in fantasy baseball who was counting upon Gordon to win them their league stolen base title.

We’ve posted about Gordon before – and we’ve always loved the guy. We discovered him and believed in him in his 2014 breakout campaign which was probably due to a little bit of outside help. This one hits a little bit hard.

I’ll write what others have also said: if Dee Gordon can get popped for this, who else might be using? It could be anyone. This is one of those sneaky violations where a guy who was a slap hitter and base stealer; built like a stick figure, might of been one of the last ten guys I ever named to be guilty of this.

Reports are out there that Gordon has added some 20 or so pounds to his frame. When you look at early shots of him when he was trying to crack the Dodgers big league roster to now, he’s really filled out. There are also articles from 2014 about him making the effort to put on weight. It’s pretty clear why.

So the chatter that most of the guys in the minors and the guys we see on television every night are using has been cranked back up, and the speculation will again run rampant. I don’t really know where I sit, but my needle is a bit more towards the majority is still using something in this day in age.

And I’ll always have a little black mark in my mind for the man once known as Flash 2.0.

Happy Jose Berrios Day

Berrios

We haven’t done one of these in a while.

Today, the Twins top pitching prospect Jose Berrios is perhaps up for good. He just completed his first big league inning against the Cleveland Indians in the Twin Cities up in Minnesota.

As standard, here’s his scouting report from Baseball Prospectus:

Berrios is the rare starter to flash three plus pitches, each lethal in their own right. The fastball can touch 95 and sits 93-94 with arm-side run to both sides of the plate. This pitch is still improving, and a bump in sitting velocity shouldn’t surprise, as he adds muscle to his frame. Berrios has solid command of his fastball, and has little trouble locating it for strikes.

The secondaries are even more exciting. Berrios uses a 10-5 curve as his strikeout pitch, and hitters haven’t done much besides flail at it at any level. The pitch has sharp, two-plane action and late horizontal movement that should agonize right-handed hitters. His command of the deuce can waver, but if Berrios can locate it consistently, it should tick up another notch. Berrios attacks left-handers with his changeup, another plus pitch that he hides well. Expect to see hitters struggle with its effective fade.

Although some may have concerns with the atypical frame for a starting pitcher (he’s only 6-feet, 185 pounds), Berrios has the physicality and strong lower half to rack up innings. Described as a “workout warrior” in the 2016 BP Annual, the right-hander has both the drive and physique to handle a starters workload. His plus arm speed, high leg kick, and easy delivery allow him to generate velocity while still remaining loose and comfortable on the mound.

Berrios should be a ton of fun to watch, and adds to a nice little core the Twins are trying to build.

Man, the Houston Astros are Scuffling

Carlos+Correa+Boston+Red+Sox+v+Houston+Astros+1a7v3dEny2Nl

Gah, these guys were supposed to be one of the most exciting teams in baseball. You are looking at one of baseball’s biggest letdowns in the 2016, in the making. If you watch them on a nightly basis, they’re a terrible watch. No timely hitting (outside of Colby Rasmus), when they do get pitching they don’t get any hitting, when they do decide to hit a little bit their starter or bullpen gets hit a little more. There’s just no flow and a lynchpin seems to be missing. There are base-running blunders and mental errors and mindless at-bats by Carlos Gomez. You get those things until the cows come home with this bunch.

Last night, after Carlos Correa’s rocket double off Craig Kimbrel and Colby Rasmus’ dinger that was straight out of The Natural; I figured that this was a game they were destined to win. Instead, they played 12 long innings in front of their home crowd and lost their first showing on Sunday Night Baseball in over three years 7-5.

It’s quite possible that the Astros find their way this season. I have no way to tell you how the next five months will go in a game that humbles me nightly. But about three weeks in; these guys look like they’re in deep trobule. And that’s a real shame. Just when we retired the F–k the Astros tag upon their move to the American League.

Heroes don’t always come in capes

Bryce+Harper+Minnesota+Twins+v+Washington+U8fVg15FGQEl

Yesterday the legend of Bryce Harper continued to take shape. He had the day off yesterday, and was called upon by his skipper Dusty Baker to pinch-hit in the ninth inning with the Nationals trailing 4-3 to the Minnesota Twins and without much hope. And a note real quick, it’s dawned on me that Dusty Baker might just be the perfect manager to bring out the most in Bryce Harper.

I mean, if Harper can put up the numbers that he did in 2015 playing for a total dick like Matt Williams; just imagine what he’s going to do playing for Ol’ Dusty! It’s like pairing a guy with all the talent in the world in ring with a great mouthpiece manager in wrestling. But it’s even more dynamic than that.

So back to the no-hope thing. Harper enters the game and gets into a battle with Kevin Jepsen he will assuredly win. Jepsen is no match for the hottest hitter on the planet. And Harper hits his most dramatic home run possibly ever.

The Nationals went on to play SIXTEEN innings and win in magical fashion on a Chris Heisey walk-off home run. The box score is something to marvel at.

On a wild day in baseball where a lot of bonus baseball was played, this one was possibly the one talked about most. This game began when my daughter went down for her nap, and didn’t end until after she was in bed. Baseball is neat like that.

The Gentleman’s Game Welcomes it’s Mayor for an evening

Screen Shot 2016-04-23 at 7.55.10 PM

Notice anything new about the scores? This past Friday we welcomed in our first celebrity guest to the Gentleman’s Cup Game – Fantasy Alarm and Sirius Radio’s Jeff Mans. If you listen to him on the drive home during the week, and you like daily fantasy and you’re a baseball guy; you probably like him. He’s a speaker of the truth, a real beacon in this dark world and we were pleased to have him as guest in our contest of sharks.  He even followed etiquette by bringing a well-dressed whore to the event! Gio Gonzalez, come on down! I like it. I like it a lot. The only gent who brought Gio as a date on Friday night was Mr. Mans, and it was a good enough move to get him into fourth, leaving two embarrassed gents with their pants down at nights end.

Continue reading The Gentleman’s Game Welcomes it’s Mayor for an evening

A Bat Flippin’ Good Time Podcast

723d23dc68bd1cc3c9885e72c7a486cf

It’s weird, MJ Lloyd, Mike Hllywa, and myself talked for almost exactly an hour last night but I don’t remember one particular topic.

It was a fun chat. We went into the debate of Harper vs. Trout, who is player number three if you’re starting a franchise, the Angels, the Reds, how tight Joey Votto’s pants are right now, and if you want more than that; you’re going to have to give it a listen!

If you’re amused in the slightest, subscribe to the show!

Your Saturday Baseball Post

117501

It’s Saturday, and it’s the best day of the week. Today is Blake Snell’s big league debut; and after getting car sick and puking all over her new car seat, me, and the backseat of my car while simply going to get breakfast, my kiddo is safe and sound and down for a nap. Not even a car-sick kid can ruin a baseball Saturday.

I’m going to collect my bearings, I’ll be back with more later today.

Here’s your Saturday song of the week that should be played on a ballpark loudspeaker nearest you. Thank you for your continued support and readership of Diamond Hoggers baseball blog. Enjoy your Saturday!

Jake Arrieta No-Hits the Reds, and the embarrassment of a 16-0 defeat

Jake+Arrieta+Chicago+Cubs+v+Cincinnati+Reds+ilFWA2cAQztl

[Cubs 16, Reds 0]

If there was any hope left, it has now vanished. Good teams don’t lose like this; even over the course of a long season. You hate to pile on, but the Reds lost yesterday in completely embarrassing fashion.

It was a game that wasn’t even going to be played. People I know who are Reds fans were asking me if they were even going to get it in. Others didn’t attend the game even to see who I believe is the best pitcher in baseball at the present; Jake Arrieta throw because of the threat of a rain out.

And then baseball went and baseball’d the shit out of us all.

Arrieta went the full nine, walking four and striking out six. Kris Bryant hit a grand slam and a second home run, and the Cubs completely dismantled the Reds with 16 runs.

Arrieta is now 15-0 in his last 16 starts. Read that back. He’s automatic, a winner every time he goes out. This was his second no-hitter in like a half dozen starts. The Reds simply never had a chance. You probably heard about this. I didn’t find it very funny, or cute or anything.

When it comes to Bryce Harper, Tom Koehler may never learn We already wrote this headline – Tom Koehler gave up another Bomb to Bryce Harper by golly

Bryce+Harper+Washington+Nationals+v+Miami+daHnk-hqhudl

When Tom Koehler finally retires or is forced to leave the game, Bryce Harper may very well owe him something for all he’s done for his career.

It was Koehler who started Harper’s season-long rampage in 2015 with a three-homer game. That was Harper’s breakout moment if there was one.

Then again at the end of July in Miami, Koehler served up two more.

You have to give Koehler credit. He’s nothing if not stubborn. Yesterday, he tried to sneak another fastball past Harper, and it is locked-in Harper we have to thank for a nice look at the forage in centerfield at Marlins Park.

It was Harper’s eighth home run of the young season and his sixth in his career off Koehler. The Nationals won the game 5-1.

Betting on Baseball: Friday, 4/22

Welcome to the first edition of Betting on Baseball for this marvelous 2016 season. On Friday, we provide to you a big winning dog that has a little magic going right now. Feel comfortable getting your live MLB sportsbook betting odds here.

On Friday, the Minnesota Twins continue their road trip after a big 8-1 win in Milwaukee. Right-hander Kyle Gibson opposes lefty Gio Gonzalez in Washington. The Minnesota Twins are presently a +165 moneyline underdog. The Nationals have been on fire, with an 11-4 record to start the regular season, behind the hot hitting of Bryce Harper who has now homered in six the last eight contests.

Gonzalez has been great this year, posting a 0.69 ERA over 13 innings in two starts. He’s struck out 12, and walked just three. But I like the way Minneota can attack a left-handed starter. This coupled with some expected regression on both the part of Gonzalez, and the Nationals as a whole gives us our Friday underdog selection.

Kyle Gibson in his own right is a quietly solid pitcher. He’s been as good against right-handed batters as lefties this season, allowing an opposing batting average of .240 to lefties and .239 to righties. Since the Nationals are heavy right-handed to begin with, this bodes well for Gibson; having allowed a wOBA of just .306 in his career to righties.

On Friday, go with the Minnesota Twins +165 as your underdog and make a little extra on your dollar; look for the right-handed bats of Sano, Dozier, Escobar and a lefty like Eddie Rosario to come through with a few big knocks.

Reds Kick Off MLB Season to Low Expectations

As the 2016 Major League Baseball season gets underway, expectations are tempered among the Cincinnati Reds faithful.

The Reds amassed a dismal 64-98 record a year ago, good for dead last in the National League’s Central Division standings, and with offseason moves clearly putting the club in rebuild mode, the Reds open their campaign pegged at a distant 125/1 to claim their first World Series pennant since 1990 in MLB futures betting with the online bookmaker Betway.

Betway’s sportsbook offers sports bettors everything they need to wager on all major sports leagues and tournaments, including exciting live and in-play betting features, accessible online or through Betway’s Android and iOS apps.

Cincinnati unloaded some key veterans during the recent offseason, pulling the trigger on deals that saw all-star third baseman Todd Frazier shipped to the Chicago White Sox, while all-star closer Aroldis Chapman will be wearing pinstripes this season, while saving games for the New York Yankees.

The Reds will also be missing ace Johnny Cueto, whom they shipped to the Kansas City Royals midway through last season.

First baseman Joey Votto, who finished third in NL MVP balloting in 2015 returns to the Reds’ lineup, and Billy Hamilton looks ready to take the next step, both as a speedster on the baselines, and as a Gold Glove candidate in center field.

Not all is lost in Cincy, however. Starter Homer Bailey continues to recover from Tommy John surgery that cost him almost all of last season, and is reportedly on track to return by the All-Star Break, while 24 year-old hurler Michael Lorenzen will get every chance to secure a place in the Reds rotation upon his return from an elbow injury.

Complicating matters further for the Reds is playing in what is arguably the best division in Major League Baseball.

The Chicago Cubs, who open the campaign as 8/1 World Series favorites in MLB futures betting at Betway, are also heavy 3/4 chalk to claim the NL Central pennant.

The St. Louis Cardinals claimed division crowns in each of the past three seasons, and MLB Postseason berths in each of the past five seasons. But with the Cards losing both starter John Lackey and outfielder Jason Heyward to the rival Cubs, they have seen their divisional pennant odds at Betway slip to 5/2.

The Reds must also contend with a talented Pittsburgh Pirates squad, which won an impressive 98 games last year en route to a third straight NL Wild Card berth, and return to the ballpark sporting short 3/1 odds to win their first division crown since 1992.

The Milwaukee Brewers have been in steady decline since claiming their last NL Central pennant in 2011, winning just 68 games last season, and are pegged at a distant 40/1, while the Reds trail as 50/1 longshots.

It was a Purple Rain type day all over Baseball

13051514_10206372137166504_901819367606449913_n

Today we lost a music legend. And if you’re frequent to this site you know we love some 80’s music. Prince, rest in peace. This was the coolest tweet we saw today in regards to Prince’s death:

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 9.47.54 PM

And it’s surprising how much homage was paid around baseball to the man himself. Brandon Phillips used a different batter walk up song each time he came to the plate tonight. The Purple Prince logo was on the big screen in Arlington (even though the announcer said ‘what is that’). As seen above, the Twins lit their park up purple. And then they went out and spanked the Brewers 8-1.

I was always partial to Little Red Corvette in a big way, but on a day like today; no other song needs played.