Category Archives: Uncategorized

Baseball Christmas Wishlist

Since tomorrow is Cyber Monday, and I didn’t make a Black Friday purchase of any type; here is my early wishlist if my wife stumbles upon this, baseball related only haul-type stuff.

Feel free if you have a baseball fan in your home to use this as a baseline.

(Disclaimer: I am also WAY too old to really want anything for Christmas. I only believe in giving for Christmas, not wanting. I just thought this would be a fun thing to do. Christmas is for KIDS!).

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Ron Shandler’s Baseball Forecaster 2017, available on Amazon.

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MLB The Show ’17 MVP Edition (Pre-order)

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Vin Scully’s goodbye letter to fans (eBay type item)

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When It Was a Game on Blu-ray

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61* the Movie on DVD

 

 

Love John Sickels’ Crystal Ball Features

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John Sickels over at Minor League Ball seems like a swell guy, and has ran a feature he created called ‘Crystal Balls’ for several years. Some of the first ones we remember noticing were around 2009 or so.

It’s just a fun feature that Sickels does to project career paths for guys, usually young players around the game.

We asked him to do Carlos Correa a few weeks back. It looks like he’s delivered that one, and then some.

Check out Sickels’ crystal balls on the following players next time you’re bored and surfing:

Carlos Correa

Corey Seager

Lance McCullers Jr.

Trevor Story

George Springer

Wilson Contreras

Dylan Bundy

Dansby Swanson

Byron Buxton

Miguel Sano

It looks like Sickels pumped these in abundance lately, so we have some catching up to do. Absolutely love these.

Examining the early 2017 MLB Futures Odds

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The 2016 season just ended weeks ago, which might keep the high majority of people from looking at any MLB Betting odds for the time being.

However, it’s an excellent time to take a peak and get an idea of where things are heading. Also, right now you aren’t looking at razor-sharp lines. So if you have some intel that a team you were high on closing out the 2016 season may make a key free agent signing or trade, it’s a good time to check their odds and look at betting on their 2017 future odds. It’s very tough for oddsmakers to price in any moves that haven’t been made by a team yet; for instance if the Houston Astros were to go and get Yoenis Cespedes or another key bat via the trade market, it’s very tough for any oddsmakers to price in that in their 12/1 odds to win the 2017 World Series.

An early look has the Chicago Cubs as the majority favorite to repeat as World Series Champions, at three to one odds to do so. The next closest group in the field is the Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Nationals, and Boston Red Sox all at 10/1 odds to win the title.

The next teams listed in the field are obviously great values or relative long-shots with some holes in the theory of them becoming champions next year, depending upon how you look at it. The New York Mets, Cleveland Indians, and already mentioned Houston Astros are each listed at 12/1 odds. The in flux Toronto Blue Jays are listed at 14/1. The San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers are 16/1 to win the 2017 World Title. These are two excellent value plays at 16/1.

Then you get into the next tier of teams at 20/1: The St. Louis Cardinals, Baltimore Orioles, and Detroit Tigers. You start to realize that these oddsmakers are pretty good; as those teams all have the same ‘feel’ to them right now as pretty good current rosters but their next step as franchises will depend upon what moves are made or not made as to if their odds become longer or better towards becoming serious contenders.

Teams listed as less than 20/1 odds to win the 2017 World Series Trophy are next tiered at 25/1 and even 30/1: the New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals, and Pittsburgh Pirates. It is a pretty safe bet to say that one of these teams will not win the World Series in 2017 but may have some flashes or moments in a long season that make you realize they’re really not a bad team. At that number, you are basically lighting your number on fire and casting your bet on a team that has no legitimate shot to win the World Series at least this following year.

Those teams look to be in pretty good shape however when you take a look at the teams that oddsmakers have listed as 100/1 odds to win the title: the Cincinnati Reds, the Minnesota Twins, Atlanta Braves, Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres would be considered nothing short of a miracle.

Thankful

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Things I am incredible thankful for, on this eve of Thanksgiving. Some are baseball related, and some are not.

  1. My wife. My amazing, beautiful, understanding wife. Even though she probably will never read this.
  2. My children
  3. My beliefs
  4. My job
  5. My surrounding family
  6. My friends
  7. The game of baseball
  8. Another year
  9. Fantasy baseball
  10. Friends I’ve met through fantasy baseball
  11. The ballparks I’ve been to and things I’ve seen live
  12. Memories

Tips for Making Money as a Baseball Handicapper

The MLB season is a long grind and most casual bettors simply don’t have the patience to win long-term. Make sure you use these tips to ensure you have the best chance at turning a profit during the upcoming season.

#1 – Set-up and fund multiple sportsbook accounts

Why wouldn’t I bet with just one sportsbook? While that would simplify things, multiple accounts are necessary if we want to get the best odds on the baseball games we want to bet on.

With MLB you want to find bookies that offer dime lines (-105/-105) on money line and over/under bets. The standard $.20 line is more common, but you’re leaving a lot on the table by not betting into reduced juice lines.

#2 – Work on clearing the sign-up bonuses

MLB handicappers can earn $1000s annually just by clearing sportsbook bonus offers. When you open a new account you’ll be able to claim a sign-up bonus. An example would be a 100% bonus for up to $500 on your first deposit.

Every season most bookies will offer reload bonuses to get you betting again with them. I’ve also seen other promotions where you can get reduced juice in games where your favorite MLB team is playing.

Always research a bookie before accepting a bonus because once you deposit you’re locked in until the bonus is cleared by meeting a wagering requirement. If the bonus seems to go to be true, it likely is and should therefore be avoided.

#3 – Understand all of the MLB betting markets

The common straight bets (ML and O/U) receive the most action and are therefore the toughest lines to beat. There are dozens of baseball betting markets and you only need to master one market to make a great profit.

In baseball you’ll run into a lot of big favorites (-150 or higher odds). Rather than risk $150 to win $100 on a favorite to win straight-up, you could bet on the run line at much better odds, but the team has to win by 2 runs (-1.5 run line).

There are also MLB markets to avoid. For example, you don’t want to get hooked betting in-play props. You can bet on every single at bat in a baseball game in-play, but there’s no way you can find an edge betting these types of props.

You’d be better off betting on the USA lotto than betting on whether Mike Trout will have a hit his next at bat.

#4 – Learn what to look for when handicapping

Nothing is more important than pitching in baseball. Whenever Clayton Kershaw is on the mound, the Dodgers will be betting favorites, it’s that simple. However, even aces lose games. With baseball it’s important to look at stat splits (IE: home/away or day/night). Look at pitching vs. batter splits as well when handicapping.

Some pitchers struggle against certain teams or when playing in a certain ballpark. These trends are easy to determine if you put in the time. Where the game is played (ballpark) and the weather can play a big role too. All baseball bettors know that Coors Field is a hitters ballpark and runs are rarely at a premium.

Injuries and rest are important to consider as well. Injuries are easy to find out about, but rest is tougher. Due to the long season, baseball players are rested regularly and will miss multiple games every year. You need to know if a big slugger is out of the line-up or if a team’s closer won’t be available because he threw too many pitches the day prior.

How To Create Fun & Effective Baseball Youth Training Programs (or Building Better Baseball Youth Training Programs)

Between 2007 and 2014 the number of children aged 6 to 12 years old who played baseball dropped from 5.4 4,000,000 to 4.3 4 million, according to statistics from the Sports and Industry Fitness Association. The decline in young people playing baseball is a serious issue for the sport. It is estimated that 79% of all committed baseball fans played the sport one point in their life. A decline in youth participation will also hurt the future of available talent for professional baseball.

There are some reasons for the decline in participation by young children in baseball, including a wider drop in youth participation in organized sports. But one area where adults have a large amount of influence are training programs. Here we’ll look at how to design a baseball youth program which is fun, safe and challenging.

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When developing a youth baseball program for it is critical that it is designed with children in mind. A good baseball program for young children will not simply be an adaptation of adult training methodologies. Young baseball players differ from adults in some important ways. This includes more obvious aspects such as their maturity level and experience playing baseball. But also that these young players are still physically developing between early childhood and the late adolescence. Not only does this mean that they have different physical capabilities but that training programs need to be safe for their growing bodies.

When training children encouraging them to participate in other sports is a good foundational principle. A common problem facing young children in baseball today is that they can end up overplaying. Young players playing on both travel and local teams can play more than seventy days per year. Overplaying has been linked to the rise in wrist injuries in young pitchers. This can be avoided by having children playing a second or third sport. This allows for maintenance of physical conditioning but without causing repetitive sports industry injuries. It also enables to young people to feel that they have a choice over the specific sport that they choose. Not feeling pushed into a particular sport enables them to develop a genuine passion for the sport.

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Studies of youth training for baseball suggest that there are a few key principles that need to be followed. The first of these is that young baseball players are taught how to perform exercises correctly. Young players should then be put through a progressive program with controls in place. Young baseball players should not be exposed to repeated stress injuries. Strength training is best performed through a circuit training program using the young athlete’s body weight for the low. This is the best way to improve strength while avoiding injury

Strength training is an important aspect of youth baseball training but before any child engages in a resistance training program is important that they know how to perform the exercises correctly. Proper performance of the exercise will help to avoid injuries. Proper form should be taught be a certified strength coach. The incorrect form should be corrected and positive encouragement should be used throughout the training.

Using age appropriate equipment is important for helping children to gain confidence, feel comfortable playing baseball and ensure their safety. Youth baseball bats, also sometimes known as small barrel bats, are lighter and have a length to weight ratio which is suitable for 8 – 12 years old. When selecting batting gloves for children the key is to choose gloves which fit their current hand size. Cost savings can be made by using the same batting gloves across age ranges. Unfortunately, gloves incorrectly sized will make it difficult for the child to hold the bat and get good hits.

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Coach pitching has become a popular way to teach children the fundamentals of hitting. Allowing children to get some good hit reinforces that baseball is a fun game which in turn encourages them to continue. Coach pitching is often performed incorrectly however. One of the biggest problems is that the differential in size between the coach and child. This can be corrected by kneeling so that the in the height of the child and the coach is closer. When pitching the coach should aim for a pitch which is flat, straight and not too slow. Look for where the child is swinging. Pitch to the child’s swing rather than expecting them to correct.

The key to developing a training program for young children is to make sure that it is fun, safe and progressively challenging. Improving training programs is one of the best ways to make sure that baseball stays the American pastime.

Bio:
My name is David, I am an editor/co-founder of www.theplanetofbaseball.com. Being a software engineer by day and a baseball blogger by night, I also participated in the training activities of a youth baseball team at my hometown. I have passion with baseball, it pertains to my life from childhood until now and I love to share what is related to that passion with others. I believe in the support of other baseball bloggers like me to spread the passion.

NFL Mid-Season Round Up

Where do the teams sit now that Week 9 is behind us and which ones are still in good position to push for playoff berth?

Sportsbetting has become huge business and football plays a big role in exciting punters to get involved. The NFL is now at the mid-season mark and punters have had nine weeks to bet on their favorite teams. The table is looking a bit clearer at the halfway mark and the odds at the top sportsbooks in the industry have more competitive odds than ever before so now is a great time to try ones luck with a bet on the NFL.

This year online football Sportsbetting hit new heights and bettors from North America have led the way placing more bets than in any other year prior. Last year there was a big jump in the amount of bets placed as the playoffs neared and this season predictions state that there will be far more wagers than in prior years. No matter if it’s Thursday Night Football, Sunday Football or the Monday Night Football game, top sports bookmakers are issuing hundreds of betting markets ahead of, and during each game.

How do the teams fare?

At the midway point, the league leaders are the Patriots, Vikings, Ravens, Raiders, Texans, Cowboys, Seahawks and the Falcons. These teams are all in first place in their respective division and are favored to make the playoffs. Teams like the Vikings that have lost three games straight are on the bubble and could be ousted from top position, while teams like -the Cowboys still look strong and could be contenders in the later stages.

The action is only going to get better from here on out and with incredible odds offered by the best sportsbooks in the world, it is easier than ever to cast a bet based on good information at sites like Online Casino Reports.
Where to find the best bets?

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Your next bet could and should be a winner and all it takes is a bit of research and sometimes a bit of luck.

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Baseball Season Ends Tonight

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Baseball season is at it’s sad ending. It’s taken us far, but no matter what; when the clock hits midnight, it’s damn winter. It really sad. It’s weird, you go along and it seems like joyous and wondrous baseball is just going to last all year. We would be fine with that.

It’s only in a rare occurrence that you actually know that baseball season is going to end going into the night. Tonight, we have a game seven for all the marbles before all the bullshit jersey changing and winter meetings stuff starts. One last day of nine innings, in arguably the biggest World Series game of our lifetime.

But the reality hit us that as great as tonight’s event is, baseball season ending really sucks. Not sure if we’re becoming just a grumpy old white guy or what, but it seems our love for baseball this season really took off this season more than ever. The playoff field of teams only helped things. It was the greatest season ever, all around.

So tonight, we’ll savor it. We’ll watch it closely. Nurture it like a baby. We have a long winter ahead of us and it’s going to be a while until the fields thaw out.

There’s no better game on earth that provides such drama with a backdrop of not only one but a couple of huge stories. How ever this final chapter of 2016 plays out, it’s been a great full read.

World Series Game Three: Indians Spoil Everything in Chicago

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[Indians 1, Cubs 0]

Let the record in history forever state that in the first World Series game at Wrigley Field in all those years; and the Indians win 1-0 on a Coco Crisp (pinch-hit) single to score Michael Martinez. And the Cubs don’t score with the wind blowing out in a Josh Tomlin start. Just like I told my father – this was just like we all had it drawn up.

There wasn’t much of a highlight for either side in this one – the Cubs kind of choked it to the Indians again and it’s becoming painfully obvious that whatever is happening is definitely happening. The Indians really only need about four innings from their starter. They can just use about anyone in the pen sandwiched around Andrew Miller and Cody Allen and that’s the way it’s going to go right now.

For all the talk of the analysts that the Indians executed the perfect game last night – I wonder how many teams in the modern era have went 9-2 in the playoffs? I mean some of the great teams in the history of the game had more trouble than this.

And again it’s not to discredit an Indians team who everyone knows is at best, slightly above average. It’s just that their opposition all October hasn’t been themselves. The Cubs were shut out six times in the regular season. Despite cold bats in the postseason, this is a team that doesn’t really get shut out.

Nothing has gone the way it really should the entire postseason. If that continues to follow suit, then the Indians have this thing won. But something tells me that the game everyone has marked as a win – Corey Kluber who is suddenly Mr. Automatic – isn’t automatic at all tonight. I mean, Corey Kluber was being called incredibly average until July. You can all choose not to remember that; Cleveland fan, but I do remember it.

Playing Golf Best Practices

Just like the majority of sports that exist, golfing also requires an insane amount of practice rather than just relying on individual talent in order for you to excel at the sport. The good news is that the game can be learnt if you have access to the right kind of information.

If you are wondering about how to improve golf game fast, you need to stop wondering and begin practicing as this is the difference maker between you and your opponent. The more you practice, the better you get.

But practicing does not include mindless practice. You need to have a targeted and set approach as to what aspects of your game you want to improve to gain the upper hand.

Listed below are some of the practices each golfer should master before hoping to break into the professional leagues.

  • Five Feet

If you need help in improving your short strokes and are scared of knock knees, then use a five foot putt and keep practising with it. Set a goal and until you do not achieve that goal, do not give up on the fiver.

Take small breaks for your back but try to master your fiver first so that you can learn the shorter rounds in a lesser amount of time.

  • Power Control

 

The main power generated for your swing is from your hip muscles, your legs and your back. The power then passes along the shoulders and the arms hereby into the club shaft. Your head must be properly aligned to make sure that you generate the maximum amount of power.

When you swing back your body and your club move away from the target (ball) but in retrospect to each other, and when you swing downwards, your body and stick should be in perfect harmony. If you master that, then no power goes to waste,. And you will also then be able to increase your shot distance easily.

 

  • The C line

 

This particular practice technique is used by many professional golfers in which you draw an imaginary C-line(Commitment) before the ball. Step behind, and decide whichever type of shot you want to play with using which club.

Once you decide, step ahead of the line and shoot. If you lose your focus even by one percent after stepping over the line, do not make the shot and step back. Think again, with a clearer mind and go at it again.

This way you can ensure that you choose the best shot possible, and you can constantly make amends should anything go wrong. The main point of this exercise is to give you confidence in your ability and thinking in any professional match.

Who Wants to Bet the MLB All Star Game?

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A wise old man once told me that if there’s an event going on, there’s a betting line on it somewhere that will make you able to lay your money on the outcome.

The closest thing in baseball to evidence this statement is tonight’s MLB All Star Game.

As you can see, the National League opened as slight -110 favorites, and we agree with this although some of the money has been laid so far on the American League. It’s basically a coin flip type action game in terms of betting where you can just bet to have a side to root for if you have no true horse in the race.

Hopefully we see something similar to the 2008 All Star Game that saw 15 innings of play at Old Yankee Stadium. We’re in the mood to watch a lot of baseball since the next two days feature absolutely nothing.

If you’re looking for a place to try to get some bets down, bettingtop10.com has set an example of being a great internet wagering provider. They have some pretty sweet deals regarding online poker and other wagers. Check it out to see for yourself.

Eno Sarris Power Ranks the Shortstops of the Future

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I really like Eno Sarris. I always have. Even though my baseball at work reading has been cut down to zilch (down from several hours a day in it’s past), I still carve out time to check in for his chats.

I was persistent about this question for a few weeks, and good old Eno came through finally.

File this away. I wish I had included Trea Turner and a few others. But yeah, the shortstop position in baseball is probably at it’s best place it’s been in my lifetime.