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Cruz maintains lead, Derek Norris closing on Wieters in AL All-Star voting

Posted on 22 June 2014 by WNST Staff

Cespedes, Norris vying to join A’s teammate Donaldson among American League leaders in latest balloting update for 85th All-Star Game

Jeter Holding Off Ramirez in Bid to Start His Final Midsummer Classic; Four Different Teams Represented Among Leading Infielders

 

Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and catcher Derek Norris of the Oakland Athletics continue to climb the American League rankings in fan balloting for the 85th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 15th at Target Field in Minnesota. The latest A.L. results were announced earlier this evening on ESPN as part of its “Baseball Tonight” telecast. The next National League balloting results will be announced at 7:30 p.m. (ET) tomorrow night after local rightsholder broadcasts announce the leaders.

Cespedes and Norris, two players who have filled pivotal roles in leading Oakland to the best record in the Majors at 47-28 (.627), are aiming to join their teammate Josh Donaldson among the A.L. leaders. The Athletics have not had a fan-elected starter since Jason Giambi earned a fan election at first base for the 2000 Midsummer Classic in Atlanta. In addition, Oakland has not featured multiple fan-elected starters since 1992, when first baseman Mark McGwire and outfielder Jose Canseco earned starting assignments. The Athletics have had at least three fan elections in a single season on five occasions since fan balloting began in 1970, including 1975 (Bert Campaneris, Reggie Jackson, Joe Rudi, Gene Tenace); 1988 (Canseco, McGwire, Terry Steinbach); 1989 (Canseco, McGwire, Steinbach); 1990 (Canseco, McGwire, Rickey Henderson); and 1991 (Dave Henderson, R. Henderson, McGwire).

Cespedes has received 1,511,838 votes, which ranks fourth among A.L. outfielders behind leaders Jose Bautista (3,665,208) of the Toronto Blue Jays, Mike Trout (3,286,511) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Melky Cabrera (1,674,232) of the Blue Jays. Cespedes, who won the 2013 Home Run Derby at Citi Field, is attempting to make his first All-Star Game. The Cuban native is batting .325 (25-for-77) in June and has seven home runs and 27 RBI over his last 32 games. Entering Sunday, he was tied for sixth in the A.L. with 36 extra-base hits and three triples, tied for eighth with 49 RBI, ranks 10th with a .509 slugging percentage and is tied for 10th with 19 doubles. In addition, the 28-year-old leads the Majors with nine outfield assists on the season, including eight over his last 23 games in the outfield. Three-time All-Star Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles remains close behind Cespedes in fifth with 1,490,000 votes, while Michael Brantley (1,284,901) of the Cleveland Indians, 2011 All-Star Jacoby Ellsbury (1,264,746) of the New York Yankees, Nick Markakis (1,170,304) of the Orioles and eight-time All-Star Carlos Beltran (1,081,686) of the Yankees are all within striking distance.

Norris, also bidding for his first All-Star appearance, surpassed Brian McCann (1,344,076) of the Yankees for second place among A.L. catchers. The 25-year-old backstop, in his third Major League season, trails Baltimore’s Matt Wieters (1,852,770) by less than 400,000 votes. Wieters, who underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery last week, batted .308 with five home runs and 18 RBI over 26 games played. Wieters, a two-time All-Star would join Terry Kennedy (1987) as the only catchers in Orioles history to earn a fan election, while Norris would join Steinbach (1987-88) as the only catchers in Athletics history to accomplish the feat. Norris, who is batting .342 (13-for-38) in June, entered play on Sunday tied for first among A.L. catchers on the season with eight home runs and 34 RBI, and ranks second with a .301 batting average. His 34 RBI have already matched his career-best set in 2012 and his eight home runs are one shy of his career-high of nine hit in 2013.

Donaldson, who has hit safely in six of his last seven games, is in line for his first All-Star selection. He has accumulated 2,436,771 votes to hold a comfortable lead over three-time All-Star Adrian Beltre (1,346,957) of the Texas Rangers. Donaldson, who finished fourth in A.L. Most Valuable Player voting in 2013, would become the first Oakland third baseman to earn a fan-elected start. He entered Sunday second in the A.L. with 55 runs scored, is tied for second with 15 go-ahead RBI, tied for fourth with 55 RBI, fifth with 18 home runs, tied for ninth with 142 total bases and tied for 10th with 31 extra-base hits.

Bautista, who remains the A.L.’s top vote-getter, is seeking his fifth All-Star selection and fourth consecutive fan election. The Dominican Republic native, who also led the Majors in fan balloting in 2011 (7,454,753), could become the 10th different A.L. outfielder in history to earn four consecutive fan elections, joining Hall of Famers Jackson (four from 1972-75 and five from 1980-84); Dave Winfield (six from 1983-88); Henderson (four from 1985-88); and Kirby Puckett (four from 1992-95); as well as Ken Griffey, Jr. (10 from 1990-99); Manny Ramirez (eight from 1999-2006); Vladimir Guerrero (four from 2004-07); Ichiro Suzuki (four from 2001-04 and five from 2006-10); and Josh Hamilton (five from 2008-12). Bautista would also become the second player in franchise history to earn four fan-elected starts, joining Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar (1991-94). Entering play today, Bautista has reached base safely in 71 of his 76 games played this season, and leads the A.L. with a .432 on-base percentage and 59 walks, ranks third with 54 runs scored, seventh with a .524 slugging percentage, tied for eighth with 49 RBI, tied for ninth with 142 total bases, 10th with a .303 batting average and tied for 10th with 15 home runs.

Trout, who has the league’s second-highest balloting total, has reached base safely in 37 of his last 39 games and has 33 RBI in his last 33 contests. Trout has played in 405 career games and is the first player in Major League history to record at least 300 runs scored, 75 home runs and 75 stolen bases in his first 400 career games played. The two-time All-Star, who was a fan-elected starter in 2013, is bidding to become the fifth player in Angels history to earn consecutive fan-elected starts, joining Hall of Famers Rod Carew (1979-84) and Jackson (1982-84), as well as Fred Lynn (1982-83) and Guerrero (2004-07). At 21 years old last year, Trout became the youngest A.L. position player to start a Midsummer Classic since Ivan Rodriguez in 1993. Over his last 24 games, Trout is batting .393 batting average (35-for-89). On the season, he ranks fourth in the A.L. with a .595 slugging percentage and 157 total bases, seventh with 54 RBI and tied for seventh with 16 home runs.

Cabrera, who represented the N.L. at the 2012 Midsummer Classic in Kansas City, ranks second in the Majors with 94 hits on the season and he is tied for sixth in the A.L. with 26 multi-hit games. He is aiming to become the fourth different Blue Jays outfielder in history to receive a fan election, joining Bautista, Joe Carter (1993-94) and George Bell (1987). Along with Bautista, the teammates are trying to become the first pair of Blue Jays to start a Midsummer Classic since 1994, when Alomar and Carter were elected to start by the fans. In addition, they would become the first pair of teammates to start in the A.L. outfield since Boston’s Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez in 2005, and it would mark the 17th All-Star Game in history to feature starting teammates in the A.L. outfield. Cabrera also ranks among A.L. leaders with five outfield assists (T-5th), 149 total bases (T-5th) and 47 runs scored (8th).

Thirteen-time American League All-Star Derek Jeter of the Yankees, bidding for his ninth career fan election, has totaled 2,353,336 votes to remain ahead of Alexei Ramirez (1,933,117) of the Chicago White Sox. Jeter, who is hitting .271 with 16 RBI and 24 runs scored in his final season, would become the seventh player in A.L. history to earn at least nine fan elections, joining Hall of Famers Cal Ripken, Jr. (17 with Baltimore), George Brett (11 with Kansas City) and Carew (nine with Minnesota); as well as Griffey (10 with Seattle); teammate Suzuki (nine with Seattle); and Ivan Rodriguez (nine with Texas). Over his last 11 games, Jeter is batting .356 (16-for-45) with three doubles, four RBI, seven runs scored and a .388 on-base percentage. Jeter, who ranks eighth on the all-time hit list with 3,385 hits, is one of three players in Major League history with at least 3,000 hits, 250 home runs and 350 stolen bases, along with Craig Biggio and Hall of Famer Henderson. Ramirez, who is attempting to become the first White Sox shortstop to make the All-Star Game since Ozzie Guillen in 1991, is tied for the A.L. lead with 26 multi-hit games, is tied for fifth with 84 hits and ranks eighth with a .311 batting average.

Forming a familiar tandem, Jeter is joined up the middle of the infield by second baseman and former teammate Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners. Cano, a five-time All-Star, who has been elected the starting second baseman in each of the last four years, has received 2,007,055 votes as he remains in front of three-time All-Star Ian Kinsler (1,338,272) of the Detroit Tigers and four-time All-Star Dustin Pedroia (1,264,329) of the Boston Red Sox. Over his last 31 games, Cano is batting .373 (44-for-118) with three home runs, 20 RBI, eight doubles and 19 runs scored. The stretch has propelled Cano to a .332 batting average, which ranks second in the A.L. on the season. With a fan election this year, he would become the third second baseman in A.L. history to earn five consecutive fan-elected starts, joining Hall of Famers Carew (six straight, 1970-75) and Alomar (five straight, 1996-2000). In addition, Cano would join Bret Boone (2001) as the only fan-elected starting second basemen in Mariners history, and he could become just the fourth Seattle infielder to receive an election from the fans, joining Boone, John Olerud (1B, 2001) and Alex Rodriguez (SS, 1997-98; 2000). Cano is tied for second in the A.L. with 28 multi-hit games, ranks third with a .392 on-base percentage and is tied for third with 91 hits.

Joining Cano on the right side of the infield is Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who has garnered 2,645,000 votes to remain ahead of White Sox rookie Jose Abreu (1,420,294). Cabrera, an eight-time All-Star, leads the A.L. with a .403 batting average with runners in scoring position and 26 doubles, while he is third with 58 RBI and 38 extra-base hits, tied for fifth with a .320 batting average and 149 total bases, and sixth with a .548 slugging percentage. The reigning two-time A.L. Most Valuable Player is seeking his second fan election after earning his first career fan-elected start in 2013 as a third baseman. He would become just the fifth player in Tigers history to earn multiple fan-elected starting assignments at the Midsummer Classic, joining catchers Bill Freehan (1970, 1972), Lance Parrish (1984-86), Rodriguez (2004, 2006-07) and second baseman Lou Whitaker (1984-86). In addition, the 2012 Triple Crown winner would join former teammate Prince Fielder as the only fan-elected starting first basemen in Tigers history.

Designated hitter Nelson Cruz, aiming for his first fan-elected starting assignment, has received 2,457,349 as he continues to hold off Boston’s David Ortiz (1,652,470), a nine-time All-Star who has earned each of the last three fan elections at designated hitter. Cruz, a two-time All-Star, is tied for first in the Majors with 23 home runs and ranks second with 60 RBI. He would become just the fifth different fan-elected starter at the position, joining Edgar Martinez (1997, 2001, 2003), Jose Canseco (1999), Ortiz (2005, 2008, 2011-13) and Guerrero (2010). Along with Wieters, who currently leads at catcher, the duo would give the Orioles multiple fan elections in consecutive years (Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones in 2013) for the first time since 1997 (Alomar, Ripken, Brady Anderson) and 1998 (Alomar, Ripken).

With four different teams currently represented in the A.L. infield, the 85th All-Star Game could mark the first time since 2003, and the 19th time overall since fan balloting began in 1970, that the four A.L. fan-elected starting infielders come from four different teams.

MLB’s All-Star Balloting Program is the largest of its kind in professional sports. The last two years represent the two highest totals in balloting history, including a record 40.2 million ballots cast in 2012. More than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots will be distributed at MLB’s 30 ballparks, each of which will have 23 dates for balloting.

In addition, fans around the world can cast their votes for starters 25 times exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 Club web sites – online or via their mobile devices – with the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian. The All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian is available in English and Spanish, and offers audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually-impaired fans. Banco BHD sponsors online All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans in the Dominican Republic via LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language Web site of Major League Baseball.

Every Major League Club began its in-stadium balloting no later than May 12th. When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes no later than June 26th, fans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots exclusively online at MLB.com, the 30 Club Web sites and their mobile devices until Thursday, July 3rd at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).

Firestone, the official tire of MLB, is once again the exclusive sponsor of the 2014 In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program. The ballot features an All-Star sweepstakes, in which a winner will be rewarded with a trip for two to MLB All-Star Week, including airfare, hotel accommodations, tickets to the All-Star Game and other MLB All-Star Week events, and VIP on-field access to watch batting practice before the All-Star Game with an MLB legend.

For the sixth consecutive year, the ballot features the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans have the opportunity to select three players in each League who they would most like to see participate in the Gillette Home Run Derby. The Fan Poll is also available online at MLB.com. The 2014 Gillette Home Run Derby, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day, will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8:00 p.m. (ET)/7:00 p.m. (CT) on Monday, July 14th. The 10 American League candidates are Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays; Carlos Beltran of the New York Yankees; Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers; Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners; 2013 Home Run Derby Champion Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics; Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles; Prince Fielder of the Texas Rangers; All-Star Ambassador Joe Mauer of the Twins; David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox; and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The 10 National League candidates are Pedro Alvarez of the Pittsburgh Pirates; Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds; Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks; Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals; Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves; Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants; Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins; Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies; and David Wright of the New York Mets.

The 2014 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5th-6th, with further details to follow. The A.L. All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the N.L. All-Star Team will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads – totaling 25 for the N.L. and 24 for the A.L. – will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers – N.L. skipper Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals and A.L. manager John Farrell of the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox.

Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League’s 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over the balloting period. Now in its 13th season with more than 430 million votes cast, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile phones.

This year’s final phase of All-Star Game voting again will have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year’s recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15th. The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International’s independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

AMERICAN LEAGUE ALL-STAR VOTE LEADERS

FIRST BASE
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers — 2,645,000
Jose Abreu, White Sox — 1,420,294
Chris Davis, Orioles — 1,087,112
Albert Pujols, Angels — 1,040,316
Mark Teixeira, Yankees — 718,367

SECOND BASE
Robinson Cano, Mariners — 2,007,055
Ian Kinsler, Tigers — 1,338,272
Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox — 1,264,329
Jose Altuve, Astros — 932,978
Brian Dozier, Twins — 841,980

SHORTSTOP
Derek Jeter, Yankees — 2,353,336
Alexei Ramirez, White Sox — 1,933,117
J.J. Hardy, Orioles — 1,259,268
Jose Reyes, Blue Jays — 871,633
Jed Lowrie, Athletics — 629,686

THIRD BASE
Josh Donaldson, Athletics — 2,436,771
Adrian Beltre, Rangers — 1,346,957
Manny Machado, Orioles — 1,182,098
Evan Longoria, Rays — 1,118,453
Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays — 758,043

CATCHER
Matt Wieters, Orioles — 1,852,770
Derek Norris, Athletics — 1,486,850
Brian McCann, Yankees — 1,344,076
Kurt Suzuki, Twins — 812,865
A.J. Pierzynski, Red Sox — 810,050

DESIGNATED HITTER
Nelson Cruz, Orioles — 2,457,349
David Ortiz, Red Sox — 1,652,470
Victor Martinez, Tigers — 1,418,509
Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays — 1,276,851
Brandon Moss, Athletics — 796,159

OUTFIELD
Jose Bautista, Blue Jays — 3,665,208
Mike Trout, Angels — 3,286,511
Melky Cabrera, Blue Jays — 1,674,232
Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics — 1,511,838
Adam Jones, Orioles — 1,490,000
Michael Brantley, Indians — 1,284,901
Jacoby Ellsbury, Yankees — 1,264,746
Nick Markakis, Orioles — 1,170,304
Carlos Beltran, Yankees — 1,081,686
Torii Hunter, Tigers — 989,715
Coco Crisp, Athletics — 748,013
Alex Rios, Rangers — 742,780
Brett Gardner, Yankees — 737,736
Shin-Soo Choo, Rangers — 699,751
Josh Hamilton, Angels — 696,991

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Bovada drops Orioles’ World Series odds to 33/1

Posted on 18 June 2014 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV).

 

Odds to win the 2014 World Series  (Teams in red have longer odds, teams in blue have shorter odds, and teams in black stayed the same) 

Odds on 6/2/14             Current Odds

Oakland Athletics                                  9/1                    6/1

San Francisco Giants                            7/1                    6/1

Detroit Tigers                                        6/1                    15/2

Los Angeles Dodgers                            8/1                    8/1

St. Louis Cardinals                                9/1                    17/2

Toronto Blue Jays                                 10/1                  9/1

Washington Nationals                            14/1                  10/1

Los Angeles Angels                              16/1                  14/1

Milwaukee Brewers                                16/1                  14/1

Atlanta Braves                                       12/1                  18/1

New York Yankees                                16/1                  20/1

Kansas City Royals                               50/1                  25/1

Baltimore Orioles                                   25/1                  33/1

Boston Red Sox                                   16/1                  33/1

Seattle Mariners                                    50/1                  33/1

Cleveland Indians                                  66/1                  40/1

Cincinnati Reds                                     40/1                  50/1

Pittsburgh Pirates                                  75/1                  50/1

Texas Rangers                                      28/1                  50/1

Colorado Rockies                                 50/1                  75/1

Miami Marlins                                        75/1                  75/1

Chicago White Sox                                66/1                  100/1

Tampa Bay Rays                                   50/1                  150/1

Minnesota Twins                                    200/1                250/1

Chicago Cubs                                       250/1                300/1

New York Mets                                      100/1                300/1

Philadelphia Phillies                               150/1                300/1

Arizona Diamondbacks                          500/1                500/1

Houston Astros                                     500/1                500/1

San Diego Padres                                 200/1                500/1

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Cruz, Wieters continue to lead All-Star voting at respective positions

Posted on 08 June 2014 by WNST Staff

Bautista takes overall American League lead in latest balloting update for 85th All-Star Game

Jeter, Ramirez in tight battle for start at shortstop; Bautista followed by Trout, Miguel Cabrera for overall league lead 

Toronto Blue Jays four-time All-Star Jose Bautista, who was Major League Baseball’s leading vote-getter for the 2011 All-Star Game in Arizona, has surpassed Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim outfielder Mike Trout for the overall American League lead in the third balloting update for the 85thAll-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 15th at Target Field in Minnesota. The latest A.L. results were announced earlier this evening on ESPN as part of its “Baseball Tonight” telecast. The third National League balloting results will be announced at 7:30 p.m. (ET) tomorrow night via press release and local rightsholder broadcasts.

Bautista, who has been a fan-elected starter in each of the last three seasons, has received 2,135,223 votes as he looks to become the 10th different A.L. outfielder in history to earn four consecutive fan elections, joining Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson (four from 1972-75 and five from 1980-84); Dave Winfield (six from 1983-88); Rickey Henderson (four from 1985-88); and Kirby Puckett (four from 1992-95); as well as Ken Griffey, Jr. (10 from 1990-99); Manny Ramirez (eight from 1999-2006); Vladimir Guerrero (four from 2004-07); Ichiro Suzuki (four from 2001-04 and five from 2006-10); and Josh Hamilton (five from 2008-12). Bautista is also bidding to become the second player in Blue Jays history to receive four fan-elected starting nods, joining Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar (2B, 1991-94). Bautista, who has reached base safely in 61 of his 64 games, entered play on Sunday as the A.L. leader with a .438 on-base percentage and was tied for fifth in the league with 15 home runs.

Bautista is joined in the outfield by Trout, who has garnered 1,945,170 votes, and his Blue Jays teammate Melky Cabrera, who has totaled 1,096,784 votes. Trout, who last year at 21 years old became the youngest A.L. position player to start the All-Star Game since Ivan Rodriguez in 1993, is bidding to join Hall of Famer Rod Carew (1979-84), Fred Lynn (1982-83), Jackson (1982-84) and Guerrero (2004-07) as the only Angels in history to earn consecutive fan-elected starts. Entering Sunday, the 2012 A.L. Rookie of the Year had hits in 14 of his last 15 games and had reached base safely in 26 of his last 27 games. Cabrera, a 2012 N.L. All-Star, would become the fourth different Blue Jays outfielder in history to receive a fan election, joining Bautista, Joe Carter (1993-94) and George Bell (1987). Cabrera and Bautista are trying to become the first pair of Blue Jays to start a Midsummer Classic since 1994, when Alomar and Carter were elected to start by the fans. In addition, they would become the first pair of teammates to start in the A.L. outfield since Boston’s Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez in 2005, and it would mark the 17th All-Star Game in history to feature starting teammates in the A.L. outfield. Cabrera, who entered Sunday second in the Majors with 81 hits, is followed in balloting by Baltimore Orioles three-time All-Star and 2013 starter Adam Jones (820,336); 2011 A.L. All-Star Jacoby Ellsbury (813,357) of the New York Yankees; and Oakland Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes (799,123), bidding for his first All-Star selection.

At shortstop, 13-time A.L. All-Star Derek Jeter of the Yankees, who has garnered 1,376,054 votes, is trying to hold off Alexei Ramirez (1,212,362) of the Chicago White Sox in the A.L.’s closest race for a starting assignment. Jeter, who ranks eighth on the all-time hit list with 3,370 hits, is seeking his ninth fan election, which would make him the seventh player in A.L. history to earn as many fan elections, joining Hall of Famers Cal Ripken, Jr. (17 with Baltimore), George Brett (11 with Kansas City) and Carew (nine with Minnesota); as well as Griffey, Jr. (10 with Seattle); Suzuki (nine with Seattle); and Ivan Rodriguez (nine with Texas). Ramirez, who is attempting to become the first White Sox shortstop to make the All-Star Game since Ozzie Guillen in 1991, entered Sunday tied for the A.L. lead with 24 multi-hit games, tied for fourth with a .321 batting average and ranked fifth with 77 hits.

Joining Jeter up the middle at second base is his former teammate and five-time All-Star Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners. Cano, in his first year with Seattle, has accumulated 1,111,880 votes as he continues to lead three-time All-Star Ian Kinsler (887,544) of the Detroit Tigers and four-time All-Star Dustin Pedroia (778,700) of the Boston Red Sox. Cano, the A.L. starting second baseman in each of the last four seasons, is aiming to become the third second baseman in A.L. history to earn five consecutive fan-elected starts, joining Hall of Famers Carew (six straight, 1970-75) and Alomar (five straight, 1996-2000). Cano, who entered Sunday with an A.L.-best .332 batting average, would join Bret Boone (2001) as the only fan-elected starting second basemen in Mariners history. In addition, Cano, who was also tied for first in the A.L. with 24 multi-hit games and ranked seventh with 75 hits, could become just the fourth Seattle infielder to receive an election from the fans, joining Boone, John Olerud (1B, 2001) and Alex Rodriguez (SS, 1997-98; 2000). Since May 3rd, Cano leads the Majors with a .375 batting average, going 45-for-120 in that span.

Orioles designated hitter Nelson Cruz, who entered play on Sunday leading the Majors with 21 home runs and 55 RBI, continues to hold a slight advantage over David Ortiz of the Red Sox. Cruz, a two-time All-Star, has tallied 1,404,275 votes while Ortiz, a nine-time All-Star and seven-time fan-elected starter (including two at first base), has received a total of 1,036,055 votes. Entering Sunday, Cruz had hit safely in 20 of his last 24 games since May 13th, batting .364 (32-for-88) during that span with eight doubles, 11 homers, 19 runs scored and 25 RBI. He is attempting to end Ortiz’s run of three consecutive fan-elected starts at designated hitter, and would become just the fifth different fan-elected starter at the position, joining Edgar Martinez (1997, 2001, 2003), Jose Canseco (1999), Ortiz (2005, 2008, 2011-13) and Guerrero (2010).

At the corner infield spots, first baseman Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers and third baseman Josh Donaldson of the Athletics continue to lead at their positions. Cabrera has received 1,477,420 votes, which ranks third overall in the A.L., while Donaldson has collected 1,470,544 votes, good for fourth overall in the Junior Circuit. Cabrera, an eight-time All-Star and the A.L.’s 2013 starting third baseman, leads the A.L. with a .418 batting average with runners in scoring position. In addition, he entered play on Sunday second in the league with 51 RBI, tied for second with 20 doubles, tied for third with 31 extra-base hits, fourth with a .321 batting average and seventh with 125 total bases and a .545 slugging percentage. The reigning two-time A.L. MVP (also 2012) would become just the fifth player in Tigers history to earn multiple fan-elected starting assignments at the Midsummer Classic, joining catchers Bill Freehan (1970, 1972), Lance Parrish (1984-86), Ivan Rodriguez (2004, 2006-07) and second baseman Lou Whitaker (1984-86). In addition, the 2012 Triple Crown winner would join former teammate Prince Fielder as the only fan-elected starting first basemen in Tigers history. Cabrera is followed at first base by Chicago White Sox rookie Jose Abreu (845,059). Donaldson, in search of his first All-Star selection, is batting .296 (29-for-98) with 26 runs scored, two doubles, a triple, 10 home runs and 26 RBI over his last 26 games. He would become the first A’s third baseman to earn a fan-elected start, and the first Oakland player overall to receive a fan-election since first baseman Jason Giambi in 2000. Entering the day on Sunday, Donaldson leads the Majors with 51 runs scored, ranks third in the A.L. with 132 total bases, is tied for third with 50 RBI and 17 home runs, is sixth with 30 extra-base hits and is ninth with a .543 slugging percentage. He is followed at the hot corner by three-time All-Star Evan Longoria (729,092) of the Tampa Bay Rays. With four different teams currently represented in the A.L. infield, the 85th All-Star Game could mark the first time since 2003, and the 19th time overall since fan balloting began in 1970, that the four A.L. fan-elected starting infielders come from four different teams.

Orioles catcher Matt Wieters continues to pace the field behind the plate, drawing 1,235,369 votes to lead seven-time All-Star Brian McCann (827,200) of the Yankees and Athletics backstop Derek Norris (813,053). Wieters, a two-time All-Star, is seeking his first fan-elected start and would join Terry Kennedy (1987) as the only catchers in Orioles history to earn a fan election. Wieters, who is batting .308 with five home runs and 18 RBI on the season, is currently on the disabled list with a right elbow strain. Along with Cruz, the duo is aiming to give the Orioles multiple starters in consecutive years (Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones in 2013) for the first time since 1997 (Alomar, Ripken, Brady Anderson) and 1998 (Alomar, Ripken).

MLB’s All-Star Balloting Program is the largest of its kind in professional sports. The last two years represent the two highest totals in balloting history, including a record 40.2 million ballots cast in 2012. More than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots will be distributed at MLB’s 30 ballparks, each of which will have 23 dates for balloting.

In addition, fans around the world can cast their votes for starters 25 times exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 Club web sites – online or via their mobile devices – with the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian. The All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian is available in English and Spanish, and offers audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually-impaired fans. Banco BHD sponsors online All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans in the Dominican Republic via LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language Web site of Major League Baseball.

Every Major League Club began its in-stadium balloting no later than May 12th. When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes no later than June 26th, fans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots exclusively online at MLB.com, the 30 Club Web sites and their mobile devices until Thursday, July 3rd at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).

Firestone, the official tire of MLB, is once again the exclusive sponsor of the 2014 In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program. The ballot features an All-Star sweepstakes, in which a winner will be rewarded with a trip for two to MLB All-Star Week, including airfare, hotel accommodations, tickets to the All-Star Game and other MLB All-Star Week events, and VIP on-field access to watch batting practice before the All-Star Game with an MLB legend.

For the sixth consecutive year, the ballot features the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans have the opportunity to select three players in each League who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The Fan Poll is also available online at MLB.com. The 2014 Home Run Derby, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day, will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8:00 p.m. (ET)/7:00 p.m. (CT) on Monday, July 14th. The 10 American League candidates are Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays; Carlos Beltran of the New York Yankees; Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers; Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners; 2013 Home Run Derby Champion Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics; Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles; Prince Fielder of the Texas Rangers; All-Star Ambassador Joe Mauer of the Twins; David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox; and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The 10 National League candidates are Pedro Alvarez of the Pittsburgh Pirates; Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds; Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks; Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals; Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves; Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants; Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins; Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies; and David Wright of the New York Mets.

The 2014 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5th-6th, with further details to follow.   The A.L. All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the N.L. All-Star Team will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads – totaling 25 for the N.L. and 24 for the A.L. – will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers – N.L. skipper Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals and A.L. manager John Farrell of the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox.

Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League’s 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over the balloting period. Now in its 13th season with more than 430 million votes cast, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile phones.

This year’s final phase of All-Star Game voting again will have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year’s recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15th. The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International’s independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

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Orioles select 30 players on final day of Draft including Bonilla’s son

Posted on 07 June 2014 by WNST Staff

The Baltimore Orioles concluded their work in the 2014 Major League Baseball Entry Draft by selecting 30 additional players Saturday, selecting 38 total for the weekend.

The name that stands out the most from Saturday’s selections is 25th round pick Brandon Bonilla from Grand Canyon University. Bonilla is a left handed pitcher who began his college career at Arizona State and whose father is former O’s slugger Bobby Bonilla. (Of note, the younger Bonilla’s godfather is former MLB slugger and fellow former Sun Devil Barry Bonds-who played with the elder Bonilla for the Pittsburgh Pirates).

A complete list of the Birds’ third day selections can be found below courtesy of MLB.com.

11 331 Means, John West Virginia (WV) LHP L/L JR 6’3″ 225lbs DOB: 04/24/93
12 361 Nootbaar, Nigel USC (CA) RHP R/R JR 6’0″ 180lbs DOB: 03/24/93
13 391 Trowbridge, Matt Central Michigan (MI) LHP L/L JR 5’10″ 175lbs DOB: 03/24/93
14 421 Grim, Gerrion Jefferson College (MO) RF R/R J1 6’2″ 190lbs DOB: 09/17/93
15 451 Juvier, Alejandro Doral Academy (FL) 2B L/R HS 6’1″ 180lbs DOB: 01/20/96
16 481 Chleborad, Tanner Washington State (WA) RHP R/R JR 6’5″ 190lbs DOB: 11/04/92
17 511 Cosme, Jean Colegio Sagrada Familia (Puerto Rico) RHP R/R HS 6’2″ 155lbs DOB: 05/24/96
18 541 Grimes, Matthew Georgia Tech (GA) RHP R/R SR 6’6″ 210lbs DOB: 09/04/91
19 571 Seabold, Connor Newport Harbor HS (CA) RHP R/R HS 6’2″ 175lbs DOB: 01/24/96
20 601 Albin, Zach University of Connecticut – Avery Point (CT) RHP R/R J3 6’2″ 195lbs DOB: 06/14/93
21 631 McLeod, John Wake Forest (NC) LHP L/L SR 6’4″ 220lbs DOB: 06/03/92
22 661 Walker, Josh New Mexico (NM) RHP R/R SR 6’2″ 175lbs DOB: 12/18/91
23 691 McGranahan, Zeke Georgia Gwinnett College (GA) RHP R/R 5S 6’4″ 215lbs DOB: 01/03/91
24 721 Long, Lucas University of San Diego (CA) RHP R/R JR 6’0″ 195lbs DOB: 10/07/92
25 751 Bonilla, Brandon Grand Canyon University (AZ) LHP R/L JR 6’4″ 215lbs DOB: 10/21/93
26 781 Burland, Gage East Valley HS (WA) RHP R/R HS 6’2″ 195lbs DOB: 06/27/95
27 811 Pfeiffer, Austin University of Arkansas – Little Rock (AR) SS R/R 5S 6’4″ 225lbs DOB: 05/25/91
28 841 Carter, James Chabot College (CA) RHP R/R J2 6’3″ 185lbs DOB: 03/10/94
29 871 Baker, Patrick Anne Arundel CC (MD) RHP R/R J1 6’3″ 215lbs DOB: 08/15/93
30 901 Burke, Mike University of Buffalo (NY) RHP R/R SR 6’2″ 200lbs DOB: 08/27/92
31 931 Palmer, Riley Southern New Hampshire (NH) 3B L/R SR 6’4″ 215lbs DOB: 11/15/91
32 961 Moquete, Jamill U Massachusetts Boston (MA) RF R/R SR 6’3″ 215lbs DOB: 02/13/92
33 991 Koch, Brandon Temecula Valley HS (CA) RHP R/R HS 6’4″ 210lbs DOB: 12/07/95
34 1021 Pearson, Garrett St John’s College HS (DC) RHP R/R HS 6’6″ 220lbs DOB: 03/21/96
35 1051 Gold, Tad Endicott Col (MA) CF L/L SR 6’1″ 195lbs DOB: 03/01/91
36 1081 Lee, Alexander Radford (VA) 1B R/R SR 6’3″ 205lbs DOB: 01/14/91
37 1111 Hart, Hunter St. Joseph Ogden HS (IL) RHP R/R HS 6’3″ 180lbs DOB: 09/03/95
38 1141 Ghidotti, Keegan Ouachita Baptist University (AR) RHP R/R SR 6’2″ 210lbs DOB: 04/04/92
39 1171 Simpson, Tucker Chipola College (FL) RHP R/R J1 6’5″ 229lbs DOB: 05/12/93
40 1201 Olesczuk, TJ Winthrop (SC) CF R/R JR 6’0″ 195lbs DOB: 02/05/92

 

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Nationals select Ryan Ripken in 15th round of MLB Draft

Posted on 07 June 2014 by WNST Staff

Nationals conclude 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft

The Washington Nationals concluded the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft on Saturday afternoon, selecting 30 players to round out this year’s draft class.

Over the course of the three-day draft, the Nationals selected 21 pitchers (seven left-handed pitchers, 14 right-handed), four catchers, 10 outfielders and five infielders.

Among the players the Nats selected Saturday was first baseman Ryan Ripken (Gilman) out of Indian River State College in Florida.

Ripken is the son of former Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame SS Cal Ripken. The younger Ripken was drafted by the Birds in the 20th round of the 2012 Draft before passing on the opportunity to accept a scholarship to play baseball at South Carolina.

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Cruz named American League Player of the Week

Posted on 02 June 2014 by WNST Staff

Nelson Cruz of the Baltimore Orioles named the American League Player of the Week

Baltimore Orioles outfielder and designated hitter Nelson Cruz has been named the American League Player of the Week for the period ending June 1st. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.

Cruz batted .476 (10-for-21) with three doubles, four home runs, four walks, eight RBI and five runs scored in seven games to grab his second career weekly honor, last accomplishing the feat for the week ending May 23, 2010 while with the Texas Rangers. Nelson led all Major League hitters in slugging percentage (1.190) and was second overall with 25 total bases. Amongst his A.L. counterparts, Cruz was tied for second in batting average and homers, and was third in RBI and on-base percentage (.556).

On Tuesday, Cruz went 2-for-3 with a double, a homer and two runs scored as the O’s were edged out by the Milwaukee Brewers, 7-6, at Miller Park. The right-handed-hitting Cruz was also issued a free pass in the loss. On Wednesday, the 33-year-old slugger launched a pair of solo homers, his second two-homer game of the season (also April 23rd at Toronto) and the 12th of his 10-year career as Baltimore fell to the Brewers, 8-3. It was the fifth time this season that Cruz launched blasts in back-to-back games. Moving onto Houston on Thursday, the Dominican Republic native continued to swing a hot bat for the Orioles with his third consecutive two-hit game, but the Houston pitching staff kept the Orioles in check as the Astros won, 3-1, at Minute Maid Park. On Saturday, the two-time A.L. All-Star went 2-for-2 with a double, a homer, a walk and three RBI to lead the Orioles to a 4-1 victory over Houston, snapping a four-game losing skid for Baltimore and extending his season-long hitting streak to 12 games (snapped on Sunday). Over the string, Cruz batted .476 (20-for-42) with six doubles, eight homers, 15 RBI and 14 runs scored.

Cruz has started off his first season with the Orioles in stellar fashion, leading the Majors in slugging percentage (.672), total bases (137), homers (20), RBI (52) and fewest at-bats per home run (10.2), and he is second overall with 33 extra-base hits. Cruz, who leads A.L. designated hitters in All-Star balloting for the 85th All-Star Game, is fifth in the league with 39 runs scored, sixth with a .384 on-base percentage and seventh with a .314 batting average. At the start of the season, Cruz became just the fifth Oriole to homer in his first two games with the Club, and in addition set new Baltimore records for RBI through the month of May (52) and home runs during the month of May (13). Cruz’s power display has helped him reach the 20-homer plateau for the sixth straight campaign.

Other noteworthy performances in the A.L. last week included Oakland’s Josh Donaldson (.393, 4 HR, 12 RBI) and Scott Kazmir (CG on 5/28 vs. DET); Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion (.417, 5 HR, 10 RBI) and Mark Buehrle (2-0, 1.84 ERA, 6 SO); Seattle’s Roenis Elias (first-career SHO on 6/1 vs. Detroit) and Chris Young (2-0, 2.19 ERA, 11 SO); and Chicago’s Chris Sale (CG on 6/1 vs. San Diego).

In recognition of his American League Player of the Week Award, Nelson Cruz will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.

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Bovada improves Orioles’ World Series odds to 25/1

Posted on 02 June 2014 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV).

Odds to win the 2014 World Series  (Teams in red have longer odds, teams in blue have shorter odds, and teams in black stayed the same) 

Odds on 5/1/14             Current Odds

Detroit Tigers                                        13/2                  6/1                   

San Francisco Giants                            14/1                  7/1

Los Angeles Dodgers                            15/2                  8/1

Oakland Athletics                                  12/1                  9/1

St. Louis Cardinals                                10/1                  9/1

Toronto Blue Jays                                 25/1                  10/1

Atlanta Braves                                       11/1                  12/1

Washington Nationals                            11/1                  14/1

Boston Red Sox                                   14/1                  16/1

Los Angeles Angels                              20/1                  16/1

Milwaukee Brewers                                14/1                  16/1

New York Yankees                                10/1                  16/1

Baltimore Orioles                                   33/1                  25/1

Texas Rangers                                      16/1                  28/1

Cincinnati Reds                                     40/1                  40/1

Colorado Rockies                                 66/1                  50/1

Kansas City Royals                               33/1                  50/1

Seattle Mariners                                    50/1                  50/1

Tampa Bay Rays                                   20/1                  50/1

Chicago White Sox                                75/1                  66/1

Cleveland Indians                                  50/1                  66/1

Miami Marlins                                        150/1                75/1

Pittsburgh Pirates                                  50/1                  75/1

New York Mets                                      66/1                  100/1

Philadelphia Phillies                               75/1                  150/1

Minnesota Twins                                    150/1                200/1

San Diego Padres                                 100/1                200/1

Chicago Cubs                                       500/1                250/1

Arizona Diamondbacks                          200/1                500/1

Houston Astros                                     500/1                500/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 AL Pennant            

Detroit Tigers                                        3/1

Oakland Athletics                                  9/2

Toronto Blue Jays                                 5/1

Los Angeles Angels                              15/2

New York Yankees                                15/2

Boston Red Sox                                   9/1

Baltimore Orioles                                   14/1

Texas Rangers                                      14/1

Kansas City Royals                               25/1

Seattle Mariners                                    25/1

Tampa Bay Rays                                   25/1

Chicago White Sox                                33/1

Cleveland Indians                                  33/1

Minnesota Twins                                    75/1

Houston Astros                                     250/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 NL Pennant           

San Francisco Giants                            3/1

St. Louis Cardinals                                15/4

Los Angeles Dodgers                            4/1

Washington Nationals                            11/2

Atlanta Braves                                       13/2

Milwaukee Brewers                                15/2

Cincinnati Reds                                     20/1

Colorado Rockies                                 22/1

Miami Marlins                                        40/1

Pittsburgh Pirates                                  40/1

New York Mets                                      50/1

Philadelphia Phillies                               66/1

San Diego Padres                                 75/1

Chicago Cubs                                       125/1

Arizona Diamondbacks                          200/1

 

Divisional Odds

Odds to win the 2014 AL EAST   

Toronto Blue Jays                                 7/5

New York Yankees                                5/2

Boston Red Sox                                   4/1

Baltimore Orioles                                   9/2

Tampa Bay Rays                                   12/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 AL CENTRAL           

Detroit Tigers                                        1/10

Kansas City Royals                               12/1

Cleveland Indians                                  12/1

Chicago White Sox                                12/1

Minnesota Twins                                    28/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 AL WEST  

Oakland Athletics                                  1/2

Los Angeles Angels                              5/2

Texas Rangers                                      8/1

Seattle Mariners                                    10/1

Houston Astros                                     250/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 NL EAST   

Atlanta Braves                                       5/6

Washington Nationals                            6/5

Miami Marlins                                        10/1

New York Mets                                      25/1

Philadelphia Phillies                               28/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 NL CENTRAL          

St. Louis Cardinals                                5/8

Milwaukee Brewers                                9/5

Cincinnati Reds                                     9/1

Pittsburgh Pirates                                  14/1

Chicago Cubs                                       100/1

 

Odds to win the 2014 NL WEST

San Francisco Giants                            1/2

Los Angeles Dodgers                            8/5

Colorado Rockies                                 12/1

San Diego Padres                                 50/1

Arizona Diamondbacks                          100/1

 

MLB Awards Odds

Odds to Win the 2014 AL MVP   

Mike Trout (LAA)                                   8/5

Miguel Cabrera (DET)                            7/2

Josh Donaldson (OAK)                          5/1

Nelson Cruz (BAL)                                 7/1

Jose Bautista (TOR)                              10/1

Victor Martinez (DET)                             12/1

Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)                      15/1

Alexei Ramirez (CWS)                            25/1

Melky Cabrera (TOR)                             25/1

Jose Abreu (CHW)                                 25/1

Robinson Cano (SEA)                           25/1

Albert Pujols (LAA)                                33/1

Masahiro Tanaka (NYY)                         50/1

 

Odds to Win the 2014 NL MVP  

Troy Tulowitzki (COL)                             3/1

Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)                         4/1

Andrew McCutchen (PIT)                        6/1

Yasiel Puig (LAD)                                  7/1

Justin Upton (ATL)                                 9/1

Ryan Braun (MIL)                                   12/1

Carlos Gomez (MIL)                               12/1

Chase Utley (PHI)                                  16/1

Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)                         18/1

Freddie Freeman (ATL)                          20/1

Yadier Molina (STL)                               20/1

Charlie Blackmon (COL)                         25/1

Justin Morneau (COL)                            50/1

 

Odds to Win the 2014 AL Cy Young          

Masahiro Tanaka (NYY)                         4/1

Felix Hernandez (SEA)                           11/2

Mark Buehrle (TOR)                               13/2

Yu Darvish (TEX)                                   13/2

Max Scherzer (DET)                               15/2

Chris Sale (CWS)                                   15/2

Sonny Gray (OAK)                                 8/1

Justin Verlander (DET)                           12/1

Corey Kluber (CLE)                                12/1

Scott Kazmir (OAK)                               15/1

James Shields (KC)                               16/1

Jesse Chavez (OAK)                              25/1

Jon Lester (BOS)                                   33/1

 

Odds to Win the 2014 NL Cy Young                 

Adam Wainwright (STL)                          3/1

Johnny Cueto (CIN)                               5/1

Zack Greinke (LAD)                               7/1

Clayton Kershaw (LAD)                          7/1

Kyle Lohse (MIL)                                   9/1

Madison Bumgarner (SF)                       10/1

Julio Teheran (ATL)                                12/1

Tim Hudson (SF)                                   12/1

Michael Wacha (STL)                             12/1

Stephen Strasburg (WAS)                      12/1

Josh Beckett (LAD)                               16/1

Hyun-Jin Ryu                                         20/1

Cliff Lee (PHI)                                       25/1

NBA CHAMPIONSHIP – SERIES PRICES    

Miami Heat (Series Prices)                                 +105     (21/20)

San Antonio Spurs (Series Prices)                      -125     (4/5)

 

NBA PLAYOFFS – CHAMPIONSHIP GAME #1         

Miami Heat                                +3½

San Antonio Spurs                     -3½

Over/Under                   199

 

 

NHL PLAYOFFS – STANLEY CUP SERIES PRICE                        

New York Rangers (Series Prices)                      +150     (3/2)

Los Angeles Kings (Series Prices)                      -170     (10/17)

 

NHL PLAYOFFS – STANLEY CUP GAME 1                  

New York Rangers                     +140     (7/5)

Los Angeles Kings                     -160     (5/8)

Over/Under                   5 Goals

 

 

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Cruz passes Ortiz in All-Star voting among American League DH’s

Posted on 02 June 2014 by WNST Staff

Cano overtakes Kinsler, Cruz passes Ortiz in second American League balloting update for 85th All-Star Game

Bautista Gains on Trout for Overall League Lead; Melky Cabrera Surpasses Ellsbury, Beltran to Join Outfield Leaders

Seattle Mariners five-time All-Star Robinson Cano, who has been voted the American League starting second baseman in the Midsummer Classic in each of the last four seasons, and Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Nelson Cruz, a two-time All-Star, have joined the A.L. leaders in the second balloting figures for the 85th All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 15th at Target Field in Minnesota, it was announced today. The second National League balloting results will be announced tomorrow.

In the closest battle for a starting assignment, Cano, who has drawn 726,158 votes has pulled in front of Detroit Tigers second baseman and three-time All-Star Ian Kinsler, who has accumulated 649,926 votes. Cano, in his first season with the Mariners, is aiming to become the third second baseman in A.L. history to earn five consecutive fan-elected starts, joining Hall of Famers Rod Carew (six straight, 1970-75) and Roberto Alomar (five straight, 1996-2000). In addition, Cano would join Bret Boone (2001) as the only fan-elected starting second basemen in Mariners history, and could become just the fourth Seattle infielder to receive an election from the fans, joining Boone, John Olerud (1B, 2001) and Alex Rodriguez (SS, 1997-98; 2000). Cano currently ranks third in the A.L. with a .327 batting average, is tied for third with 22 multi-hit games and is tied for seventh with 67 hits.

Cruz, who leads the Majors with 20 home runs and 52 RBI, has received a total of 888,855 votes to surpass nine-time All-Star David Ortiz (766,631) of the Boston Red Sox at designated hitter. Cruz, who is attempting to end Ortiz’s run of three consecutive fan-elected starts at designated hitter, would become only the fifth different fan-elected starter at the position, joining Edgar Martinez (1997, 2001, 2003), Jose Canseco (1999), Ortiz (2005, 2008, 2011-13) and Vladimir Guerrero (2010). Cruz, who set an Orioles record for RBI before the end of May (52), has hit safely in 17 of his last 19 games since May 13th, batting .403 (27-for-67) during the stretch with 10 walks, seven doubles, 10 homers, 22 RBI and 16 runs scored.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim two-time All-Star Mike Trout remains the overall leader in the A.L. with 1,361,649 total votes, but Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays has closed the gap and narrowly trails for the top spot with 1,351,896. Trout, who last year at 21 years old became the youngest A.L. position player to start the All-Star Game since Ivan Rodriguez in 1993, is currently riding a season-best 11-game hitting streak in which he is batting .417 (15-for-36). The 2012 A.L. Rookie of the Year, who is bidding to join Carew (1979-84), Fred Lynn (1982-83), Reggie Jackson (1982-84) and Guerrero (2004-07) as the only Angels in history to earn consecutive fan-elected All-Star starts, has reached base safely in each of his last 23 games. Bautista, a four-time All-Star and a three-time fan-elected starter (2011-13), is seeking to become the second player in Blue Jays history to receive four fan-elected starting nods, joining Alomar (2B, 1991-94). The 2011 MLB leading vote-getter, who is tied for fifth in the A.L. with 14 home runs, has hit the most homers in the Majors since 2010 (166) and his 116 home runs prior to the break in that span are 19 better than the next closest player. Bautista has reached base safely in 56 of his 58 games played this season and he leads the A.L. with a .442 on-base percentage. Bautista’s Blue Jays teammate Melky Cabrera (743,208), a 2012 N.L. All-Star, has joined the outfield leaders after surpassing New York Yankees teammates Jacoby Ellsbury (625,206), a 2011 All-Star, and Carlos Beltran (565,554), an eight-time All-Star. Cabrera, who ranks second in the Majors with 74 hits, would become the fourth different Blue Jays outfielder in history to receive a fan election, joining Bautista, Joe Carter (1993-94) and George Bell (1987). Bautista and Cabrera are trying to become the first pair of teammates to start in the A.L. outfield since Boston’s Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez in 2005, and it would mark the 17th Midsummer Classic in history to feature starting teammates in the A.L. outfield.

Thirteen-time All-Star and eight-time fan-elected starter Derek Jeter of the Yankees leads all A.L. shortstops in balloting and ranks third in the league overall with 1,007,968 total votes as he looks to join his former teammate Cano up the middle at the Midsummer Classic in his final season. Jeter, who ranks eighth on the all-time hit list with 3,367 hits, would become the seventh A.L. player in history to earn at least nine fan-elected starts with one team. The others include Hall of Famers Cal Ripken, Jr. (17 with Baltimore), George Brett (11 with Kansas City) and Carew (nine with Minnesota); Ken Griffey, Jr. (10 with Seattle); Ichiro Suzuki (nine with Seattle); and Ivan Rodriguez (nine with Texas). Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez, bidding for his first career All-Star selection, trails Jeter with 867,156 votes.

Rounding out the A.L. infield at the corners is Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera and Oakland Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson. Cabrera, an eight-time All-Star, has garnered 962,138 votes as he vies for his second consecutive fan-elected start following his start across the diamond at third base last year. The reigning two-time A.L. MVP (also 2012), who is currently third in the A.L. with 49 RBI and ranks fourth with a .325 batting average, would become just the fifth player in Tigers history to earn multiple fan-elected starting assignments at the Midsummer Classic, joining catchers Bill Freehan (1970, 1972), Lance Parrish (1984-86), Ivan Rodriguez (2004, 2006-07) and second baseman Lou Whitaker (1984-86). In addition, the 2012 Triple Crown winner would join former teammate Prince Fielder as the only fan-elected starting first basemen in Tigers history. Cabrera, who leads the A.L. with a .418 batting average with runners in scoring position, is followed at first base by Chicago White Sox rookie Jose Abreu (602,628) and nine-time All-Star Albert Pujols (569,211) of the Angels. Donaldson (956,811), who is bidding for his first All-Star nod, continues to lead three-time All-Star and two-time fan-elected starter Evan Longoria (589,621) of the Tampa Bay Rays. Donaldson, who is batting .325 with 23 runs scored, eight home runs and 24 RBI over his last 21 games, would become the first A’s third baseman to earn a fan-elected start, and the first Oakland player overall to receive a fan-election since first baseman Jason Giambi in 2000. Donaldson leads the Majors with 48 runs scored, is tied for third in the A.L. with 15 home runs and ranks fourth in the league with 48 RBI. With four different teams currently represented in the A.L. infield, the 85th All-Star Game could mark the first time since 2003, and the 19th time overall since fan balloting began in 1970, that the four A.L. fan-elected starting infielders come from four different teams.

Behind the plate, Orioles backstop Matt Wieters (842,775), maintained his lead over Yankees catcher Brian McCann (605,941). Wieters, who is bidding for his third All-Star selection and first starting assignment, would join Terry Kennedy (1987) as the only catchers in Orioles history to earn a fan election. Wieters, who is currently on the disabled list with a right elbow strain, is batting .308 with five home runs and 18 RBI on the season. Along with Cruz, the duo is aiming to give the Orioles multiple starters in consecutive years (Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones in 2013) for the first time since 1997 (Alomar, Cal Ripken, Jr., Brady Anderson) and 1998 (Alomar, Ripken).

MLB’s All-Star Balloting Program is the largest of its kind in professional sports. The last two years represent the two highest totals in balloting history, including a record 40.2 million ballots cast in 2012. More than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots will be distributed at MLB’s 30 ballparks, each of which will have 23 dates for balloting.

In addition, fans around the world can cast their votes for starters 25 times exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 Club web sites – online or via their mobile devices – with the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian. The All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian is available in English and Spanish, and offers audio CAPTCHA functionality for visually-impaired fans. Banco BHD sponsors online All-Star balloting in the Dominican Republic, making Spanish-language ballots available to fans in the Dominican Republic via LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language Web site of Major League Baseball.

Every Major League Club began its in-stadium balloting no later than May 12th. When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes no later than June 26th, fans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots exclusively online at MLB.com, the 30 Club Web sites and their mobile devices until Thursday, July 3rd at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).

Firestone, the official tire of MLB, is once again the exclusive sponsor of the 2014 In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program. The ballot features an All-Star sweepstakes, in which a winner will be rewarded with a trip for two to MLB All-Star Week, including airfare, hotel accommodations, tickets to the All-Star Game and other MLB All-Star Week events, and VIP on-field access to watch batting practice before the All-Star Game with an MLB legend.

For the sixth consecutive year, the ballot features the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans have the opportunity to select three players in each League who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The Fan Poll is also available online at MLB.com. The 2014 Home Run Derby, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day, will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 8:00 p.m. (ET)/7:00 p.m. (CT) on Monday, July 14th. The 10 American League candidates are Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays; Carlos Beltran of the New York Yankees; Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers; Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners; 2013 Home Run Derby Champion Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics; Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles; Prince Fielder of the Texas Rangers; All-Star Ambassador Joe Mauer of the Twins; David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox; and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The 10 National League candidates are Pedro Alvarez of the Pittsburgh Pirates; Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds; Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks; Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals; Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves; Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants; Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins; Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies; and David Wright of the New York Mets.

The 2014 American League and National League All-Star Teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show during the weekend of July 5th-6th, with further details to follow. The A.L. All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the N.L. All-Star Team will have eight fan-elected starters. The pitchers and reserves for both squads – totaling 25 for the N.L. and 24 for the A.L. – will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers – N.L. skipper Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals and A.L. manager John Farrell of the defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox.

Immediately following the announcement of the American League and National League All-Star rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each League’s 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each League over the balloting period. Now in its 13th season with more than 430 million votes cast, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile phones.

This year’s final phase of All-Star Game voting again will have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year’s recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15th. The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International’s independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

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B&B Big Story Banter: Orioles Making Moves

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B&B Big Story Banter: Orioles Making Moves

Posted on 30 May 2014 by Brett Dickinson

BD: Well the Baltimore Orioles had an eventful week, as they made the first splash of the season.  After the uncertainty on catcher Matt Wieters health status for the rest of the season, the front office made a trade with the San Diego Padres for catcher Nick Hundley.  In return the Padres received relief pitcher Troy Patton.  But this move has simply raised more questions about the Orioles All-Star backstop.  What do you make of Baltimore acquiring a catcher and what is Hundley’s long term value with the team?

BK: The decision to acquire a veteran catcher who can handle the lion’s share of catching duties was a wise one. The Troy Patton for Nick Hundley trade was a classic example of shortage and surplus. Following his 25 game suspension, Patton was unable to carve out a role in the Orioles’ bullpen, which features two dependable left-handed relievers in Brian Matusz and Zach Britton. In San Diego, Hundley was relegated to third catcher status behind starter Yasmani Grandal and Rene Rivera. Because Baltimore was able to turn a relief pitcher for a fill-in starting catcher, the Orioles get the edge in this trade.

Acquiring a player like Hundley did not surprise me; the roster decision to send C Steve Clevenger down to Triple-A Norfolk instead of Caleb Joseph was downright shocking. Clevenger was doing an admirable job handling the pitching staff, and his bat showed some life that the team hasn’t received from a backup catcher in quite some time. Meanwhile, Joseph kept his spot on the roster despite his sub .100 batting average. By demoting Clevenger, Hundley became the starting catcher by default. For a team that still has David Lough and Ryan Flaherty on the roster, it should not come as a huge surprise that a player like Joseph gets to stick with the club.

Hundley is a veteran of a perennial losing franchise in San Diego, a career .238 hitter, and has little to no familiarity with the Orioles’ pitching staff. From the time that the Orioles placed Matt Wieters on the disabled list until the team acquired Hundley, the combination of Clevenger and Joseph went 4-9. The team is 2-4 with Hundley as their everyday catcher. If Wieters winds up missing a substantial amount of the season, the Orioles must equally split up the starts at catcher between Hundley and Clevenger. In a division that is currently being dominated by the Toronto Blue Jays, the Orioles’ front office should feel more of a sense of urgency to win now and capture a division that is up for grabs. Quit worrying about the major league time of Clevenger, and do what is best for the pitching staff and the entire organization.

Speaking of pitching staff, a report from Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago) earlier in the week stated the Orioles are the lead team to be interested in Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija. In the midst of a career year, there is no question that the price for a pitcher of his caliber will be steep. Brett, are you surprised to hear that the Orioles could make a move for Samardzija, and should the team part ways with one or multiple top prospects for his services?

Jeff SamardzijaBD: It is definitely uplifting hearing the Orioles are looking to still improve their pitching staff.  And Samardzija has agruably been the best pitcher in baseball for the first couple of months. He currently sports a 1.68 ERA and 1.067 WHIP, but has received little run support in Chicago, holding only one win.  Samardzija has another year left of team control as well, making him a very valuable commodity, especially notoriously cheap teams like the Orioles.

If they acquire him, it would fill out their rotation, while improving the bullpen as well. If he handles the top spot, everyone else is moved down to their appropriate pitching role. Chris Tillman and Ubaldo Jimenez now have less pressure, as the respective two and three starters.  While it also bumps wither Wei-Yin Chen or Miguel Gonzalez into the bullpen.  The depth that creates would allow Buck Showalter to seriously consider Zach Britton as the long term closer as well.  But with this organization, it always comes down to what is the cost?

Now if the Orioles were to make a deal it would have to involve one of their top players they covet.  A deal with Kevin Gausman seems least likely, since he is the top prospect in the organization and could help the big league club in the coming weeks.  But if the team decided that winning now is most important, with the small window for the current core, then pitcher Dylan Bundy could be the centerpiece to a trade. He injury issues may make him expendable, as he has not proven anything in the major leagues in his short career. Either way other pieces would have to be involved as well.

The other options would involve moving some of their proven players like Wieters or Adam Jones or exclude Bundy, but give up the next four to five prospects in the system.  Both are completely unrealistic because it does not improve the major league roster or depletes an already thin farm system.  So do I think the team will eventually bite the bullet and send Bundy backing for a proven front line starter? No.  But if the team is serious about making a run within the next two seasons towards a World Series, Samardzija could be the missing piece. This is the ultimate decision to win now or build for the future.

Besides, I bet the Ravens are hoping he makes his way to Baltimore considering their questions at wide receiver. Maybe he could run a couple deep routes on Sundays like he did a two-sport star while attending Notre Dame.

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We think you’ll “sing” about this week’s #WNSTSweet16

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We think you’ll “sing” about this week’s #WNSTSweet16

Posted on 18 May 2014 by Glenn Clark

We’re starting to approach the midway point of 2014. There’s absolutely NO WAY you don’t know how this works, right?

We are celebrating our 16th year as Baltimore’s sports media leader here at WNST. As Dave Chappelle (playing the role of Rick James) might say…..you know what, maybe that’s not appropriate for here. You all know where I was going. If not, “Dave Chappelle” and “celebration” in Google will probably be fun for you.

Every week here at WNST we’re looking back on a “water cooler” topic that we’ve discussed during our 16 year run. After we think over it, we appoint a WNST personality to put together a definitive list about the topic. We call it the #WNSTSweet16. Yes it is pretty awesome, thank you for noticing.

We’ve made it through 19 weeks thus far. If you missed any of our lists, we encourage you to look over them here.

Week 19: Gary Quill-Sweet 16 all-time Maryland horse racing moments
Week 18: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 most important picks in Ravens draft history
Week 17: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 worst draft picks in Baltimore Ravens history
Week 16: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest players in Washington Capitals history
Week 15: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 games we’ve been treated to
Week 14: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 Masters moments of the last 30 years
Week 13: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 greatest pro wrestling moments in Baltimore history
Week 12: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports goofballs/personalities
Week 11: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 local sports saints-athletes who gave back
Week 10: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 events a Baltimore sports fan must attend
Week 9: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 greatest Baltimore college basketball players
Week 8: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 Orioles who didn’t live up to the hype
Week 7: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 most underappreciated Maryland basketball players
Week 6: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local sports “Heartbreakers”
Week 5: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local Olympic sport athletes
Week 4: Drew Forrester-Sweet 16 local athletes who deserved to win a championship but didn’t
Week 3: Nestor Aparicio-Sweet 16 local sports people who “had a dream”
Week 2: Luke Jones-Sweet 16 local sports playoff moments
Week 1: Glenn Clark-Sweet 16 “debuts” in local sports history

It’s Drew Forrester’s turn again to take over the reigns of the #WNSTSweet16 this week.

Earlier this year we recognized the “underappreciated” former Terps. We’re venturing down that path again this week for a different team.

We all know who the greatest Baltimore Orioles are of all-time. In some order you’d find Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Jim Palmer, Cal Ripken, Eddie Murray and obviously Felix Pie.

(I just can’t resist.)

But in recognizing these players as the greatest in franchise history, we also likely disqualify them from this week’s topic. Our topic this week is the “Sweet 16 Most unsung Orioles of all time”.

There are a few names that jumped out at me as I considered this list. The first was Dave McNally-who will never be a Hall of Famer but finished his career with a 3.24 ERA and 1.21 WHIP while pitching 13 of his 14 career seasons with the Birds. McNally had a remarkable career but his name is likely completely unknown by a younger generation of Birds fans.

Other names that came to mind included Don Buford, Scott McGregor, Melvin Mora, Gregg Olson and BJ Surhoff.

I’m not really sure how “underappreciated” and “unsung” are actually different. I’m sort of convinced we just wanted to come up with two different terms when we started mapping out the lists at the beginning of the year. For the record, the definition of “unsung” is “not celebrated or praised”. Do with that what you will.

So who’s on your list?

Drew wants your suggestions. You can leave them here in the comments on this blog post or email him (drew@wnst.net). We will be discussing the list throughout the day Monday on AM1570 WNST.net. We’d love to have you Tweet with us or discuss the topic via Facebook by using the hashtag #WNSTSweet16.

On Tuesday morning, Drew will unveil the “official” list here at WNST.net and then discuss it with Luke on “The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction” at 8am. He will then re-visit the list at 4pm Tuesday on “The Happy Hours” with Nestor Aparicio.

Which players in Baltimore baseball history just haven’t received the recognition they deserved during the course of their career? Who are the most unsung players in franchise history? Make your voice heard!

-G

 

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