Sunday, January 31, 2016

2016 Outlook: Bob Uecker Division

Big Innings takes a look at the four divisions to see what each team has and where each team will finish.

2015 was a big year for the BUD. Two teams in the playoffs. One upset a higher seeded team in the 1st round, and the other won it all. In fact, neither team lost to a team outside the BUD. So what do they do for an encore? Can the Pigs capture another Higdon? Can the Wahoos win their first? Can the FFTs keep adding the players they need to win before the veteran guys get old? Can the DVs upset Donald Trump and win the Republican nomination? Read on, faithful readers...

Starting Pitching:
1. Wahoos
2. Warpigs
3. DVs
4. FFTs
The Wahoos' solution to surpassing the Pigs lies on the mound. Jake Arrieta is, of course, the best starting pitcher out there, but his supporting cast of Estrada, Iwakuma, and Verlander is also good. The Pig staff (Richards, Wacha, Leake, Dickey, Peavy) was hurt by the early season injury to Wainwright. The DVs have a promising group led by Strasburg and Ventura.

1. Wahoos
2. Warpigs
3. FFTs
4. DVs
The Wahoo bullpen can challenge the Sidewinders for the best in the league. Betances, Melancon, McGee, Watson, and Familia are the class of the BUD for sure. Not far behind is the deep staff of the Pigs, with Strop, O'Day, Maurer, Pomeranz, Bastardo, and Clippard. The FFTs' Adam Warren and Danny Duffy may combine for 200 appearances.

1. Cervelli/Molina, Warpigs
2. Wieters/Realmuto/Ellis, FFTs
3. Norris, Wahoos
4. WCastillo/McCann, DVs
Cervelli has the best bat of the bunch; Yadi has the best glove/arm.

First Base:
1. Cabrera, FFTs
2. Fielder/Morneau, Warpigs
3. Encarnacion, Wahoos
4. Pujols, DVs
Miggy has another great card. Encarnacion and Pujols play in homer parks, which probably puts them ahead of the Pig pair.

Second Base:
1. Kinsler/Kipnis, Warpigs
2. Panik, DVs
3. Pedroia, Wahoos
4. Cano, FFTs
Pretty good group when you have to put Cano last. Kipnis will probably DH for the Pigs, but Kinsler can hold his own (so to speak). Panik will need some AB help.

Third Base:
1. Moustakas/CSeager, DVs
2. Beltre, FFTs
3. KSeager/Turner, Wahoos
4. Prado, Warpigs
If Turner were the Wahoo starter at 3b, he'd be #1. But chances are he will DH, and the elder Seager brother didn't have his best year.

1. Bogaerts, DVs
2. Hechevarria/Simmons, Warpigs
3. Tulowitzki, FFTs
4. Crawford, Wahoos
Another good group, with the NL Gold Glove winner bringing up the rear. All 4 are excellent with the gloves. It's even better when you consider Corey Seager is a DV, as well.

Left Field:
1. Grichuk/Holliday/RCastillo, DVs
2. Inciarte/Van Slyke, Warpigs
3. Blanco/Aoki, Wahoos
4. BHolt, FFTs
It's hard to guess where Grichuk might play. The #1 ranking is based on him being the starter in LF. If it's somebody else, Inciarte moves up to the top spot.

Center Field:
1. Pollock, Warpigs
2. Fowler/Grichuk, DVs
3. Eaton, Wahoos
4. Pederson, FFTs
Eaton getting a cf-4 was a devastating blow to the Hoos. If he were a 2 - or even a 3 - he'd be ahead of Fowler.

Right Field:
1. Stanton/Grichuk/RCastillo, DVs
2. Cain, Warpigs
3. Pence/Reddick, FFTs
4. Granderson/Aoki, Wahoos
Stanton and Pence missed big chunks of the season. When Stanton is in the lineup, though, he will mash.

Designated Hitter:
1. Kipnis/VMart, Warpigs
2. Turner, Wahoos
3. Holliday/CSeager, DVs
4. Headley(?)/HanleyR(?), FFTs
As always, it's not easy projecting who will DH. But if these are the guys, this is the order.

Draft Picks:
1. DVs
2. Warpigs
3. Wahoos
4. FFTs
The DVs and Pigs are higher mostly because the other two don't have picks in the 1st round.

1. Wahoos
2. Warpigs
3. DVs
4. FFTs
This should be a tightly contested race, but the pitching staff of the Wahoos will be the difference. The Pigs' defense and bullpen should keep them in the mix for a shot at a wild card. The DVs have lots of young talent; they just need a big year from their pitchers. The FFT batters are not on the young side like the DVs, but they still have plenty in the tank. The FFTs also need to hit on some pitchers to challenge the Hoos and Pigs.

2016 Outlook: Ab Wheeler Division

Big Innings takes a look at the four divisions to see what each team has and where each team will finish.

In 2015, the AWD sent two teams to the playoffs - and one went to the World Series. The Goofs were the surprise team to make the post season where they lost to their AWD brethren, the Sidewinders. The Snakes then went to the World Series, where they blew a 3-1 lead in what Bob Costas referred to as the "greatest blow job in NASOMA history." What lies in store for the AWD in 2016? Will the Snakes repeat as division champs? Will they return to the World Series for the third straight year? And if so, who will kick their ass this time? Can the Goofs get back to the post season? Can the Tweeners ride their starting pitchers to the playoffs? Can the Bees field a team? Read on, faithful readers...

Starting Pitching:
1. Tweeners

2. Sidewinders
3. Goofs
4. Bees
The Tweeners continue to have the best rotation in the division with Gray, MadBum, King Felix, and Miller. The Snakes have pared their rotation down to just the top 3: Sale, Cueto, and Lester. Still pretty dang good. The Goofs have 2 aces in deGrom and Tanaka, but not much else. The Bees are loaded with talent (Teheran, Zimmermann, Jose Fernandez, AWood), but they're all coming off either injuries or so-so years.


1. Sidewinders
2. Goofs
3. Tweeners
4. Bees
The Sidewinders (Davis, Miller, Kimbrel, Chapman) have the best pen in NASOMA again (although the Wahoos could argue this point). The Goofs are a long way behind the Snakes, but still better than the Tweeners or the Bees. In fact, the Bees have no relievers right now.


1. Vogt/Gomes, Tweeners
2. Grandal, Sidewinders
3. Chirinos, Bees
4. Salty/Rivera, Goofs
Not exactly a stellar group. When the "run on catchers" happens, look for these teams to be involved.

First Base:

1. Belt, Sidewinders
2. Freeman, Bees
3. Duda, Goofs
4. Lind, Tweeners
Not a lot of difference between these 4 left-handed first sackers, but Belt gets the nod over Freeman.

Second Base:

1. Gordon, Sidewinders
2. Zobrist/Schoop, Tweeners
3. Phillips, Goofs
4. Solarte/Gyorko, Bees
The Sidewinders had a really good draft last year, getting Dee in the 1st, Wade Davis in the 2nd, and David Peralta in the 3rd. Another reason the Snakes are so good.

Third Base:

1. Arenado, Tweeners
2. Longoria/Wright, Sidewinders
3. Freese/Espinosa, Goofs
4. Solarte/Gallo, Bees
Despite anything the Shredder might have come up with, there aren't a lot of 3b who could be ranked ahead of Arenado.


1. Iglesias/Cozart, Tweeners
2. Gregorius, Sidewinders
3. JPeralta, Bees
4. ARamirez, Goofs
The injury to Iglesias two years ago is probably what cost the Tweeners in 2015. Now he's back. And when the Tweeners lead going to the 9th, he can always pull an "Oiler" and yank his ss-1e16 to bring in his ss-1e10.

Left Field:

1. Brantley/Marte/Ruggiano, Sidewinders
2. Byrd/Zobrist, Tweeners
3. DeAza, Bees
4. Hamilton, Goofs
So what's better: a lf-2 and cf-2, or a lf-1 and cf-3? Either way, the Snakes have the top ranked guy at both positions.

Center Field:

1. Brantley/Marte, Sidewinders
2. Pagan/Span, Goofs
3. Pillar, Tweeners
4. umm..., Bees
Pillar could easily be #2 here. He's the best fielder in the division. Well, until the Snakes bring in Billy Hamilton to pinch run and take his 1e0 out to CF.

Right Field:

1. Cruz, Tweeners
2. DPeralta/Ruggiano, Sidewinders
3. Choo, Goofs
4. Polanco, Bees
This is the deepest position in the AWD.

Designated Hitter:

1. Ortiz/Wright, Sidewinders
2. Springer(?), Tweeners
3. Trumbo(?), Bees
4. Cuddyer(?)/CJohnson(?), Goofs
Other than Papi, there's no guessing who the DH's will be in the AWD. But Papi will still be #1.

Draft Picks:

1. Sidewinders
2. Tweeners
3. Bees
4. Goofs
The AWD will have almost half of the 1st round picks. The Snakes have 3 picks in a row near the end of the round. The Bees pick #2, but the Tweeners have picks 10 and 16.


1. Sidewinders
2. Tweeners
3. Goofs
4. Bees
The Snakes will again win the AWD. Only the Tweeners are capable of putting any pressure on them, but they should at least be a favorite for a wild card spot. The Goofs will finish 3rd. They just don't have enough to play with the Tweeners. The poor Bees are in for a really long year. But... they'll be back.

2016 Outlook: Millard Fillmore Division

Big Innings takes a look at the four divisions to see what each team has and where each team will finish.

Last year was not a banner year for the MFD. The division winner was the Zaps, who easily outdistanced a lackluster field. He failed to get the 1st round bye, however, and that was costly when he lost in the 1st round. This year, the MFD houses both the AL and NL MVPs, the AL Cy Young winner, and the NL Cy Young runner-up. So the MFD will be much improved. Are the Zaps still the class of the division? Can the Drillers give them a serious challenge? Are the Mavs primed to play beyond game 162? Will the Buckeyes play game 162 during draft weekend? Read on, faithful readers...

Starting Pitching:
1. Zaps
2. Drillers
3. Mavs
4. Buckeyes
The Zaps have an embarrassment of riches here: Greinke, Scherzer, Kluber, Liriano, Hamels, Rodon. The Drillers are a distant 2nd, and their place here is due almost entirely to Keuchel. The Mavs have Carrasco, CMartinez, Gallardo, and Odorizzi which is neither bad nor great. The Buckeyes bring up the rear with Bauer, Walker, Nelson, and Happ. Unfortunately, this is the strength of the Buckeyes this year.

1. Zaps
2. Mavs
3. Drillers
4. Buckeyes
This is not a great category for any of the MFD teams, but the Zaps (Ziegler, Cecil, Giles, Herrera) get the nod. The Mavs have the best reliever in the division with Britton. As far as I can tell, the Buckeyes only have 1 reliever at this point. The draft is full of good relievers, though.

1. Posey, Drillers
2. d'Arnaud/Martin, Zaps
3. Lucroy, Mavs
4. Bethancourt, Buckeyes
Posey is the best in the game. Here's an interesting tidbit: According to SOM, Buster Posey is also the 6th best DEFENSIVE FIRST BASEMAN in the Major Leagues.

First Base:
1. Goldschmidt, Zaps
2. CDavis, Mavs
3. Abreu, Drillers
4. Sano(?), Buckeyes
Like Buster, Goldy is the best in the game. Sano actually has better offensive numbers than Davis and Abreu, but with half the ABs. And he's a 5. Plus, I'm not sure he'll play 1b for the Buckeyes.

Second Base:
1. Kendrick/Wong/Miller/Russell, Mavs
2. Rendon, Zaps
3. Walker, Drillers
4. Gennett, Buckeyes
Obviously, the Mavs have depth. Rendon had a bit of a down year. On Scooter Gennett's 2014 card, he had zero points of on base vs LHP (including no BP singles). This year he has 2 points of HBP. So... he's trending up.

Third Base:
1. Donaldson, Drillers
2. Machado, Zaps
3. Castellanos, Mavs
4. Sano(?), Buckeyes
1 and 2 are two of the top 3b in the league. As for the Mavs and Buckeyes, there happens to be a young, full-time third baseman with a pretty good card in the draft.

1. Correa/Andrus/Russell/Miller, Mavs
2. ACabrera, Zaps
3. Desmond, Buckeyes
4. Rollins, Drillers
There are a handful of good shortstops in the MFD, but they all play for the same team.

Left Field:
1. Yelich/Blackmon/Jennings, Drillers
2. JUpton/Bradley, Mavs
3. Dickerson, Zaps
4. Gattis/Ackley/Coghlan, Buckeyes
If Yelich plays LF for the Drillers, he's #1. If he plays CF, the Mav duo is #1. It's close either way. Dickerson is hurt by his defense. Gattis is hurt by batted balls in his direction. 

Center Field:
1. Harper/Heyward/Bradley, Mavs
2. McCutchen, Zaps
3. Yelich/Blackmon/Jennings, Drillers
4. Kiermaier/Ozuna, Buckeyes
Harper may not have the range of Cutch, but his card will be the best one in the set. The Buckeyes have the best defensive center fielder in the division.

Right Field:
1. Harper/Heyward/Bradley, Mavs
2. Bautista, Zaps
3. Puig(?), Drillers
4. Soler/Ozuna, Buckeyes
Heyward gets the slight nod over Joey Bats. The Buckeyes have 3 pretty good young outfielders, but they all play either CF or RF.

Designated Hitter:
1. Sano(?)/Soler(?), Buckeyes
2. Franco(?), Drillers
3. Dickerson(?), Zaps
4. Kendrick(?)/Upton(?), Mavs
It's hard to pick out the DH from most teams - including all of these.

Draft Picks:
1. Buckeyes
2. Mavs
3. Drillers
4. Zaps
The Buckeyes pick 1st every round, and they'll need it. Rebuilding is tough.

1. Zaps
2. Mavs
3. Drillers
4. Buckeyes
The Zaps don't have many holes. He should win 100 games and get that bye he missed last year. Then he can lose in the 2nd round. The Mavs and Drillers should be neck and neck all year to challenge the Zaps or to at least compete for a wild card spot. Any early guesses as to which player the Buckeyes will take with the first pick in the 2016 Draft? How about with the first pick in the 2017 Draft?

Saturday, January 30, 2016

2016 Outlook: Herman Wheeler Division

Big Innings takes a look at the four divisions to see what each team has and where each team will finish. Up first, the HWD.

Last year's division winner was the surprising Inmates, who had a late season surge to not only leapfrog over the Fungoes, but also jump ahead of the Sidewinders and Zaps to earn the #2 seed and a 1st Round bye in the 2015 Playoffs. Their showing there wasn't as positive, as they lost in 5 games to the Snakes.

Will the Inmates repeat? Will the Fungoes ride Trout and Kershaw back to the top? Are all those baby Rhinos ready for some post-season action? Will the Nads lose 120 games and STILL only pick 3rd? Read on, faithful readers...

Starting Pitching:
1. Fungoes
2. Rhinos
3. Inmates
4. Nads
The Fungoes are still tops here, with the always scary Kershaw, Harvey, and Price; but the Rhinos, with Syndergaard, Archer, and Cole, aren't that far behind. The Inmates rely on Salazar, Ross, and Quintana - definitely behind the other two. The Nads have some good young arms, but the only one with a good card has only 27 innings.

1. Fungoes
2. Nads
3. Inmates
4. Rhinos
This group doesn't have much difference between 1 and 4. The Rhinos only have 2 relievers, but they're both really good.

1. Perez, Fungoes
2. Swihart/Susac/Avila, Rhinos
3. Rosario/Ramos, Inmates
4. Montero, Nads
There's not a lot of offense with this group. Perez and Ramos have the big arms.

First Base
1. Votto, Rhinos
2. Hosmer, Fungoes
3. Rizzo, Inmates
4. AdGonzalez, Nads
Catcher might not be a strength in the HWD, but the guys holding down 1b are elite. Votto is maybe the best in the whole league (if you don't count players with 11 letters in their last name), and while Rizzo usually gets more notice, Hosmer had a better year. Gonzo would be higher than 4 in every other division.

Second Base
1. Altuve, Inmates
2. Lemahieu, Rhinos
3. Dozier/Harrison, Nads
4. Odor/Murphy/Galvis, Fungoes
Almost too close to call between the first two guys. Both are well ahead of 3 & 4.

Third Base
1. Bryant/Baez, Rhinos
2. Carpenter, Fungoes
3. Frazier/Harrison, Nads
4. Lawrie/EEscobar, Inmates
I really don't know where to place Josh Harrison. He plays everywhere, and he's really good. Bryant is really, really good - and should be for a long time.

1. Lindor, Fungoes
2. AEscobar/Baez/Castro/Flores, Rhinos
3. Aybar, Nads
4. Segura/EEscobar, Inmates
Lindor is the class of this group by a long shot. In Rhinoland, they have to allot extra time for infield practice so they can all get their reps.

Left Field
1. Cespedes, Inmates
2. Gordon, Rhinos
3. Revere, Nads
4. Gardner, Fungoes
Cespedes will have an interesting card. And even though he can't hit LHP, he's still the best of this group. Gordon and Revere are a virtual tie.

Center Field
1. Trout, Fungoes
2. Jones, Inmates
3. Lagares, Nads
4. Marisnick, Rhinos
When Trout turns to look at the guys in line behind him, they are too far back to see.

Right Field
1. JDMartinez/Cargo, Inmates
2. Betts, Fungoes
3. Markakis, Rhinos
4. Calhoun/Harrison, Nads
I don't know which of these two Inmates will play RF, but the other one will be the DH - and will be ranked 1st there, too. If Betts has an "up arrow" next to his name, Markakis has the "down arrow."

Designated Hitter
1. JDMartinez/Cargo, Inmates
2. Jaso/Zimmerman, Fungoes
3. Braun(?), Rhinos
4. Harrison(?), Nads
Cargo has the same problem as his teammate Cespedes: he can't hit LHP. He'll pound righties, though. That Fungo platoon is quietly stout.

Draft Picks
1. Nads
2. Fungoes
3. Rhinos
4. Inmates
The Rhinos actually pick first of these 4, but he doesn't have a 2nd rounder. The Inmates don't start picking until #30.

1. Fungoes
2. Rhinos
3. Inmates
4. Nads
This is a tough division to predict. The Inmates are the defending HWD champs and will score some runs, but their OB% will be about 5 points higher than their team BA. And their pitching just doesn't measure up. The Rhinos have the most talent, so this could be their year. It will depend, as it has often with the Rhinos, on whether he can avoid the temptation of adding more young studs and draft for need instead. Either way, they'll be better this year. But the pick goes to the Fungoes. With that park and pitching staff, it will be hard to score runs against them. Trout isn't a one-man show - Hosmer, Carpenter, and Betts will help, and Lindor is the best ss the Fungoes have had since Omar Vizquel. The Nads have had some good drafts the last couple of years, but too many injuries have left him with a long year ahead.

Friday, January 29, 2016


The Warpigs traded Cory Spangenberg, Jon Niese, Rusney Castillo, pick 28, and a 2017 5th to the DVs for Brandon Maurer, picks 32, 85, and 117.

The Warpigs released Jean Machi and Danny Farquhar.

The DVs released Anthony Gose, JJ Hardy, Tommy Hunter, Drew Hutchison, Tom Koehler, Mat Latos, and Dan Otero.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Order Your Cards!

You can order your cards starting tomorrow (Wednesday, January 27th).

Sunday, January 17, 2016


The Inmates released Alfredo Simon and Jared Hughes.

The Buckeyes traded Chase Headley to the FFTs for Evan Gattis.

The Tweeners released Michael Bourn, Chris Carter, Christian Colon, Cliff Pennington, Cory Rasmus, Carlos Torres, and Nick Vincent.

The Wahoos released Chris Ianetta.

New Ballpark Numbers

Since this is an election year, you have the option of changing ballparks. You can still stay where you are and alter the numbers +/-2 if you want, but you can also choose from one of these:

Saturday, January 16, 2016


The Zaps traded Danny Duffy to the FFTs for pick 160.

The Warpigs traded Jake Diekman and Jeremy Hellickson to the FFTs for Jake Peavy.

The FFTs released Evan Gattis and Josh Rutledge.

Ratings Download

SOM put the Ratings Download out yesterday. $15.50.

And please let me know any players that you are releasing. You can change your mind up until the rosters are set (date TBA), but if you know a guy doesn't have a chance to make your club, let him loose so he can go ahead and find a job at Walmart or something.

Friday, January 15, 2016


The Wahoos traded Jonathan Schoop, pick 16, and pick 29 to the Tweeners for Hisashi Iwakuma, Gregor Blanco, and pick 26.

The Zaps released Abad, Chisenhall, D.Duffy, Joyce, Napoli, Pearce, J.Reyes, Danny Santana, and Utley.

The Zaps traded Jon Niese, Danny Farquhar, Jean Machi, and pick 28 to the Warpigs for pick 20.

The Warpigs released Jake Smolinski.

The Wahoos released Rafael Soriano.

The DVs released Ryan Cook.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


The DVs traded pick 101 to the Zaps for Welington Castillo.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Ordering Cards and Opening Day

Strat-O-Matic has announced the following dates:

The date you can begin pre-ordering your cards is January 27th.

Opening Day in Glen Head is Friday, February 12th. That means they start shipping on Tuesday, February 16th.

Rumor has it that NASOMA will be represented at Opening Day this year.