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Royals have clearly exploited Mets' weaknesses

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Royals have clearly exploited Mets' weaknesses

After four games of the World Series, it’s clear. Not only are the Kansas City Royals superior to the New York Mets, but so are the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Blue Jays fell to the Royals in six games, and even though one of them was a 14-2 atrocity that featured the first position player pitching in postseason history, no unbiased observer could argue that the Mets are better.

When the postseason began, I had the Mets ranked as the weakest team in the National League. But, then their pitching and Daniel Murphy began a great ran, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games in the Division Series and dispatching the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series.

Murphy, who had homered in six straight games and seven overall in the postseason, is batting just .176 in the first four games, and doesn’t have a homer. His crucial eighth inning error led to New York’s collapse.

There’s a lot of blame for last night’s loss. Mets manager Terry Collins wasted Jeurys Familia in the ninth inning of Game 3 with New York leading by six. Collins admitted it may have taken something out of Familia. And, what if he needs him in Game 5?

Murphy presumably made himself a fortune in free agency in the first two rounds of the postseason. With his lackluster World Series has he lost himself that money?

Yoenis Cespedes, who’s also hitting .176, was easily doubled off first on a soft liner to third to end the game. Suitors may have second thoughts on a nine figure contract for Cespedes.

It’s been 30 years since a team has rebounded from a 3-1 deficit to win a World Series, and that team was the Royals.

For all the criticism Ned Yost endured last year, with the carping that his decision making was poor, well he’s managed this postseason patiently and efficiently.

It’s hard to remember Kansas City was six outs from elimination in the Division Series. Houston, up two games to one, led 6-2 after seven, but the Royals scored five runs in the eighth and handily won Game 5.

Kansas City has exposed New York’s flaws in a way others haven’t, and unless something unforeseen happens, free agent talk will begin on Monday morning.

[RELATED: Orioles need a better 2016 from Tillman to contend]

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

The 2018 Major League All-Star Game is less than a month away. Fan votes are well underway and early frontrunners are close to locking their position in the Midsummer Classic.

Yesterday, we projected how the National League roster will play out. Today it is time to look at the American League roster projection.

For five straight seasons, the AL has had the upper hand in the MLB All-Star Game. In 2018, it does not appear that will change as the American League roster will be loaded from top to bottom.

As a reminder, here is how the process shakes out, first with the fan vote, players’ ballots, and the MLB Commissioner’s Office:

  • Fan vote: nine position players in AL (DH)/ eight in NL; plus final vote for each league
  • Player’s ballots: next 17 players in AL/ 16 players in NL; (five starting pitchers, three relievers must be chosen)
  • MLB Commissioner’s Office: five AL players (four pitchers, one position player) and seven NL players (four pitchers, three position players)

One player from each team must make the initial roster (before injury withdraws, etc.). Below is how it looks the American League roster will play out, considering the latest fan vote returns:

American League All-Star Roster Projection:

C – Wilson Ramos, Rays (Fan Vote), Gary Sánchez, Yankees (Player Ballot)
1B – José Abreu, White Sox (Fan Vote), Joey Gallo, Rangers (Player Ballot)
2B – Jose Altuve, Astros (Fan Vote), Jed Lowrie, Athletics (Player Ballot)
3B – José Ramírez, Indians (Fan Vote), Yangervis Solarte, Blue Jays (Player Ballot), Mike Moustakas, Royals (Commissioner’s Office)
SS – Manny Machado, Orioles (Fan Vote), Jean Segura, Mariners (Player Ballot),
OF – Mookie Betts, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Mike Trout, Angels (Fan Vote), Aaron Judge, Yankees (Fan Vote), Michael Brantley, Indians (Player Ballot), Eddie Rosario, Twins (Player Ballot), Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees (Player Ballot),
DH – J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Shohei Ohtani, Angels (Player Ballot)

SP – Justin Verlander, Astros (Player Ballot), Luis Severino, Yankees (Player Ballot), Corey Kluber, Indians (Player Ballot), Chris Sale, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Gerrit Cole, Astros (Player Ballot), Blake Snell, Tampa Bay (Commissioner’s Office)

RP – Edwin Díaz, Mariners (Player Ballot), Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Aroldis Chapman, Yankees (Player Ballot), Joe Jiménez, Tigers (Commissioner’s Office), Delin Betances, Yankees (Commissioner’s Office), Chris Devenski, Astros (Commissioner’s Office)

Manager: Jeff Luhnow, Astros

Based on this projection, the New York Yankees will have the most representatives with six. The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox will both have four.

Ensuring no snubs, there will be five players selected for the final fan vote to get one more All-Star into the game for a total of 32 for the American League. As you can see, no matter how the AL roster plays out, it will be a dominant team once again as they look for six straight All-Star wins.

Four of those five wins were inside a National League stadium and that will not change as the Washington Nationals will host this season.

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2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

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2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado took an even larger lead in the latest update for 2018 MLB All-Star Game voting.

The superstar shortstop maintained his position at the top of American League shortstops in the second round of All-Star voting updates, released Tuesday morning. 

After the first ballot was released, Machado led the shortstops category by over 100,00 votes.

This week, he now holds north of a 200,000-vote lead over last year’s American League starter, Carlos Correa.

The Astros’ Correa jumped from fourth to second this past week while the Indians’ Francisco Lindor dropped to third.  

Machado now has 671,133 votes, seventh among all American League players. For the second straight week, Machado remained the only Orioles player on the list.

Through 69 games in 2018, Machado is batting .310 with 18 home runs, 15 doubles and 53 RBIs. He is posting his best OPS (.945) and on-base percentage (.377) in his career, a bright spot for the O’s, who sit dead last in MLB with a 20-50 record.

The All-Star voting will be open until July 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET and fans can vote five times every 24 hours.

The next AL voting update will be announced June 26.

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