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MLB Playoffs 2016: Live Stream Schedule and Championship Bracket Predictions

The World Series dream is still alive for four teams, as the 2016 Major League Baseball Playoffs head to the Championship Series round with a pair of exciting matchups.

The Chicago Cubs used late-game heroics to get past the San Francisco Giants last round, but they will need to overcome a confident Los Angeles Dodgers team to win their first National League pennant since 1945. On the American League side, the Cleveland Indians and the Toronto Blue Jays each enter their series looking stout from sweeps, but something will have to give in this matchup of opposing strengths.

Take a look below at the dates and the live-stream and television schedules for the championship series. A full playoff bracket can also be found at Continue reading for a breakdown and prediction for each series.



Cleveland Indians vs. Toronto Blue Jays


Opposite forces will collide in this series, as the high-octane Toronto offense will try to overcome a stifling pitching attack from Cleveland.

The Blue Jays lead the postseason in runs scored with 27 after four games. Yet, the Indians boast a tremendous bullpen that helped hold the Boston Red Sox, MLB’s top scoring offense in the regular season, to just seven runs in three games.

Pitching and the ability to generate early offense will be the key in this matchup.

Neither team boasts a substantially superior rotation, but Cleveland does have the matchup’s only true ace in Corey Kluber. The 2016 Cy Young candidate racked up an 18-9 record this season while posting a 3.14 ERA, but he is 1-3 in his career against the Blue Jays with a lackluster 5.34 ERA.

Kluber also has a shaky history against some of Toronto’s top sluggers, including Josh Donaldson, who is tied for the lead in these playoffs with a .500 batting average. 

In his only postseason start in 2016, Kluber beat Boston with seven scoreless innings. With him starting Game 1, Kluber could be available for two more starts, which could give Cleveland an edge if this series goes long. However, Toronto fared well with its own staff against the Texas Rangers, allowing a solid 12 runs in three games.

The Blue Jays can trot out three stout starters in Marco Estrada, who will start Game 1, J.A. Happ and Marcus Stroman. This gives them a bit more depth in the rotation with Cleveland starters Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar injured, but this series could be decided by which team can score early.

The Indians have arguably the best bullpen remaining in these playoffs, with Cody Allen, Andrew Miller and Dan Otero highlighting a group that can carry the team to a win. They proved it against Boston, as Kluber was the only Cleveland starter to pitch more than five innings, while the trio mentioned above combined for zero earned runs in eight combined innings.

Yet, Cleveland could have trouble earning late leads against this Toronto offense. The middle of the Blue Jays lineup has been absolutely deadly this postseason. Jose Bautista, Donaldson, Edwin Encarnacion and Troy Tulowitzki have combined for six homers and 20 RBI while posting a .364 batting average in four games.

The Blue Jays bullpen has also been very good, as it only has allowed two earned runs this postseason. Cleveland outscored Toronto in the regular season, and it had no problem averaging five runs per game against Boston.

This matchup appears microscopically close, but Toronto earns the slightest of edges here. Cleveland’s bullpen is tremendous, but it may not get too many chances to win games with the Blue Jays having a strong opportunity to take advantage of the Indians’ rotation depth. Kluber‘s history also suggests he may get rocked at least once, which could give the Blue Jays enough of lead for their bullpen to hold on and close out this series.



Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Dodgers 


The Chicago Cubs are certainly on a mission to end their title drought, as the World Series has eluded the franchise since 1908. While their wait is certainly the longest, the Cubs are not the only team remaining this postseason with a long streak of coming up short, per SportsNet:

Despite this morbid history, Chicago sports the most complete team in baseball and is undoubtedly the favorite win the 2016 World Series. This makes it surprising that the offense has sputtered so far this postseason.

The Cubs’ .200 team batting average was the worst in the Divisional round. It also does not help that pitcher Jake Arrieta is tied for the team lead with three RBI, but NL MVP candidate Kris Bryant has been excellent, hitting .375 with one dinger and three RBI. He also contributed several clutch hits in late innings, so the playoff spotlight has not been too bright.

Chicago’s lineup is strong all the way through, as Javier Baez, Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward, Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell and Ben Zobrist are all dangerous hitters. The pitching staff is also fantastic, and it could be the difference.

Jon Lester will start Game 1 on plenty of rest since his eight-inning shutout win over the Giants in the opening game of last series. The team will likely follow that up with Kyle Hendricks, who led the majors in ERA this season, and Arrieta, who has the potential to be untouchable on the road this series, per Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s Christopher Kamka:

The Dodgers exhausted themselves to pull out a series win over the Washington Nationals, as closer Kenley Jansen pitched 2.1 innings in relief in Game 5 while Clayton Kershaw got the last two outs on a day of rest with two previous starts under his belt. Washington manager Dusty Baker speculated that this could be an issue for Los Angeles against the Cubs, per Southern California News Group’s J.P. Hoornstra:

This is a valid concern, especially considering the Dodgers lost four of their seven games against the Cubs in the regular season. The extended action will likely push Kershaw back to a Game 3 start at the earliest, and Rich Hill started Game 5 against the Nationals, which puts him on a similar time frame for his next start.

So who can the team rely on to earn wins at Chicago? Kenta Maeda was the only other pitcher to start for Los Angeles last series, and he was roughed up for four earned runs in three innings.

Julio Urias, a promising 20-year-old, could be an option after 15 starts this season. He pitched well in relief last series, allowing only one hit in two relief innings, but he had a 4.91 ERA against the Cubs this season, and he is an unknown in terms of this level of pressure in the postseason.

If the Cubs continue their immense struggles at the plate in the first two games at home against a depleted Dodgers team, then the offensive ineptitude would certainly become a trend and a massive concern. Yet, this lineup is too talented to be this mired forever, and Chicago should benefit from facing a less experienced side than San Francisco.

The pieces are in place for the Cubs to return to the World Series, and they should be heavily favored in this matchup.


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NLDS Schedule 2016: TV Times, Live Stream for Friday’s Game 1 Matchups

Following a tight Wild Card Game, the 2016 National League Division Series is set to kick off Friday with a doubleheader featuring a quartet of legitimate aces.

San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner continued his otherworldly postseason dominance with a complete-game shutout against the New York Mets on Wednesday, but the Giants will still trot out a star hurler in Game 1 of the NLDS in Johnny Cueto. The remaining three teams playing Friday are also expected to send out top-options, which could make for some low-scoring affairs.

Take a look below at the Game 1 start times, in addition to the television and live streaming schedules, for the NLDS. The full 2016 MLB playoff schedule can be found at

One would be hard-pressed to find a heavyweight pitching matchup like the one expected at Nationals Park, as Clayton Kershaw will battle Max Scherzer.

Kershaw is well established as arguably the premier arm in the game, and he was on his way towards a possible fourth Cy Young honor before a back injury hampered his 2016 season. He was 11-2 with 1.79 ERA before he missed the entire months of July and August. Kershaw went 1-2 in five starts since his return on Sept. 9, but he only allowed four earned runs in that span. 

The 28-year-old finished with 172 strikeouts and a staggering 11 walks allowed, which gives him the best such ratio ever for a starting pitcher, per’s Jordan Bastian:

Scherzer was certainly comparable, finishing 20-7 with a 2.96 ERA while leading the majors with 284 strikeouts. This put Scherzer, who is challenging for his second ever Cy Young Award and first in the NL, in historic company as well, which MLB Network’s Jon Morosi noted with some help from the network’s research team:

However, both pitchers have not brought their best stuff in the postseason. 

Kershaw is 2-6 with a 4.59 ERA in 13 playoff appearances. He put together a decent run with a 1-1 mark and a 2.63 ERA in two starts last year, but he posted ERAs of over 6.00 in the 2013 and 2014 postseasons.

Scherzer is 4-3 with a decent 3.73 ERA in 12 appearances, but he was rocked for five earned runs in his last playoff start in 2014. Each star will be looking to make a statement on Friday, which could result in a fierce pitching duel.

As for the late game, Cueto takes the hill as he looks to bring his solid playoff performance with Kansas City last season to the Giants. He takes on a bonafide ace in Jon Lester, who finished second in the majors this season behind teammate Kyle Hendricks with a 2.44 ERA.

In his lone start against Chicago this season, Cueto allowed only one run on five hits in seven innings, but he did not earn a decision in the Giants 3-2 loss on Sept. 9. Lester was 1-1 this year against San Francisco, totaling six runs and nine hits allowed in 11.2 innings. He also posted a porous strikeout-to-walk ratio with five punch-outs and five walks.

Getting runners in scoring position could be a difference in this matchup. Cueto sports a 9.82 ERA in 44 innings pitched with runners in scoring position in 2016, while Lester posted a 7.44 mark in 42.1 innings pitched.

Both teams were mediocre in this category offensively. The Cubs finished 21st in the majors with a .252 team batting average with runners in scoring position, while San Francisco came in a spot behind the Cubs with a .250 mark.

With Cueto having inferior numbers in this situation than Lester, and with Chicago being marginally better here at the plate, the Cubs should have a slight edge Friday at Wrigley Field.


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ALDS Schedule 2016: TV Times, Live Stream for Thursday’s Game 1 Matchups

With the Wild Card Games now complete, the 2016 American League Division Series is set to begin Thursday, with the league’s final four teams vying for the AL pennant.

Each contest will have its own spotlight, as the Game 1 slate features an afternoon showdown followed by a nightcap. Regardless, Thursday should yield some spectacular baseball, as both sets of teams appear evenly matched.

Take a look at Thursday’s start times below, as well as the television and live-streaming schedules. The full 2016 MLB playoff schedule is available at

The most newsworthy AL series is between the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays. These two teams do not like each other after a hostile series last postseason, and the bad blood carried over into this past regular season with a brawl in May.

Both teams are downplaying the rocky relationship ahead of the series, but it remains to be seen if cool heads will prevail when the intensity ramps up at game time. Texas’ Rougned Odor, a key figure in the feud, said Wednesday that his team is just focused on the game, per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi: “That’s over already; we’re just trying to win this series and win how we play.”

Toronto’s Jose Bautista echoed this sentiment, per Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith:

In Game 1, Cole Hamels will get the start for the Rangers against Marco Estrada in a matchup that appears slightly uneven on the surface. Hamels turned in a stout season with a 15-5 record and a 3.32 ERA. On the other hand, Estrada struggled in the win department in 2016 with a 9-9 mark, but he did sport a solid 3.48 ERA.

Pitching in the National League for the majority of his career with the Philadelphia Phillies, Hamels does not have a ton of history against Toronto’s lineup, as he has yet to face Josh Donaldson in the majors. Furthermore, key Blue Jays such as Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Troy Tulowitzki have fared well against Hamels in their careers, per

On the other side, Estrada has a relatively favorable history against some of Texas’ top hitters:

Hamels has more playoff experience with 15 career starts for a 7-5 record and 3.03 ERA, but Estrada has been good under the bright lights, too. He is 2-1 with a 3.20 ERA in seven appearances. Regardless, Game 1 will be crucial, as each team will want to earn an early lead in a five-game series, and the numbers indicate that it could go in either squad’s favor.

In the other ALDS showdown, it figures to be an offensive battle between two teams with potent lineups.

The Boston Red Sox led the majors by a sizable margin in scoring with 878 runs and team batting average at .282. The Red Sox boast a slew of dangerous bats, including three studs in the middle of the lineup, as noted by  

Meanwhile the Cleveland Indians finished fifth with 777 runs and sixth with a .262 average. The Indians feature a deep order that may not overwhelm with power, but they possess four guys (Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis, Jose Ramirez and Carlos Santana) who finished the regular season with an on-base percentage over .340.

Cleveland does have a slight pitching advantage, though, as the Indians sport a 3.84 team ERA compared to Boston’s 4.00 mark. The Indians also have a stellar bullpen led by Cody Allen, Andrew Miller and Danny Otero.

Rick Porcello will take the hill for Boston after posting a 22-win regular season, but he has not been as good in the postseason during his career. Porcello has a 4.41 ERA in only 16.1 innings pitched but is taking on Cleveland hurler Trevor Bauer, who has never started a playoff game. 

With that in mind, Thursday’s uncertain pitching factors could lead to a high-scoring affair in Game 1.


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MLB Playoff Schedule 2016: Start Times, Dates, Live Stream and TV Info

After an exciting September that featured tightly contested postseason races in both leagues, the 2016 MLB playoffs are finally upon us with the field already set despite the regular season ending on Monday.

The quest for the World Series begins Tuesday with the American League Wild Card Game, while the National League Wild Card Game begins a day later. Although these contests are winner-take-all showdowns, they could have had serious implications on the rest of the postseason. In 2014, the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants used wild-card wins as springboards to meet in the Fall Classic.

With that in mind, let us take a look at the schedule for the 2016 playoffs, including dates and start times for each round, television coverage and live-stream information.

The playoffs begin with a contest that pits two powerful teams against each other in he Baltimore Orioles and the Toronto Blue Jays. The Orioles led the league in home runs during the regular season by a landslide with 255, while Toronto finished fourth with 221 dingers. Both teams also allowed 183 home runs each, so both are equally susceptible to the long ball.

Yet the difference in this game could be whether Baltimore can earn a late lead, as Orioles closer Zach Britton led the league with 47 saves while posting a microscopic 0.54 ERA.

On the NL side, a pair of aces are set to take the hill, per MLB Network’s Heidi Watney:

The San Francisco Giants’ Madison Bumgarner (15-9 with a 2.74 ERA) and the New York Mets’ Noah Syndergaard (14-9 with a 2.60 ERA) finished with near identical numbers this season. Thus, playoff experience looks to be a crucial factor this Wednesday.

Syndergaard was solid in his postseason debut last year, going 2-1 with 3.32 ERA in 19 innings. However, Bumgarner is an established baller in October. In 88.1 innings pitched, he is 7-3 with a 2.14 ERA and a save. The 27-year-old is dominant when the stakes are at their highest, so it is tough to believe he will not pitch a gem Thursday.

When looking ahead in the NL, the Chicago Cubs undoubtedly stand out as the top storyline. The Cubs were clearly the best team in baseball throughout the season, as they led the league in team ERA while finishing third in MLB in runs scored. Still, the Cubs have not won the World Series since 1908, but another piece of history is on their side, per ESPN Stats and Info:

Chicago boasts an unbelievable lineup led by Kris Bryant (39 homers and 102 RBI), Anthony Rizzo (32 homers and 109 RBI) and Addison Russell (21 homers and 95 RBI). The batting order boasts tremendous depth as well, with Javier Baez, Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist also posing palpable threats. 

If that’s not enough, Kyle Hendricks—who finished with the lowest ERA in baseball with a 2.13 mark—Jake Arrieta, John Lackey and Jon Lester give the Cubs a solid four-man rotation for this postseason. The team also has a sensational closer in Aroldis Chapman, who finished with 16 saves and a 1.01 ERA since coming over from the New York Yankees at the trade deadline.

The American League looks to be wide open, but look out for the Boston Red Sox.

This team can flat-out score with Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and a resurgent David Ortiz leading the charge. Boston comfortably led the majors with 878 runs and a .282 batting average, and its .246 opposing batting average was good for seventh-best in baseball.

The Red Sox have the luxury of trotting out experienced players in Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia, but the team’s hopes could lie with pitcher David Price. 

The ace brushed off an abysmal 2016 start to finish with a 17-9 record, but his postseason history leaves much to be desired. Price is 2-7 in 14 appearances with a 5.12 ERA. If he can even marginally improve on these numbers in 2016, Boston should have enough offense to be successful. Still, these playoffs will be huge for Price’s standing among the game’s top arms.


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2017 MLB Free Agents: Predictions for Top Pitchers Set to Hit Open Market

With the end of the MLB regular season only days away, teams around the league can start to make plans about how to attack a free-agent market that is light on starting pitchers but loaded with impact relievers.

Clubs in dire need of upgrading their rotations should not expect to add anything more than a No. 3 starter. However, contenders looking to solidify their pitching staffs with a stud reliever could be in luck with several players available who could make a difference in tight games. These types of players are certainly valuable, as they were centerpieces in some high-profile deals at this year’s trade deadline.

With that in mind, take a look below at a list of notable pitchers with expiring contracts who could draw significant interest in the 2017 class, along with predictions and breakdowns for three of the top options available.

A full list of the upcoming free-agent pitcher class can be found at


Andrew Cashner

As one of the biggest names available at this season’s trade deadline, Andrew Cashner has been a bust with the Miami Marlins.

Since being traded to Miami from San Diego on July 29, the 30-year-old is 1-4 with an abysmal 5.73 ERA. Making matters worse, the team ended up giving starter Colin Rea, also involved in the deal, back to the Padres after medical issues, and the Marlins are without promising pitching prospects Carter Capps and Jarred Cosart and top first baseman prospect Josh Naylor, which WINZ Radio’s Andy Slater noted:

After the 2013 and 2014 seasons, where he posted 3.09 and 2.55 ERAs, respectively, Cashner has not been the same guy who looked like a potential power pitcher who could help anchor a rotation. He hasn’t posted an ERA under 4.00 since 2014 while also accumulating double-digit losses in every season in that span. The Marlins still gave up plenty to bring him in, but that relationship could end this offseason.

Cashner has not been a good fit, which is evident by his subpar numbers. There are also other issues with him and the team, as he is not thrilled by the Miami policy that forced him to shave his full beard, per the Miami Herald‘s Barry Jackson.

“Cashner said ‘I still hate’ the Marlins’ no-beard rule and ‘that is a big deal to me in free agency,'” per Jackson, which could indicate some personality clashes as well. 

The Marlins would probably be wise to use their money elsewhere, and Cashner would benefit from a change of scenery. Expect him to sign with a different club in free agency.


Aroldis Chapman

Unlike Cashner, closer Aroldis Chapman is continuing his dominant ways in a new home.

Chapman was a star reliever, along with Andrew Miller, whom the New York Yankees used to acquire a slew of young talent at the trade deadline. Since joining the Chicago Cubs, Chapman has been electric with a 1.09 ERA and 16 saves in 18 opportunities. He is 36-for-39 on save attempts for the season.

Chicago has been the best team in baseball throughout this season, which is why it brought in Chapman to secure its bullpen for a World Series run. However, the team is not completely sold on re-signing the hard-throwing closer. Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune indicated on Monday that Chapman is expecting to field the biggest contract ever for a closer, which the Cubs may not be willing to dish out.

The 28-year-old insisted he is not paying much attention to his pending free agency, per Sullivan.

“I haven’t really thought about it,” he said. “Everyone in the world is asking me, but right now I don’t really know.”

While Chapman is not focusing on his future, one team certainly is:

Today’s Knuckleball’s Jon Heyman originally reported this news, but Chapman also said he would be open to a return to New York after he was traded, per’s Brandon Kuty. This move makes sense for both parties.

With Mark Teixeira set to retire and CC Sabathia’s contract expiring after next season, the new youth-powered Yankees have plenty of money to spend. Giving a monstrous deal to a sensational closer who could anchor the bullpen for the next seven or eight years seems like a strong investment.

As the New York Post‘s Ken Davidoff notes, Dellin Betances has not been outstanding as the Yankees closer, and having him in a setup role for Chapman could be a more ideal situation for the New York bullpen.

Chicago already has several big contracts on its books, and with young stars like Kris Bryant and Addison Russell soon needing substantial deals, the team could opt against paying up for Chapman. The Cuban is already comfortable in New York, and the team has the funds and the fit to add him to the exciting mix of talent within the organization. Look for the Yankees to emerge as the favorite to land this big fish in free agency.


Kenley Jansen

In one of the more unknown pending free-agency situations, Los Angeles Dodgers star closer Kenley Jansen has proven to be noncommittal regarding his offseason plans.

Jansen is arguably the top closer in the National League, including Chapman, as he is posting career highs in ERA with 1.86 and saves with 47 and counting. Jansen has posted at least 35 saves in each of the past three seasons. Yet he did not seem fully on board with returning to Los Angeles when speaking with Heyman on Sept. 15.

LA’s nice. LA’s great. LA gave me the opportunity. LA converted me when I failed as a catcher. I’m grateful about it, and will never forget LA. But at the same time, we’ll have to see what’s good for the family. …

It’s going to be a tough decision. It’s not going to only be me.

The Dodgers have made it known to Jansen that he is a top priority for them this offseason, per the Orange County Register‘s Bill Plunkett, and the 28-year-old gave slightly more encouraging comments on Sept. 17.

“That means they showed respect, that they know it’s up to them to keep me here,” Jansen said, per Plunkett. “After we hold up that trophy at the end of the year, we can all sit down and talk.”

Los Angeles’ current roster gives the team NL pennant hopes for the next few seasons, and keeping Jansen would enhance that sentiment. Yet the team does have other free agents to account for this offseason, including Justin Turner, and big contracts on the horizon for Joc Pederson and Corey Seager.

Expect Jansen’s playoff performance to have a significant impact on where he lands. He allowed two runs in only 4.1 innings in Los Angeles’ run to the National League Championship Series in 2013, but he did not give up any runs in 4.1 combined innings in the last two postseasons. If Jansen plays well during a long playoff run, he could stay. If not, he very well could be in a different uniform in 2017.


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Madison Bumgarner Will Not Participate in 2016 Home Run Derby

Despite a public campaign to become the first pitcher to participate in the Home Run Derby, San Francisco Giants southpaw Madison Bumgarner will not be part of this year’s event on July 11.  

Connor Grossman of KNBR was among the first to report the news, citing Giants manager Bruce Bochy’s comments before his team’s showdown Thursday with the Oakland Athletics.

“There’s no Home Run Derby with Madison,” Bochy said. “That’s been nixed.”

Bumgarner told ESPN’s Buster Olney on June 5 that he wanted to join the event, but Bochy shut down the idea because of safety concerns for his ace. Bochy said last week he was “open-minded” about the idea, per Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, but that sentiment now appears to be gone.

Bumgarner was part of a contingent of pitchers lobbying to be in the Derby. Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta and the New York Mets’ Noah Syndergaard also expressed interest, per USA Today‘s Scott Boeck. Both players have hit multiple homers this season.

Bumgarner’s hitting stats are among the best in baseball for a pitcher. He has 13 career dingers and 45 RBI in 407 at-bats. 

On the mound, Bumgarner is 8-4 with a sparkling 1.99 ERA.

Bumgarner is pitching and acting as the designated hitter Thursday. It is the first time a team purposefully put its pitcher in that role since the Chicago White Sox did so with Ken Brett in 1976, per the Associated Press (via ESPN). 

This is justified, according to ESPN Stats and Info:

Having Bumgarner participate would have been a nice jolt of energy for an event that could use a new dynamic. However, San Francisco has legitimate World Series hopes, as it sits atop the National League West with a 49-31 record, so Bochy is right to be cautious with his best pitcher.  


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MLB Issues Statement Regarding Wage Limits for Minor League Players

Major League Baseball issued a strong statement Thursday, condemning a proposal that would impose salary limits for minor league baseball. 

SB Nation’s Grant Brisbee provided a look: 

It is a response to the Save America’s Pastime Act being pushed in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The MLBPA also issued a statement:

The bill would alter the Fair Labor Standards Act to lock in current wages and keep minor league baseball players from receiving guaranteed minimum wages or overtime pay. The season runs for roughly five months, and players would only be subject to earnings during this time period.

Several in the media lashed out at MLB for its aggressive statement, including CBS Sports’ Mike Axisa and the Boston Herald‘s Jason Mastrodonato:

Tyler Palmer, who played for the Los Angeles Angels’ Single-A affiliate Inland Empire 66ers last season, also criticized the statement:

Hardball Talk’s Bill Baer noted the league does not treat its minor leaguers well enough to justify this type of an outburst.

“Because minor league players aren’t protected by a union, they’re not guaranteed a safety net when they lose their jobs,” Baer wrote. “No pension, no healthcare, no nothing. MLB’s stance on paying minor leaguers, which it calls ‘impractical,’ is unconscionable.”

Baer cited Adam Dembowitz of Crashburn Alley, a site Baer is a member of, who pointed out MLB’s lack of wages aimed toward the minor leagues:

According to’s Tony Blengino, a minor league player makes roughly $1,000 per month in wages.

It appears this bill is losing steam, as Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos withdrew her support after initially sponsoring it. 

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Steven Matz Injury: Updates on Mets Pitcher’s Elbow and Return

New York Mets pitcher Steven Matz is dealing with a bone spur in his left elbow that has delayed his next start but could eventually require surgery that would put him on the shelf for a considerable time.

Continue for updates.

Matz Has Start Pushed Back, Will Eventually Need Surgery

Tuesday, June 28

Anthony DiComo of passed along word that Matz will now pitch Thursday against the Chicago Cubs instead of his slated start on Wednesday against the Washington Nationals.

However, DiComo added the Mets believe Matz’s bone spur will need surgery and the team is hoping that procedure can be done after the season.

On Monday,’s Adam Rubin noted that Logan Verrett would take the hill in Matz’s place if he was unable to make the start.

Matz Comments on Injury

Monday, June 27

“I feel like it’s something that I can pitch through, so that is something I have been doing,” Matz told Mike Puma of the New York Post. “I definitely wasn’t finishing my pitches last time in that fifth inning. There were balls definitely up, but if that’s the reason I don’t know. I can’t say.”

Matz’s Bone Spur the Latest Ailment for Mets’ Rotation

Fox Sports 1’s C.J. Nitkowski explained the possible repercussions of pitching through a bone spur in the elbow:

Losing Matz for any significant amount of time would hurt the Mets. He is 7-3 on the year with a 3.29 ERA. However, New York may need to treat this problem before it gets worse. Matz hasn’t recorded a win in his last five starts, with four of those resulting in team losses.

The Mets have the second-best team ERA in the National League behind the Cubs. However, Noah Syndergaard is also dealing with a similar injury, per Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News, so this issue could become even more harmful for the team moving forward.    


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Kris Bryant vs. Reds: Stats, Highlights and Twitter Reaction

Chicago Cubs slugger Kris Bryant is one of baseball’s brightest young hitters, and he demolished Dan Straily and the Cincinnati Reds in an 11-8 Cubs victory Monday.

Bryant finished 5-for-5 with three home runs, six RBI and four runs scored, which etched his name into the baseball record book, per MLB‘s Twitter account:

Normally, that would be plenty of run support for the Cubs and their major league-leading 2.83 team ERA. Yet Bryant still needed some help from his teammates.

Ace Jake Arrieta pitched poorly, allowing five earned runs on four hits and five walks in five innings, but he still earned a win—thanks in part to a homer of his own.

Bryant started the night with a run-scoring double off Straily in the first inning and later scored on Miguel Montero’s sacrifice fly. In his next at-bat, Bryant smashed his first home run to left-center field in the third inning.

He hit a three-run jack halfway up the second deck in left in the fourth to give Chicago a 7-3 lead, as Statcast showed:

That was his last at-bat against Straily, who allowed seven earned runs on nine hits and three walks in 3.2 innings.

In the sixth, Bryant doubled off Michael Lorenzen, and in the eighth, he hit a solo shot off Ross Ohlendorf.

ESPN Stats & Info noted the 24-year-old set a Cubs record—and an offensive standard for the season:

Bryant’s season totals also received a nice boost, per CSN Chicago’s Christopher Kamka:

Per Ryan M. Spaeder of Sporting News, Bryant has been on a hot streak of late:

Spaeder also noted Bryant’s performance put him in the most exclusive of categories:

CBS Chicago’s Joe Ostrowski found a way to compare Bryant to Bryant’s childhood teammate, Bryce Harper:

While Bryant may not be in line for that type of money yet, he showed how dangerous he can be with his dominant performance Monday.

He is already among baseball’s elite sluggers in only his second big league season. And with a Cubs lineup that ranks fourth in the majors in runs around him, Bryant should have an ample number of opportunities to crush the ball the rest of the year.


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Umpire Paul Emmel Hit in Head by Bat During Athletics vs. Angels Game

Angels Stadium witnessed a scary sight during Thursday’s game between the Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels, as MLB umpire Paul Emmel was hit by a bat, which appeared to split his head open.

Emmel was taken to the hospital for stitches, but he is expected to be OK, per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

The incident occurred after Los Angeles’ Jefry Marte lost control of his bat during a swing in the ninth inning. Deadspin’s Timothy Burke reported the news. also provided video of the mishap:

Fox Sports West’s Jill Painter Lopez speculated that Emmel will likely undergo testing at the hospital.

However, Emmel was able to leave the field under his own power, per ABC 10News’ Ben Higgins.

The Athletics ended up defeating the Angels, 5-4.

According to his profile, Emmel is an accomplished umpire in the major leagues.

The 48-year-old, who joined MLB in 1999, is in his 17th season in the big leagues. Emmel has been involved in numerous playoff games, including the 2014 National League Wild Card Game, the 2015 American League Wild Card Game, the 2007 American League Championship Series, the 2015 National League Championship Series and the 2013 World Series.

He also worked the All-Star Game in 2002 and 2013.


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