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MLB Power Rankings: The 5 Most Injury-Plagued Teams in MLB

The injury bug can break your season in the blink of an eye. Some stars you know it is just a matter of time before they make a DL stint, but sometimes freak accidents happen and your teams is left with a major void on their roster.

This year has been no stranger to injuries as some big names have been sidelined for extended periods of time.

Teams can show their grit by battling through this injuries if players can step their game up the next level. Others on the other hand just seem to the wind taken out of their sail and their season is completely derailed.

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Fantasy Baseball 2011: 10 Early-Round Picks To Trade Before It’s Too Late

When drafting a fantasy team, there is one thing that you should be your number one priority—consistency. You need that factor to carry your team from day one.

Slumps are inevitable, but you need the players who post strong enough stretches to smooth out the rocky streaks.

Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols and Ryan Braun to name a few are prime examples of this kind of consistency.

Sometimes you have to come to the realization that your early round pick is either falling fast and you need to salvage his value during a trade, or that the hot streak your stud is on might be the perfect time to sell high as their value will only plummet.

It is never easy to part ways with a player that you took high in the draft, but sometimes you have to know when to bite the bullet.

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New York Yankees: A Perceived Strength Could Become an Untimely Weakness

After a weekend series with the hated Boston Red Sox, the Yankees welcome the Baltimore Orioles to town in a battle for first place in the AL East. With the Yanks just a game back and the Red Sox near the cellar in the division, all is right in the baseball world for New Yorkers.

At least it seems that way.

The Yankees have been scoring runs almost at will during the course of the young season—except for yesterday when Josh Beckett summoned the Marlin inside him.

After eight games, the Bronx Bombers have scored a total of 50 runs, good enough for sixth best in the Majors. The scary part about that number is the fact that two-thirds of those runs have been accumulated from the long-ball.

Home runs are a rarity. Something that happens solely by mistake. Those who go up to the batters box looking to hit one over the fence will end up flying open, dipping their back shoulder and hitting a routine pop up to the second baseman.

Line drives and shots to the gaps are what hitters should be going up the plate looking to accomplish. This indicates effective and timely hitting. Balls hit to the gap lead to extra base hits and runners in scoring position.

The Yankees have 18 home runs as a team, which is three more than the amount of doubles and triples the team has. This is a sign of fluky and rather lucky hitting.

Another indication that this team is just merely catching breaks is the fact that their team batting average is twentieth in the league at .236. In fact, only three of the Yankee regulars—Cano, Rodriguez and Martin—are hitting over .219. For a team that is looking for their offense to help right the ship, this is far from a boost of confidence. 

For comparison, the Texas Rangers are another team who is looking to rely on their offense to propel them this season with question marks in their rotation. The Rangers also have hit 18 home runs as a team, but they have also totaled 22 combined triples and doubles. Their team batting average at .273 is eighth best in the league and only four of their regular starters are hitting below .240.

In order to win games, you need timely hits. Home runs look great on highlights and can give your team a quick boost, but in reality, heavy reliance on something that hitters look at as a mistake will only lead to problems down the road.

Right now the Yankees are winning because they have the ability to hit balls over the fence, but this is only a quick fix for something that could become a lengthy problem.

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Nolan Ryan and the 50 Most Overrated Players in MLB History

Being labeled as overrated is a stamp no player wants associated with his name. It is like a black list that we do not speak about. 

Some players reach greatness, while others fall short of the hype.

Some players have mediocre careers, but are talked about for decades because of their postseason exploits. 

Some players were so gifted in one facet of the game that their shortcomings are overlooked.

Whatever the reason is, all sports have these players—the overrated ones.

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New York Yankees: Five Things We Learned on Opening Day

After an offseason of turmoil and questions, the Yankees could finally put everything aside and let their play do the talking. Opening Day has finally come and gone and the Yankees are 1-0 and ahead of Boston in the AL East.

Everything is right in New York tonight.

Even though we are just one game into the long and strenuous regular season, we already have a feel for just what this Yankee team could be and is capable of.

Strengths shined through, but there are still some questions that have yet to be spoken for.

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Fantasy Baseball 2011: Ranking Each Team’s Most Overrated Fantasy Player

Fantasy drafts boil down to one of four things: sleepers, value plays, studs and over-hyped players, the latter of course being the worst. There is nothing more detrimental than reaching for a player too early just because BBTN (Baseball Tonight) talked about a player until they were red in the face.

We also have the players who break out the year before, only to fall flat on their face the next season—yes, I’m talking to you, Mark Reynolds.

Knowing which players to avoid is key to having a successful draft day and it is my honor to guide you down the right path.

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Fantasy Baseball 2011: Power Ranking the 15 Best Pitching Sleepers

Sleepers, sleepers, sleepers. Everyone has their own list of just who they think can come out of nowhere and carry your fantasy team to a championship.

All fantasy enthusiasts have their own definition of what a sleeper is. To me, a sleeper is someone who falls in drafts—not necessarily someone who is an unheard of player. Those no-names who become stars are few and far between. Players who will give you early round value, but are selected later in drafts, are the real key to success.

Finding these type of players is key to a successful fantasy season. There is an abundance of these players, and it is my job to bring these names front and center.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Analyzing Each Top Yankees Prospect’s Odds of Being Moved

The Yankees farm system has produced some big-time prospects as of late.

Phil Hughes, Robinson Cano, Joba Chamberlain and Jesus Montero are just a few home-grown talents that have or are ready to make a splash at the big leagues.

But not all of the blue-chip prospects the Yankees have in their arsenal break into the bigs wearing pinstripes.

Austin Jackson was part of the Curtis Granderson deal and debuted with the Detroit Tigers.

Ian Kennedy showed flashes of brilliance during his limited time in the majors with the Yankees, but he was dealt to the Arizona Diamondbacks which was also a part of the Granderson deal. 

Some players are looked at as untouchable, but others can be moved. If the right deal is put on the table, sometimes it is just too hard to say no, regardless of the potential an unproven player might have.

It is just a chance that any general manager has to take.

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New York Yankees: Freddy Garcia Struggles, Is It Time to Put on the Colon?

To open this spring the New York Yankees had plenty of questions surrounding their rotation and a four-man race for those last two coveted spots took center stage in Yankee camp. Ivan Nova, Sergio Mitre, Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia had to prove their worth, otherwise they could be sent packing. 

As of today, Nova has clinched his spot as the No. 4 starter behind Phil Hughes, who today was also announced as the No. 3 starter. Nova pitched a six inning no-hit gem in his last outing against a Baltimore Oriole lineup full of starters. He has shown maturity and poise on the rubber this spring and has brought some reassurance back to the Bronx.

The fifth spot in the rotation has always seemed like a two horse race. Garcia and Colon were the two with the most on the line. It was either make the team, or go home. For Mitre, he has shown that he can big a long-man in the bullpen and a spot starter at times. He always had a back up plan. Colon and Garcia did not have this luxury.

With Garcia’s struggles as of late, has the fifth spot in the rotation already been won by Colon?

In his last two starts, Garcia has really dropped the ball. Against the Twins, he only lasted 2.2 innings and gave up four runs on six hits. He couldn’t locate his fastball which led to a heavy reliance on off-speed pitches that were marginally effective at best.

Today against the Jays he improved from his last start, but stumbled at times. In the fourth inning he was roughed up for three runs. In the sixth, an error by Eduardo Nunez didn’t help Garcia’s cause as he would later allow that run to score on a massive two-run blast by David Cooper. 

Bartolo Colon on the other hand, has impressed the Yankee staff this spring. They aren’t looking for the Cy Young winner he once was with the Angels, but a something even remotely close to that would be quite intriguing. He might not have the velocity he once had, but he has gained movement on his pitches.

Colon has had his rocky inning, but he bounced back immediately. That type of resilience only helps his case. Garcia has been unable to show the ability to bounce back from rocking outings. In the game that Bartolo did struggle against the Pirates, he still finished the game only allowing two runs through four innings while striking out seven and did not issue a free pass.

When the Yankees lost Pettitte to retirement and Lee to the Phillies, it seemed that 2011 would be a struggle for the Bronx Bombers. Bringing in Colon and Garcia didn’t do much in the minds of Yankee fans to fill the massive hole at the back-end of the rotation. 

As this rotation battle comes closer and closer to an end, Colon continues to distance himself from the pack. Maybe this fragrance isn’t so bad?

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2011 NL East Preview: 10 Bold Predictions for the Power-Packed Division

The NL East had quite the shake up this off-season. Cliff Lee returned to the city of brotherly love, Dan Uggla jumped ship and was traded to a team in the same division and the Nationals are trying to become relevant.

The East usually is one of, if not the toughest division in the National League and this year will be no different. 

Will these big summer acquisitions shake up the East and could there be a change of power at the top? With a long season ahead, it will be interesting to see how things shake out.

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