Can A-Rod Win The Yankees Another World Series?

By Raimundo Ortiz (@AroundtheMundo) 

Alex Rodriguez has taken a lot of crap over the years, some deserved, and most not. Yankees fans in particular have been very ungrateful for a player who has turned in two MVP seasons, and put the 2009 World Series-winning club on his back. Hideki Matsui was the World Series MVP, but Yankees fans know A-Rod carried them through the ALDS and ALCS.

Need a reminder? A-Rod’s 2009 ALDS slash line was .455/.500/.1000, with two home runs. In the ALCS he slashed .429/.567/.952. He hit six homers total. He was a beast.

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NFL 2015 Week 4 Picks: The Deli Counter

By Raimundo Ortiz (@AroundtheMundo)

This week Coach Gottlin tries to get on my level by picking five games.

Bad Team Breakouts: Xander Bogaerts Is A Stud

By Raimundo Ortiz (@AroundtheMundo

The Red Sox are closing out a second consecutive disappointing season this week, but despite all the expectations the team didn’t live up to, they did witness the breakout of their next star, shortstop Xander Bogaerts.

Bogaerts, 23, is in his second full season in the majors and he’s already Boston’s No. 3 hitter. He doesn’t have the traditional pop of a guy in the three-hole, typically reserved for the team’s best hitter. What he does have is an incredible ability to make contact.

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NFL 2015 Week 3 Picks: The Deli Counter

By Raimundo Ortiz (@AroundtheMundo

Coach Gottlin feels great this week about his three picks, and even talks me into changing one to avoid a trap.

Forgotten MVPs: 5 Players On Losing Teams Having Incredible Seasons

By Raimundo Ortiz (@AroundtheMundo

We’ll spend the next month or so talking about guys like Bryce Harper (Nationals) and Mike Trout (Angels) and their MVP candidacy. With a little less than a month remaining, there are a bunch of other, great, players whose seasons will get lost in the shuffle because their teams aren’t going to be playing in October.

Let’s show them some love.

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Diamondbacks

Goldschmidt is on a club that’s better than moribound, but not close to contending. It’s a shame too, because he’s putting together an MVP-caliber season for a first baseman that’s also pretty unusual.

First-baggers are typically asked to be top-notch sluggers; Goldy has delivered that. His slash line, .316/.435/.555, and traditional measures of power, 29 home runs, 103 RBI, satisfy that requirement. Goldschmidt sets himself apart by his work on the bases, where he has swiped 21 bags. That’s a great number these days for any position, let alone a guy delivering power with the best in MLB. His value on the base paths has chopped the negative impact of his defense by half. If the D-Backs were contenders, he’d easily be in the MVP discussion.

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NFL 2015 Week 1 Picks: The Deli Counter

By Raimundo Ortiz (@AroundtheMundo)

Coach Gottlin and I give our best bets for Week 1, talk about the 80-20 rule, and help you with some Survivor Pool do’s and don’ts.

How Much Do The Mets Need Matt Harvey?

By Raimundo Ortiz (@AroundtheMundo)

Matt Harvey caused quite a stir in New York this week when it seemed like he was on the verge of skipping on the postseason because of a self-imposed innings limit. This naturally enraged a Mets fans base, which has been starved for meaningful baseball in the fall, and finally has it.

Harvey, once idolized as Gotham’s “Dark Knight,” whose starts were referred to as “Harvey Day” was being ridiculed. Fans demanded he be traded, dumped on the roadside. With the influx of incredible starting pitching the Mets have experienced over the last two years, it’s fair to wonder if Harvey is, in fact, essential to their success.

Let’s find out.

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NFL Preview 2015 NFC East: Is Chip Kelly A Madman Or A Genius?

By Raimundo Ortiz (@AroundtheMundo

This is the NFC East preview. The teams will be ordered according to how I see them finishing. I’ll break down each team’s offense and defense in brief fashion, highlight an underrated player or two, then give a win range. Slapping a win total on a team is silly to me–I’m more interested in ceilings and floors. If a team’s win range is 6-12, that doesn’t mean I’m predicting 12 or 6. Just means I see them as a team that can wildly fluctuate.

Philadelphia Eagles (Last Season: 10-6) 

Offense: So the offseason has been pretty crazy huh? A year after getting rid of DeSean Jackson, Chip Kelly has been given the keys to the organization. RB LeSean McCoy and QB Nick Foles were traded. G Evan Mathis was released. WR Jeremy Maclin was allowed to leave via free agency. RBs DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews were added in free agency, and the Foles trade netted them Sam Bradford.

With all of this movement, you’d think that the Eagles were nuts. They might be! But I do believe Kelly has a method to this madness, and that his system will be effective. Getting rid of McCoy and replacing him with Murray and Mathews is a plus; the running game is crucial, Murray is a more decisive runner than McCoy, and Mathews adds quality depth.

Drafting WR Nelson Agholor was a good move–he should be able to do 75 percent of what Maclin did, and slot WR Jordan Matthews is going to see his role increase. Philly won’t have any problems scoring points.

Defense: The McCoy trade landed them LB Kiko Alonso from the Bills, leaving them with the division’s best defense. DE Fletcher Cox is a monster, and the LB corps is solid throughout. CB Byron Maxwell is overpaid, but he’s a pretty good corner.

Underrated Asset(s): RB Darren Sproles will still see action in this offense, and his value in the return game can’t be ignored.

Floor to Ceiling: 8-11 Wins. 

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NFL 2015 Preview AFC East: Can Darrelle Revis Pilot The Jets To A Division Title?

By Raimundo Ortiz (@AroundtheMundo

This is the AFC East preview. The teams will be ordered according to how I see them finishing. I’ll break down each team’s offense and defense in brief fashion, highlight an underrated player or two, then give a win range. Slapping a win total on a team is silly to me–I’m more interested in ceilings and floors. If a team’s win range is 6-12, that doesn’t mean I’m predicting 12 or 6. Just means I see them as a team that can wildly fluctuate.

New England Patriots (Last Season: 12-4)

Offense: TE Rob Gronkowski would be a beast with me at quarterback, but New England is fortunate to have Tom Brady back under center for Week 1. RB LeGarrette Blount won’t be there for Week 1, but he’ll be counted on as a workhorse going forward after Jonas Gray was cut. Travaris Cadet could be a breakout player as a passing downs back replacing Shane Vereen.

WR Julian Edelman has gotten so good in his role, but the rest of this receiving corps is shaky at best. Brandon LaFell is on the PUP list, and Reggie Wayne’s already gone. Danny Amendola should be productive for as long as he’s healthy, but this could be a revolving door for much of the year.

Defense: The secondary’s undergone another massive makeover, but I have a hunch Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler is a legit CB. Devin McCourty is tremendous at FS, and Patrick Chung makes game-changing plays. The LB corps is very good. This is a pretty solid defense, although rushing the passer will be a chore sometimes.

Underrated Asset(s): RB Travaris Cadet will do well in the Shane Vereen role, and possibly make fans forget about Vereen.

Floor to Ceiling: 9-11 Wins.  Continue reading