On the most recent episode of Psycho Sports (, Tyler Salk and Ryan Fox engaged in a discussion about the future of David Price. For some segments, the discussion lasts much longer than the allotted half hour:
Tyler Salk: Ryan, you’re misquoting me. IF David Price pitches this year, I don’t think he will have the BEST season of his career. I just think he will recover. He won’t reach a 2.45 era, but I’m expecting a 3.35.
Ryan Fox: You were pretty much in that camp for the entire discussion last show. But the point is that Price should spend less time talking to the media on how he is going to improve and figuring out how to lower not only that ERA but his 8.9 hits per 9 innings last season, which was a career worse for him. Again, that's if he even pitches.
TS: Absolutely, last season didn't look too good. He still had high strikeout numbers though, which tells me he is still talented enough to thrive at the major league level. Do I think he’ll pitch the best of his career? No. Turn it around? I'll bet his Era drops by at least .25.
RF: If he wants to survive another year in Boston, he better drop that ERA by 0.80 points instead. Luckily for him, he won’t face too much scrutiny now that the Red Sox acquiring Sale. But that being said though, this team is still has a few holes in them (i.e. bullpen, no power lefty hitter in lineup) that make me hesitant on picking them to play in the World Series.
TS: I’ll say this year, he gets that ever elusive playoff win. You’re going to see the Red Sox finish second in the American League, and face the Astros. Price will get the start in game two against Lance McCuellers, and get the win.
RF: Nope. Price won’t get the win. He’ll get chased after 4 innings like he always does in the postseason and you’re going to see somebody like Kyle Martin or even Henry Owens come out of the pen and get the win in relief. But even if the Red Sox make it to the World Series, they’ll be outgunned and out pitched. Heck, I would take a guy like Noah Syndergaard on the mound over Price.
TS: I agree with you there, they can definitely be out pitched. I would take Thor over Price every day of the week. But Price can’t win a playoff game? He’ll get them there. He’ll get them to the Series. It’ll be Sox-Cubs.
RF: Didn’t you already have that prediction last year? I mean granted you were right about the Cubs winning it all (don’t get used to hearing that phrase from me) but if you want an honest opinion, I think the Cubs are going to get knocked out of the NLCS this year.
TS: I did make that prediction last year, and how can I go against them repeating? Yes, they did lose Chapman, but they added Uehara and Wade Davis, while having Schwarber healthy for 2017. The best team doesn't always win, but who’s better? Who can you actually see beating them?
RF: Well this Cub team has essentially played with each other for the past two seasons. Prior to winning the World Series, who swept them in the 2015 NLCS? I’ll give you a hint: The New York Mets.
TS: This is a Cubs team gaining more experience. Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Javy Baez… you have far and away the best offense with a great pitching staff. How will the Mets beat them?
RF: Same way they beat them the last time: superior pitching. You have the likes of Noah Syndergaard and Steve Matz both coming off good pitching seasons in 2016, plus you have the likes of Matt Harvey and Jacob DeGrom, two guys eager to prove themselves after their 2016 season was cut short due to injury (especially Harvey). Not too mention you got Zach Wheeler coming back from TJ surgery, who is a significant upgrade over Bartolo Colon. Plus you got guys like Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, Addison Reed, and Jerry Belvins in the pen and a 40+ saves closer in Jeurys Familia. Need I continue?
TS: I'm not saying the Mets are a bad team, but they might have some issues. The entire returning pitching staff was hurt last season, except for Syndergaard, who has been labeled high risk for injury. When you look at the efforts Jason Heyward has presented to turn his numbers around, this Cubs team is filthy. Cubs vs Mets is definitely best Offense vs best Pitching staff. However, the Cubs have great pitching too.
RF: Who is to say that the Cubs have players who are at high risk for injury? No doubt the Cubs have a strong team but they play in one of the toughest divisions in baseball in the NL Central with the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates hounding them. Plus who is to say that they won’t be having a World Series hangover?
TS: In terms of pure talent, the Cubs are the team to beat. There's a reason that I selected them to win last season. With the rise of Urias, Seager, and Pederson, I’d take the Dodgers over the Mets this season.
RF: Assuming Clayton Kershaw’s health holds up as well. And the Cubs are not the team to beat because of pure talent. If there is a reason, it’s because they’re the defending World Series champs.
TS: Despite losing Fowler and Chapman, the Cubs have done nothing to show a real decline. They might be a little weaker with Jason Hammel leaving, but they still have one of the top farm systems. The bullpen is good now, but you’ll see top prospect Ian Happ dealt for the top relief pitcher available at the trade deadline. Their assets are too strong. Are the Mets really complete enough?
RF: Yup. You have the likes of Yoenis Cespedes, Neil Walker, and Asdrubal Cabrera (all 3 had 20+ HRs and a .280+ batting average last year). Plus they are going to get back Lucas Duda back (all reports indicate he’s getting over his sore back), a full season of Jay Bruce & Jose Reyes. Not to mention the young players last year (i.e. William Flores, T.J. Rivera, Michael Conforto, Matt Reynolds, Brandon Nimmo) got lots of important major league experience and contributed. So yeah, I believe that the Mets are pretty well balanced on both sides.
TS: Let’s not forget, the Cubs won over 100 games last season without Schwarber. Look, I think it's tough to say any team is better than the Cubs right now. This is a young Cubs team with winning experience now. They are just starting to become a dynasty. Watch out!
RF: And everybody thought the Kansas City Royals were going to be a force to reckon with after two straight World Series appearances.
TS: We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but my favorites for the 2017 World Series have to be the Cubs.
For more conversation between Tyler Salk and Ryan Fox, tune into Psycho Sports, Mondays at 6:30.
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