The first La Liga Clasico of 2017-18 has been set for Saturday, Dec. 23 at the Santiago Bernabeu, two days after contentious elections in Catalonia.The fixture will be played just before La Liga takes its winter break, and just after Champions League holders’ Madrid return from the Club World Cup which takes place in Abu Dhabi between Dec. 6-16.“La Liga have released the kick-off times for the games to be played on matchday 17 in the league,” a Madrid statement said.“Real Madrid will take on Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday, 23rd of December at 1:00 p.m. CET.”Recent events in Spain mean there is likely to be even more attention than usual on December’s Clasico.Barcelona have vocally supported the right for the people to be allowed to vote in an official referendum on Catalonia’s future and played a league match behind closed doors earlier this season to “send a message” to the world about the ongoing political situation.Although recent games such as Atletico Madrid hosting Barcelona on Oct. 14 and Real Madrid travelling to Catalanside Girona on Oct. 29 passed off without any problems among fans even amid sensational political developments.Madrid were due to visit neighbours Leganes on the weekend of Dec. 16/17, but their trip to the Club World Cup means that fixture will be played later in the season, with the date dependent on the teams’ progress in the Copa del Rey and Champions League.RelatedLa Liga To Take Spanish FA To Court Over El Classico DateOctober 24, 2019In “Europe”El-Clasico Update: Barcelona Say NO To ‘Guard Of Honour’December 18, 2017In “Europe”Barcelona Leave Madrid’s Title Defence Hanging After El Clasico DefeatDecember 23, 2017In “Europe”
(This is the first in a series of quick profiles on players who fit for the Angels to add over the winter. This is purely “informed speculation,” based on what we know about the Angels’ roster needs along with General Manager Billy Eppler’s preferences and history. We’ll have a new one every weekday, until the GM Meetings, which are the unofficial start of the hot stove season.)J.T. REALMUTO, catcher, Miami MarlinsThe basics: Realmuto is the best all-around catcher in baseball. Next year will be his age 28 season. He’s a right-handed hitter.2018 season: He hit .277 with 21 home runs and an .825 OPS, both career highs.Contract status: Arbitration-eligible for two more years before free agency, set to make around $5 million to $6 million in 2019. Why he makes sense: Although José Briceño and Francisco Arcia did well in short stints last season, it’s unlikely the Angels view either as a No. 1 catcher. When Eppler was describing how he believes the Angels have internal options for most of their everyday spots, he conceded that catcher is a position at which they need to be “open-minded.” Realmuto can also play first base, so he could help share that spot with Albert Pujols, so the Angels could keep his bat in the lineup even when he’s not catching.The prospect cost for Realmuto would be steep, but it might still make sense. In November 2015, when the Angels were staring at a potential void at shortstop, Erick Aybar was coming into his final year and the Angels had no heir apparent. In that case, they simply paid the high prospect price for Andrelton Simmons. Eppler reasoned that shortstops of that caliber just don’t become available often, and it was worth the cost. You could say the same about Realmuto.It’s safe to guess that dealing for Realmuto would require two of the Angels’ top 10 prospects, and maybe even a third lesser prospect. There is probably room for a deal that wouldn’t include top prospect Jo Adell, though. If the Angels did get Realmuto, they probably would have depleted their prospect capital to the point that they couldn’t make any other major trades this winter.Why he doesn’t: Even for only two years, it’s possible the prospect cost for Realmuto would be exorbitant. There are other teams looking for catchers, and the market is thin. The top free agents are Yasmani Grandal and Wilson Ramos. The Marlins also might choose to build around him, signing him to an extension.Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto is a player the Angels could consider pursuing in the offseason, but the asking price is sure to be steep. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
Seeing as we are in the midst of the All-Star Break and the All-Star Game is in fact tonight, it seemed only fitting to write up a special edition piece this week for the Stock Watch. We are going to take a look strictly at players who were selected as All-Stars. That being said, obviously all of these guys’ overall stock is on the rise, but that doesn’t mean their current stock isn’t changing for better or worse. I decided to take a look at some of the more hidden assets who were selected instead of going with the big-name guys that you are already fully aware about. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!MORE: Fantasy Alarm PRO tools Fantasy Baseball Trade Value: Stock risingMatt Chapman, 3B, OAK – Chapman is a good player and one that gets a lot less credit/attention than he deserves in fantasy. He locked in an All-Star spot with his strong first half in which he has hit 21 home runs and drove in 52 runs while hitting .265. He set career highs in home runs and RBI last season with 24 and 68, but he should half no problem shattering those marks this year. Some guys use a strong start to the year and then coast into a selection, but Chapman isn’t one of them, he hit .307 with five home runs and 16 RBI in his past 20 games. His 93.0 mph exit velocity ranks in the top three-percent of the entire league and his 45.7-percent hard contact rate is very strong. He has cut down on his strikeouts for a second straight year and is walking at a career high rate of 11.1-percent. He is a legit star in the making for Oakland.Brandon Woodruff, SP, MIL – Woodruff got off to a rough start this year in which he had a 5.81 ERA through five starts, but then he really turned it on and his strong run resulted in an All-Star spot. Over his last 13 starts, he has produced a 2.98 ERA while going 8-2 and striking out 94 across 81.2 innings, giving him a 10-3 record and 3.67 ERA at the break. That 3.67 ERA, while solid, is actually worse than it should be based on his 2.91 FIP, 3.32 xFIP, and 3.52 SIERA. That FIP is actually the fifth best mark in all of baseball. His 28.8-percent strikeout rate is very strong and his 86.2 exit velocity against is well above league average (87th percentile). Woodruff has great stuff and everything in his profile points to the guy that we have seen over his last 13 starts being what we should see going forward. He is a strong fantasy asset.Sandy Alcantara, SP, MIA – Alcantara made it into the All-Star game as the Marlins representative, but he is no fantasy ace with a 3.82 ERA and 6.22 K/9. That being said, he has been more fantasy relevant than what was expected and his stock is on the rise. Deep leaguers and NL-only leagues can get some value out of what he has produced, but there may be some big regression coming. As mentioned, the strikeout rate is very poor, his 4.17 BB/9 rate is awful, and his 1.40 WHIP is dreadful. Those numbers have led to a 5.57 SIERA, 5.32 xFIP, and 4.61 FIP, all of which are well above where his current ERA is at. What is really helping him is his 9.7-percent HR/FB rate, which is one of the best marks in the league. This is someone I would look to sell high on for whatever you can get for him, because a poor second half seems likely.Fantasy Baseball Trade Value: Stock fallingJorge Polanco, SS MIN – Polanco had a great first half in which he hit .312 with 13 home runs. He secured a spot as the AL starter at shortstop and his stock is way up, but should fantasy owners be worried about him in the second half? Since the start of June, a span of 32 games, he is hitting .274 with four home runs. His BABIP during that stretch was a normal mark of .295 and points to what he should actually be doing. In his first 53 games, in which he was hitting .338, his BABIP was a very high .371. His 87.3 mph exit velocity is below league average and only ranks in the 26th percentile. This isn’t to say Polanco will not continue to be a strong fantasy asset, but more so to say he may not be at the level that we have seen in the first half. His profile shows a player on the rise (as he has improved in just about everything when comparing to last year), but it’s not the profile of an elite fantasy asset. A batting average in the .280’s with single-digit home runs is about what I would expect for his second half. Sell high.Paul DeJong, SS, STL – DeJong got off to a fantastic start this season in which he was hitting .336 with seven home runs, 14 doubles, and 17 RBI through 35 games. That strong start catapulted him into early All-Star talks and it carried him into a spot in the game, but he has been dreadful ever since. In his next 52 games after that start he has produced a lousy .202 batting average, six home runs, six doubles, and 19 RBI. Not quite what you would call All-Star production. There are also some things in his profile that are not great signs for a possible turnaround. His 86.8 mph exit velocity is in the 17th percentile (Yikes) and is down nearly three mph from where it was last season. He has not improved his soft contact rate at all this year, his line drive rate is down nearly four percent, and his ground ball rate is up five percent. I wouldn’t expect a big second half from him and quite honestly he had no business making the All-Star game. Jake Odorizzi, SP, MIN – Odorizzi cracked the All-Star roster with a strong first half in which he went 10-4 with a 3.15 ERA, however, there are a lot of things that are a cause for concern with him from a fantasy standpoint. He is 29-years old and over the last two seasons he pitched to a 4.33 ERA across 307.2 innings of work. Over his last four starts before the break this year, he pitched to a 7.85 ERA, giving up 16 earned runs across 18.1 innings. His 3.59 FIP, 4.59 xFIP, and 4.24 SIERA are all well above his ERA and nothing in his profile actually points to him being a better pitcher than the one that we have seen the last two years. He is giving up hard contact at a 43.9-percent clip, which is the highest rate of his career and inducing soft contact (17.0-percent) less often than last season. He is giving up fly balls at a career high rate too at 50.9-percent, but giving up home runs at his lowest rate since 2015. That simply doesn’t add up and you can expect that rate to rise in the second half. The best time to sell-high on Odorizzi was a month ago; the next best time is now.Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch: Potential waiver wire pickupWill Smith, RP, SF – Smith had a lights-out first half for the Giants in which he racked up 23 saves and a 1.98 ERA across 36.1 innings pitched. His stock is way up, but he lands here because there is a chance that he gets traded at the deadline. A trade to a contender would more than likely bump him out of a closing role, which would really put a big blow in his fantasy value. That being said, it is worth noting that everything in his profile looks strong and he should find success wherever he pitches. His 39.8-percent strikeout rate is elite (99th percentile), as is his .231 xwOBA (also 99th percentile). His FIP, xFIP, and SIERA are all below 2.20 and his 0.80 WHIP is ridiculously good. Fantasy owners should hope that no team comes at the Giants with a strong enough offer to land him. James McCann, C, CWS – McCann had a fantastic first half in which he has hit .316 with nine home runs and 30 RBI. He has been a great fantasy asset at a position filled with lackluster production. Of course his stock is up from where it was at the start of the year, but some of his underlying numbers are quite alarming and it may be time to sell high before he comes crashing back down to earth. First and foremost, it is important to keep in mind that he hit .220 with eight home runs and 39 RBI across 457 plate appearances last year. He is 29-years old and that would be a late age to breakout, but it is something we have seen before; however, it’s more on the rare side. He has a .408 BABIP which is extreme for any player but even more extreme for someone with below average sprint speed like McCann. He is hitting fly balls about 10-percent less often that he did last year, but already has more home runs and that is in large part due to his 18.4-percent HR/FB rate which is well above his career average. While the regression bug hasn’t hit him quite yet, hence why he’s here and not in the stock down section, there is a very strong chance that he doesn’t produce anywhere near this level in the second half of the season.
He was happy with the way his players responded in Tuesday’s 3-1 win at Huddersfield Town, but cautioned they are still 11 points behind leaders Manchester City, who play their game in hand at Swansea City on Wednesday.“I think that when you tell the truth, it’s the truth,” Conte told reporters at the John Smith’s Stadium.“We have 11 points less than Manchester City. Man City won 15 and drew one. In 17 games, we lost four.“When you have a competitor like Manchester City who are winning every game, it’s very difficult to think you can fight for the title.”Conte rubbished suggestions his stance was unduly negative after a win secured by goals from Tiemoue Bakayoko, Willian and Pedro.Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte said he would rather “tell the truth than a good lie” about his side’s prospects © AFP / Oli SCARFF“People say talk negative or positive. It’s bullshit. It’s about being realistic,” said the Italian.“I want to always tell the truth. I would rather tell the truth than a good lie.“I can be too honest, but I like to speak very honestly with my players and fans. It doesn’t mean we don’t want to try to catch them.“We have a big leap to make and we need to win every game in this league. This league is very difficult. You have to give 120 per cent of yourself in every game or risk dropping points.“There are six teams to fight for the title and the Champions League. We have to look at ourselves to try to improve. Tonight, I enjoyed my players’ performance.”– Bakayoko’s best yet –Bakayoko atoned for a poor performance at West Ham by scoring the opening goal with a dinked finish before Willian added a second with a header and Pedro blasted in a third.Huddersfield Town head coach David Wagner blamed sloppy defending for the first two goals that his team conceded to Chelsea in a 3-1 defeat © AFP / Oli SCARFFFrance midfielder Bakayoko has struggled for form since his £40 million ($53.3 million, 45.4 million euros) move from Monaco in July, but Conte said this was his best performance in a Chelsea shirt.“Bakayoko played a really good game tonight and I’m really happy for him,” Conte said.“He’s 22 years old and I think he’s adapting to English football. Tonight, I saw the best performance from Baka and I started to see what I want. To find the right pass, to change side, to be solid, to be focused for the whole game.“I’m very pleased for him. This performance improved his confidence. I’m not worried about Baka.“He’s starting to realise he is in a big club. He showed me he has the right desire to improve himself and try to be better.”Huddersfield head coach David Wagner blamed sloppy defending for the first two goals that his team conceded.However, he was pleased that his players continued to compete after going 3-0 down early in the second half, earning reward through Laurent Depoitre’s headed consolation goal in stoppage time.“Chelsea were good, there’s no doubt about that,” Wagner said.“The bigger problem is that we haven’t over-performed. We didn’t underperform. We were at an average level.“In the first half, our defence shape was good, we wanted to frustrate them. Unfortunately we conceded a sloppy goal where our concentration wasn’t good enough. Our concentration wasn’t good enough for the second goal too.“We had to be at our best for every single second and in these two instances this wasn’t the case.“But the players showed good character. They deserved the goal they scored at the end.”0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Chelsea’s Tiemoue Bakayoko atoned for a poor performance at West Ham by scoring the opening goal in a 3-1 win over Huddersfield © AFP / Oli SCARFFHUDDERSFIELD, United Kingdom, Dec 13 – Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte says he would rather be honest than pretend he believes his team are realistic contenders for the Premier League title.Conte claimed after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at West Ham United that his side’s defence of their title was effectively over.
Remember this? Of course you do. Club Tir Chonaill is hoping to have more days like this…JIM McGUINNESS is set to attend the Dublin launch of Club Tir Chonaill later this week.The Donegal manager will be taking a brief break from putting the Donegal players through their paces at a training camp to attend the event at the Harcourt Hotel in Dublin on Thursday evening at 7pm.The club is aimed at raising funds towards the continued development of brilliant new facilities at Convoy. A presentation of the work in that area will also be made.McGuinness and his team are hoping Donegal fans based in the capital will be able to attend and support the initiative.JIM McGUINNESS SET TO LAUNCH CLUB TIR CHONAILL AT DUBLIN FUNCTION was last modified: May 14th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:JIM McGUINNESS SET TO LAUNCH CLUB TIR CHONAILL AT DUBLIN FUNCTION