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Illustration by Todd Detwiler
5hJim Caple and David Schoenfield

Ten ways to boost offense

5hJim Caple and David Schoenfield

Ten ways to boost offense

Offense is on the decline. Can the trend be reversed? Here's how the hitters can strike back.

Dennis Hubbard/Four Seam Images/AP Images
2hMLB Front Office

MLB Front Office: Should Bryant be starting 2015 in minors?

Insider's MLB Front Office team takes over the Chicago Cubs and examines all the elements that go into the decision whether to keep prospect Kris Bryant in the majors to start the season, eventually coming up with a conclusion.

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4hDan Szymborski

Szymborski: Overrated, underrated in BBTN 100

With the help of his ZiPS projections, Dan Szymborski identifies the players who are overrated (including Miguel Cabrera and Jose Abreu) and those who are underrated (including Josh Donaldson, Phil Hughes).

MLB Video

Buster's pick to win American League (1:04)

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3hMichael Baumann

Can Red Sox survive their weak rotation?

Can the Boston Red Sox overcome a weak front five starting pitchers and nevertheless contend in the AL East?

Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports
4hRob Nelson

Biggest World Series risers, fallers

Rob Nelson breaks down the most significant changes in the 2015 World Series odds. The biggest risers have been the Chicago Cubs and the biggest fallers the Philadelphia Phillies.

Getty Images/USA Today Sports
1dKeith Law

Top 50 MLB prospects update

Keith Law updates his top MLB prospect ranks, noting what has changed and how the players have looked since his last update Jan. 29.

Baseball Tonight Video

Who has the best National League offense? (3:04)

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Icon Sportswire/AP Images
1dJerry Crasnick

Should MLB bring back bullpen carts?

One way to help pick up the pace of play in baseball -- and provide a few smiles along the way -- would be to bring back the kitschy-but-beloved bullpen cart.

Now

Chicago White Sox @whitesox

Sale said he felt good and was happy to face hitters. He is going to stay back & most likely throw one more MiLB game before rejoining team.

Rockies stars in midseason form
MLB 

Troy Tulowitzki has homered twice -- a two-run shot in the 1st and a solo blast in the 3rd -- and Carlos Gonzalez has also gone yard for Colorado in today's game against the Rangers.

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
MLB 

Vegas: Nationals team to beat
MLB 

Despite not winning a postseason series since 1981 -- as the Expos -- the Nationals are the favorites to win the World Series, according to Westgate SuperBook.

MLB 

Walker emerging for Mariners
MLB 

One reason ESPN's Buster Olney picked Seattle to win the AL this season is the improvement of P Taijuan Walker. "The player to watch Taijuan Walker. He has really opened eyes with his performance."

MLB 

Olney: Pirates will break through

After two straight NL wild cards, Insider Buster Olney picks the Pirates to win the 2015 World Series: "I love their depth. ... They've now have developed a feeder system and they have young players coming up. It always seems they're prepared."

Mark Saxon @markasaxon

Clayton Kershaw is done after three solid innings: a hit, unearned run, two walks, two strikeouts

Is this the Mariners' year?
MLB 

Just three years removed from finishing last in the AL West, Seattle is the team to beat in the AL, according to Buster Olney. Said Olney about the Mariners possibly making their first World Series appearance: "They look tremendous this spring training."

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MLB 

To send Kris Bryant down or not?

The service time issue is the obvious (and biggest factor) in the Cubs' decision. However our MLB Insiders make the baseball case for sending him down. Give Bryant time to play LF. What are the Cubs really losing in those 12 days? Spring is small sample size

Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

Yankees lose another shortstop

Brendan Ryan left today's spring training game against the Rays with an apparent lower right leg injury. Ryan was playing for Didi Gregorius who got hurt Saturday.

Scott Boras: Cubs skirting CBA

The agent on the motives in sending Kris Bryant to minors: "Teams are prohibited from assigning players to the minor leagues solely for the purposes of service time manipulation. If you can demonstrate that the club is acting in bad faith ... then you can be subject to a grievance hearing." (via The Herd)

Top sports moments of last 20 years

To coincide with ESPN's website's 20th anniversary, here are the top 20 sports moments from 1995-2015, where baseball accounted for seven of them. Top 2 from MLB

Rob Tringali for ESPN

Boras to commish: I work for the players

Scott Boras on Rob Manfred saying he should stay out of Cubs' business: "I told him I was going to send him Marvin Miller's book and maybe he can take a post-Marvin Miller approach rather than a pre one." (via The Herd)

Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Boras: Dodgers serving rookie better

Kris Bryant's agent Scott Boras said the Dodgers treat their rookies right: "Joc Pederson also has had a nice spring training. ... What are the Dodgers doing? They could send him down for two weeks too ... The Dodgers aren't doing that, because they want the best team on the field." (via The Herd)

USA TODAY Sports

Boras: Kris Bryant belongs in majors

Agent Scott Boras on his client being sent down: "You have former players evaluating this player independently and saying 'he belongs in the big leagues.' So independent of his advocate's evaluation, all of these baseball experts are saying this player belongs in the major leagues." (via The Herd)

Tigers' early season worry
MLB 

ESPN's Tim Kurkjian said the Tigers have to be concerned about Justin Verlander: "This has to be of concern at this point. ... He is such an important guy on their team now, given that the rotation simply isn't the rotation that it was last year."

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MLB 

Bettors high on the Cubbies

Heading into the opening week of baseball season, more money has been bet on the Cubs to win the World Series than any other team at two of Nevada's largest sportsbooks. The Cubs are 6-1 to win the World Series at the MGM. Only the Washington Nationals (5-1) have better odds.

No reason for Nats to be concerned
MLB 

The Nationals' position players are being bit by the injury bug, but Buster Olney said it's no reason to panic, especially with their rotation and the fact that "among their first 39 games this season, they play 3 against teams that had records over .500 last year."

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MLB 

Getting back the offensive numbers

The .251 MLB batting average last season was the lowest it's been since 1972. How can we get the offense back? Jim Caple and David Schoenfield have some thoughts, and it all begins with cutting the K's. 10 ways to boost offense

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Justin Verlander won’t throw Friday; regular-season start April 8 in doubt. Verlander: 26.2 WAR from 2010-2014 4th among pitchers

Axford's son in stable condition

Rockies RHP John Axford's 2-year-old son, Jameson, is in stable condition a week after getting bitten twice by a rattlesnake. Doctors have likely saved the foot, though he could still lose a toe or two, Rockies officials said.

AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi