Best Places to Watch the World Series

best-places-watch-world-series_Artboard 1-Header

Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers fans should be excited – their teams are in the World Series! After 162 regular season games and impressive postseason performances, these two teams have emerged as the representatives of the best baseball has to offer from the American and National Leagues. With news relaying that the average ticket price (at least in Los Angeles) exceeded $3,100, it may not be in the cards for every fan to see a World Series game in person.

If you still want to watch the games in the company of like-minded fans and feel the energy of every inning, there’s another way to get in the spirit of the World Series without having to show up at the stadium. Several restaurants and bars are catering to the Houston and Los Angeles fans who want to catch the action without breaking the bank. Here are just a few places you can add to your list of venues for watching the Astros sweep the Dodgers, or for watching the Dodgers finish the job against the Astros, depending on your allegiances.

Los Angeles Dodgers

The Woodman

Let's do this. #TGIF

A post shared by The Woodman (@thewoodmanla) on

Several visitors to The Woodman have dropped a five-star review online, conferring the establishment is a great place to watch the Dodgers play. With towers of onion rings, a strong selection of beers, and several TV viewing options, you’re in the right place to take the Dodgers action without breaking the bank.

33 Taps

33 Taps is a place Dodgers fans recommend visiting before and after the game because it’s just that good! They also speak highly about the wings and about how the restaurant and bar take their sports very seriously. Fans celebrated the Dodgers’ NL champions series at both locations in Hollywood and Silver Lake and are surely ready to head back for the World Series campaign.

The Short Stop

Photos from #AndFriendsLA by @danimeigel are up! Album is linked on our Facebook feed. Stay tuned for info on next month ✌️🔊😎

A post shared by The Short Stop 🎶🍻🍸🍷 (@theshortstopechopark) on

Known as the place where “Dodger bros rub elbows with hipsters guys,” The Short Stop is a fine place to cheer on the Dodgers among like-minded fans. Don’t expect to find a menu of artisanal entrees with farm-raised, organic quail eggs, though – this is a sports bar through and through, and you must be 21 years of age or older to enter this pro-Dodgers dive.

Houston Astros

Lucky’s Pub

Let’s go #Astros!!!!

A post shared by Lucky's Pub (@luckyspubhou) on

If you want the authentic experience of being an Astros fan in Houston and don’t have pockets deep enough for a stadium ticket, head to Lucky’s Pub. With great happy hour deals before games, massive screens, and plenty of Astros fans, you’ll feel right at home.

West Alabama Ice House

Let's do this! GO 'STROS! #earnhistory #htx #houstonstrong

A post shared by Carmel Tajonera (@rizacarmel) on

Want a memorable Texas sports bar experience? West Alabama Ice House delivers. With plenty of outdoor seating, TVs to take in the game, and the iconic Tacos Tierra Caliente food truck on site, this place checks all the boxes. Food? Check. Drinks? Check. Game? Check.

Little Woodrow’s

That was such a nerve-wracking game, Houston. One more W, baby! 🤘🏽

A post shared by daisy (@daisynicq) on

They’re a local chain with several locations ready to host all Astros fans, but be warned: Don’t come expecting a diverse food menu, or a food menu. Little Woodrow’s is all about having a true fan party, so come with a full belly (or keep an eye open for local food trucks that can fill the void).

Big TVs, Full Bellies, Can’t Lose

Whether you’re taking in the game at the stadium inside one of these fine establishments, or at home with a group of friends, show everyone who you’re backing – the Astros or Dodgers – by making sure you have the best officially licensed MLB merchandise and apparel from Fanatics. Enjoy the World Series, everyone!


Finding the Best MLB Pitchers: Changeup Dominance


While a changeup is not always a pitcher’s go-to pitch, it’s often a vital piece in a starting pitcher’s repository. A changeup is an off-speed pitch (which means it has a lower velocity than a fastball), and its aim is deception – it’s relatively slow and can fool a batter into swinging before the ball gets to the plate. Adding to the deception is the fact that changeups are thrown with a similar motion as a fastball, which serves to trick the batter further.

Dominating With the Changeup

Let’s take a look at PITCHf/x data (wCH/C, weighted changeup runs per 100 pitches to be specific) for MLB pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched through Aug. 27, 2017, and see who dominates the changeup pitch.


This scatterplot compares dominance against the percentage of time a pitcher throws a changeup. The ideal location here is the upper left quadrant – it represents the pitchers who have had the best changeups and who use them frequently. Lefty starter for the Kansas City Royals Jason Vargas is well-known for the quality of his changeups, often relying on a changeup with a circle grip. While primarily making use of his fastball, teammate Danny Duffy also has a quality changeup in his arsenal. Carlos Carrasco and Gio González, of the Cleveland Indians and Washington Nationals respectively, also command a dominant changeup.

In the lower right quadrant, you’ll find pitchers who haven’t necessarily fared well with changeups, but they also don’t tend to use them very often. Mike Foltynewicz of the Atlanta Braves is one example – he uses his four-seam fastball most often but will utilize the changeup now and then. J.C. Ramírez is another example of a player who uses changeups very infrequently.

The upper right quadrant, interestingly, shows pitchers who use changeups frequently but aren’t necessarily performing well with this pitch. Jeremy Hellickson of the Baltimore Orioles is one such pitcher – changeups are his favorite, but he hasn’t had much success with them.

curveball_aug_27_asset_3 copy 2

This chart incorporates the same data as the scatterplot above but may be a bit clearer to see which pitchers are more dominant with the changeup when compared to their peers. Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers comes first in this category – although he doesn’t use a changeup frequently, he’s certainly mastered it. Carlos Carrasco is second, and his changeup frequency is higher than Kershaw’s, so he’s taking advantage of his changeup dominance.

At the opposite end, we find J.C. Ramírez, who uses his not-so-dominant changeup infrequently, as well as other pitchers like Drew Pomeranz of the Red Sox and Lance Lynn of the Cards.

Throwing a Change of Pace

While you’re checking out your favorite pitchers as they race to the postseason, make sure you’re suitably attired with great swag from Fanatics.


Fastball Dominance – MLB Pitching Analysis


The most common pitch thrown by a big league pitcher is a four-seam fastball. Although there are a few variations (two-seam, cutter, and so on), the fastball pitch is designed to blaze the ball by the batter before he can properly react to it, or sneak in some late movement to fool him.

We’re looking to analyze and conclude which pitchers are the most dominant when it comes to throwing specific types of pitches – in this case, the fastball.

Specifically, we’re looking at the statistic called “standardized runs by pitch” – in this case, the standardized runs by four-seam fastballs or wFA/C. This represents the amount of runs that the pitcher saved with their fastball over the course of 100 fastballs thrown.

We’re also using “dominance” as an abstract term to describe how well a pitcher has performed this season. This doesn’t mean they have the best or fastest fastball, but rather that their pitch has been the most difficult to hit.

Heaters and Dominance

Let’s take a look at PITCHf/x data for MLB pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched through Aug. 27, 2017, and see who dominates the fastball pitch.


This scatterplot compares dominance against the percentage of time a pitcher throws a fastball. The ideal location here is the upper left quadrant – it represents pitchers who have had the best pitches and used them most often. As of August 27th, one of the notable pitchers here is Clayton Kershaw, the now 16-win pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers who is leading the majors with a 1.95 ERA. Justin Verlander, now of the Houston Astros and Ariel Miranda of the Seattle Mariners are also in this ideal quadrant.

In the lower right quadrant, you’ll find pitchers who haven’t fared well with fastballs, and they’re also not throwing them frequently. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however – they may rely on other pitches. Jason Vargas from the Kansas City Royals, for example, is not known for his fastball, instead relying on other pitches to paint those corners, such as change-ups and sinkers. Masahiro Tanaka from the New York Yankees is in a similar boat – he prefers to throw sliders and splitters.

The upper right quadrant, interestingly, shows pitchers who use the fastball frequently but aren’t necessarily performing well with this pitch. Kevin Gausman of the Baltimore Orioles is one example of a high percentage of fastballs paired with results he’d rather not have. Matt Moore from the San Francisco Giants is another pitcher who uses fastballs frequently despite his lack of dominance with this particular pitch.


This chart incorporates the same data but may be a bit clearer to see which pitchers are more dominant with the fastball when compared to their peers. While the top two dominant pitchers have a fastball that reaches blazing speed (Michael Fulmer of the Tigers averages 95.7 mph, and Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox is just slightly behind him at 94.6 mph), not every dominant pitcher throws lightning fastballs, and not every nondominant pitcher has a slow fastball.

This is evident when we check out the third dominant pitcher on the list. R.A. Dickey of the Atlanta Braves is No. 3 here. His fastball average of 83 mph is the opposite of heat – however, Dickey’s favorite pitch is not a fastball. Instead, he relies on knuckleballs, which is understandable due to its deceptive nature and his mastery of the pitch itself.

Toeing the Slab

As you continue to watch your favorite pitchers toe the slab as the season winds down (and as the postseason revs up), make sure you have all the authentic MLB gear you can handle by visiting Fanatics.


MLB Immaculate Innings


There are a few baseball categories that only have a handful of entries – the 3,000 hit club, with 31 members, is one. Another rare feat is the “immaculate innings,” which means a nine-pitch, nine-strike inning. To date, there have only been 89 immaculate innings, and despite this low number, 2017’s had quite the run. Considering it only takes 10 regular baseball games to rack up 90 innings, getting an immaculate inning is extremely rare.

Let’s take a look at immaculate innings over the last century of baseball history so we can better understand how rare indeed they truly are.

Immaculate Innings on the Rise


As the years go by, there seems to be another trend aside from more guys clobbering homers. Glancing over this chart, you can see that the first three decades weren’t teeming with immaculate innings; in fact, there was only one immaculate inning in each decade in these early years.

In the ’20s, there were five immaculate nine-pitch, nine strike innings, the ’50s saw three, and the ’60s and ’70s each saw eight. The number went down in the ’80s (4) and jumped up dramatically in the ’90s (18) followed by 15 in the ’00s. Thus far in the ’10s, there have been 25 immaculate innings, far outpacing the decades of yesteryear.

Immaculate Teams


The National League, by the numbers, has more immaculate innings than the American League – 55 for the NL, compared to 34 for the AL (although the Astros currently play in the American League, they achieved 5 immaculate innings during their time in the National League). In fact, the top team overall with the most immaculate innings is the National League’s Dodgers, who have seven. The second most amount was at the hands of the American League’s Yankees with six.

Two teams are tied with five – the Astros and the Phillies. There are quite a few that have four, including the Brewers, who have one while they were still in the AL and three in the NL. Other teams include the defending World Series champs – the Chicago Cubs – and the Boston Red Sox.

There are also a number of teams with three immaculate innings, including the Royals, Rays, and Giants. Among those with two immaculate innings are the Blue Jays, Mets, Nationals and Tigers. And finally, there are a handful of teams with one immaculate inning, including old-timey teams like the Beaneaters (who are now the Atlanta Braves) as well as current teams like the Mariners and the White Sox.

Throwing Strikes

Immaculate Innings asset_3

Considering how rare an immaculate inning is, it’s not a stretch to realize that it’s difficult for a pitcher to get one at all, much less more than one. Sandy Koufax, flamethrowing southpaw for the Dodgers (both Brooklyn and Los Angeles), managed to throw three immaculate innings during his career.

Lefty Grove is another pitcher who managed to grab an immaculate inning more than once – he performed this feat twice in the same year (1928) for the same team (the Philadelphia Athletics, who are now located in Oakland and are better known as the A’s). Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson also achieved it two times – once for two different teams.

The rest of the players on our list threw an immaculate inning once, which, as we’ve established, is still impressive. Pitchers include Max Scherzer (Nationals), Danny Jackson (Royals), Felix Hernandez (Mariners), Rick Porcello (Red Sox), Roger Clemens (Blue Jays), Orel Hershiser (Giants), and Pedro Martinez (Red Sox).

Strike Three, You’re Out!

Are you keeping track of this year’s immaculate innings? If so, and you’re needing more MLB merch to keep your baseball-lovin’ heart happy, head over to to grab some amazing new gear.


MLB Video Game Covers


Players Gracing the Covers

While your favorite MLB team – whether it’s the Boston Red Sox, San Francisco Giants, or even the Chicago Cubs – only plays 162 regular season games a year, it’s not always enough. Even a trip from the postseason to the World Series may not entirely quench your thirst for nine more innings of baseball.

Thankfully, video game developers are aware of this need, and titles like “MLB: The Show” give the baseball-obsessed a chance to enjoy the sport year-round. These games, released across different video game systems over the years, allow fans to digitally guide their favorite players and help them achieve a career worthy of Cooperstown.

What baseball positions are most featured on the cover of these games, and who are some of the most famous faces on the packaging? Here’s a look at recent MLB video games and what their covers can tell us.

Select A Team


No player without their own video game franchise (sorry, Ken Griffey Jr.) appeared on more covers than former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. He graced the cover of “Major League Baseball 2K5”, “Major League Baseball 2K6,” and “Major League Baseball 2K7” – three consecutive years not just as the face of the Yankees’ franchise but of this particular video game series. Those were some of the best years of Jeter’s career. In 2006, he finished second overall in MVP balloting behind Minnesota Twins player Justin Morneau.

Ken Griffey Jr. was featured on four covers, all from the series using his name and image. While the other players rounding out the top five appeared on two or more covers, only one was a pitcher. Pedro Martínez, a 2004 World Series champion with the Boston Red Sox and Hall of Famer, lent his visage to the covers of “World Series Baseball 2K1” and “World Series Baseball 2K2.”

Super Sox

Seven video game series have had Boston Red Sox players featured on the cover, the most of any one team. In addition to Pedro, recently retired designated hitter David Ortiz was on the cover of “MLB 06: The Show.” The only currently active Red Sox to appear on a cover was second baseman Dustin Pedroia for “MLB 09: The Show.” Adrian Gonzalez and Nomar Garciaparra were also Red Sox players when chosen as cover boys.

Two teams – the Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto Blue Jays – with only one MLB player on a video game cover have only done so very recently. In the last two years, Dodgers’ right fielder Yasiel Puig and Blue Jays’ third baseman Josh Donaldson shared the responsibility of gracing “MLB: The Shows” cover in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Puig was 19th in MVP voting in 2014, and Donaldson knocked in 41 home runs and 123 RBIs in 2015, where he finished first in MVP balloting.

Positional Awareness

After outfielders, shortstops and pitchers were the most common positions to be featured on the covers of baseball video games. At six apiece, there are plenty of famous faces in this bunch. Derek Jeter for “Major League Baseball 2K” and Pedro Martínez of the Boston Red Sox in “World Series Baseball 2K” help lead this group.

You’re less likely to be the face of a video game franchise if you’re a second or third baseman. Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox and David Wright from the Mets, helped to further the cause of being considered for cover-star greatness.

Press Play to Play Ball

While there have certainly been players from small market teams who’ve made their way onto video game covers, stars from some of the MLB’s biggest teams – like the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees – make more regular appearances on the boxes of these digital baseball games.

Don’t miss an opportunity to turn digital dreams into a reality by getting officially licensed MLB merchandise and apparel transported to you in the real world from Fanatics. It’s the best way to level up your fan experience!


Video Games Franchises Covered

MLB: The Show, Major League Baseball 2K, Triple Play, Ken Griffey Jr., The Bigs, Home Run King, World Series Baseball 2K, Microsoft Baseball, MLB ‘98, MVP Baseball.

The 3,000 Hits Club: Adrián Beltré


Adrián Beltré, who currently plays for the Texas Rangers and is in his 20th Major League Baseball season, joined the exclusive 3,000 Hits Club on Sunday, July 30, 2017. This is a rare feat indeed – the third baseman is only the 31st player in MLB history to cross over the 3,000 mark. Let’s take a look back at Beltré’s career to see how he achieved this incredible goal.

Hittin’ That Cheese


Adrián Beltré hails from the Dominican Republic and was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers when he was only 15 years old – a controversial move considering he was technically too young to play for an MLB team. However, he persevered by competing in the Dominican Summer League in 1995 and left his island home for minor league ball the following summer. His minor league performance was impressive, and he was called up to the big leagues in 1998 at age 19.

While his rookie year wasn’t big on hits with only 42 knocks, Beltré soon grew to be a ball smasher in his own right. The following year, he nailed 148 hits and continued with over 100 hits per season every year after that. He reached 200 hits in a season while playing for the Dodgers in 2004, and came very close to doing it a second time while playing for the Rangers in 2013, with 199 hits.

Scroll to see Adrian's new favorite number.

A post shared by Texas Rangers ⚾️ (@rangers) on

Beltré played for the Dodgers for seven seasons, racking up 949 hits in the process. He then entered MLB as a free agent and signed with the Seattle Mariners in 2005, netting 751 hits over five seasons. During a single season with the Boston Red Sox in 2010, he collected another 189 hits. He then headed over to the Texas Rangers, signing a contract worth $96 million over six years (this is his seventh year with the Rangers, by the way). So far, he’s accomplished more than 1,100 hits for the team.


Beltré joins 30 other MLB players in the 3,000 Hits Club. The most recent addition was Ichiro Suzuki, who nailed his 3,000th hit in 2016 and is the only other active MLB player in this exclusive club. Other baseball greats in the club include Willie Mays (his 3,000th hit was in 1970), Cal Ripken (2000), George Brett (1992), Wade Boggs (1999), Roberto Clemente (1972), Derek Jeter (whose 3,000th hit was a homer in 2011), Rod Carew (1985), and Alex Rodriguez (also with a homer in 2015). The first player to reach 3,000 hits was Cap Anson in 1897.


A post shared by Texas Rangers ⚾️ (@rangers) on

Whether you’ve been rooting for Beltré since his Dodgers days or have been keeping tabs on him through his Rangers career, be sure to check out the selection of Beltré swag at Fanatics.


Home Run Tracker: June 12th to June 18th

home run tracker_HR-Tracker-6-18-Header

Diving deeper into last week’s home run tracker, major league sluggers took to the batter’s box with a long ball state of mind. Read on to see which fan-favorite players hit the highest fliers and blasted the most bombs into the bleachers.

Davidson’s Bringing the Boom

home run tracker_HR-Tracker-6-18-Asset-1A

The league was led by White Sox designated hitter Matt Davidson, who cranked out five homers in two series against the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles. The series marked the rising rookies team-leading 14th dinger of the season facing off against Chris Tillman on June 15, and securing a victory for the Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.


A post shared by Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) on

Cody Bellinger, a slugger for the Los Angeles Dodgers, is breaking all sorts of records during his breakout season. Bellinger nailed four bombs last week, ranking him as the fastest rookie to reach 21 home runs at the start of an MLB career. He is only the fourth player age 21 or younger to hit 20 home runs before the all-star break, along with Eddie Mathews (27 in 1953), Albert Pujols (21 in 2001), and Miguel Cabrera (20 in 2004).” All things considered, Bellinger is one of the league’s most lethal hitters and is a prime contender for the upcoming home run derby.

"@cody_bellinger, you are ridiculous!" #LetsGoDodgers

A post shared by Los Angeles Dodgers (@dodgers) on

The Dodgers home run prodigy isn’t the only one smashing records, though. Keon Broxton, center fielder for the Milwaukee Brewers, clobbered a monstrous two-run scoring homer against the St. Louis Cardinals last Thursday. The bomb traveled a true distance of 442 feet – the longest recorded long ball at Busch Stadium.

Sixth Inning Long Balls

home run tracker_HR-Tracker-6-18-Asset-2A

One takeaway from last week’s home run stats is this: Home runs were a common occurrence in the sixth inning. Players at-bat in the sixth inning were the reason behind 41 of last week’s scoreboard-adding hits.

Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies had a historic day on June 18, hitting a walk-off, two-run home run to hit for the cycle at Coors Field. As Arenado approached home plate, he was swarmed by electrified teammates while being serenaded by a sellout crowd shouting “MVP! MVP! MVP!”

Cheers of "MVP" echo loudly at #CoorsField.

A post shared by Colorado Rockies (@rockies) on

It was quite the slugfest over at Miller Park on Saturday, June 17, as Cory Spangenberg and Chase d’Arnaud, sluggers for the San Diego Padres, each sliced solo homers during the 11th inning – lifting the SoCal-based squad over the Brewers (7-5).

Average Home Run of the Week

home run tracker_HR-Tracker-6-18-Asset-3A

It’s tough for the average baseball fan to keep up with the metrics of every long ball launched each week. That’s why we’ve got you covered with the details about last week’s average home run ball.

Sluggers stepped up to the plate last week with one goal in mind: to belt a long ball into the bleachers. After reviewing the stats from all homers hit by power batters last week, we found the average long ball had a launch angle of 28 degrees and a rocketed exit velocity of 104 mph, clearing a true distance of 402 feet.

If you’re planning on witnessing some record-breaking home run action this season, be sure to come prepared. Check out for the hottest fan gear and apparel in the game, no matter which team you’re rooting for!


The Best Inaugural Seasons in MLB History


First Year Success in the Big Leagues

Late 19th-century baseball very clearly valued function over fashion, as deduced by the professional baseball monikers of the era. For example, the Los Angeles Dodgers of today were born from the: Brooklyn Atlantics (1884), Brooklyn Bridegrooms (1888), and Brooklyn Superbas (1899). After a stint as the Brooklyn Robins (1914) and Brooklyn Dodgers (1932), the franchise relocated to Los Angeles in 1958.

The beginnings of professional baseball are choppy with leagues forming and dissolving, but some original clubs are among the most heralded. Today’s Chicago Cubs were sculpted from an upstart 1876 inaugural season by the Chicago White Stockings as they went 52-14 in their first year, with a win/loss percentage of .788. This is the best win/loss percentage of any team – historical or current – during their inaugural season. The White Stockings carried this early success into the still-green National League, leading the league for six of their first 11 seasons.

In 1883, the Boston Beaneaters formed from the Boston Red Stockings. They had an outstanding inaugural season, going 63-35 with a win/loss percentage of .643 (sixth best in the history of baseball), which carried into a decent 24-year run for the team. They then became the: Boston Doves (1907), Boston Rustlers (1911), Boston Braves (1912), Boston Bees (1936), Boston Braves (1941), Milwaukee Braves (1953), and finally your present-day Atlanta Braves (since 1966). Yes, your storied Atlanta Braves were once the Beaneaters.

All-Star Starters


Today’s Cubs had an excellent first season of their own in 1903, with a 59.4 win/loss percentage and an 82-56 record. They were World Series champions in back-to-back years (1907 and 1908), and have appeared in 11 championship series. Before becoming the reigning champions of MLB with their 2016 title, the Cubs didn’t appear in a World Series for 71 years (1945 World Series vs. the Detroit Tigers).

This was when the Cubbies’ curse was put in motion, as a local bar owner of The Billy Goat Tavern apparently attempted to bring his goat through the turnstiles with him. The 1940s were a simpler time, yes, but you still couldn’t bring goats into ballparks. As the gentleman and his goat were sensibly turned away, he bellowed a curse on the Cubs into the Wrigley Field gates, and the longest drought in sports then commenced.

Getting a Good Leadoff


Additional noteworthy historical MLB teams include the 1885 New York Giants (win/loss percentage of .759); the 1882 Cincinnati Red Stockings (win/loss percentage of 68.8); the 1899 Brooklyn Superbas (win/loss percentage of .682), and the 1883 St. Louis Browns (win/loss percentage of .663).

The Red Stockings were a charter member of the first National League before being excommunicated by the baseball saints in 1880 for refusing to stop selling beer during games and for refusing to stop renting out the stadium on Sundays. They went on to help establish the American Association (who had no quarrel with hoppy refreshments) in 1881 and shined throughout the third finest inaugural baseball season in history.

Superbas – because you’re wondering – is a reference to a successful Broadway act of the late 19th century. As was popular during this era, team names sprung from newspaper print into game day programs. The Dodgers, rumor has it, ultimately received their name as a derivation of the nickname, Trolley Dodgers – a reference to the winding mass of trolley tracks within the borough.

Vintage Winners


In 1901, MLB added the American League into the fold, introducing eight teams into play: the Chicago White Stockings, Boston Somersets, Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Athletics, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals, Cleveland Blues, and the Milwaukee Brewers. More than just an expansion experiment, this laid the groundwork for the next century of baseball in America.

Of the best win/loss percentages for MLB inaugural seasons, three of the teams still exist today: the White Sox, Tigers, and Athletics.

The Chicago White Sox played the first official game of the American League in 1901. They won their first game and 82 more en route to a current MLB best of .61. 1901 was a strong year for inaugural season records, but Chicago claims top honors. The Motor City owns the sixth best current win/loss percentage (.548) for the Tigers’ 1901 debut season, going 74-61. Being ever so slightly edged out, the 1901 Athletics (74-62 with a .544 win/loss percentage) take seventh for active teams.

Of these three American League strongholds, Detroit has appeared in 11 World Series. They’ve won four championships; however, the last was in 1984. The White Sox have appeared in less than half as many World Series, but claimed victory in 2005 against the Houston Astros.

Two late-model teams to crack the top five active teams with the best inaugural seasons are the Tampa Bay Rays (2008) and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2005). The Rays went 97-68 in their debut season, finishing with a 59.9 win/loss percentage – the second highest among active teams. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have the fifth best active win/loss percentage (.586). While somewhat successful, neither team has managed to find success in the postseason.

Ball Game

In the nonstop thrill ride of MLB, there’s no telling the success a future expansion team or relocated ballclub may find. Will anyone ever top the White Stockings’ debut? Well, it’s been over 140 years, and no team has managed to top them. We’ll have to tune in and see.

So if your Beaneaters jersey is now just a sash of cascading threads, and your Bridegrooms cap has become a tattered woolen sweatband, maybe it’s time to head to Fanatics to upgrade your MLB apparel.


Projecting the 2017 MLB Season


After witnessing the Chicago Cubs end their 108-year World Series drought after downing the Cleveland Indians in an epic game 7 in 2016, fanatics have begun to speculate about what chaos will ensue during the next season.

With the first pitch of the 2017 MLB season flamed down the dirt strip and across home plate, it’s with great pleasure to announce that baseball is officially back in action! It’s hard to tell if 2017 can top the excitement that came in 2016, but between breakout players and rising statistical leaders, anything is possible.

The baseball hotheads at Fanatics decided to dive into Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm) projections for the 2017 season. Read on to see what promises and pitfalls lie ahead in the regular and postseason showdowns!

Divisional Domination


The Boston Red Sox are favored to win the AL East, a not-so-bold prediction, but the Sox have their expectations set high for their newly acquired left-hand flamethrower – Chris Sale. Sale, a former pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, put on quite the performance during his debut after striking out Starling Marte in the first inning. The projections go on to predict that the Tampa Bay Rays will trail the Boston-based squad and arrive in the postseason as a Wild Card team.

After experiencing the epic showdown of last season’s World Series grab, it’s safe to assume that both the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians will perform accordingly to reach postseason gameplay once more. Although the rematch would attract less hype, it would be historic to witness the Indians break their 69-year championship drought as well.

Champs are here.

A post shared by cubs (@cubs) on

The Houston Astros are anticipated to win the AL West with 93 wins, placing hope in the hands of their newest pitcher, Charlie Morton, as well as one of baseball’s superstars, Jose Altuve. Additionally, the rivalry between the New York Mets and Washington Nationals will grow as both clubs are expected to finish with the same record (87-75). Not to mention, Nats seasoned slugger (Bryce Harper) and Mets super-pitcher (Noah Syndergaard) aren’t exactly on the best terms after their latest social media feud.

Postseason Powerhouse


Three out of the four Wild Card teams all ranked with the lowest percentage of moving forward, with the exception of the Nationals inching out their division rival by 0.1 percent.

The Astros will shock hardcore fanatics with how far they’ve come this season but will fall to the defending American League champs – the Cleveland Indians. Unfortunately, a rematch of last year’s World Series contest is not predicted to happen again as the Los Angeles Dodgers are set to knock the Cubbies out of the ballpark. The SoCal-based group is expected to continue their National League dominance by claiming their fifth consecutive division title. Deep pockets and young talent are the fuel to fire behind the success of these Hollywood hotshots.

Drum roll please … and the projected winner of the 2017 World Series Championship is none other than the Los Angeles Dodgers (16.3 percent). Although the Indians will not go down easily, the numbers simply are not in their favor with a 14.4 percent chance of breaking their drought.

Here’s to the Future

While predictions are fun to cast, there’s no telling what will happen during the 2017 MLB season. One thing is for certain though: fans will show up to cheer on their favorite team no matter what. Head over to now to stock up on the latest fan gear and apparel your team has to offer!


Home Run Hot Spots: Dodger Stadium


The Los Angeles Dodgers have a long, vibrant history that starts in 1884 when they were known as the Brooklyn Atlantics and were part of the American Association. After several name changes and some back-and-forth, they became the Brooklyn Dodgers before heading to California in the late ’50s to become the team we know today. The Dodgers have brought home six world championships and boast current players Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager, and Yasiel Puig who now suit up and hit the field at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.

Dodger Stadium History

The Dodgers are originally from Brooklyn, New York. However, when the Dodgers president Walter O’Malley sought to build a new stadium, he was unable to reach a deal. Instead, he uprooted the team in 1957 and headed west to California. The city of Los Angeles agreed to part with a 300-acre slab of land, and while Dodger Stadium was being constructed, the team played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum until Opening Day in 1962.

Dodger Stadium is now the third oldest continually used MLB ballpark, but it’s had the benefit of a few additions, including new suites, scoreboards, and renovations to the field level.

Dodger Stadium has also seen its share of history-making events, including Clayton Kershaw’s incredible no-hitter in 2014 (just a feather in the cap of an all-around amazing season, including a stellar 1.77 ERA and 21 wins – oh, and his third Cy Young Award).



A post shared by Los Angeles Dodgers (@dodgers) on

A bit further back, the Dodgers clinched a World Series win (and sweep!) at home in 1963 over the New York Yankees, thanks in part to the arm of Hall-of-Famer Sandy Koufax. The legendary Koufax also pitched a perfect game in 1965 at the same locale. Famed pitcher Fernando Valenzuela also pitched a historic no-hitter at Dodger Stadium in 1990.

Steeped in history, the home of the Dodgers has led to quite a few home run balls, racking up 169 in 2016. Where do most of them fall? Let’s take a look.

Catching Dodger Dingers


There are a few home run hot spots in the extreme left field – section 53 is probably your best bet if you’re not going to grab outfield seats. If you’re heading to the Left Field Pavilion, shoot for sections 303 or 305. Section 309 is also the bomb when players like Enrique Hernández go yard (he has the distinction of hitting 2016’s longest homer at the stadium at 456 feet). For those wanting to grab a seat in the Right Field Pavilion, try for 304, 308, or 310 to boost your odds of catching a long ball. Chances are fairly good in sections 50 and 52 down the right field line as well.

Whether you’re going to check out Dodger Stadium’s rich history or are hoping to snag a homer yourself, make sure you head to to get all the latest gear before heading to Chavez Ravine.