A Quick Guide To: #SpringTraining

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Spring Questions For All 30 Teams:

Will the Cubs live up to the rampant World Series expectations? Are the D-backs for real? Can David Price make his contract worth it? Are the Royals a dynasty in the making? Do the Blue Jays, Astros and Mets have staying power?

Spring Training preview materials will be loaded with these questions and more, but the obvious truth is that Spring Training itself can’t answer those questions. So the goal in this particular preview, mere days away from pitchers and catchers report dates, is to pose an actual, spring-specific question each Major League club is facing on the cusp of camp.

I’m dedicating this column to the memory of my friend and teammate Tom Singer, who suddenly passed away earlier this week. Tom was one of the more inquisitive and creative minds in the business, and I know he was looking forward to showing up at Spring Training camps and asking unique questions of his own.

Here we go….

NL East

Mets: How carefully should the young starters be eased into the season?

For the Mets, it will be a delicate balance between overworking and underworking Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard after they all saw significant innings increases due to the postseason run. Syndergaard jumped 65 2/3 innings from his 2014 total in the Minors, while deGrom and Harvey jumped 37 2/3 apiece. Because of injury, Steven Matz (15 2/3) didn’t see quite as big an increase, though he, like Syndergaard, is entering his first full Major League season, an adjustment in and of itself. These guys need to be properly prepared for the every-five-day grind, but they should also probably see a less rigorous spring workload than the typical big league starter.

Nationals: Is Trea Turner ready for the big leagues?

The Grapefruit League will be a great test of the Nats’ new-look infield. Anthony Rendon is moving back to his natural position at third base — a fine move in isolation (he grades out better defensively there than at second base). But some scouts believe Daniel Murphy would be far better suited at third than at second base and that Rendon is the better defensive option at second. And then, of course, there’s the big question at short, where the Nats’ options come down to a utility guy (Danny Espinosa) who has spent far more of his career at second, a light-hitting free-agent signee (Stephen Drew) and the top prospect (Turner), who has only played 212 games in what has already been a whirlwind pro career (including 27 with the Nats down the stretch in 2015). Lots of questions in this infield.

Marlins: Can Barry Bonds help Marcell Ozuna’s swing?

New manager Don Mattingly and new hitting coach Bonds pleaded with the front office to keep Ozuna despite the rampant trade rumblings and the disconnect between player and organization last season. Ozuna was one of eight players identified as above-average in each of the five-tool categories by Statcast™, so the potential is off the charts. But his decline in production last season — leading to a controversial stay in Triple-A — was as swift as it was stunning, and spring is an important time for Ozuna and Bonds to develop a positive working relationship.

Braves: Will Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn open any eyes with their spring at-bats?

It’s no secret the Braves would love to move one or both of these guys. So they are destined to receive a steady dose of Grapefruit League at-bats as the Braves try to garner enough interest for a salary dump swap. With Freddie Freeman working his way back from a wrist injury, perhaps Swisher will see some time at first base.

Phillies: Is Tyler Goeddel the next Odubel Herrera?

Last year, Herrera arrived as a Rule 5 Draft pickup and wound up leading the Phillies in WAR (and yes, that says as much about the Phils as it does Herrera). Now, Goeddel is the marquee Rule 5 Draft addition (the first overall pick). That he’ll make the big league club is a foregone conclusion, because the Phillies have nothing to lose by keeping him. The question is how much the athletic but unpolished Goeddel will separate himself from Aaron Altherr, Peter Bourjos and Cody Asche in the battle for playing time in Pete Mackanin’s lineup.

AL East

Blue Jays: Will Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion agree to extensions?

In the lead-up to Opening Day, the new-look front office will have to weigh the attraction of satiating the fan base and ensuring stability in the long-term lineup against the obvious risks that come with power hitters in their mid-to-late-30s. These discussions will take place when all parties arrive in Dunedin, Fla., later this month.

Yankees: CC Sabathia or Ivan Nova?

The last rotation spot is the lone source of genuine positional intrigue in Yankees camp. (That said, Starlin Castro’s continued immersion at second base and first-ever trial at third base, where the Yanks might need him as a Chase Headley backup, is interesting). Sabathia is the former Cy Young Award winner coming off a homer-prone year that ended in alcohol rehab. Nova is the Tommy John alum the Yanks tried to trade. General manager Brian Cashman has said Sabathia’s $25 million salary wouldn’t preclude the Yanks from sticking CC in the bullpen if somebody else (Nova is the obvious candidate, though Bryan Mitchell is another) wins the job outright.

Orioles: What’s the outlook for the outfield?

They’re reportedly making progress with Yovani Gallardo to fill a big hole in the rotation, so let’s focus on the outfield here. Big-bodied Hyun-soo Kim, fresh off signing a two-year contract with the O’s, will arrive from South Korea and try to prove he has the range and athleticism to handle the everyday left-field assignment. Adam Jones was tasked with covering a ton of outfield ground last year, and his performance tailed off in the last two months of the season. At the moment, right field likely belongs to Nolan Reimold, though an O’s team familiar with in-spring splashes could still sign somebody to support or replace him.

Rays: Will James Loney, Desmond Jennings or Brandon Guyer be moved?

It’s a question that presumes a healthy camp, of course, but it would solve a logjam. Dealing Loney would allow Logan Morrison and Steve Pearce to share first, Corey Dickerson to spend the bulk of his time at DH and Jennings, Kevin Kiermaier and Steven Souza Jr. to provide dependable defense in the outfield, with Guyer as a bench option vs. lefties. Or the Rays could move Jennings or Guyer and open up more at-bats for Pearce and Morrison. Whatever the case, one presumes the Rays would be seeking relief help in any deal involving their position player depth.

Red Sox: Can Hanley Ramirez handle first base?

The Red Sox don’t have any position battles, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have position issues. Hanley’s position switch last year — from shortstop to left field — wasn’t subjected to any truly challenging plays during the spring schedule, but obviously the ball is going to find him at first. Because they’re paying Ramirez a ton of money, the Red Sox have no choice but to hope this works — and the same goes for Pablo Sandoval at third. The Panda’s physical condition will, naturally, be a spring storyline all its own.

NL Central

Cardinals: What is Yadier Molina’s timetable?

Molina will spend camp’s early days not swinging the bat or catching bullpen sessions, but building strength back up in his left thumb after having a second surgery this winter. Because there’s no telling how long that process will take and how much it will affect his season preparation, it’s hard to know if Molina will be ready by Opening Day. To say getting him back in a timely matter is important for the Cards is, of course, an understatement.

Pirates: How well is Jung Ho Kang progressing?

Because of the division’s demands, the decisions to deal Neil Walker and non-tender Pedro Alvarez, and the lack of additions of bankable depth options, the Pirates can ill-afford any medical setbacks for Kang, who suffered a fractured tibial plateau and torn lateral meniscus on an ugly takeout slide by Chris Coghlan last September. The move to third base (with Jordy Mercer at short and Josh Harrison replacing Walker at second) will limit Kang’s lateral movement when he returns. As of now, the Pirates are expecting him back in April, with Sean Rodriguez (last seen assaulting a water cooler) filling in and Minor League free agent Cole Figueroa competing for a bench job.

Cubs: Can Kyle Schwarber improve in left field?

As much as we love this Cubs lineup, there’s no denying there are defensive concerns in the outfield, where Jorge Soler had some surprising struggles in ’15, Jason Heyward is moving from right to center and, most importantly, Schwarber was a mess during the NLCS. Schwarber has been working on his first step and flexibility this winter, and that work will be put to the test in Arizona. But his efforts in left coincide with his work behind the plate, where he still hopes to remain an option long-term. Combine all of this with Schwarber’s bid for more at-bats against left-handed pitching, and the kid’s got a lot on his plate.

Brewers: How’s Ryan Braun feeling?

Not that the Brewers are making an earnest effort to contend in 2016, but Braun could stillpotentially play himself into a viable trade chip (provided the Brew Crew is willing to eat some cash, of course) if he’s healthy and producing the way he did for much of ’15. Braun had surgery for a herniated disc in the offseason, but he won’t have a clear idea of how well his back is responding until the regular swings that come in the Cactus League.

Reds: Will a market develop for Jay Bruce?

He only remains in Cincinnati as a function of the unusually deep and late-developing free-agent outfield market this winter, because the Reds, now in full-on rebuild mode, were motivated to move him. Most likely, Bruce will start the season with the Reds and try to piece together enough of a bounce-back campaign to become July trade bait. But all it takes is one spring injury elsewhere to suddenly make the idea of dealing for Bruce more palatable for a contending club. The Reds also have to hope Zack Cozart’s grisly knee injury last year hasn’t affected his defense at short, because he, too, could play himself into trade-chip status.

AL Central

Royals: Can Christian Colon steal playing time from Omar Infante?

In the third year of a four-year deal, Infante will make $7.75 million, and there was a time when that fact alone would settle him into a starting spot for this small-market club. But you might have noticed things are a little different in the realm of the Royals these days, and they’re calling this a legitimate position battle between Infante and Colon, who drove in the winning run in the World Series Game 5 clincher. (Top prospect Raul A. Mondesi will also get consideration but is far more likely to start the season in the Minors). Sure, the Royals are paying Infante a good amount of money, but, hey, they took Colon ahead of Matt Harvey in the 2010 Draft! One way or another, they’ll look for better returns on both of these investments.

Twins: Will Miguel Sano stick in right?

Byung Ho Park’s transition to the bigs is also a major matter in Minnesota, but Sano’s defensive work — directly related to Park’s arrival — will be a more pressing spring concern. Torii Hunter will be in camp as a special assistant to work with the 6-foot-4 Sano in the outfield, and the Twins’ lineup alignment demands that this experiment be successful. Sano was tasked with dropping 20 pounds this winter. Citing a desire to maintain his power, he dropped just five. He’s agile for his size, but this is undoubtedly a big test for him.

Indians: Will Michael Brantley continue his rapid recovery?

He’s the key to the whole darn thing for an Indians team projected by FanGraphs to have the best record in the division despite a less-than-dynamic winter. Brantley didn’t have surgery on his lead shoulder until early November, which means you can count him out for Opening Day and likely all or most of April. But because his recovery has progressed so well so far, Brantley must avoid the temptation to do too much too soon, lest he suffer a setback that crushes a Tribe club already prone toward slow starts.

White Sox: What’s up at short?

Tyler Saladino played terrific defense at third base for the Sox down the stretch last season, but his 68 OPS+ detracted from his value. So it’s an open question whether he’s ready for prime time at a prime spot, and he could be pushed in camp by top prospect Tim Anderson. The other, still-lingering question here is whether the Sox will wind up too tempted by Ian Desmond’s reduced price tag to pass him up. With a protected top-10 Draft pick, the White Sox are better positioned to sign Desmond than many others in the market.

Tigers: Can Bruce Rondon work his way into the bullpen plans?

Well, obviously we’ll be playing close attention to the statuses of Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez. But they’ve both had a healthy offseason, so, at this point, there’s little reason to doubt they’ll be in the Opening Day lineup and, hopefully, ready to produce. But Rondon’s dismissal from the club due to a lack of effort makes him an interesting figure in camp. The Tigers’ bullpen has a new closer in Francisco Rodriguez and better balance overall, but there’s always room for a motivated flamethrower. We’ll soon learn for sure if Rondon is committed to winning the respect of his teammates.

NL West

Dodgers: Will Hyun-Jin Ryu be ready by Opening Day?

And if so, what does that mean for fellow lefty Alex Wood? The Dodgers have assembled rotation depth to allow Ryu to ease into action, rather than rush back from labrum surgery. So the most likely outcome is that he starts the season in extended Spring Training or on a rehab assignment. But the Dodgers could also be tempted to take advantage of Wood’s ability to be optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Giants: How is Joe Panik’s back?

He’s 25 years old and coming off an All-Star season. But that season was cut short by back woes. Doctors have not discovered any structural damage, so Panik did not have surgery. But only time and performance will dictate whether this will be a persistent problem for a club all too familiar with back issues involving their second basemen (see: Sanchez, Freddy and Scutaro, Marco).

D-backs: Can Yasmany Tomas acquit himself in the outfield?

In their bold bid to take a major competitive step forward, there’s no denying the D-backs sacrificed defense by involving Ender Inciarte in the Shelby Miller swap. The question is how much. Tomas enters the year as an everyday corner outfielder (Arizona is still unsure whether he’ll remain in right or swap spots with left fielder David Peralta) after proving he can’t handle the hot corner. Tomas has indicated he’s more comfortable in right field, though the D-backs might prefer to have the better defender there and use this spring to get Tomas acclimated to left. And oh by the way, Tomas, who had a .707 OPS last season, needs to hit, too.

Padres: Can Andrew Cashner limit walks and neutralize lefties?

Yeah, yeah, the spring results don’t matter. But scouts are in the stands for a reason. Cashner is a guy with ace-quality potential when he’s right — and that’s a big deal for a Padres team either hoping to surprise some people in the NL West or use Cashner as a valuable trade piece midseason (or even sooner). Last year, Cashner’s effectiveness against left-handed hitters spiraled (.383 wOBA vs. a .294 mark a year earlier), and his overall walk rate jumped to 8.2 percent.

Rockies: What will Jose Reyes’ punishment be?

In invoking punishments under the sports’ domestic violence policy for the first time, Commissioner Rob Manfred has big decisions to make with Reyes, Yasiel Puig and Aroldis Chapman. But Reyes is the only member of that group who is facing a criminal procedure. He has pleaded not guilty to domestic abuse charges, and his trial is slated to begin April 4 (Opening Day, of course). Manfred can make his decision independent of those proceedings, and there’s no telling how stiff the penalty will be. Reyes is the Rockies’ highest-paid player and a guy they hoped would rebuild his offensive value (and, ergo, his trade value) at Coors Field. Right now, there’s no way of knowing when or if he’ll be on the field in 2016.

AL West

Rangers: Can Jurickson Profar get back in baseball shape?

We’ll venture away from the obvious intrigue surrounding Yu Darvish’s timetable, because, by all accounts, he’s still on track for a May return. Profar provides intrigue of his own. This is a guy who was once considered the top prospect in the game, but hasn’t played a single inning in the field the last two years because of shoulder issues that eventually required surgery. Profar’s bat action as a designated hitter in the Arizona Fall League caught the attention of scouts, and several teams contacted the Rangers in an attempt to buy low on the middle infielder. The Rangers wisely held onto him, and they’ll ease him back into action in the field this spring. His odds of making the big league club are slim to none, barring injury to somebody else. But the Rangers are about to see if Profar can emerge as an important depth piece in their bid to win the AL West again.

Astros: Will Evan Gattis be ready for Opening Day?

It was revealed this week that Gattis required surgery for a sports hernia, sidelining him for four to six weeks. That’s going to hurt his ability to get his timing back before the end of Grapefruit League play, so the Astros will dole out more playing time to Jon Singleton, Matt Duffy, A.J. Reed, Tyler White and Preston Tucker. While the Astros, in letting Chris Carter walk, might generally be trying to get away from the all-or-nothing approach that was one of their calling cards in ’15, Gattis is still clearly a key cog in this offense. He was also hopeful of increasing his value to the team beyond his DH duties, losing weight and doing catching drills in the offseason.

Angels: What’s Albert Pujols’ timetable?

The Angels are getting crushed in many corners for not doing more to improve their production potential around Mike Trout, opting instead for a more contact-heavy approach. Maybe the Halos have it right, but there’s little denying that their lineup look demands healthy and productivity from Pujols, who is working his way back from November surgery on the plantar plate of his right foot. Pujols is already hitting off a tee but is not expected to resume full baseball activities until March, putting Opening Day in jeopardy. Pujols rushed back to action too quickly in 2013, to the point that it affected his performance, and the Angels don’t want that to happen again.

Mariners: Can James Paxton win a rotation spot?

Technically, it’s Taijuan Walker, Nate Karns and Paxton for two spots, though you’d have to imagine the 29 starts and the progress Walker made as ’15 evolved give him the inside edge on one of those. Karns was Dipoto’s first addition in a busy offseason, but Paxton is the guy who was long lauded as one of the M’s prominent prospects. Injury issues have limited Paxton to 30 career starts over parts of three Major League seasons, but the left-hander has dropped some pounds and will come to camp intent on proving he’s ready to turn his potential into production. Other guys potentially in the mix for that last spot are Mike Montgomery, Joe Wieland and Vidal Nuno. Paxton seemingly has the most upside of those options, but he’s got to earn it.

Athletics: What is the rotation beyond Sonny Gray?

Oakland has probably one of the most — if not the most — unsettled rotation situations in the big leagues. The A’s signed Rich Hill with the intent of inserting him into the rotation, though he hasn’t been a regular starter at this level since 2009. After Gray and Hill, it’s a wide-open competition involving Kendall Graveman, Jesse Hahn, Chris Bassitt, Sean Nolin and possibly even Jarrod Parker (who is attempting to come back from two elbow surgeries) and Sean Manaea (a promising trade acquisition who hasn’t pitched above Double-A but who manager Bob Melvin has called a “wild card” in the rotation battle). Should be fun to watch this evolve.

Source: A Spring Training question for all 30 MLB teams.

Power Ranking All 30 MLB Starting Rotations Entering 2016 Spring Training:

SchwarberPanikRamirez

 

Rejoice! Spring training is almost upon us, bringing to an end what has been a hectic offseason, one that saw a slew of starting pitchers change uniforms, whether via free agency or trade. Keeping up with what your favorite team’s rotation looks like, much less the competition’s, has been challenging at times.

Read: Power Ranking All 30 MLB Starting Rotations Entering 2016 Spring Training

What You Need to Know to #win Tuesday Night, #DraftKings #FantasyBaseball

…But First…

The Jets had five takeaways in their 20-7 win in Indianapolis on Monday, three of which were by Darrelle Revis, who recovered two Colts fumbles and intercepted an Andrew Luck pass. Revis had never before had three takeaways in one game. This is after last week when the Browns had five turnovers in the season opener. The Jets are the first team since the 1992 Steelers to have five takeaways in each of their first two games of a season. The Steelers did that in Bill Cowher’s first two games as their head coach – is history repeating with Todd Bowles?

Aside from the Jets looking legit – Indy NEEDS an offensive line.  Luck looked uncomfortable all night and made weird mistakes – some of that has to be attributed to the Jets, but I’m going with the hot-mess upfront.  For those freaking out about Andrew, let’s breathe for a moment – this is not a Drew Brees situation – this is a QB with what was and still is a suspect line that played two quality defenses, back-to-back.  Next up is Tennessee, I’m prettay, prettaaay sure all will be normal for Luck after week 3.  If not, then we can have a full-blown freakout.

As for Gang Green, the D appears to be strong and with Chan Gailey dialing up plays for the Denver Jets, this game could have been a lot worse – Decker and Marshall, each with a touchdown and almost 200yds receiving between them.  Revis Island seems to be a non-vacation spot again and Sheldon Richardson comes back soon to join an already impressive front line.


#NFL week 2 is in the books and it was another successful week and also for those that follow us.  We are still continuing to update+add features to our site – so check it out and join us at theDiRTCanon.com – let us teach you how to #win!!!

Here are week 2’s Perfect Lineups:

Fanduel

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DraftKings

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It’s almost post-season baseball time and with a full-slab of games on tap tonight, it seems like “Revenge of the Lefties” –  we got a lot to get to with SEA+CHC stack ideas and TAM RHB+BOS LHB  – so let’s get it on!

Heaviest Favorites – according to Vegas

Logan Verrett vs. Atlanta Braves (-261) – Raise your hand if you saw this one…Verrett has become a spot start extraordinaire, as his one mission in life is to preserve the innings of Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom.  A tall task indeed, but something that Verrett thus far, has done successfully. Coming into tonight, Verrett owns a 2.89 ERA with a 0.94 WHIP in just two starts. Verrett has pitched only 37 innings this season, but he looks like he’s locked in. Getting a matchup tonight against the Braves is about as good as you could ask for with Verrett. He’s going to cost you next to nothing, priced at just $4,500. Even if Verrett only goes five solid innings, he will certainly be worth the price of admission. Verrett has only allowed two runs in his two starts this season and his looked great in doing so. Without much to go on in the majors, Verrett is someone who’s shown in a short amount of time that he can be a viable option for you tonight. I mean really, can you complain about a pitcher that is just above the minimum?cropped-logo_1260147_print-1-e14180934753933.png

John Lackey vs. Cincinnati Reds (-210) – We’ve seen plenty of this, this season, as Lackey gets a start against the Reds. Lackey enters tonight with a 2.79 ERA to go with a 1.22 WHIP and a K/9 of 7. Going against a team that owns a .316 wOBA in the second half of the season with a K% of 20.8%, Lackey looks primed for another solid start. Owning a career best ERA at this time, Lackey goes against a Reds team who he dominated two starts ago. In that matchup, Lackey went seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits while striking out 10, scoring 25.8 in that start. His price tag certainly matches his production, as I think this is the highest I’ve seen it for Lackey at $10,300.  As the fourth most expensive pitcher on the night, I think Lackey would need some serious consideration to be in your lineup tonight. If you’re thinking about rostering Verrett, you have no excuse to not fit ANY pitcher going tonight, seeing as how much you’ll be saving with his $4,500 price tag.

Lance McCullers vs. LA Angels (-170) – I’ve been a big fan of McCullers since he’s got the call to the big leagues. Coming into tonight, McCullers owns a 3.18 ERA to go with a 1.22 WHIP and a K/9 of 8.9. McCullers gets matched up with a truly weak Angels lineup, a lineup that owns a .291 wOBA in the second half of the season, good for the lowest in the league besides the Braves. A truly baffling stat if you think about the amount of talent this team possesses. They’ve kept the strikeouts down, which of course is disappointing to hear if you’re rostering an opposing pitcher like McCullers. Their 19.5 K% ranks 22nd in the league. However, at this point, the Angels are entering a territory where no matter who is starting against them, you should at least give them a look. Out of sheer curiosity, I looked up what the Angels have done over the past week, and things don’t get much better. The Angels own a .310 wOBA over the last seven day with a 20.6 K%. Things aren’t looking up for the Halos. With a nice price of $9,400, McCullers should be another pitcher you should look at.

Top Overall Game per O/U

Pittsburgh Pirates at Colorado Rockies 11 Over/Under – The Rockies remain at home, so we’re lucky enough to talk about how they’re the highest projected run total of the day, again. This matchup intrigues me. We have a leftie on leftie matchup, with both teams not exactly hitting LHP all that well. On the season, the Pirates own a .306 wOBA against lefties, which ranks 20th in the league. The Rockies are at .283 which is LAST in the league for wOBA. Soooooo, what should we do here? If this game was at Pittsburgh, I would be loading up on Happ like he was shotgun shells during a zombie-apocalypse. But we have to give some respect to Coors Field here. Can the Rockies overcome their woes against lefties with their home field advantage? It truly brings up a tough question. Overall, I don’t think Happ is someone that should scare you off too much. He has his stretches which he pitches great, but also can do the complete opposite in a heartbeat, evident by his 3.84 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. I think if anything, if you want to play it safe tonight, the Pirates will be the way to go. Rusin owns a 5.11 ERA with a 1.56 WHIP. This will be quite the strange game in Coors tonight, one that you might want to watch.

Toughest Pitcher L/R matchup

  • Left handed batters
    • Jake Arrieta CHC (LwOBA .213)
    • Lance McCullers HOU (LwOBA .265)
    • Martin Perez TEX (LwOBA .266)
  • Right handed batters
    • Jake Arrieta CHC (RwOBA .248)
    • Marco Estrada TOR (RwOBA .264)
    • Sean Nolin OAK (RwOBA .269)

Easiest Pitcher L/R matchup

  • Left handed batters
    • Tyler Cravy MIL (LwOBA .403)
    • Henry Owens BOS (LwOBA .403)
  • Right handed batters
    • Matt Moore TAM (RwOBA .396)
    • Tyler Cravy MIL (RwOBA .369)

All Pitcher Stats

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Hottest Hitters – last 7 days

  • Jorge Soler CHC – DiRT Canon Value127.44
  • Dioner Navarro TOR – DiRT Canon Value117.31
  • Franklin Gutierrez SEA – DiRT Canon Value111.10
  • Omar Infante KC – DiRT Canon Value108.40
  • Deven Marrero BOS – DiRT Canon Value108.20
  • Drew Stubbs TEX – DiRT Canon Value107.34

Other notables:  Tommy Pham: 12-22, 4HRs, 9 RBI, 10 runs scored – Anthony Rizzo: 12-28, HR, 7RBI, 2SB, 6 runs scored – Xander Bogaerts: 9-24, 2HRs, 7 RBI, 1SB, 7 runs scored

Best BvP matchup Tonight

David Ortiz vs. Matt Moore- Ortiz will always remember Moore, the man who gave up his 500th home run. The reason alone, Ortiz will always crush Moore when he’s on the mound. What stats back that up? Zero. That was just a hot take. Good one, eh? Ok, Ortiz is 8-18 against Moore with five extra base hits, three of them being home runs (including a 500th) and a 1.529 OPS.

Brian Dozier vs. Danny Salazar-  Dozier has seen Salazar in a small sample, but he’s done quite well for himself in that time. Dozier is 8-15 against Salazar with five extra base hits, two of them being home runs, and a 1.722 OPS.

Miguel Cabrera vs. Jose Quintana- I was talking about this the other day.  He never seems to take advantage of his superior matchups anymore.  Everytime I put him here, or take him, he does not justify his salary. If it wasn’t for the high batting average for Cabrera, could you consider this season a bust for him? I’m leaning towards yes.  At the least, he has a good matchup tonight against Quintana, who he’s 11-30 against with five extra base hits, one of them being a home run, and a 1.041 OPS.  Which he could duplicate if you did not take him, so….you’re move Miggy.


Weather

We seem to be getting the ALL CLEAR sign tonight


Top 4 by Position – in no particular order

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A Pitcher To Consider

Danny Salazar ($11,100) – Salazar has two things I look for when picking my starting pitching for the night. A weak offense, and a high strike out ceiling. Check and check. Facing the Twins tonight, Salazar is certainly in line for a quality start in this one. The Twins own a .307 wOBA in the second half of the season, good for 26th in the league. Add on the fact that they also have the 3rd highest K% in that same time span at 22.7 and you suddenly have a good start lined up. Salazar comes into tonight with a 9.7 K/9 on the season, which has me licking my chops for this one. After a couple of disaster starts for Salazar against Detroit, which saw him give up nine runs in nine innings, he bounced back nicely against the Royals. In that start, Salazar went seven innings giving up one run on four hits while striking out six, which is impressive, as the Royals are the toughest team in the league to strikeout. Even with the expensive price tag, Salazar is certainly worth the price of admission with this start tonight. I mean, you can always pair him with Logan Verrett.

Worth Considering

Matt Carpenter ($4900) –Carpenter, going against Keyvius Sampson, batting leadoff. I could end it right here if I wanted to. But, I’ll give you my reasons. Carpenter batting leadoff against a pitcher who’s allowing a .430 wOBA to left handed batters is a huge reason in itself. Carpenter hits right handed pitching well, with a .328 wOBA and an ISO of .233. In a game that should provide plenty of offense for the Cardinals, Carpenter is in a perfect positon tonight to be a table setter. He’s been hitting extremely well lately and I don’t see that slowing down tonight.

Save $$$…

Mikie Mahtook ($3100) –Mahtook (LSU) has been fantastic since his callup. Batting .289 with four home runs and nine RBIs in his short stint in the majors is about as much as you can ask for (unless your Tommy Pham.) Mahtook hit left handed pitching really well and faces Henry Owens tonight. Owens does fairly well against righties, with a .303 wOBA. However, it’s the .403 wOBA against lefties for Mahtook that really entices me. He’s dirt cheap and his some pop in his bat, something I like to target with my low tiered priced guys. I think you could find a way to squeeze Mahtook into your lineup


The Rest by Position

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Logo_Snap#1

What You Need to Know for Tuesday Night #Baseball

Clemente

Today would have been Roberto Clemente’s 81st birthday – so let’s all toast a legend of the game while we watch StrikeZone!

Heavy Favorites – according to Vegas

Clayton Kershaw vs. Oakland A’s (-221) – Ànother fifth day, another start for Kershaw as the favorite on the night. It’s becoming  routine, so surely on Sunday, Kershaw will be here. Tonight, Kershaw gets the Oakland Athletics, a team that is really struggling to find their groove – ask Stella. Since the second half of the season, the A’s have the lowest wOBA out of ANY team in the league. Think about that for a moment, worse than Atlanta, Miami, crazy to think about, right? So other than the fact that the A’s can’t hit, they’re at least a tough team to strikeout. They maintained that in the second half, as their strikeout percentage stands at 18%, one of the best in both leagues. But truly, with Kershaw entering tonight with a K/9 of 11.3, what does that mean? Maybe he ends up with eight strikeouts on the night? Kershaw has just been that good. Since the All Star break, Kerhsaw owns a 0.92 ERA giving up only four runs in 39 innings and striking out 45. As usual though, he’s going to cost you a fortune to roster. Priced at $15,000, you better get damn creative building the rest of your roster – thankfully I can help with that.
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Francisco Liriano vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (-215)- We were arguing recently, if the Diamondbacks were getting the respect they deserve when it comes to being a good offensive club. They gave Gerrit Cole a run for his money last night. Tonight, Liriano is the second highest favored pitcher of the night. Like Cole, Liriano hasn’t exactly had a stellar month of August. He’s pitched nine innings giving up seven runs on 13 hits with a 9:6 K:BB ratio. Not exactly great numbers when you’re going to face a team that owns the ninth highest wOBA on the month at .331. Overall, Liriano comes into tonight with a 3.19 ERA with a 1.13WHIP and a K/9 of 9.9. Once again, we’re not sure we’re all giddy to throw Liriano on a roster tonight against this D-Backs team. Are they as good as we’re making them out to be? Maybe not, but I can’t feel great about putting pitcher in tonight that hasn’t exactly shown much as of late. At $10,300, it certainly is risky.

RA Dickey vs. Philadelphia Phillies (-190) – We’ll give credit when it’s due, Dickey has been solid as of late. Dickey has given up only four runs in his last three starts on 14 hits and a K:BB ratio of 13:6. For a knuckleballer, that’s pretty good. Tonight, he gets those Phillies that Vegas loves to hate on. After starting off the second half on fire, the Phillies have seen their wOBA slip to the middle of the league at .312, good for 16th. Dickey is of course, one of the toughest pitchers to predict because, quite frankly, even he doesn’t know what the knuckler will do on a particular day, Dickey has had his struggles on the road this season, with his wOBA against is over 60 points higher compared to at home. His price tonight just might make him a serious consideration, as he’s only going to run you for $7000.

Top Overall Game per O/U

Washington Nationals vs. Colorado Rockies (Coors Field) – 11 Over/Under- Vegas is expecting some fireworks in this one. Jordan Zimmermann takes on David Hale in this one. Zimmermann has looked like his old self lately in his past two starts, scoring 22.6 and 30 points against the Rockies and Dodgers. However, of course, pitching in Coors Field adds a whole different dynamic to the equation. As for Hale, he’s coming off the disabled list to return to the rotation, proving how bad their rotation really is. Hale owns a 5.69 ERA on the season with a 1.39 WHIPand a K/9 of 6.6. The Nationals have really been struggling at the plate, owning a .296 wOBA this month, good for 24th in the league. Nothing a little Coors Field can’t fix, right? As always, find a way to work a couple of these hitters into your lineup tonight.

Toughest Pitcher L/R matchup

  • Left handed batters
    • Felix Doubront OAK (LwOBA .218)
    • CC Sabathia NYY (LwOBA .222)
    • John Danks CWS (LwOBA .253)
  • Right handed batters
    • Jacob DeGrom NYM (RwOBA .197)
    • Clayton Kershaw LAD (RwOBA .238)
    • Jordan Zimmermann WAS (RwOBA .256)

Easiest L/R matchup

  • Left handed batters
    • Matt Wisler ATL (LwOBA .436)
    • Tyler Cravy MIL (LwOBA .424)
  • Right handed batters
    • CC Sabathia NYY (RwOBA .385)
    • Felix Dubront OAK (RwOBA .373)

All Pitcher Stats

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Hottest Hitters – last 7 days

  • Chase Utley PHI – DiRT Canon Value 106.66
  • Carl Crawford LADDiRT Canon Value – 101.06
  • Pedro Alvarez PITDiRT Canon Value – 98.37
  • Jackie Bradley Jr BOS  – DiRT Canon Value – 93.63
  • Alejandro De Aza BOSDiRT Canon Value – 90.90
  • Matt Kemp SDP – DiRT Canon Value – 88.86

Other notables:  Joey Votto is 11-for-23 with 2 HR’s, 7 RBI and 6 runs scored.  Miguel Sano is 10-for-24 with 3 HR’s, 9 RBI, a stolen base and 4 runs scored.

Best BvP matchup Tonight

Brian McCann vs. Mike Pelfrey – All is right in the world once again! McCann is 19-40 against Pelfrey with 10 extra base hits, two of them going for home runs, and a 1.368 OPS.

Adrian Beltre vs. Hisashi Iwakuma- If Iwakuma is thinking he’s going to pull out another no hitter, Beltre is here to stop him dead in his tracks. Beltre is 11-33 against Iwakuma with four extra base hits, three of those going for home runs and a 1.008 OPS.

Nick Markakis vs. James Shields- These two have seen a lot of each other back in their AL East days. Tonight, they matchup once again with Markakis 23-74 against Shields with seven extra base hits, two of them being home runs and a .859 OPS.


Weather

Looks like it might be a clear night of baseball!


Top 4 by Position – in no partciular order

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A Pitcher To Consider

Garrett Richards ($9,800) –Raise your hand if you made a weird face when you saw Richards here. I’ll admit, I did, and I’m the one writing this. I have a few reasons to go this route so hear me about before you close this article in disgust and un follow me on Twitter. First off, Kershaw is just too expensive. $15,000. Putting Kershaw on your roster leaves you with $35,000 to work with, or $3,888 on average for each remaining player. Even if you went with Adam Conley, who’s the cheapest pitcher on the night, that leaves you with an average of $3,862 per player. Doable, but tough for sure. Then we have deGrom. Do I like the matchup against Baltimore? I don’t love it. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t hate if you draft deGrom tonight. His WHIP is a ridiculous 0.83 and he doesn’t give up a lot of home runs, only 11 on the year, but at Camden Yards scares me a bit. I have no doubt that deGrom will most likely have a solid start, but at $11,600, I’d at least want to like the matchup a bit more. Baltimore does own the best wOBA against RHP this season. So, with all that being said, here we are with Richards.

After starting off the month hitting way more to the potential people thought the White Sox have, they’ve fallen all the way down to 15th in wOBA in the month of August. Their power is decent, as they’re 10th in ISO this month, but a matchup in LA makes me feel a lot better about dealing with that. The White Sox are also in the middle of the pack in terms of strikeout % sitting at 20.5 on the month, or 14th in the league. I’m ok with that since Richards has a K/9 of 7.1, which I feel as if that’s obtainable tonight or close to it. Overall, for his price tag of $9800, it gives you a good chunk of flexibility that you wouldn’t necessarily get with deGrom and certainly not with Kershaw. Richards certainly isn’t the same caliber pitcher as those two, but matchup wise, I’m feeling good about this one.

Worth Considering

Anthony Rizzo($4900) – Rizzo gets a matchup tonight with the home run happy Anibal Sanchez. The majority of the home runs Sanchez has let up as come from RHB, but Rizzo does such a good job against righties, I like this chances tonight. Rizzo owns a .392 wOBA against righties this season with an ISO of .262. Big numbers for sure against someone who struggles to keep the ball on the park. Sanchez is given up an astonishing 28 home runs on the season. If someone can take him deep, Rizzo is certainly fitting the mold tonight.

Save $$$…

Abraham Almonte ($2000) – Honestly, I’m riding the hot streak right now. Almonte doesn’t have impressive overall numbers, but he’s been hitting well since taking over the every day outfield role in Cleveland. In the month of August, Almonte is batting .286 with two home runs, and eight RBIs. Again, nothing overly impressive, but at just $2000, you have nothing to lose here. Tonight he faces Eduardo Rodriguez, who has an wOBA over .300 against both RHBand LHB. Almonte, being a switch hitter, can take advantage of either side. He’s not a great hitter and don’t expect a ton, but even a 5-7 point night exceeds what you could ask for from someone who’s an everyday starter costing you the minimum price possible.


The Rest by Position

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Randomly Generated Lineup Combinations – Ideas

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What You Need to Know for Friday Night #Baseball

On Tuesday, for the first time since Major League Baseball went to 30 teams, all 15 Home Teams won!  On top of that, Hisashi Iwakuma threw a no hitter at the age of 34, and was the first no-hitter thrown on August 12th.  That is also the 4th no hitter thrown at SafeCo Field, since it opened in 1999 – the most of any ballpark since.  This Link has some good info on all things no-hit related in baseball history.

Heaviest Favorites – according to Vegas

David Price vs. New York Yankees (-230) – A true powerhouse of a matchup today, has the Blue Jays taking on the Yankees. Even with both ball clubs getting it done offensively this year, Price is still your favorite on the day. The Yankess have actually done quite well against leftie pitching this season. On the season, they own a .334 wOBA, good for third in the league. Their strikeout percentage is also one of the lowest in the league against lefties at 18.8. Price has done well in his two stars with his new club, owning a 0.60 ERA with an over wOBA against at .191, but keep in mind this is just two starts, but one of those teams was the Yankees that he faced. In that start, Price went seven innings giving up no runs on three hits and striking out seven. Both parties have good stats against one another, so it’s a matter of who do you trust more tonight?cropped-logo_1260147_print-1-e14180934753933.png

Dallas Keuchel vs. Detroit Tigers (-215)- Keuchel has been fantastic all season long. Coming into tonight, Keuchel owns a 2.41 ERA to go with a 1.01 WHIP and a K/9 of 7.8. Tonight, Keuchel gets a matchup against the Tigers, a team who has the second best wOBA against left handed pitching this season at .339. They do strikeout a bit against them as well, owning the 9th worst in the league at 22.2%. Overall, the Tigers have been stumbling a bit since the Trade Deadline, owning an overall wOBA of .295 since then and a .148 ISO, good for 16th in the league. Like the Tornoto New York game, this is another tough one to predict which side to lean toward. At least in the eyes of Vegas, they like Price and Keuchel in these ones.

Jaime Garcia vs. Miami Marlins (-200) – At least this game is easier to distinguish which side I’m going to be going for. Garcia comes into tonight with a 1.77 ERA to go along with a 0.91 WHIP and a K/9 of 6.2. Garcia is been money since returning from the disabled list, and quite frankly all season, when he’s not injured. His last start against the Brewers saw Garcia go seven innings, giving up no runs on two hits and striking out five. He should have a very similiar result tonight, going up against a weak Marlins team. The Marlins are 16th in wOBA since the trade deadline at .310, but it’s their power that’s been non existent. Coming in at second to last in the league, the Marlins own a .098 ISO since the deadline. Only the Angels are worse in that time span. It’s almost getting to the point where any pither going up against the Marlins has to be considered at least somewhat. Garcia is certainly in that conversation today.

Top Overall Game per O/U

San Diego Padres vs. Colorado Rockies (Coors Field) – 10 Over/Under- Well, get ready for about a week of a Rockies takeover in this section here. We start a homestand at Coors so it’s time to pile on the runs. Tyson Ross gets the start for the Padres going up against Yohan Flande. Ross has had it easy his last few starts, drawing the Mets, Brewers and Phillies his last three, but tonight is a whole new entity. The Rockies come into tonight stumbling a bit since the beginning of August, owning a .292 wOBA on the month and the highest strikeout percentage in the league during that span at 24.5%. As I mentioned, Ross has had a good stretch as of late, but those were against relatively easy teams. Even with the Rockies scuffling a bit, you’d have to be a brave man to start him at Coors tonight. As for Flande, he’s yet to make it past the fifth inning in any of his starts, but that’s more of a precaution measure and not because he’s been pitching poorly. But again, starting him isn’t a wise move, even with the Padres struggling offensively, with a .291 wOBA this month. Try and get some exposure to this one.

Toughest Pitcher L/R matchup

  • Left handed batters
    • Dallas Keuchel HOU (LwOBA .163)
    • Alex Wood LAD (LwOBA .234)
    • David Price TOR (LwOBA .277)
  • Right handed batters
    • Max Scherzer WAS (RwOBA .201)
    • Jaime Garcia STL (RwOBA .219)
    • Corey Kluber CLE (RwOBA .227)

Easiest L/R matchup

  • Left handed batters
    • Matt Cain SFG (LwOBA .421)
    • Alfredo Simon DET (LwOBA .387)
  • Right handed batters
    • Joe Kelly BOS (RwOBA .383)
    • Phil Hughes (RwOBA .372)

All Pitcher Stats

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Hottest Hitters – last 7 days

  • David Ortiz BOS – DiRT Canon Value 115.83
  • Lorenzo Cain KC – DiRT Canon Value – 96.86
  • David Peralta AZ – DiRT Canon Value – 94.79
  • Trayce Thompson CWS – DiRT Canon Value – 94.79
  • Aaron Hill AZ – DiRT Canon Value – 89.75
  • Carl Crawford LAD – DiRT Canon Value – 89.75

Other notables:  Andrew McCutchen is 10-24 with 2 HR’s, 9 RBI, 8 runs scored and DiRT Canon Value of 80.56.  David Ortiz has been on fire, going 10-19 with 4 HR’s, 8 RBI and 7 runs scored.  It has been a while since he stole a base – maybe he’s due?!

Best BvP matchup Tonight

Brian McCann vs David Price – McCann has really had some huge success against Price in his career. I was honestly surprised by the numbers. McCann is 9-19 against Price with three extra base hits, all of them being home runs, and a 1.447 OPS. Let me go roster McCann now.

Kendrys Morales vs. Jered Weaver  – Morales has only seen Weaver in a small sample, but he doesn’t seem to mind getting on base when he faces him. Morales is 8-12 against Weaver with a two extra base hits, one of them being a home run, and a 1.714 OPS.


Weather

We have a threat of rain for the Padres Rockies game. Before going crazy with your Coors stack, keep an eye on the weather.


Top 4 by Position – in no partciular order

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A Pitcher To Consider

Corey Kluber ($10,600) – The majority of the top pitchers going tonight have tough/fairly tough matchups. Then we have Kluber at 10,600, the 4th most expensive pitcher on the night, against the Twins. Bingo. The Twins haven’t done much against RHP this season, with a .302 wOBA, ranked 24th in the league. Then, they rank 8th in strikeout percentage against RHP, at 20.7. It also doesn’t help that they aren’t very patient either, ranking 23rd in BB% at 6.7. The Twins continue to struggle offensively, and they were a mess the last time out against Kluber, who pitched a complete game, giving up one run on three hits and striking out 10. Granted, you can’t anticipate another start like that, but Kluber was in control that entire start and should be again tonight.

Worth Considering

Nelson Cruz ($5800) – Cruz is expensive tonight, but he SHOULD be good to go tonight against Joe Kelly. Kelly has been a mess this season, giving up a .383 wOBA to RHB on the year. He’s also given up 12 home runs, with 8 of those coming against righties. Cruz has been mashingRHP, owning a .402 wOBA with an ISO of .266. Add on the fact that this game is in the hitter friendly Fenway Park, and I feel like we have a lot to love here. If you can afford the high price tag, throw Cruz into that lineup. Just make sure he is indeed starting.

Save $$$…

Chris Young ($2800) – Want to separate yourself from the crowd tonight? How about taking Chris Young against David Price. On the surface, not the best idea. But I’m in Vegas right now and we’re going to go mix it up a bit. It’s been well documented that Young crushes LHP. On the season, he owns a .446 wOBA against them with an ISO of .304. .304! It will certainly be tough against Price tonight, but the ceiling is high for Young.


The Rest by Position

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Lineup Combinations – Ideas

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Back-to-Back World Champs

1. Hats Off!

How is that for irony?!  It was 70yrs ago that the United State of America beat Germany, then Japan – and after Sunday, the Women’s Soccer team did the same thing.  First beating Germany to get to the Final and then defeating Japan to win it all.

Stunningly, it was Carli Lloyd 3, Japan 2.  It’s one thing to score a hat-trick and completely another to do it in 16 minutes – the third a midfield strike.  It was an exclamation that punctuated the National weekend perfectly – just like this call…

2. Car-toon

NASCAR proved this weekend that time is a circle.  Towards the end of the Coca-Cola 400 at Daytona – this happened.  It is not the first time Austin Dillon has been airborne, (last time in 2013 at Talladega, just like Ricky Bobby) but it is eery.  Eery because he drives the #3 car, AND crashed at Daytona, AND Dale Earnhardt Jr ended up winning the race…

3. Stars At Night…

The Rosters have been announced!

Reminder, the starting position players are selected by the fans while the rest of the rosters are voted on by players and selected by managers Bruce Bochy (Giants) and Ned Yost (Royals) – Last year’s World Series participants.

The All-Star rosters are 34 players deep, but only 33 players for each team were announced. The final spot, for each league, is up for grabs via the Final Vote fan voting. Any starting pitchers who pitch Sunday, July 12, are not eligible to pitch in the All-Star Game itself, which will be played at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on Tuesday, July 14. The Home Run Derby will be played the day before, and the Futures Game the day before that.

All 30 teams get at least one representative in the All-Star Game. Keep in mind that injured players will be replaced on the rosters between now and then. Here are the full rosters – funny the politics of it when you consider, at least stats-wise, no Braun or A-Rod:

AL Starters (fan vote)

AL Reserves

AL Pitchers

AL Final Vote Candidates

NL Starters (fan vote)

NL Reserves

NL Pitchers

NL Final Vote Candidates

4. The Times they are a changing…

Funny how several big names never really went anywhere.  LeMarcus left for the Spurs and it appears that David West has joined him – it makes Beckwith wonder how or when Duncan, Aldridge, and West are gonna play – but I digress.  Between the Cavaliers spending $200+million to keep Love, Thompson and Shumpert and other head-scratching signings – there is little doubt how much Ca$h this league has to spend – remember when those same owners cried poverty during the 2011 lockout?  Here are 11 notable signings and the what they signed for:

  1. Paul Millsap
    Atlanta Hawks – 3 years, $58 million
  2. Dwyane Wade
    Miami Heat – 1 year, $20 million
  3. Draymond Green
    Golden State Warriors – 5 years, $85 million
  4. Greg Monroe
    Milwaukee Bucks – 3 years, $50 million
  5. Tobias Harris
    Orlando Magic – 4 years, $64 million
  6. DeAndre Jordan
    Dallas Mavericks – 4 years, $80 million
  7. Kevin Love
    Cleveland Cavaliers – 5 years, $110 million
  8. Goran Dragic
    Miami Heat – 5 years, $90 million
  9. Jimmy Butler
    Chicago Bulls – 5 years, $90 million
  10. DeMarre Carroll
    Toronto Raptors – 4 years, $60 million
  11. LaMarcus Aldridge
    San Antonio Spurs – 4 years, $80 million

 

DiRTy Thursday

Toews scores 10th goal, Chicago ties series

Jonathan Toews scored his 10th goal of the playoffs, tying Patrick Kane for the team lead, in Chicago’s 2-1, series-tying win over the Lightning on Wednesday. The only other playoffs in which the Blackhawks had more than one 10-goal scorer were 1971 (Bobby Hull 11, Jim Pappin 10) and 2010 (Dustin Byfuglien and Patrick Sharp 11 each, Kane 10).

The first four games of this year’s Stanley Cup Final have been decided by the minimum margin. There have been just two other Finals in which the first four or more games were decided by one goal: all five games of the Canadiens vs. Maple Leafs series in 1951 and all four of the Canadiens vs. Blues series in 1968.

Brandon Saad‘s tiebreaking goal in the third period was the game-winner for the Blackhawks. Saad has scored seven goals in the Blackhawks’ 10 playoff games at United Center this year, which ties him with his teammate, Patrick Kane, Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov and Anaheim’sCorey Perry for the most goals in home games in the 2015 playoffs. Going back to the second round of last year’s playoffs, Saad has scored 12 goals in his last 16 postseason games in Chicago.

Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig returned to the Dodgers’ lineup, and last night against the Diamondbacks he was a triple away from the cycle after the fourth inning. It was a very Puig game, complete with a opposite-field homer.

Cardinals have a pair of young aces

Carlos Martinez improved to 7-2 with a win over the Rockies on Wednesday; his fellow 23-year old teammate Michael Wacha is 8-2. The Cardinals are the first team to have two pitchers age 23 or younger win at least seven of their first 12 starts of a season since Dwight Gooden (8-2) and Sid Fernandez (7-2) did so for the Mets in 1986.

A surprising start by Morton

Charlie Morton, who had a 36-61 career won-lost record in the major leagues prior to this season, improved to 4-0 in four starts this year with a win over the Brewers on Wednesday. He’s the first pitcher to win his first four games of a season after entering the year at least 25 games under .500 since Red Ruffing for the Yankees in 1934. Ruffing, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1967, had spent the 1920s with some poor Red Sox teams, before being acquired by the Ruth-and-Gehrig Yankees.

Nationals stun Yankees with late comeback

The Yankees led the Nationals, 4-2 in the eighth inning on Wednesday, but Washington scored twice in the eighth and once in the eleventh to win, 5-4. It was the Yankees’ first loss after leading by two or more runs in the eighth inning or later since August 27, 2012 against Toronto.

The Yankees’ streak of 164 consecutive wins when leading by two or more runs in the eighth inning or later was the longest for any major-league team since the Twins’ 207-game streak from 2004 to 2007. The only longer regular-season streaks for the Yankees were a 183-game streak from 2004 to 2006 and a 174-game streak from 1998 to 2000.

Washington took three of the four meetings between the teams this season, despite trailing by multiple runs in all four games. The Yankees are 28-4 against all other teams this season when they have had a lead of at least two runs.

Hunter loses his mind

Royals return to throne

The Royals finished off their sweep of the Twins and moved two games ahead of Minnesota in the A.L. Central with a 7-2 win on Wednesday. It’s the first time since 1982 that Kansas City has swept a series from a division rival to move into first place, and force their opponent out of first place, at least 50 games into a season. The Royals won three games from the Angels from July 2-4 to move past California into first place in the A.L. West. California wound up winning the division by three games over Kansas City.

Hit the DiRT

We live in a country where “The Pursuit of Happiness” is written into the Declaration of Independence – the pursuit of, not a guarantee.  So the pursuit of one man, who at one point, was the epitome of masculinity, decided to change genders.  I do not  have a problem with it – I do have a problem with the righteous police ordering me how I’m supposed to feel about it.  The world is hard enough.  More than ever, tragedy, violence, mayhem and injustice seem to be the order of the day.  It gets to be impossible to enjoy with a clear conscience whatever little piece of tranquility you’ve carved out for yourself, without being told how to feel about something that is medically possible.  Just because it is possible does not make it natural and just because it is unnatural does not make it unethical – or maybe to some, it does…

What makes us happy anyway?  Maybe the conclusion is that most people are only really happy when something bad doesn’t happen to them – schadenfreude.  Like when the Broncos get blown out of the Superbowl.  Maybe the next time we feel shitty for not feeling shitty about someone feeling shitty is to remember that schadenfreude cancels itself out – because other people feel the same way about our problems.  It’s human nature, it’s our DNA and maybe we aren’t in the first class cabin – we can still take a little joy in knowing those in steerage have to wait for us to get into our lifeboat, before they are even allowed up on the deck of the Titanic.  So who cares how someone chooses to pee.  Let’s stop politicizing everything all the time (ESPN) – happiness is not settling for less, just not being miserable with what is – learn to love the simple things – maybe the point is, happiness does not always require a resolution.


Joey Votto Walked On Three Balls; Everything Is A Lie

Joey Votto Walked On Three Balls; Everything Is A Lie

Yup, that’s a three-ball walk in the 7th inning yesterday – Is there no justice?  Is everything a lie?

Holliday’s continues streak

Matt Holliday, walked and singled in four plate-appearances Monday night.  He has reached base (by hit, walk or HBP) in in all 45 games he’s played this year, the fifth-longest streak to start a season by any major-league player since 1900. The four longer season-starting streaks of that kind in the modern era were fashioned by Derek Jeter (53 games in 1999), Frank Thomas (52 in 1996), Mark McGwire (48 in 1996) and Alvin Davis (47 in 1984).

Brewers side-step Cardinals, 1-0

The Brewers’ victory over the Cardinals Monday night, is only the third time in the expansion era (1961 to present) that a team with the outright worst record in the major leagues had a 1-0 win over the club with the majors’ outright best record entering that game. The other two decisions of that kind were earned by Tampa Bay in September 2007 at Fenway Park (Scott Kazmir struck out 10 Red Sox batters in seven innings) and the Marlins in October 1999 at Atlanta (Cliff Floyd‘s solo homer accounted for the game’s only run.)

nullCashner strikes out 12 on 11 hits

Andrew Cashner struck out 12 batters but allowed 11 hits while pitching only 4 2/3 innings on Monday. No other pitcher in the modern era (1900 to date) allowed at least 10 hits and struck out 10 or more batters while throwing fewer than five innings in one game.

 

nulldeGrom-ming

Jacob deGrom has struck out at least eight batters without allowing a walk in each of his last three games, including Monday’s win over the Padres. The only other pitchers in the modern era (1900 to date) with eight or more strikeouts and no walks in three straight appearances are Cliff Lee (2013) and Ferguson Jenkins (1976, including a four-inning relief stint).

nullDodgers blow up in the 6th vs Rockies

Clayton Kershaw stroked a double and two singles in the Dodgers’ 11-4 victory over the Rockies, becoming the fourth pitcher this season to record a win and three hits in the same game. (The others were Josh Collmenter, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard.) That equals the total number of such performances in the majors all of last season.

If you think the reigning Cy Young Award recipient is a certain winner when he gets at least 10 runs of support….well you’re almost correct. Those pitchers are now 140-1 all-time in that situation, with the lone defeat suffered by the Blue Jays’ Pat Hentgen in 1997 – thanks Pat. Hentgen allowed 11 runs in eight innings in a 13-12 loss to the Red Sox.

Springer + Gattis = Astros rally

The Astros had their major-league leading 16th comeback win of the season on Monday against the Orioles. George Springer‘s single on a 3-0 pitch tied the game at 2-2, and after Jose Altuve‘s sacrifice fly, Evan Gattis singled on an 0-2 pitch to drive in the final two runs. No other major-league team has had RBI hits on 3-0 and 0-2 pitches in the same inning this season.

Yung’ns lead Chicago to win

The Cubs beat the Marlins on Monday, 5-1, with all five runs being driven in by players age 25 or younger: Kris Bryant, Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell and Jorge Soler. The Cubs hadn’t had five different players age 25 or younger drive in runs in the same game since September 14, 1974 (Ron Dunn, Jerry Morales, Rob Sperring, Andre Thornton, Jim Tyrone).

Pujols and Trout slug it out

Albert Pujols and Mike Trout each homered for the Angels on Monday, for the 20th time since they became teammates in 2012 – but Pujols sez the Angels are still more than just Trout. The only other major-league teammates to homer in the same game 20 times over that span are Chris Davis and Adam Jones (also 20).

nullTeixeira slams King Felix

The Yankees scored all seven of their runs off Felix Hernandez in Monday night’s win, highlighted by Mark Teixeira‘s grand slam. It’s was only the fifth home game for Hernandez in which he found himself facing a deficit of seven or more runs.

Teixeira has now hit six home runs off Hernandez, the highest total for any player, now one more than Hernandez’s current teammate, Nelson Cruz.

nullWood helps himself

Alex Wood‘s two-run single gave the Braves an early 2-0 lead and Atlanta went on to defeat the Diamondbacks, 8-1. Braves pitchers have driven in eight runs this season, the most for any team’s pitching staff in 2015.