Newsletter for games through 6-13-21

COMMENTS:

The actual DBacks are in a huge skid and have lost 21 straight road games…Ben Leckie’s team avoided that trap by not playing any road games this week, but he’s also won 5 of the last 10 road games, which will boost your WOR pretty fast…Ben is +13…on the other end of the spectrum, it was going to be hard for Alan to keep the Rays on pace with the 11-game win streak they’re on…and nothing seems to slow down the Orioles, who were 4-1 last week and are now +6 WOR…Seattle has been 5-5 over their last 10 in reality but the ASFBL version went 4-2 this week, best in the AL West…Miami swept Atlanta this week, in what’s a bigger ASFBL series than real-life…and the Rockies helped the rest of the NL East by taking 2 of 3 from the Braves…Cubs and Brewers are in a dead tie in the NL central and both had winning weeks this time around…Giants are the real-life surprise and went 5-1 in the ASFBL this week, all on the road…Pirates couldn’t play the spoiler against the Brewers this week, and Milwaukee swept the home series…Jays swept Boston in Boston…Daniel Bard of Colorado walked 8 runners in 7.33 innings but didn’t allow anyone to score…Tarik Skubal of the Tigers had 20 strikeouts in 9.67 innings last week…Leutge of the Yankees stranded all 5 runners he inherited this week…Salvador Perez of the Royals hit .364 and had 10 RBI last week…Ryan Jeffers of the Twins lead the ASFBL with 14 RBI…he only had 7 hits and only 2 HR….but also had 2 doubles and a triple…Justin Upton of the Angels led all of ASFBL with a .526 average on the week…Merrifield stole 6 bases…29 owners submitted lineups last week! Five more trades, including a PTBNL completion….in the quintessential trade that made both teams better, the Royals and Mariners swapped some big names and were a combined 8-5…

FEATS AND FAILURES:

Salvador Perez (Kansas City)  had 5 hits (on 6/7/2021 against Anaheim) 
Whit Merrifield (Kansas City) stole 3 bases (on 6/7/2021 against Anaheim) 
Tucker Davidson (Atlanta) struck out 4 times (on 6/8/2021 against Philadelphia) 
Gregory Polanco (Pittsburgh) struck out 4 times (on 6/8/2021 against Los Angeles) 
Dominic Smith (New York (NYM)) struck out 4 times (on 6/8/2021 against Baltimore) 
Jose Devers (Miami) struck out 4 times (on 6/8/2021 against Colorado) 
Chas McCormick (Houston) hit 3 homers (on 6/8/2021 against Boston) 
Chas McCormick (Houston) hit 6 RBI (on 6/8/2021 against Boston) 
Chas McCormick (Houston)  had 5 hits (on 6/8/2021 against Boston) 
Teoscar Hernandez (Toronto) struck out 4 times (on 6/8/2021 against Chicago (CWS)) 
Jared Walsh (Anaheim) hit 6 RBI (on 6/8/2021 against Kansas City) 
Steven Duggar (San Francisco) struck out 4 times (on 6/9/2021 against Texas) 
William Contreras (Atlanta) struck out 4 times (on 6/9/2021 against Philadelphia) 
Yadiel Hernández (Washington) struck out 4 times (on 6/9/2021 against Tampa Bay) 
Jon Lester (Washington) struck out 12 batters (on 6/10/2021 against San Francisco) 
Lance Lynn (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 13 batters (on 6/11/2021 against Detroit) 
Jacob deGrom (Anaheim) struck out 11 batters (on 6/11/2021 against Arizona) 
Jonathan Villar (New York (NYM)) stole 3 bases (on 6/12/2021 against San Diego) 
Bobby Dalbec (Boston) struck out 4 times (on 6/12/2021 against Toronto) 
Ryan Jeffers (Minnesota) hit 7 RBI (on 6/12/2021 against Houston) 
Andrew Vaughn (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 4 times (on 6/13/2021 against Detroit) 
Tarik Skubal (Detroit) struck out 11 batters (on 6/13/2021 against Chicago (CWS)) 
Brandon Woodruff (Milwaukee) struck out 12 batters (on 6/13/2021 against Pittsburgh) 
Ben Gamel (Kansas City) struck out 4 times (on 6/13/2021 against Oakland) 
Joey Gallo (Texas) struck out 4 times (on 6/13/2021 against Los Angeles) 

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NEWSLETTER FOR GAMES THROUGH 6-6-21

NO-HITTER! Sonny Gray (Cincinnati) threw a no-hitter on 5/31/2021 against Philadelphia…great news for the Reds this week…had 1 walk and struck out 11…no hit-saving plays behind him…by my count, that’s 6 ASFBL no-hitters this year, and the second by Sonny Gray…he also had a 1-hitter…and I don’t know how I missed this, but Corbin Burnes of the Brewers threw an 11-inning no hitter back on April 18…would have been a perfect game but for Kolten Wong’s error…

COMMENTS

The Rays moved into first in the AL East, with the Yankees and Jays lurking just behind and at or above the real-club performance…Orioles are heating up in real-life and Mark has them +3 WOR, so watch out…Alan shared a Theo Epstein piece on how modern stats/training are massively helping pitchers and I quipped to Steve Skrovan that the Orioles must not have gotten that memo when they put up 18 runs on his beloved Clevelanders…they put up 10 on the Mets the very next game…instant karma…fantasy Orioles and real Orioles have each scored double-digit runs four times this year…ASFBL club did it against the Mets on May 12…life imitating art, or at least fantasy simulations…Nationals have the best NL East record over the last 10 games…Braves holding to first despite a soft week…they’re 17-12 in the division…NL Central is a dogfight with the Cubs, Brewers, and Cards all within 1.5 games of each other…Cubs are 16-4 over their last 20…Chisox have the best record in the AL over the last 30 games, the last 20 games, and the last 10 games…they got 6 homers and 17 RBI out of Devers last week, which was an adjustment…he only hit .211 in real life…his ASFBL average is now within 6 points of his real average…he’s got 18 ASFBL homers and 15 in real life…Royals went 5-1 and pushed into positive-WOR territory…Houston righted itself and latched on to first with a 6-1 week…combined AL west record was 20-12 last week, and 19-6 if you count the top 4 teams…best inter-league record goes to the Dodgers, who are 9-3, followed by the Jays at 9-4….the two teams don’t play this year…top two WOR teams are Dodgers and DBacks, who share the same division…3 of the top 5 are in the west when you add in Anaheim…don’t count out Oakland, who’s been quietly moving up the standings and is shaving away at the WOR after that absurd real-life run…if they hit even WOR they’ll be in first…Matt Olson hit .478 for them last week…Texas is also a strong +4 WOR (top-6 in the ASFBL), and might have something to say about that division before it’s all over…Adam Frazier hit .478 for Pittsburgh last week..Houston had 4 players hit better than .400 last week (Gurriel, Tucker, Bregman, and Papierski)…makes Altuve’s .364 seem kinda small…there were 5 ASFBL trades since last week, which is pretty normal, but 4 were completed before the stats were updated on Monday, which is really unusual…25 lineups submitted last week…thanks for staying so on top of things!

FEATS AND FAILURES

Jacob deGrom (Anaheim) struck out 12 batters (on 5/31/2021 against San Francisco) 
Marcus Stroman (New York (NYM)) struck out 4 times (on 5/31/2021 against Arizona) 
Max Scherzer (Washington) struck out 12 batters (on 6/1/2021 against Atlanta) 
Andrew Stevenson (Washington) struck out 4 times (on 6/1/2021 against Atlanta) 
Buster Posey (San Francisco) struck out 4 times (on 6/1/2021 against Anaheim) 
Ryan Mountcastle (Baltimore) struck out 4 times (on 6/2/2021 against Minnesota) 
Brett Phillips (Tampa Bay) struck out 4 times (on 6/3/2021 against New York (NYY)) 
Kevin Kiermaier (Tampa Bay) struck out 4 times (on 6/3/2021 against New York (NYY)) 
Kevin Gausman (San Francisco) struck out 13 batters (on 6/3/2021 against Chicago (CC)) 
Franchy Cordero (Boston) struck out 4 times (on 6/4/2021 against New York (NYY)) 
Mike Wright (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 11 batters (on 6/4/2021 against Detroit) 
Jose Siri (Houston) hit 6 RBI (on 6/5/2021 against Toronto) 
Jorge Mateo (San Diego) struck out 4 times (on 6/6/2021 against New York (NYM))

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Newsletter for games through 5-30-21

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT

Bypassing the normal division-by-division review for random observations…on May 13 Raph’s Reds scored 13 runs in the 8th inning, erasing an 11-run deficit…only to give up 2 in the bottom of the 9th and go to extra-innings…where they scored in the top of the 10th and won 14-13…Two days earlier the Padres also scored 13 runs, this time in the 6th, and cruised to a 15-3 victory…those the the top-2 innings all year…there have been 167 shutouts so far in the ASFBL this year…the Yankees have thrown 7 shutouts on the road, tops in the ASFBL…most recently a 1-0 gem by Gerrit Cole against the Tigers on the last game of this week…Atlanta is the only team not to be shut out at home this year…the Chisox, Twins, Braves, and Astros haven’t been shut out on the road…which means Atlanta is the only team not to be shut out all year…the Braves did, however, shut out the Mets for 3 consecutive games between 5/17 and 5/19…there were seven games last week were more than 10 runs were scored, and twice by the Padres…two of those games involved shutting out the other team…on the other end of the spectrum, there were 11 games that ended 1-0…Dodgers have the best actual walk percentage at 11.6%…only the Yankees and Oakland are also over 10%…Atlanta and the Chisox have the best actual team OPS and are the only two over .800…If you look at the most ASFBL homers for the entire roster, the league leader is Torotno, but if you look at players on the active roster then it’s Toronto, however, if you pull from the actual games, then it’s Toronto…this leads me to believe that Toronto might be the team to call if you’re looking for power…pulling from the actual games so far the Padres have scored the most runs (286) and have the most hits (506), but if you look at the actual roster they drop down to the middle of the pack…Twins, Angels, and Texas have the best net defense, and the Nationals have straight up robbed the most hits with 27…Cardinals went 6-1 but lost ground to the Cubs who were 6-0…Oakland moved into second in the AL west with a strong 5-2 performance…Tigers produced a winning week, and are an easy team to cheer for…the actual Atlanta team is in shambles but Danny has this fantasy group firing on all cylinders and 8 games over .500…if you’ll permit two real-life digressions, you might have been able to estimate how interested I am in my day job by last week’s supplemental newsletter asking the question “What if the Angels never tried to make any trades?”…wonder how Tony LaRussa feels about Matt Joyce hitting a grand slam off of an infielder-turned-pitcher en route to a 17-3 win over the Reds last night…

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SUPPLEMENT: The Angels would be much better if they never tried to think

In the time before covid, in one especially long and terminally boring faculty meeting, I started musing about all the good players the Angels once had and have let go. I started to wonder what the team would be like if the front office never tried to do anything fancier than draft players and develop them. Here are the rules: Keep all the players you draft. If they’re good, match their free agent offers and keep them around. Don’t trade to get anyone and never sign a free agent. From what I can tell, had the Angels done this the pitching would have been much better, the hitting would have been notably better, and the payroll would have been considerably lower.

PITCHING

Here’s the pitching staff with year drafted, name, and 2019 stats. The rotation is Chatwood, Hendricks, Clevinger, Corbin, and Canning. Not quite sure what to do about Skaggs and Richards, but this group had a 3.70 ERA over 902 innings; the actual club was 5.12 and ranked 12th in the AL.

2008Tyler Chatwood5-3 3.76
2009Kyle Hendricks11-10 3.46
2009Tyler Skaggs
2009Garrent Richards
2009Patrick Corbin14-7 3.25
2010Cam Bedrosian3-3 3.23
2011Mike Clevinger13-4 2.71
2012Austin Adams2-2 3.79
2012Mike Morin1-3 4.62
2012Yency Almonte0-1 5.56
2013Keynan Middleton0-0 1.17
2014Justin Anderson3-0 5.55
2017Griffin Canning5-6 4.58

HITTING

For grins I’m adding 2019 OPS+ and Career OPS+. 2019 OPS+ average for these guys was 108 (109 for career, so these were pretty typical years). The actual team was 94.

PositionYr draftedName2019 OPS+Career OPS+
OF2009Randall Grichuk93105
OF2009Mike Trout185176
OF2010Cole Calhoun108105
1B2012CJ Cron103110
SS2015David Fletcher9794
2B2002Howie Kendrick142109
3B2002Sean Rodriguez8887
C2005Buster Posey84128
C2004Martin Maldonado7573

SALARY

And, of course, the punch line is that these 20 guys would have a payroll of $103m, using their actual 2019 salaries (which thus assumes that they could have been re-signed at their 2019 salary by the Angels, although they did that with Trout so Posey is the only real question mark). The actual Angel payroll was $177m.

By not signing free agents they would have missed out on Simmons and Ohtani, but they also wouldn’t have been saddled with this list of players all of whom had negative Wins-Abover-Average: Pujlos ($28m, -1.7 WAA), Upton ($18m, -1.9), Cozart ($12.6m, -1.6), Harvey ($11m, ugh), LuCroy ($3.5m, -1.7), Justin Bour ($2.5m, -1.2), and Trevor Cahill ($9m, -1.2). That’s about $85m in salary that’s making you worse than if you just used a AAA guy.

CAVEAT

OK, I know I’m only looking at the top 20 guys and there would be another 10-15 who shuffled in and out at various points (I’ve got 900 innings on this page and the actual Angels threw 1,440, so those additional 500 innings would have to come from somewhere). But those guys would also lower the average salary, and if you add to the mix mid-range free agents to plug holes that could be dumped if they don’t pan out, those AB/IP are pretty easily filled. But, no matter how you slice it, the 2019 team of drafted Angels would be much better than the 2019 team of actual Angels. Once we are all off of zoom for half our lives the next boring faculty meeting will bring an even more detailed analysis….

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Newsletter for games through 5-23-21

RHYMING UPDATE: I have written a script to immediately alert me if the Bader-Hader matchup ever occurs…it hasn’t happened yet…

NO-HITTER! Sonny Gray did what 6 actual pitchers have done on 5/19/2021 against San Francisco…struck out 16 in the process.

COMMENTS: Must have been the advent of the AAA players or the lunar eclipse, but 12 trades involving more than a third of the teams happened this week…Giolito and Judge were two of the big names involved…“Trader” Ben Leckie of the Dbacks made 3 of them…Danny’s Braves went 7-0 to move into a first-place tie with Steve Clemmons’ Marlins in the NL East…the teams combined for a 12-1 record…and Andy’s Nationals started to rumble with a 4-3 week…the Cubs produced the only winning record in the NL Central and faced back to relevance with a 6-1 mark, although Chris Zewiske’s Brewers still hold the top of the division…the Dbacks are +8 WOR and Al’s Padres have a 61% win percentage, but Rick is stomping his way through the NL with a 36-11 record…Johnny Mac’s Blue Jays held on at the top of the AL East, although Alan’s Rays are starting to head up…Jays, Rays, and Yankees are all within 2 games of each other…Leo’s trading frenzy paid off and he went 5-1 and gained ground in the central…which remains the most competitive division in the AL…Twins, Cleveland, and Chisox would all lead three other divisions…Jim Casey pulled forward in the AL West, and John’s Oakland ground quietly slid into second…Ben’s Rangers have the best defense in the ASFBL…Nationals are right behind…those figures come from active rosters only…Oakland has hit 79 ASFBL homers…DBacks are second at 77…Toronto leads MLB with 71…Pablo Lopez of the Marlins leads the ASFBL with 8 wins..his record in real life is 1-3…ERA is almost identical (2.73 vs. 2.79)…JA Happ pitched 16.33 scoreless innings for the Twins last week…Ohtani struck out 24 in 14 innings…

FEATS AND FAILURES

Tucker Barnhart (Cincinnati) struck out 4 times (on 5/17/2021 against San Francisco) 
Lance Lynn (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 11 batters (on 5/17/2021 against Minnesota) 
Max Scherzer (Washington) struck out 14 batters (on 5/17/2021 against Chicago (CC)) 
Buster Posey (San Francisco)  had 5 hits (on 5/18/2021 against Cincinnati) 
Ryan Mountcastle (Baltimore) struck out 4 times (on 5/18/2021 against Tampa Bay) 
Alex Kirilloff (Minnesota) hit 6 RBI (on 5/18/2021 against Chicago (CWS)) 
Dylan Carlson (St. Louis) struck out 4 times (on 5/18/2021 against Pittsburgh) 
Kyle Tucker (Houston) hit 8 RBI (on 5/18/2021 against Oakland) 
Mitch Garver (Minnesota) struck out 4 times (on 5/19/2021 against Chicago (CWS)) 
Yu Darvish (San Diego) struck out 11 batters (on 5/19/2021 against Colorado) 
Trevor Bauer (Los Angeles) struck out 11 batters (on 5/19/2021 against Arizona) 
Bryce Harper (Philadelphia) stole 4 bases (on 5/20/2021 against Miami) 
Guillermo Heredia (Atlanta)  had 5 hits (on 5/20/2021 against Pittsburgh) 
Alex Wood (San Francisco) struck out 12 batters (on 5/21/2021 against Los Angeles) 
Matt Chapman (Oakland) struck out 4 times (on 5/22/2021 against Anaheim) 
Seth Brown (Oakland) hit 7 RBI (on 5/22/2021 against Anaheim) 
James Kaprielian (Oakland) struck out 15 batters (on 5/22/2021 against Anaheim) 
Brock Holt (Texas) stole 3 bases (on 5/23/2021 against Houston) 

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Newsletter for games through 5-16-21

REMINDER: AAA players will be available next week! Also, remember that after you’ve made roster moves and adjusted pitcher roles you still need to set the rotation…click on that link to the right for a short video about how to do your lineups.

ANOTHER CYCLE! William Contreras (Atlanta) pulled it off on 5/15/2021 against Milwaukee!

COMMENTS: Alan’s Rays thumped my Mets by scoring 9 runs in the first game of the series…man, we really held them in check that game; they scored 14 and 12 in the next 2 matches..but it wasn’t just Met pitching that boosted Tampa and the team went 5-1…they are part of a logjam in the AL east where the Yanks and Orioles have positive WOR numbers, making everything a little more competitive…only Tim’s Twins had a winning record in the AL Central, although Leo’s Chisox are 7-3 over the last 10…but Tim’s +9.5 WOR is just gaudy…and I’d be remiss not to point out that Steve Skrovan has the Indians +2 WOR and ready go pounce if Leo stumbles…Jim’s Astros finally made it to the top of the AL West…John’s Oakland club creeps every closer to their actual performance…the actual Mariners have a team average that dipped below the Mendoza line…a fact that was tweeted by the beat writer the moment it happened…Adam’s Phillies made a move in the NL East…presuming Steve Clemmons can only use black magic to keep the fish afloat (yeah, that was intentional) the top of that division could go to the wire…Raph’s Reds made the most ground up in the NL Central, but Colby’s work with the Pirates is still the best in the division so far…best WOR in the division and 5-3 in interleague play…Rick has avoided the actual Dodger collapse and ran the table this week…but the rest of the division is a net +4 WOR so I don’t think anything is going to come easy…biggest CWS win was 8-5 this week and Mercedes only went 0-3, so no need for Leo to chew out his star hitter for not respecting the game…the Cubs’ Nico Hoerner has only 42 at-bats but is hitting .400 and would lead the league if we finished today…only guy in the league hitting over .400…the 14-17 hitters in overall batting average are all on the Angels or the Mets and are all headed to the DL (Nimmo, Trout, JD Davis)…best real team ERA goes to San Diego, but the Dodgers are second, so look for some low-scoring games there…the Yankees have the best real-HR percentage, but then again so do the actual Yankees and they’re 12th in the AL in scoring…we’ve had 3 trades a week every week for the last 3 weeks…consistency is the key to success in baseball…

FEATS AND FAILURES:
Tucker Barnhart (Cincinnati) struck out 4 times (on 5/10/2021 against Pittsburgh) 
Martin Maldonado (Houston) struck out 4 times (on 5/10/2021 against Anaheim) 
Will Craig (Pittsburgh) struck out 4 times (on 5/11/2021 against Cincinnati) 
Jean Segura (Philadelphia) hit 6 RBI (on 5/11/2021 against Washington) 
Robbie Grossman (Detroit)  had 5 hits (on 5/11/2021 against Kansas City) 
Cavan Biggio (Toronto) struck out 4 times (on 5/11/2021 against Atlanta) 
Teoscar Hernandez (Toronto) hit 7 RBI (on 5/11/2021 against Atlanta) 
Jackie Bradley Jr. (Milwaukee) struck out 4 times (on 5/11/2021 against St. Louis) 
Yasmani Grandal (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 4 times (on 5/11/2021 against Minnesota) 
Kyle Garlick (Minnesota) struck out 4 times (on 5/11/2021 against Chicago (CWS)) 
Trent Grisham (San Diego)  had 5 hits (on 5/11/2021 against Colorado) 
Jose Marmolejos (Seattle) struck out 5 times (on 5/11/2021 against Los Angeles) 
Kyle Seager (Seattle) struck out 4 times (on 5/11/2021 against Los Angeles) 
Jake Cronenworth (San Diego) hit 6 RBI (on 5/12/2021 against Colorado) 
Jameson Taillon (New York (NYY)) struck out 11 batters (on 5/13/2021 against Tampa Bay) 
Nicholas Castellanos (Cincinnati) hit 6 RBI (on 5/13/2021 against Colorado) 
Andrew Knapp (Philadelphia) struck out 4 times (on 5/14/2021 against Toronto) 
Ronald Acuna Jr. (Atlanta) hit 6 RBI (on 5/14/2021 against Milwaukee) 
Martin Maldonado (Houston) hit 6 RBI (on 5/14/2021 against Texas) 
Jose Marmolejos (Seattle) struck out 4 times (on 5/14/2021 against Cleveland) 
Trevor Bauer (Los Angeles) struck out 11 batters (on 5/14/2021 against Miami) 
Willy Adames (Tampa Bay) hit 4 homers (on 5/15/2021 against New York (NYM)) 
Willy Adames (Tampa Bay) hit 6 RBI (on 5/15/2021 against New York (NYM)) 
Mark Canha (Oakland) hit 3 homers (on 5/15/2021 against Minnesota) 
Mark Canha (Oakland) hit 6 RBI (on 5/15/2021 against Minnesota) 
Mitch Garver (Minnesota) struck out 4 times (on 5/15/2021 against Oakland) 
Gerrit Cole (New York (NYY)) struck out 13 batters (on 5/15/2021 against Baltimore) 
Austin Riley (Atlanta) struck out 4 times (on 5/15/2021 against Milwaukee) 
Andrew Knapp (Philadelphia) struck out 4 times (on 5/16/2021 against Toronto) 
Cavan Biggio (Toronto) struck out 4 times (on 5/16/2021 against Philadelphia) 
JaCoby Jones (Detroit) struck out 4 times (on 5/16/2021 against Chicago (CC)) 
Lance McCullers Jr. (Houston) struck out 15 batters (on 5/16/2021 against Texas)

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Newsletter for games through 5-9-21

MINOR LEAGUE UPDATE: We’ll have access to them on the May 24th update. I know that’s a little later than we’d like, but minor league uploads are the trickiest part of the process, we haven’t done them in over a year, and all the minors are now reorganized. There’s also never been a season when the minors started this much later than MLB so my internal clock is off on this one, and as a general rule minor league stats are more unstable anyway so we probably need more than 2 weeks before most of the pitchers can get over 10 innings.

ALL HITTING CEASED! Dylan Cease (Chicago (CWS)) threw a no-hitter on 5/4/2021 against Cincinnati!!!! Struck out 16 in the process…

ALL FOUR TYPES OF HITS; Jesse Winker (Cincinnati) hit for the cycle on 5/9/2021 against Cleveland….and out-hit his opponents 4-3…

COMMENTS: The karmic oeuvre of Adam Symonds haunted the NL this week…his current Phillies went 5-2 and were bested only by his prior team, Ben’s Diamondbacks, who went 5-1…Adam also lives in Arizona and frequents the DBack ballpark…only Hugh’s Rockies and Josh’s Cardinals had 4 wins in the NL…with Miami coming back down to earth a little bit Danny’s Atlanta club started making a move in the NL East…the top 4 teams in the AL East are within 2 games of each other but Alan’s Rays chalked up 4 wins and if they pull even with the regular club will be right in the mix…Kudos to Mark Yee and Mark Chen for having the Yankees and Orioles on overdrive…the AL central might be the best ASFBL division right now; Leo ran the table and has the Chisox atop the central, but Steve’s Clevelanders had 5 wins…they are followed by Tim’s Twins who lead the AL with 6.5 games over reality and Mike’s Royals, who are still +2.5 after a tough week…so you gotta feel for Pat’s Tigers, who aren’t the greatest actual club and have found themselves in a brutal division….Leo’s team has the best actual ERA in the ASFBL…Padres are second, and have a better WHIP…nobody in the AL west had a losing week, and although Greg kept the Angels in the top spot Jim‘s Astros inched closer and John and Ben had the A’s and Rangers burst through with 5-2 weeks…the division was 21-12 on the week…Hugh pointed out to me that going into the week his team had zero saves, which made me check, and sure enough the only win by fewer than 3 runs was a bottom-of-the-ninth walk-off win…this week he had 3 saves…The Dodgers and Oakland each have 15…only 2 of 30 runners inherited by the Dodger bullpen have scored…that’s 7%…The Orioles and Marlins have each only allowed 11% to score…league midpoint is about 30%…no team has more fantasy homers than the DBacks with 60…best fielding net goes to the Braves, who have robbed 2 more hits than they have allowed via bad plays or errors…Nationals have the most hit-saving plays overall…28 lineups turned in this week and 3 more trades!!!!

CODING NOTES: Thanks to Ben Brockreide, I found a bug in the way pitchers were being used in the “least used” option…bug has been squashed like a rat in the Citibank dugout area…

FEATS AND FAILURES

Chad Wallach (Miami) struck out 4 times (on 5/4/2021 against Arizona) 
Zac Gallen (Arizona) struck out 12 batters (on 5/4/2021 against Miami) 
Andrew Vaughn (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 4 times (on 5/4/2021 against Cincinnati) 
Wil Myers (San Diego) struck out 4 times (on 5/4/2021 against Pittsburgh) 
Carlos Rodon (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 11 batters (on 5/5/2021 against Cincinnati) 
Zack Wheeler (Philadelphia) struck out 12 batters (on 5/5/2021 against Milwaukee) 
Zack Wheeler (Philadelphia) struck out 4 times (on 5/5/2021 against Milwaukee) 
Travis Shaw (Milwaukee) struck out 4 times (on 5/5/2021 against Philadelphia) 
Joc Pederson (Chicago (CC)) struck out 4 times (on 5/5/2021 against Los Angeles) 
Shohei Ohtani (Anaheim) struck out 4 times (on 5/5/2021 against Tampa Bay) 
Mike Trout (Anaheim) struck out 4 times (on 5/5/2021 against Tampa Bay) 
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Toronto) struck out 4 times (on 5/5/2021 against Oakland) 
Max Scherzer (Washington) struck out 12 batters (on 5/7/2021 against New York (NYY)) 
Gerrit Cole (New York (NYY)) struck out 12 batters (on 5/7/2021 against Washington) 
Kevin Gausman (San Francisco) struck out 4 times (on 5/7/2021 against San Diego) 
Javier Baez (Chicago (CC)) struck out 4 times (on 5/8/2021 against Pittsburgh) 
Jose Berrios (Minnesota) struck out 11 batters (on 5/8/2021 against Detroit) 
Ryan Mountcastle (Baltimore) struck out 4 times (on 5/8/2021 against Boston) 
Franchy Cordero (Boston) struck out 4 times (on 5/8/2021 against Baltimore) 
Rafael Devers (Boston) struck out 4 times (on 5/8/2021 against Baltimore) 
Shohei Ohtani (Anaheim) struck out 16 batters (on 5/8/2021 against Los Angeles) 
Chris Taylor (Los Angeles) struck out 4 times (on 5/8/2021 against Anaheim) 

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Newsletter for games through 5-2-21

PROPS: If you are interested in ASFBL newcomer Josh Mitchell’s honor thesis on franchise building strategies analyzed through computer simulations, the link is here. It checks in at a pretty tight 11 minutes, or roughly the amount of time it takes A Mike Trout home run to land. It’s pretty good work and he had to overcome some pretty lame advising to finish, so congrats to Josh! Josh has also pulled off 2 trades so far… And, in case your email inbox looks like mine and you missed it, Leo Leckie has compiled a list of trades by owner…three new trades this week…

MUSINGS: Yesterday the Mets and Cardinals were scheduled and both Jacob deGrom and Blake Hicks came up with injuries…the game was rained out and nobody ever took the field…baseball is a dangerous tame.

COMMENTS: This is our first week on the regular 7-day schedule…four of five teams in the AL East had winning records last week…the Mark Yee’s Yankees went an impressive 6-1, no doubt bolstered by all the digital fans who bought tickets just to boo the Astros…but nobody booed Jim Casey and the Astros had a winning week themselves…Mike’s Royals and Leo’s Chisox are lockstep at the top of the AL central…and the division is super-competitive, with four of five teams 2.5 games ahead of the actual club, or even more…John’s Oakland club put together a winning week, and Greg’s Angels keep out-performing the real bunch and hung onto first for another week…the Angels have the only plus-WOR record in the division…I don’t know that’s I’ve seen this before, but on a per-division basis the AL central is ahead of the actual clubs, the AL west is generally behind them, and the AL east is almost dead even…the actual Dodgers are crashing, but not Rick Wynne’s group…as always, Rick’s club is constantly tweaked and upgraded…his bullpen has allowed only 2 of 27 inherited runners to score…Rob’s Pirates had the only winning week in the NL central…don’t overlook Al’s Padres in the west; the real team thinks they have a shot and Al’s club is taking the same approach…they were 4-1 this week…Danny Wildes‘ Braves are a sleeper in the NL; they’re +3 WOR, strong overall, and are ready to pounce if the Steve Clemmons’ fish falter…Ranger pitchers have issued the lowest percentage of actual walks…Angels actual batting average is .270, tops in the ASFBL…Mark Chen’s Orioles have only allowed 5 of 39 inherited runners to score…Philly and Dodger pitchers have left the fewest runners for others to deal with at 27…league high is 62

FEATS AND FAILURES

Gerrit Cole (New York (NYY)) struck out 12 batters (on 4/26/2021 against Baltimore) 
Tyler Glasnow (Tampa Bay) struck out 14 batters (on 4/26/2021 against Oakland) 
Ty France (Seattle) struck out 4 times (on 4/26/2021 against Houston) 
Lance McCullers Jr. (Houston) struck out 12 batters (on 4/26/2021 against Seattle) 
Kevin Gausman (San Francisco) struck out 12 batters (on 4/26/2021 against Colorado) 
Brandon Lowe (Tampa Bay) struck out 4 times (on 4/27/2021 against Oakland) 
Eli White (Texas) struck out 4 times (on 4/27/2021 against Anaheim) 
Adam Duvall (Miami) struck out 4 times (on 4/28/2021 against Milwaukee) 
Alec Bohm (Philadelphia) struck out 4 times (on 4/29/2021 against St. Louis) 
Javier Baez (Chicago (CC)) hit 6 RBI (on 4/29/2021 against Atlanta) 
Julio Urias (Los Angeles) struck out 12 batters (on 4/29/2021 against Milwaukee) 
Nick Heath (Arizona) struck out 4 times (on 4/29/2021 against Colorado) 
Nick Heath (Arizona) struck out 4 times (on 4/30/2021 against Colorado) 
Gerrit Cole (New York (NYY)) struck out 15 batters (on 5/1/2021 against Detroit) 
Freddy Galvis (Baltimore)  hit for the cycle! (on 5/1/2021 against Oakland) 
Nick Maton (Philadelphia) struck out 4 times (on 5/1/2021 against New York (NYM)) 
Jacob Nottingham (Milwaukee) struck out 4 times (on 5/2/2021 against Los Angeles) 
Sam Hilliard (Colorado) struck out 4 times (on 5/2/2021 against Arizona) 
Jacob deGrom (New York (NYM)) struck out 18 batters (on 5/2/2021 against Philadelphia) 
Jacob deGrom (New York (NYM))  threw a no-hitter! (on 5/2/2021 against Philadelphia) 
Pete Alonso (New York (NYM)) struck out 4 times (on 5/2/2021 against Philadelphia) 

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Newsletter for games through 4-25-21

APOCRYPHAL ANNOUNCEMENTS: In addition to this missive I also edit the Senate Forum at Cal. State Fullerton, a turgid yet rabid publication dedicated to topics like state budgeting, general education requirement changes, and any other matter of academic trivium….it’s also where, for the first 3 hours of its existence, I had posted last week’s ASFBL newsletter…The Mets activated Stephen Tarpley last week who made his first MLB appearance and faced the required 3 batters…and thanks to Rick Wynne’s dog Fenway, who has recorded the same number of MLB innings/outs as Mr. Tarpley…seriously, best wishes to Fenway…I just love any infinity sign in the record books…shout out to ASFBL newcomer Josh Mitchell, who this week will be presenting his honor’s thesis at CSUF…the topic is “modern-day moneyball” and he ran 400 simulations using 4 different management strategies…that’s doing college right…the main conclusion was that home-grown approaches seem to do the best…develop those minor leagues…

RARITIES: Corbin Burnes (Milwaukee) threw a no-hitter! against Pittsburgh on the 18th, striking out 17 batters along the way. Of course, Madison Bumgarner might have done that if they’d have let him go all 9….as an even more rare feats David Peralta (Arizona) hit for the cycle on April 22….

COMMENTS: The weekly records are off a tick because they are designed for a 7-day week, but Steve Clemmons’ Marlins are killing it…tied with the Dodgers for the best NL record…Chris Zewiske’s Brewers are also on fire…8-2 over the last 10…and dead even with the actual club…I don’t even know what to say to John Weerts because I have no idea how the actual Oakland club has won 13 of 14…when I last checked the box score 7 of the hitters had batting averages below .250…3 were under .200…how do those stats add up to a win streak?….filing this under the “it’s a long season” category…the SD/LA rivalry is causing a bit of stir out here in LA…and both Rick Wynne’s Dodgers and Al Benedek’s Padres are ahead of the actual club…it’s a race to watch…top 2 WOR spots in the NL go to the aforementioned Marlins and Danny Wildes’ Braves…and I know in my heart Andy Somers is going to have the Nationals firing on all cylinders before this is over…Steve Leslie’s Bosox lead the AL East, but the Jays, Yankees, and Orioles all have plus-WOR records…keeping the pressure up…4 of 5 teams in the AL central are plus-WOR…Mike Mendoza’s Royals and Leo’s Chisox set the pace with 5 wins each…hats off to Greg Achten who has the Angels on top the the AL west and a game and a half ahead of the actual Angels…and from his in-game text messages you’d think the Angels were in last place…teams named after sock colors are first (Boston, .276) and second (Chicago, .269) in real batting average…best actual HR percentages go to the Yankees and Tigers….best control as measured by lowest walk percentages are the Twins and Rays…one more tip of the cap to Greg Acthen…the Angels have the lowest actual ERA of any ASFBL team…pretty impressive to be in first place while sitting on that stat….

FEATS AND FAILURES:

Gerrit Cole (New York (NYY)) struck out 11 batters (on 4/16/2021 against Tampa Bay) 
Tyler Naquin (Cincinnati) struck out 4 times (on 4/16/2021 against Cleveland) 
Tucker Barnhart (Cincinnati) struck out 4 times (on 4/16/2021 against Cleveland) 
Sandy Alcantara (Miami) struck out 11 batters (on 4/16/2021 against San Francisco) 
Brandon Woodruff (Milwaukee) struck out 14 batters (on 4/16/2021 against Pittsburgh) 
Gary Sanchez (New York (NYY)) struck out 4 times (on 4/17/2021 against Tampa Bay) 
Shane Bieber (Cleveland) struck out 13 batters (on 4/17/2021 against Cincinnati) 
Freddy Peralta (Milwaukee) struck out 11 batters (on 4/17/2021 against Pittsburgh) 
Andrew Heaney (Anaheim) struck out 12 batters (on 4/17/2021 against Minnesota) 
Yonathan Daza (Colorado)  had 5 hits (on 4/18/2021 against New York (NYM)) 
Niko Goodrum (Detroit) struck out 4 times (on 4/18/2021 against Oakland) 
Ian Kennedy (Texas) struck out 13 batters (on 4/19/2021 against Anaheim) 
Luke Raley (Los Angeles) struck out 4 times (on 4/20/2021 against Seattle) 
Luis Robert (Chicago (CWS))  hit for the cycle! (on 4/20/2021 against Cleveland) 
Rhys Hoskins (Philadelphia) struck out 4 times (on 4/20/2021 against San Francisco) 
Alex Dickerson (San Francisco) struck out 4 times (on 4/21/2021 against Philadelphia) 
Trevor Story (Houston)  had 5 hits (on 4/21/2021 against Colorado) 
Max Scherzer (Washington) struck out 12 batters (on 4/21/2021 against St. Louis) 
José Iglesias (Anaheim) struck out 4 times (on 4/21/2021 against Texas) 
Carlos Rodon (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 12 batters (on 4/21/2021 against Cleveland) 
Gerrit Cole (New York (NYY)) struck out 13 batters (on 4/21/2021 against Atlanta) 
Jacob deGrom (New York (NYM)) struck out 11 batters (on 4/21/2021 against Chicago (CC)) 
Josh Rojas (Arizona) hit 7 RBI (on 4/22/2021 against Cincinnati) 
Shohei Ohtani (Anaheim) hit 6 RBI (on 4/22/2021 against Houston) 
Dustin May (Los Angeles) struck out 11 batters (on 4/22/2021 against San Diego) 
Javier Baez (Chicago (CC)) struck out 4 times (on 4/23/2021 against Milwaukee) 
Wyatt Mathisen (Arizona) struck out 4 times (on 4/23/2021 against Atlanta) 
Kyle Tucker (Houston) hit 7 RBI (on 4/23/2021 against Anaheim) 
Willie Calhoun (Texas)  had 5 hits (on 4/23/2021 against Chicago (CWS)) 
Rhys Hoskins (Philadelphia) struck out 4 times (on 4/23/2021 against Colorado) 
Trevor Rogers (Miami) struck out 11 batters (on 4/23/2021 against San Francisco) 
Sheldon Neuse (Los Angeles) struck out 4 times (on 4/23/2021 against San Diego) 
Corbin Burnes (Milwaukee) struck out 13 batters (on 4/24/2021 against Chicago (CC)) 
Gary Sanchez (New York (NYY)) struck out 4 times (on 4/24/2021 against Cleveland) 
Nick Maton (Philadelphia)  had 5 hits (on 4/24/2021 against Colorado) 
Niko Goodrum (Detroit) struck out 4 times (on 4/25/2021 against Kansas City) 
Danny Duffy (Kansas City) struck out 12 batters (on 4/25/2021 against Detroit) 
Xander Bogaerts (Boston)  had 6 hits (on 4/25/2021 against Seattle) 
Rafael Devers (Boston) hit 6 RBI (on 4/25/2021 against Seattle) 
Rhys Hoskins (Philadelphia) hit 6 RBI (on 4/25/2021 against Colorado) 
Chad Wallach (Miami) struck out 4 times (on 4/25/2021 against San Francisco) 

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ASFBL Opening Day 2021!!

Decorative Note: Please appreciate our opening day bunting 🙂

No Hitter! Two in actual MLB, and the ASFBL gem was thrown by Ryan Weathers (San Diego) on 4/5/2021 against San Francisco. Different guys, same team with MLB-ASFBL karma…

Comments: Congrats to Mark’s Yankees, Tim’s Twins, and Steve’s Marlins, who take the top 3 WOR spots out of the gate…bummer for the Dodgers, Bosox, and A’s…when a real team goes on a hot streak it rarely shows up in cumulative stats, and it’s hard to overcome the hot start of a real team…of course, the real teams are still 3 games ahead of the ASFBL at this point, so the numbers don’t quite add up….the best and worst newcomer performances go to…Josh Mitchell, our only entirely new owner, and he’s in a 3-team logjam for third in the AL west…which is a more competitive division than it’s been in the past…special shout-out to Rick’s Dodgers, who have the only double-digit win to start…8 trades have already been completed, two on the lineup deadline day, and both by Jim Casey…Jim’s in first…the Yerminator is hitting .475 in the ASFBL…and is still by Byron Buxton’s .481…Buxton also leads the ASFBL in homers…one-third of all his hits in MLB this year have left the park…deGrom has 5 more ASFBL strikeouts than Beiber…Beiber has pitched 7 fewer innings…Cleveland and San Francisco have the best real power numbers…look for them to adjust upward in coming weeks…Toronto has the best real-ERA of any fantasy team…it’s under 2.00…the AL East has no team under .500…Philly had a tough start but split 2 with the Mets, who currently lead the division…and are likely to stay competitive right up to the point deGrom’s arm falls off…Dodgers and Twins were both undefeated in inter-league play…

Reminder: Be sure to set the rotation in addition to naming your starters…updating them on the roster page doesn’t assign them to starts…you can do all this automatically by clicking the link on the rotation page, if you wish.

Feats and Failures:

Gerrit Cole (New York (NYY)) struck out 11 batters (on 4/1/2021 against Toronto) 
Akil Baddoo (Detroit) struck out 5 times (on 4/1/2021 against Cleveland) 
Shane Bieber (Cleveland) struck out 11 batters (on 4/1/2021 against Detroit) 
Willson Contreras (Chicago (CC)) struck out 4 times (on 4/1/2021 against Pittsburgh) 
Alec Bohm (Philadelphia) struck out 4 times (on 4/1/2021 against Atlanta) 
Tyler Glasnow (Tampa Bay) struck out 13 batters (on 4/1/2021 against Miami) 
Jacob deGrom (New York (NYM)) struck out 15 batters (on 4/1/2021 against Washington) 
Carlos Rodon (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 11 batters (on 4/1/2021 against Anaheim) 
Evan Longoria (San Francisco)  had 5 hits (on 4/1/2021 against Seattle) 
Zach McKinstry (Los Angeles) struck out 4 times (on 4/2/2021 against Colorado) 
Pavin Smith (Arizona) struck out 4 times (on 4/2/2021 against San Diego) 
Victor Caratini (San Diego) struck out 4 times (on 4/2/2021 against Arizona) 
Corbin Burnes (Milwaukee) struck out 11 batters (on 4/3/2021 against Minnesota) 
Mike Trout (Anaheim)  had 5 hits (on 4/3/2021 against Chicago (CWS)) 
Austin Dean (St. Louis) struck out 4 times (on 4/4/2021 against Cincinnati) 
Byron Buxton (Minnesota) hit 8 RBI (on 4/4/2021 against Milwaukee) 
Dom Nunez (Colorado) struck out 4 times (on 4/4/2021 against Los Angeles) 
Dustin May (Los Angeles) struck out 12 batters (on 4/4/2021 against Colorado) 
Renato Nunez (Detroit) struck out 4 times (on 4/5/2021 against Minnesota) 
Justin Turner (Los Angeles) hit 8 RBI (on 4/5/2021 against Oakland) 
Justin Turner (Los Angeles)  had 5 hits (on 4/5/2021 against Oakland) 
Jonathan Villar (New York (NYM)) struck out 4 times (on 4/6/2021 against Philadelphia) 
Jacob deGrom (New York (NYM)) struck out 13 batters (on 4/6/2021 against Philadelphia) 
Steven Matz (Toronto) struck out 11 batters (on 4/6/2021 against Texas) 
Mark Canha (Oakland) struck out 4 times (on 4/6/2021 against Los Angeles) 
Trevor Bauer (Los Angeles) struck out 14 batters (on 4/6/2021 against Oakland) 
Jorge Soler (Kansas City) struck out 4 times (on 4/7/2021 against Cleveland) 
Danny Duffy (Kansas City) struck out 11 batters (on 4/7/2021 against Cleveland) 
Shane Bieber (Cleveland) struck out 12 batters (on 4/7/2021 against Kansas City) 
Joe Musgrove (San Diego) struck out 11 batters (on 4/7/2021 against San Francisco) 
Jose Berrios (Minnesota) struck out 11 batters (on 4/8/2021 against Seattle) 
Corbin Burnes (Milwaukee) struck out 11 batters (on 4/8/2021 against St. Louis) 
Zach McKinstry (Los Angeles) struck out 4 times (on 4/9/2021 against Washington) 
Wade Miley (Cincinnati) struck out 12 batters (on 4/9/2021 against Arizona) 
Zack Collins (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 4 times (on 4/10/2021 against Kansas City) 
Aaron Civale (Cleveland) struck out 11 batters (on 4/10/2021 against Detroit) 
Tucker Barnhart (Cincinnati) struck out 4 times (on 4/10/2021 against Arizona) 
Anthony Bemboom (Anaheim) struck out 4 times (on 4/11/2021 against Toronto) 
Jacob deGrom (New York (NYM)) struck out 12 batters (on 4/11/2021 against Miami) 
Carlos Rodon (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 11 batters (on 4/11/2021 against Kansas City) 
Brandon Woodruff (Milwaukee) struck out 11 batters (on 4/11/2021 against St. Louis) 
Trea Turner (Washington) struck out 4 times (on 4/11/2021 against Los Angeles) 
Huascar Ynoa (Atlanta) struck out 11 batters (on 4/11/2021 against Philadelphia) 
Rhys Hoskins (Philadelphia) struck out 4 times (on 4/11/2021 against Atlanta) 
Bo Bichette (Toronto) struck out 4 times (on 4/12/2021 against New York (NYY)) 
Victor Robles (Washington)  had 5 hits (on 4/12/2021 against St. Louis) 
Kyle Isbel (Kansas City) struck out 4 times (on 4/12/2021 against Anaheim) 
Shane Bieber (Cleveland) struck out 12 batters (on 4/12/2021 against Chicago (CWS)) 
Cavan Biggio (Toronto) struck out 4 times (on 4/13/2021 against New York (NYY)) 
Corbin Burnes (Milwaukee) struck out 11 batters (on 4/13/2021 against Chicago (CC)) 
Javier Baez (Chicago (CC)) struck out 4 times (on 4/13/2021 against Milwaukee) 
Jake Cave (Minnesota) struck out 4 times (on 4/14/2021 against Boston) 
Jose Trevino (Texas)  had 5 hits (on 4/15/2021 against Tampa Bay) 

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