Newsletter for games through 9-12

Commentary

The games this week were played with the volume on mute to prevent Francisco Lindor from whistling into the Yankee dugout…as in real life, Tatis leads Ohtani by 1 home run, 48 to 47….as in real life, Ohtani has way more wins, innings pitched, and strikeouts…Zach Wheeler leads MLB with 195 innings, and in the ASFBL he’s 6th behind Gausman, Buehler, Alcantara, Strohman, and Woodruff…all those guys are in the MLB top-10…Giants, Brewers, and Marlins have the top 3 actual team ERAs for their pitching staffs…Toronto, Chisox, and the Nationals have the best team real batting averages…Astros top MLB….Cubs and Chisox are 2 and 3 in most ASFBL homers…Brewers lead…Marlin and Angel pitchers have issued the fewest ASFBL walks…MLB may not have a 20-game winner this year, but Walker Buehler of the ASFBL Dodgers has 18 wins and might have a shot…Sean Manaea of Oakland pitched 11 scoreless innings last week, the most pitched without allowing a run…Atlanta seized control of the NL East with a 5-1 record as the Marlins hit a rough patch…three of the Atlanta wins were head-to-head against Miami….Brewers needed to go 5-1 so the Cubs didn’t pick up ground with their 4-2 record…the Brewers can thank the Giants, who took 2 of 3 from the Cubbies to boost the Brewer fortunes…Rockies were the only team other than the Dodgers to post a winning record in the NL west…Toronto continues to pound their way into the AL East command with a 6-1 week…I don’t know if you saw this, but they scored 27 runs over a 4-inning span in MLB last week…they scored in double-digits 4 times this week in the ASFBL, and 7 or more runs in 6 of their 7 games…which makes it super-impressive that Gil and the Yankees shut them out in their lone loss…Royals had a massive 6-1 week, best in the AL central…it’s too late to make a run at the Chisox, but they are still a dark horse wildcard team…the Houston-Oakland-Anaheim race in the AL west stays competitive, and all 3 teams had winning records this week, with Oakland’s 5 wins as the best of the bunch…Reds are having a tough ASFBL year, but Joey Votto is just as impressive in the sim as in real-life and knocked 3 homers against the Cubs this week…thanks to those of you who have been sending me side notes about the Mets in the ESPN 30-for-30 series…definitely made me feel more sympathy for Doc Gooden and his down year in 1986…although I still would rather have been Doc Gooden going through the struggles than anyone trying to bat against him…

Feats and failures

Bobby Witt (Kansas City) struck out 4 times (on 9/6/2021 against Baltimore) 
Christian Yelich (Milwaukee) struck out 4 times (on 9/6/2021 against Philadelphia) 
Nelson Cruz (Minnesota)  had 5 hits (on 9/7/2021 against Cleveland) 
Kris Bryant (Chicago (CC)) hit 6 RBI (on 9/7/2021 against Cincinnati) 
Joey Gallo (St. Louis) struck out 4 times (on 9/7/2021 against Los Angeles) 
Ryan Mountcastle (Baltimore) struck out 4 times (on 9/8/2021 against Kansas City) 
Bo Bichette (Toronto)  had 5 hits (on 9/8/2021 against New York (NYY)) 
Joey Votto (Cincinnati) hit 3 homers (on 9/8/2021 against Chicago (CC)) 
Yasmani Grandal (Chicago (CWS)) hit 6 RBI (on 9/8/2021 against Oakland) 
Ranger Suarez (Houston) struck out 11 batters (on 9/10/2021 against Anaheim) 
Ryan McMahon (Colorado) struck out 5 times (on 9/11/2021 against Philadelphia) 
Rafael Devers (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 4 times (on 9/11/2021 against Boston) 
Jose Berrios (Minnesota) struck out 11 batters (on 9/11/2021 against Kansas City) 
J.D. Davis (New York (NYM)) struck out 4 times (on 9/12/2021 against New York (NYY)) 

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Newsletter for games through 9-5-21

More cycles!

Manny Machado (San Diego) hit for the cycle on 8/31/2021 against Arizona in a pure, 4-4 fashion…also had a walk…Arizona hung in there, though, and the Padres had to use their closer en route to a 6-4 victory

Commentary

The fantasy Mets are happy to announce that if were up to us we would activate a fully healthy Jacob deGrom and could do so since neither the current GM nor the predecessor in that position has been guilty of sexual harassment or driving under the influence…the Dodgers swept the Giants in ASFBL, in what was the most-watched series of the week…the Dodgers also took 2 of 3 from the Braves, who nonetheless went 4-3 on the week and gained ground in the NL East…the Cubs came roaring back and went 5-1 to pull within 1.5 of the Brewers…and it turns out they got some help from those same Giants, who took 3 of 4 in a long series with Milwaukee…if the season were to end with the Brewers and Braves taking their divisions, the big battle would be between those Cubs and the Giants for the last wildcard spot…and the Padres continue to stay right in the mix with a current hold on the top wildcard spot and the second-best record in the league…the Jays and their +9.5 WOR continue to hold the top of the AL East, but the Rays are 22-8 over the last 30 — as hot as the real club — and picked up half a game last week…the Rays currently have the top wildcard spot…Leo and the Chisox are cruising to the AL central crown, which I think has already been mathematically sealed…and has been consistent winning about 67% of the games over the last 10, 20, and 30 contests…Oakland is second in the AL West — one spot better than the actual club — and the Angels fought to stay competitive with the best record in the division…Current win totals for the second AL wildcard spot: Oakland (72), Yankees (71), Angels (70)…and in the hotly-contested WOR championship, the Rangers moved a half-game in front of the Orioles, who are a half-game in front of the Diamondbacks….three terrible actual teams made much better by their ASFBL owners and creating a race exactly as the ASFBL rules intended…Fullerton footnote: Josh Mitchell and I sit on the Cal State Fullerton budget committee together, making largely ignored recommendations on a $600 million budget…and given our combined WOR total of -30.5 maybe they would do well to ignore our opinions on what to do with a bunch of numbers…

Feats and Failures…

Alec Bohm (St. Louis) struck out 4 times (on 8/30/2021 against Cincinnati) 
Hunter Renfroe (Boston) struck out 4 times (on 8/30/2021 against Tampa Bay) 
Lance McCullers Jr. (Houston) struck out 11 batters (on 9/1/2021 against Seattle) 
Tyler Mahle (Cincinnati) struck out 11 batters (on 9/1/2021 against St. Louis) 
Paul Goldschmidt (Philadelphia) struck out 4 times (on 9/1/2021 against Washington) 
Jeimer Candelario (Milwaukee) hit 6 RBI (on 9/2/2021 against San Francisco) 
Patrick Wisdom (Chicago (CC)) struck out 4 times (on 9/2/2021 against Pittsburgh) 
Charlie Blackmon (Colorado) struck out 4 times (on 9/2/2021 against Atlanta)

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Newsletter for games through 8-29-21

COMMENTARY

City of Anaheim update — the Shohei Ohtani neon pillows (given away at entrance on August 31) were going on eBay for $300…had a friend who had tickets and got the to gate 40 minutes before start time and they were already gone… Jorge Mateo of San Diego got one each of every hit on 8/26/2021 against Los Angeles….except for a single…one hit shy, but the Padres won 6-2…every NL division leader (Atlanta, Milwaukee, and the Dodgers) had a winning week, but the Marlins gained ground anyway going 5-1 to the Braves’ 3-2…and let me check my notes here, um, its August, so Rick Wynne must be leading the division and is posting the best record in the league…yep, checks out…outside the Marlins, the Phillies were 4-2 and are clawing their way back to .500…they’re the only NL east team with a winning record in inter-league games…Tampa Bay picked up a game on the Blue Jays and is in the driver’s seat for the AL wildcard…they are an ungodly 23-7 over their last 30 games, so let’s all eat what Alan is having for breakfast…Yankees are not quite as hot as the actual Yankees but are still 18-12 over their last 30…and are one game behind Oakland in the wildcard race…the Orioles were 3-3 but that’s plenty to keep them ahead of the actual club in the WOR standings…where Mark Chen trails Ben’s Rangers by half a game…the Rangers were also 3-3, so the key might be which actual club collapses the fastest over the last month…Leo isn’t letting Rick run away with the “best record” moniker, posted a 6-1 week, has a 21-game lead in the division, and the real drama is whether at 86 wins he can catch the Dodgers who have 89…..Royals and Indians both posted winning records…Kansas City did so by taking 2 of 3 from the Astros, making themselves a spoiler in a different division…Cleveland swept the Bosox…the Angels had the only winning record in the AL west, but the division is Houston’s to lose and Oakland currently holds the second wildcard spot…Texas is the hottest team over the last 30 (20 wins)…Toronto isn’t especially hot, but they have twice as many wins within the division as losses and are 15-5 in interleague play…Scherzer, Buehler, and Gausman each have 16 wins…Urias leads MLB with 15…Sonny Gray has 4 complete games, one more than any in MLB…and he only has 56 fantasy innings…Gausman also leads ASFBL with 191 innings…182 tops MLB (Wheeler)…season ends Oct 3, so we’ve got 5 lineups left…I love pennant races!!!!!!

FEATS AND FAILURES

Carlos Hernandez (Kansas City) struck out 11 batters (on 8/23/2021 against Houston) 
Jacob Stallings (Pittsburgh) struck out 4 times (on 8/25/2021 against Arizona) 
Willy Adames (Tampa Bay) kicked 3 errors (on 8/25/2021 against Philadelphia) 
C.J. Chatham (Philadelphia) kicked 3 errors (on 8/26/2021 against Arizona) 
Miguel Sano (Minnesota) struck out 4 times (on 8/26/2021 against Boston) 
Mike Yastrzemski (San Francisco) struck out 4 times (on 8/26/2021 against New York (NYM)) 
Gerrit Cole (Philadelphia) struck out 13 batters (on 8/27/2021 against Arizona) 
Paul DeJong (St. Louis) hit 6 RBI (on 8/27/2021 against Pittsburgh) 
Fernando Tatis Jr. (San Diego) struck out 4 times (on 8/27/2021 against Anaheim) 
Matt Chapman (Oakland) struck out 4 times (on 8/28/2021 against New York (NYY)) 
Bo Bichette (Toronto) struck out 4 times (on 8/28/2021 against Detroit) 
Brandon Lowe (Tampa Bay) struck out 4 times (on 8/28/2021 against Baltimore) 
Javier Baez (Chicago (CC)) struck out 4 times (on 8/28/2021 against Chicago (CWS)) 
Salvador Perez (Kansas City) struck out 4 times (on 8/28/2021 against Seattle) 
Asdrubal Cabrera (Arizona) struck out 4 times (on 8/29/2021 against Philadelphia) 
Adolis García (Texas) struck out 4 times (on 8/29/2021 against Houston) 

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Newsletter for games through 8-22-21

COMMENTARY

Musings on Met malaise…one reason I love watching baseball even when my favorite team is terrible is the strange things that happen…while getting blown out last week the Mets put in backup utility guy Brandon Drury to pitch the 9th…and he couldn’t finish it…so they sent int another position player to finish mopping up…you know things are bad when you have to make a pitching change because your emergency white-flag player can’t even throw strikes…The NL division race is between Gordon’s Cubs and Chris’ Brewers….Brewers are up by 2 losses, and Cubs gained a game this week…Last week Washington took 2 of 3 from the Brewers to help out he Cub cause, and the Reds took 2 of 3 from the Brewers to help the Cub cause….meanwhile, the Braves, Marlins, and Nationals are slugging it out in the NL East and are all within 4.5 games of each other, with the Braves gaining the most ground…crucially, the Braves took 2 of 3 from the Marlins in a head-to-head series…Oakland and Houston are providing the most drama in the AL, and both were 3-4 last week…Texas is the spoiler you don’t want to play right now, and they ran the table at 6-0 and are 8-2 over their last 10, moving into a tie with the Orioles for the top wins-over-reality spot…the real factor is which actual team will blow it the most in the last 5 weeks of the season…and a shout out to the Dodgers, Jays, and Chisox who have put themselves in the driver’s seat going into the stretch run…Padres seem to have a lock on the top NL wildcard spot (for now), and the Brewers/Cubs runner-up will probably claim the second spot, but if the Giants can pull a Rangers-like run they are definitely in contention…Rays and A’s have the top 2 AL wildcard spots, but the Yankees, Twins, and Angels are within 5 games, and I’m not counting the Rangers out of anything at this point…best record in the NL went to the Diamondbacks, who are quietly .500 over the last 30 games, which is quite a feat given the tailspin the actual club is in…watching the little league world series and wondering if we really need a world championship for 12-year-olds…seems mostly like a “first to puberty” contest…and then I watch the Angel bullpen and wonder why they weren’t recruiting out of the little league games…

FEATS AND FAILURES

Aristides Aquino (Cincinnati) struck out 4 times (on 8/16/2021 against Chicago (CC)) 
Austin Hedges (Cleveland) struck out 4 times (on 8/16/2021 against Minnesota) 
Trent Grisham (San Diego) struck out 4 times (on 8/16/2021 against Colorado) 
Trevor Bauer (Los Angeles) struck out 12 batters (on 8/16/2021 against Pittsburgh) 
Michael Chavis (Boston) struck out 4 times (on 8/17/2021 against New York (NYY)) 
Gerrit Cole (Philadelphia) struck out 13 batters (on 8/17/2021 against Arizona) 
Pete Alonso (New York (NYM)) struck out 4 times (on 8/17/2021 against San Francisco) 
Yoan Moncada (New York (NYY)) struck out 4 times (on 8/18/2021 against Boston) 
Seattle and Texas played14.5 innings on8/19/2021
Aaron Nola (Kansas City) struck out 12 batters (on 8/19/2021 against Houston) 
Mitch Garver (Minnesota) struck out 4 times (on 8/19/2021 against New York (NYY)) 
Garrett Hampson (Chicago (CC))  had 5 hits (on 8/20/2021 against Kansas City) 
Mitch Garver (Minnesota) struck out 4 times (on 8/20/2021 against New York (NYY)) 
Collin McHugh (Tampa Bay) struck out 13 batters (on 8/20/2021 against Chicago (CWS)) 
Mitch Haniger (Seattle) struck out 4 times (on 8/20/2021 against Houston) 
Jason Vosler (San Francisco) struck out 4 times (on 8/21/2021 against Oakland) 
San Francisco and Oakland played15.5 innings on8/21/2021
Carlos Santana (Seattle) hit 6 RBI (on 8/21/2021 against Houston) 

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Newsletter for games through 8-8-21

COMMENTS

From John Weerts, and offered for the pet-owning component of our membership: “The cat that interrupted the Yankee game on 8/2/21 had the 30th highest print run for a baseball card this season on Topps Now web site with 3,836 cards printed. The cat at the Rockies-Dodgers game in Colorado on 4/2/21 is in 39th place on the print run list with 2,958. With 635 Tops now cards through 8/9/21 it looks like the cats are winning.”… coincidence, then, that Pat’s Tigers have the 3rd-best AL central record over the last 30 games? The baseball-card buying public has spoken…I try not to discuss the Mets too much here, and usually fail, but I think my 14-game losing streak is an accomplishment that bears mention…I have 207 innings on my disabled list, and I traded deGrom…Danny WIldes is ruling the NL East and not only leads the division but has a 3.5 WOR, things that almost pale considering Steve Clemmons is +11.5 and as 6-1 last week, best in the NL…Andy Somers was 5-2 despite a spate of covid injuries and a Washington roster from an actual club that has basically mailed it in…Symonds and his re-vamped Phils had a winning week…Chris Zewiske moved into some sort of mathematical impossibility with Gordon Leckie and his Cubs…they have the same number of wins but the Brewers have fewer losses but fewer games, sooooo….the Cubs are up by .03 percentage points? Talk about a close race…Rick Wynne plugged away to another winning week but kudos to Hugh Brown’s Rockies with 4 wins on the week and Ben Leckie’s Diamondbacks who actually had the best record in the division…Alan Minsky and the Rays were 5-1 on the week and are 19-11 over the last 20, but this just might be the year for Johnny Mac, who’s 22-8 over the last 30 and won 5 more games this week…impossible to talk about the AL in any week without mentioning Mark Chen, despite a tough week, being +12.5 WOR with the Orioles…Leo is cruising in the AL Central and both the Twins and Royals had sub-.500 weeks, but they’re 10 and 9.5 games above reality respectively…the Guardians turned in a winning week for Steve Skrovan, who’s managing a team that just dipped below .500 in reality…Oh, my, the AL West…Jim Casey turned thr roster over and made it better, holding on to first place with a 5-1 week and 20-10 over the last 30…John Weerts‘ patience and trade saavy is paying off, and he’s solidified a lead on second and gone 8-2 over the last 10…the Angels have slid a little but Greg has the team at the exact .500 mark the real club has produced, and Texas is a solid 11 games over the actual team making just about every divisional game a meaningful one for some reason or another…Jeremy Moore’s Giants have 160 ASFBL homers, 3rd in the league…Raphael Malveaux‘s Reds have the 4th-best homer total in the NL, and only trail the Cubs in the central…weird stat of the week…the Orioles and Royals have the fewest innings pitched with 980 and 983, a full 45 innings lower than the Bosox and Twins, who have the most…although the Field of Dreams game is the first MLB game in Iowa, our server used to route through Iowa so our games were played there first…and a shout out CSUF alum Kevin Costner who’s work in Water World can almost be forgiven for making some decent baseball movies…

FEATS AND FAILURES

Jonathan Villar (New York (NYM)) struck out 4 times (on 8/2/2021 against Miami) 
Manny Machado (San Diego) struck out 4 times (on 8/3/2021 against Oakland) 
Kyle Farmer (Cincinnati)  had 5 hits (on 8/4/2021 against Minnesota) 
Xander Bogaerts (Boston) struck out 4 times (on 8/6/2021 against Toronto) 
Corbin Burnes (Milwaukee) struck out 16 batters (on 8/6/2021 against San Francisco) 
Tommy Pham (San Diego) struck out 4 times (on 8/6/2021 against Arizona) 
Michael Chavis (Boston) struck out 4 times (on 8/7/2021 against Toronto) 
Andrew Kittredge (Tampa Bay) struck out 13 batters (on 8/7/2021 against Baltimore) 

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Newsletter for games through 8-1-21

Trade Tales

Q: Who was the most active owner at the trade deadline?

A: Pat Walsh of the Tigers, with a staggering 8 trades. Other notables were Kansas City (Mike Mendoza) with 6, the Cubs (Gordon Leckie), Houston (Jim Casey), and Philly (Adam Symonds) with 5, and Baltimore (Mark Chen) and Texas (Ben Brockreide) with 3 each.

Q: How many trades did we make?

A: 24

Q: Did we beat MLB?

A: Depends on how you count; one sources says MLB pulled off three dozen trades, which is slightly ahead of us, but we go week-to-week so maybe we were closer. If anyone has a more definitive source, let me know

Q: When did the first trade happen?

A: Freaking Thursday of last week.

Q: Did big names move?

A: Oh, yeah. Greinke and Altuve, Gregorius, Mancini, and bunch of other guys having pretty good years that Rick Wynne probably knows all about but I’m just catching up on.

Q: Are there any Bruschke family connections to major league players who were traded this week in the ASFBL?

A: Obviously. Phil Bickford, in his brief and academically undistinguished career at CSU Fullerton, took an intro geology class from my wife that he thoroughly failed. He later dropped out having burned all his bridges with the coaching staff who, I might add, are generally a group of top-notch humans, especially head coach Rick Vanderhook. Sensing the potential negative clubhouse influence, Chris Zewiske shipped him out of Milwaukee. He’s Dodger property in real life.

Q: Were their blockbusters?

A: Probably…of the 48 trade packages 27 involved only a single player, so in 19 instances more than 1 player was involved in the deal. I guess that means about half of the trades involved at least one team sending multiple players?

Q: Did anyone get traded multiple times?

A: Josh Sborz, Didi Gregorius (who was also traded with 3 free waivers), and Jake (“Not THAT Bauer”) Bauers.

Q: Can we extend the trade deadline one more week?

A: No, we’d burn out the internet at our pace.

Feats and failures

Eric Sogard (Washington) struck out 4 times (on 7/26/2021 against Philadelphia) 
Robbie Ray (Toronto) struck out 12 batters (on 7/26/2021 against Boston) 
Charlie Morton (Atlanta) struck out 12 batters (on 7/27/2021 against New York (NYM)) 
Mike Zunino (Tampa Bay) struck out 4 times (on 7/27/2021 against New York (NYY)) 
Michael Chavis (Boston) struck out 4 times (on 7/27/2021 against Toronto) 
Alek Manoah (Toronto) struck out 12 batters (on 7/27/2021 against Boston) 
Anthony Rizzo (Chicago (CC))  hit for the cycle! (on 7/27/2021 against Cincinnati) 
George Springer (Toronto) hit 6 RBI (on 7/29/2021 against Boston) 
Max Scherzer (Washington) struck out 11 batters (on 7/30/2021 against Chicago (CC)) 
Yadiel Hernández (Washington) struck out 4 times (on 7/30/2021 against Chicago (CC)) 
Kyle Tucker (Philadelphia) hit 3 homers (on 7/30/2021 against Pittsburgh) 
Kyle Tucker (Philadelphia) hit 7 RBI (on 7/30/2021 against Pittsburgh) 
Yoan Moncada (New York (NYY)) struck out 4 times (on 7/30/2021 against Miami) 
Bradley Zimmer (Cleveland) struck out 4 times (on 7/30/2021 against Chicago (CWS)) 
Yordan Álvarez (Houston) struck out 4 times (on 7/30/2021 against San Francisco) 
Austin Slater (San Francisco) hit 7 RBI (on 7/31/2021 against Houston) 
Yoan Moncada (New York (NYY)) struck out 4 times (on 7/31/2021 against Miami) 
Jesus Aguilar (Miami) struck out 4 times (on 7/31/2021 against New York (NYY)) 
Nestor Cortes Jr. (New York (NYY)) struck out 11 batters (on 7/31/2021 against Miami) 
Trent Grisham (San Diego) struck out 4 times (on 7/31/2021 against Colorado) 
Seby Zavala (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 4 times (on 8/1/2021 against Cleveland) 
Steven Duggar (San Francisco) struck out 4 times (on 8/1/2021 against Houston) 

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Newsletter for games through 7-25-21

Trade deadline!!!!

All trades must be completed by the lineup deadline next week, August 3. Your last chance to catch Gordie and Ben in the Leo’s “top traders” lists…or dump your least favorite player…or curse the players you trade for by having them all land on the disabled list after you acquire them (Trout and Rendon for deGrom)….or find that magical player combination that makes both teams slightly worse…or turn over your entire roster, as Adam is on the brink of doing…Eight trades since last week, involving 13 owners…if you’re feeling gun-shy, just focus on the fact that no matter what you do you won’t do as poorly as Jerry DiPoto…I think the rest of the AL West was checking to see if the Astro sanctions prevented them from invoking the “no take backsies” rule…

Comments

No matter what you think about the Cleveland name change, it’s worth remembering that in the past the Cleveland professional baseball effort has been called both the “Cleveland Forest Citys” and the “Cleveland Infants,” who one imagines had a bitter rivalry with the Chicago Orphans…I’m sticking with the ASFBL monicker “Cleveland Unreasonable Men” until Skrovan tells me otherwise…it’s more poignant than the Raymonds…the Giants are having trouble keeping pace with the actual team, but they have the best real-WHIP of any ASFBL team…Milwaukee is just behind them, 1.07 to 1.08…Yankee batters have the best walk percentage, getting the free pass 11% of the time…best real OPS goes to, in order, the Jays, Chisox, and Angels…those are the Angels without Mike Trout…surprisingly, the Padres have the most actual stolen bases…the NL week went to the Braves, Cardinals, and Giants, who all finished 5-2…Braves used it to move into first, Giants used it to move into the second wildcard spot….I swear to God I should be able to get my fantasy Mets to .500 just by batting Alonso third…Cards proved they are a dangerous team you don’t want to take for granted in a late-season series you need to win…Baltimore and Houston ran the table in the AL, the Astros pulling it off without anyone giving them a closer for free…the Astro mark broke a tie and moved them into first, and the always-active John Weerts navigated Oakland to a 4-2 week and has them lurking 3.5 back…as of now the Oakland-Anaheim-Houston race is the most competitive in the AL, although the second wild-card spot is still wide open with about a third of the season left….although Baltimore had the big week, the Jays just keep turning in winning weeks and are high atop the AL East….They’re 23-7 over their last 30…and a shout out to Arizona and Minnesota, who hold the top 2 spots in the WOR standings….Tampa Bay is only 3 games out of a wildcard spot and a few good weeks could push them into the playoffs…actual Phillies are struggling but the ASFBL club is 10-5 in inter-league games…tied with the Dodgers for the best in the NL…here’s hoping none of your vaccinated players end up on the covid-DL…or, if they’re pitching like Jerod Eickhoff, that they’re asymptomatic and you at least get a free waiver…

Feats and Failures

Steven Duggar (San Francisco) struck out 4 times (on 7/19/2021 against Los Angeles) 
Bradley Zimmer (Cleveland) struck out 4 times (on 7/20/2021 against Houston) 
Bobby Bradley (Cleveland) struck out 4 times (on 7/20/2021 against Houston) 
Nicky Lopez (Kansas City) stole 3 bases (on 7/20/2021 against Milwaukee) 
Tim Anderson (Chicago (CWS))  had 5 hits (on 7/20/2021 against Minnesota) 
Austin Riley (Atlanta) hit 6 RBI (on 7/21/2021 against San Diego) 
Kevin Pillar (New York (NYM)) struck out 4 times (on 7/21/2021 against Cincinnati) 
Greg Allen (New York (NYY)) struck out 4 times (on 7/21/2021 against Philadelphia) 
Robbie Ray (Toronto) struck out 11 batters (on 7/21/2021 against Boston) 
Lance McCullers Jr. (Houston) struck out 11 batters (on 7/21/2021 against Cleveland) 
Walker Buehler (Los Angeles) struck out 15 batters (on 7/21/2021 against San Francisco) 
Taylor Trammell (Seattle) struck out 4 times (on 7/22/2021 against Oakland) 
Austin Slater (San Francisco) struck out 4 times (on 7/22/2021 against Los Angeles) 
Travis Demeritte (Atlanta) struck out 4 times (on 7/23/2021 against Philadelphia) 
Carlos Rodon (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 11 batters (on 7/23/2021 against Milwaukee) 
Harrison Bader (St. Louis)  had 5 hits (on 7/24/2021 against Cincinnati) 
Mike Zunino (Tampa Bay) hit 3 homers (on 7/24/2021 against Cleveland) 
Teoscar Hernandez (Toronto) struck out 4 times (on 7/24/2021 against New York (NYM)) 
Kyle Wright (Atlanta) struck out 11 batters (on 7/25/2021 against Philadelphia) 
Cristian Javier (Baltimore) struck out 11 batters (on 7/25/2021 against Washington) 
Teoscar Hernandez (Toronto) struck out 4 times (on 7/25/2021 against New York (NYM)) 
Shohei Ohtani (Anaheim) struck out 11 batters (on 7/25/2021 against Minnesota) 
Mitch Garver (Minnesota) struck out 4 times (on 7/25/2021 against Anaheim) 

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Newsletter for games through 7-18-21

Trade Notes

Two more weeks to make trades…from the email chatter it sounds like there’s plenty of interest….five more trades last week, including fashion icon Joe Kelly, slugger (and presumably descendant of winemakers) Joey Gallo, and closer (and probable descendant of an undertaker) Kendall Graveman….deadline is August 3.

Shoulda kept me

Elvis Andrus (Oakland) hit for the cycle on 7/9/2021 against Texas…don’t pin this on Ben Brockreide, but I’m sure the fantasy karma was building up in Elvis’ favor…his D&D “revenge” setting was at 20…and now that I’ve got a script that will check no-hitters for me, I’m going to have to write one to track cycles…

Comments

I try to contain myself from commenting on actual games, but if you’ll indulge me this observation about the Nationals: They allowed 47 runs in the 4 games around the all-star break, and then scored 26 runs in the next 2 games including an 18-run outburst…right in the middle they lost 3-1 to the Giants, and every other game had 10 runs or more by at least one team…ASFBL Nats went 3-0…so did both the Dodgers and Giants...those teams square off head to head to start next week…Jays and Rays both went 3-0, and were the only AL teams to do it…they also rank 1 and 2 in the AL East…Angels nudged a game up on the Astros in the airtight AL West…Miami gained a game on the Atlanta team and is now within a half game of first…five AL teams are within 2.5 games of a wildcard spot…best ASFBL offense this year so far is the Dodgers, at 484 runs, with the Astros right behind at 480…Oakland is 7th, which is a little encouraging since the actual team is 13th…don’t know if this is boring or a victory for simulation accuracy, but the top 3 scoring teams in MLB and the Dodgers, Astros, and Chisox, and the top 3 scoring teams in ASFBL are exactly the same…Jays lead the ASFBL with 146 homers…Texas is 3rd with 134….Indians have the best team defense, and have robbed 32 hits over the first half…Reds are second…the big statistical issue in MLB is that strikeouts are way up, and the Brewers and Chisox lead the ASFBL, with an identical 993 Ks so far…Dodgers have the best team WHIP (1.06) and the bullpen has allowed a measly 6 of 94 inherited runners to score…but the Cubs have the best bullpen ERA at 2.61…the Brewers have the most shutouts in the league with 10….although Shohei Ohtani leads the MLB in homers, Tatis Jr. has him in the ASFBL…but if you count the homers Ohtani has allowed as a pitcher they’re tied…

Big things in short weeks

Tucker Barnhart (Cincinnati) struck out 4 times (on 7/5/2021 against Kansas City) 
Adam Engel (Chicago (CWS)) hit 6 RBI (on 7/7/2021 against Minnesota) 
Elias Diaz (Colorado) hit 6 RBI (on 7/7/2021 against Arizona) 
Taylor Trammell (Seattle) struck out 4 times (on 7/8/2021 against New York (NYY)) 
Hunter Dozier (Kansas City) struck out 4 times (on 7/8/2021 against Cleveland) 
Zack Short (Detroit) struck out 4 times (on 7/8/2021 against Minnesota) 
Austin Meadows (Tampa Bay) hit 3 homers (on 7/9/2021 against Toronto) 
Elvis Andrus (Oakland)  hit for the cycle! (on 7/9/2021 against Texas) 
Carlos Rodon (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 16 batters (on 7/10/2021 against Baltimore) 
Jazz Chisholm (Miami) struck out 4 times (on 7/10/2021 against Atlanta) 
Lance Lynn (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 11 batters (on 7/16/2021 against Houston) 
Joey Gallo (St. Louis) struck out 4 times (on 7/16/2021 against San Francisco) 
Patrick Wisdom (Chicago (CC)) struck out 4 times (on 7/16/2021 against Arizona) 
Cody Bohanek (New York (NYM)) struck out 4 times (on 7/17/2021 against Pittsburgh) 
Ryan McMahon (Colorado) struck out 4 times (on 7/17/2021 against Los Angeles) 
Patrick Sandoval (Anaheim) struck out 11 batters (on 7/17/2021 against Seattle) 
Jordan Montgomery (New York (NYY)) struck out 11 batters (on 7/18/2021 against Boston)

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Newsletter for games through 7-11-21

Celebrating the first half

Hoping your all-star break is a great one! Time to take stock of the first half:

BEST OVERALL: Most wins (64) and best record (.703) go to Rick Wynne and his Dodgers…AL best goes to Leo at 59 and .648…bonus to Al Benedek and the Friars for the second-highest win total (62) and second-best overall record (.667), which gets you second place in your division if you share it with Rick…kudos to division leaders Danny Wildes, Gordon Leckie, Johnny Mac, Jim Casey and Greg Achten. A tiebreaker is going to Greg and Jim for the closest divisional title race , since they are tied in the AL West.

BEST RACE: Ignoring what I’ve already said about Jim and Greg being tied in the AL West and Rick and Al battling it out in the NL West, Steve’s Miami team is making a run in the NL East and Chris Zewiske’s Brewers are within 5 in the NL central. Given the wide leads the Jays and Chisox have, the wildcard battle in the AL is intense, with Tim Walsh and the AL West runner-up in the lead with 49 wins, but Alan’s Rays (45), Mike Mendoza’s Royals (47), John Weerts‘ As’ (47) are all margins-of-error away, and the Yankees, Indians, and Rangers are all within striking distance with a good second half. The NL West is where it’s at in the senior circuit, and Jeremy’s Giants and Hugh’s Rockies are both above .500 and ready to challenge for the second wildcard spot.

BEST IMPROVEMENT: The WOR race is tight, and with the Royals and Cubs contending for playoff spots, the WOR standings are most relevant to Ben Leckie’s Diamondbacks (+14) and Mark Chen’s Orioles (+9). Ben Brockreide’s Texas club deserves note (+7) and Rob Perkins has improved the Pirates (+3).

MASH UNIT AWARDS: You only get free waivers by moving an injured player off the active roster; I don’t really track how they get used, but the totals this year are staggering: Giants (21), Yankees (19), Mariners-Nationals-Rays (15), and the Phillies, Reds, Dodgers, Twins, Brewers, and Rockies all have double-digit totals. Jeremy could literally swap out 80% of his roster and not have to waive a single player. Some of this is covid related, but that’s a lot of roster flexibility…

Truncated comments this week due to my first return to the office in 18 months…there’s more dusting to do here than Hank Aaron’s trophy case…hope you can all make it to Friday without withdrawal symptoms…I’ve had to resort to watching CONCACAF matches to avoid tremors…

Feats and failures

Tucker Barnhart (Cincinnati) struck out 4 times (on 7/5/2021 against Kansas City) 
Adam Engel (Chicago (CWS)) hit 6 RBI (on 7/7/2021 against Minnesota) 
Elias Diaz (Colorado) hit 6 RBI (on 7/7/2021 against Arizona) 
Taylor Trammell (Seattle) struck out 4 times (on 7/8/2021 against New York (NYY)) 
Hunter Dozier (Kansas City) struck out 4 times (on 7/8/2021 against Cleveland) 
Zack Short (Detroit) struck out 4 times (on 7/8/2021 against Minnesota) 
Austin Meadows (Tampa Bay) hit 3 homers (on 7/9/2021 against Toronto) 
Elvis Andrus (Oakland)  hit for the cycle! (on 7/9/2021 against Texas) 
Carlos Rodon (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 16 batters (on 7/10/2021 against Baltimore) 
Jazz Chisholm (Miami) struck out 4 times (on 7/10/2021 against Atlanta) 

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Newsletter for games through 7-4-21

Making the Most of the Worst

So you do the best in ASFBL when the actual team tanks but your fantasy club does well, which can mean just going .500. Below is a list of the 6 teams struggling the most in real life and how the ASFBL clubs have responded.

TeamReal Last 10ASFBL Last 10Comments
CUBS0-106-4Gordie is +6 WOR, so his rise in the WOR standings are almost entirely the product of making progress while the actual team collapses.
CLEVELAND1-94-64-6 is nothing to write home about, but it did get Steven 3 games against the actual club. His last trade was June 9 where he traded Jake Bauers, presumably not because Jake was facing his namesake’s issues with the domestic violence policy.
ARIZONA3-74-6Only one game better over the last 10 but 17 better overall, which is a doggone impressive WOR number. Doing anything with this club is remarkable, as they are clearly in rebuilding mode.
KANSAS CITY3-75-5If not for the overall WOR prowess of the Chisox and Twins this team could be in playoff contention…they’d be challenging for first in 3 other divisions.
YANKEES3-72-8The fantasy team is matching the real team’s slide, but Mark Yee is not his father and will steady the course.
OAKLAND3-75-5John has endured a real team win streak that didn’t come with good overall stats and is now creeping back to even as the actual club slides…eyeballing it I think he’s made at least one trade a week every week since at least the start of June, so it won’t surprise me if he passes the actual club.

Alien invasion

What’s the right word for a player you have on your ASFBL team that isn’t on that team in MLB? I struggled…foreigner? Acquiree? Aquisition? Player-From-Elsewhere? Inspired by the Las Vegas 51s, I went with “alien.” Looking at the active ASFBL rosters last week, you can tell which teams have both been the most active in acquiring players AND using them: Adam’s Phillies lead the way with 11 players on the active roster who are not Phillies in real life. Right behind are Mike’s Royals at 9, Jim’s Astros tie with Ben’s Rangers at 8, and then it drops to the Chisox, Dodgers, and Rockies who are tied at 5. That means 23 teams have 4 or fewer aliens on the roster, which means the overwhelming number of players in the ASFBL are on the MLB roster as well, although roles and management differ quite a bit. On the other hand, only two ASFBL teams are rolling with a full roster of active players from the real team, so everyone seems to tweak. My takeaway? It’s not just who you’ve got, owners seem to enjoy getting involved in how you set the roster and set the lineups.

Actual Oddity

I don’t know if you saw this, but in the Atlanta/Miami game last week Miami starter Pablo Lopez hit the first batter on the first pitch, got ejected, the batter came around to score, and the game ended 1-0. That has to be the first time in MLB history a starting pitcher has taken the loss after throwing exactly one pitch. Filing that under the “things you can’t code for” category…

Noteworthy

Kudos to Hugh’s Rockies, who had the best NL record last week, are +6 WOR, and 18-12 over the last 30…Ben had the Rangers at 5-1 in a wide-open division for the best record in AL…Johnny Mac gained more distance in the AL East although Boston is starting to rumble and Mark Chen is way over-performing the actual club…Jays, Bosox and Orioles all had winning weeks…my hat goes off to Leo, who is always on-point, had a 5-2 week and is 19-11 over the last 30…Greg Acthen has kept his team above water and with the actual club finally clawing its way back to .500 he’s hanging to a first-place tie with Jim Casey….Chris Zewiske has a powerful Brewers club and turned in the best record in the NL central, challenging the Cubs…Al Benedek is 2 games behind in the loss column behind Rick Wynne’s powerful Dodger club in a race that’s just as fun in ASFBL as it is in real life…Jeremy Moore’s fantasy Giants are stating to play like the real club, and 4 teams have a viable shot at the playoffs in the NL west…a .500 record and +6 WOR gets you 4th place in that dogfight…

Feats and Failures

Bobby Dalbec (Boston) struck out 4 times (on 6/28/2021 against Kansas City) 
Franchy Cordero (Boston) struck out 4 times (on 6/28/2021 against Kansas City) 
Kris Bryant (Chicago (CC)) struck out 5 times (on 6/28/2021 against Milwaukee) 
German Marquez (Colorado) struck out 11 batters (on 6/28/2021 against Pittsburgh) 
Brandon Crawford (San Francisco) hit 3 homers (on 6/28/2021 against Los Angeles) 
Max Stassi (Anaheim) struck out 4 times (on 6/29/2021 against New York (NYY)) 
Gary Sanchez (Philadelphia) struck out 4 times (on 6/29/2021 against Miami) 
Kevin Pillar (New York (NYM)) struck out 4 times (on 6/29/2021 against Atlanta) 
Trey Amburgey (New York (NYY)) struck out 4 times (on 7/1/2021 against Anaheim) 
Luis Campusano (San Diego) struck out 4 times (on 7/2/2021 against Philadelphia) 
Dominic Smith (New York (NYM))  had 5 hits (on 7/2/2021 against New York (NYY)) 
Collin McHugh (Tampa Bay) struck out 11 batters (on 7/2/2021 against Toronto) 
Trey Amburgey (New York (NYY)) struck out 4 times (on 7/3/2021 against New York (NYM)) 
Teoscar Hernandez (Toronto) struck out 4 times (on 7/3/2021 against Tampa Bay) 
Tommy Pham (San Diego) struck out 4 times (on 7/3/2021 against Philadelphia) 
Robel Garcia (Houston) struck out 4 times (on 7/3/2021 against Cleveland) 
Jose Quintana (Anaheim) struck out 11 batters (on 7/3/2021 against Baltimore) 
Kevin Gausman (San Francisco) struck out 11 batters (on 7/3/2021 against Arizona) 
Zack Wheeler (Philadelphia) struck out 11 batters (on 7/4/2021 against San Diego) 
Sonny Gray (Cincinnati) struck out 13 batters (on 7/4/2021 against Chicago (CC)) 
Ozzie Albies (Atlanta) hit 3 homers (on 7/4/2021 against Miami) 
Ozzie Albies (Atlanta) hit 7 RBI (on 7/4/2021 against Miami)

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