Monthly Archives: September 2021

Newsletter for games through 9-26-21

The mystery of the Mariners

As I write this, the actual Mariners are a half game out of the last AL wildcard spot…and I’m confused, because to win you need to score more runs than your opponent. in all of MLB, they rank 23rd in runs scores (and have famously been no-hit like three times this year), and their pitching is better but its 17th in MLB, below the league average, and 8th in the AL…when only the top 5 teams make the playoffs, being in the bottom half of both runs scored and runs allowed is a bad place to be…on average, they score 4.3 runs a game and allow 4.6…but they’ve gotten hot and won 9 of their last 10…according to their Pythagorean win-loss, they should be 74-84 and they’re actually 88-70….the baseball-reference.com website calls that 14 games of “luck”…no matter what you call it, they are winning by small amounts and losing by large amounts…the next-closest team is the Yankees at +6 over what our friend Pythagoras would predict they’d have…they are 33-18 in one-run games which is, let me check, 15 games…they are either really lucky or really clutch, but either way it’s fun to watch…and frankly, nobody is that lucky…but what’s really not fair is that ASFBL newcomer Josh Mitchell inherited a statistically impossible team…no real way to keep up with the real bunch given this weird statistical anomaly…

WOR of the Worlds

Leo’s sharp eyes noticed there was an amazing race going on here that I had been missing…Texas is all of one game up on Cubbies, who’s actual club basically called the season in July…Arizona, Baltimore, and Washington are all within 3 games of the top spot…and since this race depends both on how you do and the actual club does, every surprise win the Orioles put up as spoilers in the AL East race is a blow to Mark Chen’s chances…every loss the Diamondbacks take to the actual Giants helps Ben Leckie…and I’m not saying that its genetic, but 3 of the top 7 WOR spots go to people named “Leckie”…

Rest of the Races

Houston went up by 6 games with one week left, despite a 5-2 record by the Angels, more or less claiming the AL West title and joining Toronto and the Chisox as divisional champs…Tampa Bay looks pretty good with the top wildcard spot, but the Yankees, Angels, and A’s are in a dead tie for the last wildcard spot…Kansas City is only 2 games back and very much in the running…the Angels took 2 of 3 from those Mariners this week…Houston swept Oakland, which basically gave them the division but the Athletics are a long way from out of it…the Yankees beat Boston this week, but not with the sweep they got in real life, and Texas became everyone’s favorite spoiler by taking 2 of 3 from the Yanks while moving themselves into first place in WOR…in the NL, the Dodgers have clinched the west and the best ASFBL record, and the only question is how high on the all-time win list Rick will be able to place his club…the Nationals put together a 5-2 week but with 6 games left the best they can do is tie the Braves, making their magic number 1…the Brewers only lead the division by 4, but it would take a collapse on their part and a perfect week by the Cubbies to tie that division, which again makes the wildcard race the thing…and what a race!…the Padres lead the pack by 2 games, but the Cubs and Giants are only a game back…the Nationals have an outside shot but would need Mariner-like luck…Tatis is making a strong push for ASFBL MVP with 56 homers and 129 RBI…there is some drama over whether he could get to 60…

Feats and Failures

Austin Hays (Texas) struck out 4 times (on 9/20/2021 against New York (NYY)) 
Max Stassi (Anaheim) struck out 4 times (on 9/20/2021 against Houston) 
Franmil Reyes (Cleveland) struck out 4 times (on 9/21/2021 against Kansas City) 
Michael Lorenzen (Cincinnati) struck out 4 times (on 9/21/2021 against Pittsburgh) 
Gerrit Cole (Philadelphia) struck out 14 batters (on 9/21/2021 against Baltimore) 
Bryan Holaday (Arizona) struck out 4 times (on 9/21/2021 against Atlanta) 
Taylor Trammell (Seattle) struck out 4 times (on 9/21/2021 against Oakland) 
Steven Duggar (San Francisco) struck out 4 times (on 9/21/2021 against San Diego) 
Jesse Chavez (Arizona) struck out 11 batters (on 9/22/2021 against Atlanta) 
Jesse Chavez (Arizona)  threw a no-hitter! (on 9/22/2021 against Atlanta) 
Taylor Trammell (Seattle) struck out 4 times (on 9/22/2021 against Oakland) 
Chad Pinder (Oakland) struck out 4 times (on 9/23/2021 against Seattle) 
Austin Hedges (Cleveland) struck out 4 times (on 9/23/2021 against Chicago (CWS)) 
Riley Greene (Detroit) struck out 4 times (on 9/24/2021 against Kansas City) 
Chris Bassitt (Oakland) struck out 12 batters (on 9/25/2021 against Houston) 
Jose Ramirez (Cleveland) struck out 4 times (on 9/25/2021 against Chicago (CWS)) 
Teoscar Hernandez (Toronto) struck out 4 times (on 9/25/2021 against Minnesota) 
Jazz Chisholm (Miami) struck out 4 times (on 9/26/2021 against Tampa Bay) 
Shane Baz (Tampa Bay) struck out 13 batters (on 9/26/2021 against Miami) 
Patrick Kivlehan (Minnesota) struck out 4 times (on 9/26/2021 against Toronto) 
Taylor Trammell (Seattle) struck out 4 times (on 9/26/2021 against Anaheim) 

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Newsletter for games through 9-19-21

Commentary

Does anyone in our league know what made the Cardinals go 10-0? I’m chalking it up to random baseball mojo…the formula for victory in the 21st century is hang in there until September and then be the hottest team over the last 3 weeks of the season…and a reminder that any bubble team making a run in the last two ASFBL weeks will surely have a shot…The main run in the NL this week wasn’t a dark horse making a push but the field leader pulling away from the pack…Rick Wynne’s Dodgers went 6-0, are 8 for their last 10, and pushed over 100 wins…only five teams in ASFBL history have won 112 or more games, with 104 he’s got a shot to push his way into the mix…Two of those five are also Rick Wynne…Rob Perkins, who perenially steps up to take the last available team, had his Bucs go 4-2…and played spoiler by taking 2 of 3 from Miami, bumping Andy Somers’ Nationals into second place in the NL East…it will take a major run for Andy to make the post-season, but hey, the MLB Cardinals…Nationals themselves went 4-2…and as the actual Padres fade, Al Benedek’s club went 5-2 and holds the top NL wildcard spot…Cubs look like they have a solid track on the second wildcard, but the Nationals, Marlins, Giants, and Rockies are all still alive…Nobody did better than 4-2 this week in the AL, but Mark Yee’s Yankees were one of them, and that nudged them a game and a half closer to the Rays in the AL East…the actual Jays are heating up but Johnny Mac’s club was already warm and they have all but clinched the AL East…Leo also had the Chisox with 4 wins and he’s holding off those Jays for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs…John Weertz was the owner with the 4 win mark in the AL West, and with 2 weeks left he can catch the Astros at only 3 games back…the AL Wildcard is a dogfight; Tampa Bay holds the top spot but are 4-6 over the last 10 and only .500 over the last 20…Oakland is second at 81 wins and hot of late but only 2 games over .500 over the last 30…the Yankees (79 wins), Royals (76 wins), and Angels (77 wins) all have a shot if Oakland stumbles or Houston collapses…Twenty-four lineups turned in this week!…that’s right at our historical average, and a great turnout for the dog days of September…what’s striking is that 3 of the 6 teams that didn’t turn in lineups are contenders…Every single ASFBL team is doing better than the actual Orioles and Diamondbacks…and, frankly, the ASFBL teams seem to have more attention to the roster moves…

Feats and Failures

Julio Urias (Los Angeles) struck out 12 batters (on 9/13/2021 against Arizona) 
Alfonso Rivas (Chicago (CC)) struck out 4 times (on 9/14/2021 against Philadelphia) 
Max Scherzer (Washington) struck out 13 batters (on 9/14/2021 against Miami) 
Estevan Florial (New York (NYY)) hit 6 RBI (on 9/14/2021 against Baltimore) 
Brandon Lowe (Tampa Bay) struck out 4 times (on 9/14/2021 against Toronto) 
Austin Hedges (Cleveland) struck out 4 times (on 9/14/2021 against Minnesota) 
Tarik Skubal (Detroit) struck out 11 batters (on 9/15/2021 against Milwaukee) 
Salvador Perez (Kansas City) struck out 4 times (on 9/15/2021 against Oakland) 
Craig Stammen (San Diego) struck out 4 times (on 9/15/2021 against San Francisco) 
Fernando Tatis Jr. (San Diego) hit 6 RBI (on 9/18/2021 against St. Louis) 
Austin Hedges (Cleveland) struck out 4 times (on 9/19/2021 against New York (NYY)) 
Estevan Florial (New York (NYY)) hit 6 RBI (on 9/19/2021 against Cleveland) 
Robert Neustrom (Baltimore) hit 6 RBI (on 9/19/2021 against Boston) 
Frankie Montas (Oakland) struck out 14 batters (on 9/19/2021 against Anaheim) 

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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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