Monthly Archives: May 2023

Newsletter for games through 5-21-23

No newsletter this week; I’m on the road and dealing with some family medical stuff and just didn’t have the energy to put something out.

But I did get this in the email before I left, and I’m speechless, guys. Really appreciate it!

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Newsletter for games through 5-14-23

UPDATES

The stolen bases are back on track; attempts are a little more frequent than MLB and success rates are slightly lower, but I’ll check those this coming weekend to make sure these aren’t adjustments trying to get to appropriate levels (frequency rates might be, success rates probably aren’t, but I’ll check both out)…and if you haven’t seen the MLB commercial with Dan Vogelbach yet, it’s worth watching and better with the sound off…and Mark Chen has basically ruined cable TV for me ever since he pointed out that I can get the MLB streaming channel for free due to my mobile service…why do I need to watch anything else when I can tune in whatever game I want and have it start whenever I want to sit down and watch it?

COMMENTARY

It is truly frightening that Ben Leckie has the Rays 3 games better than the actual club…the rest of the AL East is all negative-WOR but it might just be because they have to play the Rays…and the Rays are “only” winning 76% of their divisional games, which is lower than the 81% win rate they have overall…forget the “will Oakland have the worst season in MLB history” storyline, I wanna know if the Rays are going to be the best…Tigers, Guardians, and Twins all had identical 4-2 wins and still sit at the top of the AL central, but the Chisox and Royals have the best WOR…Ben Brockreide’s Rangers had a perfect 7-0 week just as Greg Achten’s Angels stumbled and moved 2.5 games into first in the AL West…and Ben can thank Steve Skrovan who’s Cleveland club swept Anaheim…Angels are still +5 WOR…and I know in my soul John Weerts is going to make something of this Oakland team…+4 WOR so far…Jim Casey is being Jim Casey and had the Astros 5-1 last week…he’s made 18 trades so far…for what might be the first time in ASFBL history I had to make a fix to a lineup submitted by Adam Symonds (I think an old AAA pitcher record got stuck in the rotation schedule or something)…didn’t slow him down, and the final result was a 4-1 record and another week in first place…Danny Wildes has the Braves in second in what looks like a 2-team race so far…and the team with the largest payroll in baseball history plays the team with the smallest payroll in the league over the last decade…so the Mets will probably give up more ground when they hit the Rays next week….nobody in the NL central cracked .500 this week so the Gordon Leckie-run Cubs are still on top with +6.5 WOR and a 4-game lead over Case Cobb and the upstart Pirates…the actual Dodgers are so white-hot it would take Rick Wynne to keep up with them, and he nearly did at 4-2…he’s only a game behind the actual club but trails Mark Druyos and the DBacks by one after they won series against Miami and San Francisco…Giants have the best batting average in the league at .284 and DBacks are third, putting two of the top three teams in the NL West…Dodgers are fifth in runs scored, just behind the Giants….Tampa leads everyone…also have an ASFBL-best 2.94 team ERA…Twins are second at 3.06…Cubs don’t lead anything but are top-5 in all…Dodgers, Cleveland, Tampa, and Atlanta have allowed the fewest HR with 28, 29, 30, and 31 respectively…Dbacks and Phillies have allowed the fewest inherited runners to score, but Tampa and Anaheim have the most saves….best fielding net (hits prevented minus bad plays and errors) go to Toronto, Miami, and Cincinnati in the top 3 spots…Mets and Yankees are both -11…Colton Cowser of the Orioles hit .526 last week in 19 at-bats…also walked 9 times…Ketel Marte scored 10 runs for the DBacks….Manuel Margot of the Chisox hit .385…Bryce Miller of the Mariners turned in 14.67 innings out of the pen and didn’t allow a run…Freddy Peralta of the Braves walked 10 in 10.67 innings but only allowed 1 run to score…Gerrit Cole leads the ASFBL with 80 strikeouts so far…

FEATS AND FAILURES

Miguel Vargas (Los Angeles) struck out 4 times (on 5/9/2023 against Milwaukee) 
Trent Grisham (San Diego) struck out 4 times (on 5/9/2023 against Minnesota) 
Gabriel Arias (Cleveland) struck out 4 times (on 5/10/2023 against Detroit) 
Randy Arozarena (Tampa Bay) struck out 4 times (on 5/11/2023 against New York (NYY)) 
Alex Cobb (San Francisco) struck out 11 batters (on 5/12/2023 against Arizona) 
Casey Schmitt (San Francisco)  had 5 hits (on 5/12/2023 against Arizona) 
Connor Joe (Pittsburgh) struck out 4 times (on 5/12/2023 against Baltimore) 
Aaron Nola (Philadelphia) struck out 11 batters (on 5/12/2023 against Colorado) 
Jesse Winker (Milwaukee) struck out 4 times (on 5/12/2023 against Kansas City) 
Taylor Walls (Tampa Bay) struck out 4 times (on 5/12/2023 against New York (NYY)) 
Wil Myers (Cincinnati) struck out 4 times (on 5/13/2023 against Miami) 
Jorge Mateo (Baltimore) hit 6 RBI (on 5/14/2023 against Pittsburgh) 
Christopher Morel (Chicago (CC)) struck out 4 times (on 5/14/2023 against Minnesota)

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Week #4 — games through 5-7-23

COMMENTARY

Mets’ lament…my team is doing about what the actual team is doing, which is depressing…the real issues is that Rick Wynne kept insisting after our Verlander-Kershaw trade that I couldn’t keep both players…and all games either pitcher started this week ended in a loss…I think we completed a trade that made each team exactly the same…Danny Wildes got the Braves to the only winning week for any team in NL East…Gordon Leckie repeated that feat with he Cubs in the NL Central and nudged 4 games up on everyone else for the biggest divisional lead in the NL…Josh Clark has the Cardinals at +3 WOR, tops in the division, and only a half-game behind Pat Walsh’s Giants for best WOR rate for any team not leading the division…and kudos to Rick and Adam Symonds for keeping pace or exceeding their actual clubs while holding the divisional lead…Mark Druyos and Pat are giving Rick a run for his money, both improving over the actual clubs and both with 19 wins or more…Dodgers have 21… Giants are doing it in interleague play with an 11-4 record agains the AL…this balanced schedule will even that out by the end of the season, but it’s wild that so far the Giants have 15 interleague games, the Phillies have 18, and the Padres have zero…Ben Leckie has to feel good about the Rays, and you’re not really going to improve on a real record of 28-7, but Johnny Mac has the only plus-WOR mark in the division with the Jays as is only 5 back, which is coverable ground if the Rays ever cool down…best record ever was the 1906 Cubs at 76%…current Rays are at 80%…best MLB in the last century are the Mariners at 71.6%…Mike Mendoza is doing the best job of pushing buttons in the AL central at +4 WOR, but Tim Walsh and Steve Skrovan both have their clubs within 1 game of the real team and sit at first and second with only 2.5 games separating them…Top 3 AL central teams are negative-WOR and Royals and Chisox are both positive…Rangers pushed ahead in the MLB AL West this week but Greg Achten held the lead against Ben Brockreiede and Texas, despite the Rangers creeping a game closer…John Weerts deserves special accolades for avoiding the Vegas Malaise and getting Oakland +4 WOR…Houston and Seattle each had tough weeks but Jim Casey has the Astros +4 WOR…Oakland is in the top-5 WOR…Lourdes Gurriel hit .500 for the DBacks last week…Thairo Estrada stole 3 bases…Kevin Pillar hit .357 for Atlanta while striking out 11 times…someone should tell him the new rules are supposed to stop stuff like that…Santander of the Orioles did him one better by hitting .308 but striking out 12 times…Evan Phillips of the Dodgers inherited 6 runners over 10.33 innings last week and stranded them all…Zach Eflin walked 6 in only 12.67 innings this week, but he also struck out 20…Xzavion Curry of the Guardians has what is undoubtedly the highest-scoring Scrabble name in MLB history…

FEATS AND FAILURES

Thairo Estrada (San Francisco) stole 3 bases (on 5/1/2023 against Houston) 
Kevin Pillar (Atlanta) struck out 5 times (on 5/1/2023 against New York (NYM)) 
Chris Sale (Boston) struck out 11 batters (on 5/2/2023 against Toronto) 
Jason Vosler (Cincinnati) struck out 4 times (on 5/3/2023 against San Diego) 
Anaheim and St. Louis played 14.5 innings on5/3/2023
Yordan Alvarez (Toronto) struck out 4 times (on 5/4/2023 against Boston) 
Kevin Kiermaier (Toronto) struck out 4 times (on 5/4/2023 against Boston) 
Sean Murphy (Atlanta) struck out 4 times (on 5/5/2023 against Baltimore) 
Elvis Andrus (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 4 times (on 5/5/2023 against Cincinnati) 
Mitch Keller (Pittsburgh) struck out 11 batters (on 5/5/2023 against Toronto) 
Edmundo Sosa (Philadelphia)  had 5 hits (on 5/6/2023 against Boston) 
Jarred Kelenic (Los Angeles) hit 8 RBI (on 5/6/2023 against San Diego) 
Amed Rosario (Arizona) struck out 4 times (on 5/7/2023 against Washington) 
Dansby Swanson (Chicago (CC)) struck out 4 times (on 5/7/2023 against Miami) 
Triston Casas (Boston) struck out 4 times (on 5/7/2023 against Philadelphia) 
Trent Grisham (San Diego) struck out 4 times (on 5/7/2023 against Los Angeles) 
Kyle Higashioka (New York (NYY)) struck out 4 times (on 5/7/2023 against Tampa Bay)

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Week #3: Newsletter for games through 4-30-23

COMMENTARY

Cal. State Fullerton is one of the 3-4 largest campuses in the western US, and it’s Senate Forum is a publication of the Academic Senate, which is the body that governs the 50,000+ person campus. The point is to discuss important higher education and campus issues to get a dialogue running in advance of major decisions. Which must have made it seem a little unusual to their readership that our ASFBL fantasy baseball newsletter was published there last week…but, encouragingly, none of those 50,000 people seemed to notice (or, I prefer to think, they were simply enraptured by the hot start of the Chicago Cubs)…anyway, I’ve re-posted the newsletter back on our site, where it belongs…Boy, I’m I messing it up with Paul Block…failed to identify him as a newcomer owner in week #1, and posted his accomplishments on the wrong website in week two…fortunately, I have one more strike to work with…tip of the cap this week goes to Greg Achten’s Angels, sitting +6 WOR and atop both the WOR standings and the AL west…the 6-1 week was best in the ASFBL and puts him 3.5 games over Texas and Houston…and that division has no slouches; the worst WOR is -1…Greg has only made 2 roster-tweak trades, so he’s doing it with lineup artistry…and he’s put Mike Trout on the trading block…in the NL Mark Druyos had 6-0 week and moved to the top of the NL west, ousting the mighty Dodgers and staying well ahead of the Giants despite Pat Walsh’s impressive +3.5 WOR…the Dodgers will get a shot in the arm when it stops raining long enough for Verlander to get a chance to pitch again…Danny Wildes had a 6-1 week with the Braves to move into a second-place tie in the NL East…Adam Symonds still holds the top spot and is +4 WOR…and is getting Bryce Harper back…Gordo Leckie still has the Cubs on the top of the NL central and went 4-2 last week, but Casey Cobb’s upstart Pirates went 5-1 and the actual club remains on fire…If you all will forgive a real-life digression, is there anything cooler than watching the Tampa Bay-Pirate series and watching the small clubs duke it out for the best record in baseball?…speaking of which, Tampa, Toronto, and Baltimore all had 5 wins last week…4 of the 5 teams in the AL east have winning records…I’m betting Mark Yee’s Yankees aren’t the odd team out by the end of the year…Tim Walsh and Steve Skrovan have started their annual game of see-saw as they trade spots atop the AL central…separated by half a game at present…Mike Mendoza has the Royals at +4 WOR, 2d in the AL, and is going to have an impact on the divisional race before it’s over…the Vegas/Oakland Athletics are struggling this year, but John Weerts owns the rights to Brent Rooker who is tearing it up in the MLB and ASFBL…hit .536 for the fantasy club last week…5 homers….as a side note, I’m running a side passion project that’s a musical set to run in August, and the cast are making it impossible to figure out what their first and last names are…why did your parents do this to me, Cameron Connor, Miles Henry, and Jordyn Brady?…I mention this because I will never figure out the correct first name of Connor Joe or Joe Connor or whoever he is…

FEATS AND FAILURES

Marcus Semien (Texas) struck out 5 times (on 4/24/2023 against Cincinnati) 
Brian Serven (Colorado) struck out 4 times (on 4/24/2023 against Cleveland) 
Spencer Strider (Tampa Bay) struck out 12 batters (on 4/24/2023 against Houston) 
Kevin Gausman (Toronto) struck out 11 batters (on 4/24/2023 against Chicago (CWS)) 
Ozzie Albies (Atlanta) hit 6 RBI (on 4/25/2023 against Miami) 
Kevin Smith (Oakland) struck out 4 times (on 4/26/2023 against Anaheim) 
Shea Langeliers (Oakland) struck out 4 times (on 4/26/2023 against Anaheim) 
Jason Delay (Pittsburgh)  had 5 hits (on 4/27/2023 against Los Angeles) 
Joey Gallo (Minnesota) struck out 4 times (on 4/28/2023 against Kansas City) 
Jace Peterson (Oakland) struck out 4 times (on 4/28/2023 against Cincinnati) 
Spencer Strider (Tampa Bay) struck out 11 batters (on 4/29/2023 against Chicago (CWS)) 
Taylor Motter (St. Louis) struck out 4 times (on 4/29/2023 against Los Angeles) 
Jason Vosler (Cincinnati) struck out 4 times (on 4/29/2023 against Oakland) 
Brian Serven (Colorado) struck out 5 times (on 4/30/2023 against Arizona) 
Clayton Kershaw (New York (NYM)) struck out 12 batters (on 4/30/2023 against Atlanta)

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Week #2: Newsletter for games through 4-23-23

COMMENTARY

Boy, did I blow it with Brian Sullivan last week, identifying Paul Block as our only new owner…in fact, Brian is in his first ASFBL campaign (“first year in the show”) and he’s got the hang of it…posted a winning week at 4-2 and is .5 ahead of the actual Tiger club….Brian has yet to pull of his first trade but he’s got some depth at AAA pitching and Kyle Gibson is due to adjust down…Paul, meanwhile, has his team at +3 WOR and just finished a winning week…the newcomers were a combined 7-4 and both are doing better than their actual clubs…Mike Mendoz’s Royals might be said to have come to earth with a 1-5 week, but he’s still in first and still leads the league at +6 WOR…Steve Skrovan has the Guardians in a dead tie…tied for first, tied with the actual club…at .500…taking mediocrity to new middles, but doing it with style…second over WOR belongs to Adam Symonds who has the Phillies in first place by 3.5 in the NL East…he’s 9-1 over the last 10 games…completed 3 trades last week and 5 since the season opened on April 17…Gordie’s Cubs are still in first in the NL central and he’s 6-0 in the division…Pirates also had a 4-2 week for Casey Cobb…the NL West is a real-life logjam with 3 teams that all have 12 wins, but the ASFBL has given a little separation as Rick Wynne has 2 games on the actual Dodgers and sits in first place (with Justin Verlander getting ready to come off the DL) and Pat Walsh’s Gaints are 2.5 games better than the actual club…I don’t think it’s mathematically possible to out-perform the acutal Rays but Ben is only 1 game back and leads the ASFBL with an ungodly 82% win rate…Hugh Brown’s Bosox are the only club in the AL East that isn’t lagging bechind their actual club….Tampa Bay and Toronto were collectively 11-1 this week…Leo’s Chisox aren’t that competitive in real life but he’s got the ASFBL version a nick ahead, even after a tough week…Greg Acthen continues to have the Angels atop the AL West which puts him in a better position to resign Ohtani than Arte Moreno…that is hardly the only way in which Greg is preferable to Arte…no felonious collusions with Anaheim city officials, for example…Ben Brockreide’s Rangers set the pace in the division at 5-1…four of five AL west teams are in positive-WOR range, even though three of them have losing records in their own division…Cardinals have the best NL interleague record…

NAME GAMES

How’s this for a pitching staff? Chad Green, Hunter Greene, Riley Greene, Jon Gray, Josiah Gray, Sonny Gray, Hunter Brown. Pitching coach is obviously Bud Black. First base is Evan White, and the outfield is Seth Brown, Riley Greene, and maybe Charlie Blackmon.

FEATS AND FAILURES

Stuart Fairchild (Cincinnati) struck out 4 times (on 4/17/2023 against Tampa Bay) 
Johan Oviedo (Pittsburgh) struck out 12 batters (on 4/17/2023 against Colorado) 
Spencer Strider (Tampa Bay) struck out 14 batters (on 4/18/2023 against Cincinnati) 
Ryan Feltner (Colorado) struck out 12 batters (on 4/18/2023 against Pittsburgh) 
Jonah Heim (Texas) hit 3 homers (on 4/19/2023 against Kansas City) 
Teoscar Hernandez (New York (NYM)) hit 6 RBI (on 4/19/2023 against Los Angeles) 
Clayton Kershaw (New York (NYM)) struck out 13 batters (on 4/19/2023 against Los Angeles) 
Shohei Ohtani (Anaheim) struck out 20 batters (on 4/19/2023 against New York (NYY)) 
Paul Goldschmidt (New York (NYY)) struck out 4 times (on 4/19/2023 against Anaheim) 
Edmundo Sosa (Philadelphia)  had 5 hits (on 4/21/2023 against Colorado) 
Kodai Senga (New York (NYM)) struck out 12 batters (on 4/21/2023 against San Francisco) 
Nathaniel Lowe (Texas) struck out 4 times (on 4/21/2023 against Oakland) 
Marcus Semien (Texas)  had 5 hits (on 4/21/2023 against Oakland) 
Kyle Lewis (Arizona) struck out 4 times (on 4/22/2023 against San Diego) 
Kevin Pillar (Atlanta) struck out 4 times (on 4/22/2023 against Houston) 
Zac Gallen (Houston) struck out 11 batters (on 4/22/2023 against Atlanta) 
Carlos Perez (Oakland) hit 6 RBI (on 4/22/2023 against Texas)

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