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World Series Wrap up 2022

BREWERS ARE THE CHAMPS!!!!! HOUSTON PUSHES THE SERIES TO SIX GAMES…

My favorite book, dating to high school, is the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which famously suggested that the universe is governed by the forces of randomness as much as anything else (which explains a lot about baseball, IMHO), and that the ultimate answer to everything was 42…so imagine my excitement when the Brewers won games 1-3 by the identical score of 4-2…what are the odds against a 4-game sweep where every game ends with the same score, and that score is 4-2? But Houston would not have it, and they took the next 2 games 4-3 and 3-2, which are close and exciting games, and tantalizingly close to 4-2, but not quite…the decisive game was a slugfest with all the runs charged to the starters (7 for Sandoval, 8 for Beiber, both trade aquisitions), but the bats abruptly stopped after the 6th and neither bullpen gave up a run….Urias and Mitchell ended up 7-7 at the top of the order, and the best outcome of all was that Mike Trout won a fantasy World Championship….

Jim Casey has over 2,000 lifetime ASFBL wins in a career that started in 1995…it wasn’t until 2000 that he started making noise, when he won the WOR championship with the Cubbies…by 2011 he had won the world championship with the Giants…he topped 100 wins every year between 2009-2011, and matched his career high with 102 wins this year…this year marks his 6th consecutive playoff appearance which have included three LCS appearances and this trip to the World Series…he’s repeatedly and honestly suggested the ASFBL hold face-to-face winter meetings, which sounds at least as much fun as it is logistically difficult, but the fact that he came up with the idea speaks volumes about where his heart is…27 years is quite a run, Jim, and we’ll see again in the spring!

Chris Zewiske entered the league in 2001 with the Padres and has been running the Brewers ever since…he took 4th place WOR in 2002 with +14 wins over the actual team and — get this — only 70 wins…he’s transformed the Brew Crew into an ASFABL jauggernaut and been in the playoffs 5 of the last 6 years, including two LCS apperances and this year’s World Championship…2002 marks his FIRST EVER world championship and his second-highest win total in 19 seasons…the +2 WOR doesn’t seem that impressive until you consider how good the actual team was…when the Brewers were less competitive in 2013 he finish +14 WOR…if I’m reading his legal bio correctly, he joined the ASFBL one year after passing the bar and has been named a “Super Lawyer” each of the past 2 years, which no doubt help his trade negotiating skills…great to see you don the champion’s crown just shy of 2 decades, Chris, and you truly have had a season to be proud of!

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LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES 2022

NATIONAL LEAGUE

After going up 2-1 the Cubs lost two to the Brewers to put them on the brink, but they stormed to a 10-1 win in game six in a game Matt Mervis hit 2 homers to force the decisive game 7. Corbin Burns cooled the Cub bats off and homers by Trout and Mitchell provided just enough offense for the Brewers to take the series in seven. Chris Zewiske has managed 7 more playoff wins for Trout this season than the Angels have during his career. Gordon Leckie finishes a phenomenal season, grabbing the last wildcard spot in the final week and taking two series before falling in seven games. Gordie got into the league in 1994 through his connection with Leo and brought in 2014…after a 61-win season in his first year he was the league champ in 1995 and he’s not missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons since 2001-2005…after 25 seasons, his best 2 WOR seasons are his last two…a true Midwesterner, he’s managed both the Cubs and Chisox and ran the Tigers for a decade between 2006 and 2016…you’re an ASFBL fixture, Gordon, and congrats on another great season!

AMERICAN LEAGUE

The Astros only scored 2 runs in game 1 but they were enough behind Framber Valdez; the Jays scored 9 runs in game 2 but that wasn’t enough as the Astros scored in double-digits…after 3 games the Jays had lost them all but by a total of only 4 runs, and in game 4 Houston completed the sweep behind 6 strong innings from Joe Musgrove and a 3-inning save by Brandon Eisert…Starling Marte homered…John MacDonald played his first ASFBL season in 1999 and is unique in that he’s taken breaks between 2002-2005 and 2015-2016….he won championships in 2001 and 2006 to bookend the first break …that makes him the only player in ASFBL history to win a championship, take a hiatus, and win the championship again immediately upon return…he’s made the playoffs each of the past 3 seasons…and this year is his best finish since the world championship in 2006…when your email is “JohnnyMacLives4Sports” you know that he’s a student of the game…always an active owner and always putting competitive teams out there, you bring a lot to the league, and I look forward to seeing you next season, John!

WORLD SERIES

Astros host by virtue of having a better record, and I’ll ask Chris and Jim to get their lineups in by tomorrow. As soon as we have confirmation from both of them that the lineups are ready I’ll run the games and we’ll wrap the season.

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DCS results 2022

Baseball is weird and unpredictable and governed by the laws of randomness as much as it is by the umpires. For example, the best team in baseball can go out in their first playoff round after days of rest and the 3rd-place team in the NL East can make it to the League Championship series. You need depth to survive a 162-game season and then you need hot players and luck to win the short the playoff series, and those two things don’t always correlate. But they do make for some really fun series and great moments. Here’s hoping the goose lands on your opponent’s field.

CUBS – BRAVES

The teams traded hitting barrages against each other; Cubs score 6 and win, Braves score 6 and win, Cubs 5-3 and then 10-2, Braves 7-1 and then the bats cooled off and the pitching took over. Braves evened the series at three with a 4-1 game 6 behind Strider, Elder, and Minter, setting up a decisive game 7. Assad pitched into the 6th and turned it over to Smyly for the Braves; Javier pitched 7 scoreless inning before handing the ball to Brandon Hughes. After scoring in the top of the 10th Scott Effross held the Braves down in their last at-bat and sealed the series for the Cubbies. Danny Wildes has a lifetime win percentage of 53% in 17 seasons…he’s made the playoffs five years in a row and comes off of a championship season in 2020 and a World Series runner-up season in 2021, and he’s followed it up this year with his best win total ever at 106…the only time he’s every gone more than 2 seasons without making a playoff appearance was 2014-2017, and he finished in the top-10 WOR spots 3 of 4 years during that span…the guy is really good at this game…really enjoy playing and competing with you Danny, and I can’t believe it’s been 17 years…enjoy the offseason, and I look forward to seeing you in spring training!

BREWERS – DODGERS

The upstart wildcard team won each of the first two games before the Dodgers got rolling and took all 3 games in Milwuakee, outscoring the home team 18-5 in the set. Aaron Ashby scattered 7 hits over 5 and a third in game 3 and combined with 3 relievers to turn in a shutout and force a game 7…In the second series to go to an extra-inning game 7 the Brewers scored in the top of the 10th and held on with a perfect inning from Devin Williams to advance. I am running out of superlatives for Rick Wynne. The ASFBL’s all-time win leader…closing in on 3,000 career victories…highest lifetime winning percent for anyone with more than one season…three world series championships and six apperances…the quintessential good heart and true gentleman…someone who is forever kind and pleasant…his 122 wins are a career-best and the second best in league history behind the 1998 Yankees…he just finished 29 years in the league, and I can truly say that he’s one of the core guys who makes the league what it is…I can write the code, Leo can keep the trains on time, but if there aren’t great owners who make the games go the league isn’t what it is, and Rick is one of our all-time great owners and an all-time great guy. I deeply appreciate all you bring to the league, Rick, and I always feel a quick jump of joy when I see your name on a message. Enjoy watching the rest of the playoffs, and we’ll see you next spring!

TORONTO-CLEVELAND

Momentum lasts as long as tomorrow’s starting pitcher is an axiom that didn’t need more proof but this series had it…the Guardians took a 3-1 series lead before dropping game 5 when the Jays took the game to the 11th, went down by two, and then scored three in the bottom of the extra inning to keep the series alive…the two runs in the top of the 11th were the last they’d give up in the series as Stripling and Gausman allowed nothing for two games to escape into the LCS…I can’t believe I met Steve more than a decade ago but it says here he joined the league in 2011…after learning the ropes for 5 seasons something clicked…in 2013 and 2014 he had losing seasons and dropped into double-digit negative WOR performances which might have discouraged some…Steve Skrovan went on to five straight playoff appearances including a World Championship in 2019 and this season marks the 6th of the last 7 seasons he’s been in the playoffs and the 4th time he’s eclipsed 90 wins…Steve is just an accomplished guy all around, a former college football player, a successful Hollywood writer, a producer of award-winning documentaries, and a dedicated Dad…I’m not writing all these nice things because he gets me owners-box seats whenever Cleveland visits the Angels, but he does that too…nachos are on me at the next Anaheim visit, Steve, and enjoy the offseason!

HOUSTON – TEXAS

…which sounds like I’m typing the name of a city, not a playoff series. In an ASFBL and now MLB rarity, the higher seed took control and was able to hold on. Astro pitching allowed 1 run or fewer in 3 of the games (something I bitterly note deGrom and Scherzer were supposed to do), and in the one high-scoring affair the Houston bats outslugged the Rangers 8 to 6…Jim Casey advances to the LCS for the fourth time in the past 6 years, and Ben Brockreide finishes another successful campaign…Ben has been in the league for five years now, has had a positive-WOR finish in every one of them…he’s finished in the top-10 WOR spots each of the past four years including this season’s championship…his +22 WOR are an improvement even on last years’ +19…he is the living proof that the ASFBL keeps things interesting for bad teams by leaving plenty of open ground for improvement, and few have done it as well as Ben since he’s been in the league…congrats on your first playoff appearance, Ben, and this Angel fan hopes you never get a chance to GM the actual Rangers…enjoy the off season and we’ll see you in spring training!

LCS NOTES

Jays are at Houston, Cubs are at Brewers…I’ll get the schedule set by this afternoon, and I’ll ask the Final Four to get the lineups in by Thursday and email Leo and I when you do…we’ll run the games no later than Fridy and finish up the season over the weekend.

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ASFBL — Wildcard Results 2022

Mets-Brewers

Fun fact: this series featured fantasy Brewer Mike Trout against fantasy Met Shohei Ohtani…After an 11-2 blowout in the opening game of the playoffs, the Mets took game 2 before losing both of the next two. Scoring only 7 runs in their 3 losses, the bats — which weren’t expected to be all that hot — couldn’t muster enough to overcome decent but far from dominant pitching on the New York side. My perfect record of never having won a game I created remains in tact, and just like the actual Mets putting all my eggs in a basket named deGrom wasn’t a formula for winning a playoff series. Hunter Renfroe’s 6 RBI in game 1 was the most of any player in the wildcard round. Congrats to Chris Zewiske, and good luck in the NL final four!

Cubs-Cardinals

The teams traded wins in the first four games to force a final-game, winner-take-all showdown in game 5, which of course went to extra-innings. Ryan Helsley entered a 10th-inning jam but after a strikeout allowed a single to Trey Mancini and Colin McHugh pitched a perfect bottom of the 10th to seal the series. It doesn’t get any closer than the final game going to extra innings, and this series was about as exciting as they get.

Josh Clark literally saved the league when he took over lineup duties in the days when they were phoned in, entered manually, and mailed via hard copy. This is his 13th season, and his 97 wins tops the 2015 season he had with KC where he was the AL runner-up. The Cardinals are his 6th team and 2022 also marks his best WOR finish. You will never meet a better human being than Josh Clark — Mohandras Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Josh Clark are synonyms. He is an amazing friend, a terrific spouse, and an incredible Dad, and he brings passion, commitment and fun to everything he does. We aren’t as close as we once were what with the 2,300 miles that separate our mailing addresses, but the ASFBL is one of the ways we get to check in a couple of times a year, and I’m really glad you’re in the league, Josh!

Yankees-Texas

After the Yankees shut out the Rangers 5-0 in the first game the Texas bats scored 19 runs over the next 18 inning, including a narrowly-won 10-7 slugfest in game 3. The bats slowed down in game 4 and it took some pitching to close out the series, but Texas got 4 shutout innings between Andre Jackson and Brock Burke to win the series in 4. Mark Yee has managed over 4,300 ASFL games and has a winning lifetime record; he’s been in the league continuously since 1992 making him one of only 2-3 original owners to still stick around. He won his first league championship in 1996 with the Yankees, bounced around, and has been at the helm of the AL New York club since 2014, where he’s been in the playoffs 5 of the past 8 years…his best season was 1993 where he won 110 games with Texas and won two different divisions in consecutive years in 2001 and 2002 with St. Louis and then Arizona…he’s an avid bowler, a terrific uncle, and a sports card collector…I’ve never had an ASFBL season without Mark, and this marks 30 of them…I still have a vivid memory of the paper envelope sitting on the counter of my Salt Lake apartment with Marks’ return address on it…great having you in the league Mark, and looking forward to having you back next spring!

Cleveland-Minnesota

The teams scored a total of 5 runs bewteen them in the first 2 games before Minnesota got a 4-0 shutout in game 3. Konnor Plikington turned in 5 innings of 1-run ball in game 4, and Nick Snadlin and Trevor Stephan allowed only 1 hit and no runs over the final 4 innings making the homers from Naylor, Gimenez, and Bregman more than enough. Steve Skrovan advances in the playoffs for the 3rd time in the last 5 years and this is a big bounce-back season from the 70-win 2021 campaign. Tim Walsh has been in the league since 1998 and has managed the home-team Twins since 2000…he’s made the playoffs 3 of the past 4 years and made it to the LCS twice…the one time he missed the playoffs he finished in the top-10 in WOR…his best season was 2019 where he made it to the LCS and won 96 games…his +12 WOR this year is a career-high he set back in 1998, 24 years ago…he’s turning the AL Central into a powerhouse where he and Steve Skrovan trade punches all year and then race each other in the playoffs…Tim is a truly wonderful man and the quintessential Minnesotan — loyal to the region, clever and kind, polite and professional…great having you around for another season, Tim, and congrats on taking your ASFBL Twins farther than the actual club this year!

ANDY SOMERS

As you have no doubt seen on email, this is Andy’s final season…life has its share of challenges it will dish out to all of us but Andy has had more than his share over the last spell…what I can say for sure is that he has an active imagination and a willingness to dwell in the nonreal that is what makes fantasy sports fun in the first place, and if it doesn’t sound too grandiose is a uniquely human way of looking at the world that makes us all more than just flesh and bone…I really like the way Andy thinks…he was always pushing the way the numbers make the game work, calculating magic numbers and sharing them when he could, cancelling his own trades when injuries worked out in his favor, and has never been anything but a positive burst of fun energy in every interaction…this ends season #12 for Andy and he saw the playoffs 10 times, including 3 championships…its been a great run, Andy, and you’ve been a great guy to get to know. Best of luck with all things in the future!

COMING UP NEXT…

NL: Brewers at Dodgers, Cubs at Braves. AL: Texas at Houston, Cleveland at Toronto. I’ll have the schedule set up by noon California time today and I’ll ask for you to submit your lineups by Monday at noon. That should let us complete our DCS on Monday, our LCS on Wednesday, and our first game will start on 10-15…per league rules, all series are 7 games from here on out…

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Newsletter for games through 10-5 — Season Wrap!

RACES

St. Louis widened its lead by taking 2 of 3 from Pittsburgh to take the NL Central. The Brewers lost 2 of three to Arizona, and Mark Druyos finished the season by being the spoiler…Reid Detmers, a trade acquisition, got the definitive start on the 3rd and the Dbacks won 3-1…Rick Wynne finished with the best record in the league and a personal-best 122 wins, 9 more than his 2019 Dodgers had…his first 100-win season dates to 1994 with the Pirates…the Braves cruised in with a 5-1 record to finish 5 games ahead of the actual club, Making the Dodgers the #1 seed and the Braves #2 and both get byes in the first round…Cardinals are the 3 seed with their division championship. Mets were kind of locked in as the #4 seed with the top wildcard spot but the Brewers get #5, comfortably 6 wins above the last wildcard spot and closer to taking the 4 seed than dropping to 6…the NL wildcard was the read dogfight…Colorado took 2 of 3 from the mighty Dodgers but dropped the last game of the season 8-6 as Gomber got touched up for 6 runs in only 3 innings, and couldn’t take advantage of scoring 4 off of Tyler Anderson…the 3-7 Dodger hitters were 0-20 but the rest were 8-19 and Evan Phillips got the save…that meant the Cubs needed a sweep of the Reds, which they pulled off with 7 innings of 1-run ball from Marcus Stroman and 3 hits from Jeff McNeil, who played the last day of the fantasy season…big congrats to Gordo for making the playoffs, and congrats to Ben for a great season…Ben is finishing his 9th ASFBL campaign and he’s made the playoffs 7 times…last year he had the DBacks in the #1 WOR spot…his best season so far is 2018 when he had 96 wins, also with Arizona…his +18 WOR puts him second in the league this year and tops in the NL, and it’s the 7th time he’s finished in the Top-10 WOR spots…congrats on another great season, Ben! … also just nudged out was Adam Symonds’ Phillies team, who finished with 86 wins and drew the Astros for the final series…Adam has been in the league since 2003 and he’s been in the playoffs 8 times, including a league championship in 2015 with the Mariners…he skippered the team to a 42-34 record in the division and a 24-14 mark in 1-run games…just like the actual Phillies, things got off to a slow start, but he charged down the stretch and came within 1 run of taking 2 of 3 from the Astros and forcing a tie…a really smart guy and a terrific Dad, I’ve really enjoyed staying in touch with Adam through the ASFBL over the years…have a great off-season, Adam!

In the AL, the Yankees swept the really good Ranger team, with Cardinal-transplant Mikolas allowing no runs and pitching into the 8th…I don’t know how I missed this, but the Yankees have a player named Oswald and one named Oswaldo, and they both hit homers in the final game…Baltimore, refusing to die, swept the Jays including a walk-off, 1-0 victory on the last day of the season when the 9-hole hitter Greg Cullen knocked in the only run of the game…that rush wasn’t enough, and the Jays held on by their fingernails to win the AL East crown…the Central has been leading to a photo-finish all year, and the teams did not disappoint…the Twins split the first 2 against the Chisox, and on the last day of the season Leo’s club won a 4-3, extra-inning game to take the series…Cleveland followed the same script against Kansas City, splitting the first 2 games before dropping an 11-10 slugfest in the season finale…KC overcame an 8-1 deficit, which seems less unrealistic given what Seattle is doing in the playoffs…the standings ended where the week starts, with the Guardians squeaking by with a 1-game lead…Houston continued to roll in the West, and Jim Casey’s 102 wins were the most in the AL…the strong Yankee finish gives them the #1 wildcard, and the Twins and Rangers tied at 90 wins to secure the last 2 spots…Texas gets the 5 seed by virtue of having taken the season series 4-3…Texas beat Minnesota on August 22d to break a 3-3 seasonal series tie, in a game that didn’t seem all that important at the time but is massive now…that puts Hugh Brown’s Bosox as the last team out with 87 wins…that was a +5 WOR finish in a division that had 4 of 5 teams with winning records…Hugh has been in the league since 2006 and has put his teams in the top-10 WOR finish six times…this year will make it seven…he won the AL East in 2015 and made it to the divisional round that year, and he’s twice finished with 93 wins (2008 Arizona, 2016 Toronto)…this is his first year back in the AL East after a trip to Colorado…great having you in the league, Hugh, and congrats on another winning season!

PLAYOFF PROCEDURALS

The playoff matchups look like this:

NL: Brewers at Mets, Cubs at Cardinals, Braves and Dodgers Bye.

AL: Texas at Yankees, Minnesota at Cleveland, Astros and Jays Bye.

I’ll have the schedule set up by tomorrow, please enter your WCS lineups by Thursday evening and email Leo and I to confirm your lineups are in. I’ll shoot to run the games on Friday, and Saturday latest. Per the rules there is a 2-day break after the end of the season so the games will start on 10-8. The ASFBL wildcard round is 5 games using a 2-2-1 format with off days.

Get your lineups in, and good luck!

FEW FEATS, FAUX FAILURES

Nick Maton (Philadelphia) struck out 4 times (on 10/3/2022 against Houston) 
Jordan Luplow (Arizona) struck out 4 times (on 10/5/2022 against Milwaukee) 

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Newsletter for games through 10-2

LINEUP ANNOUNCEMENT REMINDER

Remember that the next download will be tomorrow, Oct 6, and will include the final regular season stats. Your next lineup is due Monday, Oct 10, not our traditional Tuesday. We can then get the playoff games rolling by Friday.

FEAT OF THE WEEK

Bobby Witt came up a single short of the cycle on 9/30/2022 against Colorado…and Trea Turner went 4-5 hitting behind him, and every hit was a single…

COMMENTARY

This newsletter is dedicated to things that were settled or are going down to the wire…the next newsletter will be the season wrap…In the NL, The Dodgers have long since sewn up the top seed and Atlanta clinced in NL East…just to prove neither team is coasting their combined record was 11-1 last week…The Dodgers put Rick Wynne at 121 wins, smashing his old personal best of 113…Danny Wildes cracked 100 wins for the first time in his league tenure…and I might have lost count, but I think Leo Leckie needed only 2 wins to hit 2,5000 all-time…and the White Sox got exactly 2 wins this week…the last time Rick and Danny hit their personal highs they went out in the divisional round, and I feel like something has to give this year…meanwhile in the Central Josh Clark has all but cinched it…up by 3 with 3 games to go, and I’d have to dig into the details of the tiebreakers but unless something very strange happens the Cardinals look like they have the division…but then again, we play these games because strange things happen…Mets and Brewers have the top two wildcard spots tied up, but Philly (85 wins), the Cubs (84 wins), and the Rockies (84 wins) are all in a logjam for the last spot…all of those teams had exactly 3 wins last week…Rockies finish at Dodgers, Cubs at the Reds, and Phillies at the Astros…strength of schedule tips to the Cubs, but the Rockies have the best record over the last 20 and the Phillies have the best record in close games by far…pitching matchups will matter…excited to see the finish!…In the AMERICAN LEAGUE, Johnny Mac’s Jays sealed up the division with a 4-2 week…the late Yankee run came up a tick short…Houston has sealed the west for a while, but Anaheim-Oakland-Seattle outperformed the Astros and Rangers last week to make it the fortnight of the spoilers…The AL Central is THE race to watch…the Guardians stormed off to a 5-1 mark and lost ground to the Twins who went 6-0…both teams are now in positive WOR territory…only 1 game separates them…Cleveland finishes against KC and the Twins against the Chisox, so Mike Mendoz and Leo Leckie are going to help decide that division…Texas leads the wildcard by a game and a half over the Twins, the Cleveland/Minnesota runner-up will take the second spot, and the Yankees are locked in with 87 wins in the 3rd spot…the only thing that could change is the seeding of the Ranger/central order, and the Bosox have an outside chance of running the table and tying the Yankees if they lose all 3….Anaheim and Baltimore both look to finish in positive WOR figures, but each needed incredible weeks to challenge for the wildcard and couldn’t muster the magic…congrats to Oakland for locking in at +12.5 WOR, and they’ll duel the Cubs, Twins, Dodgers, and Angels for the 3rd WOR spot…

FEATS AND FAILURES

Ryan Mountcastle (Baltimore)  had 5 hits (on 9/27/2022 against Boston) 
Frank Schwindel (Arizona) struck out 4 times (on 9/27/2022 against Houston) 
Tucker Barnhart (Detroit)  had 5 hits (on 9/29/2022 against Kansas City) 
Matt Chapman (Philadelphia) struck out 4 times (on 9/29/2022 against Chicago (CC)) 
Justin Verlander (Cleveland) struck out 13 batters (on 9/29/2022 against Tampa Bay) 
Edward Cabrera (Miami) struck out 11 batters (on 9/29/2022 against Milwaukee) 
Ian Happ (Chicago (CC)) struck out 4 times (on 9/30/2022 against Cincinnati) 
Luis Arraez (Minnesota)  had 6 hits (on 9/30/2022 against Detroit)  
Jake Alu (Washington) hit 6 RBI (on 10/1/2022 against Philadelphia) 
Carson Kelly (Arizona) hit 3 homers (on 10/1/2022 against San Francisco) 
Rafael Devers (Los Angeles) hit 3 homers (on 10/1/2022 against Colorado) 
Alek Manoah (Toronto) struck out 12 batters (on 10/2/2022 against Boston) 
Heliot Ramos (San Francisco) struck out 4 times (on 10/2/2022 against Arizona) 
Dylan Cease (Colorado) struck out 11 batters (on 10/2/2022 against Los Angeles)

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Newsletter for games through 9-25-22

LINEUP DEADLINE ANNOUNCEMENTS

So our next lineup is due on Oct 4 to play games through Oct 2, but the season ends on October 5. So if we wait until the following Tuesday like normal that’s 6 days to wait while no real stats are accumulating. So, we’ll have our normal lineup due on Oct 4, the real MLB season will end on Oct 5, I’ll do the download on Thursday, Oct 6, and the following MONDAY, 10th the final regular-season lineup will be due. That means you’ll have from Friday, Oct 7, through Monday, Oct 10, to enter your final regular-season lineup. Should be able to start the playoffs on Friday, Oct 14.

PENNANT RACES!!!!!

Wow, a week without multiple no-hitters….guess we need to focus on the races with a week and a half to go…

AL East: Toronto picked up 2 games in a crucial week by splitting 2 games with the Phillies and then sweeping division-rival Tampa Bay…the Yankees split with Boston and Pittsburgh for a 3-3 week…that would be the Pirates playing the role of spoilers and giving the Jays the boost, although the baseball gods definitely help those who help themselves. A big Jays boost was the start Kevin Gausman turned in on the 21st, striking out 12 batters…

AL Central: Cleveland is imitating reality and is within 1 game of the team that clinched the division, while the Twins are +9 WOR and knocking at the door…The Guardians gained ground to emerge as the clear frontrunner by taking the last game of a head-to-head series and then taking 2 of 3 from both the Chisox and WOR-champ Texas clubs…and Steve can thank Greg Achten and the Angels for sweeping the Twins in a huge boost to the Cleveland efforts..

AL West/Wildcard: Houston has clinched the division and the top seed, so they are playing to avoid digital injuries, but they can still hack up the other races since nobody in a fight wants to take on the best team in the league with the season on the line…but the Rays, who are fighting for relevance, took 2 of 3 and Baltimore, who can finish above .500 and in positive WOR territory, earned a split…Texas holds the top wildcard spot by about 3 games with about 8 to go with the Yankees and Twins currently in the last 2 playoff spots…but Boston is only a half-game behind the Twins and Anaheim would need a strong week, but coming off their 5-2 week has a shot.

NL East: The Mets finally gained on Atlanta but with 8 games to go the 6.5 game lead seems pretty safe…kudos to Andy Somers who, in his last year in the league, has the best WOR in a strong division…the 98 wins that Danny Wildes has racked up would tie him for best in the AL and he seems a sure bet to beat his person best reasons with 99 wins that he had in 2018 and tied in 2019…those last 2 world series appearances are no fluke and this will be his 5th consecutive year in the playoffs…

NL Central: It’s the division nobody can claim as none of the top 3 teams could pull off a winning record last week…the Cardinals gained a half game by going .500, and it was a tough week to draw the Dodgers…they took 2 of 3 from the Padres to extend their lead…Milwaukee caught the Mets on an upswing but still took a game from them, but Josh Clark can thank Raphael Malveaux for keeping the Reds competitive and splitting a 4-game set with the Brewers…Gordie has worked magic with the Cubs but may have run out of juice for the divisional race although the Chicagoans are right in the thick of the wildcard…Milwuakee is only a game and a half back, and this one is going down to the wire…

NL West/Wildcard: A 6-2 week pushed Rick Wynne to 115 wins, officially making this his best season ever and the record-setting 16th times he’s had a 100+ win season…the playoffs are always a crapshoot, and while Kimbrel has been the actual Dodger Achilles’ Heel Rick has slotting in Evan Phillips and his 1.20 ERA as the closer…Colorado is having a phenomenal year at +16 WOR (best in the NL, 2d overall)…if the season ended today, the Mets and Brewers would have the top 2 wildcard spots locked up with 92 and 89 wins, abut then the logjam hits with the Phillies (82 wins), Cubs (81 wins), and Rockies (81 wins) in a dead heat for the final spot…

FEATS AND FAILURES

Brandon Marsh (Anaheim) struck out 4 times (on 9/19/2022 against Seattle) 
Shohei Ohtani (New York (NYM)) struck out 13 batters (on 9/21/2022 against Milwaukee) 
Shane McClanahan (Tampa Bay) struck out 13 batters (on 9/21/2022 against Houston) 
Daulton Varsho (Baltimore) struck out 4 times (on 9/21/2022 against Detroit) 
Jake Cave (Minnesota) struck out 4 times (on 9/22/2022 against Kansas City) 
Alek Manoah (Toronto) struck out 12 batters (on 9/22/2022 against Tampa Bay) 
Christian Arroyo (Texas) kicked 3 errors (on 9/23/2022 against Cleveland) 
Adam Frazier (Seattle) struck out 4 times (on 9/23/2022 against Kansas City) 
Carlos Correa (Minnesota) struck out 4 times (on 9/23/2022 against Anaheim) 
Jo Adell (Anaheim) struck out 5 times (on 9/23/2022 against Minnesota) 
Lance Lynn (Anaheim) struck out 12 batters (on 9/23/2022 against Minnesota) 
Jacob deGrom (New York (NYM)) struck out 12 batters (on 9/24/2022 against Oakland) 
Hunter Brown (Texas) struck out 12 batters (on 9/24/2022 against Cleveland) 
Luke Williams (San Francisco) struck out 4 times (on 9/24/2022 against Arizona) 
Luke Raley (Tampa Bay) struck out 4 times (on 9/25/2022 against Toronto) 
Yordan Álvarez (New York (NYM))  had 5 hits (on 9/25/2022 against Oakland) 

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Newsletter for games through 6-19-22

MILESTONES

Got this email from Rick Wynne last week (thank you!): “Was just noticing that Leo is only 5 wins away from winning # 2,500 !!”…that number is now down to 3…Rick also pointed out that he’ll pass 3,000 wins next year, and I should make 2,500…this league has some history…

COMMENTARY

How can I possibly have Shohei Ohtani and Jacob deGrom and be sinking so quickly in my own division? I feel like Arte Moreno…although I will not be turning fantasy management over to Phil Nevin any time soon…maybe I should ask Danny Wildes, who’s Braves gained more ground, or Andy Somers, who’s Nationals went a perfect 5-0, or Adam Symonds, who’s Phillies are 13-7 over the last 20…Danny is threatening to take a double-digit lead in the NL East and I’m afraid to calculate when he will clinch it…the magic number is “he probably already has”…Josh Clark inched another half-game in front of Chris Zewiske and the Cards and Brewers although both had winning weeks…that one is gonna go down to the wire…the Dodger lead keeps getting larger…the all-time ASFBL record is 124 wins by the New York Yankees in 1998…almost before the ASFBL Modern Era…that record belongs to Mike Gortenburg…most notable of late is the 113 wins by Rick himself in 2019 also with the Dodgers…right now he’s sitting at 109 wins with 16 games to go…Colorado had a winning week with an all-Chicago and all-Leckie set of opponents…San Diego swept 4 games against Arizona to stay in the thick of the NL wildcard showdown…the actual Yankees are surging, the ASFBL Jays are holding steady, and when the dust settled on the ASFBL this week Mark Yee pulled to within half a game of Johnny Mac and Toronto…Mark owes some gratitude to Alan Minsky and the Rays who took 3 of 5 from the Jays…the only sub-.500 team in the actual AL East is the Bosox, and Hugh Brown has them +8 WOR…that division is tough…AL Central has been a race all year and Steve Skrovan marched upward with a 5-2 week to move within a game of the Twins…Cleveland took 3 of 4 in head-to-head games this week…feels like early playoff baseball…Ben Brockreide is really getting it done with the Rangers, and the real question is whether his +23 WOR is enough juice to make a post-season run…he’s currently got a firm hold on the top wildcard spot, and he’d lead the other two divisions…+23 puts him in the top-20 ASFBL finishes all-time…

GEMS OF THE WEEK

Julio Urias (still with Los Angeles) threw a no-hitter on 9/5/2022 against San Francisco…congrats to the Dodgers on the feat and as we all wait to see how the new rules encourage more balls in play both the ASFBL and the MLB are seeing some impressive pitching and strikeout performances this year…Jacob deGrom threw a no-hitter of his onw on 9/9/2022 against Miami while striking out 19….which is 1 short of the actual Met high total last week…I think that’s 5 no-hitters in the last 3 weeks…gotta take a look at the pitcher change algorithm in the off season, but in a year where deGrom gets yanked with a perfect game in tact in MLB I think my old-school “don’t pull the starter if he’s got a no-hitter going” rule might be getting dusty…

FEATS AND FAILURES

Willy Adames (Milwaukee) struck out 4 times (on 9/5/2022 against Colorado) 
Jake McCarthy (Washington) hit 6 RBI (on 9/5/2022 against St. Louis) 
Shohei Ohtani (New York (NYM)) struck out 11 batters (on 9/6/2022 against Pittsburgh) 
Joey Meneses (Texas) struck out 4 times (on 9/6/2022 against Houston) 
Cody Thomas (Oakland) struck out 4 times (on 9/6/2022 against Atlanta) 
Alex Bregman (Cleveland)  had 5 hits (on 9/7/2022 against Kansas City) 
Stone Garrett (Arizona)  had 5 hits (on 9/7/2022 against San Diego) 
Mike Minor (Cincinnati) struck out 11 batters (on 9/8/2022 against Chicago (CC)) 
Isan Diaz (San Francisco) struck out 4 times (on 9/9/2022 against Chicago (CC)) 
Brandon Woodruff (Anaheim) struck out 12 batters (on 9/9/2022 against Houston) 
Tyrone Taylor (Milwaukee) struck out 4 times (on 9/9/2022 against Cincinnati) 
Buddy Kennedy (Arizona) struck out 4 times (on 9/9/2022 against Colorado) 
J.T. Realmuto (Toronto) struck out 4 times (on 9/10/2022 against Texas) 
Corey Dickerson (St. Louis)  had 5 hits (on 9/11/2022 against Pittsburgh) 
Chad Pinder (Detroit) struck out 4 times (on 9/11/2022 against Kansas City) 
Nick Pratto (Kansas City) struck out 5 times (on 9/11/2022 against Detroit) 
Alfonso Rivas (Oakland) struck out 4 times (on 9/11/2022 against Chicago (CWS)) 
Seiya Suzuki (Baltimore) struck out 4 times (on 9/13/2022 against Washington) 
C.J. Cron (Colorado) struck out 4 times (on 9/13/2022 against Chicago (CWS)) 
Mitch Haniger (Seattle) struck out 4 times (on 9/13/2022 against San Diego) 
Carlos Rodon (San Francisco) struck out 11 batters (on 9/13/2022 against Atlanta) 
TJ Friedl (Cincinnati)  had 5 hits (on 9/14/2022 against Pittsburgh) 
Brandon Marsh (Anaheim) struck out 4 times (on 9/14/2022 against Cleveland) 
Kevin Gausman (Toronto) struck out 12 batters (on 9/14/2022 against Tampa Bay) 
Eric Thames (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 4 times (on 9/14/2022 against Colorado) 
Oneil Cruz (Pittsburgh) struck out 4 times (on 9/15/2022 against New York (NYM)) 
Austin Hays (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 4 times (on 9/16/2022 against Detroit) 
Nestor Cortes (Chicago (CWS)) struck out 11 batters (on 9/16/2022 against Detroit) 
Zach Remillard (Detroit) struck out 4 times (on 9/16/2022 against Chicago (CWS)) 
Luis Castillo (Cincinnati)  threw a no-hitter! (on 9/16/2022 against St. Louis) 
Darin Ruf (San Francisco) struck out 4 times (on 9/16/2022 against Los Angeles) 
Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles) struck out 11 batters (on 9/16/2022 against San Francisco) 
Josh Jung (Texas) struck out 4 times (on 9/17/2022 against Tampa Bay) 
Christian Walker (Philadelphia) struck out 4 times (on 9/17/2022 against Atlanta) 
Nathaniel Lowe (Atlanta) struck out 4 times (on 9/18/2022 against Philadelphia) 
Gleyber Torres (New York (NYM)) struck out 4 times (on 9/18/2022 against Pittsburgh) 

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Newsletter for games through 9-11-22

RULES UPDATE

Since the MLB rosters expanded to 28 on Sept 1, we’ll expand the ASFBL rosters to 28 starting with next week’s lineups (max 14 pitchers). We’ll have lineups on the 20th, 27th, and Oct 2, and then the season ends on Oct 5. Playoff rosters must be trimmed back down to 26 (13 pitcher max). No waivers are relevant starting Oct 2. Thanks to Mark Chen for pointing out the Sept 1 roster expansion…that wasn’t included on the original list of rules changes and slipped my notice. Appreciate it, Mark!

And, I HAVE KILLED THE BUG. Did everything but call in an exterminator and leave traps laying around the code. But I think that AAA players who were traded and then promoted will stay with the correct fantasy team, although I will ask you all to be vigilant in letting me know if any sneak through…

COMMENTARY

It should not seem anti-climactic for a week to have a no-hitter in the wake of last week that saw TWO no-hitters and a cycle, so the fact that Julio Urias’ gem on 9/5/2022 against San Francisco was a perfect game should be impressive…The Atlanta Braves are on an 18-2 tear, which is amazing. They are paced by Austin Riley, who has 37 HR, and Max Fried, who has 18 wins. In fact, three Atlanta pitchers have 10 wins or more (Wright and Strider are the other 2)…and that’s making the most of the home-grown talent…the NL central is a race for the ages, with the Cardinals sneaking out by a half game on their 5-2 performance while the Brewers checked in at 5-3…the Cubs ran the table, and are currently tied for the 3rd wildcard spot with the Phillies…both of those teams are dangerous to the top of their divisions and in the playoffs…think I messed this up before, but Rick Wynne and the Dodgers are chasing his all-time win record of 113 that he set in 2019…he needs 8 more wins with 23 to go…Toronto and New York both sit at the top of the AL East but both had losing weeks as Boston went 5-1…they are +9 WOR and only 3 back for the divisional lead…the other awesome race is in the AL Central, where the Twins rode a 5-2 record to a 3-game lead in the AL Central…Guardians lead the actual division and are +1.5 WOR, but the Twins are a solid +9 WOR…the Minnesotans were pretty active this year with 9 trades that involved 4 teams…every trading partner was in the AL…Anaheim had the best record in the west at 4-2, although the big news in that division is Houston’s 10.5 game lead and the +21 WOR that Texas has put up…Seattle is back to being competitive and is 6-4 over the last 10…this is the time of the season where the spoiler wins make a big difference…

FEATS AND FAILURES

Willy Adames (Milwaukee) struck out 4 times (on 9/5/2022 against Colorado) 
Jake McCarthy (Washington) hit 6 RBI (on 9/5/2022 against St. Louis) 
Shohei Ohtani (New York (NYM)) struck out 11 batters (on 9/6/2022 against Pittsburgh) 
Joey Meneses (Texas) struck out 4 times (on 9/6/2022 against Houston) 
Cody Thomas (Oakland) struck out 4 times (on 9/6/2022 against Atlanta) 
Alex Bregman (Cleveland)  had 5 hits (on 9/7/2022 against Kansas City) 
Stone Garrett (Arizona)  had 5 hits (on 9/7/2022 against San Diego) 
Mike Minor (Cincinnati) struck out 11 batters (on 9/8/2022 against Chicago (CC)) 
Isan Diaz (San Francisco) struck out 4 times (on 9/9/2022 against Chicago (CC)) 
Jacob deGrom (New York (NYM)) struck out 19 batters (on 9/9/2022 against Miami) 
Jacob deGrom (New York (NYM))  threw a no-hitter! (on 9/9/2022 against Miami) 
Brandon Woodruff (Anaheim) struck out 12 batters (on 9/9/2022 against Houston) 
Tyrone Taylor (Milwaukee) struck out 4 times (on 9/9/2022 against Cincinnati) 
Buddy Kennedy (Arizona) struck out 4 times (on 9/9/2022 against Colorado) 
J.T. Realmuto (Toronto) struck out 4 times (on 9/10/2022 against Texas) 
Corey Dickerson (St. Louis)  had 5 hits (on 9/11/2022 against Pittsburgh) 
Chad Pinder (Detroit) struck out 4 times (on 9/11/2022 against Kansas City) 
Nick Pratto (Kansas City) struck out 5 times (on 9/11/2022 against Detroit) 
Alfonso Rivas (Oakland) struck out 4 times (on 9/11/2022 against Chicago (CWS))

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Newsletter for games through 9-4-22

COMMENTARY

So the actual Mets took 2 of 3 from a really good Dodger team and then proceeded to bonk against a scuffling group of Nationals…my ASFBL Mets took 2 of 3 from a better-than-really-good Dodgers team and then proceeded to have Andy Somers’ Nationals make it clear that they were not going to roll over and took 2 of 3 from the Mets…I’ve gotta write a less realistic simulation…reality, meanwhile, was having no bearing on Danny Wildes’ Braves who ran the table and have had about a 10-game turnaround in under a month…the Mets have a winning record over the last 30 games but the Braves are 23-7….meanwhile, the Cardinals and Brewers went a combined 11-2 and are now locked in a dead tie in the NL Central…Toronto and the Yankees had matching 6-1 records allowing the Jays to hold a 2.5 game lead…Minnesota went 3-3 while the Guardians slid at 1-5 to drop 1.5 back…that’s 3 divisions where first and second are separated by a total of 4 games…Seattle and Texas were each 5-1…the Mariners got some long-languishing pitchers back in the action…man, just don’t sleep on Baltimore, who went 4-2 and are 20-10 over the last 30…and kudos to the Phillies who were also 5-1 and 19-11 over the last 30…Anaheim took 2 of 3 from Astros, which isn’t exactly being a spoiler for a team with a 10.5 game lead in September, but is definitely a point-of-pride series that Arte Moreno would envy…Texas finished the week 20 games over the actual club, and is becoming a clear frontrunner in the WOR standings…TWO NO-HITTERS ON THE SAME DAY…Zac Gallen of the Rockies did it against Cincinnati, and Adam Wainwright Yankees did it against Tampa Bay, and both on September 4…and while two no-hitters on one day is amazing, there were actually 3 on the week…Sonny Gray (San Diego) no-hit the Giants on August 31…in none of those 3 games did the winning team score more than 4 runs…Gallen’s gem was a perfect game…

FEATS AND FAILURES

Parker Bugg (Miami) struck out 11 batters (on 8/30/2022 against Tampa Bay) 
Randal Grichuk (Oakland) struck out 5 times (on 8/30/2022 against Washington) 
J.T. Realmuto (Toronto) struck out 4 times (on 8/30/2022 against Chicago (CC)) 
Jacob deGrom (New York (NYM)) struck out 13 batters (on 8/30/2022 against Los Angeles) 
C.J. Cron (Colorado) struck out 4 times (on 8/30/2022 against Atlanta) 
Edmundo Sosa (St. Louis) struck out 4 times (on 8/31/2022 against Cincinnati) 
Jonathan Aranda (Tampa Bay)  had 5 hits (on 8/31/2022 against Miami) 
Dylan Cease (Colorado) struck out 17 batters (on 8/31/2022 against Atlanta) 
Salvador Perez (Kansas City)  had 5 hits (on 9/1/2022 against Chicago (CWS)) 
Salvador Perez (Kansas City)  hit for the cycle! (on 9/1/2022 against Chicago (CWS)) 
Shohei Ohtani (New York (NYM)) struck out 11 batters (on 9/1/2022 against Los Angeles) 
James Outman (Los Angeles) struck out 4 times (on 9/1/2022 against New York (NYM)) 
Seiya Suzuki (Baltimore)  had 5 hits (on 9/1/2022 against Cleveland) 
Daulton Varsho (Baltimore) hit 6 RBI (on 9/1/2022 against Cleveland) 
Luis Garcia (Detroit) struck out 11 batters (on 9/2/2022 against Kansas City) 
Kyle Schwarber (Washington) struck out 4 times (on 9/2/2022 against New York (NYM)) 
TJ Friedl (Cincinnati)  had 5 hits (on 9/3/2022 against Colorado) 
TJ Friedl (Cincinnati)  hit for the cycle! (on 9/3/2022 against Colorado) 
Chris Okey (Cincinnati) struck out 4 times (on 9/3/2022 against Colorado) 
Aaron Judge (St. Louis) hit 3 homers (on 9/3/2022 against Chicago (CC)) 
Yu Chang (Cleveland) struck out 4 times (on 9/4/2022 against Seattle) 

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