Newsletter though 10-1-17

FINAL REGULAR SEASON WEEK!

National League: DBacks finished a modest 3-3 but still led the ASFBL in wins and earned the top seed and homefield advantage for the playoffs…Washington was second in the best NL-and-ASFBL record…The Cubs needed all of their 5-2 finish to grab the NL central crown, finishing 2 games ahead of the Brewers…the Wildcard race was fast and furious…the Brewers finished 4-2 and nudged the Dodgers out of the last wildcard spot by all of 1 game…because….

I have added white space here in the hopes of adding a dramatic pause: in the next few lines, my friends, we will collectively witness the glory of baseball.  The difference in the wildcard race, the coveted last wildcard spot, the culmination of 162 games of effort, came down to….the San Diego Padres.  With a tough series coming up against the Rockies, the Dodgers had to beat the Padres to gain ground against Milwukee…they managed to do so in the first two games, winning both while scoring only 3 runs behind back-to-back shutouts (with Rich Hill and Alex Wood winning as the starters, and consecutive 2-inning saves by Kenley Jansen)…but in the 3rd game, the Padres — with 111 losses, -20 WOR, and struggling to be competitive — got 6 runs (homers by Myers and Margot), turned in 3 hit-saving plays, and shut out the Dodgers to salvage the last game in the series….and become the spoiler that determined the last spot in the NL wildcard race.

Congrats to John Kephart on his first campaign in the ASFBL, and a special thanks to him for filling in for Chuck Ballingall, who I still miss.  And a hearty congrats to Chris Zewiske for a furious run to grab the last playoff spot.  Chris, the tabs on you should and Padre owner Joel Rollins ever find yourself in the same bar together.

American League: Houston cruised to the top spot in the AL West by 12 games and also carried the best record in the league….after a see-saw battle with Detroit over the last 2 months of the season, Steve Skrovan’s Cleveland club got into the playoffs for the second year in a row and finished a comfortable — if close — 4 games up in the AL central…the Orioles finished at 2-3 as the Yankees surged at 4-2, but they had a big enough cushion to absorb the slowdown and take the AL east title…although Boston, the Chisox, and the Mariners all had solid seasons and came down the stretch with a plausible shot in the closing weeks, the necessary miracles weren’t in the cards.   The Tigers and Yankees finished in a dead tie at 88-74, and honestly I haven’t even managed to get around to figuring out the tiebreaker yet.

WINS OVER REALITY

Detroit managed a truly impressive +24, fueled by Ben’s wise maneuvers and constant attention to detail and the collapse of the actual club…Cincy finished +17, tied for second, and with the highest WOR of any non-playoff team…Baltimore was the other 2d-place finisher…Philly and the Chisox finished strong at +14, and Johnny Mac and Rob Perkins have much to be proud of…it really takes some skill and deep baseball knowledge to take the really bad actual teams and make the more competitive…and hats off to Arizona and Colorado, both playoff teams, both big winners, and both good teams that Rick and Leo made much better…

NEXT UP

I’m facing my usual Wednesday crunch, so I’ll set up the wildcard round tomorrow and we’ll look to finish it up by Saturday, and start the LDS series by Sunday/Monday.  I’ll have all the details out then; in the meantime, you might check out the rules link above for a playoff review.

Thanks to all for a great regular season, appreciate all our owners who stuck out all 6 months, and good luck to our remaining 10 owners as they march to the championship.

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Newsletter for games through 9-27-17

COMMENTARY: Since he’s enabled my laziness, I now more or less wait for Andy Somers to distribute an update about the state of the pennant races…but I did notice these things: Cubs picked up 2 and 1/2 games this week and moved in front of Milwaukee…Dodgers flexed their muscles and went 6-1, and are now a full game ahead of Milwaukee for the last wildcard spot…Diamondbacks and Rockies each went 5-1, demonstrating their ongoing prowess, and the Rockies are second in their division but only half a game back of the Nationals for second best team in the National League…top of the AL East went bananas, but none moreso than the Yankees who went 6-0 and are dead tied with the Tigers for the AL wildcard spot(s)…Boston and Seattle lurk dangerously close…the WOR leaders are largely composed of teams that have collapsed in real life, but it’s awesome to see how Cincy, Philly, and the Chisox are all top-5 WOR teams because the owners stuck with it and have clubs that are much better than the actual rosters…Indians have the blessing and curse of being the hottest real team; you’re gonna win a lot, but it’s almost impossible to make WOR headway…Tribe matched the Tiger 5 wins this week but with one less loss, picking up a half game, and going into the lase week with a 5 game advantage in the central…Houston has clinched in the west, but Seattle is contending and the Oakland team is in positive WOR territory…Corey Kluber — now of the ASFBL Colorado club — tops the league with 20 wins…three of the top six ASFBL win leaders are in the AL East…Ervin Santana leads the ASFBL with an obscene 287 innings (206 in real-life)…MLB leader has 214…Padres have milked 217 innings out of Jhoulys Chacin, which is an accomplishment unto itself…Top 3 MLB ERA leaders are Kershaw, Kluber, and Scherzer…Top 3 ASFBL ERA leaders are Kershaw, Kluber, and Scherzer…Top 6 ASFBL OPS leaders are all still with their original teams…

ONE WEEK TO GO!  LAST REGULAR SEASON LINEUP IS DUE NEXT WEEK!

FEATS AND FAILURES:

Justin Verlander of DET had 10 strikeouts against OAK on 9/18/2017
Robbie Ray of ARI had 12 strikeouts against SDP on 9/18/2017
Chris Marrero of SFG robbed 3 hits against COL on 9/19/2017
Drew Pomeranz of BOS had 11 strikeouts against BAL on 9/19/2017
Jose Ramirez of CLE had 6 RBI against LAA on 9/19/2017
Justin Smoak of TOR robbed 3 hits against KCR on 9/19/2017
Gary Sanchez of NYY struck out 4 times against MIN on 9/19/2017
Zack Greinke of ARI had 11 strikeouts against SDP on 9/20/2017
Danny Salazar of CLE had 10 strikeouts against LAA on 9/21/2017
MIN and DET played 13.5 innings on 9/21/2017
Kevin Pillar of TOR robbed 3 hits against KCR on 9/21/2017
Corey Kluber of COL had 12 strikeouts against SDP on 9/22/2017
Garrett Richards of LAA had 11 strikeouts against HOU on 9/22/2017
Ian Kinsler of DET robbed 3 hits against MIN on 9/22/2017
Matt Olson of OAK robbed 4 hits against TEX on 9/22/2017
Gio Gonzalez of STL had 10 strikeouts against PIT on 9/22/2017
Clayton Kershaw of LAD had 11 strikeouts against SFG on 9/23/2017
Martin Maldonado of LAA struck out 4 times against HOU on 9/23/2017
Chris Archer of TBR had 10 strikeouts against BAL on 9/24/2017
Manny Pina of MIL struck out 4 times against CHC on 9/24/2017

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Sept 17 addendum (courtesy Andy Somers)

Arizona clinched playoff berth this week.  Houston clinched AL West this week.  Washington clinched NL East last week.

Magic numbers below 10:

Arizona, magic number 6 to clinch NL West

Colorado, magic number 6 to clinch a wild card spot

Baltimore, magic number 5 to clinch AL East

Cleveland,magic number 9 to clinch AL Central, magic number 7 to clinch a playoff spot

Eliminated from playoff contention:

NL: Miami, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San DIego, San Francisco

AL: Texas

 

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Newsletter for games through 9-17-17

APOLOGIES: Sorry for the lateness; the Wednesday that were my open days in the spring are evidently NOT my open days in the fall.

FREE WAIVER LEADERS: Since they now can’t be used (waivers don’t cost anything the last 2 weeks’ worth of lineups), we can see who ended the season with the most.  This is some combination of “team with the most injured players” and “owner most content to let it ride.”  The winners are: Texas, 18 (truly staggering), Giants 13, Tampa Bay, Miami, and the Mets (all eastern seaboard teams) tied at 12, St. Louis 11, Pittsburgh 10.  I note that Texas’ totals would be two full teams’ worth of players.

FEATS AND FAILURES:

Rougned Odor of TEX struck out 4 times against SEA on 9/11/2017
Aaron Judge of NYY struck out 4 times against TBR on 9/11/2017
Sal Romano of CIN had 11 strikeouts against STL on 9/12/2017
CIN and STL played 13.5 innings on 9/12/2017
Garrett Richards of LAA had 10 strikeouts against HOU on 9/12/2017
Jonathan Villar of MIL struck out 4 times against PIT on 9/12/2017
Luis Castillo of CIN had 14 strikeouts against STL on 9/13/2017
Justin Verlander of DET had 13 strikeouts against CLE on 9/13/2017
Roberto Perez of CLE struck out 4 times against DET on 9/13/2017
Marcell Ozuna of MIA robbed 3 hits against PHI on 9/14/2017
Andrew Albers of ATL had 10 strikeouts against WAS on 9/14/2017
Zack Greinke of ARI had 11 strikeouts against SFG on 9/15/2017
Phil Ervin of CIN struck out 4 times against PIT on 9/15/2017
CWS and DET played 15.5 innings on 9/15/2017
Randal Grichuk of STL struck out 4 times against CHC on 9/15/2017
Rich Hill of LAD had 10 strikeouts against WAS on 9/15/2017
Chris Sale of BOS had 12 strikeouts against TBR on 9/15/2017
Trevor Plouffe of STL struck out 4 times against CHC on 9/16/2017
J.D. Martinez of DET hit 4 home runs against CWS on 9/16/2017
Elvis Andrus of TEX struck out 4 times against LAA on 9/17/2017
Caleb Joseph of BAL struck out 4 times against NYY on 9/17/2017
Yasiel Puig of LAD had 6 RBI against WAS on 9/17/2017
Corey Kluber of COL had 15 strikeouts against SDP on 9/17/2017
Cory Spangenberg of SDP struck out 4 times against COL on 9/17/2017
Sal Romano of CIN had 10 strikeouts against PIT on 9/17/2017
Kyle Seager of TOR robbed 3 hits against MIN on 9/17/2017
TOR and MIN played 13.5 innings on 9/17/2017
Alcides Escobar of SEA had 5 hits against HOU on 9/17/2017

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Newsletter for games through 9-13-17

COMMENTARY

The Reds made a serious move this week, and the Reds, Cubs, and Dodgers have 77, 78, and 79 respectively…the Braves roared forward with a 6-1 record and have inserted themselves into the wild card race…it would take another couple 6-1 records, but this is baseball and anything can happen…as witnessed by the actual Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Dodgers…speaking of which, the Indians mimicked the actual club (plus 1 loss), and re-took first place in the AL central…Twins, Bosox, Mariners and A’s all posted winning records…Philly matched Atlanta with 6 wins…and that included a 4-game sweep of the Nationals, who even after that stumble have the best record in the ASFBL…they allowed 3 runs in the last 27 innings of that series…Cards and Pirates also took up the challenge to be spoilers last week…Pittsburgh helped the Brewers out by taking 3 of 4 from the Cubs…Houston, Arizona, and Washington are the 3 teams who have amassed 90 wins so far…Please note that Sal Romano of the Reds accounted for 19 strikeouts on 9/6…he fanned 15 opponents, and struck out 4 times himself….

PLAYOFF NOTES  (Courtesy of Andy Somers)

Washington clinched NL East this week (Occurred on 9/6, with Atlanta loss and Washington win on same day)
Houston magic number is 2 to clinch AL West
Arizona magic number is 6 to clinch a playoff spot
No other magic numbers at 10 or less.
Wildcard standings showing all teams at 6 GB or less….
Inline image
FEATS AND FAILURES
Jose Berrios of MIN had 13 strikeouts against TBR on 9/4/2017
Chris Sale of BOS had 10 strikeouts against TOR on 9/4/2017
Charlie Blackmon of COL had 9 RBI against SFG on 9/4/2017
MIL and CIN played 13.5 innings on 9/4/2017
Tyler Moore of MIA struck out 5 times against WAS on 9/5/2017
Jose Taveras of PHI had 10 strikeouts against NYM on 9/6/2017
Gio Gonzalez of STL had 13 strikeouts against SDP on 9/6/2017
Wilmer Difo of OAK struck out 4 times against LAA on 9/6/2017
Sal Romano of CIN had 15 strikeouts against MIL on 9/6/2017
Sal Romano of CIN struck out 4 times against MIL on 9/6/2017
Odubel Herrera of PHI had 5 hits against WAS on 9/7/2017
Corey Kluber of COL had 11 strikeouts against LAD on 9/7/2017
SFG and CWS played 13.5 innings on 9/8/2017
Clayton Kershaw of LAD had 12 strikeouts against COL on 9/8/2017
Robbie Ray of ARI had 12 strikeouts against SDP on 9/8/2017
Carlos Gonzalez of TOR robbed 3 hits against DET on 9/8/2017
Lucas Giolito of CWS had 10 strikeouts against SFG on 9/9/2017
MIA and ATL played 18.5 innings on 9/10/2017
Jacob deGrom of SEA had 10 strikeouts against LAA on 9/10/2017
Chad Green of NYY had 10 strikeouts against TEX on 9/10/2017
Shin-Soo Choo of TEX struck out 4 times against NYY on 9/10/2017
Robinson Cano of NYM robbed 3 hits against CIN on 9/10/2017

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Newsletter for games through 9-3-2017

MY THANKS to you all.  EVERY single lineup submitted this week was accurate, which is really important given then obviously late start I got on all of this.  And thanks for your patience, since not one of you got in touch to hurry me up.  I really appreciate it!

COMMENTS: JD Martinez who, for those of you without any access to a highlight show, hit 4 homers in a game last night, is 8th in the ASFBL in home runs….Judge and Bellinger still lead their respective leagues…John Kephart’s Dodgers were 5-1 this week, a mark Dave Roberts would gladly trade for…Chris Taylor’s .520 batting average surely had something to do with that…Cubs and Reds went on a collective 11-2 rampage this week and each are almost as close to the Brewers for first in the central as they are to the Dodgers for the last wildcard spot…Baltimore might actually have found some breathing room (though not much) in the AL East…Cleveland got back 2 more games in the AL Central…Toronto put together a winning week and is +3 WOR….Angels went 4-2 as Houston had another very solid week to establish itself as the class of the AL…Charlie Blackmon of the Rockies is unexpectedly leading the league in RBI…Nolan Arenado of the ASFBL Giants is 4th in the league in runs scored…has there ever been any game more pre-determined by the name of the starting pitcher than when Matt Harvey took the mound in Houston’s first game back after the hurricane?…in case you missed it, he gave up 8 runs in 2 innings…phenom Rhys Hoskins had 5 HR for the Phils last week, most in the ASFBL…I got up at 6am this morning and haven’t really sat down until now, but I still think my day was shorter than the Red Sox-Blue Jays 19-inning marathon on Tuesday…

FEATS AND FAILURES:

Justin Verlander of DET had 10 strikeouts against COL on 8/28/2017
Jeff Samardzija of WAS had 13 strikeouts against MIA on 8/28/2017
Josh Donaldson of SEA had 6 RBI against BAL on 8/29/2017
Freddie Freeman of ATL robbed 3 hits against PHI on 8/29/2017
Chris Sale of BOS had 11 strikeouts against TOR on 8/30/2017
Jacob deGrom of SEA had 11 strikeouts against BAL on 8/30/2017
Trey Mancini of BAL struck out 5 times against SEA on 8/30/2017
Adam Jones of BAL struck out 5 times against SEA on 8/30/2017
Chris Davis of BAL struck out 4 times against SEA on 8/30/2017
SEA and BAL played 15.5 innings on 8/30/2017
Avisail Garcia of CWS had 6 RBI against MIN on 8/31/2017
Tyler Mahle of CIN had 11 strikeouts against NYM on 8/31/2017
TEX and HOU played 13.5 innings on 8/31/2017
Masahiro Tanaka of SEA had 10 strikeouts against OAK on 9/1/2017
Khris Davis of OAK struck out 4 times against SEA on 9/1/2017
OAK and SEA played 13.5 innings on 9/1/2017
Sal Romano of CIN had 11 strikeouts against PIT on 9/1/2017
Francisco Lindor of CLE struck out 4 times against DET on 9/2/2017
Clayton Kershaw of LAD had 10 strikeouts against SDP on 9/3/2017
Allen Cordoba of SDP struck out 4 times against LAD on 9/3/2017
Nick Williams of PHI struck out 5 times against MIA on 9/3/2017
Carlos Carrasco of HOU had 10 strikeouts against NYM on 9/3/2017
Derek Norris of TBR struck out 4 times against CWS on 9/3/2017

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Newsletter for games through 8-27-17

PLAYER’S WEEKEND: In the spirit of customized jerseys and strange, 1970s-Astros-looking socks, I’ve taken the liberty of personalizing some of the ASFBL team names (one week only).  If you have a personalized team name you’d like, zap me an email.

POLLS ARE CLOSED: The vote is overwhelmingly in favor of trading free waivers, pro-rating minor league stats until enough MLB time has been logged to be meaningful, and expanding rosters (all have 78% support or higher).  Vote is overwhelmingly against daily updates (100% opposed) and AAA keepers.  Other ideas that we’ll probably just do: post-deadline waiver trades that will go through unless someone claims a player within 24 hours, customized (or more specialized) bullpen roles, adding a “never bat” option for position players.  Thanks to all who voted, and a special thanks to those who sent us written comments.  Hope to make these a reality by next year!

COMMENTARY: Arizona and the Cubs had the big weeks at the top of the standings; Arizona got some space at the top of the NL West, and the Cubs gained ground on the Brewers in the central and the Dodgers in the wildcard race…Cub sweep was against the Phillies and the Reds, which is no small feat considering both are in the top 4 WOR…I just realized that Andy Somers has the same name as the guitar player for the Police…he is truly the king of (inflicting) pain with his 21 game lead….the Brewers were no slouches, either, and went 5-1….that included a sweep of the Dodgers, who are down 3 starting pitchers….on the upside, nobody is going to add a better pitcher than Clayton Kershaw going down the stretch…Braves were the class of the NL East at 4-2 last week…Cards matched that pace in the central…AL was a complete logjam with nobody going better than 4-2…Oakland was 4-2 and has quietly moved +2.5 in the WOR world…the ASFBL Rangers have agreed to swap home dates with Houston this coming week…the Boston Bernacchis had the best AL east record…they held Cleveland to 6 runs in 4 games, and then gave up 22 runs to Baltimore over the next 3…the actual Indians responded to another round of late-season pitching injuries by throwing lights-out baseball for 4 games in a row…Skrovan’s group held their opponents to 2 runs or fewer in 5 of 7 games…week finale was a shutout against the Royals…if you’ve got a chance, do visit the red cross website this week and see if there’s something you can do to help folks in Houston; in the words of AJ Hinch, the issues out there are bigger than baseball…

FEATS AND FAILURES:

Paul Goldschmidt of ARI robbed 3 hits against NYM on 8/21/2017
Chase Headley of NYY robbed 3 hits against DET on 8/22/2017
Aaron Hicks of NYY robbed 3 hits against DET on 8/22/2017
Stephen Strasburg of WAS had 12 strikeouts against HOU on 8/22/2017
Mike Zunino of SEA had 6 RBI against ATL on 8/23/2017
Rogelio Armenteros of HOU had 12 strikeouts against WAS on 8/23/2017
Josh Osich of SFG robbed 3 hits against MIL on 8/23/2017
David Hurlbut of ARI had 10 strikeouts against NYM on 8/24/2017
Jose Iglesias of DET struck out 4 times against NYY on 8/24/2017
Trey Mancini of BAL struck out 4 times against BOS on 8/25/2017
Welington Castillo of BAL had 5 hits against BOS on 8/25/2017
BAL and BOS played 13.5 innings on 8/25/2017
Didi Gregorius of NYY struck out 4 times against SEA on 8/25/2017
Evan Longoria of TBR robbed 3 hits against STL on 8/26/2017
Chris Taylor of LAD struck out 4 times against MIL on 8/26/2017
Sonny Gray of OAK had 12 strikeouts against TEX on 8/26/2017
J.A. Happ of TOR had 10 strikeouts against MIN on 8/26/2017
Stephen Strasburg of WAS had 11 strikeouts against NYM on 8/27/2017
Amed Rosario of NYM struck out 4 times against WAS on 8/27/2017
Jose Altuve of HOU robbed 3 hits against LAA on 8/27/2017
Joe Mantiply of NYY had 10 strikeouts against SEA on 8/27/2017
Alcides Escobar of SEA struck out 4 times against NYY on 8/27/2017
Gio Gonzalez of STL had 10 strikeouts against TBR on 8/27/2017

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