*The Astros beat the Rangers last night, 7-3. The Cubs beat the Rangers, the Angels beat the White Sox, the A's beat the Blue Jays. So the division looks like this:
West Natchitoches: -
WC1 (Boston): -2
WC2 (Toronto): -1
*FanGraphs now gives the Astros a 41.3% chance of winning the division (Ramgers at 53.8%) with a 21.3% chance of winning a Wild Card spot (those odds are currently being dominated by Boston and Toronto). But it's a 62.6% chance of playing in mid-October.
*FiveThirtyEight gives the Astros a 29% chance of winning the division (Rangers at 66%) but with a 52% chance of making the playoffs.
*BP gives the Astros a 25.6% chance of winning the division and a 52.1% chance of making the playoffs.
*When will you learn to listen to me?
Marisnick gets two hits tonight— Thickie Don (@AstrosCounty) July 16, 2016
*Watch Carlos Correa score from 2nd on a wild pitch.
*Scott Boras has a good point about why Altuve is hitting more home runs (countering noted asshat Rob Dibble's idiotic comments over the Break about juicing).That's just not something you see every day. pic.twitter.com/PFSa8ypACZ— Houston Astros (@astros) July 16, 2016
*Brian T. Smith is at it again, talkin' 'bout PAYROLL.
Heck, when news unexpectedly broke Friday that your once-insultingly cheap local nine had locked down the 32-year old Cuban infielder via a reported five-year, $47.5 million deal, Twitter was initially confused about Gurriel's actual age and how to spell his last name...
and your closing line:
A tip of the cap to Crane for finally paying to play the modern game.
*FanGraphs' August Faberstrom, on Gurriel:
Try and tell a contending club it's got too many good players. They'll find some room.
*Baseball America's Ben Badler, on Gurriel in February 2015. There's a pretty detailed scouting report, so click the link to read the whole thing:
Gurriel has all the attributes to be an above-average offensive player.
*The Hardball Times' Brian Cartwright projected Gurriel to hit .283/.330/.458.
*ESPN (Insider) Chris Crawford says Astros fans should be "excited, if not overjoyed" by the Gurriel signing.
*Alex Bregman is not focused on how the Gurriel signing will affect him. Bregman:
I think it's a good move. The Astros got a guy who they think can help them win, and that's all I want to do. I just want to win with the Astros...I'm just focused on playing baseball here, getting better and finding my way up there. I'm worried strictly about my performance and trying to find ways to win games with the Grizzlies.
*Peter Gammons says not to be surprised if the Astros make a run at Chris Archer, but not for Alex Bregman.
Do @Astros have room for both Gurriel and Bregman? Child, please. They're 30th in OPS in CF, 28th at 1B, 24th at DH, 23rd at 3B, 12th in LF.— Richard Justice (@richardjustice) July 16, 2016
*ZIPS projects Carlos Correa to be an 8+ WAR player for the next five years.
*A.J. Hinch is always evaluatin'.
*FanGraphs' Corinne Landrey wrote on the resurgence of Ken Giles:
It's an unavoidable reality that first impressions matter and affect the way we view those around us. The perils of first impressions may have had no bigger victim this season than Ken Giles.