Monday, October 2, 2017

Monday Morning Hot Links: Just Win Eleven

The Astros' regular season ended the way it began: with a win. The Astros finished the regular season with a 101-61, the 2nd-highest win total in franchise history. Collin McHugh threw a quality start and the Astros got a 4-run 7th inning to ride into the postseason against...oh, yes, the Red Sox. Game 1 is Thursday.

*ALDS odds:
-FanGraphs: 55.4%
-FiveThirtyEight: 58%

It's interesting that FiveThirtyEight lists Keuchel as the G1 starter for Houston, and still gives the Astros a 53-47 edge in that game. G2, which lists Verlander vs Pomeranz, gives the Astros a 64-36 nod.

It was an incredible regular season run for us. Obviously, we switch gears to the postseason now, but there will be a reflection back on a spectacular regular season. Even with the lull we had in August, to come out of it with 101 wins, a division championship for the city of Houston and our fanbase, it was a great run in the regular season.

*Jose Altuve was 0x2 but won the batting title for the 3rd time and became the first player in baseball history to lead the league in hits for four straight years. Altuve:
This is the first time I've won a batting title and the team's going to the playoffs (Ed. Note: true. In 2015 Altuve led the AL with 200 hits but Miguel Cabrera and Xander Bogaerts finished ahead of him in the batting title race). I think every single player in the big leagues, after they win a World Series, would like to win an MVP. That would make me really proud. But to me we're still in the middle of the season and haven't done what we want to do.

Altuve's 8.4 bWAR is the highest by an Astro since Biggio's 1997 9.4 bWAR season, and is the 7th 8+ bWAR season in franchise history:
1. Biggio (1997): 9.4
2. Altuve (2017): 8.4
2. Dierker (1969): 8.4
4. Clemens (2005): 8.2
4. Bagwell (1994): 8.2
4. Scott (1986): 8.2
7. Cedeno (1972): 8.0

*Collin McHugh threw 6IP, 5H/3ER, 8K:1BB to earn his 5th win of the season. Since 2014, McHugh is 16-0 in September and October. McHugh:
Obviously, we've got a glut of great pitchers to choose from. I want to pitch. I'm up for pitching. However innings get doled out, I want some.

*Yuli Gurriel was 2x3 with a sac fly, meaning that he finished the regular season 158x529 for a .2986 batting average. One more hit, out of 529 ABs, would have given him a .300 average for the season.

*The Astros finished the season with 896 runs, 2nd-highest in franchise history. This team led the AL in runs, doubles, AVG, OBP, SLG, OPS. They were 2nd in MLB in home runs (238, three behind the Yankees) and had the fewest strikeouts (as an offense) in MLB. Their 1087 strikeouts is 66 fewer than the Indians, who finished second.

*Bringing out a colossal FU to pretty much all Astros fans, MLB has set the times for Games 1 & 2, and you're going to need to take some time off from work:
-Game 1 will start on FS1 or MLBN at 3:08pm Central on Thursday.
-Game 2 will start on FS1 or MLBN at 1:05pm Central on Friday.

No game times have been announced past Game 2.

So let's all join the chorus of people hoping this backfires on MLB, who desperately want an Indians-Yankees evening slot. Tomorrow we are all Twins fans. MLB sucks and I hope they get chigger bites on their buttholes.

*I broke down the six starts in which Justin Verlander squared off against Chris Sale.

*Marwin is a "key cog" in the Astros machine as things shift to the ALDS. Hinch notes that Marwin will mostly play LF, but could move to the infield in late-inning situations.

*From yesterday, FanGraphs' David Laurilia looks at how Charlie Morton is different and better.

*McTaggart has three reasons why the Astros could win the World Series.

*Hinch told the Boston Herald that, even though these two teams just finished a four-game series, the ALDS will be a very different experience:
I think (with) the emotions and intensity that will run high next week, there will be some memory based on this series, and familiarity, and guys that have seen certain pitches or some things that we've done, but it will feel like a reset because of the days off.

*The Astros are hopeful Josh Reddick will be ready to go on Thursday. ESPN's Sam Miller has a good analysis of Reddick's sense of humor here.

*Needing to clear a 40-Man roster spot for the returning-from-80-game-suspension-for-PEDs David Paulino, the Astros found a reason to put him on the 60-Day DL instead, and he had surgery to remove bone spurs on Friday.

*The Astros will pick 28th in the June 2018 draft.

*How a Pittsburgh financial advisor brought down college basketball.