Thursday, August 9, 2018

Thursday Morning Hot Links

The last 9pm start is on August 24. There are four more off-days between this morning and the end of the regular season. That's crazy.

*2018 Record: 73-42
*2017 Record: 71-44

Houston has a 5-game lead on Oakland and an 8-game lead on Seattle, who are now 15 games over .500 with a -29 run differential.

Playoff Odds Check

FanGraphs (103-59): 98.3% to win division, 99.6% to make playoffs, 23.6% to win World Series
FiveThirtyEight (102-60): 95% to win division, >99% to make playoffs, 20% to win World Series
Baseball Prospectus: (102-60): 96.3% to win division, 99.9% to make playoffs, 16% to win World Series

-A couple of notes here: FiveThirtyEight gives the Red Sox a higher percentage of winning the World Series. Baseball Prospectus hadn't updated since yesterday morning.

*Houston is +450 to win the World Series again, slightly behind the Vegas' favorite Red Sox, at +400.

*Change in OPS through 115 games, 2017 to 2018:

Alex Bregman: + .065 (.835 to .900)
Evan Gattis: -.020 (.820 to .800)
Yuli Gurriel: -.087 (.803 to .716)
Josh Reddick: -.095 (.830 to .735)
Brian McCann: -.115 (.721 to .606)
Jose Altuve: -.134 (.991 to .857)
Carlos Correa: -.134 (.966 to .832)
Jake Marisnick: -.156 (.830 to .674)
George Springer: -.198 (.970 to .772)
Marwin Gonzalez: -.255 (.962 to .707)

I'm going to cherry-pick a stat here, but Jake Marisnick - May 24-August 7 (97 PAs): .282/.371/.529.

Jake Marisnick, June 1 - present:   .303/.410/.576
George Springer, June 1 - present: .214/.326/.383

ERA/WHIP through 115 games, 2017 to 2018:

Dallas Keuchel: 2.87 / 1.11 : 3.53 / 1.24
Lance McCullers: 3.92 / 1.29 : 3.93 / 1.19
Charlie Morton: 3.83 / 1.25 : 2.81 / 1.14
Brad Peacock: 3.07 / 1.26 : 2.96 / 0.97
Will Harris: 2.86 / 0.95 : 4.24 / 1.22
Collin McHugh: 5.32 / 1.36 : 1.00 / 0.72
Chris Devenski: 2.76 / 0.85 : 4.19 / 1.19
Tony Sipp: 6.47 / 1.48 : 1.61 / 1.07

By Game 115 of the 2017 season, pitchers who are no longer on the active roster (Fiers, Musgrove, Gregerson, Feliz, Giles, Hoyt, Martes, Paulino, Dayan Diaz, Guduan) had thrown 479 IP. That's insane. A team that won the World Series shed 479 IPs through 115 games and got better. 

*The Astros have 11.2 fWAR currently on the DL.

*Hinch will go with a four-man rotation, thanks to the three days off in the next nine. Hinch:
We knew the off-days in August were going to be important. But never did we know that we were going to be talking about them being an advantage to maybe take a couple of games from a DL stint for a large number of our players. 

*Jake Kaplan discusses who might replace Lance McCullers in the rotation. So does Chandler Rome. Hinch:
Trying to get to September is key. There's only a couple starts before September, when we will have as many pitchers as we want to take the innings.

*Josh James leads the leaderboard for FanGraphs' Triple-A pitching call-ups.

*SI's Ben Reiter with a story about which I'm sure you're not tired of hearing: How J.D. Martinez became the Astros' greatest mistake.

Sheryl Crow's "My Favorite Mistake" > J.D. Martinez

*FanGraphs' Sheryl Ring: Roberto Osuna, Immigration Law, and Crimes of Moral Turpitude

*The Astros have agreed to meet with "representatives of several organizations" that provide services to victims of domestic violence.

*Carlos Correa had a foul ball land in his fiancee's lap.

*Wanna see something crazy? On Tuesday, Buies Creek struck out 20 times...and won.

*Framber Valdez, who has struck out 120 batters in 94.1IP at Corpus, has been promoted to Fresno.

*Be sure to check the Masked Marvel's Reinforcing the Astros posts each morning, this morning's included.

*Former Astros Great Tim Federowicz signed a minor-league contract with Cincinnati after refusing a Triple-A assignment from the Astros.

*Oh man Future Astros Great Buddy Boshers was claimed off waivers by the Pirates, making the Astros' 40-Man Roster totally devoid of grown men answer to "Buddy."

*Carlos Beltran makes Tim Brown's list of the next wave of MLB managers.

*Please read my friend Levi Weaver's account of how Jeff Baker sprained his thumb during a high-five celebration for the Arlington Ramgers.

*Lookout Landing's Isabelle Minasian writes about the potential end of King Felix's reign in Seattle's rotation. I take no pleasure in linking to this, but it is well-written.

*From a couple of days ago, here's ESPN's Alden Gonzalez on how the shift ruined Albert Pujols.

*Sex Offender Luke Heimlich may or may not have signed with a team in Taiwan.

*Justin Verlander will go for Career Win #200 tonight against James Paxton, who is going for Win #200 against Houston.

*Watch Hero Home Plate Umpire Greg Gibson save Baseball from the temptations of exciting young player Juan Soto. Take a breath. Baseball lives another day.