Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Tuesday Morning Hot Links

The Astros were off last night, so they didn't win. Today is the 116th day of the 2018 season - out of 139 calendar days - that the Astros have been in 1st place in the division. Combine that total with the 178 days the Astros were in 1st place in the AL West in 2017 - out of 182 calendar days in the regular season, and the Astros have been in 1st in 294 out of 317 regular season days (92.7%) since the beginning of 2017. The Astros will play 43 games in the next 48 days. There are five off-days remaining in the regular season (Full Disclosure: I really messed up the "math" of counting the last time I did this.)

*After 119 games, the 2018 Astros are 73-46. After 119 games, the 2017 Astros were 73-46. The difference is their competition.

2018 AL West after the Astros' 119th game:

Houston: 73-46
Oakland: 71-48 (2.0 GB)
Seattle: 69-51 (4.5 GB)
Anaheim: 60-60 (13.5 GB)
Arlington: 53-68 (21 GB)

2017 AL West after the Astros' 119th game:

Houston: 73-46
Anaheim: 61-59 (12.5 GB)
Seattle: 60-61 (14 GB)
Arlington: 58-60 (14.5 GB)
Oakland: 53-67 (20.5 GB)

Off-Day Playoff Odds

FanGraphs (100-62): 93.1% to win division, 99.4% to make playoffs. 22.5% to win World Series
FiveThirtyEight (99-63): 77% to win division, 97% to make playoffs. 16% to win World Series
Baseball Prospectus (99-63): 86.6% to win division,  98.7% to make playoffs, 15.6% to win World Series.

*Kyle Tucker needs one more minor-league Prospect Team of the Week appearance to break the MLB.com career record, a record I bet he doesn't actually want to break.

*Coupla Inboxes for your reading pleasure:
-Jake Kaplan in The Athletic
-Brian McTaggart at Astros dot cawm.

*And here's Jake Kaplan on what the weekend sweep by the Mariners means. Hinch:
It's a bad weekend. It feels like a really bad weekend. Which is all it is. We get a day off (yesterday). We come back for a new series (today). We see these guys over in Seattle in about a week. We'll be fine. This is not something we can't overcome. This is four games that was a bad weekend.

Via Jake: The Astros' 8-game home losing streak is tied for the longest home losing streak in their last 50 years. I love the Astros, and will fight someone to the death over them, but they are stupid at home and I need them to stop. Rangers fans, who have long given up on this season and the next, are walking around a little too happy for my taste. And I want to cram my socks - which are covered in puppy excrement because Bob Rogers (the puppy, as named by our 6-year old) can't figure out this whole "outside" thing - down their throats.

*Forrest Whitley returns from the DL tonight for Corpus. He's made six starts this season, throwing 21IP, 14H/10ER, 30K:8BB. But a lot of damage was done on June 24, when he allowed 5H/7ER, 6K:3BB in 4.1IP against Frisco. Take that start out, which you obviously can't do, and he's thrown 16.2IP, 9H/3ER, 24K:5BB.

*Yahoo's Tim Brown: Yeah, the A's are for real.

*Kenley Jansen may need a second heart surgery.

*When Dee Gordon was seven years old his mother was murdered by her boyfriend. He carries it with him to this day.

*Cleveland's Leonys Martin had a life-threatening bacterial infection.

*If you are upset that David Bote bat-flipped after a DOWN-BY-THREE TWO-OUT WALK-OFF GRAND SLAM then you need to go cover the PGA Seniors Tour and never waste my time again.

*How Jeets plans to build a winner in Miami.

*How did the Horizon Air baggage handler Sea-Tac hijacker guy learn to fly in the first place? Video Games.

*A mathematician made a bunch of word clouds to solve a 50-year old Beatles mystery.

*I never really had a favorite college basketball team before 2006. I love watching March Madness. I like watching Big Monday, especially when they show 7-foot tall dudes shiver as they get off the bus in Madison, Wisconsin in January. When I moved to Cooperstown, Syracuse was the only thing going in the winter, so I adopted them. Now I have a greater respect for Current Roggits Great Carmelo Anthony, and for this:

*Never miss an opportunity to punch a Fascist in the face.