Thursday, September 5, 2019

Thursday Morning Hot Links

*The Astros were off yesterday, mercifully. There are three more off-days before the end of the regular season, so no more of that 17-games-in-17-days business.

The Yankees beat the Rangers, because the Yankees are supposed to beat the Rangers. The Dodgers beat the Rockies. Oakland beat the Angels. None of this is surprising.

So here's how the races stand as of this morning:

Yankees (92-49): -
Dodgers (92-50): -0.5
Astros (90-50): -1.5
Oakland (80-58): -10.5

Playoff Odds!

SiteProj. Rec.% to win ALW% to win AL% to win WS

*Baseball-Reference has backtracked a little on the Astros, actually, pretty much everybody has lowered the Astros by a little bit. Oh well.

*Hinch, on watching Springer knock his coconut:
I didn't know what it was - could be shoulder, could be head, could be back, could be ankle, could be anything. we get out there with Jeremiah and I and half the team. Those are always really scary. Your mind starts racing as to what it could be. Then you just kind of have to wait for the medical evaluation.

Springer will be a game-time decision for this evening's game against the Mariners.

*FanGraphs: Alex Bregman still has another gear. Ben Clemens:
Alex Bregman is already a top-five player in baseball, but it isn't crazy to wonder how long he can sustain it. Thus far in his two-year run as a superstar, he's generating a lot of his value from walks. But if he's able to change his swing habits and tap into more of his natural power, he might go from a gate-crasher of the game's very top tier to a solo second behind Trout, the kind of player you pencil in for 7-ish WAR at the start of every year.

*Jake Kaplan has the biggest questions facing the Astros in September.

*SI's Jon Tayler wonders if Gerrit Cole can catch Justin Verlander in the AL Cy Young race.

*Playoffs Time in the Minors:

-Crazy one in Round Rock last night in the series opener against Iowa. Round Rock carried a 2-0 lead into the top of the 6th, and gave it back over the next two innings to send it to extras. Iowa scored two runs in the top of the 11th but a Drew Ferguson walk, Jamie Ritchie single, Wild Pitch, Alex De Goti walk, Wild Pitch (run scored), and Chas McCormick single that allowed Round Rock to walk it off. Game 2 is tonight. Forrest Whitley will pitch out of the bullpen.

-Fayetteville and Down East played a double-header due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Dorian, and split it. But here's some bullcrap for you: Miguelangel Sierra broke up a no-hitter in Game 1 when he hit a solo home run. The umpire called him out for not touching home plate. He touched home plate. MiLB must be getting that guy ready for the Astros' playoffs. Down East won G1 3-0. In Game 2 Jeremy Pena hit a 2-run homer on Fayetteville's way to a 3-0 win. Austin Hansen threw 5.1IP, 4H/0ER, 3K:1BB. Series is Tied 1-1 and will resume on Friday.

-Quad Cities took Game 1 with a 4-1 win over Cedar Rapids. Wilyer Abreu was 2x4 with 2 doubles and 2RBI. Valente Bellozo threw 6IP, 4H/1ER, 6K:2BB to get the win. Game 2 is this evening.

*Celebrity Chef Jose Andres is headed to the Bahamas to feed Dorian victims, just like he did in Puerto Rico.

*When does an accident become a crime?

*How Dan & Keith's SportsCenter changed tv forever.

*A Musical Selection: