Monday, September 18, 2023

Monday Morning Hot Links

Nice of the Astros to remember that there's a division to win - they're not used to having to play games that kinda matter in September, so I get it. Houston finally beat the vaunted Royals 7-1. They're 84-66, 1.5 up on the Rangers, who lost. Also, after dodging, ducking, dipping, diving, and dodging for 3.5 years, I have COVID. I had a booster scheduled for today lol. It feels like the worst sinus infection I've ever had. I wore a mask this morning to the grocery store, so it was great to slime the inside of that thing up like gahdang Alien.

*AL Playoff Picture:

1. Baltimore: 93-56

2. Houston : 84-66

3. Minnesota: 79-71

4. Tampa: 92-59

5. Toronto: 83-67

6. Trinity River: 82-67

7. Seattle: 81-68

Now, let's extrapolate: the first tie-breaker is head-to-head record. 

What happens if there's a tie between Seattle and Trinity River? Well they have seven games against each other remaining, so it's way too soon to be thinking about tie-breakers between those two. 

What about a tie between Toronto and Trinity River? Given that Toronto just got their asses handed to them at home by Weatherford, the Rangers would edge out the Blue Jays. 

What about a tie between Toronto and Houston? The Blue Jays and Astros played their last head-to-head game of the season on June 8, but the Blue Jays won 3-2 on both June 7 and June 8 to take the season series 4-3. Toronto would win that tie-breaker. 

What about a tie between Trinity River and Houston? Houston has the head-to-head.

What about a tie between Seattle and Houston? Seattle has the head-to-head, no matter what happens September 25-27, thanks to the Astros just dying to get to the All-Star Break and mailing it in for that July series.

What about a tie between Seattle and Toronto? They finished the regular season with a 3-3 split lol. So the second tie-breaker is division record. Toronto is 15-25 against the AL East, while Seattle is 26-13 against the AL West. If Seattle does poorly enough against the AL West down the stretch to allow Toronto to catch them...Seattle ain't gonna be in the playoffs. 

*AL West Division Odds (change from yesterday):


Houston: 73.8% (+13.5%)

Seattle: 15.2% (-5.0%)

Trinity River: 11.0% (-8.5%)


Houston: 67.6% (+10.6%)

Trinity River: 18.6% (6.7%)

Seattle: 13.8% (-3.8%)

The Game

*Houston is now 46-29 on the road. Away Records, recent seasons:

2022: 51-30

2021: 44-37

2019: 47-34

2018: 57-24

2017: 53-28

2016: 41-40

2015: 33-48

*We can trust Framber again! Framber threw his fifth straight Quality Start, yesterday going 7IP, 5H/1R (0ER), 5K:1BB. It's his third straight start of 21 outs. Framber's last five starts: 34IP, 20H/6ER, 30K:11BB. Dusty:

You go through streaks where you're not yourself. Then you go through streaks where you're adding on and adding on and getting consecutive games, and your confidence grows. We need Framber, and it was big for him.

*Jose Altuve was 3x5 with a double and an RBI. It's his 13th 3-hit game of the season. He only has RBIs in five of his last 18 games - but all five of those are multi-RBI games. 

*Yordan Alvarez was 1x3 with his 28th home run of the season, and a walk. He has 7RBI in his last four games and is at 92RBI for the season. 

*Jake Meyers hit his 10th home run of the season - his first since hitting 2HR at Yankee Stadium on August 6 - it's his 2nd RBI since then.

*Bryan Abreu has not allowed a run - earned or otherwise - since July 15. That's 21.2IP, 9H/0ER, 24K:10BB in that streak. Longest active streak for appearances without an earned run (though Abreu's 21.2IP is the longest active number of scoreless innings):

1. Sam Hentges (CLE): 23

2. Bryan Abreu (HOU): 22

3. Former Astros Great Cionel Perez (BAL): 21

It's only the 16th time in Astros history that a pitcher has thrown 22 consecutive outings without allowing an earned run. Looking ahead at Abreu's streak:

23: Will Harris (2018-19)

24: Trever Miller (2006)

25: Billy Wagner (1999-2000)

26: Will Harris (2016)

27: Joe Sambito (1979)

30: Ryne Stanek (2022)

40: Ryan Pressly (2018-19)

*Chas McCormick went 3x4 and stole two bases to give him 18 on the year. Two more SBs and he joins the 20/20 Club.

*The Astros were 2x13 w/RISP on Sunday. They were 6x30 in the weekend series. 

*ESPN asks if the 2023 Braves have the greatest lineup ever. I'm asking if ESPN remembers the 2019 Astros' lineup. Let's look (2023 Braves / 2019 Astros):

BA: .275 / .272

OBP: .343 / .352

SLG: .501 / .495

wRC+: 125 / 124

HR: 288 / 288

fWAR: 35.7 / 42.0

Settle tf down, ESPN. 

*Jose Abreu celebrated 10 years of MLB service time. Though I don't know how much this year should count...

*It'll be Verlander-Brown-TBD to face the Orioles starting tonight. Just put Urquidy in on Wednesday and let Javier be the swing guy. 

*The first 10,000 fans to MMP next Sunday will [chuckles] get this [snickers] MLB Network [outright guffaw] hat. The 10,001st fan will get all 10,000.

*The Orioles clinched their first playoff berth since 2016, turning from a laughing-stock into legit contenders. Good work and congratulations to Mike and Sig. They join the 2013-2015 Astros as the only teams in MLB history to go from 110+ losses to the playoffs in a three-year span.

*What To Watch, September 18:

Burnley @ Nottingham Forest: 1:45pm Central

Saints @ Panthers: 6:15pm

Red Sox @ Rangers: 7:05pm

Orioles @ Astros: 7:10pm

Mariners @ A's: 8:40pm

*A Musical Selection: