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The good news is the Red Sox and Yankees aren't in it! Instead, the American League champion Houston Astros take on the National League pennant-winning Washington Nationals.

Game 1 @ Houston Tuesday, October 22 at 8:07 ET pm Scherzer vs. Cole
Game 2 @ Houston Wednesday, October 23 at 8:07 pm ET Strasburg vs. Verlander

Game 3 @ Washington Friday, October 25 at 8:07 pm ET Greinke vs. TBA
Game 4 @ Washington Saturday, October 26 at 8:07 pm ET TBA vs. TBA
Game 5 @ Washington, Sunday, October 27 at 8:07 pm ET *

Game 6 @ Houston, Tuesday, October 29 at 8:07 pm ET *
Game 7 @ Houston, Wednesday, October 30 at 8:07 pm ET *


* if necessary


Blue Jays connections to the series for Houston are reliever Joe Smith and their controversial closer. Joe Biagini is not on the Astros active roster. For Washington, it's relievers Daniel Hudson and Javy Guerra and catcher Yan Gomes. Nats skipper Dave Martinez and pitching coach Paul Menhart are also former Jays.

World Series Prediction - Nationals in 7 and the MVP will be Anthony Rendon.

Feel free to make your predictions here!

You can check out other predictions right here and also here.
2019 World Series Thread | 181 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
binnister - Tuesday, October 22 2019 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#382581) #
No matter what you think of him personally, I think Roberto Osuna still counts as a former Jay....
binnister - Tuesday, October 22 2019 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#382582) #
controversial closer

Just when I think I can join in with the snark, I fail at reading comprehension....
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 22 2019 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#382583) #
Nats in 6- Strasburg over Verlander in the deciding game, a 1-0 shutout with a Rendon homer the difference.  I think that they'll give the MVP to Strasburg although theycould equally give it to Rendon. 
85bluejay - Tuesday, October 22 2019 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#382584) #
After the Taubman incident and the Astros response there's no way I can root for the Astros, besides Scherzer's brilliant career deserves a ring and I taught the Nationals won last offseason with their smart spending.
85bluejay - Tuesday, October 22 2019 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#382585) #
Sorry, that should read - and I thought the Nationals won last offseason with their smart spending. - not reading a post is always a bad idea.
Gerry - Tuesday, October 22 2019 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#382586) #
Gotta cheer for the exexpos.
Chuck - Tuesday, October 22 2019 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#382587) #
Not only is Martinez a former Jay, he is a former Expo and the link that joins his old organization with his new one. Still, the Nationals are not the Expos. That said, the douchiness of the Astros' organization should make choosing sides easy.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 22 2019 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#382588) #
The events in Houston have me in mind of Alison Gordon. She could be profane to those who deserved it and kind to those who deserved that (the writers)- this occasion certainly called for both. 
GabrielSyme - Tuesday, October 22 2019 @ 04:55 PM EDT (#382589) #
I like the Nationals here - Verlander has looked occasionally human this post-season, while Scherzer and Strasburg seem to be strengthening.

I'll take the Nats in six, Scherzer with the MVP.
dan gordon - Tuesday, October 22 2019 @ 05:55 PM EDT (#382590) #
I think Houston has the better offense, better bullpen, isn't battling a long layoff, and has home field advantage if the series goes 7, so I figure Houston should win, not that I care one iota.
bpoz - Wednesday, October 23 2019 @ 07:32 AM EDT (#382595) #
Good 1st game of the WS. Neither Scherzer nor Cole was particularly dominating.

Soto and Robles are 2 V good Latin players. They have a 3rd Latin OF coming up in 17 year old Jeremy De La Rosa.

We have a nice group of Latin players ourselves in Vlad, A Kirk and G Moreno. Plus a few more in Rookie ball.
scottt - Wednesday, October 23 2019 @ 08:11 AM EDT (#382596) #
Scherzer was pretty good. Cole wasn't as great as usual.

Good first game. I was too tired to watch all of it because I followed the other fall classic the night before.

It' must be hard to watch for Tigers fans. Even Price had a great series last year.

rpriske - Wednesday, October 23 2019 @ 08:31 AM EDT (#382597) #
Houston is the better team, easily.

But so were every team that the Nationals have beaten so far.

It is Washington's year.

bpoz - Wednesday, October 23 2019 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#382598) #
Playoff baseball is very different as many have pointed out ie there are no weak teams.

When the Cubs beat Cleveland they won in game 7 in Extra innings, if I recall correctly, so very lucky.

This year many believe the ball is dejuiced for the playoffs. This should translate into a decent but not great hitter like Galvis taking a mediocre pitcher like Biagini over the wall more easily in the regular season than in the playoffs. Also the dejuiced ball may help A Sanchez a lot if it prevented blisters and made him comfortable using all his pitches with more control ie his nasty stuff would be more nasty.
electric carrot - Wednesday, October 23 2019 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#382599) #
Astros all the way. I think the heroes will be Altuve & Correa. Altuve is unstopable.
mathesond - Wednesday, October 23 2019 @ 09:35 AM EDT (#382600) #
The Blue Jays are looking for interns.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 23 2019 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#382601) #
The Nationals brought on Corbin in the 6th, but Rainey (as opposed to Sanchez) in the 7th.  I think this likely means that it will be Sanchez in Game 3 and Corbin in Game 4.  As I have said before, it does set things up nicely for Game 7, if needed. 

The Astros do have a noticeable right-handed tilt to their team, both from a hitting and pitching perspective.  It looks to me like the Nationals are ready to take advantage of that.  If the Soto vs. Cole matchup is important for the Nationals, the Brantley vs. Strasburg matchup is important for the Astros.  We'll see how that goes tonight. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 23 2019 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#382602) #
Friday is Juan Soto's 21st birthday.  The October 25 birthday team:

LF- Juan Soto
CF- Bobby Thomson
RF- Al Cowens
3B- Bobby Brown
SS- Roy Smalley
2B- Andy Cohen
1B- Jack Doyle
C- Steve Decker

Bench- Joe Siddall, Joe Werrick, Tito Landrum

SP- Pedro Martinez
SP- Smokey Joe Wood
SP- Danny Darwin
SP- Vic Aldredge
SP- Russ Meyer

RP- Andy McGaffigan
RP- Kelly Downs
RP- Mike Harkey
RP- Phil Marchildon
RP- Harry McCormick

Great starting pitching, pretty good defence and nicely rounded offence although a little short. Good club.  Too bad that the only managerial option open is Roy Hartsfield.
Dewey - Wednesday, October 23 2019 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#382603) #
Mike, I guess that would be Roy Smalley the elder, a skinny, gangly, sometimes quite flashy shortstop for the Cubs for a few years in the early 1950ís? Russ Meyer was the latterís team-mate for a while. Neither of them, alas, ever quite lived up to their press-clippings. And Phil Marchildon gives a Canadian touch to the team; he was one of the few bright spots for the old Philadelphia Athletics of about the same period as Smalley, Sr. and Meyer.

I am greatly impressed with Juan Soto, who shares their birthday. He has that curious je ne sais quoi that so many of the very special players exhibit.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 23 2019 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#382604) #
It's actually Smalley the younger- "little Smalley" seems redundant.  He was the Twins shortstop for a long time, and quite good for 5 years.  

Bobby Thomson and Tito Landrum both hit famous homers. It probably won't be long before Soto does too.
dan gordon - Wednesday, October 23 2019 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#382605) #
Rogers' Q3 earnings report was released today, and it was not good. Revenue and earnings were down compared to last year and they cut their estimates for this year. The stock fell more than $5 a share today, and is now down more than $12 from its high earlier this year. The big shortfall was due to the new unlimited data plans, so they are making less in overage charges. Not sure if this is going to impact their spending plans for the Blue Jays.
greenfrog - Wednesday, October 23 2019 @ 05:28 PM EDT (#382607) #
Sounds like the next few years are going to be relatively lean ones, with payroll far below the luxury tax threshold.
scottt - Wednesday, October 23 2019 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#382608) #
Maybe that will hold down the RC renos, but they have no payroll pressure right now.
There's no point to talk about the luxury tax. They're not close to that.
A small investment in payroll is required to boost attendance.
They need a new opening day starter.

greenfrog - Wednesday, October 23 2019 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#382609) #
Thank you for instructing all of us about what is and isnít ďa point to talk about.Ē
bpoz - Wednesday, October 23 2019 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#382611) #
This is a perfect explanation!!!

I have always felt that the TB successful model is the most likely way ownership wants to run the team.

Set a low payroll to guarantee controllable low costs. Then use methods to make the team very good and at a fairly low payroll.
scottt - Wednesday, October 23 2019 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#382612) #
What's the payroll for 2020? 40M? 70m? How high can it get?
The luxury tax will be 208M. I just can't associate the 2 numbers. For now, anyway.

The attendance in 2020 is going to be the main factor in setting the payroll for 2021.
A Blue Jays team that is better than predicted could push Rogers into trading prospects for establish players which would bring the payroll higher, but maybe limit success down the road. Like the Thor for Dickie trade.
A Blue Jays teams that still has too many holes is more likely to wait on the next wave of prospects, which is probably better for the long run.

JohnL - Wednesday, October 23 2019 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#382613) #
When I saw the Oct. 25 roster, at first I thought, "It couldn't be THIS Russ Meyer!?" And alas, I realized it wasn't. That Russ Meyer would be on the March 21 team.
dalimon5 - Wednesday, October 23 2019 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#382614) #
Instant classic World Series and on dabox we're talking about next years payroll and imaginary birthday teams... :)
Magpie - Wednesday, October 23 2019 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#382615) #
Instant classic World Series

I don't know about that, but watching the Astros losing to an underdog is deeply satisfying. (Pass the popcorn!)
85bluejay - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 12:11 AM EDT (#382616) #
Instant classic, isn't that an oxymoron.

Pray, tell us about this "instant classic".
hypobole - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 12:22 AM EDT (#382617) #
Final score Karma 12 - Astros 3.
scottt - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 07:47 AM EDT (#382618) #
Birthday teams is a huge tradition on dabox.
Check the really old posts.

scottt - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 07:54 AM EDT (#382619) #
MLB is investigating a Trump supporting umpire who threatened Cival WAR if there's an impeachment.

I guess one doesn't need spelling skills to be an umpire, but does supporting Trump presume bias against Latino players?

Mike Green - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 08:52 AM EDT (#382622) #
The Nats were 24-33 through the end of May, and 69-36 the rest of the way.  Trea Turner was out from April 2 to May 17, and they had Wilmer Difo in his place.  The bullpen was in desperate shape. 

When healthy, the Nationals are an awfully good club.  They added Asdrubal Cabrera and Daniel Hudson at the deadline so they are now a deeper club than they were when they struggled, and their bullpen is merely average rather than bad. It's important to bear in mind that the National League is the stronger league.  By the end of the season, there wasn't much to choose between the Dodgers and the Nationals as the best club in the league. And for playoff purposes, the Nationals top-heavy pitching talent becomes increasingly important.

It is true that the last thing the Astros needed was the distraction provided by their own AGM and senior management.  Their play the first two games has been uncharacteristically sloppy, while the Nationals have been sharp.
Gerry - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#382623) #
Have the Astros passed the Yankees as the team that non fans want to see lose? It could be a close battle right now.
dalimon5 - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#382625) #
I haven't seen pitching this good in a world series or recent playoff series for that matter in a long time.

The Bautista bat flip game was an instant classic. It's not an oxymoron because it's a prediction statement not a factual one. The game is a classic based on results, not on a larger culture looking back in the future and saying "oh yeah that series was a classic."

Oh yeah Juan Soto being the next Babe Ruth and carrying his team also adds to the intrigue.
Cracka - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 10:18 AM EDT (#382626) #
Absolutely - I see nothing but hatred for the Astros among casual sports fans who are paying attention to this scandal. If anything, it's actually generated more interest in the World Series, especially as the Nats are winning. As any fan of reality TV knows, a villain is necessary for good Neilsen ratings.

However, I think MLB should be very, very concerned about the state of the game. The World Series TV ratings are at historic lows: ~12M viewers. The ALCS TV ratings were bad despite having two of the largest TV markets in the country. And now the league is dealing* with two separate PR nightmares that will won't resonate well with many casual fans, especially those that frequent social media. (*actually, they aren't really doing anything at all about it, which is a big part of the problem).
bpoz - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 10:22 AM EDT (#382627) #
This year I am more interested in the playoffs because I expect maybe 3 Jays WS titles at most over the next 20 years. I will be in my late 80s then. It seems dalimon and I have a keen interest in the playoffs.

For the next 20 years I also want to celebrate farm team championships as well as exciting progress by prospects. The recent No Hitter by Zeuch was a highlight that I enjoyed and followed that game to see if he can do it.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 10:36 AM EDT (#382628) #
Have the Astros passed the Yankees as the team that non fans want to see lose? It could be a close battle right now.

Don't know. I do know that I let out a cheer when Osuna gave up the home run to LeMahieu and another cheer (well actually I just muttered "perfect") when Chapman gave up the home run to Altuve in the final game of the ALCS. 
hypobole - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#382629) #
The World Series TV ratings are at historic lows: ~12M viewers.

To give credit where credit is due, the Astros certainly are doing their best to attract the misogynist viewership.
bpoz - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#382630) #
Houston is very interesting. In 2016 they won 84 games. No playoffs. Since then 100+ wins and deep into the playoffs. Studying their window is interesting to me.

So their core, which is young played a lot. Also all healthy except Correa. They may be due for more injuries. However their division is weak but may be getting stronger. Next year Texas will be a little stronger with only Seattle being weak.

ISLAND BOY - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#382631) #
" It's important to bear in mind that the National League is the stronger league."

I'm not being facetious or disagreeing with you, Mike, just genuinely curious. Why is this true? Does the National League have a better record in intra-league games, or are there more good teams, or more good players?
mathesond - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#382632) #
It might have something to do with the number of 100+ and 90+ loss teams in the AL vs. NL - at least, that's the sense I get from BBTF, Fangraphs etc.
mathesond - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#382633) #
Keep in mind, the Astros averaged 108 losses per year from 2011 - 2013. Attendance bottomed out at 1.6 million, and they have yet to return to 3 million+, which they last reached in 2007. Granted, they came within 20,000 of 3 million last year, but saw a bit of a drop again this season.
SK in NJ - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#382634) #
MLB is no longer a mainstream sport. It is a regional sport. I'm sure the ratings in Houston and Washington for the series will be good, but baseball doesn't work as a mainstream sport anymore. If the World Series was the Yankees/Dodgers, then maybe it would have been different, but Houston/Washington doesn't have the type of appeal that would bring in viewers. It's not like basketball where no one cared about Cleveland but they wanted to see LeBron James play. The game is structured differently.

I think MLB will be fine as long as TV ratings in their individual markets remain strong. Once that dips, then there will be a real problem.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#382635) #
The NL defeated the AL in interleague play 166-134 this year and outscored them in interleague games 1497-1338.  The NL defeated the AL in interleague play last year 158-142.  The previous 14 years straight the AL won more interleague games.  The times they have a-changed.

I would guess that the arrival of Juan Soto and Ronald Acuna Jr. are part of the story!
whiterasta80 - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#382636) #
Calling the NL the better league though is a bit of a mis-characterization in my opinion.

This year we had the Marlins in the NL who would qualify as "tanking". If we are generous maybe the Pirates and the Padres. Conversely the AL had the Jays, Orioles, Tigers, Royals, and Mariners. Arguments could be made for the White Sox, Angels too.

Tanking is far more prevalent in the AL than it is in the NL precisely because it is a stronger league. The bar to make the playoffs year after year is higher. The Jays and Orioles in particular have no choice but to bottom out because they have two teams in their division who never bottom out and a third in the middle of an up-cycle.

Mike Green - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#382637) #
The AL clubs that finished above .500 went 74-66 in interleague play (including the Astros' 11-9).  The NL clubs that finished above .500 went 95-65 in interleague play (including the Nats' 14-6).  The fact that there were more tankers in the AL probably contributed to the size of the NL's advantage over the AL, but it's pretty obvious to me which league was better, and frankly it's not close. 
bpoz - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#382638) #
The wording "teams that finished .500 or better" works for me. So NL 9 AL 7. I am sure that this means something, but not sure what.

Also 95+ wins. AL 5 NL 2. So again I don't know.

We also know that there was intentional tanking and unintentional tanking. Most beneficial to the Twins.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#382640) #

Tanking is far more prevalent in the AL than it is in the NL precisely because it is a stronger league

Do you think so?  Do you really believe that Minnesota and Cleveland were better clubs than Atlanta and Washington?  If not, why is it that three teams tanked in the AL Central and only one in the NL East?  Personally I think that Kansas City and Detroit were very bad clubs, and that is the reason.

BBRef has a simple rating system that takes into account run differential and strength of schedule (over the season).  The leaders in MLB were LA 1.7, Houston 1.4, Washington 1.0, NYY 1.0.  BBRef's number takes into account league differences. 
whiterasta80 - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#382641) #
I stand by my comments. With respect to the AL central, well the odds of getting a wild card slot are also lower so I don't think it's the Indians or twins that are the deterrent. Rather the yanks and Sox again
Dewey - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#382642) #
Thereís a nice piece in todayís Boston Globe by Bill James, now 70, announcing his (quite amicable) departure from the Red Sox. Fortunately, he has a book or two ready for publication and others that he hopes to write. Can the Hall of Fame be very far in the future for him?
hypobole - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#382643) #
Astros have fired Taubman.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#382645) #
The Astros have also apologized to Stephanie Apstein. Better late than not at all.
85bluejay - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#382646) #
Well deserved but the Astros are closing the barn door after all the horses are out IMO.
hypobole - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#382647) #
I'm guessing Taubman lied to his superiors, which prompted both the original statement and his firing (rather than a suspension) when his duplicity was exposed.
scottt - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#382648) #
Did the Yankees win 18 games against Baltimore?
They Jays were 8-11 against the Yanks.
If they were an amazing team, I didn't see it.

BlueJayWay - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#382649) #
Tanking is far more prevalent in the AL than it is in the NL precisely because it is a stronger league.

The AL has definitely been stronger in recent years, which may have led to more teams currently tanking/rebuilding in the AL. However, those teams do count and all those rebuilding teams make the AL worse currently. The NL dominated interleague play.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#382650) #
Astros have fired Taubman.

In all likelihood, the right outcome. Maybe not the best process followed, but they do seem to have reached the right conclusion.
electric carrot - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#382651) #
Well deserved but the Astros are closing the barn door after all the horses are out IMO.

I agree that that's how it'd being viewed but personally I'm pretty amazed at how quickly people expect bosses to fire people nowadays.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#382652) #
The statement that attacked Stephanie Apstein was a failure of the entire organization. The apology is a start but definitely late.

As for the firing of Taubman, I would have had no problem if he was suspended pending investigation. The Astros were probably in a great rush to "put it behind them". Thay haven't achieved that yet.
hypobole - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#382653) #
I wasn't expecting him to get fired for what he said in the clubhouse, even if it was misogynistic behaviour and woke a sleeping dog issue.

But it's rather obvious now that he lied during the initial investigation by the team. He not only put his credibility on the line, but the Houston Astros' as well when they backed up his story. Didn't leave the team any choice but to fire him once the truth came out.
PeterG - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#382654) #
Some kind words about Jackson Rees in this article:

https://www.mlb.com/news/five-pitchers-stood-out-in-arizona-fall-league?t=mlb-pipeline-coverage
dan gordon - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#382655) #
There a lot of things to consider in evaluating the quality differences between leagues. Had a look at the top players in the game. For hitters, by wRC+ in the 2019 season, 17 of the top 30 were in the AL, 13 in the NL:

AL - Trout, Bregman, Cruz, Springer, Meadows, Bogaerts, Moncada, JD Martinez, Altuve, Semien, Soler, LeMahieu, Betts, Santana, Olson, Brantley, Devers

NL - Yelich, Bellinger, Rendon, Marte, McNeil, Alonso, Soto, Rizzo, Freeman, Bell, Bryant, Muncy, Suarez

On the pitching side, however, 18 of the top 30 by fWAR were in the NL, with 10 in the AL, and 2 who switched leagues during the season.

AL - Cole, Lynn, Verlander, Morton, Bieber, Giolito, Berrios, Minor, E.Rodriguez, M.Gonzalez

NL - DeGrom, Scherzer, Strasburg, Buehler, Ryu, Corbin, Flaherty, Wheeler, Syndergaard, S.Gray, Hendricks, L.Castillo, Siroka, Quintana, Nola, Marquez, Kershaw, Musgrove

9 of the next 12 pitchers are also in the NL, leaving out 1 more who was traded mid-season. Certainly seems the NL has a huge edge in good starting pitchers, while the AL has a bit of an edge in top drawer hitters.

Don't want to spend much time on the relievers, but 19 of the top 30 by fWAR were in the AL, 10 in the NL and 1 league-switcher.
dan gordon - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#382656) #
That's a very complimentary article about Rees, and a nice video clip of an outstanding 12-6 curveball.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 24 2019 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#382657) #
WAR does not adjust for strength of league. So when you look at comparing Mays and Mantle in the 1950s, and you try to use WAR as a tool, there are a few issues and one of them is league strength.
scottt - Friday, October 25 2019 @ 05:52 AM EDT (#382658) #
It feels like a sacrifice to appease the baseball gods, but the rumours are that MLB asked Houston to get rid of him.
scottt - Friday, October 25 2019 @ 06:10 AM EDT (#382659) #
Just read the Houston official statement. Something still smell.

Our initial investigation led us to believe that Brandon Taubman's inappropriate comments were not directed toward any reporter.

Our initial belief was based on witness statements about the incident.

So, are those witnesses under investigation now or what?
Mike Green - Friday, October 25 2019 @ 08:48 AM EDT (#382660) #
Nikki Huffman is leaving the Blue Jays, per Shi Davidi on twitter.  I wish her the best. 

Anibal Sanchez gets the start tonight for the Nats, as I thought he might.  He's facing Greinke.  There is one interesting B v. P. line there- Asdrubal Cabrera is probably one of the few hitters in baseball who has owned Greinke.  Cabrera has 44 PAs with 16 hits including 3 doubles and 1 triple, and (most interestingly) 6 walks and 2 strikeouts.  There is only one hitter who has done better against Greinke- Corey Seager. I am pretty sure that we'll see Cabrera at second base tonight instead of Kendrick. 
hypobole - Friday, October 25 2019 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#382661) #
scottt, apparently the "original investigation" was talking to Taubman and one other person.

When Taubman was fired, it seemed obvious to me he had lied about the incident to Luhnow. When the lie was exposed, it not only destroyed his credibility, but the credibility of the entire organization that had backed him up and falsely smeared the reporter.

Don't think any business would need an outside push to fire a loose cannon who would lie to his own boss to cover his ass.
rpriske - Friday, October 25 2019 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#382662) #
SI's free agent list is saying Tanner Roark's 'best fit' is with the Blue Jays.
Mike Green - Friday, October 25 2019 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#382663) #
The entire investigation was rushed because of the upcoming World Series.  The Astros violated one of Magpie's rules: don't rush to judgment. 

The investigation didn't need to be rushed.  The Astros could have suspended Taubman pending the investigation, and carried it out on a management level behind the scenes (as it ought to be anyway).  The only "reason" to rush the investigation would be if Taubman actually contributes to game strategy.  They would still have been better off to take it slow.  It's never good to impugn the credibility of a reporter, and if you have to, you better make sure that all the evidence is in. 
Mike Green - Friday, October 25 2019 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#382664) #
Tanner Roark is 33, and hasn't had a good year in the last 3.  Steamer projects him for a 4.87 ERA.  Why would you want him?  I mean, the club could use him on a 1 year contract for $5-7 million to eat up some innings and as insurance against injury, but is that what he is going to get?
Mike Green - Friday, October 25 2019 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#382665) #
The tactical decision whether to start Yordan Alvarez in left-field in Washington is an interesting one.  This Jay Jaffe article on the point is, as usual, enlightening. 
rpriske - Friday, October 25 2019 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#382666) #
SI thinks that if the Jays were to sign Roark, he would instantly be their #1 SP.

He was above average in 2019... so they could be right.

Mike Green - Friday, October 25 2019 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#382667) #
If Tanner Roark is their #1 pitcher,  it means the situation is pretty desperate.  He posted a tolerable ERA last year, but it was due to a high strand rate.  His wOBA was .344 and his xwOBA was .343.  By xwOBA, he ranked 91st of 108 pitchers who faced at least 500 batters last year.  The four on either side of him were: Trevor Williams, Wade LeBlanc, Steven Brault, Jon Lester, Andrew Cashner, Merrill Kelly, Tyler Beede and Aaron Sanchez.
hypobole - Friday, October 25 2019 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#382668) #
Yeah, if Tanner Roark is the Jay's #1 starter next year, I'll finally admit the FO derision and Rogers cheap-to-the-point-of-stupid reputation is fully deserved.
85bluejay - Friday, October 25 2019 @ 01:53 PM EDT (#382669) #
I expect in 2020 the Jays to audition the young arms as the season goes along as they did with the position players in 2019 - so a rotation to start the season of say some combination of Roark/Shoemaker/Alex Wood/Waguespack/Thornton/Borucki wouldn't surprise me in the least and from that group you could say that Roark was the nominal #1 as he's the most accomplished but I expect the rotation to be much different come August.
85bluejay - Friday, October 25 2019 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#382670) #
I believe in 2nd and even 3rd chances - when the initial report became public I didn't even contemplate that Taubman would be fired - I expected a quick apology and maybe a short suspension/fine but Taubman decided to take the "no apology, double down" approach that you know who has popularized and it backfired spectacularly which I'm happy about because I hope that approach peters out.
Mike Green - Friday, October 25 2019 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#382671) #
I love the Statcast fielding graphs for outfielders.  Here's Yordan Alvarez' breakdown.  Summary: he caught all the cans of corn.  He had two plays which were fairly easy but you could miss and he made one of them.  He had two plays of routine difficulty and missed both.  He had one play that you had to be really good to make and he didn't (of course). 
bpoz - Friday, October 25 2019 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#382672) #
Roark could be a #4 ERA 4-5.00 so an upgrade over Buchholz and hopefully durable at 150+IP for the season.

As a vet he could be traded at the deadline for something not too great.

We started 2019 with 3 vet SPs in Shoemaker, Buchholz and Richard. They were blocking nobody. We still needed E Jackson to potentially give us some innings.

So a max of 3 vets until some kids get promoted. We may use 7 or 8 SPs in the first 2 months for various reasons. Pearson may not start the season on Opening day even if healthy. We need to wait and see. Borucki need to have a healthy season. No guarantee. Zeuch and Kay may need to play in AAA if the majors are too much at any time in the season. It happens.

The FO will need a few things to go right (luck) if 82 wins is a hoped for target. I don't know what they are hoping for. I really think they want to do better than 90 losses so they will try to improve the team. Shapiro/Atkins said that they are looking for more than depth pieces. I think Roark qualifies as depth for me. But good depth.
scottt - Friday, October 25 2019 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#382673) #
I suppose Roark could be in play, but I don't see him as someone to target.

I believer the FO approaches the free agency like the draft.
They create a board and put all the players of interest on it in a certain order.
Then they use scouting, projection, history, etc. to get a valuation for each player.
Whenever another team offers more than their valuation they wake away.

Roark would be on the low end of the board.
He's a candidate to sign and flip at the trade deadline, which is not necessarily  what the Jays wants to do.
It's what the media thinks the Jays will do.

Mike Green - Friday, October 25 2019 @ 05:03 PM EDT (#382675) #
Yordan Alvarez is on the bench today.  Anibal Sanchez has to deal with Brantley and Reddick from the left side. 
Mike Green - Friday, October 25 2019 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#382676) #
And Asdrubal Cabrera does get the start. The Nats' beat writer Jamal Collier points out that almost all of Cabrera's PAs against Greinke were 7 years ago or more. Needless to say he doesn't care for Martinez' decision.
JohnL - Friday, October 25 2019 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#382677) #
Sanchez leaves the game in the 6th, Nats down 4-1. Buck: "but he leaves with the lead.". True, I guess, but it's not his team's lead.
Mike Green - Friday, October 25 2019 @ 10:47 PM EDT (#382678) #
A hook, a lead... what's the difference?!
JohnL - Friday, October 25 2019 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#382679) #

A hook, a lead... what's the difference?!

And then, there was Buck's partner who reported some Astros hitter "led off the inning with a one-out single"

dan gordon - Saturday, October 26 2019 @ 12:56 AM EDT (#382680) #
It depends on the term and the money of course, but I kinda like Roark. Career 19.3 WAR player, the last 4 years WAR of 5.6, 1.3, 2.9, 2.0. Career FIP/ERA of 4.02/3.71, at least 30 starts each of the last 5 seasons. He really kills RHB, limiting them to an OPS of .651, over 100 points lower than against lefties. His career K/BB ratio vs righties is 4/1, and vs lefties is 2/1. As a result of his extreme splits, he has faced a disproportionate number of lefty batters, almost 50% of all hitters he has faced in his career have been lefties. I guess a consideration would how many non-platoon righty batters there are in the lineups of the AL East teams he'd be facing so frequently.
scottt - Saturday, October 26 2019 @ 08:41 AM EDT (#382681) #
Interesting.

The Rays have a lot of lefties. The Yankees are tilting right a little bit more every year.
I'm  not sure what the Red Sox lineup will look like and Baltimore is a non-factor.

Roark might have made 30 starts every year, but he only pitched 200 innings once.
He's been good for 165 the last 2 year. That's just a little over 5 innings per start.
I'd still give the opening day game to Shoemaker over him.

dalimon5 - Saturday, October 26 2019 @ 09:17 AM EDT (#382682) #
Most interesting news right now is Red Sox poaching of Chaim Bloom from the Rays to run their team. This will make things very interesting as I can't see the Red Sox having any closed windows with him making the decisions.
scottt - Saturday, October 26 2019 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#382684) #
Not sure.

Dombrowski was allowed to spend as much as was needed while trading away anything of value in the Boston system.
Having fired Dombrowski, the hiring of Bloom might not indicate a reversal of strategy, but rather a return to something more balanced.

The mandate for Boston is still to cut payroll. They still have of the worst farm system in baseball.
They have some talents but also some bad contracts. Trading Betts could be his biggest move this winter.

The Jays just had 2 bad not quite competitive years because their key players were not healthy and they had no depth pieces. Boston will be in a similar situation. Everything will have to go right for them to be on top again, unless, like the Yankees, every reject they sign turns a career year.

hypobole - Saturday, October 26 2019 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#382685) #
Nikki Huffman is leaving the Blue Jays, per Shi Davidi on twitter.

Gregor Chisholm with some interesting backstory.

https://www.thestar.com/sports/bluejays/opinion/2019/10/25/trainers-departure-a-loss-for-jays-and-an-opportunity-for-a-fresh-start.html
Thomas - Saturday, October 26 2019 @ 06:17 PM EDT (#382686) #
Thanks for the link, hypobole. It was obvious Stroman and Huffman were close (and if you ever had any doubt, you only had to look at Stroman's tweets after the news broke), but I wasn't aware of how much that impacted her ability to work with at least some of the other team members. The story doesn't reflect well on Sanchez.

From everything I've read about him, Bloom is a good hire for the Red Sox. It would have been nice if one of the most prominent figures in the Rays' front office had at least gone out of the division.

Former Blue Jay Dave Bush is reportedly on the short list to be Boston's new pitching coach.
scottt - Saturday, October 26 2019 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#382687) #
I think that's it for the Arizona Fall  League with the Championship game being played today.

Warmoth finished .305 .395 . 458 which is not bad despite the high strike out rate.
Large cooled down to .233 .329 .333.
There was no mercy for Kevin Smith who ends up .102 .159 .328

Merryweather had 3 games, 4 innings, 1 BB, 6 SO.
Rees was hit in his last game and ends up with an ERA of 3.24 over 8.1 innings. 1 BB, 13 SO.
Ellenbest did not give up a run over his 11 innings, 3 BB and 9 SO.
Spraker had a 6.75 ERA over his 10.2 innings, 5 BB and 11 SO.

John Northey - Saturday, October 26 2019 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#382688) #
The Sanchez bits there does help explain his departure (and why the Jays should be happy he is gone).

Similar with Stroman but more for his feeling like the team was 'his'. ML players tend to have egos the size of small moons but sometimes that can interfere with the operation of the team. If a member of the staff becomes 'theirs' then it is a major issue. Hopefully things go smoother now as I don't think anyone currently on the team has a rep yet for being a 'this is my team' type. Vlad/Bo/Biggio having come up together could form a clique on the team if they choose to but hopefully they don't (all having dad's who played in the majors including 2 HOF'ers should help).
John Northey - Sunday, October 27 2019 @ 12:05 AM EDT (#382690) #
Surprised no one else has mentioned it yet but Smoak (no shock) and Jansen (big one) are nominated for the Gold Glove this year (IE: they came in the top 3 at their position for it).

It appears about 15 were qualified for it at catcher so Jansen wasn't a default pick. Given the Jays at the start of the year were telling him to work on his defense and ignore his offense I'd say he listened quite well. The stats at FanGraphs put him top 3 in the AL by most measures too. Nice for the Jays given McGuire was viewed as the stronger one defensively - might be a Pillar/Pompey situation again where the guy thought to be weaker on defense ends up being a superstar on defense instead.
bpoz - Sunday, October 27 2019 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#382691) #
The WS could go to the wire. Game 7 is Wed.
hypobole - Sunday, October 27 2019 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#382692) #
Been digesting the Chisholm article, along with other things that were made public earlier. Donaldson was camp Poulis, blaming a member of the training staff (Huffman?) for his 2017 calf injury. Refused Huffman and got his own trainer after Poulis left. Sanchez didn't like Huffman because of the Stroman connection. Blamed Poulis for needlessly mutilating his finger. Got his own trainer. Stro and Huffman were very much bonded, but Stro hated the Jays FO after losing his arbitration case.

Stro has never been one to keep things to himself, so how much of that disdain was spread around the clubhouse? Did everyone want to hear that negativity? Because if people who had no use for Stro's attitude were still around after the Jays got rid of Stro, that would explain the "toxicity, (i.e. disdain for her friend Stroman), that Stroman tweeted Huffman was now free of.

Not saying Stroman was even nearly as bad as A.J. Pierzynski, but this quote popped in my mind "If you play against him, you hate him. If you play with him, you hate him a little less."
bpoz - Sunday, October 27 2019 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#382693) #
Not winning the WS seems to be an issue for LAD and NYY.

Dombrowski did his job v well until this year. His methods became too expensive for ownership.

The managers for Boston, LAD and NYY are all safe for another year.

The pressure on GMs and Managers for teams like that is inhuman IMO. J Maddon among others got fired.
bpoz - Sunday, October 27 2019 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#382694) #
I always liked Stroman. His antics, competitiveness & attitude. He produced V good results IMO. Jan 5, 2021 he turns 30 years old. If all goes well in 2020 he will have signed a good FA contract for the 2021 season and beyond.
hypobole - Sunday, October 27 2019 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#382695) #
I wonder if Stroman will get his on field value in free agency. Will FO's think his twitter attacks on his previous team a red flag? Were Cashman's disparaging remarks simply bs, or is there more behind it?
scottt - Sunday, October 27 2019 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#382696) #
A particular trainer might become a factor once a player becomes old and grumpy.
It's probably less a factor with a young team.

There are no metrics to look at here. Everything is incidental and circumstantial.
The turf is more punishing than grass.
However, I don't think anything can explain how Donaldson came to his last spring training with calf and shoulder issues.
Sanchez  had numerous issues. Stroman had several issues last year.
It's probably better for Stroman to start focusing on his current team because he does not sound like a good clubhouse guy.  Stroman wasn't happy with his arbitration loss in 2017. He followed that up with a bad year. He was much better this year, but the Mets didn't quite get the value he was providing to the Jays. He projects at 11.8M. Sanchez refused to sign on his pre-arb raises and instead made the minimum. Some sort of Boras strategy which I stop hearing about once he became arb eligible and his ERA was over 4 and climbing.

Whatever you do, don't hire the Yankees trainers.

85bluejay - Sunday, October 27 2019 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#382697) #
Nikki Huffman may be very good at her job but her very close relationship with Stroman had the potential to result in strained relationship with others, so I'm happy for both the Jays and Huffman that she's moved on - expected this move once Stroman was traded.
scottt - Sunday, October 27 2019 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#382698) #
Scherzer is out with a neck issue. Unreal.
bpoz - Monday, October 28 2019 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#382699) #
Strasburg VS Verlander should be incredible.
85bluejay - Monday, October 28 2019 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#382700) #
A new GM in Pittsburgh will likely want to put his stamp on the organisation - what would the Jays want from Pittsburgh beside Marte - Josh Bell/Joe Musgrove/Chris Archer?
Gerry - Monday, October 28 2019 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#382701) #

My favourite way to buy tickets for Jays games used to be through flex packs. You could buy a bundle and use them as you wanted. But then the team got successful and the flex packs were eliminated.

Now that the team has been poor, and attendance is down, guess what? Flex packs are back.

Chuck - Monday, October 28 2019 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#382703) #
Now that the team has been poor, and attendance is down, guess what?

They have asked you to be a relief pitcher?

bpoz - Monday, October 28 2019 @ 08:28 PM EDT (#382704) #
The Jays could be bad again. Sorry. But flex packs!!
scottt - Tuesday, October 29 2019 @ 07:57 AM EDT (#382705) #
Tony LaCava is in the early running for Pirates GM.
Gerry - Tuesday, October 29 2019 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#382706) #
LaCava is a Pittsburgh native, I think he still lives there. He was in the running last time they hired a GM but lost. If LaCava was to get it, it would go against the trend of hiring young smart execs who have come up through the stats era.
Gerry - Tuesday, October 29 2019 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#382707) #
Anthony Bass is now a Blue Jay. Ryan Dull DFA.
rpriske - Tuesday, October 29 2019 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#382708) #
What's the catch? He has been an above-average bullpen arm for the past two years. Why did the Mariners cut him loose?
Cracka - Tuesday, October 29 2019 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#382709) #
He's arb eligible and projected to earn $1.7M... I guess they don't think he's worth it.
Mike Green - Tuesday, October 29 2019 @ 04:36 PM EDT (#382710) #
Bass' FIP and xFIP last year were right around 4.  For a reliever that's passable and nothing more.  He had a 3.56 ERA courtesy of a .203 BABIP.  Meh.
scottt - Tuesday, October 29 2019 @ 09:14 PM EDT (#382711) #
Well,  he got 5 saves--ERA of 1.8, 0.4 WHIP in save situations, had good numbers against lefties--actually reversed splits--was better on the road than at home, was equally solid from May to September, had his worse numbers in June--when his babip was down to .182 because he allowed 3 homeruns, stroke out 8.1 per 9 innings with a WHIP under 1, was fantastic with runners in scoring position.

Looks OK to me. Could fill the Biagini role. Maybe even setup.

BlueMonday - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 12:12 AM EDT (#382712) #
What's the catch? He has been an above-average bullpen arm for the past two years. Why did the Mariners cut him loose?

rpriske, are you fishing for compliments on those puns?
Super Bluto - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 01:20 AM EDT (#382713) #
Bass is arb eligible? My guess is he trebles his salary.
Dr B - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 03:32 AM EDT (#382714) #
Assuming he doesn't flounder.
mathesond - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 08:35 AM EDT (#382715) #
Bass? How low can they go?
scottt - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 08:40 AM EDT (#382716) #
Bass throws a fastball, a slider and a splitter. Is that what they call a dead fish?
rpriske - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 09:04 AM EDT (#382717) #
Puns aside, this reminds me - is his named pronounced like the fish or the musical instrument?
John Northey - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 10:23 AM EDT (#382718) #
This World Series reminds me of why it seemed silly in 2015 when so many got mad the Jays didn't do a strong push for home field advantage. I remember many thought it was a mistake for the Jays to take it easy once they clinched the AL East. I'm cheering for Washington to make it the all-road World Series.
bpoz - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#382719) #
This WS has had the best Pitching that I can think of.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#382720) #
Seeing as Bass is going to arb and they may need to work out a deal, spinnerbait is the #1 lure for largemouth and blade bait the #1 for smallmouth.  Can we get some analytics on the key question of mouth size?

Rendon has performed exactly as expected.  Against Cole and Verlander, he has held his own and then some.  There aren't too many RHHs who can do that. 
bpoz - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#382721) #
Hahaha.
rpriske - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#382722) #
(I have confirmed, as expected, it is pronounced like the fish.)
ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#382723) #
Geez, it's ironic that Ryan Dull, who was DFA'ed for Bass, elicited several humorous remarks when he was acquired which now seem rather bland compared to the aquarium of puns for Anthony Bass. For cod's sake, we better scale back these remarks.
bpoz - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#382724) #
Cuttlefish contest!!!
vw_fan17 - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#382725) #
Has Anthony Bass ever faced Mike Trout?
Cracka - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#382726) #
Trout eat Bass for lunch and dinner. Mike is 5 for 11 with 2 HR against Anthony. Apparently, Pollock liked Bass too. A.J. walked in his only appearance.



Dr B - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#382727) #
Trout put him in his plaice. Though I suspect Bass will be hooked before facing Trout again.
Gerry - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#382728) #
Enough puns, snapper out of it.
JohnL - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#382729) #
Reeling this thread back to the diamond...

I read an enjoyable twitter thread last night from "Canadiana", an account set up by Adam Bunch that tells a lot of interesting, and little known stories about Canada (on twitter, in print and on video). In honour of the Montreal Expos' World Series "appearance", he related the story of the Expos. It also explained how one of Hollywod's classic "horror" actors, Vincent Price, was partly (and appropriately) responsible for Jeffrey Loria.

https://twitter.com/thisiscanadiana/status/1189327444379160581

Go Expos!
rpriske - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#382730) #
On a different site someone was working out the highest WAR players per team, only including players who had ONLY played for that team.

For the Angels #1 was Mike Trout, as expected.

#2 was Tim Salmon.
hypobole - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#382731) #
Who are the top 2 Jays that only played for the Jays? I'm totally blank on that.

On a much more sombre note, Ron Fairly, the only player to represent both Canadian teams in an All-Star game, has died at age 81.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#382732) #
Fairly was a good player for a long time.  I did not know until today that he has the most career homers ever by a player without a 20 homer season.  He had his career high of 19 at age 38 with the Blue Jays in 1977. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#382733) #
The answer to the Blue Jays (1 team only) WAR leaders appears to be Luis Leal followed by Ricky Romero. 
scottt - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#382734) #
That's it. The last game.
Pretty decent series no matter which way it goes, but there will be some serious heartbreak tonight.

hypobole - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 07:16 PM EDT (#382735) #
Thanks, Mike. That's sad.
Gerry - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 08:16 PM EDT (#382736) #
Game 7 fever, catch it!
hypobole - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 08:27 PM EDT (#382737) #
The answer to the Blue Jays (1 team only) WAR leaders appears to be Luis Leal followed by Ricky Romero.

Which also means the leaders were Stroman and Pillar prior to their trades. Bichette might end up in the top 2 before he reaches arbitration.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#382738) #
Kelly Gruber almost made it but for a few PAs in his last year. Diane Wsrd had a few appearances with Atlanta prior to the trade that brought him here.
dan gordon - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#382739) #
That was a pretty good looking season for Bass last year, only 30 hits allowed in 48 IP. I guess you could say that's just BABIP luck, but I don't buy that. Too big a sample to be just luck. He may have made some kind of adjustment to make his pitches less hittable. Anyway, I think it's a good no cost acquisition.

I thought it was interesting that this is not just the 1st World Series where the road team has won the 1st 6 games, but that it hasn't happened in the NBA or NHL championships either.

Another example of why I dislike bunting. Scherzer is clearly not 100%. He's coming off a back injury that caused him to miss his last start, and had just allowed a HR and 2 singles to open the 2nd, and they ask a guy to bunt who only tried it twice during the season. Not surprisingly, he couldn't do it, and Scherzer got an easy out. It's the 2nd inning - you don't know how many runs you're going to need, and you're helping a pitcher out who is struggling a little.
John Northey - Wednesday, October 30 2019 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#382740) #
For almost there we have Dave Stieb (4 games with ChiSox in 1993 before his first retirement), Gruber 18 games with California, Devon Travis is at 6.6 bWAR all here in Toronto. He is the only guy on the Jays top 50 hitters to be an only Toronto guy. Ugh.

For pitchers, Luis Leal at 10.6 is the leader - never did understand why the Jays didn't call him back up after he was demoted in '85 (solid back end rotation guy before that with 200+ IP 3 years in a row) as he spent 86 and 87 in the minors but never got back up. He is tied for #14 for pitcher WAR here in Toronto. Ward had 16 IP in Atlanta before coming here. Ricky Romero is at 10.0 WAR but gave up the ghost after 2017 (4 years in minors trying to get back). Jesse Litsch with 4.0 is the only other guy in the top 50 to be a Toronto only pitcher.

So the Jays haven't had many stick for their entire careers here. None who voluntarily quit. Kind of a shame. I'd love to see one of the kids given a lifetime contract (10 years plus options).
bpoz - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 12:05 AM EDT (#382741) #
Washington wins it.
hypobole - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 12:13 AM EDT (#382742) #
Astros lose it. :)
vw_fan17 - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 12:47 AM EDT (#382743) #
Had a thought somewhere around the 6th or 7th - if the two WS teams (Houston and Washington) got to pick up to 10 players off the Toronto end-of-season roster (for the sake of argument, the same player can be picked by both teams) and replay the WS and those players had to play a significant amount (12+ AB as a position player, pitch 5+ innings as a pitcher) - how many would they pick? What if they HAD to pick at least 5? 10?
Players I can see getting picked:Giles - the only no-brainer out there, IMHO
Bichette - a good bet to be picked if you had to. Even if you didn't have to, might get pickedVlad? At 1st / DH?Biggio as a super-sub?Gurriel?Font or Gaviglio as a long man?

Maybe McGuire / Jansen as a backup?

I can't think of anyone else.  That's maybe 5 players on our roster - MAYBE - who are good enough to play on a championship team, yet we're thinking of competing at that level in 1 or 2 years? We are going to need to acquire at least 5 new, REALLY good players (3+ WAR), IMHO, to even think about getting to the playoffs.

Seriously - are there ANY rosters + farm teams from ANY of the playoff/wildcard teams you wouldn't do a straight-up swap for, right now? I don't know all the details, but - even with the BBGGs, we're so far from the caliber of a Houston or Washington, it's not even funny - and arguably, LA or NYY (when healthy) are even better. We don't have one pitcher right now that could even make the Astros or Nationals post-season starting rotation. And probably not their regular season rotation either. Not ONE - they each have 3 great starters. It would be a real coup for us to get ONE in the off-season.

Yeah, the glass is nearly empty, but, dang, so is our roster, IMHO..
dan gordon - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 02:58 AM EDT (#382744) #
It's a very young team, and a there should be significant development next year. I can easily see that 5 player number being 10+ for next year's playoffs. Pearson, for one, should be there. Maybe Borucki, Shoemaker, and whichever starter they sign this offseason. Maybe one of the other young starters. Vlad, Bo, Gurriel and Biggio. One of the catchers. Giles if he's (hopefully) still here. Probably at least 1 or 2 other relievers, maybe more, depends on who they sign, how some of the young guys develop, injuries. Maybe they sign a big bat for 1B/DH, maybe Hernandez keeps hitting like he did the 2nd half. There are lots of possibilities. Maybe they ALL flop or get injured, and we're still at 5 players next year, but that would seem incredibly unlikely.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 06:01 AM EDT (#382745) #
The road team won all seven games of the WS, which has got to be the first time that's happened, no? Not only that, but besides the 5-4 first game, all the others ended up being fairly lopsided finals.
ISLAND BOY - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 07:42 AM EDT (#382746) #
Congratulations to the Nationals. I thought they were done after Houston beat them 3 straight at home. Washington won all of their last 8 playoff road games!
85bluejay - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 08:14 AM EDT (#382747) #
Wonder what the WS ratings were in the GTA for game 7 - TFC played a big game and the Raptors also played. Congratulations to the Nationals, happy the Astros lost.
scottt - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 08:21 AM EDT (#382748) #
 Bass is like a free agent acquisition except he doesn't have a choice to come here.
He's got 3 years of team control left. Little risk besides the money.
There are a lot of prospects who could be brought up to pitch out of the pen, but like Shapiro said, you need a mix of with some experience players.

The thing with bunting is you practice it. It's not hard. It should be routine for left handed hitters who get shifted as anything close to the line is either a hit or a foul ball. The only time you should fail to bunt so badly is on a suicide bunt.  Scherzer worked out of jams every inning. The odds of getting a hit here are around 20%. The odds of bunting properly should be around 90%. The play here is to bunt to first, not to third.

I did mention before that Houston had the best hitting pitchers. Their rookie DH wasn't a factor in the playoffs.

scottt - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#382749) #
Is the older Gurriel that much better than the younger Gurriel?
Lourdes will be 26 and Yuli 36 next year.

The Nats was the oldest team in baseball. They spent a lot of money on starting pitching. Scherzer 7/210, Strasbourg 6/175, Corbin 6/140. They got Hudson from the Jays. And Gomes was an undervalued Jays player. Rendon is a free agent and he's going to cost a ton. I wouldn't trade any of the Jays catcher straight up for Gomes or Suzuki. The second base for Washington was Dozier, Cabrera and Hendrik. (33, 34, 36 next year). They're all free agents and they'll be lucky to sign for more than 3M. Zimmerman is also a free agent. He's just replacement value now and didn't do much in this series.  Eaton is a terrible defender by now, he was worth just 1.6 bWAR. The whole Baby Shark thing came from Geraldo Parra who was good for 0.2 bWAR.

It's mostly just the grass looking greener on the other side.

scottt - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#382750) #
It was the first time a road team win the first 6 games in MLB, NHL or NBA playoffs. That's over 1400 series if I remember right.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 09:11 AM EDT (#382751) #
#2JB and I split the prize.  Nats in 7 for him and Strasburg as the MVP for me.

The road thing is overdone in the media, I thought. The Nats had a big dropoff in their starting pitching after Strasburg and Scherzer. Strasburg is pretty clearly a better pitcher than Verlander at this stage in their careers, and I figured that the Nats ought to have been favoured in Games 2 and 6.  There were two twists- the Taubman controversy that surely didn't help the Astros cause in Game 1 with a favourable Cole vs. Scherzer matchup, and the delay of Scherzer's start to Game 7.  In the result, the Nats won all the games started by Strasburg and Scherzer, and none of the others (I had figured that the they would go 3-1 behind Strasburg and Scherzer and split the remaining two in Washington).  

Dave Martinez took a lot of criticism for his handling of the pitchers in Game 7.  Scherzer was better in the 4th and 5th than he had been earlier, and sticking with Corbin for 3 innings, rather than going mechanically Hudson/Doolittle for the 8th and 9th, was gutsy. 

Finally I'd rather have Bichette/Biggio than Turner/Kendrick/Cabrera and Jansen than either of their catchers.  Lourdes Gurriel Jr. would probably also find a role on the Nationals.  Giles would noticeably improve either of those clubs immediately, which is immensely satisfying in the case of the Astros. VGJ might end up better than any of the players on either team next year, but neither team would have wanted him in a starting role in the playoffs.
scottt - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 09:11 AM EDT (#382752) #
The plan going in was to let Greinke get out of one jam but to pull him out of the second one.
The Astros bullpen just didn't do the job. That includes Osuna, ironically, who got tapped for more than one inning.

There was a lot of great things to emulate and I hope all the Jays players were watching all of it.
Lots of double plays not made because of a runner hustling to first.
Lots of great pitching. 

Sure feels like the robo-strike calling is imminent.

rpriske - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#382753) #
I thought they got the MVP wrong, and it really was sad to see the Astros wilt once they lost the lead, but Greinke was great, but Corbin was better.

And Osuna was lousy. :)
Gerry - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#382754) #
Buddy Boshers and Brock Stewart have been outrighted to AAA.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#382755) #
Finally I'd rather have Bichette/Biggio than Turner/Kendrick/Cabrera and Jansen than either of their catchers.  Lourdes Gurriel Jr. would probably also find a role on the Nationals. 

I can see Bichette - but Turner has averaged 4.3 WAR / 162 games. Has he been injured? I see he's only got one full season, and that was a 4+ WAR season for him. Plus (I mostly watched the "summary games" + most of game 7), he looks better in the field than Bichette.  Sure, Bichette had an amazing debut, but does anyone actually project him for 7.4 WAR next season? 4 WAR seems more realistic? In which case, given experience / speed, it'd be a hard call.

Biggio - Kendrick was a 3.5 WAR player this year (again, pro-rated to 162 games). Biggio pro-rated is 4.5 - does anyone believe he will be a 4.5 WAR player next year? Slip even a bit, and he's around 3.5 - similar to Kendrick.
Mind you - if you HAD to swap, you might be "swapping for more or less equals" with the Bs.
Jansen? He had 1 WAR (pro-rated to 1.51). Chirinos had a 5.4 WAR season - they're going to swap for Jansen? Yan Gomes was at 2.17. Now, Suzuki worked out to an 0.76 WAR, so that one I could see - but he was injured and didn't play this series, IIRC.
hypobole - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#382756) #
Is this too early to start the 2020 WS thread?

Vegas has already put out odds for the 2020 title. Looking at the Westgate lines, the 4 teams that finished behind the Jays are 1000-1. But the Mariners, Pirates, Rangers, Giants, Angels and Rockies also have worse odds than the 80-1 the Jays are listed at.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#382757) #
Let's try this game the other way around:-start with the Jay's roster-replace 5 players on our roster with any player from either WS team-how do we stack up against either the WS roster for Houston or Washington (assuming we replicated the players we took, the original team still has their "original")?
If you go crazy with 3 starters + 2 relievers, our batters STILL can't compete with Houston. MAYBE with Washington. If you grab Bregman or Rendon, Altuve, Springer, Soto and Alvarez, our current pitching gets crushed into oblivion against HOU and probably WSN.

That's adding 5 All-Stars, 2-3 probable HOFers to our lineup. Where do we find even 2 All-Stars out of nowhere in the next year or two?
vw_fan17 - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#382758) #
It's a very young team, and a there should be significant development next year. I can easily see that 5 player number being 10+ for next year's playoffs. Pearson, for one, should be there. Maybe Borucki, Shoemaker, and whichever starter they sign this offseason.
Are we signing a significant starter this offseason? I doubt it. Shoemaker? If he's not injured again - I see him as one of those perpetually injured players like Devon Travis. May give you a good half season here or there, but can't count on him. Borucki had a good half season in '18, but nothing amazing (110 ERA+), and almost nothing last season. Someone who hasn't established themselves at age 26 in the majors becomes a WS-caliber player overnight? Colour me skeptical.

Pearson - sure, he SOUNDS amazing. So did Vlad, and, so far, he's been "good", not "great". Not saying Vlad will not improve - but will Pearson come out of the gate at the all-star level? Or will he take 2-3 years to adjust? None of those are sure things.

Jays signing a big bat? We might pay EE for his retirement tour and get an OPS+ of 110-115 out of him.. I doubt we sign any significant players like Rendon.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#382759) #
I meant that I'd rather have Jansen than either of the Nationals' catchers.  FWIW, fWAR has Jansen ahead of both, but evaluating catcher defence is subject to a lot of reasonable disagreement.  Gomes hit .223/.316/.389 which was better than Jansen, but he wasn't exactly breaking down the walls to the Hall of Fame either. 

Chirinos has had a weird career path, like Ernie Whitt's I suppose.  He didn't get much of an opportunity until he was 29, but has hit pretty well since then. 
rpriske - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#382760) #
I think my highest hope off-season acquisition is Starling Marte. Yes starting pitching is a higher priority. but I can't see any scenario where I am not disappointed in who they get on that front. Zach Wheeler, maybe? But I doubt it.
John Northey - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#382761) #
For the Jays we had hitters with WAR of 2+: Biggio, Bichette, Vlad. That's it.

1-1.99: Sogard (gone), Galvis (gone), Gurriel Jr, Hernandez, Jansen, McGwire.

Pitchers....
2+: Stroman (gone), Giles
1-1.99: Thornton, Shoemaker, Hudson (gone - had to close the World Series)

Not many. 2+ just 5 guys, 4 still here. 1-1.9 just 9 with 3 gone.

Washington
3+ WAR: Rendon, Soto, Robles (AKA: no one on the Jays equal to)
2-2.99 WAR: Kendrick, Turner
1-1.99 WAR: Eaton, Cabrera, Gomes (ex-Jay)

pitchers...
3+ WAR: Strasburg, Scherzer, Corbin, Sanchez
2-2.99: none
1-1.99: Voth, Fedde, Doolittle

Safe to say either of our catchers would be taken in a split second by Washington. Brian Dozier was their regular at 2B but Kendrick clearly is now but at 35 won't be for long. Safe to say they'd take Biggio quickly. 1B was a mess with Zimmerman & Adams sharing with Kendrick - if they could move Vlad to 1B they'd grab him in a split second for that too. Giles as mentioned by others is an obvious 'take now' for almost any team.

I think the idea is there - our best are clearly championship caliber but right now need more time to move into the 3+ WAR category needed from the best on a team. We also need pitchers big time. Washington was lucky to have a big 4 who were healthy (all 29-35 so that was very lucky indeed to get 27-33 starts each from them).

The Jays have a clear need - pitching. There are kids coming up for that. Hopefully by the end of 2020 (or mid-2020) it will be obvious if the Jays are in good shape going forward or nightmare shape.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#382762) #
But the Mariners, Pirates, Rangers, Giants, Angels and Rockies also have worse odds than the 80-1 the Jays are listed at.

World Series odds are an interesting thing.  I doubt that any team ought to be better than about 8-1 because of the playoff situation.  For the Jays of 2020, that 80-1 breaks down roughly as 10-1 of making the playoffs and 8-1 of winning the WS once there.  That looks about right, given that the organization is unlikely to spend the dollars necessary to increase the odds of making the playoffs much beyond that. The organization's projected path of marginal additions is a poor one- if you are at 10-1 of making the playoffs without spending the dollars, you should spend the money if you are in a market where attendance is very sensitive to competition for a playoff spot.
85bluejay - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 12:29 PM EDT (#382763) #
Now that the series is over, the offseason can get going.

- Vlad Guerrero 's offseason will be the most important factor - is he going to be more Miguel Cabrera or Pablo Sandoval? Is he prepared to put in the work to become a superstar, I'm skeptical because after his 2018 injury Atkins said the Jays were going to use that as an opportunity to engage Vlad about health/fitness etc. and it obviously didn't impact Vlad - so we will see what shape he comes into camp - his level of performance next year will go a long way in saying how far along the rebuild is.

Moving Giles - the last veteran with some value and I hope the Jays don't take a chance on holding him till July given what happened last year and the general rotten luck this FO has had in moving players for good value.

Having luck with the veteran pitchers they sign - I'm not expecting top tier but more in the Pineda/Wood/Roark category.

what direction they go in CF.
bpoz - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#382764) #
Payroll is an important factor.

G Stanton and D Price will cripple any payroll. Machado and Harper will probably do that too.

Dombrowski used V large payroll to acquire elite talent JD Martinez and D Price. He used prospects to acquire C Sale which is a good strategy because Sale was signed long term and cheaply. The prospects may turn out better for CWS than they have so far. But CWS was in rebuild mode at the time.

CWS has a market that will accept a major rebuild. Boston does not.

Shapiro is telling us parts of his plan for the rebuild. We will not be a power house in 2021 most likely because there will be too much youth and inexperience on the 2021 team. Of course they could still win the WS in 2021.
bpoz - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#382765) #
If Boston shops Betts then they probably do it by Jan 1 the latest.

Then what is the plan for Boston? They will have to be creative to not add payroll.
pooks137 - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#382766) #
It was the first time a road team win the first 6 games in MLB, NHL or NBA playoffs. That's over 1400 series if I remember right.

Back of the envelope calculation last night using .540 winning % for home teams in the regular season in the MLB over the last 20 years gives you odds of 7 consecutive road wins in a series 1 in every 229 series assuming the teams are equally matched

Of course, by definition, the teams aren't evenly matched since HFA is awarded to the better team most of the time, so the odds should be even worse

Still surprising it hasn't occurred in any of the 3 major sports in 1400 series

vw_fan17 - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#382767) #
pooks - as you said, playoff teams are better.

Best home playoff team - Houston: 60-21 - 0.741.
Worst home playoff team - Minnesota: 46-35 - 0.568
Best road playoff team - Minnesota: 55-26 - 0.679
Worst road playoff team - Milwaukee: 40-41 - 0.494
So playoff teams are maybe 50-70 points worse on the road. But, on average, I would say > 0.650 at home. If you re-normalize playoff teams for record, maybe 0.540 / 0.460 is still valid. Or maybe not - Houston/LAD were a LOT better than, say, Milwaukee / STL this year.

I would have been less surprised if Minnesota vs. the Twins had been an all-road series :-) (or maybe vs. the Rays)

So Houston lost 4 (in a row, although not consecutive) at home, despite having a home winning pct of 0.741 during the regular season. If I did the math right (1 - 0.741)^4 = 0.00449 or 0.45%.

I suspect that this hasn't happened often before, because if a team is good enough to win 3 road games, they're probably good enough to have won one of the other 3 games at home as well.
bpoz - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#382768) #
Houston will not be as good with Cole gone. But maybe someone else shows up like F Whitley.

If Strasburg and Rendon leave Washington is worse off.

Injuries and poor performance will cripple any team.

If you have Aces and #1s you win IMO. So I was sure about TB. Not Oakland and NYY. Severino was not recovered enough to go 7/8 innings. TB could have knocked off Houston IMO. But still the underdog. I would have picked TB over NYY if it had happened.

The Jays will be fine soon. We will develop a combo of 4 pitchers that are Aces & #1s. Some #2s as well. By the end of 2021 I expect.

I cannot help being a positive person.
pooks137 - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#382769) #
The 54% HFA winning percentage comes from a Fangraphs article last week looking at regular season data from 2000-2019.

I don't think you can use single season team home and away records to predict expected playoff home and road win % rates since these records were accumulated against the field of 30 MLB teams, but now future playoff results are only being played against the top 10 with much higher win rates themselves, whereas the regular season field is imperfect but should be closer to .500 win rate.

I'm not good enough at stats to account for things like team vs team strength.

Cracka - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#382770) #
Historically, home teams perform better in the playoffs than in the regular season. This is true for all four major NA sports leagues.

Overall (i.e. in regular season) MLB has the lowest inherent "home advantage" compared to other sports. MLB home teams win 54% of the time compared to 55% (NHL), 57% (NFL), and 60% (NBA).

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/a-home-playoff-game-is-a-big-advantage-unless-you-play-hockey/
scottt - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 04:58 PM EDT (#382771) #
The World Series are over and the offseason has started.
I think we could use a new thread.

NYY has unsurprisingly declined the option on Encarnation.
This makes Martinez less likely to opt out.

Michael - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 05:01 PM EDT (#382772) #
The game by game odds get thrown off by starting pitching. The teams in question aren't usually always a .600 team or whatever, but rather may be a .750 team when a certain pitcher pitches and may be a .450 team when another pitcher pitches. How spiky the pitchers are for the two teams, and how they line up for rest (since previous series may mean they aren't 1 vs 1 and 2 vs 2, etc.) also impacts the odds that the worse or road team wins.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 06:05 PM EDT (#382773) #
NYY has unsurprisingly declined the option on Encarnation.

Since I've seen this misspelling a few times recently (and since there will be obvious discussion about EE coming back) - Edwin is not related to the flower or the beverage.. Edwin EncarnaCion.
James W - Thursday, October 31 2019 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#382774) #
Houston's 4 home games, they faced Scherzer, Strasburg, Strasburg, and Scherzer. I think the kids call that EZPZ nowadays.
scottt - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 07:19 AM EDT (#382778) #
In my mind, it's Scherzer being pushed back from game 5 to game 7 that created the unlikely situation for a road teams win all.
scottt - Friday, November 01 2019 @ 07:24 AM EDT (#382779) #
Actually, doesn't Encarnacion translate as Incarnation?

But point taken.

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