Bucfan56

2018 MLB Season

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2 hours ago, tp49 said:

Reports are circulating that Robinson Cano will be suspended 80 games for violations of MLB's PED policy.  

 

*Cue stream of curse words coming from my mouth*

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Howie Kendrick is done for the year with a ruptured achilles.  :(

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On 5/14/2018 at 9:10 AM, McCarthy said:

The 2018 World Champion Cincinnati Reds will be one of baseball's all-time greatest stories.

 

Aaaand with today's loss vs the "home team" Chicago Cubs, the 2018 Reds have been mathematically eliminated.

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...we're going to get a below-.500 team in the playoffs, aren't we?

 

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12 hours ago, Jimmy Lethal said:

...we're going to get a below-.500 team in the playoffs, aren't we?

 

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Hey... look at that! The Detroit Tigers have already exceeded my expectations for them.

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Juan Soto of the Nationals just became the first 19 year old to homer since... Bryce Harper. Cool.

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21 hours ago, Jimmy Lethal said:

...we're going to get a below-.500 team in the playoffs, aren't we?

 

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Nah. Cleveland will end up 84-78 Or something like that. 

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Is it just me or since they switched to the three-division format, isn't there always some division where the winner is only a couple of games over 500?  Is that just coincidence, or does the schedule somehow force that to happen?

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On May 20, 2018 at 10:37 PM, Jimmy Lethal said:

...we're going to get a below-.500 team in the playoffs, aren't we?

 

unknown.png

 

10 hours ago, BringBackTheVet said:

Is it just me or since they switched to the three-division format, isn't there always some division where the winner is only a couple of games over 500?  Is that just coincidence, or does the schedule somehow force that to happen?

 

It nearly happened in '94, the first year of the 6-division format - the one good thing the strike did was mercy-killing the saddest divisional race in baseball history:

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10 hours ago, BringBackTheVet said:

Is it just me or since they switched to the three-division format, isn't there always some division where the winner is only a couple of games over 500?  Is that just coincidence, or does the schedule somehow force that to happen?

It's not that common and only twice in the last ten years has a division winner had fewer than 90 wins. For curiosity's sake I went back to 96 (because that was the first full season of this alignment) and looked at how many division winners won fewer than 90 games. Here's my findings:

 

2015 Rangers 88 wins

2012 Tigers 88 wins

2009 Twins 87 wins

2008 White Sox and Dodgers 89 and 84 wins

2007 Phillies and Cubs 89 and 85 wins

2006 Cardinals and Padres 83 and 88 wins. Stupid Cardinals won the GD world series with that horse***, 13th best record in baseball nonsense

2005 Padres 82 wins (!) 

2003 Cubs 88 wins

2001 Braves 88 wins

2000 Yankees 87 wins. Won third straight world series. Thanks for your help, Toronto, Boston, Baltimore, and Tampa.

1998 Indians and Rangers 89 and 88 wins

1997 Indians and Astros 86 and 84 wins

1996 Cardinals 88

 

So that's 18 times out 66 where the worst division winner failed to win 90 games and most of those were closer to 90 than they were 500. The closest we came to a sub-500 division winner was 2005 with the NL West. 

 

But it is more common than when we had the larger divisions. You had a few years like the 87 Twins or the 73 Mets (and don't get me started on 1981), but for the most part the teams with the best record were funneled to the postseason correctly. This is also the reason why expanding to 32 and going to an NFL style 8 divisions of 4 system would be troublesome for baseball. With more segmenting you increase the chances of bad divisions and raise the probability that a stinker team wins a division with like a 76 win season while better teams miss the postseason. The only benefit I can think of is it might incentivize fewer teams to process if they can see a more obtainable path to the playoffs. 

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1 hour ago, McCarthy said:

It's not that common and only twice in the last ten years has a division winner had fewer than 90 wins. For curiosity's sake I went back to 96 (because that was the first full season of this alignment) and looked at how many division winners won fewer than 90 games. Here's my findings:

 

2015 Rangers 88 wins

2012 Tigers 88 wins

2009 Twins 87 wins

2008 White Sox and Dodgers 89 and 84 wins

2007 Phillies and Cubs 89 and 85 wins

2006 Cardinals and Padres 83 and 88 wins. Stupid Cardinals won the GD world series with that horse***, 13th best record in baseball nonsense

2005 Padres 82 wins (!) 

2003 Cubs 88 wins

2001 Braves 88 wins

2000 Yankees 87 wins. Won third straight world series. Thanks for your help, Toronto, Boston, Baltimore, and Tampa.

1998 Indians and Rangers 89 and 88 wins

1997 Indians and Astros 86 and 84 wins

1996 Cardinals 88

 

So that's 18 times out 66 where the worst division winner failed to win 90 games and most of those were closer to 90 than they were 500. The closest we came to a sub-500 division winner was 2005 with the NL West. 

 

But it is more common than when we had the larger divisions. You had a few years like the 87 Twins or the 73 Mets (and don't get me started on 1981), but for the most part the teams with the best record were funneled to the postseason correctly. This is also the reason why expanding to 32 and going to an NFL style 8 divisions of 4 system would be troublesome for baseball. With more segmenting you increase the chances of bad divisions and raise the probability that a stinker team wins a division with like a 76 win season while better teams miss the postseason. The only benefit I can think of is it might incentivize fewer teams to process if they can see a more obtainable path to the playoffs. 

I have never pretended that the 1987 Twins were a great team.  But they could be an example of where there is just a bit more than meets the eye.  They clinched, with their 85th win, with five games to go.  They then proceeded to lose their last five games.  I suspect some of that was due to setting the rotation, playing call-ups, etc.  Had some team given them a run, they may have won more games (though it's a lot to assume this so-so team wins all five to get to that magical number of 90).  But the statement that "they would have finished 4th in the East" is not necessarily true.  Teams that win bad divisions may tend to start to play down to that division for reasons that are actually smart.  Again, I am NOT suggesting that the 1987 Twins were were not created by terribly mismatched divisions.  They were.  But I am suggesting that some of the low win totals could be just a bit misleading.

 

Anyway, I agree with your premise that the mathematics pretty much have to work out that two seven-team divisions are going to have a blatantly un-deserving team (like the 1987 Twins) get in less frequently than three five-team divisions.  Obviously the former is more likely to produce a really good team from each larger division. Also, only four champs vs. six champs.  But it seems to "stick out" a lot more in the old format.  Because when, say the 2006 Cardinals win a weak division, there are three other NL teams in the playoffs, including (automatically) at least the two best.  The most unbalanced years in the old format just drew your eyes too how many teams in the strong division were better than the winner of the weak division.  But more often than not, the old format was definitely better at protecting us from weak postseason teams.

 

One interesting difference is that most (maybe even all) of the old format played a balanced schedule. I THINK that in the 1980s, the Twins played 13 games vs. their west rivals and 12 vs. the East.  Now we have this unbalanced schedule (plus interleague) that has the Twins playing as few as six games against some AL West and East teams (and 19 vs. their division).  What this should do is protect us from very low win totals.  I'm far to lazy to look into this, but in theory the 2005 Padres probably got fat off of their 76 games against their weak division. And (again, in theory) a balanced schedule probably leads them to winning the division a bit under .500.  Maybe this is part of the reason for the unbalanced schedule (though I suspect it's more about travel and selling tickets for Yanks/Sox).  (A bit off-topic; the unbalanced schedule is OK except for its impact on the Wild Card.)

 

Thanks in part to the unbalance schedule, I think Cleveland (possibly Minnesota) comes out with 85 wins or so.

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2 hours ago, McCarthy said:

2006 Cardinals and Padres 83 and 88 wins. Stupid Cardinals won the GD world series with that horse***, 13th best record in baseball nonsense

 

Thanks for reminding me. [grumbles in Metsugese]

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The Indians were 48-45 at one point last season and finished up with 101 wins. They didn't exactly lose much over the off-season; Carlos Santana, but his AB's have mostly been taken by a (finally) healthy Michael Brantley who is more-or-less a DH at this point of his career anyway since his throwing arm is shot. Their rotation is still fronted by Kluber, Bauer, Carrasco, and Clevinger. It's their bullpen that has been a tirefire and that might cost them at some point without either some serious upgrades and/or performance improvement from within but I would be surprised if the Indians don't make it to around 93 wins or so by the end of the season. It's a weak division and they're too good to not improve at some point. 

 

And I can vouch that facing those four starters in a playoff series is not a fun thing to think about. Tito screwed things up badly last year with his playoff rotation, surprisingly so given his impeccable playoff track record, but I don't think he'll be making those mistakes again.

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49 minutes ago, Kramerica Industries said:

The Indians were 48-45 at one point last season and finished up with 101 wins. They didn't exactly lose much over the off-season; Carlos Santana, but his AB's have mostly been taken by a (finally) healthy Michael Brantley who is more-or-less a DH at this point of his career anyway since his throwing arm is shot. Their rotation is still fronted by Kluber, Bauer, Carrasco, and Clevinger. It's their bullpen that has been a tirefire and that might cost them at some point without either some serious upgrades and/or performance improvement from within but I would be surprised if the Indians don't make it to around 93 wins or so by the end of the season. It's a weak division and they're too good to not improve at some point. 

 

And I can vouch that facing those four starters in a playoff series is not a fun thing to think about. Tito screwed things up badly last year with his playoff rotation, surprisingly so given his impeccable playoff track record, but I don't think he'll be making those mistakes again.

The Tribe will settle somewhere around 87-75, I think, by the time it's all set and done. I think they've lost a little more than you've let onto -- specifically in the bullpen, where they let two key arms (Shaw and Smith) walk without replacement (they also lost Jay Bruce from last year's team), but it's still the same core of players that probably would've won the World Series in 2016 if not for some awful injury luck.

 

That said, the Indians' problems can best be described by the fact that they're in the AL Central, and that ownership knows it could get away with letting players walk and saving until August without any repercussions. They'll make deadline deals again to trade away unimportant prospects for a bat and a couple relievers on expiring contracts, and they'll suddenly look like a 95-win team again. At this point, they're going to be the No. 3 seed in the AL no matter what they do, so there's no need to do anything for two months.

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It is easy to forget that Jay Bruce was there for about five minutes last year, you're correct about that; guess I successfully blanked that home run he hit against David Robertson out of my memory. 

 

It would also help Cleveland out a lot if Encarnacion stops looking washed up like he does. .212 average with a .719 OPS can't possibly be what they are paying $13M for. 

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