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Author: Matt Musico

Travis d'Arnaud accomplished three incredible things at Yankee Stadium

By: Matt Musico | July 15, 2019 Earlier this season, Travis d’Arnaud appeared to be at a crossroads in his career. The 30-year-old catcher entered his final season of team control while also needing to make an impact following missing basically all of 2018 due to undergoing Tommy John surgery. The New York Mets could’ve easily non-tendered him over the winter because of his injury-filled career up to that point. They didn’t, but the leash was clearly short — he only appeared in 10 games for the organization before getting designated for assignment. While his short audition wasn’t good...

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Texas Rangers are reaping the benefits of an underrated offseason

By: Matt Musico | July 8, 2019 With the MLB All-Star break upon us, it’s time to reflect on some unexpected events that have taken place over the past three-plus months. It’d be impossible to not immediately think about the Texas Rangers when going through this exercise. On the eve of Opening Day, the Rangers not only had the lowest preseason playoff odds in the American League West, but it was also one of the lowest in baseball. They entered this year with just a 0.6% chance of reaching October for the first time since 2016 with rookie manager...

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Six MLB players who could use a change of scenery

By: Matt Musico | July 7, 2019 A few things are synonymous with the month of July for baseball fans. Obviously, a big draw (for some) is the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game, but what captivates just about everyone is the trade deadline. The 2019 MLB regular season is going to be a little different because the league has done away with the non-waiver and waiver trade deadline stuff — there’s just one date teams must make trades by now. This year, all the action must be completed by 4pm ET on July 31st. Regardless of how many...

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What's clicked for Manny Machado during his hot streak?

By: Matt Musico | July 3, 2019 No ballplayer wants to get their season off to a slow start, especially free agents who are trying to make an immediate impact on a new club. As much as he may want to just be another part of the team, it’s hard to categorize Manny Machado as such, especially after this past winter. Not many ballplayers sign a 10-year, $300 million deal. And since he didn’t ink the contract until after Spring Training started in February, the ramp-up to his San Diego Padres debut wasn’t typical, either. So it was understandable...

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In tragic death, Tyler Skaggs still got what we all need

By: Matt Musico | July 3, 2019 Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Baseball Essential and was written by Tom Dorsa. A few days ago, a friend of mine committed suicide. According to the Carrollton, Texas police department, the lonesome middle-aged man passed away from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, leaving little but a memory of a solitary, quirky personality and the wisdom he tried to pass on to me and many others. Whether he knew it or not, he touched many lives and left an indelible mark on those around him through his pure and delightful peculiarity....

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The 10 worst MLB players in June

By: Matt Musico | July 1, 2019 A lot can happen over the course of an MLB regular season. That’s why we try to resist prematurely jumping to conclusions with regard to player and team performance. But now that we’re more than halfway though the regular season, we can start putting more weight behind the numbers at our disposal. After spotlighting the best hitters and starting pitchers from June, we’re doing the same for those guys on the opposite end of the spectrum. Once again, we’re going to rank hitter performances by wRC+, while Skill-Interactive ERA (SIERA) will be used for the starting...

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The 10 best MLB players in June

By: Matt Musico | July 1, 2019 While the All-Star Game is still about a week away, having three-plus months of MLB games now in the rear-view mirror tells us we’re smack in the middle of the regular season. Baseball is a game defined by peaks and valleys, with the goal always being to maximize the peaks while minimizing the valleys as much as possible. Plenty had an opportunity to make an impact during the month of June, but some took more advantage of it than others. The following 10 players — five hitters and five starting pitchers —...

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Here's an incredible Shohei Ohtani statistic to keep an eye on

By: Matt Musico | June 28, 2019 The Los Angeles Angels have fought their way back into playoff contention, you guys. Brad Ausmus‘ squad enters Friday’s action with a 42-40 record. While that’s eight games behind the first-place Houston Astros, it’s only 3.5 games out of the final American League wild-card spot. And sure, Mike Trout has done his fair share of ridiculous things but so has Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani didn’t make his season debut until May 7th because of his rehab from Tommy John surgery. Although his year got off to a slow start, he’s picked it up...

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MLB, baseball fans should embrace the game’s recent home run barrage

By: Matt Musico | June 27, 2019 Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Baseball Essential and was written by Tom Dorsa. If you’ve watched even one game of the 2019 Major League Baseball season, you probably know that home runs are happening at an insane rate, and that number doesn’t seem to be going down. MLB teams have combined to clobber 3,277 long balls this year, which is on pace to shatter the 2017 record by more than 500 home runs. Home runs per game is standing at a cool 1.36, an MLB single-season record by a considerable margin...

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MLB's most and least valuable pitches so far in 2019

By: Matt Musico | June 26, 2019 What’s the most exciting play in baseball? The answer will depend on who you ask. Some may feel that watching a long home run fly over the wall is the best, others will say it’s watching a player leg out a triple or making an incredible defensive play. You know what’s making a strong charge toward the top of this list, though? Watching pitchers unleash absolutely filthy pitches while on the mound. We can thank the Pitching Ninja for opening our eyes to the ridiculous things hurlers do on a daily basis....

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Javier Baez is outperforming a few MLB teams in this statistic

By: Matt Musico | June 23, 2019 Javier Baez helped the Chicago Cubs grab victory from the jaws of defeat Sunday. The manner in which he accomplished this has become rather familiar, too. The 26-year-old clubbed a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning, helping the Cubs transform a one-run deficit to what eventually became a two-run victory. This was Baez’s 19th dinger of the season, and it actually came on an 0-2 count. Having his back against the wall before slugging a ball into the stands has happened quite a bit for the shortstop in 2019....

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Yordan Alvarez is a human homer machine

By: Matt Musico | June 21, 2019 The Houston Astros didn’t necessarily need another offensive stud inserted into their lineup, but as they say, the rich get richer when it comes to slugger Yordan Alvarez. Manager A.J. Hinch’s squad is entering Friday’s action with a team wRC+ of 119, which is tied with the Minnesota Twins for the best in baseball. On the surface, this isn’t shocking when taking a look at their loaded lineup. With guys like Michael Brantley, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, and George Springer stepping into the batter’s box on a daily basis, Houston...

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Six MLB players who have erased their slow starts

By: Matt Musico | June 19, 2019 Every baseball player’s goal heading into a season is to get things started on the right foot. Whether it’s at the plate or on the mound, actually putting up numbers builds confidence with the majority of a 162-game schedule staring them in the face. It doesn’t always happen that way, though. Each of the following six MLB players started 2019 by putting themselves in a hole from the perspective of their season-long statistics. However, it’s not the slow start that matters — it’s the recovery. Achieving success on the baseball diamond is...

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