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Author: Matt Musico

Gerrit Cole has been virtually unstoppable for the Astros

By: Matt Musico | September 19, 2019 Remember when the Houston Astros were the laughingstock of Major League Baseball? You know, that wasn’t too long ago — they endured three straight seasons of 100-plus losses from 2011-13. That sure seems like a distant memory now, and while their rebuild approach was questionable at the time, they executed it perfectly. Houston won again on Wednesday night, which has been a common occurrence in 2019. They became baseball’s first squad to 100 wins, which is something the organization has now accomplished for the third year in a row. In case you’re...

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It looks like J.T. Realmuto's patience will soon be rewarded by the Phillies

By: Matt Musico | September 17, 2019 With a 76-72 record entering Tuesday’s games, the Philadelphia Phillies are on the cusp of getting booted from the National League wild-card race. While they continue fighting for their playoff lives as we continue creeping closer to Game 162, rumors are circling about the club being interested in locking up catcher J.T. Realmuto to an extension, and rightfully so. I mean, if I could only choose one tweet to show his on-field value to the Phillies in 2019, it’d probably be this one: Catchers since 2000 to hit 25+ HR and throw...

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Six MLB pitchers who have taken a big step forward in 2019

By: Matt Musico | September 15, 2019 Baseball is a wonderful game, but it also knows exactly how to humble every ballplayer at some point. That instance may be a singular moment or over an extended period of time. Regardless of the situation, the Baseball Gods always find a way to knock guys down a peg. There isn’t a ton of regular season left to play, but even if there was, it’d be hard to completely erase all the good vibes the following six pitchers have experienced since beginning to toe the slab back in March and April. This...

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Mitch Garver's historic power surge has included annihilating fastballs

By: Matt Musico | September 11, 2019 Although the deficit isn’t insurmountable just yet, it appears the Minnesota Twins have withstood the best efforts from the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central. One of the ways they’ve done this is by hitting an incredible number of home runs. Entering Wednesday, the Twins are tied with the New York Yankees at the top of the league with 276 team homers. Minnesota has watched 11 different players slug at least 10 dingers for them in 2019, with eight hitting at least 20 over the wall. Of those eight, three have...

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Christian Yelich's on-field growth is every MLB hitting coach's dream

By: Matt Musico | September 11, 2019 In the midst of fighting for their playoff lives, the Milwaukee Brewers were dealt what could very well be a devastating blow on Tuesday night. Reigning National League MVP (and one of the 2019 front-runners) Christian Yelich was lost for the year after fouling a ball off the worst possible part of his leg. This is certainly a psychological blow to the Brewers as a club, but they’re still very much in the race for October. They’re 76-68 entering Wednesday, putting them just one game behind the Chicago Cubs for the final...

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Six MLB pitchers who have taken a step backward in 2019

By: Matt Musico | September 8, 2019 Baseball is a wonderful game, but it also knows exactly how to humble every ballplayer at some point. That instance may be a singular moment or over an extended period of time. Regardless of the situation, the Baseball Gods always find a way to knock guys down a peg. The following six pitchers have experienced positive and negative moments in their respective careers prior to this year. Some were more pronounced than others, but they now all have one thing in common — they’ve been slogging through a rough 2019. There’s still...

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Juan Soto continues to look like a human cheat code

By: Matt Musico | September 4, 2019 Playing Major League Baseball is hard. It’s harder when you break in as a 19-year-old rookie. It’s even harder when that happens because you made the jump from Double-A straight to The Show. Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto doesn’t seem to care all that much. His top-prospect pedigree has been shining since the moment he arrived in the big leagues, and it hasn’t stopped since then. Similar to his teammate, Anthony Rendon, Soto probably won’t get nearly as much National League MVP attention as he should because of Cody Bellinger and Christian...

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The 10 worst MLB players in August

By: Matt Musico | September 1, 2019 The dog days of summer are officially over and we’re in the home stretch, you guys. MLB clubs have just one final month to show whether they’re worthy of a postseason berth or not. After spotlighting the best hitters and starting pitchers from August, 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 pitchers. SIERA will likely showcase some unexpected hurlers, but that’s the point — we want to get...

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The 10 best MLB players in August

By: Matt Musico | September 1, 2019 The dog days of summer are officially over and we’re in the home stretch, you guys. MLB clubs have just one final month to show whether they’re worthy of a postseason berth or not. 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 humanly possible. Plenty had an opportunity to make an impact in August, but some took more advantage of it than others. The following 10 players — five hitters and five starting pitchers —...

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Yu Darvish's impeccable control highlights his second-half surge

By: Matt Musico | August 27, 2019 In his start Tuesday night against the New York Mets, Chicago Cubs starter Yu Darvish walked Todd Frazier in the fifth inning. That in itself isn’t all that notable. After all, the right-hander entered this contest with an 8.5% walk rate in 2019, along with an 11.7% mark last season. It was notable, though, because it was the first time he allowed a hitter to reach via the walk in more than a month. He handed out one free pass against the San Francisco Giants back on July 23rd and nearly went...

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Six MLB hitters who have taken a step backward in 2019

By: Matt Musico | August 27, 2019 Baseball is a wonderful game, but it also knows exactly how to humble every ballplayer at some point. That instance may be a singular moment or over an extended period of time. Regardless of the situation, the Baseball Gods always find a way to knock guys down a peg. The following six hitters have experienced positive and negative moments in their respective careers prior to this year. Some were more pronounced than others, but they now all have one thing in common — they’ve been slogging through a rough 2019. There’s still...

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Washington Nationals are streaking their way to impressive history

By: Matt Musico | August 25, 2019 The post-Bryce Harper era in Washington D.C. wasn’t supposed to be too big of a deal for the Nationals. Not having the young left-handed hitter in their lineup wasn’t preferred, but a projected outfield of Juan Soto, Victor Robles, and Adam Eaton didn’t seem all too shabby. While Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies began 2019 off on the right foot, the Nationals completely sputtered. Following a year in which Washington underperformed for then-first-year skipper Davey Martinez, he proceeded to watch his club limp out to a 19-31 start through 50 games. By...

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Mike Soroka's consistent dominance is what the Atlanta Braves badly needed

By: Matt Musico | August 23, 2019 While the Washington Nationals and New York Mets are doing what they can to apply some pressure, the Atlanta Braves are comfortably occupying first place in the National League East. They enter Friday’s action with a six-game cushion over the Nats, and they’ve been mostly cruising in this position for the majority of 2019. One of Atlanta most significant contributors throughout this season has been rookie starting pitcher, Mike Soroka. Last winter, it looked as if the Braves could’ve used an established starter or two for a mostly young rotation. They didn’t...

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Six MLB hitters who have taken a big step forward in 2019

By: Matt Musico | August 21, 2019 Baseball is a wonderful game, but it also knows exactly how to humble every ballplayer at some point. That instance may be a singular moment or over an extended period of time. Regardless of the situation, the Baseball Gods always find a way to knock guys down a peg. The following six hitters have experienced positive and negative moments (whether they were sustained or very brief) in their respective careers prior to this year. Some were more pronounced than others, but they now all have one thing in common — they’ve been...

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