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Author: Matt Musico

Chris Davis might put together the worst overall season this century

By: Matt Musico | September 19, 2018 The 2018 season has been awfully tough on the Baltimore Orioles. They entered the year with hopes of contending, but eventually went on a fire sale prior to the non-waiver trade deadline that saw guys like Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop. Kevin Gausman, and Brad Brach all pack their bags. So, the organization is at the very, very beginning stages of a rebuild, the immediate future is unclear for both manager Buck Showalter and top executive Dan Duquette, and Baltimore is waking up on Thursday with a 44-108 record that has them 59.5...

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Jose Ramirez is in the 30-30 club, but this one is much more exclusive

By: Matt Musico | September 17, 2018 In case you haven’t been paying attention to the Cleveland Indians this season, infielder Jose Ramirez has been putting up ridiculous numbers. Like, super-ridiculous numbers. Entering Tuesday’s series opener against the Chicago White Sox, Ramirez owns a .282/.396/.578 triple slash with 38 home runs, 101 RBI, 101 runs scored, and 32 stolen bases. That susses out to a healthy 155 wRC+  and 8.0 fWAR through 642 plate appearances, both of which are among the best in baseball when looking at qualified hitters. One glance at the above stats tells us the American...

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Five MLB pitchers who have taken a step backward in 2018

By: Matt Musico | September 13, 2018 Baseball is a wonderful game, but it also knows exactly how to humble just about every ballplayer at one time or another. That instance may be a singular moment in a game or span a number of games, but it always happens. The following five pitchers all encountered certain levels of success in 2017 — whether it was overall or in particular situations. Some were more pronounced than others, but they now all have one thing in common — they’ve struggled in 2018. Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox Although Lucas Giolito’s first...

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One tweet summarizes the Oakland Athletics' crazy run toward October

By: Matt Musico | September 12, 2018 If we got back in time to April, there weren’t many people picking the Oakland Athletics to be a legitimate playoff contender this season. That’s one of the many reasons why baseball is so wonderful. The A’s took a long road to get to where they are at this particular juncture, as we’ve covered recently. With a slow start comes an incredibly dominant stretch, which is exactly what’s happened for Oakland. Following their 10-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles, MLB.com’s Richard Justice only needed one tweet to summarize how the A’s managed...

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Gerrit Cole now has this in common with Bob Feller

By: Matt Musico | September 12, 2018 You think the Houston Astros are happy they acquired starting pitcher Gerrit Cole from the Pittsburgh Pirates this past winter? The 28-year-old is putting the final touches on a career-best season, and his most recent appearance now allows him to be mentioned in the same breath as Hall of Famer Bob Feller. Which is, you know, pretty cool. Cole faced the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday and did what he’s consistently done throughout 2018: pile up strikeouts. He whiffed nine hitters through five innings of work, pushing his season-long total to 260. That’s...

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Here's how ridiculous Shohei Ohtani's recent offensive rampage has been

160 shares By: Matt Musico | September 9, 2018 We all love it when there’s an opportunity to use the #PitchersWhoRake hashtag, but Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani has brought a whole other meaning to it during the 2018 season. Sure, he’s only appeared as a pitcher once since the beginning of June and is now potentially facing a long road back to the mound via Tommy John surgery, but that hasn’t stopped him from raking at the plate. He showed us the kind of focus he has on the day it was announced he may need...

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Five MLB pitchers who have taken a huge step forward in 2018

By: Matt Musico | September 6, 2018 Baseball is a wonderful game, but it also knows exactly how to humble just about every ballplayer at one time or another. That instance may be a singular moment in a game or span a number of games, but it always happens. The following five pitchers all went through their share of issues during 2017. Some were more pronounced than others, but they now all have one thing in common — they’ve been enjoying a tremendous year to this point in 2018. There’s still a little over a month left in the...

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Boston Red Sox broke a couple long streaks with their monster comeback

By: Matt Musico | September 5, 2018 Newsflash: The 2018 Boston Red Sox are really good at this baseball thing. Alright, we’ve all known that for a while about Alex Cora‘s squad, but Wednesday’s game against the Atlanta Braves was just more proof of how ridiculous they’ve been over the past five-plus months. In a game that Ronald Acuña Jr. immediately took over by hitting yet another leadoff home run, Boston was looking at a 7-1 deficit heading into the eighth inning. They proceeded to go off for six runs and tie the game, only to surrender the lead back...

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Christian Yelich has found another gear for the Milwaukee Brewers

By: Matt Musico | September 3, 2018 In an offseason that seemed like it was slower than molasses most of the time, the Milwaukee Brewers made one of the winter’s biggest splashes with a couple well-timed win-now moves. They revamped their outfield in the span of a couple hours by acquiring Christian Yelich via a trade with the Miami Marlins before announcing they also reached a deal with free agent Lorenzo Cain to the tune of five years and $80 million. Milwaukee has found itself hanging on for dear life in the playoff picture after a fast start to...

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The 10 worst MLB players in August

By: Matt Musico | September 1, 2018 The dog days of summer are officially over and we’re in the home stretch, you guys. Both the non-waiver and waiver trade deadlines are now in the past, meaning clubs have just one final month to show whether they’re worthy of a postseason berth. 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. It’s safe to say that these 10 players are...

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The 10 best MLB players in August

By: Matt Musico | September 1, 2018 The dog days of summer are officially over and we’re in the home stretch, you guys. Both the non-waiver and waiver trade deadlines are now in the past, meaning 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...

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Two tweets that help put Jacob deGrom's ridiculous season in perspective

By: Matt Musico | August 29, 2018 When talking about New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom‘s 2018 performance, the conversation generally revolves around two things: this guy is on another planet right now, and why can’t the Mets support him at all? There’s no other way to explain why a pitcher that owns baseball’s lowest ERA at 1.68 has just an 8-8 record. If there’s a better case for killing pitcher wins, I’m not sure I’ve seen it yet. That’s a discussion for another day, though. With his eight-inning, one-run, and 10-strikeout performance Tuesday night against the Chicago Cubs,...

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Houston Astros' offense has been carried by Alex Bregman

By: Matt Musico | August 28, 2018 It was easy to think the Houston Astros would easily win the American League West again en route to another postseason appearance back in April. After all, the franchise was fresh off its first World Series title and basically returned an identical roster loaded with incredible young talent. With an 81-50 record heading into Tuesday’s action, they’re still on track to play October baseball, but it’s been a much bumpier ride than many expected — especially with the Oakland Athletics on their heels. The club has had to endure three of their...

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Cincinnati Reds can't win with Homer Bailey on the mound

By: Matt Musico | August 27, 2018 The 2018 season has been another disappointing one for the Cincinnati Reds. With a 56-75 record heading into Monday’s games, they’re not only occupying the National League Central basement, but they’re also nearing a fifth consecutive losing season. With all this in mind, it’s important to find some potential positives for a club that’s been trying to rebuild. One positive is that Cincy has turned things around following a horrific start. The Reds lost 15 of 18 games to begin this year, which also led to manager Bryan Price getting fired and...

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Blake Snell's dominance can be summed up in one graph

By: Matt Musico | August 23, 2018 The Tampa Bay Rays are taking an unconventional route with their pitching staff — and, more specifically, the starting rotation — in 2018. How else do you explain them only having two starting pitchers on their depth chart? It’s not as if this strategy isn’t working, though. When looking at team pitching statistics for the season, Tampa Bay is among the top 10 in both fWAR and ERA. Now that Chris Archer finally got traded away, the starting hurler that’s leading the way is southpaw Blake Snell. The 25-year-old has truly broken...

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Stat Of The Day: A reminder that Noah Syndergaard is good at throwing baseballs

By: Matt Musico | August 22, 2018 After a quick start — which was followed by a precipitous fall — not much has gone right for the New York Mets in 2018. There are a handful of reasons why it’d be worth watching the club, though, and one of those is starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard. The young right-handed flame-thrower has been hobbled by injury and multiple trips to the disabled list since the start of 2017, but he’s finally healthy, back on the mound, and looking more like his old self these days. After allowing at least three runs...

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Colorado Rockies just dominated during a historically brutal stretch of games

By: Matt Musico | August 20, 2018 The National League playoff race is shaping up to be a chaotic one as we continue down the final stretch of the regular season, but the NL West may take the cake right now. After having three teams from this division qualify for the 2017 postseason, the same three are trying to accomplish that feat in 2018. Entering action on Monday night, the Arizona Diamondbacks held a slight lead over the Colorado Rockies (who are 0.5 games behind) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (who were two games back prior to playing the...

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Javier Baez’s stellar season is starting to get etched in the Chicago Cubs’ record books

Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez has always been known for his wizardry with the glove since making his big-league debut in 2014. His current offensive performance has been getting nearly as much attention lately, though. Baez stole his 20th base of the season Sunday, which is notable for a number of reasons. The first 20-20 season of his career is the 10th in Cubs history, but he’s just the sixth player to achieve this milestone, along with being the first to do so since Corey Patterson in 2004, as Christopher Kamka of NBC Sports Chicago pointed out. However, that...

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Javier Baez's stellar season is starting to get etched in the Chicago Cubs' record books

By: Matt Musico | August 20, 2018 Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez has always been known for his wizardry with the glove since making his big-league debut in 2014. His current offensive performance has been getting nearly as much attention lately, though. Baez stole his 20th base of the season Sunday, which is notable for a number of reasons. The first 20-20 season of his career is the 10th in Cubs history, but he’s just the sixth player to achieve this milestone, along with being the first to do so since Corey Patterson in 2004, as Christopher Kamka of...

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