Sonoma CA: 89°/57°, mostly sunny   |   Vol 1, Issue 1

In this first issue: Upcoming Matchups… Webb-Albers Championship League Update… Local Dog Eats for Cycle

 

Opener: MLB’s First Month Concludes

by Nick Strangis

Maybe you spent a month working on you NFL mock draft. Maybe you were too taken with the NBA Playoffs to pay attention to the first month in baseball. Regardless of the reason for your neglect, below lies a summation to help you catch up.

 

Where the Standings Stand

The Cubs still don’t suck, but currently lead an NL Central separated by only two games from top to bottom. The Rockies have the second best record in the National League, just like we all expected, sitting atop the NL West just above the D-Backs. The Nationals owned the best MLB record in April, while the Mets seem to be in a downward spiral and have fallen to last place in the NL East.

The Yankees don’t suck anymore, thanks to pitching improvements and Aaron Judge living up to his 80-grade power potential; they co-lead the AL East with Baltimore. The Red Sox suck at hitting for power.  The A’s suck less than expected, but are only a half-game above the last-place Mariners. The two worst MLB records belong to the 2015 ALCS teams: KC and Toronto.

 

Player Updates

There’s a Korean god presiding over baseball – Milwaukee 1B Eric Thames (11 HR, 238 OPS+). Maybe they should inspect his elbow guard to make sure he’s not carrying around the spirit of Barry Bonds? He’s demonstrated he’s clean, otherwise.

Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman is now in the upper echelon of MLB hitters. He holds the second best wRC+ in baseball over the last calendar year (400 PA or more).

The Cubs’ Jake Arrieta still isn’t throwing very hard but it’s possible it’s not a concern, yet.

Of the longest five home runs hit so far this season, four were hit by players who have not qualified for salary arbitration, yet.

You probably want an update on players who figure prominently on Effectively Wild. Here’s an easy way to follow them: Effectively Wild Leaderboard.

In the two most feel-good stories so far this season, Gift Ngoepe became the first African-born player to get a hit in MLB just days after Dovydas Neverauskas became the first Lithuanian player to pitch in the majors.

Jeb ‘n Jeets join forces: Jeb Bush and Derek Jeter won their bid to be the possibly soon-to-be new owners of the Miami Marlins.

In a shocking turn of events, ESPN will begin streaming content directly from MLB Network, including “Intentional Talk” while “Baseball Tonight” will move to Sunday-only status. The move was related to the four-letter network’s massive layoffs, which included Dallas Braden, Raul Ibanez, Doug Glanville, Jim Bowden, and Jayson Stark.

 

bWAR Leaders:

AL Batting Leaders: Mike Trout (2.1), Mitch Haniger (2.0), Aaron Judge (1.8)
NL Batting Leaders: Eugenio Suarez (1.8), Ryan Zimmerman (1.7), Freddie Freeman (1.6)
AL Pitching Leaders: Chris Sale (2.0), Dallas Keuchel 1.9), Ervin Santana (1.9)
NL Pitching Leaders: Ivan Nova (1.8), Mike Leake (1.5), Antonio Senzatela (1.4)

 

Disabled List Update

Players You Already Assumed Were on the DL:

  • Pablo Sandoval
  • Jorge Soler
  • Rich Hill
  • Franklin Gutierrez
  • Andre Ethier
  • Scott Kazmir
  • Troy Tulowitzki
  • Josh Donaldson

Injured Players You Are Surprised Still Play Baseball:

  • Huston Street
  • David Wright
  • Howie Kendrick
  • Denard Span
  • Aaron Hill
  • Zack Duke

Injured Players Who Probably Caused Some Chair Throwing:

  • Shelby Miller
  • Adam Eaton
  • David Price

Injured Players Who Almost Ruined Baseball Forever:

  • Rajai Davis

Upcoming Matchups:

Johnny Cueto (SF 9-17) vs Clayton Kershaw (LAD 14-12) – Monday, 10 pm ET (MLBN)

Jeremy Hellickson (Phi 11-12) vs Jon Lester (CHC) – Tuesday, 8 pm ET

Zack Greinke (ARI 16-11) vs Max Scherzer (WSH) – Thursday, 1 pm ET


Fantasy Update: Webb-Albers Championship

22 masochists reliever enthusiasts gathered to draft 110 bullpen arms for the third edition of the world’s most obscure prestigious fantasy league, with the sole aim of accumulating games finished without a save. After a disastrous 2016 in which Jeanmar Gomez was inexplicably saving Phillies games for the entire season, Commissioner and 2015 champion Darius Austin is leading the way early on, closely followed by Aaron Wolfe and perennial runner-up Troy Carter.

In other GFWAS news, Matt Albers is closing in on all-time GFWAS leader Ryan Webb after three early games finished. Webb now leads 105-102, but is currently unable to fight back as he is in the minors with Giants Triple-A affiliate Sacramento, where he has also finished three games.


In Other News: Local Dog Eats for Cycle

PICTURED: Gus Navoa completing his cycle on April 28

CHICAGO – Gus Navoa of Uptown, Chicago ate for the cycle on Friday night as part of household efforts to clean the fridge and fulfill the weekly obligation of “starting anew” with a trip to the grocery store.

Gus started the evening with bites of chicken (home run), sweet potato (double), and carrot (single). A human noted that Gus was at that moment “a triple shy of eating for the cycle.” The two humans present decided that a “triple” would be “peanut butter” and proceeded to let him lick the what was left in the current jar of peanut butter.

When asked about eating for the cycle, Gus responded through a human translator: “I’d rather have twice the chicken and no carrots.”

The next weekly fridge cleanup is scheduled for May 5.

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