In 2008, Al Franken defeated Norm Coleman in the Minnesota Senate race. It was a close battle, and the recount took eight months. We're going to steal that excuse and say it took us that long to count, recount and recount again before we could declare a winner in the Internet Baseball Awards' unbearably close AL Player of the Year vote. Today, we can. Without further ado, here are your picks for the 2015 Greg Spira Internet Baseball Awards.
Different metrics come to different conclusions, but for this author there is a clear choice for AL MVP.
You can’t get me terribly excited about any award other than the MVP anymore. I have dreams (Kevin Goldstein’s Hall of Fame-level crazy dreams) for the Rookie of the Year, but in its present form, I find it pretty boring. Manager of the Year is preposterous for reasons sufficiently documented elsewhere. The Cy Young Award has only gotten more interesting over the past few years, now that it tends not be about squabbles over win-loss records, but (maybe because of whatever traumatic experience with pitching in my childhood prevents me from appreciating it as much as so many of you do) it leaves me flat.
I still get up for the MVP, though, which is why it’s so strange to me to see no one having much of a conversation about the reveal of the MVPs on Thursday night. In particular, what strikes me is that there’s a hesitant consensus that Josh Donaldson is going to win the AL MVP, and there’s very little resistance or objection to that floating around. The throwaway line copied almost word-for-word from so many columnists’ blog posts and bloggers’ columns is: “There’s no wrong answer, but Donaldson will probably win.”
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Bret buys an upside-laden pitching staff and leaves over the $47 he needs to put Mike Trout atop his roster.
Mike Gianella recently released his latest mixed league Bid Limits, which spurred an idea from Bret Sayre called Model Portfolios, wherein the fantasy staff will create their own team within the confines of a standard 23-man, $260 budget. The roster being constructed includes: C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, CI, MI, OFx5, UTx2, and Px9 along with the following standards issued by Sayre:
Is Mike Trout suffering from a lack of respect? Or is the batter behind him overrated?
Here’s a story about Mike Trout and intentional walks: During his junior year, in the state playoffs, the opposing Cherry Hill East manager got so spooked by Trout’s batting practice display that he intentionally walked him to lead off the game; then again in his second at-bat, with a runner on first; and once more in his third at-bat, with the bases loaded.
Jake Arrieta's breakout season continues, two games last beyond the 13th inning, plus more from a wild Tuesday and what to watch today.
The Tuesday Takeaway Jake Arrieta entered Tuesday coming off a trio of superb outings over which he allowed just one run and 10 hits with a shiny 27-to-2 K:BB ratio in 20 innings of work. The 28-year-old right-hander continued his breakout campaign by flirting with perfection and twirling seven outstanding innings against the Reds.
The Royals score 11 runs off a defending Cy Young winner for the second straight day, the A's continue to trouble Yu Darvish, and much more action from Tuesday.
The Tuesday Takeaway
For much of Angels starter Matt Shoemaker’s career, the odds have been stacked against him. Shoemaker went undrafted out of Eastern Michigan—where he had a 4.83 ERA and 1.36 strikeout-to-walk ratio in three seasons—and spent parts of the next seven years in the Angels’ minor league system before making his major league debut last September. On Tuesday night, Shoemaker toed the rubber against the Indians for what turned out to be the best outing of his short big league career, and he was well on his way to a complete game before a short rain delay in the ninth inning brought a premature end to his night.
The top on these rankings is no surprise, but who are the 29 that follow Mike Trout for fantasy purposes?
As trying as it is to work with Ben, the payoff seems more worthwhile. So it goes with dynasty leagues that require more investment, result in more frustration, and take up more time than you ever thought possible (all these apply to working with Ben as well). We know how much effort our subscribers put into their leagues because we do the same, and we wanted to provide our readers with the things we crave as well, which is how this project came to be.
For this exercise, we're each going to rank our top-30 U25 fantasy players by division before we collaborate on a top-150 list once this portion of the project is complete. For each division, we'll give you our individual rankings and then discuss any major discrepancies in our rankings, talk about some sleepers we wanted to rank higher and take cheap shots at each other along the way. It will be like the TINO podcast, but for your eyes, complete with an imaginary Bret Sayre breaking up our fights.
What would happen if several hitters and pitchers of interest faced each other for full seasons?
As we talked about on Monday, Mike Trout has hit Felix Hernandez very well. After his first-inning home run on Opening Day, Trout is now hitting .441/.447/.794 in 38 plate appearances against Hernandez since being called up to the majors for good in April 2012. The question for the day, then, is this: How well should Mike Trout do against Felix Hernandez?