Best AL Rookie Pitcher?

Baseball, pitching
Today we'll start looking at some rookie of the year prospects. There is no such thing as "pitcher rookie of the year" - anymore. But there have been some very notable rookie performance so far this year.  I'm going to only look at starters in this case with a minimum 100 innings pitched. American League (top 4-5 per stat): Most Wins: 1. Matt Shoemaker, LAA, 14 2. Masahiro Tanaka, NYY, 12 3. Yordano Ventura, KC, 12 4. Odorizzi, Elias, Stroman, 10 ERA: 1. Masahiro Tanaka, NYY, 2.51 2. Collin McHugh, HOU, 2.79 3. Yordano Ventura, KC, 3.25 3. Matt Shoemaker, LAA, 3.25 WHIP 1. Masahiro Tanaka, NYY, 1.01 2. Collin McHugh, HOU, 1.04 3. Matt Shoemaker, LAA, 1.10 4. Marcus Stroman, TOR, 1.16 K/9 1. Masahiro Tanaka, NYY, 10.1 2.…
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Who to Watch this Weekend

Baseball
The race to October is heating up and several sets of teams play each other this weekend that are all hoping to make it. Of course, all the games of playoff contenders are important this weekend but the match-ups that pit two contenders against each other are where we can see potentially see the biggest moves up and down. Here's who to watch this weekend: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Milwaukee Brewers   Why you should watch: On August 17th, The Brewers held a three game lead on the Cardinals.  That lead has turned around by 6 games in less than three weeks.  They have a 4 game series in Milwaukee starting up tonight. Three games is not very comfortable for the Cardinals when they are playing the Brewers at home. Another…
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Elimination Watch

Baseball
It's a little too early to start talking about magic numbers (the minimum of any team right now is 16 for the Orioles).  What we can start talking about is teams that are being mathematically eliminated.  You know - the teams that probably everyone stopped caring about months ago except for their die hard fans? Who has gone so far: Texas Rangers - First at something!  That is if you want to count first to being eliminated as an accomplishment. Who is Next: Colorado Rockies Elimination Number = 1 Houston Astros Elimination Number = 1 Who will go first? The Astros have been sitting at one for several games and thanks to a two game sweep of the first place Angels, they are hanging on by a thread.  The Angels…
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Predicting October – MLB Playoffs

Baseball
Most teams are down to about their last 25 games.  Only one team has been mathematically eliminated (I'm looking at you Texas), but many more are sure to NOT make the playoffs.  I'm going out on a limb here to call the playoff teams. American League: Division Champs: AL West: Los Angeles Angels AL Central: Kansas City Royals AL East: Baltimore Orioles Wild Card Winners: Oakland Athletics, Detroit Tigers The Orioles are pretty much a lock in the east with a 9.5 game lead over the Yankees.  The Angels have been playing some great ball lately - much better than the A's are will hold on to first place.  The Tigers play the Twins 7 times in the last few weeks and the Royals play the Red Sox and White…
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Playoff Chances

Baseball, Rankings
The Nationals now hold a record that will be tough to beat in 2014 given the limited number of games left.  Last night they walked off with their 10th win in a row.  It's pretty certain the Nats are heading to the playoffs.  Who else is going?  What's the current state of the contenders? American League: Sure Things: Orioles - According to ESPN, they have a 97.4% chance of making the playoffs.  They have been hot lately, riding a 4 game win streak and winning 7 of their last 10. Royals - 72.6% chance.  They have been flying high while Detroit is doing their best to beat themselves.  They have a slim 1.5 game lead over the Tigers. Angels & Athletics - Nearly tied at 98%+ chance.  The two best…
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Operation Beanball

Baseball
Last Friday, Paul Goldschmidt was hit by an Ernesto Frieri pitch which fractured his hand and landed him on the DL.  Then, despite pre-game warnings (which really mean nothing) the next day, Randall Delgado went "tit for tat" and threw right square in the back at Andrew McCutchen, landing him on the DL. There are several problems with this entire scenario.  First, who in their right mind thinks Frieri has enough control to hid someone in the hand (cue rim shot).  Second, if you watch the pitch, it's clear he was trying to throw a bit up and in but Goldschmidt actually moved his hands INTO the pitch.  It was not intentional, nor can anyone get me to believe it was unless Ernesto himself fesses up which is about as likely…
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Speeding up the Game

Baseball
The independent Atlantic league has made some rule changes to speed up their games.  Some reasonable and some just plain strange.  The question is - which if any of these rules could MLB potentially adopt?  The game is getting longer for sure. The average time to complete a nine-inning game in the 1970s -- not including on-field delays -- was two hours and 30 minutes. That increased to an average of 2:57 in the 10-year span from 2000-09. Through Thursday, this year's league average was 2:51, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. In that same article, Bud Selig mentions that it's the pace of the game - not the length of the game that matters and I tend to agree with that.  There probably are some things that can be…
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