Sunday, July 29, 2018

Statis-Pro Interleague complete: Brewers Catch Cubs and Yanks Within 1 of Astros ... Phils Win Relegation Division

See the runs against and records of 51 AL pitchers who qualify here. Updates are coming on the Milwaukee Brewers beating the Chicago Cubs to move into a tie for first, and the AL startings after taking a pretty good 100-80 drubbing in now concluded interleague play are updated with their runs for and runs against further down in the blog. Only three times in 67 series has one team won both games by at least five runs to claim a "6 games to 0" sweep and the Blue Jays were victims two of those three - being swept by Arizona to round out interleague play after trading away four good (PB 2-7) pitchers. The Yankees also swept them earlier, while the Yankees were also a victim of a 6-0 sweep to the Astros early but have been by far the best team in the AL since and now only trail Houston by one game.

The scenario for paring the AL down to 12 teams by dropping the three worst through 42 games is laid out here with the fascinating notes of Tommy Pham and the pitching by committee effort here. We keep a game log of all AL games here, with top stars of each game.

The NL will also be updating their standings soon, but a quick preview is that the Brewers and Cubs are set to square off and both are now 15-8. Prior to the All-Star break here were the standings of the 8 teams making the NL Playoff division this season. Prior to dropping two of their last three, the Cubs had won 6 of 8 to establish their top spot, but everyone else was jumbled between 12-8 and 8-12 before the Brewers won their first three after the break. The Nationals had three straight to pull within a game of the 2nd place Brewers until then.

NL Playoff DivisionWLGBPercent
Chicago Cubs146    0   0.700
Milwaukee128   -2   0.600
Washington119   -3   0.550
Colorado1010   -4   0.500
St. Louis1010   -4   0.500
Los Angeles911   -5   0.450
Arizona911   -5   0.450
NY Mets812   -6   0.400

Phillies win NL relegation league to claim the final playoff spot.

(Note: The seven teams not included in the extended NL season above instead fight for one playoff spot by joining the other NL teams in squaring up in one interleague series using the DH and one using pitching, thus all using their four top starting pitchers. Like all the AL games below, each two-game series counts as six games, with a 5-run win margin counting as a 3-0 sweep and otherwise the winning team getting credit for a 2-1 series win.)

With the Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds both finishing 6-6, the Phillies needed to beat the Detroit Tigers after an impressive split against the Yankees during which they Jake Arietta won 4-1 and the Phils just missed a sweep with a 2-1 loss. The 2-4 San Francisco Giants also remained mathematically alive as the only other relegated team playing.

We photographed the batter-by-batter at the bottom of this blog.

On the first game in each series, Minnesota's Santana eliminated SF with a 5-0 win, the minimum needed for sweep credit, in Tyler Austin's Twins debut. The Phils meanwhile erupted for 10-0 win in the opener in Detroit to sweep and take their mark to 6-3, guaranteeing at least a tie with the Reds and Braves but meaning as long as they did not lose by at least five runs in their finale, they would take the relegation league and one remaining playoff spot.

However, the second game put their title in peril when their starter Valasquez was chased in a 4-0 first inning for the Tigers. The Phils actually pounded six hits including a triple in the first three innings yet still trailed 4-0 and were one run from being dropped into a 3-run tie for 1st. However the pen went scoreless to avoid the 5-run sweep and Phils finally scored twice. Tigers closer Greene came in to maintain a 4-2 win for the Tigers, but since the Phils were credited for losing the series two to one since it was not a 5-fun margin they finish 7-5 and take the final playoff spot.

NL Relegated DivisionWL    GBPercent
Philadelphia75     00.583
Atlanta66    -10.500
Cincinnati66    -10.500
Pittsburgh57    -20.417
Miami57    -20.417
San Francisco48    -30.333
San Diego39    -40.250

The Big stars in the playoff division include Gerardo Parra (Col) who leads the NL in hitting, with a 20-game total of (32-83) for a .386 avg. Michael Conforto (NY) leads the power with 8 HR's in his last 18 games. Cody Bellinger (LA), Nolan Arenado (Col) each with 17 RBI's in last 20 games.
On the pitching side, Chase Anderson (Mil), the ace, 4-0, 1.57 ERA in last 5 starts. Clayton Kershaw, (LA), 4-1, 2.19 ERA in last 5 starts.

Those struggling include Alex Avila (Arz) who might have the worst start ever with a (2-41) .049 in platoon role. One part of LA struggle, Hyun-Jin Ryu, 0-5, 6.91 ERA in last 5 starts.

Will any trade-deadline deals change the standings ahead and the post-season tournament?

You may notice the AL standings overall add up to 20 games below .500. That is because the two interleague series each team played had a huge NL slant. The average score was NL 4.9, AL 3.7 and the NL won 100 or 180 games. Right now the playoffs would line-up with Seattle visiting Boston in the wild card game with the winner getting the Astros, and the Indians and Yankees playing the other series. While this is the same five teams who would make the actual playoffs, but two Statis-Pro spoilers - the White Sox and Orioles - and the same Athletics surprisingly in contention in the actual season, are within striking distance.

ALWinsLossesWin%GBRSRAIf Playoffs Today
Houston28140.66705.32.8AL West Champ
New York27150.643-15.63.6AL East Champ
Boston25170.595-35.13.7Host Wild Card
Cleveland24180.571-44.93.9AL Central Champ
Seattle23190.548-54.54.2Visit Wild Card
Kansas City19230.452-94.44.9
Los Angeles17250.405-113.75.1
Tampa Bay14220.389-114.05.3

We often ask how to keep track of Statis-Pro baseball games, and as long as you can keep track of what runners are on each base, the number of outs and the score you can play quickly. I actually like to write games down like a scoresheet, and I like to play 2-game series so I can write out the line-up and use it for two games - writing any changes for platooning or other reasons in between. To fit these on one piece of paper, I put a line under a batter's result after an inning ends and a squiggly line when pitchers are changed. For pitchers, I just write their innings pitched and runs allowed, and I add dots to note unearned runs. I also put dots by players who make great defensive plays.

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