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REL baseball logo newFinal update through August!  It’s hard to believe we have less than a month left in the REL regular season before our inaugural REL World Series.  Even though I couldn’t be further on the sidelines, I think it’s going to be a ton of fun to track and follow who can take home the first ever trophy (and $1,000!).

The NL side of things are getting moderately interesting with the Cubs on a little bit of a run and the Nats sinking a few, but it may be a case of too little, too late.  But things are stewing up right nice in the pressure cooker that is the AL!  The Tribe have stormed into the leading position over the Blue Jays, with both teams neck and neck in several categories which should make it a photo finish.  Should be a wild ride!  Here’s how week 21 went down in the 2016 REL League:

NATIONAL LEAGUE
REL Dynasty – NL
Nationals 135.5 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $71 Jake McGee Col – RP $16, Miguel Montero ChC – C $1
Like our real life team, the Jonathan Papelbon era was short lived. We unceremoniously dropped him for Jake McGee, who we hope will be able to turn it around. We felt that Papelbon’s diminished velocity and poor numbers didn’t warrant us stashing him, while we wait to hear where he lands. And if he ends up with the Red Sox, as is rumored, we would get nothing for him. We also picked up Miguel Montero (dropping Adam Frazier) to give us another backup catcher in case Wilson Ramos gets injured or bolts in free agency in the offseason.

Our lead over the Cubs has come down a little to only 16 points. We’ve lost a few points in the last week to wins and batting average, but still feel confident in finishing out the season in first. We’re a little short on starting pitching right now, but hope to get Joe Ross and Stephen Strasburg back from the DL for the last few weeks of the season.

Cubs 119.5 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $37 Mitch Haniger Ari – OF $55, Clayton Richard SD – SP,RP $0
J.T. Marlin 99.5 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $100 Miguel Rojas Mia – 1B,2B,3B,SS $0, Rickie Weeks Jr. Ari – OF DTD $0
Suplex City Cards 97.5 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $79 n/a
Pirates 97 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $47 Patrick Kivlehan SD – 3B $5, Paco Rodríguez Atl – RP DL $0, Ross Stripling LAD – SP $0
San Fran Giants 95.5 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $6 n/a
NY Dodgers 84 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $94 n/a
Knoche’s Rockies 83 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $53 Brandon Morrow SD – SP,RP $1, Jeff Hoffman Col – SP (called up)
Cincinnati Reds 72.5 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $5 n/a
Mookie Mets 72 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $89 Seth Lugo NYM – RP $2, Ty Kelly NYM – 3B,OF NA $1, Justin Ruggiano NYM – OF $2, Robert Gsellman NYM – SP $1
Diamondbacks 65 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $66 n/a
Philadelphia 58.5 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $45 n/a
Brewers 47.5 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $22 Joel De La Cruz Atl – SP,RP $0, Nick Kingham Pit – SP NA $0
I’m going streaking!  I’m gunnin’ for ya, Phillies!

I’m up a staggering 6 points the past two weeks, thanks to a surging offense.  Andrew Toles baby!  Love his swing, seems to be a .300 hitter in the Majors with a regular role.  Let’s hit him leadoff!  His two homers lately had been weird – he should be a steals guy – but hey, love seeing him have success.  Of course there’s Keon Broxton who has gone from a mixed-league sneaky add to must-own in all leagues.  What a change he’s made with his big stance change, keeping his hands low.  Ryan Schimpf looks like he could be useful next year, and Orlando Arcia is still coming along slow, but his defense is just ridiculous.  He’s 3 for his last 4 with a steal, so maybe things will start coming around with the bat for the youngun.

On the pitching side – it’s still a mess.  Alex Reyes looks redonkulous though, but he needs to get into the rotation next year.  I saw someone compare him to Betances – hell no, that better not happen!  Adam Morgan looked OK his last start, Junior Guerra is about back off the DL, and I need some of that sweet, sweet Josh Hader.  I might actually have a usable rotation next year if the chips fall right, but we’ll see how it goes.  I’d really like to see Brock Stewart have another shot when he’s not starting @MIL and @COL, literally the worst case scenario.  He continues to pitch well in the Minors, but the Dodgers love to keep playing hurt veterans.  Ugh.

Braves 39 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $84 n/a
Padres 34 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $100 n/a
AMERICAN LEAGUE
REL Dynasty – AL
The Tribe 129 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $55 Ryan Rua Tex – 1B,OF $0
Well I’ve officially made it a race with the Jays. I’m in first place today. Yesterday I wasn’t. The day before I was. This is the way I see it till the end with so many close categories – runs (22 runs separate 2nd and 4th), batting average (4 teams in a virtual tie at .265 and 1 team at .263), wins (4 wins between 2nd and 4th), strikeouts (6 k’s between 2nd and 4th), and ERA (me at 3.60, Jays at 3.61). In all of these close calls the Jays and myself are right in the middle of them. One bad hitting night can be a 4 or 5 point swing and the same with the pitching. The good news on the category front is we did it with S/H. All the trades I have been second guessing myself on. We went from last place to 3rd with an outside shot at catching second place. We sold the farm and went for it, now we are here, hopefully we can pull it off. I wish I could make a couple more trades…

If anyone knows what is going to happen during September call up let me know. My roster is already tight. I’m actually hoping a couple of guys stay on the DL. How do other teams value their rosters; prospects over part time players? Will it come down to that? How will it effect the stretch run?

Dear Tito – Fix Salazar (and the rest of the staff) and Miller is the still the only guy anyone really trusts in that bullpen.

Go Tribe!

Blue Jays 127 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $79 Tommy Layne NYY – RP $0, Kyle Ryan Det – SP,RP $0
So, last week I was in first place and up by 9 points with 136 overall. In contrast, this week I’m in second place and down by 2 points, down to 127 overall. In between there seemed to be a 4 or 5 point swing every day, including at least one day with an 8 point swing. One day I was up by a couple points, then down by 6 points the next, then up by 2 points again the next. A big culprit could be the fact that the Jays had 2 off days in the past week. This is compared to my main competition for points The Tribe who had zero, the Red Sox who had zero, the Orange Birds who had zero, and the Astros who had (you guessed it) zero days off. I still think this is gonna be a pretty crazy race in the AL, and at least I only have one more off day the rest of the way compared to The Tribe.

It would be great if I could get some punch from somewhere in my lineup. In the last 7 days I had 1(!) player score more than 2 runs, and that was my catcher Russell Martin who managed to score 3 whole times! Nobody managed to steal a single base all week. Batting average was a bit of a disaster as well, what with 4 guys hitting under .200 and another 3 hitting .231 or less. The rankings for the past 7 days bear this out too, what with Russell Martin being the only bat on my team to rank in the top 150 on Yahoo. Pitching wise the guys were okay, though Estrada, Cecil, and Osuna all got blown up but good, with the Cecil and Osuna explosions costing me 2 wins (and SVs/HLDs) on the week. Worse yet, both games blown by my bullpen were against the Indians. All of that left me with a measly 1 win from my entire staff this week.

I think with respect to how I’ll do in the final month of the season it’s fairly simple. I will do how the Jays do for the most part. So far in the month of August (AL rank) the real life Jays are 14th out of 15 teams in AVG, 13th in RBI, 12th in SB, 10th in Runs, and 4th in HRs. With the exception of the long ball that’s pretty pathetic for a playoff calibre team. On the pitching side the Jays are a little better (much like my REL team) ranking 4th in ERA, 4th in Saves/Holds, 5th in WHIP, 5th in Wins, and 6th in Strikeouts. This is a pretty good mirror for my team as it turns out.

On the injury front there’s some good news at least. Pillar came off the DL Tuesday, Bautista is supposed to come back tonight, and Jordan Zimmermann is supposedly going out on a (multi-game) rehab assignment starting tomorrow. The only new injury appears to be Devin Travis who’s missed the last couple games. Then there is of course Aaron Sanchez being sent to Dunedin for 10 days. Something about keeping his arm from exploding. I mean, it makes perfect sense to send your Cy Young candidate pitcher to the minors in the middle of a pennant chase which has you currently tied for the division lead with Boston, followed closely by Baltimore who are only 1 game back of both. Yep, perfect sense indeed.

Here’s hoping the Jays remember how to score runs in the next week as they face off against the Angels, Twins and Orioles. Not exactly the greatest pitching staffs in the league. Let’s get this train back on the tracks boys!

Orange Birds 110 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $70 Zach McAllister Cle – RP $0, Fernando Rodríguez Oak – RP DL $0
JB just announced the Rest of Season Schedule for the REL and it looks like there are only 7 more waiver periods left to spend my remaining $70 in FAAB and improve my roster before it locks. Then we get the World Series between the Nats and either the Tribe or Blue Jays. It should definitely be interesting to follow. Once that is over, off season trading can begin and, as I mentioned last week, I am super excited! I will be sure to make some moves during that time as I have some apparent needs I have to address.

I already have my eye on a few minor league guys to grab when rosters expand in September, but I will place an emphasis on acquiring the guys that I like from my parent team as there were a few I did not protect. I am tied for the second most FAAB left so I am not worried about getting my guys.

I think the hardest part about the remaining days will be figuring out who to drop from my parent roster to make room for the new acquisitions. I am sure I am not the only team that will have this issue. There are obvious drop candidates such as the older guys I will not be keeping (Morneau, Pennington), but I only have so many of those players and there will be so many options full of upside.

Although the last week has been a struggle, I am still in third place. My starting pitching has been solid and my hitting is back, but my bullpen has been disappointing. I just hope it is enough to keep me high in the standings for the remainder of the year.

Once again, if anyone has an interest in some of my players, let me know now or when we get closer to the off season.

Red Sox 107 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $22 n/a
Astros 101 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $22 Jason Castro Hou – C $0, Dillon Overton Oak – SP NA $0, Yulieski Gurriel Hou – 3B DTD (called up)
Tigers 99 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $13 n/a
Mariners 89 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $15 Omar Narváez CWS – C $0, Stefen Romero Sea – OF NA $0
White Sox 78 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $63 n/a
Tampa Bay Rays 69.5 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $1 Yovani Gallardo Bal – SP $0
Yankees 68 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $59 n/a
Power Rangers 65 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $12 Christian Vázquez Bos – C NA $0
Halos 53 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $33 n/a
Royals 47.5 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $34 Pat Light Min – RP $0, Brooks Pounders KC – RP NA $0
Athletics 40 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $4 n/a
Minnesota Twins 17 Waiver Adds and Prospect Callups Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $70 n/a

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