A friend of mine Pete Gabriel looked at my team and said, “This team is going to be a sledgehammer!” Then after a brief pause said, “I didn’t capitalize sledgehammer, and I am in no way related to Peter Gabriel or Peter Gabriel’s estate. Any potential confusion is just unfortunate mistake. Please don’t sue me.” Then after filling out a ten-page contract clearing him of any liability, he said, “Your hitting will go boom, boom, boom! Son,” he said, “Grab your things, your hitters will drive guys home!” Then, after a lengthy reconfirmation that he was 100% unrelated to Peter Gabriel, he said, “The light…the heat…Your team is complete in your eyes.” Then quickly added, “But I didn’t sing any of that so don’t confuse me, Pete Gabriel, with the Grammy-winning singer, Peter Gabriel.” It’s exhausting hanging out with that guy. For those unaware, this league is 5×5 with OBP instead of AVG, two-catcher, 12-team NL-Only league. Anyway, here’s my Tout Wars draft recap:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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Today’s slate features a team that, as of the writing of this introduction, has a 7.8 implied Vegas total. How rare is that? Before 2019, pretty rare – from 2014 to 2019, it happened twice – on July 10th, 2016 (The Rockies had an implied total of 7.8 against the Phillies) and on August 28th, 2017 (The Rockies had an implied total of 7.9 against the Tigers). This year it’s already happened five times, including twice outside of Coors! The five games were the Yankees hosting the Blue Jays on June 25th (7.8 implied total), the Astros on the road in Coors against the Rockies on July 3rd (7.8), the Rockies hosting the Giants on July 17th (with the record high implied total of 8.2), the Rockies hosting the Marlins on August 17th (with an 8 implied total), and finally the Red Sox hosting the Orioles on August 18th (7.8 implied total). If you expect me to try to do a statistical analysis on these games to see any pattern, well that’d be remarkably silly, as the sample size of 7 games would limit any study to be statistically meaningless. If you open the range of implied total up to say, 7.5 or above you may get a sample size of note, but there are people way smarter than me who have already done such analysis. It shouldn’t take advanced analysis to know you want to play the bats on a team with a 7.8 implied total. Especially when they aren’t priced that high, which is the case today. But I’ll get to that in the picks. But before I do, let me say that by the time I went back to proof-read this introduction, the implied total had risen to 8.1 (which means there’s only two other instances since 2014).
On to the picks…
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On a cold early April night in Connecticut, I got my first looks at both Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette in the flesh. In a matchup not short on prospects, I met fellow Razzball writers Paul (the) Martin, and Lance Brozdowski, as well as friend Scott Greene, founder of Prospects 1500. The four of us frequently paused baseball and fantasy discussion to get as many clips of Vlad, Bo, Brendan Rodgers, Sam Hilliard, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Garrett Hampson on our phones as we could. In the early going, I was impressed by the Yard Goats starter Jesus Tinoco, who was popping 95 with a wicked breaking ball. Second time through the order was not so kind however. We didn’t get a ton of offense from the trio of top prospects, but we did get a two run double from Bichette down the leftfield line, and a chopper just inside the third base bag that went for extra bases from Guerrero. Hartford’s Brendan Rodgers went 0-for-4, and Gurriel went 0-for-3 with two walks. One off the radar standout from last night was Yonathan Daza, who hit .341 last season at Lancaster, to go along with 31 steals on 39 attempts. He hit two hard ground balls up the middle, driving in Hartford’s lone run. All in all a good night, here’s some video from the game, as well as some other noisemakers in the early going of the MiLB season.Please, blog, may I have some more?