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Big Daddy Baseball League

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slant.gif (102 bytes) From the Desk of the Commish


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June, 2019

Chapter Three Recap

Players of the Chapter

It took two attempts, but Tony Chamra finally acquired Christian Yelich from the Kansas City Boulevards this past chapter. (More on that deal below.) This trade coincides with Yelich's hottest hot streak of the season. He hit .364/.427/.727 this past chapter with a league-leading 29.6 runs created. That is a performance the Mustangs could have used, as they went just 13-11 last chapter and fell to four games behind the division-leading Chicago Black Sox.

The EL Hitter of the Chapter led his team to an EL-best 17 wins in Chapter Three. Great Lakes Sphinx star Manny Machado was one of only three unanimous selections to the all-star game. He led the EL in batting (.429), OBP (.477), slugging (.755), and runs created (35.4) in Chapter Three.

The Ravenswood Infidels have opened up a comfortable four-game lead in the universally-coveted position of second wildcard in the Ozzie League. Eduardo Rodriguez has not had a very good season for the Infidels (7-4, 4.59 ERA in 84+ IP) overall, but he shined in Chapter Three, going 4-0 with a 2.61 ERA, and ranking among the top four in opponents average (.185), OBP (.244), and slugging (.343). He is our OL Pitcher of the Chapter.

On the EL side, the choice for POC is crystal-clear. South Carolina's Blake Snell led the league in all three triple-slash categories (.151/.250/.217), and ranked #2 in ERA (1.47). Incredibly enough, he went just 2-1 in five starts.

Top Stories of the Chapter

Story #1: Charlotte (Finally) Gets Yelich

Tony Chamra's first attempt to land Christian Yelich died when the deal surpassed the VORP cap. The deal was reworked, but wasn't agreed upon until May 3rd, which meant that Yelich's Mustangs debut will not begin until the second half of the season. For Charlotte fans, Yelich represents a much-needed boost to a Mustangs offense that ranks #2 in the Eck League in runs scored and yet trails the #1-ranked Chicago Black Sox by 16 runs. He currently leads the Ozzie League in batting (.338), OBP (.438), slugging (.658), and runs created (83.6). If he hadn't been traded, he may have won the OL MVP!

Charlotte has been chasing Chicago all season. Instead of gaining ground, as expected, the Mustangs managed to lose ground in Chapter Three. While Charlotte barely topped .500 (13-11), the Black Sox went 16-8 and expanded their lead to four games in the division.

This division race now has major implications in this new BDBL era of two wildcards per league. Currently, the Southern Cal Slyme and Great Lakes Sphinx share the wildcard lead, and would play each other in a one-game playoff if the season were to end today. Charlotte trails both teams by two games, with the sub-.500 Buckingham Sovereigns a relatively distant four games behind Charlotte. That one-game playoff has become a neck-and-neck race between three teams. However, Charlotte would prefer to win the division and leave the wildcard race to the Black Sox. Yelich could help them do just that.

Story #2: St. Louis Pulls Ahead

The defending champion Apostles were the unanimous favorites to win the Wilkie Division in preseason polling. They were also picked to win the Eck League title for the second year in a row. It took them three chapters, however, to finally overtake the Southern Cal Slyme in the division race.

St. Louis trailed SoCal by two games heading into Chapter Three. They posted a respectable 15-9 record in Chapter Three while the Slyme completely collapsed, going just 8-16. In the span of just 24 games, the Apostles went from trailing by two to leading by a comfortable five games.

The Slyme's pitching tanked in Chapter Three. They went from a fourth-ranked 3.85 ERA in the first two chapters to a whopping 4.83 ERA in Chapter Three. Sean Manaea, Raisel Iglesias, and Chapter Two's Pitcher of the Chapter James Taillon went a combined 0-9 with a 6.07 ERA last chapter.

St. Louis didn't exactly dominate in Chapter Three. They posted a runs differential of just +4 and ranked in the middle of the pack in both runs scored and allowed. Nevertheless, they eked out 15 wins thanks to some luck in one-run games (5-2) and extra innings (3-1).

Story #3: Los Altos on a Record Pace (Again)

The Los Altos Undertakers led the league in wins in Chapter Three for the third chapter in a row. They currently lead the BDBL in wins overall (58), and are on pace to win 116 games this season. If they continue at this pace, it will be the fourth time in five seasons that they have won 115+ games, and the tenth time in twenty-one seasons that they have won 100 or more (with one other season in which they won 99.)

Bear in mind that all of this is happening while the Undertakers' big winter free agent signing, Matt Carpenter, is batting just .250/.352/.438. Just imagine how many games this team will win when he inevitably heats up.

The Undertakers are also accomplishing this feat despite the fact that they only have one decent starting pitcher (Seth Lugo), who is severely limited in usage (just 110 for the season.) The team's ace, Gerritt Cole, is 12-4 on the season despite posting a mediocre ERA of 4.41. Tanner Roark (who has now been released) is a mediocre 8-7 with a 4.06 ERA. Rich Hill owns an atrocious 4.94 ERA, and Chris Archer (6.54 ERA in 74+ IP) has been even more disastrous!

How on earth does a team lead the league in wins with such awful starting pitching? It's an easy answer. It has been the same answer to explain the Undertakers success since our very first season in 1999: the bullpen. Last year's first round midseason free agent draft pick, Seranthony Dominguez, owns a microscopic 0.98 ERA in 27+ innings.

(Fun fact: here are some of the superstars who were selected ahead of Dominguez in that draft: Justin Dunn, Ezequiel Duran, Connor Scott, Dylan Covey, Andrew Knizner, and Corbin Martin. You want to know why Jeff dominates this league every year? Look no further.)

In addition to Dominguez, his fellow all-star Colin McHugh has posted a perfect 5-0 record along with a 1.30 ERA in 34+ IP. Jeremy Jeffress (2-0, 1.34 in 33+) and Reyes Moronta (5-0, 1.89 ERA in 33+ IP) have also been perfect on the season. Combined, those four relievers are a perfect 14-0 on the season!

But wait! There's more! Sean Doolitte (3-0, 2.35 in 23 IP) and Lugo (9-0, 2.37 in 57) also haven't lost a single game this season. Put them all together, and those six pitchers are a combined 26-0 with a 1.76 ERA in 209 innings! That's better than vintage Pedro Martinez!

Are we having fun yet? Is there any end to this dynasty?

Story #4: Akron's Power Ranking Dominance

Los Altos may be running away with the league's best record once again, but it's the Akron Ryche who are dominating the league with a +132 runs differential. The Akron offense leads the entire BDBL in runs scored (452). They also lead the BDBL in batting (.277) and slugging (.470).

All-stars Starling Marte (.331/.372/.623, 24 HR) and Ronald Acuna (.325/.398/.649, 20 HR) are both on pace for more than 120 runs created this season. Marte's OPS is more than 200 points above his MLB OPS, and he has already hit four more home runs (in just 284 AB) than he hit all of last season in MLB (20 in 559 AB.) Acuna is also playing way over his head, with an OPS that is 129 points above his MLB OPS, and with nearly as many home runs as he hit in MLB (26) in roughly half the at-bats.

No other Akron batter has more than 44 runs created. No other player has hit more than 10 home runs or has driven in more than 36. Those two all-stars have carried this team to the best runs total in the entire BDBL.

On the other side of the ball, Akron ranks fourth in the BDBL in fewest runs allowed. Here again, Akron has benefited from some pitchers who appear to be performing way above their heads. Marcus Stroman's 3.41 ERA in 87 IP is more than two runs below his MLB ERA (5.54). He allowed an average of 10.1 hits per nine in MLB, but has yielded just 8.2 in the BDBL. He also owns a lower walk rate and home run rate than he had in MLB. And his OPS allowed against left-handers is 200 points below his MLB rate!

On the flip side, Akron's pitching has excelled despite the surprisingly weak performance of Robbie Ray. Ray owns a 4.84 ERA in 80 innings, and has already allowed more home runs to left-handers (5) than he did in MLB (4). Lefties slugged just .248 against Ray in MLB, and yet have slugged .527 against him in the BDBL.

As long as Marte and Acuna continue to perform so far above their heads, Akron will continue to rank near the top of Jim Doyle's Power Ranking.

Story #5: All Hail the Ozzie!

For the second year in a row, the Ozzie League triumphed over the Eck League in interleague play, firmly establishing themselves as the superior league:

Year OL W EL W OL W Pct.
2009 86 106 .448
2010 91 101 .474
2011 93 99 .484
2012 81 111 .422
2013 82 110 .427
2014 88 104 .458
2015 93 99 .484
2016 104 88 .542
2017 94 98 .490
2018 97 95 .505
2019 97 95 .505
  1,006 1,106 .476