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Good morning baseball fans!
The Athletics released Billy Butler.
Here is a roundup of news from around the National League Central.
Anybody order a Cinderella story in baseball?
For me, there’s no more exciting storyline than a September longshot bucking the odds and finding its way into the postseason. Two years ago, the Pirates had roughly a 20% chance to make the postseason on September 3rd according to The Baseball Gauge and then proceeded to secure themselves a spot in the Wild Card game. But I’d argue an even more exciting September Cinderella storyline unfolded a year before that when the 2013 Indians finished off the season by winning 15 of 17 and beating out the Rangers for a Wild Card Spot despite possessing 15% playoff odds at the start of that final 17-game run. Now that’s my idea of brilliant September baseball.
If you hit more home runs, does that mean you win more?
The Chicago Cubs are having a fantasy season and have a whopping 0.645 win percentage. However, they sit fourteenth in the league in HRs with 170. These are not strongly related because the Cubs’ offense is not based upon home runs. They are productive in scoring runs through other means, such as doubles; the team has hit 83 more doubles than HR this season. They are also a strong team defensively, and do usually not need to score many runs to win games due to their overwhelming dominance against so many of their opponents. Chicago boasts a massive +221 run differential, which shows they are good at both scoring and preventing runs.
In contrast, the New York Mets seem to have an offense built upon home runs. In their 5-2 win against Cincinnati on Tuesday, all five of their runs were scored off home runs. They have hit 192 home runs this season compared to 128 against by opponents. Additionally, the Mets have 1140 H this year. A huge 16.8% of hits by the Mets have been home runs. They sit fourth in MLB for number of HR, and thirteenth in the overall standings. The Mets appear to be in good standing in the NL Wild Card race, but only time will tell if this home run powerhouse can push through September.
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Today in Baseball History: In 1984, Dwight Gooden breaks the rookie strikeout record, recording his 251st K of the season during a 16 K outing against the Pirates.