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TuesdoLinks: Down the stretch they come!

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13 straight games on 13 straight days. Indians + Astros + White Sox + Mariners is our race to the finish line!

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 LAA Holiday Season is officially over. No more days off. 13 straight games on 13 straight days. Indians + Astros + White Sox + Mariners.

The Angels cannot finish the season with anything less than 76 wins, nor can they finish with anything more than 89 wins. Remember, way back before things began, Baseball Prospectus predicted via PECOTA that LAA would finish with only 78 wins, while FanGraphs had the Halos coming in at 84 wins. And, by "began", I mean all the catastrophic injuries. The Angels then HAD all those, and they still have already bested PECOTA while still tracking towards FG.

Thankfully, we have the Yankees on our side to help us out with slowing down the Twins. And the Yankees have Aaron Judge!! Last night we had our first favor from MFY, defeating the Twins 2-1. That lifted us to 1.5 games back. That half game will be made up next week, when the Twins have Monday off. (The Red Sox were of a small bit of help, too,knocking down the Orioles.)

So here come the Indians, feeling rather invincible. For those attending, Ducks Night tonight. It's the best time of year to take in baseball in Anaheim. The weather makes for a brilliant background to exciting sport.

Do the Team-Of-Destiny Links:


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A Little Bit of Angels News

The Angels are selling early Playoff options as a way to up tick 2017 seat sales and grab more 2018 Season ticket deposits...........Actual post-season tix would not go on sale prior to 9/27/2017 at 10AM. If things are still percolating then, we will see the TRUE impact of #ToD as of 9:59AM..........

A vote for Andrelton is a vote for the belief in #TeamOfDestiny. With nothing else special for the world of Baseball to hang their hats on in Anaheim, it's a tacit endorsement that the overall success of the Angels is not something that should be happening..........

I am sure that Billy Eppler is pretty good at math. And I am also pretty sure that he employs a bunch of people who are also good at math. But funny thing about math, it's available to everybody and nobody has a lock on being the only ones good at it. The people at The Ringer are good at it, too. And they have some fairly compelling things to suggest that the Angels, along with every MLB team, should be pursuing Shohei Otani. In the case of the Halos, all their math adds up to one sum: Mike Trout. Mic drop.........

Vlad is the best. And he takes the time to say thanks, just to you and you alone...........

Eric Byrnes knows Justin Upton well, and he suspects that Upton wants to stay.............

Ok, a cool problem to have. It's a decent time to look forward to Instructional League baseball, even though REAL baseball is still solid and exciting and meaningful...........

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Josh Mayhood's Library of Mike Trout Hagiography

One comment from last week inquired as to why Trout was getting hammed in Defensive WAR this year? It's a fair observation, one which sits at the back of the hero worship we all have. Well, thank you thank you thank you for StatCast. We have been predicting that over time StatCast will give us better and better defensive data, and we can wring out of the system some, if not most, of the chaff from days past. In this deep dive, we learn the truth about Trout AND with video examples and excellent comps. In short, Trout is not getting as many tough chances in the outfield as other fielders, and he is failing to convert almost ALL of those tough chances. You can see for yourself how he lays up when other fielders do not. You may look at the glass half full and say that's a good thing because it minimizes injury risk. But you cannot have a reduced injury risk without taking the hit in defensive value. Now all we have to do is figure out why it is that he is getting fewer chances in the first place?...........

All that said about Trout's defensive, he is still worthy of some serious global love..........

And there is a real reason to at least include Trout in the 2017 AL MVP discussions, still. (One thing that I hadn't thought of before: if HR rates are climbing throughout MLB, and Trout is growing into his prime, why wouldn't his famous consistency be resulting in a year-over-year rise in HRs, too? If you map out his AB's per HR, they anything but consistent, with this year's 12.38 AB/HR being the lowest of his career.)..........

After the FG update overnight from Sunday to Monday, Trout ticked up 0.1 on fWAR and slipped up to 6th at 6.2. Not much of a big deal. I also made a correction on his PA tracker, decrementing him 1 PA for Sunday. AThat puts him now at 456, or an average of 3.06040..........

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Everywhere In Baseball

The MLB single-season home run total record shall fall. But we all know that the baseball has nothing to do with it. Don't we?.........

Nobody looking forward into the playoffs are too concerned with the roster decisions of any Wild Card entry. Well, at least nobody at FanGraphs. But, to be fair, the only roster decisions that need to made in Anaheim should the Angels make it in would be to go down the list and see who is not on the DL..........

I don't understand. The Twins truly have turned into a Slugging machine. If that is not some anomaly that will regress to a norm too late to benefit LAA, how does a Franchise just decide to start crushing baseballs?..........

The attack of the scavengers is already out in full carnage already in Arlington. Their WC Elimination Number is still a 9, but the towels are raining into the ring. The same guy who penned Sunday's surrender link didn't get it all out of his system and fired back again yesterday. Not to be outdone, Dallas News is throwing shovels of dirt atop Odor and crew. So it's not surprising that LSB is waving white flags, too.. Trust me, even if the Halos get there also, your truly will have an entirely different tune.........

When Big Business strong arms Big Business, in an effort to wring out a financial safety net against the coming doom, you get examples such as Disney demanding a huge raise in prices to carry content across cable package providers. if I am Altice USA, I am making the strategic decisions now to align myself with my dominant consumers in the future. No way do i put myself on the hook for some long period of time and bail out Disney's failing business model..........Also in media news, FOX Sports flipped to online video content and lost 88% of their traffic. You will note that I stopped linking to them for baseball news, and this is why. I don't have time to listen through all the talking head crap to find the meat of some discussion, and I resist how often I send you to something that starts blaring out your speakers (I try to limit that to MLB video highlights in the Duffel Bag section). One way to look at this is the obvious one, that the sporting community has fled FOX Sports. Another way to look at this would be that FOX themselves now have better tracking tools to monitor how many people actually watch their streams, which would not include ad bots to create false readership traffic..........

Imagine being a member of some MLB team that advises their players to stay off social media. After all, the world is replete with examples of ballplayers chewing their own shoe leather on twitter. But then, if you were banned from social media, how would you be able to turn to social media and crowd-source an effort to get all your shit back, after it was all stolen by somebody who was probably following you on social media to know when you were away from home in the first place?..........

Long Form Alert: This seems upside down to me. The value of advanced metrics to modern baseball scouting is that it free scouts to spend more time actually watching baseball players?..........

Existential justice was applied last night. After Rob Manfred let the Red Sox walk for being industrial-sized tech thieves to advance their cause in the AL East, we all thought that we would be left with nothing more than our frustrations - especially with the rat-faced Dustin Pedroia having rubbed our faces in it by dismissing his participation in gross violation of MLB rules as nothing more than common gamesmanship. But then karma, the bitch, intervened.............

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The Duffel Bag

I love this: "every game matters". As if things did NOT matter during the first 149 games...........I cannot believe that it took until 1972. Shameful..........But then, I cannot believe we are still doing shit like this in 2017..........Speaking of races, the Angels are the far left dot. (No they are not. They are the 7th dot from the left. The tiny little "A" logos blurred together under my weak vision late lat night. Thanks below for the corrective comments!).........Dominican Republic driving takes out yet another MLB prospect..........

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