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WeekEnd HaloLinks: We Need An August Beginning

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Two months left in the season equals very little time to accomplish much.

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Detroit Tigers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Shall we play a game?

Suppose that it will require 93 wins to have a reasonable shot at making the playoffs this year. It might require 95, but if we are tracking towards 93 that would mean that we are in the race, looking for one final hot streak while playing the head-to-head games with our playoff competitors.

We sit right now at 56-54, with 52 games left to be played. Getting to 93 wins means that we still need to win 37 more out of those 52. So we have to be tracking through August and September on a 37 - 15 pace, or a 71% win rate.

7 of the remaining 52 games are against the White Sox, 3 against the Pirates and 2 against the Reds...BUT...6 are against Cleveland and the first 3 of those are right now, Cleveland having won 19 of their last 26 games. 7 are against a Boston team that has righted its ship. 5 are against the Oakland team ahead of us inside our own division. 3 against the Yankees and 3 against the Rays who are battling for the AL East title. 6 games are against the Rangers who are nipping at our heels already. And 10 are against the comically re-loaded over-the-top Astros who will be fighting for home field advantage. (Boy, wouldn’t it have been nice had the schedule makers gotten most of the Houston games out of the way before the Trade Deadline!? The Rangers, for example, have already played the Astros 17 of their 19 games this season.)

If you assume that the Angels win 100% of the games against the White Sox, Pirates, Reds and Rangers, they would be at 74 wins, needing 21 more victories. That would be 21 wins out of 34 games (62%). The Angels would have to win 100% of the games against the bottom dwellers...just to have a reasonable shot at a winning percentage against playoff teams...just to have a chance at the WC play-in game.

Those wins against the bottom feeders are pretty key. The Angels just finished 2 and 5 against the Orioles and White Sox. Had they gone 7-0, all the above numbers change. Assuming still that the Angels win 100% against bottom dwellers going forward, that win rate against playoff teams would have dropped to 16 wins out of 34, which is a more non-impossible 47% win rate. This would have made it more reasonable to expect that the Halos do NOT win 100% against future bottom dwellers and STILL have a possible shot at the playoffs.

That is the impact of the 5 games we just lost, this late in the season. The more of the easy games you lose late, the less time you have to recover against the teams that are the most formidable. Yes, it DOES make a difference when in the season you lose, and to whom.

August has begun. So must every cylinder left in the LAA 40-man.

Let us also start clicking on all cylinders with these Still-Got-A-Slim-Chance-HaloLinks:


A Little Bit Of Angels News

LAA Trade Season. It’s all over now. TL;DR version would be: just wait until tomorrow, baby, because we tried!!...........To which I reply..........

Jo Adell moving on up to Salt Lake City. Just on the verge of the 40-man. Maybe a late call-up once we are practically finished?..........

Yasiel Puig was issued a 3-game suspension for his part in the Reds-Pirate brawl back when he was with Cincinnati. Since he will appeal, and those take time, it might not mean much for the Angels as he is still playing..........

Trout Porn is starting to come at a daily pace..........

When Houston brings Martin Maldonado to town, it will be sure to hurt...........

Mike Trout, remembering that time when the best coach in the history of the NFL refused to play his best defensive back in the most important game of the season and wasted perhaps the greatest quarterback performance in a Super Bowl, ever..........


Everywhere In Baseball

There are lots of lamentations about what happened in July concerning player trades. It does look like the Wild Card opportunity is not enough incentive to get bubble teams to move. Since the first step for WC teams is a one-and-done play-in game, I would agree.....There is also a line of reasoning to suggest that the Front Office rapture over cost-controlled pre-arb and arb players has gutted the historical role that late season player trades had in franchise building. Maybe true, as well..........($$) Ken Rosenthal is sad that this trade season was not as fun as it used to be. Since that ‘fun’ is what fuels his job, I place no cred in that angle. But in that same article it is noted that the way that Front Offices have married into the economics of baseball has resulted in dramatic changes for franchise management, one that has altered the trade season by large degrees. Whether that change is bad or good is up to you.....But after all was said and done, the reality is that more guys got swapped in 2019 than in 2018. The sheer volume of deals is 66% higher than the previous historical record set back in 2016! So if A LOT MORE guys got moved, and they got moved via A LOT MORE transactions, maybe the impact of FO’s and current economics is far more subtle. Writers complaining because it all crams into a few short hours is something we can ignore. But maybe what we are seeing is more of an artifact of superteams consolidating more of the overall baseball power unto themselves and fewer of the remaining teams can afford the chance (or risk) of joining the superteams? If true, a new CBA needs to find a way to dissolve the entrenchment that the superteams have, one gained by exploiting a tanking cycle back when nobody else was daring to be so bold as to lose on purpose............

Three more observations from the peanut gallery: first, it’s disingenuous as all shit for Front Offices to be de-valuing veteran players when it comes to doling out contracts as those FO’s transition to per-arb/arb cost-controlled youth, while at the same declaring those veteran players to be so exorbitantly valuable in the trade market that buying teams cannot afford them (just read how frustrated the Cardinals feel)...........and, second, why do selling GM’s keep doing Jeff Luhnow of the Astros a solid? He keeps adding to his WAR machine and never has to cough up his very top prospects?. If you are going to play the card that your proven vet is exorbitantly valuable, and you have the most coveted proven vet in your deck, and the Astros can afford to buy their way back to the WS by spending from their prospect inventory, why settle for anything less??............Finally, bookmark this for 2 to 3 years from now. It’s us outsiders valuing prospects moved in the 2019 trade window. We drink the Kool-Aid..........

Miles Mikolas playing baseball The Cardinal Way. Watch for the very subtle A-Rod glove slap when he reaches first base..........

This sounds a lot like Terry Francona is happy that Trevor Bauer is no longer in Cleveland..........But Bauer 100% OWNS the social media farewell to Cleveland fans which, in hindsight, makes Francona look small.......... And Bauer, who disagrees with Francona, pulled a pretty chill move by deciding to exploit some free time between Cleveland-Cincinnati gigs to take in a ballgame with the fans, watching his old teammates..........

That last time that Trevor Bauer threw a baseball for the Indians? The one that landed over the center field fence? The one that I found to be so fun? Well, it was fun enough that we need to dive into the physics of throwing a baseball that far!..........

If MLB took a harder stance at punishments for pitchers hitting batters, MLB would not have to be taking a hard stance on pitchers retaliating for hitting batters, and not having to take a hard stance on the melees that the MLB wrist-slapping enables............Clint Hurdle got 2 games, which means being a manager is about as culpable as putting a guy in the hospital for surgery..........

Danny Farquhar beat a brain hemorrhage but could not beat the cruel fate of MLB competitiveness. Two positive takeaways, though. He is alive, and he is still in the game, as a coach..........

Ah. Here we go! NOW we are starting to see reports on the lab rats of The Atlantic League. Challenging, at a minimum..............

I don’t know why I am so distracted by the goings on within SBN above me. There is just something interesting about an ecosystem fueled by the actual fans of a sport where we get a voice beyond the screaming from the bleachers. It carries the burden of a greater sense of decorum and restraint, certainly, but is still liberated from the expected collegiality that forms between sports beat journalists and their contacts. We don’t have access, therefore we don’t need to protect access. So we can be more sane than Facebook and Twitter idiots, but less deferential than OCR writers. IMHO, that makes us an interesting fan pulse while, at the same time, (I assume) rather annoying. That some group of people has figured out how to create enough revenue out of that to support the platform and pay their own bills is nothing I get all cranked up over. All this to note that, over in the sport of college football, SBN bought up and now is killing off an Internet institution, only to attempt to replace it with something of their own fabrication. We have seen a form of this with HH over the last couple of decades. I’ll be watching............

SBNation runs at about a 24 million visits per year clip......The LA Times has a total of about 170,000 subscribers. One of these two web sites is the one with official access and MLB award voting rights and writers who have no other ob than to cover their assigned beat. The other site is you and me..........


The Duffle Bag

What if Rick Porcello’s cousin is a sales guy at Best Buy?...........Jeff McNeil showing outfielders everywhere how fly balls along the fan seating shall be played henceforth and into eternity............Hate to be the bearer of bad news, folks, but MLB Umpires, MLB replay officials, and even the broadcast team all got this one wrong. This hit by J.D. Davis was a fair ball. You can see it hit the wall on the fair side of the yellow line, then deflecting to the ground on the foul side of the line, at the 0:24 and 0:32 and 0:41 and 0:48 second marks...........Fan takes a turn in a pitching cage challenge within a stadium. Gets signed by the Oakland A’s after clocking 96mph.............