The latest in our weekly reports on the various Division of the Dynasty Leagues that I run. Today we look at the West Divisions in the All Futility League:
Note that this was written before all of Saturday night’s games were complete.
1982 Minnesota Twins:
With 33 days to go the pre-Pucket Twins are neck and neck for the top spot of the west, can the young studs who would mature in half a decade bring them over the line or will that lack of seasoning show in this division run?
Heroes: Kent Hrbek is top 10 in the league in every offensive category except Doubles and stolen bases and has been insane in key moments (.372 with runners on ..397 with RISP, .393 RISP 2 outs and .600 with the bases loaded). Robert Castello hasn’t just been the anchor, but the whole hull of that staff with a 3.25 ERA (a full 1.22 below the team avg) in 196 1/3 innings (a full 18% of the teams innings) he’s gone 16-8 with 8 complete games and a 1.14 WHIP
Zeroes: Jeff Little has not provided value out of the pen blowing as many games as he’s saved (4) and put up an ERA of 5.57 in 38 games. On a lot of teams a .240 avg 6 HR & 40 RBI’s would not land you on the zero list but on a team hitting .281 those numbers from Tim Laudner look rather thin.
Wild Card: The good news for Minnesota’s pitching staff, they lead the league in games saved and save percentage (.750) but on the down side they are tied with Baltimore for the most Home Runs allowed
Coming Attractions: After completing yesterday’s series vs Texas they travel to 2005 KC for a pair , stop back home for 3 with the 2018 Orioles before heading to Detroit for three more with the 2003 Tigers.
2008 Seattle Mariners
The Mariners and the Twins are heading to the finish line neck and neck, but can the Mariners with the fewest runs in the AL west finish the job?
Heroes: Jose Lopez leading the league in doubles is impressive but doing so while hitting .354 with 16 HR and but also 77 RBI is even better. Closer Brandon Morrow has not only saved 18 of 23 chances with a 2.44 ERA A WHIP under 1.0 (0.97) but his 8-5 W-L shows he can do the job without a save on the line.
Zeroes: Carlos Silvia (10-11 in 24 starts) record seems OK but if his ERA was not 5.27 his avg against not .308 and his hits allowed considerably higher than his innings pitched Seattle might have a comfortable divisional lead. Meanwhile Jared Washburn’s 10-6 record would be a lot more impressive if he wasn’t 1-3 in his last 10 starts and a 4.96 ERA over all
Wild Card: While Ichrio’s base numbers .284 4 HR 44 RBI’s are not impressive given the competition he has managed to steal 40 bases and put himself in a position to score 90 runs for a team that scores less than everyone in the division.
Coming Attractions: After this week’s four game stint at east contending Tampa Bay the finish they welcome the rest of the east to Seattle facing the 1970 WhiteSox for 2 , the 2002 Tigers for 3 and the 2018 Orioles for four.
1973 Texas Rangers
There’s not a lot of time left but Texas has been surging, can a pair of power hitters and Pitchers carry them back into the race for the top?
Heroes: The only thing scarier for Texas foes than the combination of At the plate the combination of Jim Merritt 17-7 3.69 ERA 23 walks in 163 innings and Jim Bibby 11-10 3.52 ERA 24 starts 7 saves in 8 chances and 180k’s in 184 1/3 innings is the combo of Jeff Burroughs .282 37 HR 111 RBI and Bill Sudakis .275 31 HR 98 RBI’s at the plate
Zeroes: Clyde David’s 5.98 ERA and 122 innings in 22 starts is a big reason why his record is 5-10. Sonny Siebert’s 11-13 Mark might look respectable with his 5.38 ERA 24 HR allowed and nearly 200 hits allowed in under 170 innings is a big reason why Texas isn’t right up with the big boys.
Wild cards: Since Texas acquired their new manager they have risen from a sub .500 cellar dweller to an over .500 team with an outside shot of catching the front of the pack
Coming Attractions: Texas finishes their homestand with a pair vs 2003 Detroit before heading on the road to visit the 1970 White Sox for 3 and the 2005 Royals for four.
2005 Kansas City Royals
10 Back in the loss column is a bad place to be with only 34 games to go but can the Royals Slug their way past the rest or will their pitching continue to bring them down?
Heroes: Matt Stairs triple Crown numbers .315 17 HR 59 RBI with 60 walks are nothing to sneeze at but Mike Sweeney .306 29 HR 102 RBI more than make up for the lack of walks.
Zeroes: When four of your five Starters are at the bottom of your team ERA numbers D.J Carrasco 5.61, JP Howell 5.66, Jose Lima 6.08 and Runelvys Hernandez 6.46 it’s hard to pick THE zero but with a .325 Avg against a 1.81 WHIP, more walks than strikeouts it’s little wonder than Hernandez sits a 3-12
Wild Cards: Kansas City leads the Majors with a .444 team slugging percentage and the AL with a OBP of .355 & an OPS of .798 but also hold the worst ERA (4.86) in their division.
Coming Attractions: The Royals Remaining hopes might be determined in two of the next three series a brief two game home stand vs the 1st place 1982 Twins, a three game jaunt to Tampa Bay to face the 2002 Devil Rays and Back home for 4 with the 1973 Texas Rangers.
2012 Houston Astros
Houston has managed to put some distance between theselvs and the pack but as the final run continues will they be able to keep the pace long enough to counter a sudden surge?
Heroes: Jose Altuve’s .364 Avg at the plate is a big help but not nearly as big as the relief combo of Fernando Rodriguez 10-2 2.71 ERA .228 avg against Wesley Wright 9 Svs in 11 chances 2.79 ERA 68K vs 16 BB and Wilton Lopez 15 saves in 17 chances 3.29 ERA
Zeroes: Marwin Gonzalez’s .209 avg 4 HR and 20 RBI aren’t going to scare anyone. If there is anything less impressive than Matt Down’s .214 batting avg it’s his .905 fielding percentage at 3rd base.
Wild card: Houston’s -26 Run differential is worse than every other 1st & 2nd place team in the majors and only the 1967 Mets have a worse record in extra inning games in the NL. Justin Maxwell’s 26 HR & 73 RBI’s would be a lot more impressive if it didn’t come with a .208 Avg
Coming Attractions: A tough four game vs the 1998 Marlins will be followed by a pair vs the 1967 Mets before heading off to San Diego to try to put the 1973 Padres to bed
2004 Arizona Diamondbacks. Can a single pitcher and a new manager carry a team over the finish line? t might seem easy to lead a divsion when you’re the only team with a winning record in it
Heroes: Randy Johnson leads not just the NL but the MAJORS in every single non-relief Pitching Category except for fewest walks per 9 innings where he is 8th. Brandon Webb only has 11 decisions in 22 starts but that 9-2 record and 2.94 ERA means they aren’t standing on just one leg.
Zeroes: Casey Fossum has been one of the worst starters in the league the anti Randy Johnson is 3-11 (vs 16-7) 8.62 ERA (vs 1.94) 110 2/3 innings in 24 starts (vs 218 1/3) and .348 avg against ( vs .184). Casey Dagle’s 4-7 and 5.22 ERA seems worse is bad but only 70 2/3 inning in 16 starts? That’s horrible.
Wild card: Only 3 pitchers have over 100 innings for Arizona. Arizona was last place until their new manager took over.
Coming Attractions: Once they are done with their 4 games at the 1967 New York Mets they head home for a pair vs the 1998 Marlins before a quick trip to Milwaukee to take on the 2002 Brewers for 3 before coming back for a critical four games vs the 1st place 2012 Astros.
1973 San Diego Padres
Despite A sudden illness hitting their manager they are still in striking distance, can they over come that disadvantage and two teams ahead to make the race at the end? Or will their Worst in the league pitching make it impossible
Heroes: Willie McCovey not only still has the power .292 18 HR 64 RBI but also has an eye with 107 walks 2nd in the league is why he leads the team in runs. Dave Wiinfield’s .238 Avg is 18 pts below the team avg but toss in 21 HR and 86 RBI’s and that’s hero class to me.
Zeroes: This is hard because while the team has the worst ERA in the league (4.91) only Lowell Palmer 4-6 5.75 ERA 8 starts with more than 20 innings (67 1/3 innings ) is over that number and not even by a run. It’s the same on the batting side where Fred Kendell .240 9 HR 49 RBI is not horrible but is meh on a team full of meh
Wild Card : Derrel Thomas line .233 2 HR 58 RBI is poor and would make him a zero but load the bases and his line becomes .538 avg .600 obp and 14 RBI. Now that’s clutch.
Coming Attractions: It’s two in Pittsburgh vs the 2010 Pirates before coming home for a make or break 12 game home stand vs the 1st place 2012 Astros (3), the 2002 Brewers (4) the 2004 Diamondbacks (2) and the 1998 Florida Marlins
2002 Milwaukee Brewers
It’s do or die time in Milwaukee 12 games back with 36 to go it’s now or never if they want a shot at the postseason.
Heroes: Jose Hernandez .287 27 HR 67 RBI’s have been a bright sight on a dull offense while middle Reliever Luis Vizcaino with a 2.31 ERA and a WHIP of 0.91 has despite 4 blown saves in 8 chances has been a rare bright spot on the mound
Zeroes: You don’t get much worse than Ruben Quevedo with a 7.01 ERA a .295 avg against 26 HR allowed and a 3-13 record in 26 starts. Matt Stairs .201 14 HR 40 RBI is bad (10 outfield assists not withstanding) but Ronnie Bellard’s .200 2 HR 19 RBI makes it look good.
Wild Card: Milwaukee may be in last but you can’t blame their glove work their .987 fielding percentage is the best in the majors alas for them only the Padres have a worse ERA in the NL
Coming Attractions: A tough home series is next with 4 vs the 2002 Pirates followed by 2 vs the 2009 Washington Nationals and 3 vs the 2004 Diamondbacks will likely decide their fate.