The latest in our weekly reports on the Dynasty leagues I play in and run. There are currently two teams open (of 24) in this league and if you have an interest in taking over one of them let me know.
This week we look at the A divisions in both leagues
1970 Baltimore Orioles 40-29 1st place
Five weeks ago the defending AL Div champion Baltimore was where they were 10 weeks ago in 2nd place but with a recent surge (8-2) they have finally grabbed the top spot in the east. Now that they have it can they hold it?
Heroes: Jim Palmer continues his reign of terror on AL hitters leading the league in ERA, IP K’s and sitting top 3 in 4 other pitching categories, Merv Rettenmund sits 3rd in batting, OBP, hits and Boog Powell’s triple crown numbers .300 15 HR 64 RBI continue to strike fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers
Zeros: Marcelino Lopez has not distinguished himself out of the bullpen as indicated by his 5.12 ERA on a team with a 3.47 team ERA but the real surprise on this list is Brooks Robinson who despite 13 HR & 38 RBI is hitting a mere .188 and whose range factor is the lowest at any infield position on the team.
Wild Cards: Baltimore’s ERA is 2nd in the majors (3.47) thanks to strong starting and excellent defense .989 FPCT 3rd in league and with a .462 Caught stealing percentage running on them is a risky business. All of this leads to a +86 run differential the best in the AL
Coming Attractions: The Orioles have three at home against the slumping 1924 Senators before a quick roadtrip to Anaheim to face the 2002 Angels before a 12 game homestand which starts vs the 2015 Kansas City Royals.
Injury Report: The Orioles remain healthy which might have a lot to do with their steady performance.
1993 Toronto Blue Jays 40-30 1/2 GB 2nd place
Despite a bump in the road following a torrid run the Bluejays remain only 1/2 game out of 1st. Nearing the halfway point of the season it remains to be seen which team will be there over the next few weeks.
Heroes: Rickey Henderson leads the league in walks and stolen bases which is why despite a .235 avg he is 3rd in runs scored. Dwayne Ward 12 saves are 4th in the league but most importantly he has only blown one. Paul Molitor, Roberto Alomar & John Olerud are all hitting .315 or higher with double digit numbers in HR and are all on a pace for 100 RBI & runs.
Zeros: Ed Sprague sits in the dumps at .215 3 HR 25 RBI and an OBP a only .281. While Devon White has managed 11 steals being caught only once with a .228 avg & .310 OB he doesn’t get a lot of chances. But the biggest problem has been Jack Morris whose 1-5 record .388 avg against and astounding 10.46 ERA is the worst in either league for a regular starter.
Wild Cards: Between Henderson, White and Roberto Alomar (13 sb) it’s no wonder that Toronto leads the AL in steals and are 3rd in runs. And with the only turf surface in the AL they’re bound to keep that lead.
Coming Attractions: Toronto finishes their current homestand with 3 vs the 1989 Oakland A’s before heading on the road for 9 1st stop Boston vs the 2013 Redsox then to Detroit for the 1968 Tigers and finishing in DC taking on the 1924 Washington Senators.
Injury Report: All players present and accounted for.
2005 Chicago White Sox 32-40 9 1/2 GB 3rd place
The White Sox Slide has not abated they now find themselves 8 games below .500 and in need of some spark to get themselves back in contention.
Heroes: Mark Buehrle despite a .500 record is making the other guys earn it with a 2.63 ERA and only 23 walks in 123 1/3 innings (best in AL) White the sox have not got to him as much as in the past when Dustin Hermanson gets the ball he does the job (despite a 4.15 ERA) with 12 saves in 13 chances. Paul Konerko’s 21 HR is 2nd best in the AL
Zeros: On a team that’s only hitting .235 Aaron Rowand (.201) and Jose Uribe (.199) are the worst of a bad lot. On the mound Orlando Hernandez remains winless in 11 starts (0-9). That 8.02 ERA .320 avg against and 14 HR in 58 innings might have something to do with it.
Wild Cards: Chicago’s .235 team avg is the worst in the majors, it’s their pitching (4.28 3rd in AL) that’s the reason why they haven’t sunk into oblivion. However while the ERA is good the team is very generous with base stealers 63 of 71 have been successful in swiping a base. Additionally while they are below .500 overall they are over .500 in the division.
Coming Attractions: Chicago is on the road for 3 at Detroit to take on the 1968 Tigers then it’s to Washington to take on the 1924 Senators, the 3rd stop is Kansas City against the 2015 Royals then a critical series in Baltimore vs the 1st place Orioles.
Injury Report: They may not be happy but they’re all healthy.
1998 Oakland A’s 27-43 13 1/2 GB 4th place.
The one consistent in the AL east has been the struggles of the Oakland A’s who simply have not broken out of their early season funk. It’s not too late but the clock is ticking.
Heroes: For the 1st time since I started making the “leader” cards I have a team without a “Hero” in the top 3 of any pitching or hitting category to make a card for them , but in limited duty (43 games) Dave Parker has hit .313 with 4 HR & 13 RBI’s, and despite 4 losses and three blown saves Dennis Eckersley has 13 saves a 1.98 ERA and a WHIP of 0.78.
Zeros: While there is no Oakland A’s worthy of a leader card if I made a card for the most losses Curt Young would qualify currently tied for 3rd in the league thanks to a 7.18 ERA & .314 avg against in 13 starts. Storm Davis is right behind him with a 1-8 record in 13 starts a 5.73 ERA and a .300 avg against.
Wild cards: The biggest shock to A’s fans has been the lack of power. Where they have been signs that both Mark McGuire and Jose Canseso are finally getting out of their funks only the 1924 Washington Senators have hit fewer HR’s than the A’s and only the 2005 Astros have a lower slugging PCT.
Coming Attractions: The A’s are at the start of a 12 game road trip starting with a trip to Canada to case the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays then it’s to Cleveland with for a date with teh 1954 Indians then the heat of Texas to take on the 2010 Rangers and finally out west to Anaheim for a shot at the 2002 Angles.
Injury report: Other than Doug Jennings who is out for the season this is the 1st time that the A’s have not had a player out with injury in a long time.
1955 Brooklyn Dodgers 42-30 1st
After a stint at .500 the Brooklyn Dodgers have put it in gear again 12 games over .500 and 1st place. Are they in a position to run away and repeat. We shall see.
Heroes: The Duke of Flatbush continues to rule in the NL Duke Snyder‘s .314 (8th) 23 HR (2nd) 55 RBI (9th) are all big as are Roy Campanella‘s .303 21 HR (3rd) 64 RB (3rd) who also throws in a range factor of 7.54 behind the plate throwing out a 3rd of people trying to steal. Meanwhile on out of the bullpen Sandy Koufax is 4-0 with a save (and one blown) with a 1.59 ERA a WHIP of 1.06 and a .180 avg against.
Zeros: Jim Hughes has appeared in over 50% of the dodgers games eating 46 2/3 innings out of the pen. Unfortunately that has come with a 6.56 ERA a .295 avg against a 1.99 WHIP and 15 homers allowed. Billy Loes is 5-1 in 12 starts but is averaging only 5 1/3 innings per start with an ERA of 5.04 so that luck can last forever. At the plate Don Hoak .165 2 HR 11 RBI and Sandy Amoros .200 3 HR 22 RBI haven’t delivered.
Wild Cards: The only people who have had more trouble against the Dodgers than left handed pitchers (16-8) has been American League teams (5-1). Of course leading the Majors in Home Runs (114) and the NL in batting (.271) might have something to do with it too.
Coming Attractions: The Dodgers continue their long road trip heading to Milwaukee to face the 1957 Braves then to Chicago to take on the C leading 2016 Cubs and after a jaunt to Philly to face the 2008 Phillies finally finish their trip in Arizona against the 2013 Diamondbacks.
Injury Report: These Dodgers are both happy and healthy.
1975 Cincinnati Reds 41-37 4 GB 2nd
After a brief stint at the top of the standings the Reds have lost both 1st place and their 2nd manager this season. Can they right the ship and find a skipper to get that big red machine back on top?
Heroes: There are reds all over the leaderboard Johnny Bench leads the NL in RBI’s and is 4th in HR George Foster is right behind him in both. Pete Rose in 3rd in hits and Joe Morgan leads the lead in walks and is 2nd in stolen bases.
Zeros: Cincinnati’s troubles come down to starting pitching epitomized by Fred Norman (14 starts 1-7 1.75 WHIP 6.15 ERA .289 avg against) and Jack Billingmam (14 starts 3-9 6.49 ERA .309 avg against )
Wild Cards: The Reds are 2nd in Stolen bases and 3rd in runs and have the 3rd best avg against .253 but are also 2nd in swinging and missing and have a losing record both on the road and against left handing pitching.
Coming Attractions: the Reds finish their current road trip against the 2005 Houston Astros before coming home for a quick series vs the 1962 San Francisco Giants before hitting the road again visiting Arizona and the 2013 Diamondbacks then it’s off to DC to take on the 2019 Washington Nationals
Injury report: They might have trouble keeping managers on the field but their players are all there.
1986 New York Mets 36-39 7 1/2 GB 3rd
The Mets remain in a holding pattern hovering at .500 not dropping far below nor surging ahead. Unless that changes the divsion will be out of reach and it will be a question of playing for a wild card spot.
Heroes: Wally Backman is setting the table with a .333 avg (3rd in NL) and a .384 OBP leading to 45 runs. If Backman is setting the table Keith Hernandez (.294 25 2B 41 RBI) & Daryll Strawberry .281 14 HR 51 RBI are clearing it regularly. On the Mound Bobby Ojeda’s 3.01 ERA is leads the team & is 7th in the league.
Zeros: It’s the bullpen that’s been the Mets issue Doug Sisk (40 app .6.46 ERA .327 avg against 1 bs in one chance) Rick Anderson 7.59 ERA .339 avg against 1 bs in one chance) and Bruce Berenyi .377 avg against 8.60 ERA 2 sv 2.40 WHIP. Roger McDowell’s numbers are better 4.76 ERA .264 avg against but he’s blown 5 saves in 8 chances.
Wild Cards: Only Arizona and Washington have blown more saves in the NL than the Mets but it can’t all be laid at the hands of the pitchers as NY has the worst fielding percentage in the majors at .973 and 77 errors nobody else is even close.
Coming Attractions: It’s 3 in Milwaukee to play the 1957 Braves followed by 3 more in Chicago vs the red hot 2016 Cubs before heading home to face the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies.
Injury Report: Everyone is healthy which eliminated one excuse for the bullpen.
2013 Arizona Diamondbacks 30-42 12 GB 4th
It’s been a season at the bottom for Arizona, but with a New Manager whose father led his team to the top of the Futility league AL West can his son in his 1st managing job take this team out of the basement and into the hunt for the wild card?
Heroes: While Paul Goldschmidt is no longer 3rd in HR (Ryan & Snyder are still 1 & 2) as he was before with 81 hits 18 HR (6th) and 49 RBI is a problem for any pitcher in the league. Patrick Corbin’s 3.24 ERA & 1.37 WHIP means opposing batters have to earn it and out of the pen Josh Collmenter has done his job with a .185 avg against and a 0.87 WHIP.
Zeros: Wade Miley has not done the job with a 6.14 ERA and a 2-6 record in 16 starts. Joe Thatcher out of the pen in 35 appearances “boasts” a 9.21 ERA a .347 avg against and a 2.02 WHIP. At the plate on a team that hasn’t produced much the bottom of the barrel is Miguel Montero hitting .200 with 1 HR and 21 RBI in 239 AB.
Wild Cards: Only Houston has a worse team batting avg than Arizona or fewer Home Runs but if you’re visiting in Arizona or throwing a lefty watch out because they are over .500 against both.
Coming Attractions: after three games in Houston to face the 2005 Astros. They head home for a 12 game series with 2008 Philadelphia followed by 1962 San Francisco,
Injury Report: Brandon McCarthy will be out for the year and Aaron Hill will not be back for a month.