For your daily Fangraphs playoff odds, I believe it is the first time all season that someone other that the Dodgers is favored to win the NL West. The Rockies are rated with a 60.1% chance to win the division.
The Cubs still are favored in the NL Central with a 77.9% chance. I think that’s high, but they should be favored.
I just had a thought about John Lackey’s career, since he was at the game Thursday night. I wonder what you would have said if on the day he made his MLB debut in 2002, you were told that he’d win a World Series title with the Angels, Red Sox and Cubs? Seems hard to believe from the perspective of June 2002.
- Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper posted a thank you to Nationals fans that has everyone guessing that it was a goodbye.
- Chris Almeida has a profile of Harper’s career at the crossroads. He discussed his upcoming decision and how an already-great player has been a mild disappointment because of the hype that preceeded him.
- Harper was so excited to play his what could be his final home game at Nationals Park by showing up and dressing four hours before game time, saying that he wanted to “cherish the moment.”
- Harper’s maybe-final home game with the Nationals ended early, when the rains came while Harper was standing on deck in the eighth inning.
- Whitney McIntosh notes that in that final DC game for Harper, his potential replacement Victor Robles was the star.
- Matt Snyder makes the case that the Nationals would be better off not re-signing Harper and spending the money elsewhere. I actually think this is a dumb article—a variation of the idea that three good players are better than one great one—but maybe you’ll think otherwise.
- Adam Wainwright is starting for the Cardinals in Friday afternoon’s game with the Cubs and it looks like it will be Wainwright’s final game with St. Louis.
- Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia was just two innings away from getting a $500k bonus on the season when he was ejected for hitting Rays Jesus Sucre after warnings had been issued to both benches. Sabathia said he was aware of the bonus but that “I don’t really make decisions based on money.”
- Mets third baseman David Wright’s career is over now and he says he’d like to work in the Mets front office. He might be the first.
- Jon Heyman has an update on the Mets search for a new general manager.
- Here’s a quick update on where we stand with the final playoff possibilities heading into the final weekend.
- The Red Sox have a record-setting season, but Chris Landers notes that the team with the best record in baseball does ends up not winning the World Series more often than not.
- The Athletics have made the postseason for the first time since 2014 and Grant Brisbee looks at how far the A’s fell before they climbed back into contention and the moment they hit rock-bottom, when Danny Valencia punched out Billy Butler.
- Jon Heyman blames the poor clubhouse culture in Seattle for the team’s second-half collapse. I’d be more likely to blame the fact that the Mariners were getting incredibly lucky in one-run games early in the season and that they were never that good in the first place, but that’s just me.
- The Orioles will not make the playoffs. John Lingan notes that as bad as you think the Orioles are, they are actually worse.
- Marc Normandin notes that the Orioles futility against the Red Sox are the reason that the team is historically bad, as opposed to just really bad.
- Orioles first baseman Chris Davis was on-pace for the worst season in MLB history earlier in the season. Jay Jaffe is proud to report that Davis improved in the second half just enough to only have one of the worst seasons in MLB history.
- The Orioles and Astros were rained out on Thursday, which brought the MLB season total to 54, which is the most rainouts since 1989.
- Sam Miller has a list of things that happened this year that you probably wouldn’t have believed had you been told at the beginning of the year.
- Jay Cannon has six surprising things of the 2018 season.
- Tom Verducci has his choices for the 2018 BBWAA awards.
- Michael Baumann has five players who probably won’t win an end-of-the-season award but deserve one anyway. So he made up some awards to give to them, including one for Javier Baez.
- Craig Edwards writes about how Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts accomplished a historically-great season.
- You may not have noticed this, but Justin Grimm is doing well in Seattle after getting released by the Royals. Rian Witt outlines what Grimm is doing differently to get these better results.
- Rockies pitcher German Marquez tied a modern MLB record by striking out the first eight batters of the game. As you know if you watched the Cubs game last night on TV, the other two pitchers who have accomplished this is Jacob deGrom and Cubs broadcaster Jim Deshaies.
- The ten greatest team home run totals in history. The Yankees are just four home runs short of the record with three games to play.
- No one on the Phillies has been ejected from a game all season. They haven’t had a player ejected in three seasons.
- Despite the Phillies late season collapse, rookie manager Gabe Kapler will return in 2019. Along those ends, Kapler is taking a lesson from modern management techniques and having his coaches and staff fill out anonymous surveys on his performance.
- The Pirates have activated Jung Ho Kang for the final series of the year. It will be Kang’s first games since 2016.
- Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson has a partially-torn ligament in his hand. He’s questionable for the playoffs.
- There is a report that Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is negotiating to buy the Tigers. John Gallagher evaluates those reports and speculates on what would happen to the Tigers if Gilbert bought them.
- Umpire Joe West made Fox Sports Arizona move their cameras when he said they were too close to the field. Diamondbacks broadcaster Bob Brenly said on the air that West can see a camera one inch over the railing but misses a call that’s six feet off the plate.
- Remember closer Brad Lidge? In his retirement, he’s going back to school to get a degree in archeology. He’s gone on several digs so far.
- And finally, check out this commercial with Bartolo Colon eating a ton of delicious barbeque.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.