Beatdown in Beantown – Record-Breaking Day for Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays smoked their AL East rivals 18-4 on Sunday afternoon in Boston. Teoscar Hernandez (shown below) led the way for Toronto with 2 bombs and 6 RBIs.
Hernandez was hardly the only Jay flexing his muscles in Beantown. Toronto set a Fenway Park record – hitting 8 homeruns as the visiting team – the most in the park’s storied history.
In case you didn’t know, Fenway was opened the same week the Titanic sank! That’s well over 100 years of baseball games.
“Little Vlad” – Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – joined in with a 3-run dinger of his own in the contest. This is the latest charm on the long string of success that is Guerrero’s 2021 season.
Vladimir Guerrero is just 22 years old and has the best Off in baseball this year. Guerrero is hitting .344 with 21 homeruns, 55 RBIs, 49 runs, and even 2 steals through 64 team games played.
Guerrero’s first 2 1/2 months of 2021 have been insane – but the numbers become even more impressive when you factor in his young age.
In the entire MLB this season there are only 6 qualifying hitters age 23 or younger. Of those other 5 only Ronald Acuna is remotely close to matching Guerrero’s gaudy numbers.
|Vladimir Guerrero Jr.||22||34.8||1.138||21 / 55|
|Ronald Acuna Jr.||23||23.1||.987||18 / 39|
|Bo Bichette||23||9.5||.821||13 / 39|
|Juan Soto||22||6.3||.839||8 / 27|
|Dylan Carlson||22||4.3||.751||6 / 27|
|Gavin Lux||23||1.6||.711||6 / 30|
The last time a player 22 or younger compiled a stat line of .300/20/50 before the All-Star break was Carlos Correa in 2017. Guerrero is at .344/21/55 in mid June.
Starting an MLB keeper league with your friends? In any given order the top 4 picks need to be Vladimir Guerrero, Ronald Acuna, Fernando Tatis, and Juan Soto. You can’t go wrong with these young studs.
A Look Back into (Recent) Baseball History
18 runs is the most scored by a visiting team at Fenway Park since the Los Angeles Angels destroyed Boston 21-2 in a Fourth of July weekend series in 2016.
Angels first baseman CJ Cron had a night to remember, hitting a perfect 6-6 from the plate with a double, 2 homeruns, 5 RBIs, and 5 runs scored.
It could be argued that Cron was not even the best hitter on his team that night as weak-hitting catcher Carlos Perez went 5-6 with 2 doubles, 1 homer, and a team-high 6 RBIs with 2 runs scored.
Outbursts like these were not common for the duo. Cron was and still is a streaky power hitter while Perez didn’t sport much of a bat in his 4-year MLB career.
Ever heard of the stat RE24? It stands for run expectancy based on 24 base-out states. For obvious reasons, we abbreviate. RE24 takes the league-average result for any given situation and then calculates how much above or below league average a hitter performed.
Having a negative RE24 means you are producing below the league average. A high RE24 indicates you are an essential piece of the lineup.
I made a quick graph of Carlos Perez’ RE24 outputs from each of his 87 games from that 2016 season. Take a look.
That large orange spike in Perez’ graph is his 5-hit, 6-RBI performance in Boston. The 2nd-biggest green spike is from a 3-hit, 5-RBI performance from a blowout win in May against Baltimore.
As you can see from the prevalence of negative RE24 performances, Carlos Perez was a defense-first catcher. His bat was nonexistent at times. It’s such a fun time for fans and players alike when a weak hitter breaks out with a monster performance in a nice team win.
Two Redlegs Trying to Make History
Little Vlad is the best hitter right now – so who is #2 in Off this season? Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker are numbers 2 and 3 in Off this season and also the #2 and #3 hitters for the Cincinnati Reds.
It’s pretty special to have two of the best hitters in the game protecting each other in the same lineup. The downfall of many teams built around one star hitter is that they cannot find ample protection for him and that star gets walked too much. The Reds have the luxury of forcing pitchers to throw strikes to their big boppers.
The last time the two teammates were able to finish in the top 5 in Off for an entire season was just last year actually (2020) when Freddie Freeman had the best Off in the Majors in his MVP season and Marcell Ozuna was right behind him at number two.
You have to go way back to find the last time that this happened in a full 162-game season – not since Ryan Braun finished #3 and Prince Fielder finished #4 in Off in 2009.
That year, Fielder and Braun combined for 78 homeruns and 255 RBIs – intimidating stats. Winker and Castellanos currently have 30 home runs and 76 RBIs between the two of them in 63 team games.
The duo is on pace for 77 homeruns and 195 RBIs. Good to be sure, but not legendary.
Castellanos and Winker hold a combined on-base percentage of .417 while Fielder and Braun combined for an even .400 in OBP.
These MLB Teams Get No Love (Deservingly)
Forget about good teams for a second. They get so much press coverage in the mainstream media. They don’t need any more.
I want to talk about the teams you don’t hear a lot about – the biggest losers in the MLB. Time to discuss teams who are making bettors question why they ever took up the MLB in the first place.
On a beeline straight down to the cellar are the Arizona Diamondbacks. The DBacks have caught up (or caught down) to the Minnesota Twins as the losingest moneyline team in baseball.
Minnesota is no longer the worst bet and also no longer in sole possession of last place in the AL Central (thanks, Tigers). The Minnesota Twins now appear primed to make a run for the 81-win mark.
Am I being sarcastic? Kind of. Obviously the Twins are very bad this year but they have a good roster on paper and everyone expected them to be pretty good at the beginning of the year.
If you look back at my AL Central predictions, I had Minnesota at 83-79 and in second place in the division behind Chicago. I didn’t see a magical season or a deep postseason run but I did think Minnesota would be one of the stronger teams in the American League.
What differentiates the Diamondbacks and Twins from other pitiful teams in the MLB like the Tigers or Orioles? Here’s the key: we knew those teams were going to be bad.
The Detroit Tigers entered the season the league’s punching bag and have one of the longest average moneylines in baseball.
While Vegas didn’t think the Diamondbacks would be great, they received more respect than the true cellar dwellers of the league. The Twins were actually supposed to be pretty good.
Take a look at this chart. It breaks down the numbers for the Twins and DBacks for on-field performance and betting profits.
Minnesota is (-124) favorites on average the season but their average moneyline in June is as a slight underdog (+106).
This means that Minnesota was receiving far shorter lines earlier in the season and was losing huge amounts of money each week.
The Diamondbacks have been dogs the whole year but are now extreme dogs each time they take the field.
A little more than 1/3 of the Diamondbacks losses on the moneyline this year have come in their last 11 games during the month of June.
The pitching is absolutely terrible for each of these teams – with both ranking in the bottom 4 of the league in ERA. The Twins compound matters by having one of the lowest Defs in baseball.
While the Twins will win some slugfests with their good offense, the Diamondbacks know the game is over once their starter gives up 3 runs.
Till next week … see you on top, boppers!