All posts by TheNaturalMevs

Jay Bruce homers in quite possibly his last Great American Ballpark At Bat

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It’s time to do the ‘it’s Jay Bruce’s last week as a Red’ narrative thing again, once again. This is so annoying and frustrating. The Reds shouldn’t be ditching Bruce at this point. He looks elite again, having his best season ever. He hasn’t really hit that ugly month-long cold streak either.

But I digress. The Reds will probably move Bruce in the next week before the trade deadline. The Reds will be heading West, so that means that Bruce played what was likely his final game at Great American Ball Park as a Redleg yesterday.

In what was his final at bat, you know; if it was:

The Redlegs lost a shootout 9-8. Bruce knocked in four which brings his RBI total to 73. He has 21 home runs on the year, and an .871 OPS. Ah, I hate that I wasn’t there. But I’ve said my goodbyes a dozen times already.

Do your damnedest, Dick Williams.

It’s Alex Bregman Day!

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The Houston Astros have called up Alex Bregman to make his Major League Debut tonight. He’s batting sixth and playing third base against the New York Yankees and Michael Pineda.

It’s nice to see one team with a huge nucleus of young talent all on the same field at once. It never really seems to happen this way.

I read this post at FanGraphs that has some scouting talk. But as tradition, we always post the debut prospect’s scouting report from Baseball Prospectus. So here is Bregman’s:

Scouting Report: There are very few players who can legitimately impact the game in every (possible) facet of the game. Bregman is one of those guys. Let’s start with the hit tool. Bregman’s swing stays in the zone with very little wasted movement. His above-average bat speed and ability to keep his hands in allows him to hit the ball with authority everywhere. He’s an assertive hitter who will jump on pitches early in the count, but isn’t afraid to wait for his pitch and will draw his fair share of walks as well.

The big development—and the one that makes him one of the best prospects in baseball now—is the power. Bregman has added some strength, incorporated more of his lower half, and with some increased loft has turned what was once an average tool at best now into one that could be above-average, maybe even plus. It’s mostly to the pull side, but he can take the ball out to right-center, and he’ll hit plenty of doubles that way. He hasn’t run as much as a pro as he did in college, but he’s a smart runner with good enough wheels to give you double-digit steals, and he won’t be anything close to a baseclogger.

Talking about Bregman’s defense is difficult, because the sample sizes at the positions he’ll be playing is miniscule. Most believed that he was going to have to move off shortstop, but the reason he’s leaving has less to do with Bregman and more to do with some guy named Carlos Correa. He’s a good athlete with excellent instincts, so whether he’s playing third or left or anything but center, he should be adequate there. A defensive star he is not, but a guy who will provide more good than bad is likely, if not a foregone conclusion.

Oh man, oh man, oh man. I’m excited for this one. I’ve got the Bagel Bites in the oven and I’m ready to go. Here’s to 15 years of Bregman/Altuve/Correa wrecking things on that infield!

We can’t not post one of Bryce Harper’s longest home runs ever

This one came on July 20th, off Budd Norris and was Bryce Harper’s 20th home run of the 2016 season. It’s a few days late; but we still have every Bryce Harper home run ever hit on this blog.

As the Nationals commentator F.P. Santangelo states, it’s almost to the Navy Yard:

The Nationals beat the Dodgers in this game 8-1.

I also have to post this; as the Nationals were nice enough to send my daughter Harper a jersey in honor of National Bryce Harper jersey day, and put her in their social media video:

Carlos Correa hit his 15th home run of the season on Saturday Night

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[Box Score]

This win was marked by the Astros getting to a season high nine wins over the .500 mark, and they’re now just 2.5 games behind those rotten Texas Rangers for first place in the AL West, with the record now sitting at 53-44.

Carlos Correa had a nice game, a couple of hits and a walk; one of the hits being this backside shot he covets so much. This is his 15th home run of the season:

It’s good to see Correa offering steady while not superstar production, and the Astros have really made a season of things despite folks like me having them left for dead in April.

Evan Gattis also hit two home runs and drove in four on the night.

Your Saturday Baseball Post

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It took all day, but damnit this post is going up. It’s Saturday, and it’s baseball day! Every day should be Saturday!

I spent the day with my family doing stuff, and didn’t have time to get the post up until now. But tradition carries onward.

Thank you for your continued support of Diamond Hoggers. Hopefully your Saturady was a great one.

Betting on Baseball: Friday 7/22

We are partial to playing the Moneyline in baseball and just picking winners. However, every now and again we like to look at a total. Tonight we have a feel for one in the Queen City.

The Cincinnati Reds are -122 favorites at home tonight with Dan Straily on the hill. Let’s be honest, Straily has been serviceable but he’s an off brand in reality and he’s due to turn back into the pumpkin that he is. Tonight is that night. The O/U total sits at 9.5 with the Arizona DiamondBacks rolling into town. One thing I know about these two teams is they can hit a little bit.

Archie Bradley just isn’t good, big league hitters get excited when he’s on the mound as well. But the ‘x’ factor that carries this one where we need it is Straily being shitty.

First, check out Sports Betting Tips then lay your money on the OVER 9.5 tonight in Cincinnati.

Enjoy the extra cash to start your weekend!

Our pick: OVER 9.5 runs Arizona/Cincinnati.

Gents Live Final I is won by the only absentee Gent

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There was no milk or Diet Mountain Dew showering. There was no pretty ladies or white horses. No one here left with the grand prize in DFS.

In Gents Live I: The Final Frontier, t3bird04 took home first place from his nest/safe haven. He was in first by 8:00 and in bed by 9:00 PM. No other gents could have a say.

It was a low scoring night in Gents, seeing just two reach over the 100-point plateau. It’s worth noting that four gents used Madison Bumgarner against the Padres at Petco which looked like a safe play at 1100 dollars. Of course, any time anything that appears to make sense to the majority appears; you can count on that turning into a burning bag of shit. Madison is the gents game turd because he didn’t top 20 points.

A good time was had by all gents (I think) and we stayed up until the wee hours of the night to watch our hopes be dashed by the likes of stacks fallen short, James Paxton, and Marcus Stroman in our other contest entries.

The yearly standings tightened up a bit with the Family Man of DFS taking home the five point platinum performance, and there’s yet another repositioning of our 3rd and 4th place contestants. Which is basically like; saying you’re one of the best chefs at Wendy’s or Subway. Swindaman remains in the toilet and hopes to climb out by the time he turns 30 on August the 6th.

Yearly Standings:
DStars45 – 58 points
t3bird04 – 56 points
Diamondhoggers – 44 points
Jsquad34 – 43 points
Swindaman3 – 37 points

Here’s a copy of our winning lineup this week, sponsored by Jiffy Lube and Destination Donuts.

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So what will happen in the Gentleman’s Game this Friday? We will all be safely nestled in the comforts of our own homes, so you can expect higher scores. I predict the median/mean/whatever score will 95.5 but I am only 64% sure of this. I do predict that we bring whores to the gents game, because it has become a badge of honor. It has become etiquette to do as such. I predict that Swindaman3 will take a monstrous dump while he fills out his Gents lineup. I predict that JSquad34 will say his lineup is a loser no later than 3:00 PM. I predict DStars45 comes in one of the top two spots. I predict I either get first or last. I predict t3bird will help his wife make dinner, push his kids on the swings, and still have a very respectable showing despite devoting his time to more meaningful activities.

But these predictions could all go by the wayside. They are just one man’s thoughts on the battlefield of greatness. This greatness is the Gentleman’s game. Only the strong survive. Stay tuned for the announcement of ‘Gents Live II: The Redemption’. We will decide on a venue and a date and go from there.

Houston Astros add Yulieski Gurriel to the stockpile

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With Alex Bregman right on the horizon, I was surprised to learn that the Houston Astros had signed 32-year old Cuban defector Yulieski Gurrielto a five-year deal. So when I saw this Fangraphs article, I wanted to drill down on the ‘why’.

The ‘just of it’:

What we know for sure: the Houston Astros just acquired a premium talent near the trade deadline and they didn’t have to give up any talent of their own, present or future, to do so.

Also, they may dangle Bregman as a trade chip if they want to go for it all this year. They obviously have some type of plan in mind what to do with everyone: Correa, Altuve, Valbuena, A.J. Reed, Gurriel, Bregman, etc. We just have to wait and see what that is.

I don’t necessarily think that’s true. I think the plan unfolds based on what happens with Gurriel at the MLB level, and Reed, and Bregman. I don’t think the plan they have today with all these names necessarily is the one that ends up playing out. How often in baseball does that actually happen? The situation dictates the plan. And things will work themselves out.

But I surely hope to see Correa, Bregman, Springer, Reed, and Altuve all on the same field.

Your Saturday Baseball Post

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It’s Saturday; the best day of the week and best day for baseball. So with this post, we pause and give thanks. It’s already mid-July and the second half of the season is officially one day into things. It won’t be long and football will be intruding on the Grand Ol’ Ballgame’s spotlight.

But in these parts, we’ll stay devoted to baseball. If you’re finding yourself at the bottom of the pile in a few fantasy leagues make sure you still are a good league mate and set your lineups. If you’re at home with the fam’ this weekend and unable to get out and do much, light up the grill and turn on a game. There’s nothing more relaxing.

Your song of the week that should be played at a ballpark near you is King of Wishful Thinking by Go West:

Thank you for your continued support of Diamond Hoggers. Enjoy your Saturday!

30 for 30: Darryl & Doc

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Well, that was awesome.

I already knew a lot of the stories because I read The Bad Guys Won and Straw: Finding my Way, but it was still a good film by Jud Apatow.

Obviously, I remain awestruck by these guys talents. The best of them both was gone by the time I was old enough to realize they were stars. I wish I could have been of age in the early 80’s to watch them, because without a doubt I would be recapping what they did on a nightly basis like I do the young stars of current.

It was just a much different time and place back then; the world and the game of baseball. Social media didn’t announce every moment and every presence.

It’s been said many times before that Strawberry and Gooden flamed out well before their times and well short of what they should have been. But what it must have been like to watch them when they were within their greatness and at their height.

The game will never see another like these two as long as it goes on.

DStars45 Reclaims First Place in the Gentleman’s Game on the Brink of the Live Final

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We were joined by a special guest of sorts this week, TStarkey; a friend of mine and renegade DFS player whom I used to work with. He had a nice debut showing in the Gentleman’s Game coming in second with 118+ points. He went with a Blue Jays stack. With any luck, he may be invited back to be a part of this Gentleman’s gathering.

DStars45 was back in the saddle and back from vacation, and he took us to the whipping post. He paired Jose Fernandez with Jonathan Gray along with four hitters in double digits; Jose Abreu (14), Roughned Odor (20), Evan Longoria (25), and Tim Anderson (10), to paddle to safety with 144+ points. We’ll call Longoria – who homered and had four hits – the Gentleman’s Game MVP for the week.

Tomorrow is the First Annual ‘Gentleman’s Game Live Final’ where we still play for our usual prize pool but the Gentleman Gather in person to do battle, spit seeds, and drink Mountain Dew.

This week saw little change in our yearly standings in terms of jockeying for position; but rather just a furthering of distance by the top two competitors and the bottom half of our Gents hourglass filling further.

Yearly Standings:
DStars45 – 56 points
t3bird04 – 51 points
Jsquad34 – 40 points
Diamondhoggers – 40 points
Swindaman3 – 36 points

Here’s a look at the winning lineup, courtest of DStars45:

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So what will happen this week? Will Diamondhoggers order enough clouds at the live final to keep JSquad34 happy? Will his meat be grilled to perfection? Will he make sure that he has the comfiest seat? Will the volume be turned to a level of his liking? Will Swindaman3 christen my new home by pooping in one of my new toilets? Will DStars45 have Diet Mountain Dew poured all over him after midnight to celebrate the first Gentleman’s Game live final win? Will I lose my entire bankroll? I really might. Will The Family Man of DFS (t3bird04) be in bed by 9:00? Will Draftkings ever send me my player usage?

YOU MUST STAY TUNED TO THE GENTLEMANS GAME (sponsored by Trader Joe’s, and Weber Grill) to find out!

American League 4, National League 2

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[Box Score]

The 2016 All Star Game started off with a bang, but ended like most All Star Games do. Low-scoring and tight. The pitching was just a bit ahead of the hitting.

The early announcement was pretty cool – from now on the National League batting champion will be known as the Tony Gwynn Batting Champion. Rod Carew was on hand, because the American League batting title winner will be known as the Rod Carew hitting champion. I’m in favor of this, and a big Tony Gwynn fan.

From there, the moments you’ll remember were Kris Bryant homering off Chris Sale to put the National League up 1-0. Guys were really lining shots all over the place. Bryce Harper mixed in a double. Mike Trout of course got a hit. Xander Bogaerts doubled.

But the Royals would have the say in the outcome of this game. Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez homered in the 2nd inning, and it would be all the difference.

The game ended on a double play. It was a beautiful night in San Diego and a nice little All Star Game.

Now we begin the two night lull before the sad beginning of the second half.

So Tonight is Another Baseball All Star Game

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For me, my favorite All Star Games will always be 1992 in San Diego (the first one I watched closely when Ken Griffey Jr. won the MVP) and 1994 in Philadelphia when Tony Gwynn slid in heroically and scored the winning run.

I was 10 and 12 respectively in those years. And that’s the age when the All-Star Game is a really neat event. Now, it’s just something to do at night in between workdays. Yeah, it’s cool to see some of the power on power match-up’s you’ll never see again; but when I was a kid pal’ing around with all the other neighborhood kids, this game was the gem of our entire summer. It was practically a holiday.

The game has more remarkable talent, and more remarkable young talent then I ever remember. It should be showcased. But tonight’s game will likely be a 4-2 or 3-1 type sleeper with just a small vacuum of big moments. Teams aren’t going to light up either of these pens or collection of arms for a 14-12 donnybrook, which would really get me excited here in my middle age.

But it’s my favorite sport, and it’s the Midsummer Classic damnit! And I’m allowed to be excited for it.

And I really do remember this like it was yesterday, laying on the old yellow carpet that is long since removed at my parents. I couldn’t believe my eyes! The Kid did it!

Like a great shot in 18 holes of golf, that was what kept me coming back to the All Star Game. I was hooked.