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3 Discussion Items

MLB: Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
MLB: Houston Astros-Championship Parade Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Topic 1 - Would you prefer the All-Time Win record or a World Series Victory?

The obvious answer is both, but let’s say you had to decide between the two.

It was interesting a friend of mine who is a Mariners fan referred to the fact that they had the most dominant season ever in baseball. Obviously W-L is not a true capture of that, but the 116 win Mariners are something of legend. Any time there is a streaking team, they’re brought into the conversation. In some ways, the futility of their failure offsets it, but it’s a pretty neat record to have on the books.

MLB: New York Yankees at San Francisco Giants Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Topic 2 - Would you trade for Madison Bumgarner?

There was a discussion yesterday about Madison Bumgarner. The Giants, clearly not a competitor this year are rumored to be considering trading their Ace.

Bumgarner is a legend in his own right, and is one of the few pitchers in the game today whose resume can try to stack up against Verlander, albeit falling a bit short from a personal perspective but excelling as part of the Giants dynasty. Bumgarner is a 4x All-Star, and finished in the top 10 of the Cy Young award for 4 years straight from 2013-2016. His Career 3.06 ERA is sparkling, and it only gets better when you look at his 2.11 ERA across 102 IP in the play offs. He successfully lead the Giants to three separate World Series Victories, with a 0.25 ERA in the World Series!

On the opposite side, those accolades are a thing of the past. From 2017-Present, Bumgarner’s 3.86 FIP looks far more pedestrian. He’s had 2 seasons which were potentially dragged down by injuries resulting in less than 130 IP for the past 2 years straight. As for those who buy into W-L, his 11-20 record leaves a lot to be desired. The Advanced stats are no kinder to him, all indicating he’s been extremely fortunate in luck. And of course there’s always the element of him not having to face a DH consistently.

Here was Fangraph’s note about him

“Profile: Just a few seasons ago, Bumgarner was one of the elite arms in the game but his skill set is slowly eroding. This worsening can be seen by a two-year decline in his K-BB% (22% to 18% to 12%) with both his strikeouts (10.0 K/9 to 8.6K/9) and walks (2.1 BB/9 to 3.0 BB/9) getting worse. The strikeout decline wasn’t from velocity loss but from his curveball losing some spin, dropping five fewer inches, and seeing it’s swinging strike rate drop from 22% to 12%. Additionally, injuries have set him back by throwing 111 and 129 innings the past two seasons. His one saving grace during this decline has been a low-3’s ERA fueled by a sub-.280 BABIP. While his overall 43% GB% is extreme, the batted ball nature of each his individual pitch is above average. His cutter and four-seam have sub-37% GB% while his curve is at 54% and change at 67%. Owners must hope he can continue the hit suppression or his value’s going to fall fast. (Jeff Zimmerman)

The Quick Opinion: Bumgarner has been showing some signs of decline and he needs to halt this trend to stabilize his fantasy value.”

There of course always is the chance that Strom can work his magic once again, although his profile is not particularly a good fit with where Strom has had success.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies-Fan Event Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Topic 3 - MLB Expansion - Would you do it? If so, How?

There’s been some speculation and I’ve read a few things in regards to the MLB expanding to 32 teams. What are your thoughts on this? If you were Manfred, how would you execute it? Would you do 4 divisions per league with 4 teams each (and eliminate the second wildcard or even keep it)? Where do you think the teams should go? Do you like the idea of opening it to teams outside of the US?