The Atlanta Braves Are Simply Unstoppable

It's Monday meaning there's fresh MLB Power Rankings with just one week left in the season: 

There's a couple of heavily repetitive themes. They are, briefly: 

1. The Braves are historically good

2. Baltimore has earned the 2nd best team designation, much later than Orioles' fans anticipated. They're a vocal bunch.

3. The Blue Jays are finally back in our good graces, which gives them just enough time to be atrocious one last time this season. 

4. The Brewers will kill you so slowly that you won't even realize you're dead. They make almost no mistakes. They have the best 1-2-3-closer group in the league. Everyone's hungry. You should respect them. 

5. The Rays have been sensational since Wander Franco got suspended losing just their 2nd series in the last 6 weeks. I believe nearly everyone anticipated this being a horrible stretch after a big chunk of average. Quite the opposite though. The staff is loaded and the lineup is bizarre. Classic Tampa. 

6. The Dodgers have the 2nd best World Series odds according to Vegas experts, but as Klemmer astutely points out, that's a bigger function of their road to the championship than anything else. Even so - the Phillies (in our opinion) provide a much more difficult October matchup. They probably have the best chance of beating the Braves. 

7. The AL West could and should be great this week. They play each other. The Mariners got swept in Texas this weekend now they're home against the Astros and Rangers for the last 7 games. Meanwhile, the Astros got swept by Kansas City this weekend (PUKE) but have Verlander 2x and Framber in their last 6 games. 

8. Having 3 teams after 1 division title this late in the year is mentally exhausting. 

9. Wild Cards could be 1,000 different combinations I think. Maybe 500 but definitely not less. 

- There's room for three fanbases to be completely gutted on Sunday afternoon. That's a solid amount but I'd prefer more. The Giants, Padres, Yankees and Red Sox all squandered 2nd half chances to be in the mix. 

- The Cubs have BY FAR the hardest schedule remaining with 3 in Atlanta then 3 in Milwaukee. But they're also playing teams that have locked up their playoff spot. So maybe that's actually easier? 


- The Mariners have the most control over their path with 7 division games remaining against the Rangers and Astros

- And that's about the most that I can explain right now. It's been changing every other day for weeks. There's still minimal clarity and I think that's exactly what MLB wants out of it's schedule. 

Heavy stuff out of the way, some 

Joey Votto's Ovation. Cute. 

Orion Kerkering's Debut. Emotional. 

and while we're here, a tough name. Dad must've also lost his emotions on the birth certificate. Kerkering is such a mouthful that you have to go traditional 4-seam fastball first name. Tim. Joe. Bob(by). Orion is simply too flashy.

Miguel Rojas, also flashy:

He's been awful with the bat, a seemingly impossible feat in a Dodgers lineup that makes everyone look good. But steady enough defensively to offset his 66 OPS+. 

There's a bunch of data to reference, but I'd rather just emphasize that despite being a backup SS forced into regular playing time, and despite being so overwhelmingly mediocre in a 10-year utility career. And despite the .665 OPS and so many objectively measured things working against Miguel Rojas… can we just set that aside for a moment to embrace the man's presence? Highlighter shoes. Chains. Forearm tape. Elbow sweat band. Eye black. High socks. Throwing arm sleeve. The visual mixed with the audio is too good. He's too sexy. Don't tell this man he can't hit. He can do anything. 


So can The Kid

What's the deal with famous baseball players turning to photography in their next stage? Must be something about their vision. Or maybe it's just a solid hobby. Like deep sea fishing, or gardening a nice tomato plant. 

Whatever the case, it's not a new revelation by any stretch. More of a reason to just shove some Griffey defensive highlights in your face. 

Closing Times, Cubs Pot Luck Tradition

Nice tradition but I just can't get down with a pot luck. 3rd party tupperware creeps me out and I've got dairy sensitivities. Too many challenges, although I respect the communal effort. 

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