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Cleveland Indians State Of The Union For 2017: The Tribe Better Not Trade Andrew Miller!

The Cleveland has ridden great drafting, trades and salaried contracts to put themselves into contention for the AL Pennant over the next couple of years. The last thing they need to do is try and deal the one Bullpen who helped pushed them over the top in the Junior Circuit in 2016. At worst start the season with Andrew Miller - and if things go horribly, you can always trade him midway through the year with other guys as well.

The Cleveland has ridden great drafting, trades and salaried contracts to put themselves into contention for the AL Pennant over the next couple of years. The last thing they need to do is try to deal the one Bullpen member who helped pushed them over the top in the Junior Circuit in 2016. At worst, start the season with Andrew Miller – and if things go horribly, you can always trade him midway through the year with ome other guys as well.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

The 2016 season showed us just how valuable that a Relief Pitcher like Andrew Miller can be.  Loaded with an arsenal of great Bullpen guys, Terry Francona flipped the coaching book on its keester by bringing back the old way that Relievers used to be implemented late in the games.  I was a kid who would watch Goose Gossage mow down hitters as a hired gun late in contests.

We all saw it before our very own eyes.  Now comes the most ridiculous notion ever of considering trading him?  Really Cleveland??  You better not even fathom this until at least midway through the 2017 campaign.

I understand it is tough for a mid market club doling out $9M a year for a guy who might log 70 Innings – and not save the games he is in, but they just need to look at how good they fared in 2016.

The Tribe was without its best player all year in Michael Brantley, and also without Danny Salazar/Carlos Carrasco for the majority of the playoffs too.  There is no way this club should have gone this far, and pushed the Cubs to the brink of elimination in the Fall Classic, before the reigning champs came back to ruin the party in Cleveland.

If I were in Chris Antonetti’s shoes I don’t start any dialogue about 2017’s roster without Andrew Miller on the opening day squad.

$9 Million is not earth shattering cash when you consider Andrew Cashner - and his bloated ERA of 5.25 just backed up his dome into Texas and settled for a cool $10 MIL for the 2017 season. If Cleveland can't afford the guy they might as well pack up town in the middle of the night and head elsewhere (something that has happened in Cleveland before.)

$9 Million is not earth shattering cash when you consider Andrew Cashner – and his bloated ERA of 5.25 just backed up his dome into Texas and settled for a cool $10 MIL for the 2017 season. If Cleveland can’t afford the guy they might as well pack up town in the middle of the night and head elsewhere (something that has happened in Cleveland before.)  The 6 FT 7 – 31 Year old-fashioned a 10 – 1 record this year. with an incredible 123 Ks and just 9 BB in his 74.1 IP worth of work.  Miller then fanned 30 batters, walked just five, while sporting a 1.40 ERA in 20.1 IP in the postseason, winning the ALCS MVP honors and nearly helped lead his team to Cleveland’s first WS win since 1948.  If the goal is to win in the playoffs you can’t trade this guy right now.  He is money there, and you have a chance to go back to October baseball again in 2017.

This 2016 AL Pennant squad should be conceivably better with a healthy Michael Brantley coming back, equaled with more seasoning from Tyler Naquin, and topped off with the emergence of Francisco Lindor/Jason Kipnis as an awesome double play combination.

it may be hard to fill the 34 HRs and 101 RBI that Mike Napoli brought forth, but one could still find a few cheap replacements to pull in some nice numbers. They could employ another DH full time like Pedro Alvarez on the cheap, and work in some against LHP – by bringing back Rajai Davis who crushes southpaws.  Davis could act as a 4th OF in the midst of Naquin, Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall.

The Indians still also have Brandou Guyer – who can handle a stick against LHP as well  – and act as a DH/OF.

Cleveland is currently slated to pay around $105 MIL to all of its current guys.  Maybe there is only a few million in the coffers to play in Free Agency this offseason, yet this teams strength is its Bullpen – so don’t trade from that position of strength.

Terry Francona should be given all ample bodies to begin the campaign.  If it all goes awry during the season you can always trade some players midway through the year if it looks like it will not be their year.

Furthermore, I would ride the beginning of the year just like they ended the playoffs.  I would not change anything at all out of the gate.  I would start the year off by playing with a huge sense of urgency.

The way the rest of the AL  Central is looking, with the Tigers and white Sox talking a bot cutting payroll and maybe going for a rebuild, combined with KC potentially selling on their pending Free Agents in the next couple of years like Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Wade Davis, then you could see how a quick Cleveland start could discourage the rest of the pack.

The Dodgers just set a record for innings logged into the playoffs and it served them well.  The good news is the Indians can rely on their starters to provide some much needed rest for their late inning arms, by logging some of their own innings.

Go into frontrunner mode and let Francona figure out a way to get the likes of Miller, Allen and Shaw enough rest – so they can patchwork it through the end of the season.

Winning a bunch of games early, added with an awesome 2016 season – should see the Indians organization see a rise in attendance through the wickets to start the year.  An early lead would only help the situation out.  Cleveland should go all out to win in 2017.  Go the way of the 2014 Royals turning a World Series loss into a repeat trip the next year.

Cleveland will need Miller’s skill set when it comes time for the playoffs too.  This guy just seems to get better the more work he gets.  Keep riding the horse.

The franchise is so lucky that they have Lindor in Pre-Arbitration status – and that despite missing almost all of the 2016 season – that Michael Brantley is criminally underpaid for his services on the board. 

Kipnis, Kluber and Carrasco were also extended contracts at the exact perfect time. Having all these guys not cost a boatload is the reason you could have afforded Miller in the 1st place

Bryan Shaw and Carlos Santana are the only guys that are free after the 2017 year anyways.  Those guys while vital to the team this year, can be replaced – whereas a guy like Miller is a game changer in his role.  If they really need to keep the finances in line, they would be better served to dangle these players as trade bait first.

Terry Francona has won 2 Manager of the Year Awards in his 4 seasons in Cleveland. He is also underrated in his Bullpen management. The organization should let him have all of the weapons in the Relief Core. I think he should also run with the style he used in the playoffs to start the year. Worry about resting the guys later in the year if they come flying out of the gates early. This way of thinking could have us return to what Relievers used to be implored for in game use.

Terry Francona has won 2 Manager of the Year Awards in his 4 seasons in Cleveland. He is also underrated in his Bullpen management. The organization should let him have all of the weapons in the Relief Core. I think he should also run with the style he used in the playoffs to start the year. Worry about resting the guys later in the year if they come flying out of the gates early. This way of thinking could have us return to what Relievers used to be implored for in game use.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

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A big thanks goes out to our ‘Chief Writer/Part Owner’ Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s featured post.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – November 4, 2016

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(Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)

Mike Montgomery’s save in Game 7 of the World Series was as unlikely as any in baseball history. Plus some surprising names led who owned October and the World Series.

The off season begins with this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Ben Zobrist, Jon Lester, Rajai Davis and Cody Allen all added to their Who Owns October and Who Owns the World Series totals.

For the up to date standings of Who Owns October and Who Owns the World Series, go to MLB Reports

What is “Who Owns October”? Click HERE for an explanation.

Read the rest of this entry

Josh Donaldson and Jon Lester owned October in 2016

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Getty Images

How about THIS for a strange development?

The final tally for “Who Owns October” had the leader for offensive players being Josh Donaldson, a man who not only did not play in the World Series but his team nearly got swept out of the ALCS!

And yet his great showing in the Postseason, including a .571 average, 1.418 OPS in the Division Series and .956 OPS in the ALCS gave him a WOO score of 3 1/2. Kris Bryant, whose bat heated up in the second half of the World Series, and Francisco Lindor, who was dynamic throughout the World Series, fell 1/2 WOO shy of Donaldson’s showing.

That’s a first.

This also looked like a lock for Corey Kluber and his domination of the Red Sox, Blue Jays and Cubs through Game 4 of the World Series. But alas he did not pitch well in Game 7 and Lester’s strong showing out of the bullpen locked it up.

So I guess the glory was spread out well throughout October, but two teammates from the 2014 Oakland Athletics clinched it.

Final WOO Totals MLB 2016

Hitters ‘WOO’ MLB 2016,

Josh Donaldson – Blue Jays 3 1/2, Kris Bryant – Cubs 3,  Francisco Lindor – Indians 3, Adrian Gonzalez – Dodgers 2 1/2,  Jason Kipnis – Indians 2 1/2, Ben Zobrist – Cubs 2 1/2, Coco Crisp – Indians 2,    Daniel Murphy – Nationals 2, Addison Russell – Cubs 2, Justin Turner – Dodgers 2,  Javier Baez – Cubs 1 1/2, Rajai Davis – Indians 1 1/2,  Edwin Encarnacion – Blue Jays 1 1/2, Dexter Fowler – Cubs 1 1/2, Conor Gillaspie – Giants 1 1/2, Mike Napoli – Indians 1 1/2,  Roberto Perez – Indians 1 1/2, Mookie Betts – Red Sox 1, Brandon Guyer – Indians 1, Yasmani Grandal – Dodgers 1, Shawn Kelley – Nationals 1,  Miguel Montero – Cubs 1, Joe Panik – Giants 1, Joc Pederson – Dodgers 1, Anthony Rizzo – Cubs 1, Kyle Schwarber – Cubs 1, Troy Tulowitzki – Blue Jays 1, Jayson Werth – Nationals 1, Elvis Andrus – Rangers 1/2, Jose Bautista – Blue Jays 1/2,  Andrew Benintendi  – Red Sox 1/2, Gregor Blanco – Giants 1/2, Ian Desmond – Rangers 1/2, Curtis Granderson – Mets 1/2, Rougned Odor – Rangers 1/2, Buster Posey – Giants 1/2, Carlos Ruiz – Dodgers 1/2, Michael Saunders – Blue Jays 1/2, Corey Seager – Dodgers 1/2, Jorge Soler – Cubs 1/2, Mark Trumbo – Orioles 1/2,

Pitchers ‘WOO’ MLB 2016,

Jon Lester – Cubs 5,  Corey Kluber – Indians 4,  Andrew Miller – Indians 3,  Jake Arrieta – Cubs 2 1/2,   Kenley Jansen – Dodgers 2 1/2, Kyle Hendricks – Cubs 2,  Clayton Kershaw – Dodgers 2,   Roberto Osuna – Blue Jays 2, Josh Tomlin – Indians 2, Marco Estrada – Blue Jays 1 1/2, Madison Bumgarner – Giants 1, Aroldis Chapman – Cubs 1, Rich Hill – Dodgers 1, Derek Law – Giants 1,  Mark Melancon– Nationals 1, Ryan Merritt – Indians 1, Mike Montgomery – Cubs 1, Aaron Sanchez – Blue Jays 1, Marcus Stroman – Blue Jays 1, Travis Wood – Cubs 1, Cody Allen – Indians 1/2,  Johnny Cueto – Giants 1/2, Matt Moore – Giants 1/2, Darren O’Day – Orioles 1/2, Max Scherzer – Nationals 1/2, Bryan Shaw – Indians 1/2, Noah Syndergaard – Mets 1/2,

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – October 19, 2016

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The Indians won the pennant! And I talked about being a Cleveland fan in these happy times with super fan and comedian, Bill Sindelar.

We partied like it was 1948 on this episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Follow Bill on Twitter by clicking HERE.

For the up to date standings of Who Owns October,Go to MLB Reports

What is “Who Owns October”? Click HERE for an explanation.

Read the rest of this entry

Who Owns October in MLB Playoffs 2016 (#WOO) Tallies Updated for October 18, 2016

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Nuccio DiNuzzo – Chicago Tribune

The Indians could not clinch but are still in control. Meanwhile the Cubs suddenly find their dream season on the brink.

Time to see who owned October.

Each winning team for every post season game gets a pitcher and a hitter who earn a full WOO (Who Owns October.)

And at my discretion, I award a 1/2 WOO’S to a worthy player on the losing team.

At the end of the post season, we will see who had the highest WOO total as a pitcher and a hitter.

A complete description of the rules can be found HERE.

From October 18th.
ALCS Game 4 and NLCS Game 3:

Receiving 1 WOO’s 

Josh Donaldson homered to put Toronto on top and played great defense to help the Blue Jays stay alive over the Indians, 5-1.

Yasmani Grandal hit a 2 run homer and drove in another to lead the Dodgers past the Cubs, 6-0.

Rich Hill shutout the Cubs over 6 strong innings, allowing 2 hits and striking out 6 as the Dodgers took control of the series, 6-0.

Aaron Sanchez kept the Blue Jays from getting swept by Cleveland by throwing 6 innings, allowing 2 hits and 1 run, earning the 5-1 decision.

Receiving 1/2 WOO’s 

Kris Bryant went 2 for 4 but could not be driven in by his teammates as the Cubs fell to LA, 6-0.

Roberto Perez doubled home the Indians only run in their 5-1 loss in Toronto.

Current ‘WOO’ Totals MLB 2016:

Hitters ‘WOO’ MLB 2016,

Josh Donaldson – Blue Jays 3 1/2, Adrian Gonzalez – Dodgers 2 1/2, Francisco Lindor – Indians 2, Daniel Murphy – Nationals 2, Javier Baez – Cubs 1 1/2, Edwin Encarnacion – Blue Jays 1 1/2, Conor Gillaspie – Giants 1 1/2, Justin Turner – Dodgers 1 1/2, Mookie Betts – Red Sox 1, Kris Bryant – Cubs 1,  Coco Crisp – Indians 1,  Dexter Fowler – Cubs 1, Brandon Guyer – Indians 1, Yasmani Grandal – Dodgers 1, Shawn Kelley – Nationals 1,  Jason Kipnis – Indians 1, Miguel Montero – Cubs 1, Mike Napoli – Indians 1, Joe Panik – Giants 1, Joc Pederson – Dodgers 1, Troy Tulowitzki – Blue Jays 1, Jayson Werth – Nationals 1, Ben Zobrist – Cubs 1,  Elvis Andrus – Rangers 1/2,  Andrew Benintendi  – Red Sox 1/2, Gregor Blanco – Giants 1/2, Ian Desmond – Rangers 1/2, Curtis Granderson – Mets 1/2, Rougned Odor – Rangers 1/2, Roberto Perez – Indians 1/2, Buster Posey – Giants 1/2, Carlos Ruiz – Dodgers 1/2, Michael Saunders – Blue Jays 1/2, Mark Trumbo – Orioles 1/2,

Pitchers ‘WOO’ MLB 2016,

Kenley Jansen – Dodgers 2, Clayton Kershaw – Dodgers 2, Corey Kluber – Indians 2, Jon Lester – Cubs 2Andrew Miller – Indians 2,   Roberto Osuna – Blue Jays 2, Josh Tomlin – Indians 2, Marco Estrada – Blue Jays 1 1/2,  Madison Bumgarner – Giants 1, Aroldis Chapman – Cubs 1, Rich Hill – Dodgers 1, Derek Law – Giants 1,  Mark Melancon– Nationals 1, Aaron Sanchez – Blue Jays 1, Marcus Stroman – Blue Jays 1, Travis Wood – Cubs 1, Jake Arrieta – Cubs 1/2,  Johnny Cueto – Giants 1/2, Kyle Hendricks – Cubs 1/2, Matt Moore – Giants 1/2, Darren O’Day – Orioles 1/2, Max Scherzer – Nationals 1/2, Noah Syndergaard – Mets 1/2,

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – October 18, 2016

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Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The Indians may not have clinched the pennant today but they are in the middle of doing something really special.

Andrew Miller is having an all time post season.

It is a good feeling in Ohio episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

For the up to date standings of Who Owns October,Go to MLB Reports

What is “Who Owns October”? Click HERE for an explanation.

Read the rest of this entry

Who Owns October in MLB Playoffs 2016 (#WOO) Tallies Updated for October 17, 2016

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AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

So many relievers to pick from… but one name towers over the rest. Meanwhile a former Boston Strong slugger has brought Cleveland to the brink of the World Series.

Time to see who owned October.

Each winning team for every post season game gets a pitcher and a hitter who earn a full WOO (Who Owns October.)

And at my discretion, I award a 1/2 WOO’S to a worthy player on the losing team.

At the end of the post season, we will see who had the highest WOO total as a pitcher and a hitter.

A complete description of the rules can be found HERE.

From October 17th.
ALCS Game 3:

Receiving 1 WOO’s 

Andrew Miller highlighted a brilliant performance by the Cleveland bullpen, who combined for 8 1/3 innings. Miller earned the save by recording the final 4 Toronto outs, 3 by strikeouts, giving him 20 K’s in 9 post season innings, as the Indians won, 4-2.

Mike Napoli homered and later scored a key insurance run to help Cleveland beat Toronto, 4-2.

Receiving 1/2 WOO’s 

Michael Saunders launched a game tying homer in the second inning. The Blue Jays would end up dropping the game to Cleveland 4-2.

Current ‘WOO’ Totals MLB 2016:

Hitters ‘WOO’ MLB 2016,

Josh Donaldson – Blue Jays 2 1/2, Adrian Gonzalez – Dodgers 2 1/2, Francisco Lindor – Indians 2, Daniel Murphy – Nationals 2, Javier Baez – Cubs 1 1/2,  Edwin Encarnacion – Blue Jays 1 1/2, Conor Gillaspie – Giants 1 1/2, Justin Turner – Dodgers 1 1/2, Mookie Betts – Red Sox 1,  Coco Crisp – Indians 1,  Dexter Fowler – Cubs 1, Brandon Guyer – Indians 1, Shawn Kelley – Nationals 1,  Jason Kipnis – Indians 1, Miguel Montero – Cubs 1, Mike Napoli – Indians 1, Joe Panik – Giants 1, Joc Pederson – Dodgers 1, Troy Tulowitzki – Blue Jays 1, Jayson Werth – Nationals 1, Ben Zobrist – Cubs 1,  Elvis Andrus – Rangers 1/2,  Andrew Benintendi  – Red Sox 1/2, Gregor Blanco – Giants 1/2, Kris Bryant – Cubs 1/2,  Ian Desmond – Rangers 1/2, Curtis Granderson – Mets 1/2, Rougned Odor – Rangers 1/2, Buster Posey – Giants 1/2, Carlos Ruiz – Dodgers 1/2, Michael Saunders – Blue Jays 1/2, Mark Trumbo – Orioles 1/2,

Pitchers ‘WOO’ MLB 2016,

Kenley Jansen – Dodgers 2, Clayton Kershaw – Dodgers 2, Corey Kluber – Indians 2, Jon Lester – Cubs 2Andrew Miller – Indians 2,   Roberto Osuna – Blue Jays 2, Josh Tomlin – Indians 2, Marco Estrada – Blue Jays 1 1/2,  Madison Bumgarner – Giants 1, Aroldis Chapman – Cubs 1,, Derek Law – Giants 1,  Mark Melancon– Nationals 1, Marcus Stroman – Blue Jays 1, Travis Wood – Cubs 1, Jake Arrieta – Cubs 1/2,  Johnny Cueto – Giants 1/2, Kyle Hendricks – Cubs 1/2, Matt Moore – Giants 1/2, Darren O’Day – Orioles 1/2, Max Scherzer – Nationals 1/2, Noah Syndergaard – Mets 1/2,

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – October 16, 2016

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RON VESELY/MLB PHOTOS

It is Sunday and time for The Sunday Request

While it is fun to see Chapman fall on his face again, the Cubs win bring us closer to that highlight I do NOT want to see.

It is a revived Billy Goat episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

For the up to date standings of Who Owns October, Click MLB Reports

What is “Who Owns October”? Click HERE for an explanation.

Read the rest of this entry

Who Owns October in MLB Playoffs 2016 (#WOO) Tallies Updated for October 15, 2016

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RON VESELY/MLB PHOTOS

Ho hum… another day and another pair of heart stopping playoff games.

Time to see who owned October.

Each winning team for every post season game gets a pitcher and a hitter who earn a full WOO (Who Owns October.)

And at my discretion, I award a 1/2 WOO’S to a worthy player on the losing team.

At the end of the post season, we will see who had the highest WOO total as a pitcher and a hitter.

A complete description of the rules can be found HERE.

From October 15th.
ALCS Game 2 and NLCS Game 1:

Receiving 1 WOO’s 

Jon Lester allowed 4 hits and 1 run, on a solo homer, over 6 innings. He was pulled, probably too early, and did not get a decision but helped set up the Cubs’ 8-4 win over the Dodgers.

Francisco Lindor collected a pair of hits and drove in the run that put Cleveland up for good, 2-1 over the Blue Jays.

Miguel Montero launched a 2 out, 2 strike bottom of the 8th game tying pinch hit grand slam to give the Cubs a dramatic 8-4 Game 1 victory over Los Angeles.

Josh Tomlin allowed only 3 hits and 1 run over 5 2/3 innings, striking out 6 and giving the Indians a victory in his emergency start over Toronto, 2-1.

 

Receiving 1/2 WOO’s 

Josh Donaldson doubled home the first and so far only Toronto run of the series as the Blue Jays fell to Cleveland, 2-1.
Adrian Gonzalez got a pair of hits including a game tying 2 run single in the 8th. The Dodgers bullpen would melt down in the bottom of the 8th and the Cubs would take the game, 8-4.

Current ‘WOO’ Totals MLB 2016:

Hitters ‘WOO’ MLB 2016,

Josh Donaldson – Blue Jays 2 1/2, Francisco Lindor – Indians 2, Daniel Murphy – Nationals 2, Edwin Encarnacion – Blue Jays 1 1/2, Conor Gillaspie – Giants 1 1/2, Adrian Gonzalez – Dodgers 1 1/2,  Justin Turner – Dodgers 1 1/2, Javier Baez – Cubs 1, Mookie Betts – Red Sox 1,  Coco Crisp – Indians 1,  Dexter Fowler – Cubs 1, Brandon Guyer – Indians 1, Shawn Kelley – Nationals 1,  Jason Kipnis – Indians 1, Miguel Montero – Cubs 1, Joe Panik – Giants 1, Joc Pederson – Dodgers 1, Troy Tulowitzki – Blue Jays 1, Jayson Werth – Nationals 1, Ben Zobrist – Cubs 1,  Elvis Andrus – Rangers 1/2,  Andrew Benintendi  – Red Sox 1/2, Gregor Blanco – Giants 1/2, Kris Bryant – Cubs 1/2,  Ian Desmond – Rangers 1/2, Curtis Granderson – Mets 1/2, Rougned Odor – Rangers 1/2, Buster Posey – Giants 1/2, Carlos Ruiz – Dodgers 1/2, Mark Trumbo – Orioles 1/2,

Pitchers ‘WOO’ MLB 2016,

Kenley Jansen – Dodgers 2, Corey Kluber – Indians 2, Jon Lester – Cubs 2,  Roberto Osuna – Blue Jays 2, Josh Tomlin – Indians 2, Marco Estrada – Blue Jays 1 1/2,  Madison Bumgarner – Giants 1, Aroldis Chapman – Cubs 1,  Clayton Kershaw – Dodgers 1, Derek Law – Giants 1,  Mark Melancon– Nationals 1, Andrew Miller – Indians 1,  Marcus Stroman – Blue Jays 1, Travis Wood – Cubs 1, Jake Arrieta – Cubs 1/2,  Johnny Cueto – Giants 1/2, Matt Moore – Giants 1/2, Darren O’Day – Orioles 1/2, Max Scherzer – Nationals 1/2, Noah Syndergaard – Mets 1/2,

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