MLBits: Red Sox Slumping, Castellanos Feeling the Heat, Austin Riley is on Fire, Judge Keeps Mashing, More
With just over a week until the MLB trade deadline, it’s time for teams to start to decide whether they’ll be buying or selling, and their performance this month will have a heavy impact on such. So, the Boston Red Sox have picked the wrong time to fall into a terrible slump, clouding their vision at the deadline next week.
July Has Not Been Kind to the Red Sox
After having one of the better months in baseball in June, the Red Sox are having a July to forget. It’s been quite the roller coaster ride for Boston this season. Slow start, better May, promising June, and now a dreadful July that has sucked all of the momentum out of Bean Town.
You’ve undoubtedly seen the ridiculous inside-the-park grand slam from this weekend by now, and of course, you know that the Red Sox gave up a whopping 28 runs to the Blue Jays in that contest, but this sequence from Sunday’s loss to Toronto is just as bad as any we’ve seen from the Red Sox of late.
Boston is 5-15 in July and has fallen back to .500 at 48-48, with about a week remaining before the MLB trade deadline. The Red Sox are 17.5 games behind the Yankees in the AL East and have Toronto and Tampa Bay ahead of them in the standings. Still, despite their tumultuous July, Boston is just three games behind the Mariners for the third and final Wild Card spot in the American League, begging the question, have the Red Sox done enough good this season to be buyers at the deadline?
Bookies.com has put together a buyers and sellers odds sheet for the upcoming trade deadline, and the Red Sox are -130 to be buyers at the deadline and +150 to be sellers. So, oddsmaker Adam Thompson believes the Red Sox will be favorites to buy at the deadline, I’m not convinced the Red Sox can do enough to make noise this postseason, even if they come out of the rut they’re currently in.
Bet MGM and MLB.com have the Red Sox as the 11th best odds to win the World Series at +4000.
Nick Castellanos Feeling the Heat in Philly
After Sunday night’s loss to the Cubs (and a series sweep), Nick Castellanos had a heated exchange with a reporter after being asked if he “heard the boos” from the Phillies crowd. Castellanos was peeved, and I get it. The question probably could have been prashed better, but regardless, Castellanos is struggling mightily this season, and the frustration of Phillies fans and Castellanos is apparent.
Castellanos is slashing .245/.290/.365 with an 82 wRC+ for the Phillies this season, and his eight home runs on the season are just one more than he hit in April for the Reds last season.
Here’s what Castellanos results in his first season in Philadelphia have brought about:
It’s no secret that Philadelphia is a notoriously tough market to play in, and Castellanos is not the first player to feel the boos and react defensively this season. Alec Bohm was caught on camera saying that he hated “this place” in response to boos from the Philadelphia crowd earlier this season.
The Phillies are 3-7 in their last 10 games and 49-46 on the season, trailing the Mets by 9.5 games in the NL East, so the fans are on edge, the players are on edge, and the reactions all around seem pretty par for the course. As always, winning cures (almost) everything, so three-game series with the Braves at home starting tonight is a perfect opportunity for Castellanos and the Phils to quiet the boos. If they can succeed against the Braves, they’ll have a four-game series with Pittsburgh to close the month, so the next week could be just what the doctor ordered if they can take care of business against Atlanta.
Odds and Ends …
- This is a WILD stat! When the Angels were looking good early, I wrote that the starting pitching would be their eventual downfall, and it’s been on full display the past two months. Not that I was breaking any news there, we all knew that the rotation stunk and wasn’t going to allow them to have any success.
- Austin Riley has been a man on a mission for the Atlanta Braves in July. He’s pacing the league in pretty much every statistical category. Riley is up to 28 home runs on the season (tied for third in baseball with Yordan Alvarez) and has already amassed 4.0 fWAR.
- Oneil Cruz destroyed a baseball on Sunday! Cruz is hitting .208 on the season and has certainly cooled off since his sizzling first week of the season. Still, his tools keep him in the highlight reels with his home runs, speed, and rocket throws across the diamond.
- We should all let Daniel Vogelbach represent us in the ‘big guys who can run’ category because there’s no chance I’m moving this fast these days unless something is chasing me.
- David Ortiz joined some pretty elite company this weekend:
- Aaron Judge crushed home run No. 37 on Sunday in Baltimore. Judge’s race for Maris’ 61 is alive and well.
- Warriors guard Klay Thompson was pumped for his brother Trayce’s double this weekend. Trayce has a 115 wRC+ in 91 plate appearances this season. The Dodgers just make things work all the time.
- We’ll wrap it up today with a fun stat: