How the Antetokounmpo to Toronto Raptors rumors make sense for both parties

The Giannis to Toronto Raptors rumors are popping up again and now more than ever, it seems like they need each other. How many times have we heard that the Toronto Raptors are a top landing spot for Giannis Antetokounmpo once he becomes a free agent? Far too many times to count. This time it […]
How the Antetokounmpo to Toronto Raptors rumors make sense for both parties – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Hyun Jin Ryu helps save the Blue Jays from themselves

Yet again, Hyun Jin Ryu showed why the Blue Jays invested $80 million in him last winter. With his team struggling behind him (at the plate, on the bases, in the field), Ryu stepped up and pitched like the ace they needed.

Things worth mentioning… 

This game really looked like it had Loss written all over it early on. In the first inning, the newly-acquired Jonathan Villar inexplicably tried to stretch a single into a double and got thrown out by about 100 miles. In the fourth inning, Villar singled yet again and then Teoscar Hernandez hit a single of his own to put runners on first and third. With Rowdy Tellez at the plate, it looked like a prime chance for the Jays to bust the game open. But, instead, the inning came to an end when Villar got caught napping on the bases…

How does @Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro nab Jonathan Villar here
:FOX Sports Florida: #MLB
— FOX Sports Florida & Sun (@FOXSportsFL) September 2, 2020

This was a zoned-out, mistake-prone energy we’ve seen from the Blue Jays before, and it extended to …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Ross Stripling, A Fitting Blue Jay

It’s been mentioned time and time again that the Blue Jays have a “type” when targeting and acquiring starting pitching.
They have been targeting pitchers with lower velocity who have a large pitch mix. Their acquisition of Robbie Ray didn’t quite fit that, but their second pitching add of trade deadline day sure does.
Ross Stripling relies on four different pitches, fastball (44.6%), curve (28.8%), change-up (16.2%) and slider (9.8%). He doesn’t throw with much velocity, his four-seamer averages 91.8 mph, the 33rd slowest among 157 right handed pitchers who have thrown at least 250 pitches this season, per Baseball Savant. He also brings versatility, having thrown 290.2 innings as a starter and 130.0 out of the bullpen in his career. It should be noted that he has been just a starter this season. The results have not been there. His 7.23 FIP is tied with Ray for the worst in baseball, among pitchers who have thrown at least 30 innings.
Prior to this season, Stripling was really good. From 2016-19 over 387.0 innings Stripling had a 3.51 ERA, a 3.60 FIP and 3.49 xFIP. He was one of the best arms in baseball and someone many people wanted to see traded away from the Dodgers so …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Assessing the Leafs Playoff History: 3 Charts

Steely Dan’s 1972 single “Do It Again” details a man who is constantly screwing things up – first with violence, then with women, and finally with money. The chorus belts “You go back, Jack, do it again” – pointing to the surety of more destruction that lay in Jack’s path. It is a proper metaphor for the Leafs playoff performance to date, perhaps with different vices. When it comes down to it, the Leafs have played four close series in which they have failed to secure the big goals necessary for a clinching win. This post will highlight this history at a high level, while avoiding any definite conclusions about the skill and character of the team, which I’ll leave to other writers.
Displayed below is the entire Leafs playoffs history of the new-era Leafs (2016-17 and on) – showcasing the Corsi and Expected Goals percentages metrics for each game. Overall, their matchups have been pretty close – the charts on the left illustrate their shot metrics as a percentage and show most games being pretty close to a 50/50 split. The charts on the right show the actual differentials – how …

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Author: mackinawstats / The Leafs Nation

Separating emotion from reality in another lost season for the Leafs

Well, here we are again. Lamenting another disappointing finish to a Leafs season in which they failed to live up to the lofty expectations bestowed upon them.

The repeated failures are enough to wear on anybody that cares about this franchise, whether it be the die hard fan base or the people within the organization. Hockey is an emotional game for all parties involved and it’s only natural to have emotional reactions to what happens on the ice in any given moment.
All the reasons we love this sport and love this team are the same reasons it can hurt so much when things don’t go our way, and reacting to those ups and downs is what being a sports fan is all about. But it can’t be that way for the people entrusted with running the organization, namely Kyle Dubas.

If you’ve been scrolling through social media at all since the Leafs season came to an end, you’ve seen fans offer up just about every member of the current roster as some sort of sacrificial lamb in their fantasy trade proposals. An argument can be made for moving almost …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Why playing the eight Regular Season games Hurt the Toronto Raptors the most

We will finally get to see Toronto Raptors basketball again, but the Raptors will be facing one of the hardest schedules. The NBA is BACK. Yes, it is in an odder fashion than usual, but nonetheless it’s back. Teams will play 8 regular-season games before resuming to the play-in tournament. This is good news for […]
Why playing the eight Regular Season games Hurt the Toronto Raptors the most – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

Alex Anthopolous discusses the Troy Tulowitzki trade, Jose Reyes being a sunk cost, and intangibles

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — 2015 content doesn’t get old.
Scott MacArthur had Alex Anthopolous on his Morning Drive show on Thursday to re-live the earth-shattering acquisition of Troy Tulowitzki that he made ahead of the 2015 trade deadline. A handful of interesting things come up here, especially around just how poorly the organization viewed Jose Reyes’ ability as a player at the time and how highly AA has come to view intangibles in players.

On Jose Reyes being a sunk cost…
We had gotten to the point where, for us, Reyes had become a sunk cost. It was to the point where we felt it wasn’t going to be an option for us to continue to play him at shortstop. And that was going to be an issue, he was very well-liked in the clubhouse, putting him on the bench was not going to be an option.
We had him through 2017, and I believe off the top of my head, Tulo had a total of five years left, Reyes had a total of two years left. But looking at Reyes as a sunk cost, we had …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Three Toronto Raptors players who are having career years

The Toronto Raptors have once again been on top form this season, sitting second in the Eastern Conference. Which three players are having career years? As the reigning champions of the NBA, the Toronto Raptors were on course for another strong season. Sitting second in the Eastern Conference with a record of 46-18, the Raptors […]
Three Toronto Raptors players who are having career years – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ

How many games should Andersen start for the rest of the season?

It’s that time of the year again. It’s everyone’s favourite topic. You’ve been waiting for this.
(This is a topic I’ve forced on you twice before here and here, if you want the background)
I can sense your excitement about this, but this time it’s different. This time it’s not the Leafs riding the hot hand of Freddie Andersen in a futile attempt to grab second in the Atlantic away from the Bruins, all the while having a shooter tutor as a backup goaltender. No. This time you can’t wait to get Freddie out of the net. The “All-Star” version of Freddie Andersen is currently sporting a .906 save percentage, a number he has only exceeded in one calendar month (November) and he’s been a sub .900 goaltender in calendar 2020. You are probably very comfortable with splitting the workload especially when you consider Jack Campbell’s very handsome .919 save percentage in his 4 games as a Leaf, which begs the question, “why hasn’t he played since February 15th?
The answer …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

It’s time to resurrect the Blue Jays’ powder blue uniforms

Eventually, every old sports uniform becomes new again. For proof, look how the Toronto Raptors brought back their retro 90s uniform for their upcoming season. Social media exploded with overwhelming positive feedback.
The Blue Jays have a few beloved kits in their 40-plus year club history, but only a few are worthy of being revived from the archives. There are others which should never see the light of day again (the muscle Jay and angry Jay uniforms, please).
Outside the original retro home white/road grey/alternate blue uniforms, it seems like enough time has passed … it’s time for the Blue Jays to revive the powder blue uniforms.
Maybe you’re like me, but I haven’t always had an affinity for this uniform set. There was a time when I thought the powder blues were an eyesore, but I’ve come to realize these uniforms and that era of Blue Jays baseball holds a special place in franchise history.
My fondest memories of these particular uniforms came from watching Roy Halladay carve up competition during those “Flashback Friday” games in 2008 and 2009. Back then, the Jays wore those uniforms so often that it never felt like a special occasion.

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Author: Ian Hunter / Blue Jays Nation