Minor League Rosters: Notes and Observations

So, after an irrationally-edge-of-our-seats-wait (I mean, this literally happens EVERY year) the Blue Jays’ various affiliates dropped their “tentative” Opening Day rosters on Monday and, as you might expect, not a few of us will find it necessary to weigh in. Myself of course included.

The Jays, helpfully, published a nice set of graphics with all the rosters for our perusal and commentary. Let’s start at the top:

It’s also been noted by the beat guys that the early rotation goes Pearson, Allgeyer, Manoah, Zuech, Waguespack. Which, as you can see, Zuech isn’t on the graphic but it was reported days ago that he’ll be assigned to this team. The other thing that jumped out at me was that Joey Murray was initially listed as a member of the bullpen. When questioned about this Manager Casey Candele spoke of the need to stretch him out. He used the terminology of “he will be joining us in a week or two” which implies things we can’t know about but my entirely ill-informed guess is that maybe he was riding the taxi squad (the Jays have been unhelpful about letting us know who made up that group) …

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Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Which prospect outside of the Top 5 should the Raptors target?

Toronto Raptors: Which prospect outside of the Top 5 should the Raptors target?

The Toronto Raptors are on the verge of regressing back to the mean, as a tough stretch of games and the rise of the Washington Wizards means that they will likely be picking in the Top 10 by the time the 2021 NBA Draft rolls around. This means they will, unfortunately, miss out on the […]
Toronto Raptors: Which prospect outside of the Top 5 should the Raptors target? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Leafs by the numbers: Joe Thornton

Joe Thornton is coming home. I mean, he was already in the grander scheme of things, but today I mean it quite literally.

Joe Thornton is travelling to Toronto today ahead of the anticipated return of the NHL. He had 11 points in 12 games in his stint at HC Davos. https://t.co/DyxDSZBz5G
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) December 14, 2020

Joe Thornton in a Leafs uniform is damned exciting, even if it is happening a decade later than the ideal time frame for it, we’ll take it. The man is a treasure, and that’s what made it a bit of a challenge to come up with a number for him. Do we go with 700,000, and the bargain deal he took to play here? Do we go with 97, as Jumbo Joe makes his case for being the greatest player to ever wear that number? Do we go with 4, for goal total we want to see him put up in a single game? Do we go with 1, because we probably won’t get many seasons more than that out of him.
Instead, we’ll go with 3.5 as Thornton’s number as we try to figure out if Joe is going to be …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Scott’s Thoughts: It’s probably better if the Leafs get swept by Columbus

Is this a hot take? I mean, it might have been a lot hotter of a take in previous years, but I think a Leafs fan saying they want the Leafs to lose when it doesn’t involve tanking is still kind of a hot take.
I feel like this will be a lot less of a hot take once you hear my reasoning, but yeah, when the Leafs go into the first round of this weird playoff set-up against the Columbus Blue Jackets, I want them to get swept. Here’s why.
You know there will be an asterisk
I’m just going to get this one out of the way because it’s probably the reason you all think I’m saying this, even though it isn’t really that high on my actual list of why. But, it’s probably true.
Now, I definitely don’t think that there should be one. This is one of the weirdest seasons we’ve had in a while, and there’s the potential that a team could have to win five playoff rounds to win the Cup this year. If …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Rachel Doerrie’s 5 Thoughts vs Arizona: A New Lease on Life

I mean, Tyson Barrie said it best.
The guys skating around in Leafs sweaters on Thursday night sure looked different than the guys skating around on Saturday. It was a totally different team, from the tactics, to the body language on the bench, to the post-game scrums.
The Maple Leafs won a game. And they didn’t just win, they DOMINATED. In Sheldon Keefe’s first game behind an NHL bench, Maple Leafs fans got a glimpse of what this team could be under a new coach and, ugh….wow.
1) Obvious Adjustments
Okay, so when you only have a morning skate to impart how you want to play on your team, that’s not a ton of time. I say it is probably 3 weeks before the team gets playing how Keefe wants. However, the adjustments right off the hop were obvious.
The deployment of players was evident, using Barrie and Rielly together in offensive situations and putting Dermott and Barrie out there in others. The Leafs were aggressive at both lines, stepping up to keep plays alive in the OZ with tons of rotation and killing plays at the defensive blue line.
There was a relentless pursuit of the puck …

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Author: Rachel Doerrie / The Leafs Nation

AL Playoff Update 10/09/19 – Odds and MLB Betting Trends

by OddsShark (@OddsShark) – Sponsored Post
Correlation does not mean causation, but bettors who have backed the New York Yankees to take the American League pennant will likely be interested to know the more rested teams usually fares better in the ALCS.
The Houston Astros were in minus money in AL pennant futures at -115 toward the end of the regular season, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, but that is up in the air now that they have been extended to the limit in the ALDS. The Astros will play the wild-card Tampa Bay Rays, who have rallied back after losing the first two games of the best-of-five series, in a do-or-done Game 5 on Thursday. The Yankees await the series winner.
The Yankees swept the Minnesota Twins 3-0 in their ALDS, outscoring the AL Central champions by an aggregate 23-7 and winning each game by at least four runs. The quick knockout gave the Yankees a four-day break before the start of the ALCS.
Since the wild card era began in 1995, 16 teams have advanced through the ALDS in fewer games than the other team which advanced. Eleven of those better-rested teams have gone on to win the pennant and …

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Author: Nation World HQ / Blue Jays Nation

Maple Leafs Pregame #3: Five things to watch for against Les Habitants

The Toronto Maple Leafs are undefeated. I mean, it’s only been two games, but they’re currently on pace to go 82-0. Stats don’t lie!

The Leafs won their season opener at home against Ottawa on Wednesday and then followed it up with a commanding 4-1 win on the road against a fast, gritty Blue Jackets team. You can say it’s two teams that likely aren’t going to make the playoffs, but a win is a win.
The Leafs struggled mightily with Ottawa for whatever reason last year, so exorcising that demon early in the season is a plus. Even though Columbus lost a good chunk of their notable players over the off-season, they still aren’t a team that’s ever going to just roll over and give you an easy win.
Anyways, the Leafs will look to extend their record to 3-0 tonight when le Club de hockey Canadien comes to town.
Montreal has played just one game this season and it resulted in a shootout loss to the Hurricanes in Carolina. After going down 2-0, the Habs stormed back with three goals in a row of their own, but the Canes tied the …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

Game 5 Analysis: The Raptors hit 3s and could always count on Kawhi

The Raptors are regressing to the mean with their three-point shooting (good), and they still employ Kawhi Leonard (very good). Together, it was enough to beat the Bucks in Game 5. In each round thus far, the Raptors have reached a point where it appeared they had taken control of the series for good by finding things that worked in terms of rotation and matchup decisions.
In the first round, the Raptors had completely solved the Magic in Game 4. There was nothing the Magic could do at that point if the Raptors kept doing what they were doing — namely, they finally got their bench players rolling and that shut the only weakness they’d shown to that point.
In the second round, in Game 5 they finally hard matched Marc Gasol to Joel Embiid, and dominated the 76ers. The series should have been over then, but the Raptors abandoned that strategy in Game 6 and it bit them, hard. They course corrected in time to take Game 7 on some Kawhi heroics, much needed as the bench and other shooters were still not clicking against the 76ers length.
Against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals, we’ve reached that point again.

Kawhi …

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Author: Daniel Hackett / Raptors HQ