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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 7/19/19

The Athletics on the rise; Ohtani’s elite hitting; prospects that can influence the pennant race

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Minnesota Twins Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Devan Fink: ‘Ole friend Devan profiles the second second-half resurgence in a row for the Athletics, as they have had one of the best pitching staffs since June 1st. Throw in an excellent Ramón Laureano and a usually-great Matt Chapman, this is a team that is now in the thick of the wild card race.

Baseball Prospectus | Aaron Gleeman ($): Shohei Ohtani may be sitting out the season pitching-wise, but he has established himself as a formidable hitter. He is 12th in OPS and 25th in wRC+, so he has firmly put himself in the upper tier of hitters. Even if he doesn’t pitch, and he probably will, he is still an elite player on one side of the ball, at least.

The Ringer | Michael Baumann: While the Rays are falling out of the division race, they will still need Brendan McKay to fight for the wild card and beyond. Even though the Astros have their own division wrapped up, Kyle Tucker could be crucial in a pennant race. While the Padres might not be fully in the race, Luis Urías will help them in 2019 and 2020, 2021, etc. Second-half call-ups have a big effect, and these players should be on your radar.