The AL East has been really tough to winSince 2010, the most and fewest number of wins for the winner of each MLB division, with the average number of wins (per 162 games) required 2008Tampa Bay Rays1096673 2017Cleveland Indians937111 2019Tampa Bay Rays11611715 WAR Rankings by category YearTeamHittingRunningDefenseStartersBullpenOverall These Rays go to 11MLB teams who ranked among the top 11 in every subcategory of wins above replacement — across offense, defense and pitching — since 1995 NL Central1049095.3 1996Texas Rangers1039763 AL Central1028894.2 AL West1058896.6 2016L.A. Dodgers9951146 2002Anaheim Angels9211164 It’s tough to find a more successful baseball club over the past decade-plus than the Tampa Bay Rays, owners of a 1,035-901 record — fifth-best in MLB — ever since their stunning breakout in 2008. The Rays went to the World Series that season and made the playoffs in three of the five years that followed, creating a blueprint for other teams hoping to win on similarly microscopic budgets. Even this year, the Rays sit 10th in our Elo team rankings despite ranking 30th in payroll.But for all of those wins, Tampa Bay has had some lousy luck in actually getting to the playoffs. The Rays have made only three postseason appearances this decade — and none since 2013. Only three teams in the expanded wild-card era (since 2012) have won 90 games but failed to play in the postseason: One of those was the 2013 Texas Rangers; the other two were Rays clubs, in 2012 and 2018. And this year’s team, on pace for 95 wins, has just a 54 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to the FiveThirtyEight model. What do the Rays have to do to get some postseason love around here?Some of Tampa’s troubles simply have to do with playing in the cutthroat American League East, where the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are together currently spending more than twice as much on players as the rest of the division combined. Whether in terms of the average victories necessary to win the division or even just the bare-minimum requirement, those numbers have consistently been higher for the AL East than any other division in baseball this decade: 2001Seattle Mariners111951 AL East1089397.3 DivisionMostFewestAverage NL East1029096.1 NL West1049194.8 Winner’s Wins (per 162 games) 2002Seattle Mariners3410856 Source: Baseball-Reference.com In every division except the AL East and NL West, a 90-win team has had at least had some chance to come out in first place this decade. But in the AL East, no fewer than 93 wins have been required to win the division, and seldom fewer than 91 have been needed to make the playoffs, period.1Two 89-win teams — the 2016 Blue Jays and Orioles — and one 87-win team — the 2015 Yankees — have made the wild card this decade out of the AL East. By my accounting,2Using a logistic regression on team data since 1995, with a dummy variable for the extra wild-card slot MLB added in 2012. being in the AL East makes it 8 percentage points tougher for a 90-win team to make the playoffs than being in another division would make it, 10 percentage points tougher for an 89-win team and 12 percentage points tougher for an 88-win team.That sweet spot around 90 wins happens to be where Tampa tends to often find itself, and it’s tough to make the playoffs from that zone when you’re in the AL East. Last year was a great example: The Rays went 90-72 but were precluded from winning the division (the Red Sox won 108 games) or even finishing in second place (the Yankees won 100 on the number). That left only one solitary playoff spot even up for the Rays to battle for, and it was snapped up by the 97-win Oakland Athletics. Baseball’s seventh-best team by wins above replacement,3Using our JEFFBAGWELL metric to blend WAR from Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. sporting a record that would normally earn a playoff slot 81 percent of the time in the double-wild-card era,4Once again, according to the logistic regression I ran. ended up missing the playoffs by seven whole games.But the Rays have found ways to miss the playoffs even when the Yankee/Red Sox hegemony was partially broken. Back in 2012, New York was good (95 wins) but hardly dominant, and Boston deteriorated completely under the not-so-watchful eye of Bobby Valentine, going 69-93. Meanwhile Tampa Bay had the fourth-most WAR in baseball, led by star seasons from Ben Zobrist (5.7 WAR) and David Price (5.5), plus solid years via players ranging from the expected (James Shields, Evan Longoria) to the out-of-nowhere (Jeff Keppinger??). By WAR, that was one of the most talented teams the Rays have ever produced. But they underperformed relative to the record their underlying stats say they “should” have had — according to BaseRuns, they should have made the playoffs with a 95-67 mark — wasting a red-hot 36-22 finish over the last two months of the season to end up three games shy of Texas and Baltimore for the wild card.The disappointing Red Sox will miss the playoffs this season as well, possibly finishing as many as 10 games behind the rival Rays. Although the Yankees have dominated this season, tracking for 105 wins, you would think 95 wins could at least buy the Rays a wild-card appearance, in a wide-open year with Boston out of the picture.And yet, here Tampa Bay is again, fighting for its playoff life on a nightly basis over the final few weeks of the season. Once again, the Oakland A’s — in many ways the West Coast mirror image of the Rays — are almost assured of one wild-card slot, putting themselves on pace for 97 wins by season’s end. And after the Minnesota Twins unexpectedly dominated the AL Central race, the Cleveland Indians’ only playoff hopes essentially rest on the same wild-card spot Tampa Bay has been eyeing all season. In the mega-top-heavy AL, one misfortunate team could win 95 games and still miss the playoffs entirely.5And the team that makes it would promptly haves to face a gauntlet of three hundred-win teams, and a 97-win one.If that team ends up being Tampa, it would obscure what has been maybe the most quintessentially Rays-y season of them all, in terms of doing more with less. The team’s best player by WAR (with 5.1) has been pitcher Charlie Morton, who had 1.5 career WAR to his name before joining the Astros in 2017; he is easily obliterating his previous career-best WAR (3.2 in 2018) this season at age 35. Left fielder Tommy Pham (3.9 WAR) had previously displayed his talent with 6.2 WAR in 2017, and shortstop Willy Adames had up-and-coming star potential. But the rest of Tampa Bay’s expected stars — such as pitcher Blake Snell and center fielder Kevin Kiermaier — have been merely OK, if also injured and/or underwhelming.Instead, the Rays have succeeded with a mishmash of acquired prospects (Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow), unheralded youngsters (Brandon Lowe), seemingly random pitchers (Ryan Yarbrough, Yonny Chirinos, Emilio Pagan), retread veterans (Travis d’Arnaud) and other spare parts. They still use the opener, still shift a ton and still play relievers in the field before putting them back on the mound. They’ve fought through key injuries to rank fifth in the league in WAR per game, and through Sunday they were tracking to become just the eighth team since the 1994 strike to rank among MLB’s top 11 in WAR from every phase of the game — hitting, fielding, base-running and pitching (both starting and relieving):6Yes, “top 11” is arbitrary. Who cares? This is an impressive all-around team season! 2019 Rays’ rankings are through Sept. 15.Source: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraphs.com (Fittingly, the 2008 Rays — the team that started it all — are also in that club.)If Tampa Bay does end up missing the playoffs, it would go down as one of the best teams ever to fit that criteria. Its current Elo rating of 1543 would tie last year’s Rays for the second-best among nonplayoff teams of the double-wild-card era (trailing only the 2012 Rays), and its 0.303 WAR per game would easily be the highest of any nonplayoff team since 2012. The last team to miss the postseason with as many WAR per game was the 2011 Red Sox, who fumbled away their playoff hopes with one of the most infamous collapses in baseball history.But if the baseball gods know what they’re doing, they would maybe consider giving the Rays a break this time around. The franchise has already seen several of the hardest-luck nonplayoff seasons in recent history — and this year’s might be the cruelest postseason snub of all, given how many wins the Rays might rack up in vain. After so many years spent knocking on the door with records that usually belong in the postseason, it seems like it’s time Tampa finally gets in.Check out our latest MLB predictions.
WILMINGTON, MA — Alicia Hurley, of Wilmington, is the second grand prize winner in the Massachusetts State Lottery’s “$100,000 a Year for Life” instant game.Hurley chose the annuity option on her prize and received the first of twenty payments of $100,000 (less tax withholdings). She plans on saving her winnings for her retirement.She purchased her winning ticket from Landmark News located in the TD Garden, 100 Legends Way in Boston. The retailer will receive a $20,000 bonus for its sale of the ticket.There are four $100,000 a Year for Life grand prizes remaining in this $5 instant game.Alicia Hurley(NOTE: The above press release is from the Massachusetts State Lottery.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedMassachusetts Lottery Eyeing Wilmington As Location For New Regional OfficeIn “Business”Wilmington Trust Claims $10,000 A Week For Life Lottery PrizeIn “Community”5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Friday, June 14, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”
Indian stocks markets are expected to advance for the first time in three sessions on Monday, as firm trend in global markets may offer support to investor sentiment.The BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty witnessed a volatile session and ended with losses for the second straight session on Friday, as gains in realty and power sector shares were offset by declines in consumer durables, IT and FMCG sectors.Asian stock markets gained on Monday after Lawrence Summers withdrew from the race to be head of the Federal Reserve, paving the way for Janet Yellen, who is expected to favor a slower reduction in $85 billion monthly asset-buying program.”It’s quite positive for equities. It puts Yellen back on the cards as the favorite. She’s more aligned to retaining accommodative policy and is seen as not being as brash as Summers might have been,” George Boubouras, Melbourne-based chief investment officer at Equity Trustees Ltd., where he helps oversee about $28 billion, told Bloomberg.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng surged 1.30 percent and South Korea’s KOSPI advanced 0.70 percent, while Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.12 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.23 percent.US stock markets ended with gains on Friday as weaker-than-expected retail sales and consumer sentiment data raised hopes that the Federal Reserve stimulus cuts this month would be moderate. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.49 percent, the S&P 500 Index was up 0.27 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.17 percent.Data released by US Commerce Department on Friday showed that retail sales, which measures consumer spending that accounts for a bulk of the country’s economic activity, rose 0.2 percent in August, weaker than analysts’ estimation of 0.5 percent gain. Meanwhile, Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment declined to 76.8 in September, the lowest level since April, down from 82.1 last month and also fell short of Bloomberg’s estimation of 82.
Kolkata: Payel Chakraborty, an aspiring television actress, was found hanging in a hotel room in Siliguri on Wednesday morning.Police have already started a thorough probe into the death, though prima facie investigation has revealed that she had committed suicide.According to police sources, Payel had checked into a hotel on Church Road in Siliguri on Tuesday evening and claimed to have come there from Kolkata.She was carrying two bags and informed the hotel staff that she had come there for the purpose of visiting Gangtok. She was staying in room number 213 of the hotel. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeOn conditions of anonymity, a hotel staff said Payel told them that she was carrying her dinner and so they should not call her unless there is any emergency.She further informed that she would leave for Gangtok on Wednesday morning. At around 11 am on Wednesday, when it was time for room cleaning service, the hotel staff knocked repeatedly on her door but it went answered.The hotel manager then informed Siliguri police. A team rushed to the hotel and at around 12 noon, the door that was bolted from inside was broke open. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedShe was found hanging from the ceiling fan with the help of a piece of cloth. The body was taken to Siliguri District Hospital where she was declared brought dead. The police immediately contacted her family members on the basis of the address and contact number provided for the hotel register. However, no suicide note was found from her room.Payel, who had acted in a number of television serials, made a special appearance in Dev starrer film ‘Cockpit’. Her film ‘Kelo’ is supposed to release this month where she played the role of a doctor. Her next film ‘Chaturtha Ripu’ is also scheduled for release by the end of this year.Preliminary investigations revealed that Payel was suffering from severe mental stress.She got divorced recently and is survived by a son. “She always acted with absolute dedication and professionalism and didn’t give the slightest inkling of any problem. I still cannot believe that she is no more. Within a few months, we had become very good friends,” one of her co-actress in the film — ‘Kelo’ said.
The online encyclopedia Wikipedia has helped usher humanity into a new digital age democratizing knowledge. At SXSW this past week, its founder Jimmy Wales sat down with Guy Kawasaki, chief evangelist of Canva, for a discussion about the future of the world’s largest encyclopedia and the pressures shaping it. Here are some of the highlights.On the current showdown between Apple and the FBIKawasaki launched the panel with the Apple’s battle over smartphone backdoors and encryption. “I’m really proud of Apple for fighting this thing,” Wales said, but he encouraged both sides of the argument to see both positives of this legal battle. By taking the FBI to court and fighting back, Wales explained, Apple is publicly ensuring that all sides are truly doing the right thing. “The worst thing for a company to do in the face of something like this would be to just roll over and do it quietly,” he said.On surveillanceWikipedia is currently embroiled in an ongoing legal battle with the National Security Agency, who was exposed as surveilling users in the Edward Snowden leaks. “This has serious implications for freedom of expression,” he said. “The people who aren’t involved in technology, who don’t come from from this world…trust the government to not abuse these powers. Given history, I think you would be foolish to trust governments to not abuse these powers.” To put a finer point on it he asked, to cheers: “Would you really trust Donald Trump with these powers?”On the need for diversityWales said a lack of diversity in tech — and at Wikipedia — has huge impact. “We need more diversity in the community, not just for PC reasons and diversity, he said, but for better exploration of ideas and topics. He explained that Wikipedia entries currently reflect the strengths and expertise of its writers. Entries on USB standards, for example, are far superior to less techie topics such as early childhood development. A greater variety of writers can work together to create a more unified and useful experience for a wider population. Approachable software and a supportive community are key to breaking down barriers in creating diversity, Wales said.On Artificial IntelligenceThere could come a day when artificial intelligence is strong enough to write its own encyclopedia articles. Wales isn’t worried yet. “Google can’t even do a decent translation of something that’s already written, much less go from scratch,” he said, calling strong encyclopedia writing “among the very highest of human capacities.” But if it does happen? “Once computers can write encyclopedia articles, we’re close to a very different world and we have bigger things to worry about than writing Wikipedia,” he said. “if it happens in our lifetimes, we might live forever.” Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now » March 20, 2016 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 3 min read
Enroll Now for Free 6 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Chatbots have proven to be reliable tools that can be used to increase your sales and improve your marketing efforts. Today, hundreds of companies are already harnessing the power of AI-powered virtual assistants. Although most of these organizations use them to help consumers, others have also started to use them as an internal growth-hacking tool.With the development of business-oriented messaging applications like Slack, the stage is set for chatbots to revolutionize the way we do business. Slackbots that are designed to help a company’s employees are often referred to as internal-facing chatbots, and they can help your employees by answering questions and providing solutions when they need it.In order to help you understand how these AI-powered virtual assistants can improve your internal operations, I’ve put together an article discussing how Slackbots will change the future of work as we know it.What are chatbots?Chatbots are dedicated pieces of software that are designed to help users carry out different tasks by implementing machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). This means that bots can interact with your employees and help them without the assistance of another human being.The main reason Slackbots are used, and their most obvious application, is to improve communications across your entire company. In addition, they’re capable of carrying out a huge array of tasks that have a major impact on your organization.That being said, in order to set up a successful Slackbot, you have to invest a significant amount of time and effort into its development and optimize it on a regular basis.Related: Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your BusinessBuilding your own bot.The first step to implementing a successful chatbot is choosing the right building platform. ChattyPeople offers a chatbot-creating platform because it allows users to build an AI-powered virtual assistant without any coding knowledge in just a matter of minutes.ChattyPeople offers a purely visual interface that uses “building blocks” to build your Slackbot. Moreover, because you can create bots for free, you can experiment and create different versions before deciding which one to implement into your business. You can then launch your virtual assistant through Slack and allow your team to start enjoying a more streamlined work experience.Related: Enterprise Chatbots Platforms and the Future of WorkHow slackbots will change the future of work.Slack is already an effective business application, and implementing a chatbot can turn it into the most important tool your employees have available. Using a Slackbot will completely change the way companies operate because they can:1. Enhance communications.Companies that employ Slack often have good communication, and employing a chatbot can improve this across the board. Instead of depending on your team members to respond to inquiries or schedule appointments, Slackbots can help arrange meetings and provide information instantly.Related: Enterprise Chatbots and the Conversational Commerce Revolutionizing Business2. Centralize tasks.Although Slackbots shouldn’t replace important pieces of software, such as CRMs, they can help centralize all business applications and work as an oracle for your company. In lieu of having to switch from one program to another, your employees will be able to ask a question directly to your Slackbot or simply ask them to carry out any tasks they need.3. Sync all your departments.Effective business models break down their operations into specific departments. Most of the time, each department is addressed independently, which can create synchronization issues and result in negative experiences. Slackbots can synchronize all departments by sending out mass notifications, confirming they’re delivered, and answering any questions about any changes that have been made.Related: How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot For Free Without Coding4. Provide a personal assistant for all your team.Traditionally, only business leaders have had access to a personal assistant. However, if you implement a Slackbot, you’ll allow all of your employees to have a dedicated assistant to help them with their tasks without having to hire new team members.5. Analyze big data.Big data plays a vital role in the success of most organizations. That being said, you often need to hire analysts and dedicate hours of manpower into interpreting these findings. Slackbots can help you by sorting and analyzing big data in a matter of hours or minutes. The best part is they can present its findings in a logical manner to decision makers, relevant team members, or the entire organization, as required.Related: 10 Facebook Messenger Chatbot Marketing Expert Tips6. Simplify tasks.There are many tasks that are repetitive and monotonous, yet essential for the operations of any company. Slackbots can help simplify these tasks because they can carry out most, if not all, of them. You just have to set up your bot to automatically take care of them or give your bot direct instructions each time you need it to carry out these actions for you.7. Keep your workers informed.Employees who feel like they’re part of a team tend to perform better. The best way to motivate your workers is by keeping them informed about all changes and decisions, regardless of how small they may be. Slackbots can help keep all your employees updated and will let you know if there are recurring questions that need to be addressed immediately.8. Improve scalability.The main problem with many growth-hacking tools is that they’re not intended to grow. Bots are designed to interact with thousands of users simultaneously, so they provide an awesome tool that will grow with your company every step of the way.Related: 10 Facebook Messenger Chatbot Marketing Expert Tips9. Minimize turnaround.Because they improve communications, help your employees manage their time, and cut out the need for certain actions, chatbots can greatly reduce turnaround and production time without affecting quality.10. Promote smoother B2B applications.Companies that provide services and products to other businesses can use Slackbots to create a smoother and seamless experience for their clients. Instead of overloading your sales team, you can allow your bot to answer B2B inquiries and program them to bring in a sales representative once your potential clients have shown legitimate interest in your products or services.Finally…If you’re looking for the most effective way to improve your company’s overall performance, implementing a Slackbot can help you organize your business and make sure everyone is on the same page. Follow the tips outlined above and you’ll experience firsthand the impact that Slackbots can have on a business’s success. September 26, 2017 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience.