Jeffrey Flanagan writes about how the Royals jumped back into the race after many left them for dead:
What we learned
This is a resilient bunch, though it seems like we've said that for years. Considered out of the race by national observers in early May, the Royals have come together, and they now seem like a legitimate threat to reach the postseason by either winning the NL Central or grabbing the second Wild Card spot. Moore never wavered, and he has insisted all along this group can reach the postseason. His focus now is on evaluating his team's needs for the second half as the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline nears.
David Lesky inspects potential Royals’ trade targets in the position player realm, naming an old friend:
Jarrod Dyson – Here’s my favorite. He’s on his way to a career high in plate appearances and is hitting .258/.340/.391 with, yes, five home runs. The offense isn’t what you acquire him for, but he’s done a really nice job this season and is showing that his .340 OBP and .388 SLG last year is no fluke. He swings at strikes and he uses his speed quite well. Defensively, the Royals could put Dyson in right field, move Bonifacio to the DH spot and get back to having that amazing outfield defense. With just a few months left before reaching free agency, the cost to acquire Dyson likely wouldn’t be exorbitant. I think this is a move that could really help the team.
Midseason Awards: The case for Lorenzo Cain as first-half MVP, plus honors for Vargas, Minor, Moustakas and others: https://t.co/PW0mg4lMWX— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) July 12, 2017
KoK’s Nicholas Sullivan issues his first-half awards (warning: slide show).
BP’s Bret Sayre and Ben Carsley rate the top 50 dynasty prospects. There are no Royals on the list.
Mike Petriello compares the Astros and Dodgers.
Apparently Fox Sports (dot) com—not linking to that nonsense site—is all video now, so Ken Rosenthal is looking for a new home for his writing.
How has Aaron Judge changed to silence critics and improve his game?
At the Hardball Times, Jon Roegele dives into this season’s strike zone.
Brazil’s former President was just sentenced to 10 years in prison for corruption.
NASA released photos and data from the Juno probe of Jupiter, including the closest images yet of its red storm.
Chuck Klosterman talks about his music listening habits and more in Pitchfork’s Listening Diary series.
The upcoming Netflix series Ozark starring, produced by, and partially directed by Jason Bateman looks pretty, pretty, pretty good. Nine more days.
The song of the day is “Hope the High Road” by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit as performed on The Late Show.
And “Last of My Kind” performed on Charlie Rose: