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7 Burning Questions For The MLB Stretch Run

Now that the MLB All-Star Game is over — with hometown favorite Shane Bieber winning MVP (despite not even being the most valuable pitcher on his own team) — the baseball world can finally turn its attention toward the stretch run of the season, in games that actually count. 2019 has given us some interesting twists already: For all the division races that have gone mostly according to expectations, there are several others that definitely haven’t, and the same goes for unexpected breakout players cropping up among the old standbys. So with a little help from our MLB Elo ratings and probabilities, let’s take a look at the important questions that will be answered in the second half:Can Cody Bellinger hold off Mike Trout?A healthy Mike Trout is usually a strong pick to lead the majors in WAR. From the Los Angeles Angels outfielder’s first full MLB season in 2012 through 2018, Trout finished first among hitters in WAR four times in seven chances. The only exceptions were 2015 (when Bryce Harper rattled off what looks like one of the all-time fluke seasons), 2017 (when Trout was injured for a big part of the season) and 2018 (when both happened — Trout was hurt and Mookie Betts also had an all-time great campaign). The 27-year-old Trout has already passed numerous Hall of Famers in career WAR, so it makes sense that it would take either an injury or a historic rival season to dethrone him from his customary spot atop the league leaderboard.This year, Trout is healthy, which is a big part of the equation. He’s also having one of his best-ever seasons at the plate. But this time, the rival performance is an all-time great one being served up by Dodgers right fielder Cody Bellinger, who is on pace for 10.8 WAR by season’s end (which would rank among the top 30 or so seasons by a batter in MLB history). Bellinger streaked ahead of Trout relatively early in the season and hasn’t looked back — though maybe he should start checking the rearview mirror. With a .476 weighted on-base average to Bellinger’s .303 over the past 14 days, Trout has now pulled within 0.07 WAR of his Dodger counterpart on the season. And on top of his stellar numbers, Trout is also one of the most consistent players in baseball history, so he’s likely to get to his usual (astronomical) WAR level by the end of the year. The real question is whether Bellinger can continue to keep pace with this crazy career year of his own.Can the Twins hang on to the AL Central?The Minnesota Twins have easily been the most surprising team of the season thus far, staking themselves to the majors’ third-best record (56-33) and a 5½-game lead over the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central. Before the season, our model thought Cleveland had the edge in talent over Minnesota, even if the Tribe had allowed their gap over the rest of the division to narrow since 2018. But that gap ended up being much smaller than anyone imagined — perhaps even nonexistent! In addition to its superior record, Minnesota has vastly outperformed Cleveland in terms of run differential (+116 to +27) and total wins above replacement1Averaging together the two versions found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. (31.3 to 19.6).Even so, our Elo ratings think the Indians are gaining on the Twins recently, especially after Cleveland trimmed Minnesota’s division lead from 11 games on June 15 to half that in a little over three weeks. Our model still gives Minnesota a 78 percent chance of resisting a Cleveland surge, and some of the Tribe’s problems aren’t going away soon. Injured ace Corey Kluber hasn’t pitched in months, and fellow starter Carlos Carrasco recently announced that he had been diagnosed with leukemia. But it’s also fair to wonder whether third baseman Jose Ramirez — an MVP candidate in 2018 — will continue to be one of baseball’s most disappointing players in the second half, as well as if some of the most unexpectedly good Twins (Jorge Polanco, Mitch Garver, Jake Odorizzi, etc.) will stay as hot going forward. If the teams play more to the form our model had originally predicted, this could be a very intriguing battle.Who will win the National League Central?At the All-Star break, the NL Central is baseball’s only division with a leader up by five games or fewer. (It’s only the second case since the six-division era started in 1994 where just one division was within five games at the break .) The FiveThirtyEight predictions make it even clearer how tight this division is: the Chicago Cubs lead with just a 42 percent probability of winning the Central — making them the only current division favorite with less than a 70 percent chance to win — and four teams have a double-digit probability, including Chicago, the Milwaukee Brewers (26 percent), St. Louis Cardinals (14 percent) and Pittsburgh Pirates (11 percent). (Even the cellar-dwelling Cincinnati Reds still have a 7 percent shot at the division title.)The Cubs would seem to have the edge in the second half, however. They have a +55 run differential, while two of their four division rivals have actually been outscored this season. (The Brewers have a -17 scoring margin, and the Pirates have one of -36; the closest competitor to Chicago is actually Cincinnati at +27, even though the Reds have the worst record of all four Cub rivals.) The Brewers have the best individual player of the division in right fielder Christian Yelich (on pace for 8.8 WAR), and they sent five players to the All-Star Game, tied for the second-most of any MLB team. But they’ve also seen their share of letdowns, headlined by Lorenzo Cain and Travis Shaw. Whichever NL Central teams lose out on the playoffs, one thing’s for sure: they will be disappointed, given how close they were with two and a half months left in the regular season.How wrong was I about Washington?About a month ago, I wrote that the NL East race — which once looked like a four-team battle between the Washington Nationals, New York Mets, Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies — had been winnowed down to just the Braves and Phillies. Well, one of those teams has kept winning: Atlanta is 11-6 since June 18. But Philadelphia promptly went 8-11 over that same span, while Washington has gone 14-4 and increased its Elo rating by 8.4 points, sixth-most in baseball behind the Pirates, Giants, Athletics, Yankees and Orioles.As a result, the NL East race has shifted — if slightly.It still looks like a two-team race, and the Braves are still at the top. In fact, Atlanta’s odds of winning the division have only gotten even better over the past month, rising from 59 percent to 72 percent. But the Nationals now have the second-best chance of winning the East, at 19 percent, with the Phillies dropping down to 9 percent. Washington is also now likely to make the playoffs (58 percent), while Philly has just a 38 percent chance of getting into the postseason. The teams are separated by just a half-game in the standings, but there’s no question Bryce Harper’s old team has played better than his new one in the first half of 2019.2Washington has the superior run differential and WAR tally, in addition to a 16-point edge in Elo. The degree to which Washington can threaten the Braves depends on how much they keep proving me wrong.How top-heavy can baseball get?Our model currently predicts that four teams — the Yankees, Dodgers, Astros and Twins — will finish with at least 98 wins (with three of those cracking triple-digits). If that happens, it would be the most 98-win teams in a single season since 2002, when five teams broke that barrier. At the same time, five teams are projected for 98 or more losses (including four tracking for triple-digit defeats). If that holds up, it would tie last season for the most such teams since 1977.This kind of thing is nothing new in the modern world of MLB, where the tanking trend has led to a bunch of bottom-feeders waving the white flag while a bunch of powerhouses destroy them. But even by those recent standards, the 2019 season could break new ground in top-heaviness. It might make for some less-than-compelling regular season contests down the stretch, particularly once rosters expand in September — but it could also lead to multiple titanic postseason matchups between teams with gaudy records, particularly in the AL.Will the home runs ever let up?If the 2019 season is remembered for anything, it seems likely that it will go down as the Year of the Home Run. (Until the next Year of the Home Run, that is.) So far this season, 1.37 balls have left the yard on average every game, which would shatter the all-time record (set in 2017) by nearly 9 percent if it holds up in the second half. 25 of 30 teams have hit at least 100 homers before the All-Star break, while 35 different players hit at least 20 bombs, and nine have hit at least 25. Overall, the 3,691 home runs smashed so far are, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, the most in a first half in baseball history. (The previous record was 3,343 in 2017.)With August, traditionally one of the most homer-heavy months, still remaining to be played, it seems likely that the all-time record for most dingers in a single MLB season will be obliterated. Love or hate the homer-centric style of baseball being played in today’s game — let’s ask Justin Verlander what he thinks — the long ball is more fundamental to the fabric of the sport than it’s ever been, and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.Will the champs even make the playoffs?The Boston Red Sox have turned things around some since their abysmal start to the season, winning 18 of their past 30 games (a 97-win pace per 162 games). Although staff ace Chris Sale continues to struggle (5.96 ERA in the last month), the 2019 Sox have at least mostly begun to resemble the fearsome team that dominated MLB essentially from wire to wire a season ago. But is it too little, too late?According to the FiveThirtyEight model, Boston has less than a coin flip’s chance (47 percent) to make the playoffs heading into the season’s home stretch. That number includes almost no chance of winning the AL East (6 percent), both because the rival New York Yankees have played so well and because the Tampa Bay Rays have exceeded expectations (again) and are on pace to win 92 games according to our model. That leaves the Red Sox in a numbers game for the AL’s other Wild Card slot, which is looking like it will go to the Indians — who themselves have been squeezed by the upstart Twins. In other words, some quality AL team will be left out of the postseason, and right now that team is looking like the defending champs, thanks to their early season World Series hangover.Check out our latest MLB predictions. read more

Continuous breathing metalorganic framework with guest selectivity

first_img More information: Elliot J. Carrington et al. Solvent-switchable continuous-breathing behaviour in a diamondoid metal–organic framework and its influence on CO2 versus CH4 selectivity, Nature Chemistry (2017). DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2747AbstractUnderstanding the behaviour of flexible metal–organic frameworks (MOFs)—porous crystalline materials that undergo a structural change upon exposure to an external stimulus—underpins their design as responsive materials for specific applications, such as gas separation, molecular sensing, catalysis and drug delivery. Reversible transformations of a MOF between open- and closed-pore forms—a behaviour known as ‘breathing’—typically occur through well-defined crystallographic transitions. By contrast, continuous breathing is rare, and detailed characterization has remained very limited. Here we report a continuous-breathing mechanism that was studied by single-crystal diffraction in a MOF with a diamondoid network, (Me2NH2)[In(ABDC)2] (ABDC, 2-aminobenzene-1,4-dicarboxylate). Desolvation of the MOF in two different solvents leads to two polymorphic activated forms with very different pore openings, markedly different gas-adsorption capacities and different CO2 versus CH4 selectivities. Partial desolvation introduces a gating pressure associated with CO2 adsorption, which shows that the framework can also undergo a combination of stepped and continuous breathing. Proposed role of guest–framework interactions in the solvent-dependent continuous-breathing properties of SHF-61. Credit: (c) Nature Chemistry (2017). DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2747 After heating SHF-61-CHCl3 to remove solvent, it exhibited type I adsorption isotherm behavior for N2 and CO2. This was as expected from previous studies. What was new for this study, though, was that CH4 also followed type I adsorption isotherm, but it took much longer for adsorption to occur. This kinetic difference allows for selective adsorption, which has implications for practical uses such as catalysis and separation techniques.Typically studies with MOFs are either all or nothing in the sense that the adsorption measurements are taken after complete desolvation of the MOF to determine total guest uptake. SHF-61 was also studied for gas adsorption as a partially desolvated MOF, which is the first of this kind of study. The partially desolvated SHF-61-DMF showed a stair-step isotherm instead of type I adsorption isotherm typical of an approximately fixed pore size. The mechanism at work here was identified by in situ powder x-ray diffraction and has to do with a sudden opening of the pores at a particular CO2 pressure threshold.Finally, while cation-framework interactions are difficult to study, crystallographic studies show that guest-framework and cation-framework interactions control the breathing mechanism, particularly whether the guest is able to overcome cation-framework interactions. This explains the stair-step adsorption pattern for the partially desolvated MOF. While adsorption of CO2 is at first slow, once the pressure of CO2 is high enough to overcome cation-framework interactions, then the pores open allowing for more CO2 to adsorb.This research demonstrates a unique continuous breathing MOF whose properties have allowed for unprecedented studies in the SHF-61’s mechanism and guest selectivity. This research has implications for molecular sensing for gas separation. Because the authors were able to gain new insights into continuous breathing MOFs, future research may include developing other continuous breathing MOFs. Journal information: Nature Chemistry Flexible metal-organic frameworks with range of pore sizes made by threading through molecular ligands This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2017 Phys.org Explore further (Phys.org)—Researchers from the University of Sheffield report a new continuous-breathing metal-organic framework (MOF), SHF-61, that has two different solvent-specific forms, a narrow-pore structure that is the result of DMF or H2O desolvation and a wide-pore structure that is the result of CHCl3 desolvation. The wide-pore form showed uptake of N2, CO2, and CH4 with selectivity for CO2. They were also able to conduct single-crystal structure analysis of their MOF during breathing motions. Their work appears in Nature Chemistry. “Being modular in construction allows MOFs to be tailored for a wide variety of applications that exploit their molecular-scale porosity. Highly flexible MOFs remain uncommon, but offer the possibility of developing guest-responsive materials. Identifying new flexible MOFs may open many doors for applications, particularly in selective entrapment and release, separation and sensing of molecules,” explains Lee Brammer, who is Professor of Inorganic and Solid State Chemistry at the University of Sheffield. “The flexible behavior of SHF-61 is quite complicated, but what helped in this case is that it proved feasible to study the structural changes in some detail by single-crystal X-ray diffraction.”Breathing MOFs, are metal-organic frameworks whose structure reversibly changes upon some kind of external stimulus. Very few MOFs have been reported to display breathing behavior and of the known MOFs, most undergo some kind of structural change due to a crystal phase transition. This structural change leads to a difference in pore size, which, in turn, allows for the reversible adsorption and desorption of guests. Because these MOFs undergo a phase change, their adsorption profiles (i.e., adsorption isotherms) look like stair steps.What is not common among breathing MOFs is continuous rather than a stair-step adsorption profile. Continuous breathing MOFs, such as MIL-88, have proven difficult to isolate and study. This paper reports single-crystal and powder XRD studies of continuous-breathing MOF SHF-61.SHF-61, or (Me2NH2)[In(ABDC)2], where ABDC is 2-aminobenzene-1,4-dicarboxylate, has an In(III) metal coordinated to carboxylates that serve as hinges for the continuous breathing mechanism. The authors point out that the hinge is from rotation of the ABDC ligands around the O—-O of the carboxylates. This is accompanied by changes in the coordination geometry around In(III). The combination of the two motions enables the continuous breathing.Specifically, In(III) is chelated to four ABDC ligands providing a flattened tetrahedral geometry around the metal center. The resulting anionic framework has diamond-shaped pores, which contain dimethylammonium cations that balance the charge. The pore size is largely dependent on the solvent. Carrington et al. isolated solvated forms of the MOF, SHF-61-DMF and SHF-61-CHCl3, and demonstrated how removal of each solvent affects pore size, and therefore guest uptake, differently. Removal of the more strongly interacting DMF leads to narrowing of the pores whereas removal of the more weakly interacting CHCl3 leaves the pores fully open. Citation: Continuous breathing metal-organic framework with guest selectivity (2017, March 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-03-metal-organic-framework-guest.htmllast_img read more

Infant meets tragic fate after falling from moving autorickshaw

first_imgKolkata: In a tragic incident, a one-and-a-half-year old boy, who was travelling on her mother’s lap, died after falling from a moving auto-rickshaw.The incident took place on Tuesday morning at Vivek More in Baranagar. The victim’s mother, Rinki Sarkar, boarded the auto from Tobin Road and was going to Noapara. It was learnt that the baby fell from the vehicle when the auto-rickshaw was taking a sharp bend on AK Mukherjee road.Locals alleged that the vehicle was running at a high speed and this led to the incident. The victim’s mother got down from the vehicle after her son fell on the road. The auto-rickshaw driver fled the spot immediately after the incident. Locals rushed the victim to Baranagar State General Hospital where the doctors pronounced him brought dead. The victim had received severe head injuries after falling from the speeding vehicle. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifePolice said that Rinki Sarkar went to a market near Tobin road along with her son, Rajbir. They were returning home when the accident occurred.Some locals said the vehicle had a sudden jerk after it fell on a pothole. The victim’s mother, however, claimed that auto-rickshaw was running at a high speed and the driver did not slow down the vehicle despite repeated pleas.The woman informed police that her baby received critical injuries on his legs and head when he was run over by the same auto-rickshaw. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe auto-rickshaw driver stopped the vehicle at a distance. After being informed, police reached the spot and started a probe.The body of the victim has been sent to College of Medicine and Sagore Dutta Hospital for an autopsy.The local councillor, Anjan Pal, who visited the spot said the auto-rickshaw was not at a high speed at the time of the incident and termed it a mere accident.The family members of the victim boy lodged a complaint at the Baranagar police station on the basis of which police started a detailed probe.Raids are being conducted to nab the auto-rickshaw driver.last_img read more

Court Cops Cant Force You to Unlock a Phone With Biometrics

first_img Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. January 15, 2019 2 min read If a police officer or federal investigator wants to get into your smartphone, they can no longer use your eyes, face, or fingerprint to force you to unlock it.A federal judge in Northern California has ruled that compelling a device unlock using biometric data is a violation of Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. Cops are already barred from asking suspects to unlock their devices with a passcode, thanks to a Florida appeals court decision this past October. With this decision, biometric login mechanisms are afforded the same protection.In her decision, Judge Kandis Westmore said that fingerprints and face scans such as Face ID on iOS devices are not the same as physical evidence, and that even with a warrant, the government has no right to force suspects to incriminate themselves.”If a person cannot be compelled to provide a passcode because it is a testimonial communication, a person cannot be compelled to provide one’s finger, thumb, iris, face, or other biometric feature to unlock that same device,” she wrote.The case hinged on Judge Westmore denying a warrant to police officers investigating an alleged extortion crime in Oakland, California, where the suspects used Facebook Messenger to threaten the release of a compromising video. She said officers had probable cause to search the suspects’ property, but not to unlock any devices or compel suspects to do so.Apple and other device makers have pushed back against forced device unlocks in many forms for years. The warrant denial, and the precedent it sets for protected biometric data, is a significant decision for digital privacy as well as search and seizure law in the connected devices era. This story originally appeared on PCMag Register Now »last_img read more