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Rob Mains 

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02-20

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9

Flu-Like Symptoms: Fit to be Tied
by
Rob Mains

02-16

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8

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Profitability Canard
by
Rob Mains

02-13

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9

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Year of the Balk
by
Rob Mains

02-09

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15

Flu-Like Symptoms: Slaying the Extra-Innings Dragon
by
Rob Mains

02-07

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16

Flu-Like Symptoms: PECOTA and Moving Markets
by
Rob Mains

02-06

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1

Flu-Like Symptoms: Counting Cardinals
by
Rob Mains

02-02

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0

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Team Hitting
by
Rob Mains

01-30

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Team Pitching
by
Rob Mains

01-26

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0

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Command
by
Rob Mains

01-23

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Control
by
Rob Mains

01-19

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Pitchers' Plate Discipline
by
Rob Mains

01-16

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9

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Hitters' Plate Discipline
by
Rob Mains

01-12

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3

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year’s Resolutions: Ground-ball Pitchers
by
Rob Mains

01-09

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3

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year’s Resolutions: Ground-ball Hitters
by
Rob Mains

01-05

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12

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year’s Resolutions: Going the Other Way
by
Rob Mains

12-28

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2

Best of BP 2016: One Entire Season Of Baseball From the 1970s
by
Rob Mains

12-24

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2

Transaction Analysis: Ivan to Stay in Pittsburgh
by
Rob Mains

12-20

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7

Flu-Like Symptoms: How Versatility Became Cool
by
Rob Mains

12-16

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17

Flu-Like Symptoms: Will the Owners Actually Spend Their Money?
by
Rob Mains

12-12

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10

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Compilers
by
Rob Mains

12-05

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: Pirates Postmortem
by
Rob Mains

11-29

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14

Flu-Like Symptoms: The World Series of Coin Flipping
by
Rob Mains

11-28

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0

Transaction Analysis: Vesatility, Depth, and Scenery
by
Bryan Grosnick and Rob Mains

11-22

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1

Flu-Like Symptoms: The 300-300 Club
by
Rob Mains

11-17

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13

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Singles Scene Turns Bleak
by
Rob Mains

11-15

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: Where Did All The Running Go?
by
Rob Mains

11-09

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6

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Annual Vogelsong Awards
by
Rob Mains

10-24

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9

Flu-Like Symptoms: Andrew Miller Is Not Goose Gossage
by
Rob Mains

10-15

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1

Playoff Prospectus: Turning Down the Volume
by
Rob Mains

10-14

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11

Flu-Like Symptoms: Dusting Off a Bill James Postseason Prediction System
by
Rob Mains

10-13

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0

Flu-Like Symptoms: Uncaught Third Strikes and Poor Mickey Owen
by
Rob Mains

10-04

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10

Flu-Like Symptoms: Five Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About the 2016 Season
by
Rob Mains

10-03

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1

Flu-Like Symptoms: September Vogelsong Awards
by
Rob Mains

09-27

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: Giant Collapse
by
Rob Mains

09-22

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6

Flu-Like Symptoms: A Matter of Luck, Pt. 2
by
Rob Mains

09-19

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7

Flu-Like Symptoms: All a Matter of Luck
by
Rob Mains

09-09

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0

Prospectus Feature: Burning Up The Track In September, Part 2
by
Rob Mains

09-08

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5

Prospectus Feature: The Giants Are Making History!
by
Rob Mains

09-05

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0

BP Unfiltered: It's the Penultimate Vogelsongs!
by
Rob Mains

09-01

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2

Prospectus Feature: Burning Up the Track in September
by
Rob Mains

08-29

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0

Prospectus Feature: Coleman/Hamilton, Part 2: Why We’re Missing Out On It
by
Rob Mains

08-26

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6

Prospectus Feature: Coleman/Hamilton, Pt. 1: What We're Missing Out On
by
Rob Mains

08-17

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0

BP Unfiltered: Baseball Fans of the World Unite
by
Rob Mains

08-11

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2

Prospectus Feature: Nothin' to Do With Groundball Pitchers? DRA Weighs In
by
Rob Mains

08-05

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16

Prospectus Feature: A Terrible Idea Whose Time Has Come
by
Rob Mains

08-03

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1

BP Unfiltered: Ladies and Gentlemen, the July Vogelsong Winners Are Here
by
Rob Mains

07-29

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9

Prospectus Feature: Getting 'Em Outta There
by
Rob Mains

07-15

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0

BP Unfiltered: Hope Springs Eternal, Shouldn’t
by
Rob Mains

07-14

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0

Prospectus Feature: Francisco Liriano, Chase Rates, and Global Trade
by
Rob Mains

07-11

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7

Prospectus Feature: A Tried-and-True Pitching Strategy Doesn't Work Anymore
by
Rob Mains

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Testing an approach to extra innings.

I’m going to talk about games that last longer than nine innings. Don’t worry, this isn’t another article about putting a baserunner on second base in extra innings.

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February 16, 2017 6:00 am

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Profitability Canard

8

Rob Mains

How Jeffrey Loria undermines baseball ownership.

Jeffrey Loria, as you may have heard, is selling the Miami Marlins. Nothing’s finalized, but it appears that one of baseball’s most, um, notable owners is going to receive $1.6 billion for a team that cost him $158 million in 2002. (I know, it didn’t really cost him that. Hang on, I’m getting there.)

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February 13, 2017 6:00 am

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Year of the Balk

9

Rob Mains

It turns out that 1988 was more than the year of Kirk Gibson's home run and the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan.

You may have seen that Chris Carter’s agent, Dave Stewart, threatened that the 2016 National League co-home run leader might play in Japan this season. (He wound up taking his two-and-a-half true outcomes to The Bronx.) That story made me think of something I’ve wanted to write about Dave Stewart. But before I can do that, I need to tell you about something else.

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Combating a receding menace.

By now, we should know not to freak out over some of the things that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says. There isn’t a pitch clock. He hasn’t banned shifts. Calm down. Deep, cleansing breath. And another. Inhale slowly, exhale slowly. Feel better now? Good.

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PECOTA and Las Vegas don't always see eye to eye, but what if one is watching the other?

You shouldn’t bet on baseball.

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February 6, 2017 6:00 am

Flu-Like Symptoms: Counting Cardinals

1

Rob Mains

How the NL's fifth-worst offense in 2015 became its third-best offense in 2016.

The 2016 Cardinals were a disappointing team. The year before, they’d been the first team since the 2011 Phillies to win 100 games. Their loss to the Cubs in the Divisional Series stung, but it was the team’s fifth straight trip to the postseason. With a strong pitching staff—the team’s 2.94 ERA was the majors' lowest in 27 years and the first team ERA under 3.00 since the 1989 Dodgers—and a farm system that produced a seemingly endless supply of new talent, they seemed poised to remain a playoff contender, if not fend off the fast-charging Cubs.

We know what happened next. As the stat-heads predicted, the team’s FIP (3.50, fifth in the league) and DRA (4.11, sixth) presaged 2016 better than the sparkly ERA, as the Redbirds compiled a 4.08 ERA that ranked seventh in the league. That decline in pitching pretty much summed up the story of the season, as the team finished with an 86-76 record, one game behind the Mets for the second Wild Card.

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February 2, 2017 6:00 am

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Team Hitting

0

Rob Mains

What's going on in Milwaukee?

It’s February, and New Year’s resolutions seem like eons ago. Dry January is in the rearview mirror. You probably don’t have to wait for the aerobic equipment at the gym anymore (if you’re still going). Desserts are back on the menu, and your brother-in-law, well, you tried to get along with him, really you did, but he’s still annoying. So it’s time to draw this series on New Year’s resolutions to a close as well.

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January 30, 2017 6:00 am

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Team Pitching

2

Rob Mains

Can organizations even make New Year's resolutions?

We all know what it’s like for individuals to make New Year’s resolutions. I’ve done them, you’ve done them. Nothing to see here. In this series, we’ve looked at players as if they made a resolution to do something different in 2016—hit more to the opposite field, hit more balls in the air, improve plate discipline, that sort of thing. Do players really resolve to do that? Probably not. It’s a plausible-sounding explanation of what actually occurs. But did Jose Urena say on last January 1, “I want to get batters to swing at fewer of my pitches in the zone and more of my pitches outside the zone?” That’s doubtful, even though no pitcher pulled that off better than Urena last year.

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January 26, 2017 6:00 am

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Command

0

Rob Mains

Using our new pitching metrics to measure improved command.

As I discussed in my last post, one of the reasons we’re excited about our pitching metrics is that they allow us to answer new questions. On Monday, I looked at the pitchers who improved their control (using our CS Prob measure of Called Strike Probability) the most from 2015 to 2016 (minimum 60 innings in both years). This time I’m going to look at command.

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January 23, 2017 6:00 am

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Control

2

Rob Mains

Using our new pitching metrics to ask new questions.

One of the reasons we’re excited about the pitching metrics we’re introducing this week is that they allow us to answer new questions. Who had the best control among ERA qualifiers in 2016, measured by Called Strike Probability (CS Prob)? Bartolo Colon, for whom 52.1 percent of his pitches were called strikes, followed by Jimmy Nelson and Hisashi Iwakuma. Who had the best command, measured by Called Strikes Above Average (CSAA)? That’d be Zach Davies, who got 3.5 percent more called strikes than average, followed by Josh Tomlin and Kyle Hendricks.

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Does better plate discipline for pitchers yield better results?

In this series, we’re investigating the outcomes when baseball players made what appear to have been New Year’s resolutions to do something differently in 2016. But unlike the rest of us, who resolve to get a new job or limit the time we spend on Facebook, we’re looking here at specific baseball outcomes.

The first article considered batters who hit markedly more (or less) to the opposite field in 2016 than in 2015. The next two looked at batters who hit more or fewer balls on the ground and pitchers who induced more or fewer grounders. The most recent article looked at hitters who improved their plate discipline. Next, let’s check out pitchers’ plate discipline.

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Does better plate discipline for hitters yield better results?

In this series, we’re investigating the outcomes when baseball players made what appear to have been New Year’s resolutions to do something differently in 2016. But unlike the rest of us, who try to waste less time watching TV or learn another language, we’re looking here at specific baseball outcomes. The first article considered batters who hit markedly more (or less) to the opposite field in 2016 than in 2015. The next two looked at batters who hit more or fewer balls on the ground and pitchers who induced more or fewer grounders.

And I’ll admit, framing these as New Year’s resolutions is a bit of a stretch. There probably aren’t a lot of baseball players who said last January 1 that what they really wanted to do in 2016 was to hit more balls in the air. Today, though, I’m going to tackle one that seems plausible: Better plate discipline.

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