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Rob Mains 

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09-18

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8

Flu-Like Symptoms: Walk-Off Winners
by
Rob Mains

09-14

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12

Flu-Like Symptoms: One Entire Season of Baseball From the 1960s (Part 4)
by
Rob Mains

09-13

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8

Flu-Like Symptoms: One Entire Season of Baseball From the 1960s (Part 3)
by
Rob Mains

09-12

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: One Entire Season of Baseball From the 1960s (Part 2)
by
Rob Mains

09-11

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8

Flu-Like Symptoms: One Entire Season of Baseball From the 1960s (Part 1)
by
Rob Mains

09-07

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0

BP En Espanol: El numero magico de la Liga Americana es el cinco
by
Rob Mains

09-07

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6

Flu-Like Symptoms: The American League's Magic Number is Five
by
Rob Mains

09-05

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0

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

08-31

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8

Flu-Like Symptoms: How Designated Hitters Lost Their Groove (Part 2)
by
Rob Mains

08-31

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0

Actual Relief: Houston
by
David Temple, Matt Sussman, Rob Mains, Bret Sayre, Patrick Dubuque and Mary Craig

08-28

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6

Flu-Like Symptoms: How Designated Hitters Lost Their Groove
by
Rob Mains

08-24

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0

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Rise and Fall of Rule 9.16(i)
by
Rob Mains

08-23

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0

DFA Podcast: Ep. 25: The One About The DL (Part 25)
by
Bryan Grosnick, Rob Mains and Shawn Brody

08-21

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4

Flu-Like Symptoms: Vin Mazzaro's Second-Worst Day
by
Rob Mains

08-17

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9

Flu-Like Symptoms: Pitching Panacea?
by
Rob Mains

08-14

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0

Flu-Like Symptoms: Double-Switches and the Goldilocks Convergence
by
Rob Mains

08-10

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0

Flu-Like Symptoms: Finding New Ways to Stink
by
Rob Mains

08-07

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: Reverse Splits
by
Rob Mains

08-03

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2

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

07-28

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4

Prospectus Roundtable: Tampa Bay Rays: Cheap Thrills?
by
Rob Mains, Meg Rowley, Matthew Trueblood, Bryan Grosnick and Craig Goldstein

07-27

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9

Flu-Like Symptoms: Double Dip Dissection
by
Rob Mains

07-24

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Coming Popup Plague
by
Rob Mains

07-21

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10

Prospectus Roundtable: Should the Royals Buy or Sell?
by
Rob Mains, Ben Diamond, Craig Goldstein, Wilson Karaman, Matthew Trueblood and Zach Crizer

07-17

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18

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Boring Index
by
Rob Mains

07-10

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: What to Expect After the Break
by
Rob Mains

07-07

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: Flirting With Disaster?
by
Rob Mains

07-03

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2

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

06-29

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: Running Relievers Ragged
by
Rob Mains

06-26

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0

Flu-Like Symptoms: Defying the Odds
by
Rob Mains

06-22

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6

Flu-Like Symptoms: Giving 'Em LIP
by
Rob Mains

06-19

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0

Flu-Like Symptoms: Singles Aren't Scoring Like They Used To
by
Rob Mains

06-15

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0

Flu-Like Symptoms: Meanwhile, Down on the Farm
by
Rob Mains

06-12

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6

Flu-Like Symptoms: Jon Lester, Elite Running Game Suppressor
by
Rob Mains

06-08

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0

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Speed Aristocracy
by
Rob Mains

06-05

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8

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Golden Age of TOOTBLAN
by
Rob Mains

06-02

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3

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

05-31

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10

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Wishful Thinking of Andrew McCutchen
by
Rob Mains

05-25

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: You Gotta Love a Slugfest
by
Rob Mains

05-22

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: Detroit's Earthworm Preservation Society
by
Rob Mains

05-18

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20

Flu-Like Symptoms: A Taxing Problem
by
Rob Mains

05-15

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0

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Worst Bullpen in Baseball
by
Rob Mains

05-11

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6

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Democratization of Dingers
by
Rob Mains

05-08

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0

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Marlins' Rotation So Far
by
Rob Mains

05-03

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3

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

05-01

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0

Flu-Like Symptoms: Judge-Ment
by
Rob Mains

04-27

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12

Flu-Like Symptoms: Blowin’ in the Wins (Part 2)
by
Rob Mains

04-24

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: Marte, McCutchen, and Foolish Consistencies
by
Rob Mains

04-20

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14

Flu-Like Symptoms: Wearing One
by
Rob Mains

04-17

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9

Flu-Like Symptoms: Blowin' In the Win
by
Rob Mains

04-13

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10

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Scary Consequence of the Strikeout Scourge
by
Rob Mains

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On the 25th episode of the DFA podcast, Bryan is joined by Rob Mains to talk about the AL Wild Card race and how a recent spate of injuries could change the playing field. Then it's on to ... more injuries to pitchers! And ... more injuries to pitchers! Yuck!

It's another episode of the DFA podcast! Hosts Bryan Grosnick (Baseball Prospectus) and R.J. Anderson (CBS Sports), plus producer Shawn Brody (Beyond the Box Score, BP Mets), are talking about all the transactions and roster moves that make MLB go. From trades and signings to callups and disabled list stints, DFA is here to provide analysis and commentary on all things baseball.

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August 21, 2017 6:00 am

Flu-Like Symptoms: Vin Mazzaro's Second-Worst Day

4

Rob Mains

How an obscure scoring rule can hurt a pitcher more than his team.

On May 5 of last year, the Giants had a bad day. Specifically, a couple of their pitchers had a bad day. In the top of the fifth inning, with his team already trailing 4-3, Matt Cain allowed a leadoff home run to Trevor Story. The next batter, Carlos Gonzalez, doubled. Nolan Arenado hit a grounder to shortstop Brandon Crawford, who bounced his throw to first base. Arenado was safe on the error, with Gonzalez advancing to third. The next batter, Gerardo Parra, singled, scoring Gonzalez, as Arenado advanced to second.

With nobody out, runners on first and second, and the Giants now trailing 6-3, manager Bruce Bochy brought in Vin Mazzaro from the bullpen.

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August 17, 2017 6:00 am

Flu-Like Symptoms: Pitching Panacea?

9

Rob Mains

If you can't beat 'em, partially eliminate 'em.

This isn’t my idea. (Always a rousing way to start an article!) You may read this and conclude that I’m a moron. I’m not saying that’s wrong! I’m just saying that your logic in saying so may be fallacious, if you’re basing it on the proposal here. It isn’t mine. I’m just reporting it.

Craig Wright is a prominent baseball analyst. He was the first front office sabermetrician for the Rangers, way back in 1981. During a 10-year stint with the Dodgers, he’s widely credited with promoting the abilities of 62nd-round draft pick Mike Piazza.

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A managerial strategy consensus?

On July 10, the Angels were on the road and trailing 10-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. Manager Mike Scioscia shuffled the lineup before the home team batted. Cliff Pennington replaced Andrelton Simmons at shortstop. Nick Franklin, playing left field, replaced Cameron Maybin, who’d been in center field, in the leadoff spot. Ben Revere, playing center field, replaced Kole Calhoun, who’d been in right field, batting second. Left fielder Eric Young moved from left field to right field.

This was a double-switch, defined as a substitution in which:

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August 10, 2017 6:00 am

Flu-Like Symptoms: Finding New Ways to Stink

0

Rob Mains

How the Reds' pitching staff is bad in a new way.

Here are two things that are true about the 2016 and 2017 Reds. One is that their record is one of the worst in baseball. That’s irrefutable. Through Tuesday, the Reds are 45-66. Their .405 winning percentage is the third-lowest in the National League, better than only the Giants and Phillies. Last year, they were 68-94, tied with the Padres for the worst record in the league.

The second thing that’s true about both the 2016 and 2017 Reds is that their pitching staff is bad. Last year, the Reds had an ERA of 4.91, 13th in the league. Or, if you prefer a pitching statistic that’s more process-driven than output-driven, their DRA was 5.14, also 13th. This year? It’s even worse. They’re last in ERA, 5.22, and last in DRA, 5.80. Their WARP is -4.5, which means that Reds pitchers have cost the club four-and-a-half wins relative to replacement-level hurlers.

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August 7, 2017 6:00 am

Flu-Like Symptoms: Reverse Splits

2

Rob Mains

Playing your best against the best and your worst against the worst.

Through Saturday's games, the Pirates were a disappointing 53-57, good for only fourth in the National League Central, 5.5 games behind the finally-getting-their-act-together Cubs. They trailed the Diamondbacks by 10.0 games for the second Wild Card, with NL Central rivals Milwaukee and St. Louis ahead of them and Miami and Atlanta only 1.0 and 1.5 games behind, respectively. The team looks headed for another season with a losing record.

And that’s reflected by its record against weak teams. The Pirates are 26-33 against teams with losing records. Only the cellar-dwelling Giants, Phillies, White Sox, and A’s have a worse record against losing teams. And that makes sense; if you can’t beat up on the weaklings, you’re not going to play in the postseason.

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Honoring the best of the overlooked.

This monthly award is named in honor of Ryan Vogelsong who, in 2011:

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It's never easy for the Rays.

Tampa Bay is 53-50 and facing the usual issues with payroll, attendance, and division difficulty. Should they go for it this season, parting with long-term assets for short-term help, or stay the course and keep the competitive window open for as long as possible? Our roundtable debates the pros and cons of each side, with a couple interruptions from the Rays making trades.

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July 27, 2017 6:00 am

Flu-Like Symptoms: Double Dip Dissection

9

Rob Mains

Are doubleheaders different?

In Episode 1080 of the Effectively Wild podcast, co-host Jeff Sullivan noted that several of the batters who’ve reached base via error three times in a game did so in doubleheaders (1:06:06):

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Another reason to worry about baseball getting boring.

Sometimes, when you set out to find out something, you discover something else that’s more interesting. This is one of those cases. Let me walk you through it.

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Go out on your collective shield or give a boost to the inevitable rebuilding process?

Kansas City is 47-47 and within two games of both first place in the AL Central and a Wild Card spot. But with BP pegging their playoff odds around 17 percent and much of their championship core set to become free agents after the season, the Royals have a tough decision to make before the trade deadline. Our roundtable debates the pros and cons of each side.

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July 17, 2017 6:00 am

Flu-Like Symptoms: The Boring Index

18

Rob Mains

The most boring players and teams in baseball.

One of the concerns about contemporary baseball is that it’s becoming boring. The Three True Outcomes[1]—walks, strikeouts, and home runs—have accounted for more than a third of all plate appearances so far this season, an all-time high.

That means less action on the field. We’re not just talking about, for example, fewer hit-and-runs; we’re talking less running altogether. Byron Buxton sprinting first-to-third, Jarrod Dyson chasing down a liner to the gap, Yasiel Puig throwing out a runner—that’s exciting. Players walking to and from the dugout, trotting around the bases, or taking first base on a walk—not so much. On a related note, 42 percent of runs so far this year have scored on homers, the highest percentage ever.

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