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Chat: NL Wild Card Game Chat

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Wednesday October 07, 2015 7:30 PM ET chat session with NL Wild Card Game Chat.

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NL Wild Card Game Chat: Joe Sheehan said in his newsletter today that this might be the most anticipated baseball game ever, given all the time we've had to build up to it and how long it's seemed inevitable. I think he's right. Let's chat.

mlermo (Chicago): Just saw an interesting tweet that Cole has much worse splits when Cervelli is catching compared to Stewart. Is there any other explanation or should Cubs look at this as encouraging news? Here's the tweet: https://twitter.com/bradrobinson8/status/651831545636982784

NL Wild Card Game Chat: mlermo: There's something to it, I think. I wrote about this at BPWrigleyville yesterday: http://wrigleyville.locals.baseballprospectus.com/2015/10/06/montero-and-cervelli-twin-stories-colliding-in-the-city-of-bridges/ -MT

I don't personally put much stock in it from a pure statistical point of view. Unless there was something a la Cueto/Sal Perez where Cole has expressed a view on how Cervelli catches, I think it's probably more noise than signal. - CG

Shock G (Digital Underground): Player in tonight's game most likely to do my dance in a celebration?

NL Wild Card Game Chat: Craij and Rian will be a while. Maybe they will have any idea what this means? -MT

Uhhh yeah, I'm one of the few people not part of the baseball/wrestling combo club. Sorry! - CG

CaseyJ15 (Medford, OR): You have the first pick in the draft and you already have Manny Machado on your roster. You have your choice of Correa, Bryant or Sano. Who gets the nod?

NL Wild Card Game Chat: Is this a fantasy question? -MT

I'll take Correa, as a shortstop and leave Machado at 3B. - CG

bryner99 (Brooklyn): I'm going to Seattle tomorrow. Should I tell Cwik?

NL Wild Card Game Chat: Not if you value your time - CG

Cweaver099 (Lufkin, TX): If the Cubs win the WC, how far do you think they'll go?

NL Wild Card Game Chat: I have them losing to the Dodgers in the NLCS. MT

I don't think there's anything saying they can't go all the way, beyond chance. They're as good as anyone else, and I do think they're well suited to pass St. Louis. As a Dodgers fan I'm deathly afraid of facing Chicago, but I think it's a pretty even series. - CG

bryner99 (Brooklyn): No but seriously... Mookie or Xander? Next year, and going forward?

NL Wild Card Game Chat: uggggggggh. I feel like it's hard not to answer Mookie at this point, but I still prefer Bogaerts. I can't say I have a leg to stand on but I think the power comes, even if it is at the loss of some power. Mookie is already hitting for power though, so I can't really say that's a big advantage for Xander. That said, I'll take the guy at SS, and I do think Bogaerts can stick there for the next five+ seasons. I'm buyest. What can I say. - CG

CaseyJ15 (Medford, OR): You have the first pick in the draft and you already have Manny Machado on your roster. You have your choice of Correa, Bryant or Sano. Who gets the nod?

NL Wild Card Game Chat: This game is NOT going to be decided by small ball, for my money. I think someone's gonna catch one with a runner on and break the game (relatively) open.

bryner99 (Brooklyn): Hey Craij

NL Wild Card Game Chat: Hey. Well, just as we all suspected, there's been a run within two batters - CG

apple sauce jackson (winterfell): where does Arrieta's beard fall on the 20/80 scale?

NL Wild Card Game Chat: I'm generally anti-beard, so let's get that out of the way first. I think this is a strong beard. I'd give it a 60 in its current form, but when it's cropped close to his face, I think it can push 70 - CG

apple sauce jackson (winterfell): where does Arrieta's beard fall on the 20/80 scale?

NL Wild Card Game Chat: Solid 60 for me. Neat but bold. The beard of a self-made man.

Dan Rozenson (Washington, DC): Why did you agree to do this

NL Wild Card Game Chat: An external locus of control. The firm belief that I have no power over the choices I make and the circumstances in which I find myself.

I have a strong sense of self-loathing, but also the extreme desire to aggrieve others - CG

apple sauce jackson (winterfell): if the white sox made chris sale available, who would land him? what would the return look like?

NL Wild Card Game Chat: I'll say the Red Sox, because Dombrowski reels in big fish and the red Sox need him. The return would be obscene. - MT

The Red Sox make sense, but then again so does just about everyone else with a farm system. He's cost-controlled, elite, avoided the anticipated health issues for the most part. I guess I'd wonder why you trade him. - CG

16candles (NY): Where did this Cervelli offensive season come from? Is he doing more of the same of what he's done the last two seasons or is something different?

NL Wild Card Game Chat: Catchers peak late and there's nothing here he hadn't hinted at. This would have been hard to project, but it's not a staggering development. His strike-zone control, in particular, is typical of guys with his profile. It's sometimes short-lived, but it's not a fluke. - MT

There's also the spike in BABIP (over a full season) to explain a bit. But as Matt said, he's earned his strong offensive season, and it would still be a strong one with some BABIP regression. - CG

oldbopper (New Britain, CT): I can't shake the feeling that Cubs-Pirates actually playing in the post-season is weirdly surreal.

NL Wild Card Game Chat: Logistically, even. It's only been 20 years that this is even possible, and let's be real, this wasn't at all possible for most of that time. MT

JQ (NJ): Hi guys. I hope all is well. The weather couldn't be nicer here. I think both of these teams are pretty cool. They both wore alternates today, and I think that's pretty not cool. My question thus follows: which team offends you more by not going with their regular uni?

NL Wild Card Game Chat: The Braves have pretty terrible alternates. So I guess I'll say them. I'm pretty easygoing with regard to unis. MT

It's not that I want them to wear their regular uniform, but if you're going to go alternate, I wish the Pirates wore the yellows. I love the A's and Pirates yellows. Assuming you meant just between these two teams. - CG

JQ (NJ): Follow up: Which of these two teams offends you more by their decision to choose an alternate uni for tonight's game? Also, who hits the first flyball for PIT and in what inning?

NL Wild Card Game Chat: Jordy Mercer, second. :)

Neither. I prefer these unis to the Cubs' grays and the Bucs' whites. In a perfect world, Pitt wears their throwbacks, though. - MT

Gonna disagree with Matt here, and say no flyballs are gonna happen this game. I feel good about this. - CG

oldbopper (New Britain, CT): And to think the Cubs were second guessed unmercifully for picking Schwarber 4th overall.

NL Wild Card Game Chat: I think I was among the (utterly uneducated) second-guessers, although I was a VERY early convert. My, what a player. MT

Perhaps it's just my fuzzy memory but "unmercifully" strikes me as strong. He was generally considered the best bat in the draft, but I think most were anticipating the Cubs taking an arm, and passing on Nola seemed odd. This isn't to say there was no second guessing. There was, but I don't think it was exceedingly harsh. - CG

oldbopper (New Britain, CT): Maybe I am seeing a trend. Top flight college hitters have been very successful very quickly the past couple of years. Schwarber and Conforto have both far exceeded their expectations in both production and time of arrival. Benintendi looked like he might join the group with his excellent first year.

NL Wild Card Game Chat: It's hard for me to say anything definitively. We're talking about under 300 PA from either, though I understand you're factoring in minor league production there too - and I don't think that's unfair here. There are a lot of college hitters that haven't done the same though, and from what I know, Benintendi was highly regarded in the draft, plus he's been playing mostly below his level of talent thus far. This isn't to temper but just to try to attempt to provide context.




In general it's really hard to respond to these types of Qs because analysis is almost always hinged on a range of outcomes and what's most likely. Just because they're producing at a higher end of their possible outcomes doesn't mean some people didn't anticipate this production at all. That said, I didn't see this type of success for either player mentioned, so I can't claim that rationale. - CG

NL Wild Card Game Chat: Alright all. Thanks for joining us for the brief chat, but it seems that it just wasn't a lively night for one. We'll catch you next time!


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