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Prospectus Hit List for August 29



by Matthew Kory

Hit List for August 27 Hit List for September 3
Hit List updates are published Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, starting April 2, 2014. Data presented here is based on games through the day prior to publication.
Teams are ordered based on Adjusted Hit List Factor, a computer generated number, and the author isn't responsible for the order of the teams.

It's Friday, Friday, gotta chuckle on Friday.

RkTmWLW1W2W3HLFAHLFWin Div%Win WC%Playoff%1-Day7-Day
1

78

55

84.3

83.0

82.5

.616

.635

29.3%

70.1%

99.4%

-0.3%

0.5%

Josh Donaldson’s season might not be enough to put him in the MVP conversation unless the voters consider a little-noted clause about the “awesomeness” of a player’s hairstyle.
2

80

53

77.7

81.8

81.2

.603

.622

70.4%

29.5%

99.9%

0.0%

0.2%

Already two games over last season’s 78 wins, Mike Scioscia is stoking the killer spirit by instituting a paid pregame nap.
3

72

60

78.2

75.9

75.2

.571

.590

0.3%

42.4%

42.7%

-2.2%

1.6%

Eddie Vedder, Jack White, and Paul Simon took in a Mariners game recently. Nice try, but the team hasn’t made it until you see Magic Johnson in a field box.
4

76

56

73.3

72.2

72.5

.557

.577

96.8%

1.1%

97.9%

1.5%

-0.2%

Adam Jones' steal of home consisted of a throw through on a steal of second and a dropped return throw. A mistake undone by greater incompetence: the Orioles season in microcosm.
5

75

57

77.6

76.7

75.8

.578

.558

93.6%

4.4%

98.0%

-0.3%

-0.9%

Dear Nats, that was fun and all but it’s football season now so we’ll check back in after the Super Bowl. Hope things turn out well! Love, DC
6

72

60

69.1

71.2

70.3

.535

.555

44.4%

23.5%

68.0%

9.8%

-1.1%

The Yankees had nine consecutive hits off David Price who, somewhere around six, probably figured ‘what the heck, I’m riding this train and seein' where it goes.’
7

65

69

68.8

73.6

73.5

.524

.544

0.1%

0.3%

0.3%

-0.3%

-0.9%

The Tigers are 2-3 when David Price pitches while the Rays are 2-3 on days he pitches for Detroit.
8

76

58

73.3

76.6

74.8

.561

.541

87.3%

11.9%

99.2%

-0.0%

2.2%

MLB.com says Clayton Kershaw’s latest win “didn’t come easy.” He struck out 10 against two walks and allowed one run in eight innings. Kershaw is not only having an amazing season, he’s redefining phrases.
9

68

64

68.0

68.3

67.1

.514

.534

3.8%

5.6%

9.4%

2.4%

1.1%

The Indians did to the White Sox exactly what Indian people have done with white socks throughout history: put them on their feet and wear them until they are used up and then discard them. Historical burn!
10

74

59

69.7

63.7

64.5

.511

.531

51.7%

21.0%

72.8%

-8.0%

-0.8%

The Royals have struck out less than any team in baseball, and 125 fewer times than the second place A’s. Like my little league coach said, just hit it and these stupid kids will mess it up. He wasn’t a very nice coach.
11

67

66

66.3

66.6

66.1

.500

.520

0.4%

0.9%

1.3%

-0.1%

-4.0%

Marcus Stroman is as good as people said he was! Sadly, so are the Blue Jays.
12

71

62

71.5

73.1

72.5

.538

.519

12.7%

60.6%

73.3%

2.6%

6.9%

Tim Lincecum To The Bullpen Street was brought to you today by the letter L and by the number 4.64. That’s a decimal! Ha ha!
13

73

60

70.7

69.7

69.4

.532

.512

52.4%

30.3%

82.6%

-2.2%

-7.7%

The Brewers have seen the fewest pitches in baseball, just 18,274, which is the same number of times I’ve looked at the standings this season, seen the Brewers in first, and thought “No way!”
14

69

63

63.0

62.7

63.0

.488

.508

2.7%

5.6%

8.4%

-2.9%

3.6%

When Stephen Drew re-signs with Boston next season his .538 OPS with the Yankees will make more sense.
15

69

64

67.7

69.5

70.5

.520

.500

7.1%

23.3%

30.3%

-4.0%

8.5%

Normally, winning a series against St. Louis would be huge now, but they’re not in first place. GET DOWN, MILWAUKEE! BAD TEAM! VERY BAD!
16

70

64

70.1

68.7

68.7

.518

.498

6.2%

40.0%

46.2%

6.1%

3.1%

Poor Jonny Venters is on course to get his own surgery.
17

71

61

64.6

68.5

68.3

.516

.496

40.4%

26.7%

67.2%

-2.2%

-10.3%

The Cardinals have been hit by a major-league-leading 69 pitches. How funny would it be if they were consecutive?
18

59

74

62.8

62.1

61.8

.462

.482

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

What is your name? What day is it? Is the light on in this room? Is scoring six runs off Bruce Chen an accomplishment? Ah ha! I knew it!
19

65

69

68.2

63.9

64.7

.488

.468

0.2%

1.1%

1.2%

0.4%

0.4%

Despite two singles and two walks, Billy Hamilton only stole one base. He’s such a tease.
20

58

75

58.5

59.5

60.3

.444

.464

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The Red Sox have grounded into 118 double plays or, as the kids call ‘em, 118 playsplays. Man, kids are so stupid nowadays.
21

60

73

58.8

58.4

58.1

.442

.462

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

-0.0%

Jose Abreu is the best number 79 in White Sox history. He’s also got no competition, but if he wanted some he could drop down six and kick Tony Phillips’ butt.
22

65

67

63.0

62.9

62.5

.480

.460

0.2%

1.5%

1.7%

-0.5%

-1.9%

Giancarlo Stanton has scored 83 runs and driven in 97. The Marlins have scored 538.
23

59

74

60.8

66.2

66.1

.474

.454

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

-0.0%

0.0%

Will the Cubs sign Jon Lester? The Mythbusters investigate by blowing up a mobile home!
24

62

72

65.6

61.2

61.5

.467

.447

0.0%

0.1%

0.1%

0.0%

-0.2%

You’d think the Mariners could use a pinch-hitter, but it looks like the Mets aren’t going to trade Bartolo Colon.
25

57

78

57.8

57.0

58.8

.427

.447

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Can the Astros still sign Brady Aiken? Sure, if he feels like spending next summer selling cotton candy and cracker jack!
26

62

70

63.6

59.7

60.1

.465

.445

0.0%

0.2%

0.2%

0.0%

-0.2%

Yangervis Solarte went from Yankee Stadium to Petco Park and his OPS went up 28 points. The only logical explanation: Now freed from John Sterling’s singing, he can really shine.
27

61

72

59.3

59.2

60.3

.451

.431

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The Phillies will owe Cliff Lee $37.5 million next season whether he pitches or not, so you have about a year and a month to wear that Cliff Lee t-shirt, Phillies fans.
28

53

80

59.2

60.9

58.1

.432

.413

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Remember when Charlie Blackmon was awesome? Ah, three months ago, we hardly knew ye…
29

52

81

52.4

49.9

52.0

.388

.407

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Texas leads baseball in getting caught stealing because baseball is all about achievement.
30

55

78

55.4

56.4

56.2

.419

.400

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

While the Diamondbacks lead baseball in triples, it should be noted that MLB.com doesn’t record the number of times a player was thrown out trying to grit a double into a triple.

Matthew Kory is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Matthew's other articles. You can contact Matthew by clicking here


3 comments have been left for this article.
Nacho999

The Rays, The Jays & The Tribe ahead of the Yankees?...New York is no prize, but they are better than those three clubs even with that skeleton staff...The season is long and you just can't go by the record, I get that, but the exception is when there are 30 games left...You is what you is by now...Detroit is a bit high too...I can't believe all they got for Drew Smyly was David Price and they had to forfeit Austin Jackson in the process...Ha! Ha! as Nelson from The Simpsons might say...

Aug 29, 2014 14:54 PM
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jefflanning

You say the Orioles season in a microcosm is "a mistake [by them] undone by greater incompetence [by the other team]." Really?

Each of the past three years, your statistical models (and most others as well) have predicted the Orioles would be the worst team in the AL East, and one of the 5-10 worst teams in all of baseball. Over that time period--nearly 500 games--the Orioles have, instead, posted one of the 5 best win/loss records.

I work with statistics in my professional work all the time, and I truly appreciate the work this site and others are doing. It's why 8 keep coming back.

That said, when it comes to the Orioles, you guys are missing something. It is time to admit it and start working on appropriate adjustments rather than hopelessly hoping that a "regression to the mean" will save you from the inquiry.

I do not know what is missing. Maybe the contributions of excellent defense are underweighted. Or, a great managerial and front office record of dealing with injuries and putting the right team on the field each day. Or, maybe the value of home runs (no need to be lucky with sequencing of hits when they leave the yard). Or, perhaps, not enough recognition of the importance of bullpen performance in high leverage situations.

Whatever the reason, however, it''s well past time (after 3 years and 500 games) to stop attributing the Orioles performance under GM Duquette and Manager Showalter to luck. It is entirely implausible to say that they have been of the 5 or so worst teams (as the models have predicted) the last 5 years but they got lucky and ended up with one of the 5 best win/loss records over such a large sample of games.

Aug 29, 2014 22:03 PM
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BirdlandPGH

hear-hear.

Aug 31, 2014 09:54 AM
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