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Prospectus Hit List for September 22



by Clark Goble and Daniel Rathman

Hit List for September 21 Hit List for September 23
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.

The Cardinals close in on the Braves for the NL Wild Card.

RkTmWLW1 W2W3HLFAHLFWin Div%Win WC%Playoff%1-Day7-Day
1

90

65

93.1

97.5

98.0

.611

.629

99.8%

0.1%

99.8%

0.2%

7.7%

Ian Kinsler drilled his 30th homer of the year to tie the game in the eighth inning, becoming the third middle-infielder—along with Dan Uggla and Troy Tulowitzki—to join the club this season.
2

88

68

92.5

95.9

95.3

.595

.615

0.0%

82.8%

82.8%

-0.1%

-14.8%

Josh Beckett got a standing ovation from a panicking Fenway Park crowd when he departed in the eighth inning. By the time the night was over, he had been charged with six runs and a loss. The standards for pitching are pretty low in Boston these days.
3

98

57

98.1

95.8

94.8

.624

.605

100.0%

0.0%

100.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The Phillies finally scored more than three runs in a game, pushing five across on Wednesday. Only problem is, they gave up seven. That's three straight losses to the Nationals—not that it really matters.
4

95

60

98.9

92.5

92.3

.611

.630

100.0%

0.0%

100.0%

0.0%

0.0%

With the division clinched and home-field advantage virtually assured, the Yankees can now worry about more important things, like deciding who gets to join them in the playoffs. It will be interesting to see what Joe Girardi does with his lineups in the team's seven remaining games against Tampa Bay and Boston.
5

91

65

85.6

88.7

87.9

.566

.546

99.8%

0.1%

99.9%

-0.1%

0.5%

Nyjer Morgan might've lost a fly ball in the sun. Or he might've been plotting something else. You never know with Nyjer.
6

90

65

83.2

87.6

86.0

.559

.579

100.0%

0.0%

100.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Miguel Cabrera probably had his dream night on Wednesday. He had a day off but came in to pinch hit. On the first pitch he saw, he hit a go-ahead double and trotted back to the dugout for a pinch runner. Easy enough.
7

85

70

86.2

87.0

88.0

.558

.578

0.0%

11.0%

11.0%

-4.2%

9.3%

Joe Maddon's bullpen tried twice and failed twice to stave-off Yankee rallies in the eighth inning. Fortunately, the doubleheader sweep only cost the Rays half a game in the standings.
8

88

68

83.6

83.6

82.5

.541

.521

0.0%

72.7%

72.7%

-8.3%

-23.4%

The Braves were ten and a half games up on the Cardinals on Aug. 25. Now they're one and half games ahead. Maybe all that
9

86

69

83.8

83.5

82.5

.541

.522

0.2%

25.8%

26.0%

7.7%

21.8%

With a win on Wednesday, the Cardinals have climbed to one and a half game behind the Braves for the NL Wild Card. And they did it with Rafael Furcal in the leadoff spot.
10

85

70

82.7

82.2

81.8

.535

.555

0.2%

6.1%

6.3%

4.1%

-2.2%

One of the most durable starters in baseball, Dan Haren has never missed a scheduled assignment. Could a line-drive off his wrist stop him? Pfft, see you in five days.
11

77

77

79.3

81.0

80.5

.516

.496

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

When Matt Kemp hit his 35th homer in the fifth inning, the fans at Dodger Stadium broke into a prolonged chant of M-V-P. If he gets the votes, Kemp will be the first outfielder to win the National League honor since Barry Bonds.
12

84

71

78.7

80.8

80.1

.522

.502

0.3%

1.4%

1.7%

0.5%

1.2%

Brian Wilson returned to his familiar role and picked up his 36th save of the season. Deliciously, he ranks ninth in the league in saves despite missing a month.
13

76

80

79.8

79.9

79.1

.504

.484

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Entering Wednesday's game, Bronson Arroyo needed two complete games to reach 200 innings for the sixth straight season. He got one on Wednesday. Since wins and losses don't matter for the Reds anymore, Dusty Baker should refuse to take Arroyo out in his next start.
14

90

66

83.8

79.6

79.5

.534

.514

99.7%

0.1%

99.8%

0.2%

-0.0%

The Diamondbacks' aggressive attitude was on full display on Wednesday. In the first inning, Arizona stole four bases on two double steals. Sounds like little league when the catcher can't throw.
15

76

79

73.6

78.3

77.9

.493

.513

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Mark Buehrle needs to throw one and two-thirds of an inning to become the sixth pitcher since 1980 to work more than 200 innings in 11 straight seasons. The five others? Don Sutton, Gaylord Perry, Phil Niekro, Steve Carlton and Greg Maddux. Good company.
16

71

85

70.8

77.9

77.2

.476

.456

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Javy Vazquez took it to his former team on Wednesday, holding the Braves to just two hits and a walk through seven innings. In all fairness, though, he's been taking it to everybody recently. Vazquez has pitched 25 straight scoreless innings—a Marlins record for a starter.
17

70

85

73.5

75.7

75.7

.476

.456

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

No matter who the Padres threw out there, the beat-up Rockies couldn't score. Colorado plated just three runs in the series at Coors Field and will end its season having lost seven straight at home.
18

73

82

74.8

75.6

76.0

.483

.463

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Rookie Pedro Beato didn't give up an earned run in his first 18 and two-thirds of an inning but has struggled since. After blowing a save opportunity on Wednesday, Beato's ERA jumped to a season-high 4.41.
19

68

88

73.9

74.0

74.8

.466

.486

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

With Billy Butler's 40th double on Wednesday, the Royals became just the fourth team in major league history with four players who hit 40 doubles. The other teams: the 2006 Rangers, the 1932 Phillies, and the 1929 Tigers. None of those teams finished over .500.
20

75

79

73.6

73.7

74.0

.481

.461

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Wilson Ramos went 3-for-3 and cranked his 14th homer of the season, improving his triple-slash to .267/.334/.443. If Twins GM Bill Smith could have one trade back, it would almost certainly be dealing Ramos for Matt Capps.
21

78

77

76.0

73.7

76.1

.490

.510

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Perhaps Kelly Johnson just really likes hitting against the Angels. A .220 hitter with 158 strikeouts this season, Johnson has logged three consecutive two-hit games without a K.
22

69

86

72.7

71.8

73.2

.462

.482

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Of the 69 runs Brandon McCarthy has allowed this season, 59 have been earned, 21 have been against the Rangers, and 13 have been both earned and against the Rangers. In other words, Ron Washington's lineups are responsible for 30 percent of all runs he's allowed, 22 percent of the earned runs, and 80 percent of the unearned runs. Don't mess with Texas.
23

76

78

71.4

71.2

71.7

.471

.491

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Ubaldo Jimenez has gone at least six innings in each of his last six starts. In those games, he has a 3.20 ERA. The 2011 season is long over, but Indians fans in 2012 will be excited to see if Jimenez can be the ace they expected.
24

68

88

75.6

69.5

69.1

.452

.433

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The Padres and Rockies combined for two extra-base hits on Wednesday. Did someone forget to tell them the game was played at Coors Field, not Petco Park?
25

69

87

67.6

68.3

67.5

.437

.417

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The 30,395 that showed up for the Cubs' final home date pushed the Cubbies past the three million attendance mark. They will finish at 3,017,966—the eighth straight season that they've drawn more than three million fans.
26

66

89

66.0

67.4

68.3

.432

.451

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Twenty-nine players suited up for the Mariners. Seventeen weren't with the Mariners when they were in Minnesota in May. September baseball, everyone.
27

69

87

67.0

61.7

60.5

.414

.395

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Well, you certainly can't say Clint Hurdle is giving up. He used 15 position players and six pitchers in Wednesday's loss.
28

53

102

60.2

60.8

61.0

.379

.360

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

At least the Astros aren't lollygagging through the end of their season. Wednesday's game with the Reds lasted just two hours and 12 minutes and included a four-minute fire-alarm induced delay.
29

65

90

62.5

60.5

61.6

.403

.422

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Buck Showalter seemed to thoroughly enjoy taking three of four from the Red Sox—so much so that one wonders whether he actually prefers playing spoiler to contending in September.
30

59

95

58.2

52.4

53.0

.361

.380

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Today in Greek mythology and the Twins, courtesy of Kevin Slowey: "At this point in this clubhouse, it's like we're watching the fate of Sisyphus himself. Get to the top of that hill and just can't seem to figure it out, so it's been pretty tough."

Clark Goble is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Clark's other articles. You can contact Clark by clicking here
Daniel Rathman is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Daniel's other articles. You can contact Daniel by clicking here


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