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Prospectus Hit List for September 26



by Clark Goble and Daniel Rathman

Hit List for September 23 Hit List for September 27
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 move within a single game of the Braves for the NL Wild Card

RkTmWLW1W2W3 HLFAHLFWin Div%Win WC%Playoff%1-Day7-Day
1

99

60

99.6

98.1

97.0

.619

.600

100.0%

0.0%

100.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The Phillies eight-game losing skid was their worst since 2000 and the worst by any team after wrapping up first place since 1903. They won Sunday, but they're seriously testing that whole
2

93

66

96.2

101.2

101.4

.616

.635

100.0%

0.0%

100.0%

0.0%

1.6%

The Rangers have won 12 of their last 15 games and, with a strong series against the Angels to close out the season, they could have more momentum than any other team coming into the postseason.
3

97

62

101.0

93.6

93.6

.606

.625

100.0%

0.0%

100.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Since joining the Yankees, Scott Proctor has coughed up 12 runs (10 earned) on 16 hits—five homers—and 10 walks in 8.1 innings. Last night's game was meaningless in the short-term for New York, but if the teams meet again in the postseason, using Proctor in the 14th inning is a decision the Yankees may come to regret.
4

89

70

93.1

97.4

96.9

.592

.611

0.0%

89.8%

89.8%

2.3%

1.6%

If you are one of those MVP voters who needs a moment, an image that sticks, or a dreamy narrative that would make Frank Deford smile, you probably wrote 'Jacoby Ellsbury' atop your ballot around 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time last night.
5

94

65

88.1

90.6

89.8

.570

.550

100.0%

0.0%

100.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Curious how much the Brewers value home-field advantage in the NLDS? If it's still at stake, Yovani Gallardo would be used to secure it on Wednesday, limiting him to one start in the first round. Such is life when you are 39-42 away from home.
6

88

71

89.2

90.7

91.6

.565

.585

0.0%

9.8%

9.8%

0.8%

-1.1%

Sports fans in Tampa Bay endured quite the mood swing last night. A build-up of elation—as the Yankees grabbed an early lead against John Lackey, while the Buccaneers finished off the Falcons—ended in a stream of expletives that would've made Lackey proud when Scott Proctor took the mound and served up a three-run gopherball in the top of the 14th.
7

92

67

85.5

89.9

88.4

.559

.579

100.0%

0.0%

100.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The Tigers are battling the Rangers for home-field advantage in the ALDS, but not getting it won't put the Tigers in an unusual situation. If the Rangers hold onto home field, the Tigers will head to New York like they did in 2006. And that ended up rather well.
8

93

66

87.3

82.4

82.3

.542

.522

100.0%

0.0%

100.0%

0.0%

1.4%

The Diamondbacks hope Justin Upton will be OK after he took a Tim Lincecum fastball to the helmet on Sunday. He left the game for precautionary reasons and is day-to-day. Upton has to be getting used to this kind of thing; with 19 HBP, he's tied for the NL lead with Danny Espinosa.
9

88

71

85.4

86.2

85.2

.542

.522

0.0%

28.3%

28.3%

17.1%

21.8%

The Cardinals are just a game behind the Braves with three to play, and they face the Astros to wrap up the season. That would be better news if Monday's starter, Jaime Garcia, wasn't 0-2 with a 5.51 ERA against Houston in 2011.
10

89

70

84.7

84.4

83.2

.537

.517

0.0%

71.7%

71.7%

-17.1%

-19.0%

Amid the pressure of closing out the NL Wild Card race, it was nice to see Kris Medlen make a successful return from Tommy John surgery. The 25-year-old righty tossed a scoreless inning in Atlanta's 3-0 loss on Sunday.
11

86

73

84.5

83.4

83.1

.530

.550

0.0%

0.4%

0.4%

-3.1%

-2.1%

It's hard to imagine a worse time for an implosion than the one Jordan Walden chose on Sunday. The flamethrowing closer was charged with four runs—two unearned, thanks to his own error—in a disastrous ninth inning that dashed the Angels' playoff hopes.
12

80

78

82.4

83.5

83.0

.520

.500

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

In his last two starts, Clayton Kershaw gave up a home run to Chris Stewart and walked Cory Luebke. That would be troubling, except all other Giants and Padres hitters had just nine hits and two walks to show for their 14.2 innings of futile efforts.
13

84

75

77.8

80.8

80.1

.507

.487

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

-4.2%

Tim Lincecum will finish with a 13-14 record—the first sub-.500 record in his career. The Giants scored two runs or less in 21 of his 33 starts and scored zero in 10 of his starts.
14

77

82

81.2

81.5

80.6

.504

.484

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The most impressive part of Dontrelle Willis's first win since June 5, 2010 wasn't his pitching. Willis doubled in two in the sixth inning to give the Reds the lead they wouldn't relent. He's hitting .400 (12-of-30) for the season and could become the first pitcher in 16 years to hit at least .400 in a season.
15

80

79

77.8

75.7

78.0

.490

.510

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

After Sunday's loss, the Blue Jays are 0-7 in the last seven games started by Brett Cecil. The lefty's ERA has climbed from 4.24 to 4.73 over that span, and his most recent 3.1 inning shellacking was a fitting cherry on top of a disappointing season.
16

78

80

76.5

76.6

77.0

.488

.468

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Everyone was happy for Chien-Ming Wang when he broke an 0-for-32 skid and picked up his first big league hit on Saturday. The Nationals medical staff had to be holding its breath, though, considering that Wang's tailspin began with a torn Lisfranc ligament sustained while running the bases in 2008.
17

77

82

73.7

78.8

78.1

.484

.504

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Adam Dunn's hunt for batting average infamy will need some help from Ozzie Guillen. The slugger, batting .161, needs 13 plate appearances in Chicago's last three games to finish with the worst qualifying batting average in major league history. One benching by the skipper could halt the chase.
18

76

83

76.9

76.6

77.1

.482

.462

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Mike Pelfrey struggled down the stretch, earning just one win during his last 12 starts. The last batter he faced was Roy Halladay, who singled. Pelfrey finishes the season 7-13 with a 4.74 ERA.
19

72

87

76.2

79.4

79.1

.482

.462

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

When Jordan Pacheco, Ty Wigginton, and Tommy Field each have four hits, either things are going rather well or somebody turned on Rookie mode again.
20

80

79

75.5

74.3

74.8

.479

.499

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Jim Thome played third base for one pitch on Sunday. The slugger hadn't played at the hot corner since Sept. 29, 1996, after starting his career there. And no, he didn't throw out his back or anything.
21

71

88

71.3

78.9

78.3

.471

.451

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Emilio Bonifacio homered on both Saturday and Sunday, and he now has five homers in 553 at-bats this season after entering the year with just one—an inside-the-parker on Opening Day, 2009—in 833 career at-bats.
22

70

89

76.2

76.0

76.8

.470

.490

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The Royals survived a no-hit bid from Gavin Floyd to knock off the White Sox and secure their first season-series victory over the South Siders since 2000. Nearly getting no-hit sounds like the same old Royals, but taking a season-series from Chicago suggests better things might be coming.
23

72

87

74.9

73.7

75.1

.465

.485

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Josh Willingham homered in Sunday's game, giving him 17 big flies since the All-Star Break. His 28 dingers this season are also the highest total by an A's player since Jack Cust had 33 in 2008.
24

69

90

76.8

71.2

70.9

.453

.433

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The Padres hit for the cycle against Clayton Kershaw on Sunday. No, seriously: they had a single, a double, a triple, and a homer. Unfortunately, they only had one of each, as a team.
25

70

89

69.2

69.4

68.6

.436

.416

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

At least Cubs fans had some sympathy as they watched Carlos Marmol throw away Saturday's game with a three-walk meltdown in the ninth. Braves fans were right there with them.
26

66

93

66.5

67.9

69.2

.424

.443

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Facing a Rangers lineup sans most of their sluggers on Saturday, Felix Hernandez was whipped and his fantasy owners were WHIP'd. King Felix gave up 12 hits in just 3.1 innings before taking a line drive to the forearm that forced him to leave the game.
27

71

88

68.6

63.0

61.8

.416

.396

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The Pirates drew 1.94 million fans to PNC Park this season: the fourth-highest mark in club history. The front office better hope that the fans' patience doesn't run out soon.
28

67

92

64.3

62.2

63.3

.404

.423

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

If Brian Matusz doesn't pitch again this season, he will finish with a 10.69 ERA—the highest for a pitcher with at least 40 innings. That's the bed news. The good? The previous record was 10.64, held by Toronto's Roy Halladay.
29

55

104

61.8

61.4

61.7

.377

.359

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Clint Barmes, you might be on the wrong squad. The shortstop had to watch the Rockies, his former unit, bash out 25 hits and plate 19 runs at Minute Maid Park on Sunday. The Astros hadn't lost by more than eight runs this season.
30

61

98

60.2

54.9

55.4

.364

.383

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Third base coach Steve Liddle ordered a steal with two outs in the ninth inning after he misinterpreted a sign from Ron Gardenhire; the manager was just scratching his chin. Joe Benson was thrown out, but the Twins won in extras. It's been a scratch-your-head kind of season in the Twin Cities.

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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