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Prospectus Hit List for August 3



by Matthew Kory

Hit List for August 2 Hit List for August 6
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 Phillies' playoff odds are 0.2 percent? What does that mean, exactly? Matt explains.

RkTmWLW1W2W3HLFAHLF Win Div%Win WC%Playoff%1-Day7-Day
1

61

43

60.9

60.8

61.4

.587

.606

93.6%

4.1%

97.7%

1.4%

-1.7%

The Yankees are 18 games over .500. In 86 games against the American League, New York is 10 games over .500. In 18 games against the National League, New York is eight games over.
2

61

43

60.0

63.9

63.5

.597

.616

87.0%

11.7%

98.7%

0.4%

-0.5%

In his Rangers debut, Ryan Dempster pitched 4 2/3 innings giving up eight runs. The Rangers won 15-8. If they were going to score 15 runs the Rangers shouldn't have bothered trading for Dempster.
3

64

41

60.6

57.8

57.0

.570

.550

80.7%

17.3%

98.0%

3.0%

5.1%

What is the secret to Johnny Cueto's success? He is giving up 0.3 home runs per nine innings. As you'll note, a third of a homer is really a pop up to shortstop. Ah ha!
4

62

42

60.7

61.4

60.1

.587

.568

70.6%

22.0%

92.6%

1.0%

-2.4%

Jayson Werth came back from three months on the DL to go 1-for-3. Because this is how these things go: in the next three days Ryan Zimmerman will be injured eating pie.
5

57

47

58.4

56.6

57.0

.550

.570

69.6%

14.9%

84.5%

-3.0%

7.9%

Adam Dunn is walking in 17.3 percent of his plate appearances. If you don’t count his strikeouts, it’s 90 percent.
6

56

49

52.2

52.8

52.6

.508

.488

46.1%

2.8%

48.9%

0.7%

-35.2%

In six games since arriving in trade, Marco Scutaro is hitting .333/.375/.429. The last season Scutaro slugged .429 or better in the majors was never.
7

55

50

53.4

54.9

56.0

.522

.542

30.1%

28.1%

58.2%

3.2%

-11.3%

Prince Fielder's OPS in odd years has never been below .981. His OPS in even years has never been above .888.
8

60

45

58.3

57.4

57.9

.556

.536

29.3%

52.2%

81.5%

3.5%

16.4%

Chipper Jones is retiring next year. Chipper Jones is hitting .316/.391/.513. There are other reasons to stop playing baseball besides ceasing to be good at it, but for the life of me I can't think of one.
9

54

51

57.2

58.6

57.7

.542

.522

27.6%

4.8%

32.4%

0.0%

21.1%

The Diamondbacks traded for Scott Podsednik from Boston. They assigned him to Triple-A. He refused the assignment and left the organization. This is called maximizing assets.
10

56

50

53.8

51.7

51.9

.503

.483

26.3%

4.8%

31.1%

-2.2%

8.8%

Since joining the Dodgers, many insiders have commented on how Hanley Ramirez has gone out of his way to be the most considerate and team-oriented jerk he can be.
11

57

49

58.5

59.9

60.7

.557

.577

11.7%

67.2%

78.9%

-5.0%

0.7%

Even after giving up eight runs to his former team, C.J. Wilson has a 3.27 ERA.
12

60

44

56.1

53.6

51.8

.533

.513

11.7%

47.8%

59.5%

3.7%

5.2%

On May 8 he was hitting .302. On June 9 he was hitting .320. On July 5 he was hitting .356. Today Andrew McCutchen is hitting .373. What will he be hitting in a month?
13

56

49

62.4

63.1

60.8

.577

.557

7.5%

44.1%

51.6%

-11.1%

-18.9%

The Cardinals are one of the best teams in the National League but are only seven games over .500. Know what this is? This is karmic payback for 2006 and last year.
14

55

50

55.0

53.4

54.7

.519

.539

4.4%

27.5%

31.9%

3.3%

15.7%

Now that shifts have caught on, Joe Maddon needs to come up with something else. Three suggestions: 1) Holding the bat upside down. 2) Infield ring-around-the-rosey during play 3) secret "Clue" passage between first and third
15

53

53

56.0

57.5

57.9

.529

.549

1.7%

15.0%

16.7%

-4.8%

3.4%

After walking 119 times in 2009, Adrian Gonzalez is on pace for less than 40 walks this season. Since June 24, Gonzalez has walked three times.
16

57

48

56.0

53.4

54.1

.525

.545

1.3%

26.3%

27.6%

6.6%

-0.3%

Josh Reddick hit his 23rd homer, which is 13 more than his score on the 1-10 scale of hairstyle awesomeness.
17

50

55

44.9

49.5

49.7

.462

.482

0.3%

1.3%

1.6%

-0.7%

-13.1%

The Indians perpetually seem to have good young hitters. Not a ton of them, but some. So why can't they win anything? Tough to say, but the team's 4.66 team ERA probably plays some role.
18

51

54

53.2

51.5

52.0

.495

.515

0.2%

0.7%

0.9%

-1.0%

-0.7%

Brett Lawrie has a tattoo on his arm of Brett Lawrie getting a tattoo on his arm. It is predictably awesome.
19

55

50

46.2

44.4

45.9

.456

.476

0.1%

2.9%

3.0%

-0.7%

-0.4%

How is it that the Orioles, a team with a -60 run differential, are five games over .500? I like to think Buck Showalter’s road trip dress regulations played a significant part.
20

48

56

52.1

52.3

50.8

.488

.468

0.1%

0.5%

0.6%

0.2%

-0.1%

Tragedy struck Milwaukee as six golden retrievers were accidentally released onto the field during the sausage race. All four sausages were killed and eaten.
21

52

54

52.7

54.9

56.1

.509

.489

0.1%

3.6%

3.7%

1.3%

0.8%

In 2009, his last season in Boston, Jason Bay hit 36 homers. In the two and a half seasons since, he has hit 25.
22

35

71

39.2

38.8

38.3

.357

.339

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Houston has won three out of its past 31 games. They say you can't make an omelet without breaking eggs, but three out of their last 31 games??
23

47

58

49.2

50.7

50.0

.469

.449

0.0%

0.1%

0.1%

-0.1%

-0.8%

According to our playoff odds report, the Phillies possess a 0.2 chance to make the playoffs. That means, if we could play the season out 100 times, the Phillies would make the playoffs 0.2 times.
24

45

60

44.5

47.0

47.1

.437

.457

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Virtually any time the Twins win a baseball game this season you will be able to say, "Wow, you couldn't have predicted that." Which reminds me. Yesterday they beat Boston. Wow. You couldn't have predicted that.
25

48

57

42.1

44.9

45.3

.429

.410

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

The Marlins are the only team with over 100 stolen bases on the season. They have 110. They had 135 but traded them so they wouldn't have to pay their salary.
26

43

60

43.6

41.0

41.8

.411

.392

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Anthony Rizzo's OPS is 100 points higher than any other Cub. This is both good and bad.
27

44

63

46.4

47.1

45.6

.428

.409

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Padres pitchers have walked the most hitters in baseball. Why would they do this? Don't they know that walks are not good? Someone should email them.
28

44

60

46.0

44.1

44.2

.429

.448

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

One of the great things about baseball is that, although they might be awful, totally terrible and pathetic, the Royals can still get excited about a walk-off win. Now they're 44-60 instead of 43-61. Hooray!
29

38

65

42.7

40.8

41.0

.394

.375

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

John Rutledge homered in his fourth straight game which is enough that it's about time I start referring to him by Josh Rutledge which is his actual name.
30

50

57

53.8

50.9

51.6

.482

.502

0.0%

0.3%

0.3%

0.3%

0.3%

Six Mariners qualify for the batting title. None of them has an OPS higher than .736.

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


14 comments have been left for this article.
Hendo

Zim's back has been tweaky lately, which is not good news for the Nats especially if they gave in on that no-pie clause they wanted to put in his contract.

Aug 03, 2012 07:24 AM
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BP staff member Matt Kory

They gave him a $100M+ contract AND a no-pie? Man. Asking for trouble.

Aug 03, 2012 08:28 AM
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dianagram

I believe Chipper Jones is retiring at the end of THIS year, no?

Aug 03, 2012 08:45 AM
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BP staff member Matt Kory

Yup. That's what it says. Next year he'll be retired. Wording is a bit clunky. I can see where the confusion is.

Aug 03, 2012 09:57 AM
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Jfitz88

Do you mean 100 times from this point on?

Aug 03, 2012 09:21 AM
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BP staff member Matt Kory

Yes. If you could start this season from this point 100 times.

Aug 03, 2012 09:57 AM
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FredOwens

"... but for the life of me I can't think of one."
When your 40 year old knees have had 6 surgeries - 4 in the last 2 years, have to be drained so often they need a spigot, hurt every day so badly that running everything out hard is not an option and you hate yourself for not doing it, then you take a liner off your shin that almost ends your season and forces you to wear a pad there so the next one won't and you realize that it will be worse next year, retiring is mighty attractive. He could become a DH of course but he hates the useless err dufus err designated pinch hitter quasi player role and won't do that.

Aug 03, 2012 10:07 AM
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BP staff member Matt Kory

I wasn't insinuating there were no legitimate reasons for his retirement. I was making that statement while in awe of his talent. You see how good he still is, how he's still one of the best hitters in baseball even with those injuries you bring up, and it's shocking. I don't begrudge the man some rest. He's surely earned it.

Aug 03, 2012 13:59 PM
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CrashD

Regarding the mystery of why the Orioles are in second place at 55-50 despite a -60 run differential, by my quick and rough count their run differential is +1 in games decided by 6 or fewer runs, and - 61 in games decided by 7 or more runs (7: -4; 8: 0; 9: 0; 10: -1, 11: -1; 12: -1). For completeness sake, they have won one and lost one game by 8 runs, and won one and lost one game by 9 runs. So, they have won two and lost nine blowouts; but in games decided by six runs or less, their run differential is +1.

There have been many fine articles over the years in Baseball Prospectus that warn about the shoals of nonlinearity at the tails of distributions of small samples, and I humbly add this letter to that noble list. Perhaps you might consider tweaking your formulas to account for this is the future?

Here is why, apart from being an Orioles fan, I suggest this. Overall, if you don't mind a couple of splines, the Orioles are 34-16 in games decided by 1 or 2 runs, 19-25 in games decided by 3-6 runs, and 2-9 in games decided by 7 or more runs. Is this itself an outlier, and are all teams' winning percentages uniformly distributed across the universe of run margins, eg are the Yankees uniformly .525 in games decided by 1, 2, 3, or however many runs, and are the (pick your team, I don't want to offend anybody) uniformly .475 in games decided by 1, 2, 3, or however many runs? Has this been treated exhaustively in the past at BP and I missed it?

Whatever, as of today, the Orioles have 55 wins, and none of the teams on the hit list below them have more than 48; of the teams above them, six have less than 55. I like mysteries like this.

Aug 03, 2012 14:06 PM
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sacko83

this guy know how to party or what?!

repeatable success in 1 run games may be attributed to a strong bullpen right? you know the orioles better than i but isn't that bullpen due for some regression? i'm looking at you, jim johnson. i know who you are, jim johnson.

Aug 04, 2012 06:19 AM
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sacko83

this guy know how to party or what?!

repeatable success in 1 run games may be attributed to a strong bullpen right? you know the orioles better than i but isn't that bullpen due for some regression? i'm looking at you, jim johnson. i know who you are, jim johnson.

Aug 04, 2012 06:19 AM
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Hendo

My Washington fanhood and concomitant loathing of the organization that helped to deny baseball to the nation's capital for a generation have not yet erased my undergraduate mathematics education, so that 34-16 in games decided by 1 or 2 runs is what I'm apt to ponder at least as much as the outliers.

The 2005 Nationals, a team not expected to contend, enjoyed a 50-31 win-loss record at the halfway point of the season. That +19 win differential included a +18 win differential in games decided by 1 or 2 runs.

Unsurprisingly, especially given their overdependence on closer Chad Cordero, the team accrued a 31-50 win-loss record in the second half of the season, a win differential of -19. In games decided by 1 or 2 runs, the Nats' win differential over the entire 2005 season was -15.

That's correlation I can believe in.

Aug 04, 2012 11:40 AM
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Hendo

Oops, make that last bit ". . . over the second half of the 2005 season . . .".

Aug 04, 2012 11:42 AM
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Hendo

And, since you asked, the Nats' current 63-43 record includes a -1 win differential in 1- and 2-run games... and a +12 win differential in 3-run games.

Aug 04, 2012 11:52 AM
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