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Prospectus Hit List for August 7



by Matthew Kory

Hit List for August 6 Hit List for August 8
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 have joined the losers at the zero-percent-playoff-odds table.

Rk TmWLW1W2W3HLFAHLFWin Div%Win WC%Playoff%1-Day7-Day
1

66

43

63.9

64.7

63.2

.591

.572

69.4%

25.0%

94.4%

0.1%

-2.1%

In baseball sometimes the better team wins. Other times, even if the scoreboard disagrees, there is no loser on the field. Then there are times when the other team hands over the victory and all that must be done is to stand there and accept it. Last night was one of those nights. Those are good nights.
2

53

55

54.9

53.5

54.0

.499

.519

0.1%

1.0%

1.1%

0.2%

-2.1%

Can you imagine if the Blue Jays had a really good pitcher? Like, oh say Roy Halladay? Wow.
3

63

45

61.6

65.6

65.1

.591

.610

79.8%

19.1%

98.9%

-0.5%

0.6%

After being told repeatedly that Yu Darvish wasn't Daisuke Matsuzaka, we've now seen Darvish A) throw many (types of) pitches, B) strike out a lot of hitters, C) walk everyone and their mothers, D) be from Japan. So, OK, he’s not Matsuzaka. But there are a few similarities.
4

56

52

56.2

54.6

55.7

.515

.535

1.6%

16.0%

17.6%

-0.6%

0.1%

The Rays have the fewest hits in baseball.
5

60

49

66.5

66.5

64.1

.590

.570

13.3%

55.4%

68.7%

5.8%

10.1%

St. Louis has a 3.00 team ERA since the All-Star break, the second-lowest in baseball. It must be difficult to have the offense and pitching the Cardinals do and yet not win that often.
6

59

50

56.0

56.2

55.2

.519

.499

51.2%

3.5%

54.7%

2.6%

4.9%

Next sabermetric research project: attempt to quantify the benefits of closing the game with a scary beard.
7

51

60

54.9

51.9

52.7

.474

.494

0.0%

0.1%

0.1%

-0.3%

-0.1%

When you think of a good hitting team, you don't normally think of the Mariners. Which, it turns out, is right.
8

47

64

48.8

49.6

48.0

.436

.416

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Acknowledging that the team is going to be bad and taking only a long view must be freeing. Freeing in a "all I have in this entire house is lettuce and sprouts... ok, fine!" kind of way.
9

62

46

58.6

57.4

55.6

.541

.521

11.3%

44.2%

55.5%

2.2%

11.3%

One of the best signings of the offseason that hasn't in fact been particularly good, Erik Bedard managed to 1) pitch well, and 2) not get hurt doing it. Things are looking up.
10

49

60

50.8

53.1

52.7

.472

.452

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

-0.3%

Ryan Howard is hitting .198/.293/.370 on the season. He's owed $23 million in 2017 but, good news Phillies fans, there's a $10 million buy-out!
11

58

51

57.3

54.2

54.8

.514

.534

1.2%

14.4%

15.6%

-5.9%

-17.3%

Out at dinner, the A's don't start eating until appetizers, main courses, and desserts have been served. Then they stuff their faces, jump up and down, pay the tab, and leave.
12

53

56

54.0

56.1

57.1

.505

.485

0.1%

0.9%

1.0%

-0.7%

-1.2%

David Wright’s underratedness is underrated.
13

63

45

63.1

63.0

63.6

.585

.604

95.5%

2.7%

98.2%

-1.0%

0.1%

The value of batting average: two of the hitters in the Yankees starting lineup are hitting over .280.
14

48

61

47.8

49.7

49.9

.448

.468

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

-0.1%

0.0%

The Twins scored 14 on the Indians who, one suspects, might not be aware that the Twins aren't very good.
15

49

59

53.0

53.5

52.3

.481

.461

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

-0.3%

Although they won, the Brewers struck out seven times without walking. That's not unusual though, as the Brewers are 11th in strikeouts as a team and 25th in walks.
16

49

60

43.5

46.1

46.9

.425

.406

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

-0.1%

Sometimes all the offseason moves come back to bite you. Nothing has worked, from Carlos Zambrano, to Jose Reyes (who pushed out Hanley Ramirez) and that whole new stadium thing.
17

59

51

56.5

54.3

54.1

.509

.489

34.1%

2.2%

36.3%

-3.7%

-13.7%

The Dodgers are fourth from last in team OPS. But! If you look at their road splits, they're... still fourth from last. Point: not proven!
18

45

63

47.5

45.6

46.0

.426

.446

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

It was one of those almost-perfect days for Jeff Francoeur, who went 2-for-4 with a homer and saw 4.25 pitches per plate appearance. The Royals lost anyway. I did say almost perfect.
19

36

74

40.2

40.1

39.8

.355

.337

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Rarity is precious and true futility is very rare. Thus, by modus ponens, the Astros are precious.
20

59

50

57.5

59.0

60.0

.540

.560

34.1%

44.4%

78.5%

1.5%

22.9%

Even on days Justin Verlander is a bit off off, it is impossible to watch him and understand how any hitter could hit him. With 14 strikeouts and two runs in eight innings, yesterday was not a day he was a bit off.
21

39

68

42.9

41.5

41.9

.386

.367

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

As the team with the most triples, the Rockies can tell you that there is much more to winning baseball than hitting the most triples.
22

50

59

44.4

49.1

49.6

.443

.463

0.0%

0.3%

0.3%

-0.2%

-6.4%

Zach McAllister gave up nine runs in 1 1/3 innings yet his ERA only went up 0.18. He's not a magician, he just plays behind an infield that committed one of the more ill-timed throwing errors you're likely to see.
23

66

43

62.3

58.7

58.1

.562

.542

75.4%

19.8%

95.2%

-1.3%

0.9%

If you add the VORPs of the Reds’ second- and third-best hitters, they don't reach Joey Votto's total, and Votto hasn't played in three weeks.
24

43

64

44.5

42.1

42.9

.403

.384

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Anthony Rizzo's return to San Diego was the big news story, if indeed there can be a big news story when two teams that are a combined 38 games below .500 get together.
25

60

48

60.9

58.8

59.2

.553

.573

65.9%

22.4%

88.3%

-0.8%

7.5%

Chris Sale is the last converted reliever standing this season. Seven strikeouts and no walks against the Royals and it's clear he isn't going down without a fight.
26

55

55

58.6

60.2

60.5

.533

.552

1.4%

10.9%

12.3%

2.4%

-10.7%

Bobby Valentine received a vote of confidence from owner John Henry, which is like receiving a package that contains a heart-shaped card and then turning around to see a horse head in your bed.
27

58

51

48.6

46.7

48.3

.463

.482

1.4%

6.1%

7.5%

2.1%

4.8%

Four and a half games out of the division and a half game out of the Wild Card, has a team ever been so universally thought to be irrelevant?
28

63

46

61.7

60.5

60.5

.563

.544

30.5%

47.4%

77.9%

1.9%

-5.9%

Ben Sheets has a 1.41 ERA in 32 innings. He is a pitcher. For the Braves. You know, in case you forgot.
29

55

54

58.6

59.1

58.1

.529

.509

14.7%

1.6%

16.3%

-6.9%

-3.6%

The Diamondbacks left only three men on base. That's efficiency, but really it's just that they only had two hits.
30

59

51

60.6

62.4

63.3

.557

.577

19.0%

62.6%

81.6%

3.2%

0.6%

Mike Trout is hitting .348/.411/.598. Imagine if Mike Trout got... better?

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


5 comments have been left for this article.
Hendo

A high-minded fan would be content to note that baseball is like football insofar as wins accrue to the team that makes fewer mistakes on the field.

A less high-minded fan (e.g., me) would be gratified to observe that after spending years giving away wins, the Nats have learned to scoop up a gift when it is offered them and to skedaddle forthwith.

Aug 07, 2012 07:40 AM
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dodgerdan

Dodgers can't hit the floor with their shoes.

Aug 07, 2012 09:58 AM
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TGisriel

I'm trying to figure out why the Orioles continue to contend despite a negative run differential, and continue to be ranked so low in the Prospectus Hit List. The Orioles are approximately 10 games over their W1, W2, and W3.

I'm aware that run differential correlates with future record better than a team's current record.

It seems that the O's are outperforming their run differential and Hit List Factor because of their excellent record in 1 run games. That, in turn, appears to be based on the excellent performance their bullpen, especially Pedro Strop, who pitches the 8th inning when the O's are ahead, and Jim Johnson, the closer.

It may appear, statistically, to be a fluke, but it is certainly a welcome change, and a lot of fun.

Aug 07, 2012 13:14 PM
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BP staff member Matt Kory

Nothing wrong with enjoying it. Certainly nobody here would argue against that. But I think your first two paragraphs explain perfectly why the Orioles are where they are in terms of the Hit List.

Aug 07, 2012 14:06 PM
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TGisriel

I agree. You'll note my question wasn't "Why are the O's so low in the Hit List?", my question was, "Why [do] the Orioles continue to contend?"

I'd love to see an analysis of that question. Is it just the record in 1-run games [and extra inning games]?

Aug 08, 2012 12:22 PM
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