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The Kelly to Smyly comparison becomes a little more favorable for Kelly once you consider that 87.1 of the innings pitched for Smyly were as a reliever, and that Smyly has a 4.02 FIP as a starter. I'm not convinced Kelly is as good a pitcher as Smyly, but the comparison isn't off base.
It appears A and B are fairly close but the data from the B provider did a better job of predicting future BABIP. I'm omitting the statistical details behind my assertion because I have no confidence in it.
My topic suggestion- an article suggesting a hypothetical trade between two teams and an analysis of why the given trade would be justified from each team's perspective. I have always loved the valuation aspect of statistical analysis in baseball, and I think this topic would challenge the contestants to take a proactive look at a major league trade rather than a reactive one (i.e. the analysis of the McClouth trade ex post facto).
After reading all ten articles, I have given the thumbs up to only three. I don't know if this says more about how underwhelmed I was by the Idol submissions, or how high the bar is set by the established BP contributors. Consider me a Simon I suppose.
To illustrate my point, a true .350 BABIP for the hypothetical player stated in the article would result in 166 Hits in 600 At Bats- (166 Hits minus 40 Homeruns divided by 600 At Bats minus 40 Homeruns minus 200 Strikeouts). The resulting "triple slash" batting line would be .277/.380/.518, a far cry from the initial .233/.343/.475. Assuming a .350 BABIP, I agree with the author's premise that it would be nearly impossible for a hitter to bat .350 overall with 100 walks and 200 strikeouts in 700 plate appearances; such a player would need to hit 108 homeruns.
Perhaps that was poor phrasing on my part, as I agree that BABIP and DIPS is a difficult thing to understand theoretically. It is another thing entirely to miss a critical component of the formula that derives BABIP- home runs. It is akin to calculating batting average on plate appearances instead of at bats.
I enjoyed the article in general, but are Invictus and I the only ones disappointed by the fact that the author clearly misunderstands BABIP? I am not trying to pick a fight, but how was this a finalist?