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Actually, the Nats are 4.0 games ahead of the Mets. The 3.5 game lead is over the second place Marlins.
This podcast repeats a myth, one that is often repeated but that is still a myth. That is the claim that <span class="teamdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/team_audit.php?team=WAS" target="blank">Washington Nationals</a></span> fans were unhappy with Rizzo's decision to shut down <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=61056">Stephen Strasburg</a></span> for the 2012 playoffs. I am an avid Nats fan -- I follow several Nats blogs and have endless conversations with Nats fans about the team and its management.
Very few Nats fans were anything but supportive of Rizzo's decision, both in 2012 and now. I personally don't know a single Nats' fan who disagrees with the decision. I'd estimate that on Nats' blogs back in 2012, fewer than ten percent of Nats fans objected to the decision. In fact, one big topic of conversation in 2012 on Nats' blogs was why there was such a different reaction among the national media to Rizzo's shutdown decision and among local media and local Nats fans, who were overwhelmingly supportive.
I get a "resource can't be located" message when I click on the spreadsheet link.
The Cardinals talk trash about other teams, they're a team full of Brandon Phillipses.
As one Cardinal said, 'Gio [Gonzalez] looked like he didn't want to be out there. The guy has a 6-0 lead, then 6-1, and he's panicking out there. We smelled blood.'"
Skip Schumaker: "A lot of guys had the bright-eyed, deer-in-the-headlights look. And I'm not going to mention names, but we saw them taking a couple of deep breaths between pitches, and they were up four or five runs. When we saw that, we started talking. We weren't taking any deep breaths."
People rightly hate bad winners, which is what the Cardinals are.
Kranepool. Ed Kranepool.
Something's odd with the deltas again (as of 9/14). The Braves are shown as having a one-day delta of 59.7% but they've been above 98% for weeks now. There are other oddities, including huge one-day spikes for the Orioles and A's.
There's very little reason to believe that Nats' "fans aren't happy," as you say. I think I read every major Nats blog, as well as the Washington Post and the Washington Times, and all are overwhelmingly supportive of the decision, as are the reader comments. The Washington Post has editorially endorsed the decision. Every online poll of DC fans shows support in the 75%-plus range. This one today, from NatsGM, shows only 10% opposed to the decision.
The fact is that the Nats are at least a full year ahead of most fans' wildest dreams and Mike Rizzo's and Davey Johnson's decisions are in large part responsible for that. If Rizzo and Johnson, who have access to medical information that no one else does, say it's time to shut him down and say that they've considered all the other "creative" options to stretch out his season, few Nats fans will argue.
We're too busy smiling at the MLB standings each morning and muttering "who woulda thunk it?".
In this case, doing the right thing toward Strasburg as a person is also a good business decision. Boras and other agents notice when a team acts in the best interest of a player and are likely to be more inclined to nudge their clients in that direction.
So you could have some "jagged" adjustments to the playoff odds on those days when the playing time estimates for each team are adjusted on the depth charts, right? Those adjustments aren't made on the same day for each team.
The game when Riggleman quit was in DC, not Seattle. I remember because I almost wrecked my car pulling out of the parking lot after the game when the announcer on the radio said Riggleman had quit.
Six of the top seven teams are in the AL because BP adjusts the hit list factor to make that so. The picture is very different if you look at the unadjusted hit list factor.
On Friday, July 20, the Nats' playoff odds were 85.5%. They went 1-2 against the Braves on Friday and Saturday. Then on Sunday morning, July 22, their playoff odds are now 67.8%.
That's a decline of 17.7 percentage points for a 1-2 record.
On July 22, the sum of the wild card percentages for all 16 teams in the NL is 51.0%. I assume that BP is now predicting a 49% chance that Bud Selig and the Players' Association will call off the two wild card teams format before October.
Please pay some attention to this tool or just discontinue it. It's starting to border on contempt for your reading public.
Colin - Thank you for the changes and the explanation.
Thank you, this is very much appreciated.
A question. Since BP updates the depth charts for each team's pitchers and hitters on different days (rather than all at the same time), will there be "blocky" changes to the playoff odds that are based on when the depth charts are updated and not solely on the results of the prior day's games?
Correction to my own post. I do see a couple of July 8 updates. I don't know if I overlooked those or if the depth charts have just been updated.
I thought maybe it was that the depth chart player strengths, which is a part of the playoff odds formula, had been updated since the All-Star break. But no, those weights have not been updated since July 3.
But looking at this chart brings up a question. The player and pitcher data is updated by team and on differing dates. I wonder if that could account for some of the bizarre swings we see when teams don't even play.
And I wonder if BP is ever going to bother to answer these questions. For such a prominently used tool (it was quoted in the Washington Post today), you'd think the editorial would want some transparency in how it's calculated.
I'm slow, I guess, but if there haven't been any recent methodology changes, why don't the deltas match up with the published numbers from the day before?
Why re-run them? That seems counter-intuitive?
Never mind. I should read more carefully before posting. I see that Harper's PAs are split between RF and CF, with 381 PA projected for the rest of the year. That's realistic. Sorry for the worthless post.
As of June 6, there's one glaring anomaly here -- Bryce Harper is projected as getting only 268 PA for the rest of the year, basically a platoon level of play. At this point, that seems unlikely since he's playing every inning of every game.
The deltas are still wrong. On June 4, the Nationals playoff odds were 33.1%. Today, the Nats playoff odds are 40.2%. The one day delta is shown as -0.4%.
This kind of "the clock struck 13" error makes you wonder about the integrity of the entire table. As does the huge one-day swings in playoff odds. The Nats have increased their playoff odds by 7.1 percentage points in one day, which was an off-day for them. Seems unlikely.
Since this table is prominently incorporated into the Daily Hit List, it seems like BP would put a higher priority on fixing it.
It's still broken, obviously. The Nationals' playoff odds jumped more than ten points on a night when their game was rained out.
And the Marlins now have a 100% chance of winning the NL East! Somebody needs to pay attention and fix this thing.
This product is clearly broken. The Nationals have dropped from about a 9% playoff percentage to a 2.7% playoff percentage by taking two of three from the Diamondbacks and winning the first game of the series against the division rival Phillies.
Right, that's what I thought. But the season ticket owners tend to view them as "free" and readily give them away. So for almost all games, there are lots of free and heavily discounted tickets floating around. For many games last year, even the meaningful games on the final weekend of the season, I couldn't even give away all the remaining "extra" tickets that I had.
Until those "surplus" tickets disappear, the Nats won't be selling a lot of full price tickets.
The Nationals have created a huge barrier for themselves in increasing attendance. Season ticket holders get "Red Carpet Reward" points, which basically give you one free game for every two games you pay for. So free tickets are around by the bushel, and many of these end up going unused. So basically there is a hidden oversupply of already sold tickets in DC, which will have to be soaked up before paid attendance increases.
From my subjective perspective (I've been to four Nats games and watched all but one on TV), Nats actual attendance, measured by people really coming to the game, is up significantly. The no-shows seem to be much lower this year than in any year in the new park. But since they're mostly using tickets that have already been sold to season ticket holders, it doesn't really show in the attendance figures.
I love BP, read it every day. This is maybe the best SP article ever.
The name of the Phillies' fifth round pick, Mitchell Walding was accidentally omitted.
Your draft roundups are tremendous, thanks a lot for them.
I think you meant Tyler Moore of the Potomac Nationals, not Trey Moore. Thanks for all the great updates this year.
Something really different that helps me enjoy watching a game. More please.
Thank you very much for this. As a fanatical baseball fan, a 20-year ESL teacher, and a Mississippi State grad, this pushed all the right buttons for me.
Actually, on the Willingham grand slam, Dunn was called safe (he knocked the ball loose) and Willingham was called out.
Gee, I thought the Nationals had some moves this week.