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It's weird seeing a Russell article without comments. Great work again. I don't understand your statistical tools, but the outcomes are always significant.
The reason BP took a dive into these numbers is because they probably believed this phenomena existed in the first place. So their first goal was probably to prove it does. I'm not sure if they've come to a conclusion saying "We've shown, with proof, tunneling leads to a better pitcher", but their research has shown it exists to a degree and some pitchers possess the skill. They measured the phenomena and will likely want to prove what effect this has in terms of ERA/run prevention. With this information they could conceivably classify pitchers into buckets (tunneler vs raw break) and see who ages better, who is more likely to pan out as a prospect, who is more reliable from season to season, etc. There's a lot of value added to quantifying a phenomena and I believe this phenomena has not been quantified in a public forum before.
Also, don't physicists theorize (proven?) that "late break" isn't a thing? It wouldn't make a whole lot of sense if it did, because the only thing that can cause an object to move is Force and no additional force is being applied to the ball at the end of its trajectory compared to the beginning of its trajectory. If anything, it's lost velocity so the air/pressure forces should be waning. So "late break" isn't 'literally' the phenomena that's happening, it's tunneling that's happening, as they've found.
 I use literally in a scientific way, saying the ball is literally not "breaking late". Pitch A is being delivered in a very similar way to Pitch B, but breaking in a direction that is different from Pitch B.
Does anyone know how arbitration discussions define the salary of a player? Is it just precedence or is cost of living and revenue accounted for?
I wouldn't say negative, I'd say they bounce between reasonably and unreasonably critical based off opinions he's too sure of.
That isn't inherently true, it could mean some of that money doesn't go to another player in the free agent pool. Maybe there's X amount of money and Hill just got a bigger piece of that pie.
I understand the owners/players argument (I read this site for gosh sake), but insinuating Hill's life has been disappointing because he's struggled...while making $9M dollars seems silly. A narrative was created for a business signing because we love the business, we pour hours and hours into this business and we creative narratives. This business transaction does positively effect a human being and, fine, yay human beings. But I'm indifferent if Hill gets a few more million or an owner, outside of the worker's rights angle (which I think is a strawman argument reply to my comment.)
It's hard for me to "feel good" for a guy who has made a "meager" $4.5M after taxes because of a unique skill that isn't inherently about making the world better. I understand the sentiment, but this isn't heart warming. The sentence was so silly to read.
He does "deserve" the new money though.
If you keep spamming me with videos that cut off my music (or any other media), I'm going to keep spamming your comments. This is garbage.
And wasted spin on a changeup seems like a good thing because then more drop
I guess if a pitcher cocked his wrist that could create gyro spin..but that should still create movement.
I'm confused how fastball spin cannot create movement. Doesn't all spin lead to a pressure differential? I realize you're just using Pitchf/X vs Statcast, but the concept you can have 100% useful spin and still have pitches with "wasted" spin doesn't fit.
My phone (the only way I read this site) doesn't offer a realistic ad-block. But this is seriously my #1 complaint since joining BP three years ago. The only thing that would cause me to cancel my relatively cheap subscription is this illegal streaming website ad quality crap.
 If you know of on for Android, please let me know. I've been looking.
Seriously! I understand on a Saturday spreading all games our evenly, but I have to completely miss 1.5 games during a weekday because you think some crazy person is missing work to watch 3 Division games in one day? Nonsense. It's sponsor money, right? That's what's causing this? Would the sponsors rather see only their game on when nobody is watching or splitting their (regional sport) air time with another game (that's in a different region)?
Smart people make mistakes, both in baseball and real life. Dombrowski paid too much for a no-longer-the-best Kimbrel, Beane's Donaldson, Butler and <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=70633">Addison Russell</a></span> deals range from "huh" to terrible and the Cubs brass lost here. "But if they win it'll all be worth it!" No, you're letting chance define process. And the fact he's a lefty seems pointless considering there hasn't been any evidence to show they aren't going to use him in non-closing situations. And they didn't even get the extension. Trading may be complicated and hard, but that doesn't mean you can ignore or make excuses for errors. Maybe that's why this article is written in the first place, because it's been made clear, by a lot of non-industry baseball people, that the Cubs clearly lost this trade.
Or maybe we're still all missing something bigger in high strikeout reliever's value to a team (despite above average defense).
 assuming ownership didn't tell him to cut payroll. It's hard to believe they were getting back more than $2M/PresentWin though.
I wanted to reply because I didn't think a + was enough. I think you covered the big points very well.
I don't understand how this can be perceived as a free market. Is it because there is an agreement between MLB and MLBPA? But then it has to be acknowledged the MiLB players are not "recognized" by the MLBPA. What official statements has the MLBPA made about representing minor league players?
 I mean I literally do not understand. I could be missing something or misunderstanding the concept.
I'm a little confused by what you're upset with the government about. Are you upset they have minimum wage laws that require a minimum "working" wage to be paid? Or are you upset that the government isn't properly enforcing its own government law about minimum wage? And the government didn't create MLB's CBA, so isn't MLB (as agreed upon with the MLBPA) basically its own society with its own "government" as if the actual government didn't exist?
 Which doesn't really represent the MiLB, which is noted
Good point on the actor argument, but my counter-point is that actor's aren't required to travel and work in other states/regions. They are also free, to my understanding, to work with any play, show, etc and aren't picked by one play and have to work there for 3-10 years at greatly reduced to reduced wages.
But I've never heard this point before so my thoughts might change after thinking on it some more.
[Cubs fan] The more I sit with this trade the worse I feel. I've talked myself into the baseball portion of this trade enough to be content (still would say no), but I hate that he may be a symbol of the Cubs' creating history. I makes my stomach hurt. I'm also conflicted because I know I have this sick feeling for, what, 2% WS winning odds? Would I feel this way if it were 5%? 10%?
I'm not upset enough to say "no more Cub fandom" and wont stop watching, but I certainly won't buy a Chapman jersey shirt (I hope none do) and when it's November and I'm looking at paraphernalia I can't imagine buying any picture with him in it. I can't don't know if that's enough to shift the balance in front office's decisions going forward and I hate it.
Also, good point about the Yankees buying low, it seems obvious in hindsight like a win-win. Effectively Wild even brought up that if the suspension were 12 days longer they would've controlled him through 2017. But nobody will remember they benefited from domestic abuse.
Agree with the other two here (mostly strikes), but I also admit there's a small correlation between what I think in-game and what the umpire calls. I also generally trust tracking systems. All of this leads to me to not hating with a fiery passion the strike zone overlay on ESPN's broadcast.
At first I thought this was silly because then you'd be overvaluing a single to right field (vs left field) when a runner is on first...but would it? A single to right actually is more valuable. Maybe not a whole base more valuable, which leads to partial bases and if you want to go down that route might as well just use tAv. Depends on the stat's audience I guess.
I agree that from the club's perspective it makes more sense to improve the in-person experience. But I just don't care what the club wants; I care what I, the customer, wants. I want a better paced game so I enjoy watching it on my tv, which is where I watch 98% of my baseball.
I'm curious to know what the people who leave at extra innings think about a few extra minutes at a ballpark for a 9 inning game. Do they leave because they just want the game to end? Do they leave because they don't want to spend an infinitesimal time at the ballpark? Do they leave because they planned on the game lasting 3 hours and they have plans? Do they leave to beat traffic (counter-intuitive for mass exodus)?
Given the difference between how many people go to the game vs how many people watch a baseball game, I've never bothered to put much emphasis on what people at the stadium thought. Plus I always figured they paid a good amount of money to be there and invested a good amount of time getting there, more baseball is better than less, right?
But your point stands for people watching at home. It would be nice if the kids could watch the conclusion of a game.
I agree with bleaklewis, it's truly a pace issue for me. People will say "it's a thinking game!" and that's fine, but I'm not thinking during my "enjoy life" time, I'm waiting.
But baseball seems like a perfect second screen experience. Outside of the occasional home run or pitcher/batter matchup you are aware when a big moment is happening and you should watch. It would be great if MLB put some resources into creating a place for a bunch of people to "experience" the game together (or for me to find one on my own). [Yes, lag between live tv and MLB.tv will be an issue.] Baseball is played at a good pace for a communal discussion while it's ongoing. Or, as the article mentioned, taking it in while doing anything else.
"I don't like you because we have similar interests, but in different locations"
What is your certainty based on? Has a GM come out and said this? Why is Sal Perez so clearly beating his projections? Just last year a very, very good pitcher in Cueto (rightfully or not) blamed some of his poor performance on pitching to Sal Perez. Is it because the team he plays on won the World Series? Do the other 13ish regular contributors get a bump too or just Perez? Does he have a rep as a clubhouse leader?
I think this is where projections can really point out potential flaws in human's limited capacity to "see it all." We love the players who get hits or play in the playoffs because we associate seeing them with big positive moments...but Kiermaier supposedly did a whole lot of small things to make a really big contribution, albeit for a team not in the playoffs. Are you undervaluing the defense because you don't trust the defensive metrics (he won a Gold Glove too) or the catcher metrics? Or are you calling all GMs stupid for not even listening to what appears to be, based solely on projections, as an absolute steal of a trade.
I say switch St. Louis and Arizona. St. Louis at least has a river running through it and I think of St. Louis's twin as East St. Louis and I'm sure they wouldn't like that very much. I also like Seattle Astros given that they would only be able to launch rockets in Seattle during the 3 dry months, but Rays still trumps.
My worst favorites:
- Philadelphia Royals
- Toronto Padres
- Seattle Rays
- Texas Nationals
New York Twins might be the worst place for that nickname, but as a person who writes on the internet I understand your choice not to use it.
Plus injuries happen. Outside of Soler the Cubs may have forgotten about injuries after last year's lucky streak.
The only radio I listen to is the Cubs so it may be different, but I don't mind the stories that overlap the play-by-play at all. In fact, I didn't even notice they did it until last year (I'm in my 20's). Interrupting a story to tell me there was a ball off the plate is just getting in the way of a story.
When you're at a game, do you watch literally every pitch? You're probably ignoring pitches here and there while you talk with your wife/buddy/kids. If you lived and died with every pitch then a 300 pitch game would be exhausting, much less 1,800 pitches a week. I can't imagine you would hold up that rate of interest beyond 4 innings. The announcers will tell you when something important happens or is happening, you have to trust them.
I agree. If we assume a certain paradigm shift is coming, can it truly be paradigm shifting? Isn't the idea of an idea being radical and shifting our entire basis of assumptions supposed to surprise us? Isn't this why we have the assumptions?
As far as scale, I'm not old enough to remember the true "paradigm shift" in baseball, but "a walk is as good as a hit" and "take one for the team" has been around my entire life (or at least since dads have been telling me on my local youth baseball teams). Is it really a "paradigm shift" that <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=OBP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('OBP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">OBP</span></a> is an important statistic? As for pitching, I've heard for years that, for example, Petco Park is a pitchers park and any <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=ERA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('ERA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">ERA</span></a> a pitcher has there you have to take it with a grain of salt. You heard this from non-saber friendly persons with no comment of "<span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=FIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('FIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">FIP</span></a>" or HR/FB%, but they acknowledged the existence. You heard managers saying, in the most dramatic instance Effectively Wild could find, that a particular center fielder could save 50 runs. Are those managers assuming those 50 runs are in a vacuum and the pitcher does not benefit?
I say this because I think people (or possibly just this article) are underplaying very recent sabermetric conclusions such as catcher defense. 4 years ago I thought, with almost no uncertainty, that a catcher's defense was almost completely dependent upon pitch calling and throwing to second base. 4 years ago the internet told me catcher framing (catcher framing?!?!?!) was worth 30 runs per year. Last year Baseball Prospectus told me basically all the responsibility of base-stealing falls on a pitcher. This was amazing, even though I had heard "Ah, the catcher shouldn't feel too bad, the runner stole that one on the pitcher."
So my hypothesis on this subject is just that expectations have changed. People *expect* to be wow'd. People *expect* to have their entire point of view of a baseball operation to change. The bar is higher now. Is having access to batted ball speeds and trajectories not ground-breaking news that will shift how we view luck induced hitting? A player had a high <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=BABIP" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('BABIP'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">BABIP</span></a> over two years. What did that tell you prior to last year? Was he lucky? Is this player really good or really lucky? He had a spike in HR/FB%, was that luck or skill? Pitching stats has dabbled with "big data" but I think (hope) both pitching and hitting data will be embraced by the next wave of sabermetrics and highlight how archaic some of our current statistics are. AND DEFENSE. RELIABLE N=1 INFO. So much to learn. So much. So excited.
Isn't the idea of a paradigm shift that we radically change the basis of our logic? I feel like we would notice this. We may not notice the birth, but the implementation of a paradigm shift would be noticed.
I'm guessing it also controlled for pitcher quality too? Extra innings have relievers pitching and, at least for the first inning or two, the best relief pitchers on the team.
Ben and Sam basically did this (uncontrolled) via the Play Index 6ish weeks ago with reliever stats and...I forget any of their results. But it happened.
In regards to opt-outs, there are three additional points I want to make:
Pro: If you offer an opt-out it might make the player more likely to choose your team, therefore you "win" the auction
Unsure: Let's imagine the Giants had two options. Option 1 is give Cueto a 6 year, $150 mil deal, no opt-outs. Option 2 is the deal given here. Option 1 actually might be viewed as carrying more risk only because you're giving more AAV to an older, short pitcher who's likely to regress sharply at that age regardless of his 2016/2017 performance. With option 2 the most amount of money you could pay is lower. Is that risk greater than the risk that Cueto might actually be below market rate at 4/$84 though?
Con: In regards to the uncertainty of the last 4 years when you include an opt-out, this is similar to businesses giving out gift cards. I read an article (can't find it now) where those gift cards hang out on a company's bottom line as "in process" so they can't spend that money. It's, at the moment, dead money you can't invest. You have that with Cueto's last 4 years. It's hard to commit to an extension for Crawford currently because in 2018 you're not sure if you'll have $21mil on your books or not.
 I know very little about accounting so please forgive the improper terminology
I believe there is a pretty consistent theme where you (Matt) state opinions as fact. And this statement isn't a fact because there was no prerequisite saying "in terms of <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=DRA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('DRA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">DRA</span></a>" or whatever.
Writers and subscribers of this site like to think of themselves as open-minded individuals, but I think we get so caught up in finding new data and "proving" what's wrong/right that we get ignorant to other peoples' opinions or assume the assumptions are correct. I think we've all learned some of our previous assumptions were wrong (catcher's "soft hands" are actually really important, smart people will pay for saves) but seeing the "I know I'm right" attitude continue ignores lessons learned. I'm not sure if you're caught up...or just like the number of comments on your articles.
I agree with gpurcell on the idea that the table is either misleading or lacking necessary information. Having service years played or WARP/year would be helpful. We readers love us some rate stats.
There's a chance this is true, but if the worst case scenario of pandering to an audience is a well written pro "don't best women" article, then I'd say all is well.
I'm a little confused on catchers' WAR timeline. When did framing skills start being incorporated? If I look at previous years' data (or back to a certain year) is it now recalculated with framing?
I have two concerns with this:
1. It's less straight-forward so the public will complain. We, as people who subscribe/write for a "sabermetric" baseball website, would get it, but most fans don't care this much. But some of those fans care so little that beyond the name of the player being signed is beyond them.
2. The goal of the QO was to limit the big spenders and I'm guessing there's a correlation/causation between market size and "big" contracts. Does that hold true for the "medium" contracts? I know when doing the "projected WAR / $" research the "medium" contracts actually cost the most. Is that because that's a range every team looks to improve (and can afford) so demand is higher? If that's true, why put this additional draft pick burden on the players if it doesn't fix an issue?
God this series is the best
Loved this. A lot.
I saw it posted by at least 11:30pm central
Not that I agree with takeout slide tradition, the takeout slide on Altuve was your standard run of the mill takeout slide. Would people have been pissed if it resulted in an injury? Absolutely! And they should be! You're injuring a player with your spikes/body intentionally. In football you can't kick a player on the ground with your spikes, that gets you suspended and ridiculed by pundits and the public. It's nonsense that it's okay in baseball because the player isn't "defenseless" while running, jumping and throwing as fast as he can.
Saying that, Utley's slide is absolute, umm, need a non-swear word...hogwash. "His hand traveled right over the bag." Yeah, that's because he was still in the air. He literally "slid" over the bag. The man started his slide at 89.5 feet and would be ended up at 95+ feet. It let's head smacked into the ground at 91 feet. In a reasonable slide that's not even possible. It was a dirty play. Don't defend it, don't degrade yourself to that level.
And this is Murphy's fault? A human makes a small throwing error and that's why his teammate has a broken leg? Come on. When a driver (car A) blows a red light and hits another car (car B) nobody blames the driver of car B for not looking both ways before entering the intersection. There's a very safe assumption what car B and Murphy did wasn't going to get someone hurt.
I have a hard time believing the "he can run because he's young and can't get hurt" argument because even when he is injured he gets benched for not hustling
He can feel the Force...of the pressure waves.
No, but really, I'm fairly certain he's putting down a drink. Frame 6 shows him holding something (or doing an evil hand gesture) and 7 shows the water bottle. I expected beer, but it was 90some degrees that day and he was in the sun.
Yes. Yes. Yes. This reminds me of looking at Sports Illustrated arena shots and looking for the people who've figured out something special is happening first. 5,000 people in the shot and 4 people have realized awesome before the rest. I've always debated if these fans are seeing the event before it happens (like athletes who've practiced these movements thousands of times) or they're the type of person who just gets really excited at any possible big moment.
At the beginning of the season <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=PECOTA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('PECOTA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">PECOTA</span></a> gave the following "Win the Division" odds to the NL West:
Who's taking the Giants on an even bet? Only a fool would. Or someone grasping for attention (Hi Sporting News!). Or someone who has some incredible baseball knowledge that others don't have...and why is (s)he working part-time for a website again?
I agree with you to some degree, but I'm going to pretend I don't to further this conversation.
"Paul's" pre-season prediction for the AL West:
Anaheim: 90 wins +/- 10 (90% certainty)
Seattle: 84 wins +/- 11
Rangers: 82 wins +/- 8
Oakland: 81 wins +/- 9
Houston: 75 wins +/- 12
"Sam's" pre-season prediction for the AL West:
Anaheim: 85 wins +/- 10 (90% certainty)
Seattle: 84 wins +/- 11
Rangers: 83 wins +/- 13
Oakland: 81 wins +/- 8
Houston: 80 wins +/- 12
Both Paul and Sam have the same pre-season projections despite Sam seeing a very plausible scenario where the Rangers finish 1st instead of 3rd (or 5th). And Anaheim finishes 1st in each prediction. It doesn't matter if you think Anaheim is 100% or 1% going to finish 1st, you still have to say they'd finish first. I think that's the issue with mass predictions like this, it doesn't truly account for margins.
Every "knows" that Houston has a lot of variability, everybody "knows" the Dodgers might actually finished 2nd, but nobody would bet even money on it happening. Would I bet on a safety in the Super Bowl on 1:1 odds? Nope. Would I bet on a safety in the Super Bowl on 1:20 odds? Yup.
If you averaged odds (Paul says the Rangers finish 30% 1st, 25% 2nd, 25% 3rd, etc) I don't think this situation would work either. You'd end up with the current outcome at, like, the 10th percentile and considering how many "10th percentile" team projections that have happened this year the likelihood the pre-season projections were correct is very slim and the more likely answer is that the pre-season projections were wrong (known & unknown reasons).
"“When I saw Kershaw out there, I had <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=31366">Prince Fielder</a></span>, and know how tough an out he is. It doesn’t matter if it’s left- or right-handed. I felt good about Prince doing what he did,” Yost said after the game.
So it wasn’t due to any logical, rational reason reasoning in which the front-office nerds traffic. Prince Fielder is indeed a tough out, but Cruz is tougher. And it does, in fact, matter if it’s left- or right-handed; it matters quite a lot."
1. It was an all-star game. And don't some believe Yost can troll the media at times? I mean, there's no way he believed the <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=61058">Aaron Crow</a></span> "need a strikeout" comment.
2. Is there a website or has there been any research done at BP with hitter splits against tiered quality of pitcher? I remember an article about Sandoval maybe being better in the playoffs because of his ability to hit better against good pitching (I can't find it). Maybe Cruz has a record of sucking against really good pitchers and Fielder doesn't.
Also confused. Assuming trade discussions.
And you also have the "better get to [the starter] early before he settles in" theory (that I think was researched and shown to be true in by BP). So as Chapman would go along his control would get better. Or Scherzer's command wouldn't be as strong in his one inning. I'm surprised Russell never went into this because I think that theory plays a lot into his command thoughts.
It makes sense, but look at the Cubs this past off-season. They had a protected pick, but still really went after Lester instead of Scherzer. Maybe it was because they simply liked Lester more, but Jed Hoyer did make a comment at one point saying he's keep the focus on gathering talent and not giving any up.
Yeah, we had the same thoughts, I must have taken longer than 11 minutes to give my thoughts because I didn't see your comment at the time.
 Except I forgot protected first round picks. I wonder what the difference is in front offices between 1st and 2nd round picks. I'm sure they have a value for it (at least in terms of draft money), but what is that worth in terms of an MLB ready player?
Assuming Plecos meant "or," that's not such a bad idea. If the Sox want him, now they can get him cheaper because they won't have to give up a draft pick to get him (like everyone else).
In this instance the White Sox traded a handful of good, but not great prospects or cost-controlled MLBers (and their contracts/cost-savings) for a (generous) 10% play-in playoff spot and however much money they can save on Samardzija's contract this winter? When you say it like this it still doesn't seem like they made the right decision. Unless they knew if they traded him he wasn't coming back this winter.
I feel like he has been for years. That article from three years ago even says "the honeymoon appears to be over."
Here's the transaction analysis from the last time the Blue Jays traded for a big name pitcher (Dickey). It's a real pick me up for a sad Mets fan today because wow, AA got swindled. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=19186
Oh! And I just found where I can view the changing ExpWin% too. Carry on.
While I'm here, could you not make it "untoggle" when switching between different "display group by" options? I'm looking at the Cubs, Pirates and Giants and when I switch from Playoff% to AdjPlayoff% it now shows every team in the conference instead of just those three teams. The ability to "untoggle" is still there if I would like it.
I haven't seen all these bells and whistles (or at least figured out how to use them in the past few days), but my only criticism is wishing there was a way to know when "Expected Winning %" changes. You see +18% over the last 7 days and you're not sure if it's because of the win/loss changes or because someone decided to re-run Pecota projections on a team and now the Pirates got a .020 bump (and I doubt the Ramirez trade did all that). Otherwise, I love the new additions, it's something I've wanted on that page since first stumbling upon it (and telling nobody) and I scan it at least every other day. And thank god you color coded the team lines correctly, absolutely convenient.
1.5 years of Cueto is obviously better than Samardzija. But the math gets fuzzy with the Hammel and McKinney additions. Everyone forgets about the other parts of that deal (and the extra year for Shark) that led to <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=70633">Addison Russell</a></span>. Plus they traded on July 4th so they got an extra 4-5 (regular season) starts out of Samardzija than if they traded on July 26.
I see you've done this before http://www.hardballtimes.com/dissecting-a-mystery-pitch/
Ha. Once you get going you don't see how ridiculous your numbers look. I'm glad you corrected that because it makes a lot more sense.
And the Magnus effect is of course what I should have read up on. I was better off just linking to that wiki page for half of my comment. Thank you
Warning: I studied Aerospace Engineering in school (BA only) and love baseball so I've thought about this before. Kind of rusty though. I won’t be offended if you don’t read.
I think the consistent (“useful”) spin helps with consistency. I debated explaining why, but it boils down to “it’s doing the same thing so the same thing is going to happen.”
I’m torn on the argument of does increasing useful spin help with consistency. TL;DR I think the faster it spins the less control there is.
First thing to remember is the baseball itself isn't causing the motion; it's the air around it that is pushing the baseball. Look at this link showing “vortices” following a round object (2D only).
Those "vortices" will push/pull the ball (thus knuckleball). These vortices are happening all around the baseball (top/bottom, left/right). These vortices are pushing the baseball due to momentum. The other thing “pushing” the baseball is pressure differential due to differences in “relative velocities”. Think of relative velocity as two parts. One part horizontal velocity (pitch speed) and another part the speed at the surface of the ball because of how it's spinning.
As the spin increases the "relative velocity will increase on the top of a baseball (90 MPH pitch plus 40 MPH due to spin because the spin is going the same direction as the pitch) and decrease on the bottom (90 MPH minus 40 MPH because the ball is spinning away from the pitched location on the bottom). The relative velocity on the sides will be approximately 90 MPH (assuming perfectly vertical spin even though that doesn’t happen in real life).
The effects of these two things will be a function of the air’s “Reynolds Number,” which is basically a number that tells you how a fluid (like air!) will react. If you change the Reynolds Number then you change how the fluid reacts. One of the biggest drivers of the Reynolds Number is the velocity of the object (baseball), but the baseball has different velocities depending on where you are on the baseball (hint: relative velocities).
THEREFORE. As you increase the spin rate you, hypothetically, actually increase the difference in the Reynolds Number from the top of the baseball to the bottom leaving much more “random variance” in how the air reacts to the baseball. You also have skin drag versus form drag. Form drag is the drag you think of when watching race cars. Skin drag is due to the fact that air is sticky (it’s a fluid!) and wants to stay on the baseball (or race car too actually, or Olympic swimmer). As velocity increases, form drag becomes more important than skin drag so you might have varying types of drag between the top and bottom of the baseball (but it’s probably going so fast skin drag isn’t really involved).
Speaking of air sticking to baseballs, it’s more or less sticky based on the Reynolds Number. The higher the Reynolds Number the more resilient a baseball becomes to differences in pressure. Of course you still have the difference again between the top and bottom of the baseball. I really, really think that’s going to be your biggest obstacle with a higher spin rate. I wasn’t expecting to think that when I started this essay because it’s counterintuitive to the knuckleball (no spin) logic.
Of course this all may not be true. It's possible once the Reynolds number is high enough the air's movement may become ... constant? As constant as moving, turbulent air in an open system (not in a pipe) can be. Example: the water flowing around bluff bodies inside of a pipe acts the same way once the Reynolds Number becomes high enough (these bluff bodies aren’t spinning though!).
I’d argue all this talk of spin rate becomes moot though if a pitcher’s mechanics aren’t repeatable. It wouldn’t surprise me if the pitcher’s mechanics are 10x more important than how fast and/or consistent his curveball spins.
Backing up though, great article. Only suggestion would be a picture to explain the two different spin rates. How I read it and how you’re explaining how it affects the spin of the ball are two different things and I don’t think you’re wrong, I think I’m confused and a picture would help. Make it in Paint for all I care.
For reference I always review these NASA articles:
 1,500 RPM on a 9" baseball is equal to 40 MPH. 2,000 RPM is equal to 53 MPH.
1500 RPM = 90,000 RPH; 9" ball diameter = 28.27" circ = .000446 mile cir. RPH*circ = miles/hour.
Wouldn't you want one of your scouts to be the son of a GM? Yes, his ultimate allegiance is to his father, but in the case of accidental "oopsies" wouldn't the scout have much more to gain than the GM? Or is it assumed the GM is better at preventing oopsies than the scout?
Let's assume these two talk on holidays and share work conversations. If it's like a normal person complaining about work you would get into "We have this dumb thing" or "We continue to do this" or "Ever since we did this" conversations. The scout has much more to gain than the GM. The scout's opinions and ideologies mean nothing.
I assumed they would sell for players who will contribute in the next 2-3 years (continuing the league wide trend). They don't need prospects, just players who are sure to be on the team.
Maybe the logic is "Yeah, we could make the playoffs this year, but likely as a play in candidate and we have better overall odds if we give up this year and win the division the next 2-3 years." Of course that's risky given their most prominent players could fall off that age cliff at any point.
Maybe it's just a real fear of the play-in game and knowing they cut their World Series odds in half by playing in it instead of winning the division? Maybe it's fear that Cabrera's calf injury could limit him the rest of the year? Maybe it's a fear that if they don't get anything back for Price or Cespedes the next 2-3 years aren't going to be good anyways?
"It seems hilariously disrespectful of the long regular season for MLB to wipe the slate clean and force two teams to play an arbitrary one-game winner-take-all, especially after that long season revealed just a single game's difference between them."
But these teams didn't win their division and therefore the right to avoid this "win and you're in" game. I think it's obvious MLB added the 2nd wild card for money (and fun) reasons, but it did make winning the division valuable again. I literally have no idea what the divisions even are in the NBA. Hockey division championships mean nothing (sorry Blues fans). NFL at least helps out the two best teams in each conference based on regular season record. And, as you allude to, 1 game difference means nothing so these two teams playing a 55/45 odds game almost seems fair. Should've won the division.
And I remember last year going into the last week there were grumblings that "with this new format there's no fun! It's all pretty much set up!" and yet there were two races that took until the last day to decide (2nd AL wild card and AL Central division winner). We have no idea how it'll unravel, but it'll probably involve drama.
The real discussion still needs to be the best-of-5 division series.
Huh, good job
But then you lose the fun of "What happened 'yesterday'" in live baseball games. This site's main money-maker is prospects and, therefore, the future. I don't understand the hate when we pretend it's the future, we already do it but this way is a bit more fun and imaginative. We could have had an "all author" article stating "What do you think will change in 2 years" or you can casually read someone drop an NL DH comment.
At least something is the same today: Trueblood is still pro-DH.
Also, we've all seen McKinney's Hitf/x data and he's just not the same player he was after he discovered there's a brick wall behind the ivy. Rookies, man.
I disagree. I love they're playing it straight even in the comments where they're being lit up. Honestly, I wish they could somehow change the spam ad's from Toyota Venza selling me a 2015 car to 2017. It makes no sense that Toyota is selling me a 2 year old car.
I'm not upset with the 2017 thing, I'm upset you couldn't capitalize on the opportunity to make 6 new logos and come up with a new name for the San Jose...Dark Green Sox.
Haven't listened yet, but I'm going to counter in all caps so it's easy to pick out my comments, not because I can't control the volume of my voice:
#1: Age 8-9 before middle school when little league was pure and you aren't grumpy yet, you still love and respect everything your dad does.
AT 8-9 YOU BARELY KNOW THE PLAYERS ON YOUR OWN <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=TEAM" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('TEAM'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">TEAM</span></a>, MUCH LESS OTHERS. YOU DON'T REALLY KNOW TEAMS OUTSIDE OF YOUR DIVISION. I DON'T THINK YOU'D FULLY APPRECIATE A WORLD SERIES BECAUSE YOU DON'T KNOW HOW GOOD THE OTHER TEAMS ACTUALLY ARE. A PLAYOFF RUN A DIVISION CROWN IS ALL A CHILD NEEDS.
#2: Age 41 you have enough money to afford a ticket to a playoff game or two, you are old enough to bring your kid who is now 8-9.
I'M NOT OLD ENOUGH FOR KIDS, BUT I HAVE A FEELING BY THE TIME I HAVE 2 KIDS BASEBALL IS NOT GOING TO BE AS BIG OF A DETERMINANT ON MY HAPPINESS LEVEL. YOU BRING UP A POINT ABOUT YOUR KIDS THOUGH. IF THEY SEE YOUR TEAM WIN A WORLD SERIES AT PRIME "I'M KIND OF STILL PICKING A TEAM" AGE THEN THEY'RE YOURS FOR LIFE. SO, ASSUMING YOUR KIDS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN BASEBALL, I AGREE.
#3: Age 67 or so. You are retired now so you can go to more regular season games and really have time to be a fan AND you have also assured yourself of living to 67, which is nice bonus.
YES. 100% AGREE.
So I guess I would only disagree with #1 and would counter with sometime between 16 and 22 (assuming you go to a 4 year college). At that age you can fully understand baseball and appreciate it more, you have the time (especially in most summers) to watch games on a semi-regular basis and ideally your team is the home town team so all your buddies are also fans and this gives you a great reason to hang out and do it all together.
Spacing them out is obvious. We might all pretend that each championship matters equally, but as a fan of a team that has won multiple championships relatively close together you just can't appreciate it as much. As fun as the dynasty term is, history isn't as fun as the next championship.
Because I've only been on this site for a year and a half, can you explain what Baseball Prospectus was?
While this is America and you can complain about something and still contribute to it...it makes you look like you actually enjoy it a bit and you're just complaining because someone at work ate your brunch fruit snacks AGAIN and you're just angry at the world in general. Also, I'm paying for a website so the comments don't have personal name-calling attacks because we're adults.
But Castro's contract, while still a steal, isn't nearly as amazing as it has been in the past now that the tv contract bubble appears to have popped and he only has 2 years left on his contract. Why haven't we flipped him, moved Russell over, put Baez at 2nd so we can stop playing Bryant in the OF. Bryant has value anywhere, but we've all seen Bryant's terrible RFR in left. Plus, look at the Orioles, they finally moved Machado back to SS (obviously it was out of necessity for them, but still) and he's held up fine which has kept his value high. Plus, added bonus, doing all this finally allows Alcantara to fully embrace his utility potential everyone talked about when Maddon joined and we can get rid of this 4 inning pitcher crap which CLEARLY isn't working for the Cubs despite being the little starting pitching depth and mountain of injuries. Thank God <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=23954">Tommy John</a></span> (or whatever they're calling it now) only has a 6 month recovery so we'll get Arrieta back by the playoffs so he can earn that contract.
Dang it, it's in the link. Well, I tried. Sort of.
Warning: a swear word is used, 17+ only
Or just a snippet listing where they are one everyone's lists (if those lists exist)? It would paint a better picture of the player's potential boom/bust or if some players at the top clearly stand out from the players below them. It would also include different contributors preferences on high ceiling vs high floor (that would not be able to be shown in this small snippet).
45. 2B <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Jose+Peraza">Jose Peraza</a></span> (Braves)
Age: 21 (4/30/94)
All Rankings: 57, 35, 44, 41, 42
Placement on pre-season 101: 92
Current MiLB level/Affiliate: Triple-A Gwinnett
I've also wondered about release points (if he's not comfortable with his motion maybe he's having a hard time repeating it). There has to be some explanation why his SwingingStrike% dropped from 11% to 7%, maybe he's tipping his pitches? I was hoping for something more obvious, but the only things I found were:
1. The difference in vertical and horizontal release points between pitches is consistent with past performance (as far as I can tell, I'm no scientist).
2. At the end of 2014 his horizontal release point changes drastically
3. His horizontal release point has been sporadic this year on a game to game basis
4. His vertical release point is also sporadic, but only slightly more so than historically.
I don't look at release points that often so maybe points 2-4 is common and/or this is just a tool calibration issue or different stadiums being calibrated slightly offset from one another.
No smoking gun though. Maybe that shoulder injury back in early May is a thing that's causing a problem still?
This is how you do gifs. Great job on interneting.
For simply right/wrong they may not be necessary, but from a human interaction and informing players and coaches of right/wrong I don't think they'll ever not be necessary. Kind of when you call the bank and just pound '0' until a person talks to you.
Is the purpose of a thumbs down to disagree with someone or to help eliminate useless or hateful comments? Because just disagreeing but not giving a reason why (a thumbs down) doesn't further the conversation. I would thumbs down a thumbs down in this instance.
I imagine wind would be hard to capture given the structure of a park is a big factor in direction. Temp is a "simple" website query. And according to Jonathon, "double" counting the temp is better ("reduces noise") than only using park factors so it still has value...but yeah, not all of it. But do we know what the advantage of 80 deg vs 70 deg is and how it would effect the park factor? I have a feeling this isn't as easy as we think it is and they decided to invest their time into the context research instead of possibly insignificant temp differences.
Pedro's MLB team icon probably shouldn't the Phillies. Probably. Somebody can prove me wrong.
WAR/WARP is a "what have you done for me" not a "what are you going to do for me" stat. It's for who was better than whom in the past. The reason it is also referenced a lot for predicting is because the projected actions of players (<span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=AVG" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('AVG'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">AVG</span></a>, <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=SLG" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('SLG'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">SLG</span></a>, <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=FRAA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('FRAA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">FRAA</span></a>, etc) are put into the WAR function and it spits out a number.
They 100%, definitely backronymed that for this specific reason.
I haven't read it yet, but might want to head over to the other <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=DRA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('DRA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">DRA</span></a> page http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=26196
I don't know if I like or dislike that <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=ERA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('ERA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">ERA</span></a> and <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=DRA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('DRA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">DRA</span></a> both sound the same. For each BP podcast this week I'd put the +/- at 2 for "Are you saying 'EeeRA' or 'DeeRA'?" But DRA only has one letter difference from ERA, so I have a clue when remembering it. Unlike <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=EPAA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('EPAA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">EPAA</span></a>, which I already forgot and had to scroll up to find. And for people new to metrics I would guess any sort of familiarity in terms is a plus.
Could you further explain how "Rather, it is adjusted to the average runs-allowed by the league for that season." doesn't account for the hardness to score runs difference between 1998 and 2014?
Unless bloodface's point is that just because more runs were scored in a season you're not sure to blame bad pitching, good hitting or a more offensive environment for the additional runs scored?
Once again being granular, but wouldn't stadium factors already have an "average season" temperature ingrained in their numbers? So <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=DRA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('DRA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">DRA</span></a> is doubling down on temp unless it's comparing that day's temp to the average temp.
Wow, I missed that. Combining fantastic funniness with some clever? Better step up Matthew Kory, Sussman is bringin' it.
Or, to counter-point myself, maybe the Rockies success shows the Brewers won't actually lose that much in attendance. But reading off the past 7 years of attendance won't show what the floor is because they've been "good" for most of that stretch.
Since 2000 MLB's cumulative attendance has bounced around 70M-79M (http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/attendance.htm). Excluding Miller Park's first year the Brewers didn't break 2M fans from '84 - '03. They were competitive in '07 and then took the city by storm in '08 and have been between "awesome" and "not embarrassing" since then and their attendance has displayed this (http://milwaukee.brewers.mlb.com/mil/history/year_by_year_results.jsp). This team may be headed towards a 2010-2015 Rockies level of success (a few big names who are injury concerns, little depth or pitching), so I'd worry about their popularity levels. People need to understand the city is nutso over the Packers and they always come first.
Notes: I'm a Cubs fan living within a weekday night game distance of Miller Park, so cheap tickets greatly benefit me. Real excited. And the Rockies have done surprisingly well for themselves, in terms of attendance, despite being sucky. The park environment must be as fun as people claim http://colorado.rockies.mlb.com/col/history/year_by_year_results.jsp
It's an art piece. It's to remind us how empty life is without baseball in it.
That doesn't belong here
You can argue they care more about total wins, not just wins this year. Yes, the Cubs could sign Bryant when he's eligible, but they could spend that potential $25M saved that year somewhere else too.
I understand all the words, but it's just learning what you're teaching. I had lessons growing up, but I'm now trying to help my little brother out. So we take videos of his swing and all that jazz, apply what I know and tips from articles like this, but it usually devolves to "I don't know, man. You hit the ball so you did something right." I would liken this to watching a lecture on a subject then doing the homework. The homework is always harder than watching the lecture.
This article was actually one of the best ones I've read here thanks to breaking out portions of the swing into neat, compact gifs. It focuses on the portion of the swing you're describing and allows me to see it repeatedly without having to wait 6 seconds for the video to loop. It really allows me to process what's happening. Whoever made the mouse-over gif was a God-send for this type of article. Only addition might be to highlight the specific area on top of the gif? Anything to benefit the video is a plus.
While I'm at it, here are phrases that I had to process:
- back elbow turns
- cocks the bat up (just the barrel? just vertically or rotates the bat to a vertical position?)
- stiff front leg (as in a straight leg?)
Turns out reading the article twice is a fantastic idea. I'll remember that for next time.
How I feel when reading these articles
How does someone -1 this? It's like frowning at someone who responds to "How's your day going?" with "good." It's just an acknowledgement that the other person is there. It means almost nothing. The internet is a fickle place.
CC averaged 7 2/3 innings with a 1.56 <span class="statdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/glossary/index.php?search=ERA" onmouseover="doTooltip(event, jpfl_getStat('ERA'))" onmouseout="hideTip()">ERA</span></a> in 15 regular season starts and the Brewers finished 1 game ahead of the Mets (in which CC clinched it on the last day). He did get lit up in the only postseason game though.
This doesn't count for this article because it's breaking so, so many rules, but with <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/card/card.php?id=56185">Josh Donaldson</a></span> it's possible we don't end up with Bryant.
Bryant went 2nd in the 2013 draft, before Jonathon Gray, and this was the same year Donaldson truly broke out (you could take it back to August of 2012 if you like). Jonathon Gray, from the places I was reading, "should have" been the #2 pick after Appel (possibly 1st overall, still presently a top prospect). Did they go Bryant just to get a hitter regardless? Did they truly value his 3rd base position? Would they have trusted Donaldson after a 4 month MLB and half year minor league breakout? I like to think yes, which makes me believe that life isn't here to break me down little by little.
Would I rather have Donaldson or Bryant now? Value is a weird thing.
I guess I'm just hoping they bring on new people for the micro-sites. But I see the concern that it's a money grab and they're making the decision to benefit themselves*, not the reader.
*Which, I mean, I make selfish decisions every day. Luckily it only effects people I don't ever meet or have to respond to via internet blog comments.
Yeah, I probably shouldn't have used population as my argument and then gotten lazy and just thrown out a number I made up (because god forbid I open a second tab on my phone).
I should have made the argument for number of fans based on FB and Twitter followers. And I should have used the Yankees because I still have trouble fathoming how much larger the NY fanbase is.
(1) Yankees - 8.2M on FB, 1.4M on Twitter
(2) Red Sox - 5M on FB, 1M on Twitter
(6) Cubs - 2.3M on FB, .5M on Twitter
(15) Reds - 1.1M on FB, .4M on Twitter
I had no idea the Reds were middle of the pack for "popularity", I figured around 20th. And that it's only a 4:1 or 5:1 fan ratio between the Reds and Red Sox, but it's close with the Yankees.
What's real fun is this graphic, which shows how sporadic Yankee fandom is http://www.sbnation.com/lookit/2014/3/31/5567664/facebook-baseball-popularity-royals-probably-spamming-timeline-with-candy-crush-updates
And the site is starting with the big teams (and the biggest team with the most big-name prospects who probably were attracted to this site over the past few years scrounging for hope) and then, <a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/author/jim_walsh">Jim Walsh</a> says, will spread to smaller teams. Basic ROI stuff, fix the big problems then work on the smaller ones.
And if you dislike the content...don't go there? You have to make a conscious choice to go there. It's like reading the comments on ESPN articles, you chose to make that terrible decision.
Let's not blame BP for picking teams with the largest fanbases so it can reach the most people. Could you imagine a site dedicated towards the Reds? It would literally have 10x less people visit it. (no offense to Reds fans, there are just less people in that half of Ohio compared to the entire region of New England)
Have you seen any other content on here that is heavily tilted towards big market teams? I mean, in the last two days they've had articles titles pertaining to the Rockies. Small sample size, but lower your pitch fork a little bit.
Oh, I guess I should've clarified fastball only was in reference to the Yankees machine that struck out <span class="playerdef"><a href="http://www.baseballprospectus.com/player_search.php?search_name=Chris+Young">Chris Young</a></span>. I've hit off a machine with a (wildly ineffective) curveball capabilities and I'd imagine it would hold up pretty well against an actual MLB pitcher, thus the fastball caveat to make it more interesting.
How good would a pitching machine be if it could throw breaking pitches? Completely awesome, right? Assuming the batter won't see the person adjusting the machine. I now have so many more questions. Guest suggestion: anybody who designs/builds pitching machines.
How many of these teams would get better with a fastball only pitching machine instead of their respective pitcher? Pros are a controlled number of walks (assuming control of strike/ball), fast pitches, can't "read" arm slots. Cons are only fastballs, not seeing Ichiro pitch.
Based your research that I completely and utterly trust...everyone except Simmons and Harper?
Better idea, how many teams would be better off with a tee? Can a MLB player hit a home run off a tee? Can the now free pitcher play outfield?
I...I would like to hear your semi-coherent argument for the All-Trout Tornados vs. All-Kershaw Krankshafts. Was it an EW episode? Please let it be an EW episode.
Love it and thanks for finding good stuff outside of the home site.
You did. I got an email explaining that it was still coming and I got an email alerting me it was posted within at least a few hours of it being posted. I liked that.
Sassy comments aside, I think it's obvious rolling this out before auto-renewals would also bring in more new customers. I had to wait TWO WHOLE WEEKS to get MLB.tv this year :) but this deal last year is what got me hooked on BP (other than Sam and Ben's daily chats happily filling the void between today and the slow march towards the day I die).
"jfranco77" made me Google what Julio Franco was up to. Apparently he's playing baseball. Because of course.
Congrats! But now I'm going to selfishly ask if this affects the MLB.tv rebate? You announced it a few weeks ago on 'Effectively Wild' and I haven't seen anything official yet. Thanks and keep up the good work.
Sandberg wasn't listed in the 2010-2014 combined data set, only the 2014 only data set. His 2013 year wasn't included.
" To be on [the 2010-2014 combined] list, a manager had to manage more than three years in the last five."
PECOTA has Lester at 2.2 WARP (reasonable), but Steamer has him at 3.5 WAR. I'm not sure what other projections are released, but that's a difference of "Hey, we paid market value" and "This went downhill quickly". I didn't think there would be that much variance in his outcomes. You should just release the percentiles now, I don't want to wait.
Better question, does PECOTA (or WARP) scale pitcher value differently than projection systems? PECOTA finds about an even amount of pitchers and hitters above average but hitters escalate in value much more quickly. Does PECOTA (or BP in general) have a history of this? If you "scale" pitcher value as much as hitter value then Lester has a 3.8 WARP.
Lastly, holy wow, a projected 97 wins for the Dodgers.
It's a 95% correlation. The biggest difference I noticed was that it brought the standard deviation between players from 32.4% to 24.2% (scaled results).
Nonetheless, Carlos Gomez was the most hurt by this change (going from 35% above average to 7% above average).
There is the tiniest of correlation between "Adjusted CombinedRate+" and TakeValue...but some of the players with the highest TakeValue lost the most when adjusting for # of pitches.
Carlos Gomez: 135% -> 107%
Josh Hamilton: 116% -> 100%
Pablo Sandoval: 117% -> 99%
Aramis Ramirez: 117% -> 94%
Might be something there Robert...Rob? Robbie? Bob? I'm sure you love those names.
Top 10 are the same players in about the same order.
The new bottom 10 is (worst to less worst):
As of 5:24 am Pac, Sep 27 2014 shouldn't the Mariners have about a 3% chance of winning the wild card?
Mariners are 2 games back of Oakland and assuming 50% win probability* for each game the Mariners and Oakland are playing, that's .5^4 = 6.25%. Toss-up for a play-in game** and it's about 3%.
*Oakland is a better team, but Seattle has Felix going Sunday and that thing called sample size
**Fine. 60/40 Oakland..just because? It makes a .6% playoff difference