An examination of how baseball's increasing strikeout rate has impacted the game, torn from the pages of BP's next book.
Extra Innings: More Baseball Between the Numbers, edited by Steven Goldman, is the sequel to Baseball Prospectus’s 2006 landmark Baseball Between the Numbers, a book that gave many their first taste of state of the art sabermetric thinking in the years after Bill James and Moneyball. BP now returns with a sequel that delves into new areas of the game, such as how to evaluate managers and general managers, the true effects of performance-enhancing drugs, how prospects are recruited and developed in Latin America, and more. The book is now available for pre-order from Amazon and Barnes & Noble and should ship ahead of its official release date of April 3, 2012. Today, we present the first of two excerpts from the book.
Is Goose Gossage right to say that Mariano Rivera has it "easy?"
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
Kevin Baker is a novelist and historian who is currently at work on a social history of New York City baseball, to be published by Pantheon.
The Game One showdown between star southpaws, and tonight's matchup features a recently phoaled Phillie.
In yesterday's chat, Bronx Banter's Alex Belth asked me, "Is there any particular pitching matchup that you are looking forward to in the series?" I responded that the matchup I was most looking forward to was between CC Sabathia and Ryan Howard, particularly given the prospect of the big man pitching three times for the Yankees in a seven-game series, and the slugger's less-than-sterling reputation against southpaws. "I think that matchup will tell us something about what's going to happen over the next four to seven games," I wrote.
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An initial look at the extent of the home-field advantage in terms of its incidence on in-game results.
In every sport and at every level, the home team wins more games than the visiting team. While this is true in baseball, it's less the case than in other sports. Throughout baseball history, the home team has won approximately 54 percent of the games played. Nearly every aspect of the game has changed drastically over the last century, but home-field advantage has barely changed at all. Consider the home-field advantage in each decade since 1901:
The NLCS features two evenly-matched clubs, but how the managers line up their rotations could make all the difference.
The Phillies claimed their second NL East title in as many years by embarking on a 13-3 tear to end the season, once again storming past a shell-shocked Mets club. They made short work of the Brewers in the Division Series, and come into the Championship Series with arguably the most potent lineup of any of the four remaining teams along with the top starting pitcher in Cole Hamels.
Who's there to help the teams with the most at stake down the stretch.
One of the absolutes about the trade deadline is that there's no way that every team can get what they want to shore up their club. That's where the prospects come into play. Looking at the seven strongest American League contenders, let's see which players at the upper levels for each franchise could end up helping with the playoff push. Playoff odds are through Tuesday's game, and adjusted to resemble a true line.
Given the attendant advantages, try it, you might like it.
Strategy doesn't win fantasy baseball-picking the right players does. However, the landscape is populated with an increasingly knowledgeable breed of fantasy GMs. Most serious fantasy leaguers are evaluating and ranking players using basically the same metrics; stats like BABIP, G/F and LD% are now commonly known and dissected. With that much granular detail going into people's analysis, how can one separate themselves? By ignoring the saves category at the draft table, that's how. Here's the how and why of it: