It’s that time of year. The time when grown men hug each other to say goodbye after five months together. It’s also the time when refresh buttons are mashed on Twitter trying to catch the news of whatever trade is about to happen. It’s all so exciting. And here at BP, we like to get into the spirit of the season, too. It’s become an annual tradition to play the BP Trade Game, where we put on disguises that make us look like general managers, and pretend to trade for someone.
Today, we present the first entry in that series where we try to trade J.D. Martinez from the Tigers to a team looking for a rental bat. And, as sometimes happens with these, real life scooped us. I guess we shouldn’t feel too bad. On July 28, the Tigers are having a “Game of Thrones” night at Comerica Park, featuring a bobblehead of J.D. Martinez sitting on the throne.
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Every contender needs rotation help and there are plenty of big-name starters potentially available.
If your favorite team is at or above .500, odds are you think they should add starting pitching help before the trade deadline. And they probably agree. As part of the Cubs’ surprisingly difficult fight to rise above .500 and properly defend their title, they kicked off the festivities by acquiring left-hander Jose Quintana (and his team-friendly contract) from the White Sox for a four-prospect package led by Single-A slugger Eloy Jimenez. Which other rotation-boosting arms may be on the move? Here’s my best guess at the top starters who could realistically be available before the trade deadline, and the pros and cons of each.
Is bunting to break up a no-hitter only controversial because of how our brains work?
The date is June 21, and Justin Verlander has just struck out Mitch Haniger for the first out of the fifth inning. It was his 10th strikeout of the game, and if it wasn’t vintage Verlander that’s only because he didn’t throw his (once) devastating changeup, instead relying on a curveball with more drop than a Tiesto banger to play off his riding, mid-90s heater.
Injuries, ineffectiveness and plain old bad luck plagued the senior circuit's top arms this year.
Welcome to my annual look at retrospective player valuation here at Baseball Prospectus. Over the next few weeks, I will be writing a series of posts examining how players performed from a fantasy perspective in 2016. This is the second post in a series of six. The first two posts in the series will focus on AL-only leagues, the next two will shift their focus to NL-only, and the final two posts will examine mixed leagues.
Before I dig in, here is a brief description of the charts below.
Detroit goes from a 5-0 hole to a 14-5 romp, Jacob deGrom blows away the Braves, plus more from Tuesday and what to watch on Wdnesday.
The Tuesday Takeaway
The Tigers looked like they’d be in for a long night when the Dodgers jumped all over Justin Verlander in the top of the first inning of Tuesday’s clash between the two first-place clubs.
The best of times for Clayton Kershaw coincide with the worst of times for Justin Verlander.
Just 15 months ago, Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander were neck-and-neck in any discussion of the top pitchers in the game. The Motor City right-hander owned the American League, and the west coast southpaw ruled over the senior circuit, with each having finished first and second in their respective Cy Young races from 2011–12. They entered the 2013 campaign as the unquestioned aces of competitive clubs, poised to stage another season as kings of the mound, but their careers have taken dramatically different trajectories since then.
Toronto wins for the 17th time in 20 games and Masahiro Tanaka gets by without his best stuff, plus more from Thursday and weekend previews.
The Thursday Takeaway Justin Verlander became the latest victim of Toronto’s explosive offense on Wednesday, as the Blue Jays cranked three more home runs and put the finishing touches on a three-game sweep over the AL Central leaders.
The Sox end a streak, Bckett throws a no-no, and Springer explodes, plus much more from the weekend and what to watch today.
The Memorial Day Weekend Takeaway
If you’re going to compile a 10-game losing streak, you’ll need to find some innovative ways to give away games. Like, say, batting around and scoring five runs in the first inning against David Price, then getting shut out for 14 offensive frames before going down with a series of defensive misadventures:
These junior-circuit hurlers had elevated BABIPs last year, but was it all because of bad luck?
As we learned in the NL iteration of this exercise, BABIP affects bad and good pitchers alike, but that doesn’t mean it is pure luck. Team defense, ground-ball rates and the ability to miss bats all factor in to a pitcher’s likelihood of retaining a low BABIP, decreasing a high BABIP or just producing consistent a consistent BABIP year-to-year.
Below are the top five BABIP affected pitchers in the American League from 2013. While one has since been sent to the National League, there’s reason to believe that four of the five have the ability to be better this year than they were last year. Then there’s Joe Saunders.