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Articles Tagged Luck 

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06-10

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4

Baseball Therapy: Can Draft Lightning Be Bottled?
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-21

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6

Playoff Prospectus: NLCS Game Six Recap: Cardinals 9, Dodgers 0
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-16

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1

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 204: The Yankees and Luck/How We Watch Baseball/Consuming Scouting Reports
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

08-27

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27

Baseball Therapy: One-Run Winners: Good or Lucky?
by
Russell A. Carleton

05-29

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24

Overthinking It: Jonny Venters and What a High BABIP Looks Like
by
Ben Lindbergh

04-24

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7

Overthinking It: The No-Hitters That Almost Weren't
by
Ben Lindbergh

12-01

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15

Ahead in the Count: So How Good are MVPs Really?
by
Matt Swartz

09-17

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13

Ahead in the Count: High BABIPs and True Skill Level
by
Matt Swartz

09-10

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19

Ahead in the Count: The Biggest ERA-SIERA Divides of 2010
by
Matt Swartz

02-08

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52

Introducing SIERA
by
Matt Swartz and Eric Seidman

01-10

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19

Prospectus Roundtable: BABIP and Line Drives
by
Baseball Prospectus

06-21

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25

Prospectus Idol Entry: Do You Hate Pitchers' Won-Loss Record? Blame Your Grandfather
by
Matthew Knight

07-25

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0

Fantasy Focus: The Unpredictability of Pitching
by
Dalton Del Don

11-11

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Dropping In
by
Jason Paré

10-16

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Future Shock: Monday Morning Ten-Pack
by
Kevin Goldstein

10-16

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Prospectus Today: LCS, Day Six
by
Joe Sheehan

10-14

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Future Shock: Where Did the Tigers and the Athletics Come From?
by
Kevin Goldstein

10-14

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Prospectus Today: LCS, Day Four
by
Joe Sheehan

10-14

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Playoff Prospectus: The Best and Worst of Mets and Cardinals Postseason Pitching
by
Jim Baker

10-13

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Prospectus Today: LCS, Day Three
by
Joe Sheehan

10-12

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Prospectus Today: The Games Go On
by
Joe Sheehan

10-12

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Player Profile
by
Marc Normandin

10-11

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Remembering Buck O'Neil
by
Alex Belth

10-11

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Prospectus Today: LCS, Day One
by
Joe Sheehan

10-09

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Completely Random Statistical Trivia
by
Keith Woolner

10-09

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Prospectus Today: Division Series, Day Six
by
Joe Sheehan

10-07

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Prospectus Today: Division Series, Day Four
by
Joe Sheehan

10-06

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Prospectus Today: Division Series, Day Three
by
Joe Sheehan

10-06

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Prospectus Matchups: October Musings
by
Jim Baker

10-05

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Prospectus Today: Division Series, Day Two
by
Joe Sheehan

09-14

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0

You Could Look It Up: Made, or Happened?
by
Steven Goldman

05-01

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Adjusting for Context
by
Clay Davenport

09-09

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The Daily Prospectus: A Look at the Pitching Numbers
by
Michael Wolverton

10-12

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Call It In The Air!
by
Dave Pease

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June 10, 2014 6:00 am

Baseball Therapy: Can Draft Lightning Be Bottled?

4

Russell A. Carleton

Which teams have been best and worst at the draft? And will they be still be the best and worst next year?

It was a boring weekend for baseball rumors on the major league side, because all of the front-office sources that your favorite columnist goes to were busy with the draft. Maybe you kept yourself entertained by getting to know the names that will be gracing your favorite team’s roster five years from now, and hopefully, that knowledge will come in handy. Unless those guys flame out in Double-A. That happens too.

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Breaking down the Dodgers' darkest timeline.

To a certain extent, context determines how ugly a loss looks. Under normal circumstances, a 9-0 defeat can be classified as convincing. But after the first five games of a neck-and-neck NLCS in which no game has been decided by more than three runs—and in which the two teams have combined for nine runs only once—a 9-0 defeat feels like a lopsided, impossibly-out-of-reach embarrassment, especially considering that the losing team started the best pitcher in baseball.

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Ben and Sam team up for a simulpodcast with Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs and FanGraphs Audio to discuss whether the Yankees have been lucky, the best way to watch baseball, and the value of old scouting reports.



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August 27, 2012 5:00 am

Baseball Therapy: One-Run Winners: Good or Lucky?

27

Russell A. Carleton

Do teams like the Orioles that excel in one-run games do so out of skill, or have they just gotten lucky?

A few weeks ago, the topic for the BP Lineup Card was "Unanswered questions for the second half." I noted that at the time, the Cardinals were several games behind both the Pirates and the Reds in the NL Central standings, despite the fact that they had a better Pythagorean record than either. In theory, the Cardinals should have been atop the NL Central.

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Every bloop, bleeder, and swinging bunt that has contributed toward the Braves setup man's .458 BABIP in 2012.

A few days ago, I got an email from someone who wanted to know why Jonny Venters isn’t dominating people like he did last year. He speculated that there’s something wrong with his stuff, or that his mechanics might be off.

I started formulating an answer even before I looked at the numbers. Well, it’s too small a sample to draw conclusions. Well, Venters was so good in 2011 that it’s unfair to expect a repeat performance. Well, he led the league in appearances last year, so maybe he’s feeling some fatigue.

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April 24, 2012 8:00 am

Overthinking It: The No-Hitters That Almost Weren't

7

Ben Lindbergh

Philip Humber's perfect game ended with a controversial call, but close plays to preserve no-hitters are the norm, not the exception.

Since the start of the 2009 season, 12 nine-inning no-hitters have been pitched. Over the same span, 24 nine-inning one-hitters have been pitched. The former will be remembered. The latter will not, except by Anibal Sanchez, who threw three of them. (Don’t feel too bad for Anibal Sanchez, since he already had a no-hitter. Anibal Sanchez: pretty good at pitching.)

The difference between a no-hitter and a one-hitter is—wait for it—one hit. But it’s too simple to say that, really. A hit can be a long home run or a hard line drive that lands somewhere on the field. It can also be an infield dribbler, a well-placed pop-up, or a routine fly that would have been caught by literally anyone but Raul Ibanez. This is a hit:

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Examining past MVP and Cy Young winners and the differences between their winning seasons and non-winning seasons.

With the Most Valuable Player and Cy Young awards announced in the last two weeks, we saw a first-time MVP in each league, a first-time American League Cy Young winner and a National League Cy Young winner who had won the American League Cy Young Award seven years prior. Winning consecutive MVP or Cy Young awards is a rarity, though we have seen recent repeats by Albert Pujols and Tim Lincecum. In the last 18 years (1993-2010, which encompasses the last  two rounds of expansion), we have seen just six of 36 MVP awards go to the previous year’s winner, and just nine Cy Young Awards to the previous recipient. But the best hitter or best pitcher in the league is usually not a different person every year.

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September 17, 2010 8:00 am

Ahead in the Count: High BABIPs and True Skill Level

13

Matt Swartz

Look at which direction some hitters with high batting averages on balls in play are likely headed in 2011.

Last week, I discussed several pitchers who were pitching well in front of or well behind their peripherals using SIERA. This week, I will discuss several hitters who have particularly high BABIPs, and how much of that performance is skill versus luck.

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September 10, 2010 8:00 am

Ahead in the Count: The Biggest ERA-SIERA Divides of 2010

19

Matt Swartz

A look at some pitchers who have had good luck this season and some who haven't.

When Eric Seidman and I introduced SIERA in February, we were very careful to show that it predicts future ERA better than current ERA does. While Defense Independent Pitching Statistics are not a foolproof way to measure pitchers, using them as a guide to dig further into the numbers can be very helpful. Last October, I spent a couple articles analyzing Cole Hamels’ performance, and I highlighted how little was different between his 2008 and 2009 season, and how I expected his performance to improve as his luck neutralized. Sure enough, Hamels has seen his ERA fall back toward 2008 levels in 2010. In June, I disappointed Rockies fans by explaining the luck that had led to Ubaldo Jimenez’s 1.16 ERA at that time. Sure enough, he has a 4.36 ERA since that article was posted. Eric and I wrote on the Diamondbacks’ starters, stressing the bad luck that Dan Haren had seen to that point in the season. He had a 5.35 ERA, but it has been 3.59 since that article was posed and Haren has also been traded to the Angels. My point is not to cherry pick successes, but to prove that this type of analysis works. I certainly cannot be right every time I say a pitcher’s ERA is likely to fall or rise, because luck plays a role in pitching to a very large degree and luck by its very nature can reoccur. However, this type of analysis will prove prophetic more often than not.

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February 8, 2010 12:00 pm

Introducing SIERA

52

Matt Swartz and Eric Seidman

Unveiling a new statistic that provides a clearer picture of pitcher performance.

Baseball fans who have no use for advanced metrics can realize the flaws in evaluating pitchers by their won-lost records, but may struggle to understand the inherent flaws in the more commonly used earned run average. Henry Chadwick invented ERA in the 19th century to measure the effect of defense on pitching performance, but not until Voros McCracken explained the concept of Defense Independent Pitching Statistics (DIPS) did our understanding of the relationship between pitching and defense take a big step forward. McCracken explained that pitchers controlled the rates of whiffing, walking, and getting walloped with home runs, showing that the correlation between these statistics in consecutive years was strong. Though he inferred an ability for hurlers to control these numbers, another finding suggested little persistence in their Batting Average on Balls in Play (BABIP), leading to the conclusion that ERAs were dependent on defense (or luck), and therefore very volatile.

Armed with this information, sabermetricians began to develop methods of estimating ERA by controlling for the factors that can muddy the proverbial waters. These estimators enable the evaluation of pitching performance based on what pitchers actually control, rendering more accurate the tracking of their abilities. Watching trends in actual skills that pitchers control can help us better grasp whether shifts in ERA are the result of changes from the individual or from external factors. Since then, many competing estimators have emerged with their accompanying strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps the most popular ERA estimator is Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP), which uses the following straightforward formula: FIP = 3.20 + (3*BB - 2*K + 13*HR)/9, where the 3.20 is a constant dependent on the league and year, used to place the outputted number on the ERA scale.

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A spin through BP's recent discussions on BABIP and its discontents.

The following is an edited transcript of an in-house discussion among the Baseball Prospectus team about BABIP.

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755, .406, 56. Each of those numbers probably triggers an image in your mind's eye. The timelessness of baseball's statistics is what makes baseball such an appealing sport to so many people, and what keep us interested long after the heroes of our youth have retired.

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