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09-04

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BP Unfiltered: Decoding the Safeco Paper
by
R.J. Anderson

07-22

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Transaction Analysis: Texas Closes the Deal on Garza
by
Jason Parks and Jason Cole

05-23

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5

Overthinking It: The Incredible New Neal Cotts
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-14

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3

Skewed Left: Replacement Rangers
by
Zachary Levine

04-08

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4

Skewed Left: Beating Yu Darvish
by
Zachary Levine

03-25

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15

Prospectus Preview: These Questions Three: The Favorites
by
R.J. Anderson and Nick J. Faleris

02-12

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BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 138: 2013 Season Preview Series: Texas Rangers
by
Ben Lindbergh, Sam Miller and Pete Barrett

12-27

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1

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 108: What Position Should Ian Kinsler Play?/How Do You Know When You Need a New GM?
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

12-22

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7

Overthinking It: The Winter's Quietest Contenders
by
Ben Lindbergh

10-06

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9

Playoff Prospectus: AL Wild Card Game Recap: Orioles 5, Rangers 1
by
Derek Carty

09-10

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16

Baseball Therapy: Reading Lolita in Teheran, Part 1: Intro and Losing Focus
by
Russell A. Carleton

08-31

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5

Pebble Hunting: The Best Pitches Thrown This Week (Yu Darvish Edition)
by
Sam Miller

08-14

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1

What You Need to Know: Tuesday, August 14
by
Daniel Rathman

08-14

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BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 20: Elephant
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

08-09

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1

BP Unfiltered: Yu Darvish with Two Strikes
by
Dan Brooks

08-09

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3

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 17: Manny Comin'
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

05-30

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27

Pebble Hunting: The Decline and Fall of the Texas Rangers
by
Sam Miller

05-14

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4

Overthinking It: The Rangers' Secret Weapon
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-11

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11

Prospectus Game of the Week: A Strange Start in Baltimore
by
Jonathan Bernhardt

04-29

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BP Unfiltered: Baseball Prospectus & The Newberg Report Night at Rangers Ballpark- June 24, 2012
by
Joe Hamrahi

03-08

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13

Prospects Will Break Your Heart: Spring Training Diary, Days 8 and 9
by
Jason Parks

03-01

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41

Future Shock: The Curious Case of Jairo Beras
by
Kevin Goldstein

02-29

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12

Prospectus Preview: AL West 2012 Preseason Preview
by
Jason Parks and Jason Wojciechowski

01-23

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11

Bizball: How the AL West Has Become the AL East
by
Maury Brown

12-20

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8

Bizball: How Television Money and International Sponsorships Allowed the Rangers to Win the Yu Darvish Posting Fee Derby
by
Maury Brown

11-23

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16

Prospects Will Break Your Heart: Bear a Starter's Fruit: The Three Acts of Feliz
by
Jason Parks

10-31

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33

World Series Prospectus: A Card Fought Win
by
Jay Jaffe

10-31

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15

Kiss'Em Goodbye: Texas Rangers
by
Ben Lindbergh, Kevin Goldstein and ESPN Insider

10-31

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22

Playoff Prospectus: Shuffling Through the World Series
by
Jason Parks

10-28

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54

World Series Prospectus: Game Six: The Crazy Train Keeps Rolling
by
Jay Jaffe

10-23

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8

World Series Prospectus: Once, Twice, Three Times a Long Ball
by
Jay Jaffe

10-19

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23

World Series Prospectus: The Midwest Showdown
by
Baseball Prospectus

10-18

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8

On the Beat: Rangers Renaissance
by
John Perrotto

10-17

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12

Playoff Prospectus: Still the Same: Rangers Return to the Series
by
Jason Parks

10-08

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5

Playoff Prospectus: ALCS Preview
by
Ben Lindbergh and Derek Carty

10-06

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7

Playoff Prospectus: What to Expect When You're Expecting... Another Trip to the World Series?
by
Jason Parks

07-21

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1

Divide and Conquer, AL West: Streaking in the Wild West
by
Joey Matschulat

07-01

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3

Divide and Conquer, AL West: The Lone Rangers?
by
Joey Matschulat

03-31

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42

Pre-Season Predictions
by
Baseball Prospectus

03-17

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11

Divide and Conquer, AL West: Will the Rangers Repeat?
by
Joey Matschulat

01-03

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16

Contractual Matters: A Texas-sized Payroll Leap
by
Jeff Euston

11-22

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10

GM for a Day: Texas Rangers
by
Tommy Bennett

11-05

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8

On the Beat: Big Game Hunting
by
John Perrotto

11-04

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5

Kiss'Em Goodbye: Texas Rangers
by
Christina Kahrl, Kevin Goldstein and ESPN Insider

10-31

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10

World Series Prospectus: Game Three Report
by
John Perrotto

10-26

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19

World Series Prospectus: World Series Preview
by
Christina Kahrl

10-23

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8

One-Hoppers: ALCS Notebook: You've Never Been This Far Before
by
Jay Jaffe

10-17

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2

Playoff Prospectus: ALCS Notebook
by
Jay Jaffe

10-14

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17

Playoff Prospectus: ALCS Preview: Rangers vs. Yankees
by
Jay Jaffe

10-05

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9

Playoff Prospectus: ALDS Preview: Rays vs. Rangers
by
Ben Lindbergh

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Figuring out what it all means.

Yesterday afternoon, this image made the rounds on Twitter:

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Rangers acquire Matt Garza from the Cubs while Mike Olt, Justin Grimm and C.J. Edwards head to Chicago.

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May 23, 2013 11:40 am

Overthinking It: The Incredible New Neal Cotts

5

Ben Lindbergh

A Rangers reliever returns to the majors in the midst of a career-redefining resurgence.

I appreciate the leap of faith it took to click this link, knowing full well that the article it took you to would be about Neal Cotts. You could have spent this time, during which you’re probably supposed to be working, reading about much more famous players, whose names are more likely to come up in conversation and make you sound smart. You probably won't ever sound smart because of Neal Cotts. But Cotts' story is exciting. It’s not just that he's back in the majors after wandering in the baseball wilderness for years. That part is pretty cool, of course, considering how long he’s been away. But if that were all it was, the excitement would wear off quickly. What makes the story special is that Cotts, at age 33, has come back a completely different guy, a completely dominant guy, and, until proven otherwise, possibly the best pitcher who has ever thrown outside the realm of the immortals. And now that I’ve hopefully hooked you, let’s recap how Cotts sank into the obscurity from which he recently returned.

You might remember Cotts from his days with the White Sox and Cubs. Then again, you might not, since he was a mostly unremarkable reliever. His most memorable season was 2005, when he won a World Series with the Sox after posting a 1.94 ERA in 60 1/3 innings. Even that season wasn’t nearly as good as it seemed on the surface: Cotts had the lowest HR/FB rate (1.8 percent) and one of the lowest BABIPs (.237) of any pitcher to top 60 innings. In all other seasons combined, Cotts recorded a 5.14 ERA in relief. He struck out about eight batters per nine, walked about four, and gave up too many home runs. He was a lefty, but not a specialist, since he had a career reverse split (southpaws slugged .456 against him).

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May 14, 2013 11:36 am

Skewed Left: Replacement Rangers

3

Zachary Levine

A team that has often struggled with poor pitching in the past has done an excellent job of supplying arms from within.

The leader of the last Rangers pitching staff to lead the league in runs allowed was Rick Honeycutt, so you know it’s been a lean few decades. Complemented by Frank Tanana, Charlie Hough, Danny Darwin, Mike Smithson and an able bullpen, that Honeycutt-led staff allowed 609 runs in 1983—11 years before the Rangers’ move to their current, hitter-friendly ballpark.

That’s an ambitious example to follow for this Rangers team, which currently leads the league in runs allowed per game, chased by another team hardly helped by its home park, the Yankees. Ultimately the third-place Tigers may catch them, helped by the more neutral Comerica Park, but that’s not really the point here. It’s that this is so unlike the construction of any Rangers team we’ve seen in this generation of the offensive explosion and immediate aftermath. This season, Texas is living at the league median on offense, eighth in runs scored per game.

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April 8, 2013 12:00 am

Skewed Left: Beating Yu Darvish

4

Zachary Levine

Is there an approach at the plate that works against Yu Darvish?

Article originally published on Sunday, April 7.

The Angels get their first of perhaps a vitally important five or six shots at Yu Darvish this season on Sunday Night Baseball, and the task looks beyond intimidating.

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The first of a five-part series on the pressing questions confronting each team in 2013.

In the week leading up to Opening Day, we're asking and answering three questions about each team in a five-part series ordered by descending Playoff Pct from the Playoff Odds Report. Today, we get things started with a look at the six teams with the highest odds of winning at least a Wild Card. As a reminder, you can find links to our preview podcasts for each team here.

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Ben and Sam preview the Rangers' season with Jason Cole, and Pete talks to ESPN Dallas staff writer and blogger Richard Durrett (at 20:48).



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Ben and Sam answer listener emails about Ian Kinsler, how to decide when it's time to change GMs, R.A. Dickey and the dome, and more.



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December 22, 2012 10:03 am

Overthinking It: The Winter's Quietest Contenders

7

Ben Lindbergh

Which of last season's contending teams have been least active this offseason, and why?

With only 50 days remaining until the first February report dates—and 100 until Opening Day—most teams have already crossed off the majority of the items on their winter to-do lists, and only a handful of the top 20 free agents are still looking for work. But while many of baseball’s best clubs have stayed busy bringing in new players or bringing back old ones, a few of the teams that made (or came close to making) the playoffs last season have been quiet. Here’s a look at four teams with more tumbleweeds than transactions this winter:

Baltimore Orioles
Biggest move they’ve made:
Re-signing Nate McLouth to a one-year contract
Why they haven’t been busier: The Orioles went from last place to the playoffs without making many major moves last winter, and they didn’t stop tinkering after Opening Day. Unlike the Yankees, who’ve spent much of the winter trying to keep or replace free agents, the O’s entered the offseason with most of their important players under team control for 2013. However, they will have to pony up for arbitration raises, which restricts their financial flexibility.
Will they wish they’d done more? The Orioles’ run differential didn’t prevent them from making the playoffs last season, but the odds aren’t good that they’ll be able to replicate their 29-9 regular-season record in one-run games. Balitmore can hope for better health and better production from their young players, but with their division rivals all active since October, the O’s run a real risk of falling prey to the Plexiglas Principle and losing ground to the teams they leapfrogged last season.
What might they still do? Last winter, Dan Duquette waited until January to sign Wei-Yin Chen and February to trade for Jason Hammel, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he took the patient approach again. This year, Joe Saunders is the most likely late entry to the rotation. It’s a long shot, but the O’s have also been linked to Adam LaRoche, who’d fit in nicely at first with Mark Reynolds off the roster.





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October 6, 2012 12:55 am

Playoff Prospectus: AL Wild Card Game Recap: Orioles 5, Rangers 1

9

Derek Carty

The Orioles' first playoff game, much like their season, didn't go quite the way we expected.

As was noted in the Wild Card Roundtable, Joe Saunders’ performance in the Orioles’ 5-1 win over Texas serves as a near-perfect analogy for Baltimore’s season as a whole. Nobody expected either to stick around very long, but while it wasn’t pretty, both got the job done. Saunders, whom I wrote would have a short leash, didn’t need much slack tonight, hurling 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball. Though he found himself in quite a few jams of varying sizes, he never let things get out of hand. He allowed a baserunner in every inning (except the sixth, when he got pulled), but Saunders’ specialty, the well-timed groundball—including three double plays!—helped him minimize the damage. As a result, the Orioles have reached the ALDS for the first time since 1997 and will host the division-rival Yankees at home on Sunday.

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What can the staff psychologist/stathead learn from the way our prospect expert describes players' problems?

I want to do something experimental.

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Watching Yu Darvish is wonderful. Hitting against him is hell.

Beside pitch speed, pitch location, pitch spin, pitch movement, pitch type, count, batter, park, umpire, release point, etc., PITCHf/x also logs something called pitch-type confidence. Since the system is using algorithms to deduce what the pitch is based on speed, movement, and release point, it has to make some assumptions. If a pitcher throws only one type of fastball, and it is 10 mph faster than any other pitch he throws, and it is the only pitch that breaks to the pitcher’s glove side, the system can be pretty confident when it labels a 98-mph pitch a fastball.

But then there’s Yu Darvish. Of all the pitches Yu Darvish has thrown this year, 43 were give a confidence level of 50 percent or lower, and 506 were 80 or lower. Compare this to, say, Wandy Rodriguez, my go-to control group. He has thrown just one pitch with a confidence rating lower of 50 percent or lower, and 121 at 80 or lower. Or compare to (random pitcher) Stephen Strasburg: five below 50, 120 below 80. Strasburg has thrown 81 pitches that PITCHf/x was 100 percent confident about. Yu Darvish has thrown none.

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