Breaking down the 2013 interleague schedule for all 30 teams. What teams are forced to deviate from their regular roster/lineup construction for the longest stretch of the year?
With the Astros finally moved into the American League, we have a very different interleague schedule this year. Not only does it mean that there is now at least one interleague series happening each day of the season, from April to October, it also means that the "rivalry weekends" that were the highlights of the interleague schedule fifteen years ago have been re-shaped. Additionally, the newly balanced divisions mean that, outside of the rivalry games, all teams in a given division can play the exact same teams as their divisional opponents. No longer do the schedule makers have to worry about a six-team division matching up with a four-team division.
So how did the schedule makers do? Did the schedule turn out as balanced as can be? Were they able to ensure that teams from any one division would have the same opponents as their division-mates? Were all clubs given the same number of interleague matches or did some lucky squad or two end up a series short? One thing to remember here is that, with interleague games happening all year long instead of on two or three specific weekends, clubs are now on unequal footing when it comes to setting their rosters for the change in league rules. If one team, for example, only ever has to worry about forcing their pitchers to hit one weekend a month, they are probably in a better situation than the club forced to suddenly remove their all-star DH for nine straight games. National League clubs playing in American League ballparks will have similar problems in trying to add a DH for extended periods of time.
Baseball Prospectus and the San Diego Padres invite you to join us for a great day of baseball on Saturday, May 19 at PETCO Park. Thanks to the fine folks in the Padres front office, we are proud to be able to offer our guests the following:
Padres fans have constant reminders of past failures and rebuilds as their team attempts to field a winner.
When Padres Vice Chairman & CEO Jeff Moorad recently tried to accelerate full transfer of ownership from John Moores to Moorad's group, the other MLB owners balked; Commissioner Bud Selig cited a need for “more clarity and technical information.” Moorad and his partners, who previously owned the Arizona Diamondbacks, purchased the Padres in February 2009. They were given “as long as five years to buy out the controlling interest” from Moores, who had owned the Padres since December 1994.
The two chief causes of this setback appear to be that:
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With minimal payroll flexibility, the Padres need young players to improve quickly.
Kiss 'Em Goodbye is a series focusing on MLB teams as their postseason dreams fade—whether in September (or before), the League Division Series, League Championship Series or World Series. It combines a broad overview from Baseball Prospectus, a front-office take from former MLB GM Jim Bowden, a best- and worst-case scenario ZiPS projection for 2012 from Dan Szymborski and Kevin Goldstein's farm system overview.
As a new season dawns, Geoff looks at how baseball went west in the first place.
As Yogi Berra might say, we'll have all year to discuss the season. This week takes us in a different direction. Come, step into my TARDIS, as we examine the origins of professional baseball in each of the NL West cities.
The Padres' array of inexpensive and effective relievers offer a course in Bullpen 101.
Several months ago, Tommy Bennettpenned a paean to the economy and efficiency of the Padres’ bullpen. In retrospect, his choice of topic seems particularly prescient, given that the Padres had played all of three games by the time his article appeared. 135 games later, San Diego’s relief unit has outperformed even Tommy’s lofty expectations, supplying league-best performance at a fraction of the costs associated with other teams’ firemen. Despite their recent 10-game losing streak, the Padres sport a 78-59 record and the best run differential in the National League, and much of the credit for their success must go to the relatively unheralded men who compose their relief corps.
The Padres’ offense, while not quite the utterly anemic attack that Petco Park makes it appear, still rates as something less than a strength: the team’s .258 TAv ranks 13th in the NL. San Diego’s .02 PADE qualifies as an asset, but not a spectacular one, ranking fifth in the NL, and while the Friars have performed well on the basepaths, their speed hasn’t been a major factor behind their success.
A look at the four best-of-three series in the NCAA Tournament that begin Saturday.
The first three days of the NCAA Tournament went largely as planned, with nine top seeds advancing and five of the seven regional finales featuring the top two seeded teams. St. John’s and Minnesota were the only three and four seeds to finish the weekend 2-1 and force their regional hosts—Virginia and Cal State Fullerton—to play on Monday. Moreover, all of the top seeds made it past the first weekend, and only one national seed dropped one of their first two games, thereby having to win twice Sunday, and it wasn’t much of a test for Coastal Carolina as it drubbed Stony Brook 25-6. Two other hosts dropped their opening games and were forced to play sudden death doubleheaders Sunday as Auburn ousted Southern Mississippi and Cal State Fullerton finished of New Mexico in their respective first matchups of the day. Then, Auburn, Fullerton, and Coastal Carolina all won their nightcaps against rested foes, each forcing decisive Monday finales for their respective regions. Louisville, Miami, Arkansas, Virginia, and Georgia Tech each failed to win their only games on Sunday that could have punched their tickets to a super regional. While Coastal Carolina and Virginia managed to return to form on Monday and advance, regional host Auburn, as well as national seeds Louisville and Georgia Tech lost again Monday. Arkansas’ loss doesn’t change any travel plans, but with the brackets established to result in the winners of the Auburn and Atlanta regional meeting in the second round, No. 2 seed Clemson will host fellow 2 seed Alabama, despite not hosting a regional.
Here is the look at the four best-of-three super regionals that will be played Saturday-Monday.
Which teams enjoy outsized advantages from playing at home?
Home-field advantage is making a little bit of a comeback this year, with the home team thus far having won 56.2 percent of major league baseball games. This is actually down a few ticks from where it was several weeks ago; at the beginning of June, home teams had won almost 58 percent of their games. Nevertheless, this is quite high by the standards of recent history. Prior to World War II (when travel was more burdensome and road trips much longer), home-field advantage was more profound in baseball, but since then it has been exceptionally stable, with the home team winning about 54 percent of games each season. So, is there something systematic that is causing the home-field numbers to increase this year? Or has it just been some kind of statistical fluke?
A slew of lefties in the Pepperdine/San Diego series this weekend could mean trouble for a top player, and a few teams look to prove themselves before the regionals.
You can bet the Pepperdine/San Diego series was bookmarked by scouts a long time ago, as it could be the opportunity to see Brian Matusz go up against Brett Hunter just one month before the draft. Matchups like that can happen in February, where non-conference games can pit a few of the best in the nation against each other, but in May, they're few and far between. I know I was looking forward to it.