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07-06

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3

What You Need to Know: July 6, 2015
by
Ian Frazer

07-01

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2

What You Need to Know: July 1, 2015
by
Daniel Rathman

03-23

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21

The Darkhorses: Wins and Strikeouts
by
BP Fantasy Staff

12-03

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6

Fantasy Freestyle: Relief Help
by
Keith Cromer

09-17

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1

Fantasy Freestyle: Streaming Strikeouts
by
J.P. Breen

09-16

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0

What You Need to Know: September 16, 2014
by
Jason Wojciechowski

07-23

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3

Fantasy Freestyle: Useful Non-Closer Relievers
by
J.P. Breen

06-11

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10

Overthinking It: The OTHER Way We Could Move the Mound
by
Ben Lindbergh

04-18

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2

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 431: The Rising Strikeout Rate Symposium
by
Ben Lindbergh

03-27

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4

The Darkhorses: Strikeouts
by
BP Fantasy Staff

10-14

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24

Playoff Prospectus: ALCS Game Two Recap: Red Sox 6, Tigers 5
by
Zachary Levine

10-13

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2

Playoff Prospectus: ALCS Game One Recap: Tigers 1, Red Sox 0
by
Zachary Levine

07-05

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6

Overthinking It: Getting to Know the New Insane Strikeout Rate Relievers
by
Ben Lindbergh

06-27

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3

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 233: Munenori Kawasaki and Clubhouse Chemistry/The Tigers, Strikeouts, and Defense
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

05-20

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1

Pebble Hunting: Extreme Strikeout Matchups
by
Sam Miller

04-23

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4

Fantasy Beat: Hisashi Iwakuma and Better Stats
by
Paul Sporer

02-21

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7

Skewed Left: Arizona's Extreme Strikeout Makeover
by
Zachary Levine

01-15

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5

Overthinking It: Have the Twins Learned to Love the Strikeout?
by
Ben Lindbergh

09-28

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0

BP Daily Podcast: Effectively Wild Episode 52: Oakland's All-Rookie Rotation/Baseball's Ever-Rising Strikeout Rate
by
Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller

09-28

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3

BP Unfiltered: The Week of Setting Strikeout Records
by
Ben Lindbergh

09-27

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4

BP Unfiltered: Jeff Ballard Award
by
Geoff Young

09-21

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7

Raising Aces: Four of a Kind: High-K Closers
by
Doug Thorburn

08-31

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5

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

08-23

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4

BP Unfiltered: Double Double, Arms in Trouble
by
Geoff Young

08-14

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9

Overthinking It: Anthony Gose is Not Ready Right Now
by
Ben Lindbergh

07-06

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17

Overthinking It: A Prospect Named Shaq, a Streak of 16 Strikeouts, and the Pain of Playing Baseball
by
Ben Lindbergh

06-05

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0

Overthinking It: Derek Lowe's Deadball Era
by
Ben Lindbergh

05-23

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10

Overthinking It: Gio Gonzalez and Max Scherzer are Striking Out Everyone
by
Ben Lindbergh

04-12

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11

Future Shock Blog: Minor League Update: Games of April 11
by
Kevin Goldstein

02-29

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13

Prospectus Preview: AL Central 2012 Preseason Preview, Part Two
by
Steven Goldman and Ben Lindbergh

01-27

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15

The BP Wayback Machine: Money Poorly Spent, Now and Then
by
John Perrotto

01-13

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61

Heartburn Hardball: Jack Morris in Motion
by
Jonathan Bernhardt

09-30

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2

Fantasy Beat: Interview with Tout Wars NL Champ Steve Gardner
by
Jason Collette

07-07

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14

The Asian Equation: The Decline of NPB Pitching Imports
by
Michael Street

05-06

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5

Fantasy Beat: Value Picks in the Rotation
by
Bill Baer

05-03

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0

Fantasy Beat: Tout Wars FAAB Update, 5/2
by
Jason Collette

04-29

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4

Fantasy Beat: Give Me Something!
by
Jason Collette

03-17

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15

The BP Wayback Machine: How Much Control Do Hurlers Have?
by
Voros McCracken

01-17

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0

Ahead in the Count: Situational Pitching
by
Matt Swartz

09-24

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12

Ahead in the Count: Predicting Strikeouts with Whiff and Swing Rates
by
Matt Swartz

03-29

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3

Baseball Therapy: Credit Where It's Due, Part 1
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-08

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39

Fantasy Focus: AL Starting Pitchers
by
Marc Normandin

02-10

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35

Introducing SIERA
by
Matt Swartz and Eric Seidman

09-29

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1

Changing Speeds: Situational Pitching, Part 3
by
Ken Funck

09-17

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7

Changing Speeds: A Situational Pitching Hotfix
by
Ken Funck

09-10

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12

Changing Speeds: Situational Pitching
by
Ken Funck

08-28

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5

Checking the Numbers: Whiffing the Pitcher, Part One
by
Eric Seidman

07-13

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46

Prospectus Idol Entry: Balls and Strikes, Walks and Strikeouts
by
Brian Cartwright

10-13

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7

Player Profile: Jon Lester
by
Marc Normandin and Eric Seidman

06-20

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0

Fantasy Focus: The Case for Punting Saves
by
Dalton Del Don

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Ten relievers who've racked up the strikeouts in the majors for the first time this season.

Here’s a stat about strikeouts: The percentage of 50-plus-inning relievers who struck out a batter per inning in 1990 was lower than the percentage who struck out 12 per nine innings in 2012. Remember the Reds’ “Nasty Boys” bullpen of Rob Dibble, Randy Myers, and Norm Charlton? They were three of only eight relievers with a K/9 of at least 9.0 in 1990. Relative to average, Dibble’s 12.5 K/9 that season was more impressive than, say, Aroldis Chapman’s league-leading 15.1 in 2013. But 15.1 is such an astounding number that it commands the attention anyway. Strikeout rates are rising too fast for the baselines in our brains to keep up.

Every season, a new crop of relievers arrives and astonishes us with their strikeout prowess. Some are promising rookie relief prospects who throw a million miles per hour and were expected to miss many bats. Others are rookies who’ve exceeded expectations, and still others are veterans whose latent strikeout powers were never suspected before they surfaced this season.

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Ben and Sam talk about whether Kawasaki being sent to the minors tells us anything about chemistry, then discuss how much the Tigers' defense hurts them.

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May 20, 2013 5:00 am

Pebble Hunting: Extreme Strikeout Matchups

1

Sam Miller

Strikeouts have the momentum of a runaway freight train. Why are they so popular?

On Sept. 18, 2011, Justin Verlander faced Chris Carter for the first and only three times to date. It went about how you’d expect, as Carter

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What can Hisashi Iwakuma's early season work teach us about using the most effective stats available?

Hisashi Iwakuma had the odd occurrence in his 2012 season where he was actually better as a starter. Most pitchers are not only better in short bursts out of the bullpen, but markedly so. Iwakuma spent 30 1/3 in the bullpen pitching to a 4.75 ERA and 1.42 WHIP with an 18 percent strikeout rate and 12 percent walk rate. He took off once he become a starter, posting a 2.65 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 95 innings with a 20 percent strikeout rate and seven percent walk rate.

His 2013 season is off to an even better start as he has managed a 1.69 ERA and 0.53 WHIP in 26 2/3 innings through his first four starts. The only impediment to his success so far has been a blister issue, though something tells me his 100 percent left on base rate and .119 BABIP are set to rise. I have noticed that his batted ball mix is different from 2012 as his flyball rate climbed dramatically from 27 percent to 42 percent, including a 13 percent infield flyball rate.

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February 21, 2013 5:00 am

Skewed Left: Arizona's Extreme Strikeout Makeover

7

Zachary Levine

Was Arizona's off-season search for "gritty" players really just a commitment to making more contact?

When you talk about changing a roster for the grittier, as Kevin Towers has rather openly during a bizarre offseason at the helm of the Diamondbacks, you’re going to get accused of using “grit” as a code word. Normally, it’s racial. The fact that the Diamondbacks’ push for grit coincided with the trading of their two prominent black players didn’t help their look.

But what if it was a different kind of code word? What if it did coincide with something quantifiable on the baseball field in how they made over their team?

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January 15, 2013 10:43 am

Overthinking It: Have the Twins Learned to Love the Strikeout?

5

Ben Lindbergh

Pour one out for Brad Radke and his spiritual descendants.

We don't typically think of particular player types as being associated with certain teams. There are some exceptions that seem to persist over time: the Rockies go after groundballers, for instance, and the Yankees tend to target lefty-swinging sluggers. But those teams' player preferences are tied to their ballparks. If the Rockies played at a lower altitude or the Yankees found they could fit in another luxury box by making their outfield fences more symmetrical, they would adapt to their new surroundings and stop pursuing the same sort of player.

Other apparent preferences are illusions or short-term trends based on temporary team composition or the whims of one front-office regime. The A’s, for a while, liked fat guys, but then they discovered defense. The Royals, under Dayton Moore, have a thing for former Braves. The Tigers, under Dave Dombrowski and scouting director David Chadd, have a reputation for liking big pitchers who throw hard. But that’s almost an obvious affinity, sort of like saying a team favors hitters who hit the ball far. The Tigers might like pitchers who throw hard a little more than most teams, and they might be a bit more willing to overlook the shortcomings of pitchers who fit that profile. But what team doesn’t like big pitchers who throw hard?

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Ben and Sam discuss whether the A's all-rookie rotation bodes well for their future, then talk about whether the average strikeout rate has risen too high.

Ben and Sam discuss whether the A's all-rookie rotation bodes well for their future, then talk about whether the average strikeout rate has risen too high.

Episode 52: "Oakland's All-Rookie Rotation/Baseball's Ever-Rising Strikeout Rate"

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The strikeout rate is still rising, and strikeout records are dropping like flies.

A collection of headlines from the past week:

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Who are the most effective pitchers who can't strike out batters?

Yesterday's Lineup Card featured nine fictitious awards that we'd like to see given to players for their efforts in areas not formally recognized. One such award was the Jeff Ballard Award, which honors “the most effective pitcher who can't strike out batters.”

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Strikeouts are up this season, and this quartet of untouchable closers is driving the trend.

The evolution of pitching in the 21st century has trended toward increased specialization, to the point of eight-man bullpens and strict pitch counts for starters. The complete game has all but vanished from the baseball lexicon, and most pitching staffs are now structured with the goal of getting through six innings with a lead before handing the ball to the bullpen. Frequent pitching changes have been unkind to the hardcore fan base, slowing the pace of the game when the drama is at its peak, but the stats reflect the advantages that are gained through the tireless recycling of arms.

Major League Baseball has witnessed a historic trend toward increasing strikeouts, with 2012's league-wide K rate of 19.7 percent (through Wednesday) representing the highest figure of all time. The 1.1-point jump in strikeout percentage from 2011 is the largest season-to-season gain in 25 years. Interestingly, we are not in the middle of some historic home run binge, and the 300-K starter has gone the way of the dodo in the span of about 10 years. Mere memories remain of the exploits of Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez, while 2011 strikeout kings Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw hit the ceiling at 250 strikeouts, a level that no pitcher is likely to crack this season. The 300-K starter has been replaced by the 100-K reliever.

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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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How often has a pitcher issued 10 or more walks and 10 or more strikeouts in the same game? Not often at all.

When we examined Sandy Koufax's workload a while back, reader LynchMob asked whether anyone had thrown more than 193 pitches in a game since Koufax did it on May 28, 1960. I found two documented cases, both by members of the following year's Dodgers:

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