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4 Banjo Hitter: The First 162: Trea Turner by Aaron Gleeman
0 Banjo Hitter: Gimme a Quarter's Worth: Rising Odds by Aaron Gleeman
1 Banjo Hitter: Beyond the 90th Percentile by Aaron Gleeman
4 Baseball Therapy: Do Strikeouts Spread? by Russell A. Carleton
0 Banjo Hitter: Mr. April by Aaron Gleeman
1 Rubbing Mud: Adam Wainwright Moving Side to Side by Matthew Trueblood
1 Looking Back on Tomorrow: Washington Nationals by Meg Rowley
2 Circle Change: Daniel Murphy Raises the Ghost of an Idea by Zach Crizer
0 Transaction Analysis: The Washington Three by Bryan Grosnick
0 Transaction Analysis: Wieters Facts, Recalibrated by Bryan Grosnick
6 Tools of Ignorance: Cornered by Jeff Quinton
5 Transaction Analysis: Adam Eaton, Underrated No More by Jarrett Seidler, Adam McInturff, Mike Gianella and Matthew Trueblood
1 Transaction Analysis: Seattle Swag by Dustin Palmateer, Meg Rowley, Jared Wyllys and Kenny Ducey
10 Prospectus Feature: The Cy Young and the Unfair Advantage of Defense by Jonathan Judge
6 Playoff Prospectus: Clayton Kershaw, Proven Closer by Jarrett Seidler
2 Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and NLDS Game 5 Preview by Aaron Gleeman
3 Playoff Prospectus: Short-Rest Seesaw by Mauricio Rubio
0 Playoff Prospectus: Baker vs. Roberts by Craig Goldstein
0 Playoff Prospectus: Split Opportunities by Demetrius Bell
0 Playoff Prospectus: Not a Duel, But Dodgers Grab Game 1 by Ashley Varela
0 Playoff Prospectus: PECOTA Odds and NLDS Game 1 Previews by Mike Gianella
4 Playoff Prospectus: NLDS Preview: Nationals vs. Dodgers by Craig Goldstein
0 Rubbing Mud: Trea Turner Saved Dusty Baker From Himself by Matthew Trueblood
6 Transaction Analysis: Heart, Soul, and Marginal Upgrades by Bryan Grosnick and Wilson Karaman
9 Banjo Hitter: Winter of Their Discontent by Aaron Gleeman
0 Transaction Analysis: Nats Pay for the Pitcher, Not the Velo by Bryan Grosnick, Christopher Crawford and J.P. Breen
1 Raising Aces: Debut Ante: Lucas Giolito by Doug Thorburn
0 What You Need to Know: Ambition Can Lead Only To Failure by Nicolas Stellini
0 What You Need to Know: All He Does Is Win, Win, Win by Ashley Varela
0 Raising Aces: Passing of the Cy by Doug Thorburn
2 What You Need to Know: Into the Wild by Nicolas Stellini
0 Pebble Hunting: Kershaw vs. Harper: The Mistakes by Sam Miller
0 What You Need to Know: Near-Max Effort by Daniel Rathman
4 The Prospectus Hit List: Monday, June 6 by Matt Sussman
3 Transaction Analysis: Escape From L.A. by Bryan Grosnick and Brendan Gawlowski
5 Prospectus Feature: The Under-the-Radar Team Adjustments by Rob Mains
2 BP Unfiltered: Art Discovered, Lost, Found by Rob Mains
2 What You Need to Know: We Can Beat Rizzo, For Just One Day by Emma Baccellieri
1 Raising Aces: Why Max Scherzer? by Doug Thorburn
6 What You Need to Know: Max Scherzer Is Our Greatest Active Historic-Start Pitcher by Demetrius Bell
5 Transaction Analysis: The Tip of the Strasburg by Bryan Grosnick
13 Fifth Column: On A Rule Limiting Intentional Walks by Michael Baumann
6 What You Need to Know: The One With All the Home Runs by Ashley Varela
0 What You Need to Know: Not Tonight, Sweet Papelbon, Not Tonight by Nicolas Stellini
5 Life at the Margins: In Dusty They Trusty by Rian Watt
0 Raising Aces: Pre-Surgery Strasburg Is Finally Back by Doug Thorburn
0 Prospectus Feature: Your Fun, My Fun, Our Fun by Trevor Strunk
6 What You Need to Know: Early-Season Perfections Fall Apart by Emma Baccellieri
3 What You Need to Know: Psst: Jake Arrieta Has A 0.91 ERA Over His Past 169 Innings by Ashley Varela
7 Pebble Hunting: How You Tried To Beat PECOTA by Sam Miller
The long-term deals signed last winter have turned into one of the ugliest in recent memory, from the teams' perspectives.
If you look back at the biggest multi-year contracts signed by free agents every offseason, the rate of teams at some point wishing they could get out of the deal tends to be high. On the most basic level, there’s simply a lot of room for a nine-figure investment in a baseball player to go wrong, particularly when the player is usually on the wrong side of 30 years old and coming off a stretch of good performance that makes for a natural regression candidate. Beyond that, the notion of a “winner’s curse” is at work, in that any team bidding enough to secure a high-end free agent likely did so by paying a premium. And, of course, players sign deals when they're in their prime. They end them when they're old, but still getting paid like they're not.
None of which is to suggest that handing out $100 million-plus deals to free agents is always a bad idea, but rather that for the contract to be a good idea the team has to get tremendous value in the early years. There’s a tacit understanding that, for instance, a six-year, $150 million signing will not provide the team with as much value in Year 5 and Year 6 as it does in Year 1 and Year 2, but the team lives with the later years of the contract in order to get the early years. Another way of looking at it is that, if things
don’t go well in those early years of a big long-term contract, the whole signing may turn very, very ugly. Read the full article...
The Nationals get Mark Melancon, a reliever who has been as good as Aroldis Chapman.
The next phenom, under the microscope. Stephen Strasburg's perfect season gets befouled. Meanwhile, a baseball traveled 484 feet and Francisco Liriano righted himself.
The Thursday Takeaway
We’re not supposed to talk about pitcher wins anymore. There’s no real need to count the ways that the statistic is misleading and poorly constructed; Brian Kenny can take care of that for you. If you read this site, you should know why it’s not the greatest barometer of pitching success in a world filled with poor pitching barometers. In a world of blind men, the one-eyed man is king. The pitcher win is a blind man without a nose or nerve endings in his fingers. Read the full article... Stephen Strasburg coasts to a record win, Ryon Healy gets his first big-league knock, and Santiago Casilla balks his way out of extra innings.
The Weekend Takeaway
For some, a return from the All-Star break is an opportunity to right the season, to rise in the standings, to prove that whatever setback or injury derailed the first half is eclipsed by the success of the second. For , it’s just an extension of the dominance he’s already exhibited this year. Stephen Strasburg Read the full article... Notable starts this week from Stephen Strasburg, Dallas Keuchel and Anthony DeSclafani
It’s a short week in the sense of taking notes, as the extended All-Star break left me with just a couple of days that bookended the time off from regular baseball. There was still plenty of intrigue, from one man’s quest for hardware to another man’s attempts to justify hardware already won, as well as a staff ace who missed the first couple months of the season. Let’s get to the notes.
Read the full article... Colon/Giolito is a dud, but the game is wildy satisfying nonetheless. Meanwhile, Glasnow debuts, Trout steals home, and the Cubs keep slouching toward San Diego.
The Thursday Takeaway
Every now and then, there is poetry in baseball. Often it involves . Wilmer Flores
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June in Clayton Kershaw's Zone 12 pitching. Scherzer threatens another signature start, the Dodgers dip toward .500, and Whit Merrifield is a thing.
The Monday Takeaway
Few pitchers are as unhittable at their best as is. The right-hander’s 20-strikeout game earlier this year can attest to that. And for a while on Monday, it seemed as though Scherzer might duplicate that effort against a Cubs lineup that looked helpless at the plate. Max Scherzer
Scherzer struck out the side in the first, two more in the second, and another trio in the third. With his high-80s breaker darting expertly at lefties’ back feet,
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Just throw it against the wall and see what sticks / Gotta write a hit / I think this is it / It's a hit.
Carl Crawford's tumultuous time in Tinsel Town comes to an end and Trea Turner gets the call. The teams that are doing things radically different than last year, and whether they mean anything.
Last week, Matt Trueblood wrote about
the biggest changes to team Playoff Odds since the start of the season. The five teams with the widest swings: The White Sox, Red Sox, Astros, Mariners, and Yankees. You can guess why. Three of them have been surprisingly good, and two of them have been surprisingly bad. Those teamwide surprises have been underpinned by individual surprises, like Jackie Bradley Jr. (good) and (not). Surprises all, but well-known surprises. If Donald Rumsfeld were writing for BP, he might call them known knowns. (He might call them that anyway. Or he might be too focused on getting you to Dallas Keuchel play solitaire on your smartphone to care.)
I’m looking for unknown knowns. These are teams that’ve changed in less obvious ways—i.e., not the ones you see when you peruse the standings each day—but are nonetheless interesting. I looked for sharp changes from 2015 compared to the 2016 season to date that have probably eluded headlines and highlight shows.
Of course, there are two ways a team can change. They can import a bunch of new players with new characteristics, or their existing personnel can change. I found a little of both in this list.
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