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Brevity has never been my strongest suit at the Hit List, as my poor editors can attest. With a compressed schedule this week due to travel concerns, I decided to try an experimental format while temporarily bringing back the much-missed two-league format (this time with league adjustments): 30 Twitter-length hits, one per team, 140 characters maximum including links, calling upon a host of abbreviations while trying to maintain coherence. Love it or hate it, rest assured that the regular-format list will be back in all of its verbose glory next week.
Rk Team
Overall WL
Week WL
Hit List Factor
Comment

1


Yankees
74-46
3-3
.621
Down
Dog days here but Sabathia keeps rolling. 15 consec. quality starts most for Yank since Guidry ’78 http://bit.ly/aFqTwT http://bit.ly/bn9fct

2


Rays
74-46
5-1
.618
Flat
Hellickson wins again (http://es.pn/by0xhS), Upton raking (.322/.394/.559 in Aug). But “Braysers?” http://bit.ly/bz886k #thegogglesdonothing

3


Twins
70-50
5-0
.601
Down
Twins seize AL Central lead, Thome makes old team pay w/12th walkoff HR of career, ties MLB record http://bit.ly/9PhDls http://es.pn/dmZgge

4


Red Sox
69-52
3-2
.591
Down
Not Again! Papelbon blows big save, Ellsbury breaks ribs, out for yr. (http://bit.ly/92ZVee). Both gone in 2011? http://bit.ly/digjtv

5


Rangers
67-52
2-4
.579
Down
Nelson Cruz hits DL for 3rd time due to hammy, .321 TAv would rank 6th w/enough PA to qualify (http://bit.ly/d49aqp). Vlad tries RF, yikes!

6


Padres
72-47
5-1
.562
Flat
Miguel Tejada 13-for-29 spree as 10-1 tear opens 6-game lead in NL West. TK% shot at playoffs. Kevin Towers says hi http://nyti.ms/cPkUTw

7


Braves
71-49
5-1
.561
Flat
Chipper to rehab not retire, but 3B unsettled http://bit.ly/aAUiJv. Get Derrek Lee, DL Glaus (.192/.292/.288 since 7/1), plan shift #badidea

8


Blue Jays
63-57
3-3
.560
Down
Another No-Hit Bid: After 4-HR disaster, Shaun Marcum 1-hits A’s, only hit a HR http://bit.ly/bhln5K. Jays ≤ H 9x, 2nd http://bit.ly/bHTsiU

9


White Sox
65-55
1-4
.560
Down
2-7 skid costs 1st place in Central. Still need another big bat, DH slot just .239/.308/.411. Shoulda re-signed Thome http://bit.ly/dDuSiK

10


Athletics
59-60
2-4
.537
Down
No Offense: A’s nearly no-hit twice in 3-game span (Marcum, Slowey), 3 R, 7 H while batting .083/.172/.143. Chris Carter 0-for-19, optioned

11


Reds
69-51
5-0
.534
Up
Homer Bailey returns from DL w/6 scoreless in place of Karate Kid Cueto ( http://es.pn/dxbVpG). Mike Leake to bullpen #can’thave2muchpitching

12


Cardinals
65-53
1-4
.532
Down
Cards flop in wake of last week’s drama but Jake Westbrook 3.32 ERA, 9.0 K/9, 3/3 QS. Plus, Pujols reaches 30-HR mark for 10th straight time

13


Phillies
68-51
4-1
.527
Up
Chase Utley 0-for-5 in accelerated return from thumb surgery (http://bit.ly/a0cdF9). Phils 26-17 without him but just .262/.327/.407

14


Giants
67-54
1-4
.514
Down
Another Lincecum disaster, and whatever ails him is catching: starters 5.97 ERA, 4 quality starts out of 13 as Giants shed Wild Card lead

15


Rockies
62-57
3-2
.513
Down
12-18 since ASB, odds below 5%. Hawpe (.189/.302/.351 since 6/25) waived, Francis (4.56 ERA, .471 SNWP) DLed. Ubaldo (.642) only SNWP > .500

16


Tigers
58-62
3-3
.504
Flat
Max Scherzer shuts down Yanks in Bronx, 2.35 ERA, 9.4 K/9 in 15 GS since AAA detour. A-Jax HR vs ex-tm, .302/.354/.405, .419 BABIP leads MLB

17


Angels
60-61
1-4
.498
Flat
16-24 since July 1, Playoff Odds in low-fat milk zone (< 2%). Rough night for Jered Weaver in BOS but leads AL in K (186), 7th in ERA (3.11)

18


Dodgers
61-60
2-4
.489
Down
More Meltdowns: Broxton blows it vs. Phillies. Again. Deposed as closer by Kuo and #dontaskDotel. It doesn’t help. http://es.pn/aVAXEU

19


Marlins
59-60
2-4
.482
Down
Mike Stanton .556/.613/1.185/4 HR in 7 G span. .271/.347/.557 overall, 14 HR since June 8 recall, t-11th in MLB. #cameronmaybinMIA

20


Mets
60-60
3-3
.474
Up
Circus Act: K-Rod slugs father-in-law, tears thumb lig., done for year. Team cedes high moral ground w/2 gm susp., now wants $$$ #soverymets

21


Indians
49-71
1-4
.455
Up
Travis Hafner bops grand slam off Felix Hernandez in 1st game off DL. http://es.pn/9Dy5Jj. He’s Pronking at .290/.390/.476 clip since May 1

22


Royals
51-69
4-1
.452
Up
Killer B’s: 1st pick ’02 flop Bryan Bullington blanks Yanks for 1st W http://bit.ly/cc0EbE. Betemit & Betancourt go deep http://es.pn/anWD0s

23


Mariners
48-73
4-2
.439
Up
Suddenly ancient Mariner Milton Bradley done for year by knee injury after 0-for-3 in hit/field/health (.205/.292/.348) http://bit.ly/b0ldzZ

24


Brewers
57-64
3-2
.436
Up
John Axford‘s mini-meltdown allows Trevor Hoffman to get save 598 http://bit.ly/bdtAZV. Ax 2nd in NL w/6 multi-inning saves, 11th in WXRL

25


Nationals
51-69
2-3
.429
Flat
1st pick Bryce Harper signs for $9.9 mil (Stras $15.1). AFL next? http://bit.ly/azQSg6. Ryan Zimmerman .351/.422/.737/6 HR month #hope

26


Cubs
50-71
2-4
.419
Flat
Derrek Lee 4 HR/3 G after bereavement leave, sits due to bulging disc, traded to Braves http://bit.ly/bqURkF http://bit.ly/9wzlu8

27


Orioles
42-79
2-4
.405
Up
Adam Jones‘ walkoff bunt beats M’s (http://bit.ly/99i9if). .300/.359/.450 2nd half after .276/.304/.453 1st, with 20/9 K/BB following 76/10

28


Diamondbacks
47-74
1-4
.402
Up
LaRoche, Montero, Reynolds & Drew tie MLB record w/4 straight HR http://bit.ly/bS7Y6S. Snakes 2nd in NL with 138 HR, 6 players w/10+, 2 w/8

29


Astros
52-67
4-2
.398
Up
Shawn Chacon grievance finally settled (http://bit.ly/99HXk5), paving way for others to punch Ed Wade for poor returns in dismantling team

30


Pirates
40-80
1-5
.314
Up
Give the ‘Dorf a Break: Ohlendorf’s 6.2 scoreless vs. HOU wasted, 24th straight time w/<4 runs support. 3.90 ERA, .506 SNWP, 1-10. #rawdeal

The Prospectus Hit List rankings are derived from Won-Loss records and several measurements pertaining to run differentials, both actual and adjusted, from Baseball Prospectus Adjusted Standings through the close of play on every Thursday.

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georgeforeman03
8/19
Not really a fan of this format. :-/
MindRevolution
8/19
My eyes are bleeding. Do like the return of the combined format though.
bbonly
8/19
I think you should pass on doing this format in the future. Why settle for twitter's mutilation of the language when you have the space to actually communicate?
jjaffe
8/19
Please see the intro - it was an experiment to accommodate time constraints, not a paradigm shift for how the list will be run going forward. If nothing else, I'm glad people value the regular format enough to miss it.
maphal
8/19
Why does Jay have the A's, Blue Jays, and A's ahead of the Reds, Cards, Phillies, and Giants? Maybe I'm missing the format.
maphal
8/19
I meant Blue Jays, White Sox, and A's. Sorry.
skuddler
8/19
The "Hit List Factor" adjusts for strength of schedule and attempts to remove luck from the equation. The White Sox, A's and especially the Blue Jays play far, far tougher schedules than the Phillies, Giants, and especially the Reds and Cards. Ranking teams in different divisions based purely on their won-lost records is divisional standing is foolish because it doesn't take into account the competition that each team needs to face. Teams hit worse against good pitching teams and pitch worse against good hitting teams. They do better against poor teams. They also lose more games against good teams and win more against poor teams. Also, I agree with Michael Dennis. I like the combined format, but dislike the how the writing has been flushed down the twitter.
maphal
8/20
Ok, I get that, but suggesting that the 60-60 A's are a better team than the Reds, Cardinals, and Giants would just be foolish. If they played in the NL East or NL Central they would not be making the playoffs. There are some bad teams in the AL West and Central.
jdouglass
8/23
I get the Blue Jays. 3 of their 4 division foes, whom they play regularly, are three of the best four teams in baseball. The A's being that high is very suspect to me. The Rangers are the only really good team in the division, the Mariners are dreadful and the Angels are so-so. There's no strength-of-schedule that makes them better than the Reds or the Cardinals, who have weaker schedules to be sure, but are still far better teams.
grenadewade
8/19
So the Twins receive a downward "trend" after a 5-0 week... do those arrows really even mean anything with regard to team performance?
yankeehater32
8/19
Yes--it's not just based on record, it also uses expected record. And since I did the math on this week's Hit List with Jay traveling, I'll tell you that the Twins were at the exact break-even point for performance. .001 less in difference would have resulted in a a holding steady trend. It's the same reason the Pirates can trend upward in a week where they win one game.
houstonuser
8/19
I understand Jay has a lot of work do to and the Hit List must be drain after a time, but with this Twitter stuff I spend my mental energy trying to figure out what is being said instead of taking in the substance of the content. I enjoy the Hit List. Maybe a list with more text done every two weeks would make more sense. Then Jay can get to other writings and you still have a reader friendly format. You really don't need it once a week any way. Maybe only once a week in September stretch drive--If that.
yankeehater32
8/19
As Jay said above in the comments and in the article intro, he is traveling this week, and due to time constraints did a fun experiment to make it work. You will be back to your regularly scheduled Hit List format next week.
houstonuser
8/19
Oh boy--It sure did say that. Just shows how people (myself) want to listen themselves more than read what is out in from of them.
yankeehater32
8/19
Hey, it happens. I see the appeal of running to the rankings.
tradewind
8/19
I doubt that it is really less time-consuming to write in Twitter style than to write a shorter yet complete paragraph. All those abbreviations, acronyms and hyperlinks strain my eyes.
jjaffe
8/19
As the guy who wrote it I can tell you that it was MUCH less time - half the time of one of my single-league Hit Lists. Still a challenge to write, just a different kind of one.
rawagman
8/19
"Jays ≤ H 9x, 2nd" - I don't get it.
jjaffe
8/19
That was supposed to be a "less than or equals" sign but it got lost in translation. The Jays have allowed 3 hits or less nine times this year, which ranks 2nd in the majors.
rawagman
8/19
Ahhh - gotcha - they may have the most starters who are capable of throwing no-hitters one day than anyone - particularly Shaun Marcum, Brandon Morrow and Ricky Romero.
jjaffe
8/19
Yup, that's at least 5 taken into the sixth this year by my mental count, plus one more by Cecil. Impressive - I just hope they survive the Curse that's felled so many good young TOR arms (including Marcum once already).
thecoolerking
8/19
While I do prefer the regular format, if only because I can spend more of my lunch break reading the Hit List, I did think this was a lot of fun. Having said, I did find that the abbreviated links, rather than just using linked text, was a bit distracting.
mbodell
8/19
I much, much, much, much prefer combining the leagues together. A hit list with all 30 teams is much better than the separate leagues. However, I - like everyone - prefer the non-twitter text.
mattidell
8/20
I love the experiment. It made me laugh.
jdouglass
8/20
A's? 10th? In MLB? #IDrinkTheKoolAidAsMuchAsTheNextGuyButSorryThat'sNotPossible
padresprof
8/20
Th: A's > Rays. Cahill >= Ryan. NL = AAAA. Qs? ;)
jdouglass
8/21
yeah. one Q. #They'reInADivisionWithOnlyOneGoodTeamRight?
maphal
8/23
I questioned the same thing and got booed off the stage. Sarcastically speaking I guess we can just rank all the AL teams and then all the NL teams.