I’m also amazed when I see the team NERD scores sometimes, but then when I look into the numbers they make sense.
Team NERD only factors in batters and bullpen, which is why the Royals are so high. Surprisingly, their batters are 12th in MLB in WAR. That plus the youngest lineup and the lowest payroll makes them a 10. They’re no good because they’re pitchers are 29th in MLB in WAR.
If I could make any tweaks to these great stats it would be to eliminate the luck or regression element. I agree its interesting to see if a guy can turn around his bad luck, but the problem is unless he’s on my team I rarely know he’s experiencing bad luck. Maybe an asterisk could be put next to guys who are having the worst luck so I at least know that when watching.
Also, I think some kind of overall team quality variable should be put into team NERD. Sure the Royals have a young cheap lineup, but I’m still not going to have high interest in watching them if they are way out of the race. You could possibly use the FG power rankings as some kind of variable. This would even scores like the Phillies and Royals out a little bit. Keep up the great work.
May I take this moment to ask you a question that’s been bothering me: how is it that, as a sabermetrician (sabermagician?), you can worship at the altar of Charlie Blackmon despite the fact that he stubbornly refuses to do those three things that are most holy to sabermetrics? I.e., the Three True Outcomes.
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Carson, the bullpen has been bad. Perkins is one of the lone bright spots. Dumatrait seemed to be pretty decent, but his peripherals didn’t match his sparking ERA he had for his first 10 outings or so. That should give you an idea of how bad the ‘pen has been this season, when Phil Dumatrait was at one point considered one of the best relievers on the team.
Actually, the Royals ARE fun to watch. By and large they play superior defense, they can hit a bit, and the kid bullpen has been great. But the starting pitching is simply brutal. Really, the starters are the only reason why their record isn’t better. Ignore those guy and they are an eminently watchable team.
I’d have to second the opinion that a system that considers the indians and Royals highly watchable is flawed. As an Indians fan, I find their games, at least over the last month, quite painful to the soul, and watching them is about as pleasant as repeatedly stabbing myself in the eye with a butter knife. Seeing Grady Sizemore flail at breaking balls like he’s Russell Branyan, or like he’s a 28-year-old CF with 2 bad knees, is especially soul-crushing, as is predicting “Carlos Santana will jump back from a fastball that’s slightly on the inner half of the plate for strike 3”, and then watching it happen. I notice Jack Hannahan is also 7th in the “underrated” category, despite not being in the “starting” category anymore. Can you really be underrated when you’ve hit at a steady .180 clip for 2 months, with a wOBA around .250?
I guess the flaw I’m seeing, is it’s not taking into account what a team or player is currently doing. When a team hasn’t hit or played defense in over a month, that should drag the score down. When a guy has hit like a pitcher with an ok bat for 2 months, that should drag his score down.
Under what system does the Astros bullpen have positive value? I don’t watch the Twins everynight, but there is no way their bullpen is worse than the Astros. I turn the TV off when the starters exit the game with a lead.