Author Archive

NERD Game Scores: Price and Kluber Action Event

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by viscount of the internet Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here.

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Most Highly Rated Game
Detroit at Cleveland | 16:05 ET
David Price (203.1 IP, 72 xFIP-, 4.6 WAR) faces Corey Kluber (192.2 IP, 72 xFIP-, 5.8 WAR). Following a pair of victories against Kansas City — and a probably imminent, but also currently suspended, third win from Sunday’s game — Cleveland is now a non-negligible participant in the race for the AL Central. Even omitting that suspended game, the Clevelanders now possess better than 5% odds of winning the division — up from less than 2% entering play Saturday. Endeavoring to aid their clubs’ respective causes are Price and Kluber, two of the American League’s probably five most likely candidates — along with Felix Hernandez, Jon Lester, and Max Scherzer — for the Cy Young award.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Cleveland or Detroit Radio.

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NERD Game Scores for Sunday, August 31, 2014

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by viscount of the internet Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here.

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Most Highly Rated Game
Milwaukee at San Francisco | 16:05 ET
Kyle Lohse (165.2 IP, 109 xFIP-, 1.7 WAR) faces Madison Bumgarner (185.0 IP, 78 xFIP-, 3.5 WAR). While the Giants have won the first two games of their series against the Brewers, the Dodgers have lost their first two games in San Diego. The result: a net gain of over 10 percentage points for San Francisco to their chances of winning the division — a gain which is perhaps most effectively depicted by the GIF below featuring the standings and playoff odds for all NL West clubs both from two days ago and then also this morning. (Click to enlarge instantly.)

Giants Giants

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: San Francisco Radio or Television.

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FanGraphs Audio: Dayn Perry Plumbs Myriad Depths

Episode 477
Dayn Perry is a contributor to CBS Sports’ Eye on Baseball and the author of three books — one of them not very miserable. He’s also the guest on this edition of FanGraphs Audio — during which episode Perry engages both in figurative and actual plumbing.

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @cistulli on Twitter.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximately 53 min play time.)

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NERD Game Scores: An Evening with Mike Fiers

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by viscount of the internet Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here.

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Most Highly Rated Game
Milwaukee at San Francisco | 21:05 ET
Mike Fiers (35.0 IP, 78 xFIP-, 0.9 WAR) faces Jake Peavy (163.2 IP, 111 xFIP-, 1.3 WAR). Since his early August promotion back to the majors, Fiers has been excellent over four starts, recording the second-highest strikeout rate (33.3%), third-lowest park-adjusted xFIP (63 xFIP-), and second-lowest park-adjusted ERA (32 ERA-) among the league’s 116 qualified starters in August. He is, for example, the sort of pitcher a club with the fourth-best odds of qualifying for an NLDS might want starting against the club with the fifth-best odds of doing that.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: San Francisco Radio or Television.

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NERD Game Scores for Friday, August 29, 2014

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by viscount of the internet Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here.

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Most Highly Rated Game
Milwaukee at San Francisco | 22:15 ET
Wily Peralta (162.0 IP, 99 xFIP-, 0.7 WAR) faces Ryan Vogelsong (150.0 IP, 108 xFIP-, 1.1 WAR). Despite a 1.5-game lead over the latter, Milwaukee currently possesses almost the exact precise chance of winning the NL Central as St. Louis, featuring odds of 44.5% (according to the methodology used by FanGraphs) against the Cardinals’ figure of 44.3%. The Giants, meanwhile, are among a small group of clubs whose odds of making the divisional series continue to hover around 50%. Not grounds for Highest Possible Drama, the aforementioned circumstances, but at least Reasonably High Drama.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: San Francisco Radio or Television.

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FanGraphs Audio: Kiley McDaniel Mostly on Rockies Prospects

Episode 476
Kiley McDaniel is both (a) the lead prospect writer for FanGraphs and also (b) the guest on this particular edition of FanGraphs Audio — during which edition he discusses his Rockies organizational list and all of the Chicago teams.

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @cistulli on Twitter.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximately 47 min play time.)

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NERD Game Scores for Thursday, August 28, 2014

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by viscount of the internet Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here.

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Most Highly Rated Game
Oakland at Los Angeles AL | 22:05 ET
Sonny Gray (171.0 IP, 92 xFIP-, 2.8 WAR) faces C.J. Wilson (141.2 IP, 104 xFIP-, 0.6 WAR). Oakland and Anaheim enter this game featuring roughly equal odds of winning the AL West. The latter club currently holds a one-game lead over the former, but the A’s possess a better projected rest-of-season winning percentage than the Angels (.568 vs .534). It’s definitely not the case that anything could happen. Hair made of lead won’t fall from a star, for example, and then become the comet which destroys you, like happens in this one poem by Benjamin Peret. With regard to the future of this particular division, however, the outcome is uncertain.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Oakland Radio.

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The Fringe Five: Baseball’s Most Compelling Fringe Prospects

The Fringe Five is a weekly regular-season exercise, introduced last April by the present author, wherein that same ridiculous author utilizes regressed stats, scouting reports, and also his own heart to identify and/or continue monitoring the most compelling fringe prospects in all of baseball.

Central to the exercise, of course, is a definition of the word fringe, a term which possesses different connotations for different sorts of readers. For the purposes of the column this year, a fringe prospect (and therefore one eligible for inclusion in the Five) is any rookie-eligible player at High-A or above both (a) absent from all of three notable preseason top-100 prospect lists* and also (b) not currently playing in the majors. Players appearing on the midseason prospect lists produced by those same notable sources or, otherwise, selected in the first round of the current season’s amateur draft will also be excluded from eligibility.

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NERD Game Scores for Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by viscount of the internet Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here.

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Most Highly Rated Game
New York AL at Detroit | 19:08 ET
Shane Greene (48.1 IP, 86 xFIP-, 0.9 WAR) faces David Price (201.1 IP, 72 xFIP-, 4.6 WAR). Despite continuing to trail Kansas City in the AL Central (by 1.5 games, currently) the Detroits remain the very slight favorites to win that same division, currently possessing 52% odds of doing so — versus the Royals’ mark of 46% — by the methodology used at this site. As for the remaining 2%, that’s assigned to Cleveland. The Twins and White Sox, meanwhile, will play out the balance of their respective schedules entirely free of Hope — i.e. a concept represented in Norse mythology, obviously, as saliva that’s dripped from the mouth of a giant wolf.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Detroit Radio.

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FanGraphs Audio: In Some Depth with Trevor Bauer

Episode 475
Trevor Bauer is a real-live major-league baseball pitcher for the Cleveland Indians. He’s also the guest on this edition of FanGraphs Audio, in conversation with August Fagerstrom. Don’t hesitate to read Fagerstrom’s companion piece at the Beacon Journal.

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @cistulli on Twitter.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximately 36 min play time.)

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NERD Game Scores: Ft. The Angels’ Probably Best Starter Now

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by viscount of the internet Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here.

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Most Highly Rated Game
Miami at Los Angeles AL | 22:05 ET
Nathan Eovaldi (162.0 IP, 103 xFIP-, 2.6 WAR) faces Matt Shoemaker (103.2 IP, 82 xFIP-, 1.4 WAR). As noted recently in these pages by FanGraphs author and freelance mountaineer Jeff Sullivan, the injury to Garrett Richards — in addition to hurting the actual leg of Garrett Richards — also hurt the Angels’ odds of winning the AL West by about seven or eight percentage points. Among the pitchers who remain in Anaheim’s rotation, today’s starter Shoemaker — and not C.J. Wilson or Jered Weaver, for example — has actually recorded the most promising fielding-independent numbers.

Regard, all the pitchers who’ve registered a start for the Angels this season sorted by the park-adjusted xFIPs they’ve produced as a starter:

# Name GS IP K% BB% GB% xFIP-
1 Matt Shoemaker 15 89.0 24.5% 4.5% 41.6% 80
2 Garrett Richards 26 168.2 24.2% 7.5% 50.9% 83
3 Tyler Skaggs 18 113.0 18.5% 6.5% 50.1% 96
4 C.J. Wilson 24 141.2 20.4% 10.5% 49.4% 104
5 Jered Weaver 28 174.1 18.4% 7.4% 32.1% 116
6 Hector Santiago 18 93.2 21.0% 9.3% 28.8% 119
7 Wade LeBlanc 1 3.1 15.8% 15.8% 38.5% 144

The highest strikeout and lowest walk rate, is what Shoemaker has recorded. And if his run-prevention figures have been less impressive than his fielding-independent ones, that hasn’t at all been the case over the last month, during which interval he’s recorded a 1.57 ERA in five starts and 34.1 innings.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Los Angeles AL Television.

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FanGraphs Audio: Dave Cameron’s Monday Appearance

Episode 474
Dave Cameron is both (a) the managing editor of FanGraphs and (b) the guest on this particular edition of FanGraphs Audio — during which edition he makes his regular Monday appearance on a Monday.

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @cistulli on Twitter.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximately 37 min play time.)

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NERD Game Scores for Monday, August 25, 2014

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by viscount of the internet Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here.

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Most Highly Rated Game
St. Louis at Pittsburgh | 19:05 ET
John Lackey (162.1 IP, 90 xFIP-, 2.5 WAR) faces Francisco Liriano (118.1 IP, 92 xFIP-, 0.9 WAR). After taking two of three from Milwaukee, Pittsburgh’s odds of qualifying for the divisional series increased from about 14% on Friday morning to 21% as of this one (i.e. this morning) — in part because of the Pirates’ own victories, in part because of the Cardinals’ difficulties with Philadelphia. Today those two NL Central clubs face each other, is the point. One will leave the field pleased with the result; the other, disappointed. Which is different than life, insofar as everyone leaves it disappointed with the result.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: St. Louis Radio.

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NERD Game Scores: Ft. The Still Largely Indomitable Mike Fiers

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by viscount of the internet Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here.

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Most Highly Rated Game
Pittsburgh at Milwaukee | 14:10 ET
Vance Worley (74.0 IP, 96 xFIP-, 0.6 WAR) faces Mike Fiers (28.0 IP, 74 xFIP-, 0.8 WAR). In his first appearance following a 14-strikeout start, the latter produced another excellent line, striking out a quarter of the 24 batters he faced against Toronto while conceding only a single run over 7.0 innings (box). Following the former club’s victory on Saturday, the Pirates and Brewers now possess 25% and 54% odds, respectively, of qualifying for the divisional series.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Milwaukee Radio.

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FanGraphs Audio: Kiley McDaniel Analyzes All Prospects

Episode 473
Kiley McDaniel is both (a) the lead prospect writer for FanGraphs and also (b) the guest on this particular edition of FanGraphs Audio — during which edition he discusses how to discuss prospects.

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @cistulli on Twitter.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximately 43 min play time.)

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Play

NERD Game Scores for Saturday, August 23, 2014

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by viscount of the internet Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here.

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Most Highly Rated Game
Pittsburgh at Milwaukee | 19:10 ET
Edinson Volquez (146.0 IP, 115 xFIP-, 0.2 WAR) faces Wily Peralta (157.0 IP, 98 xFIP-, 1.0 WAR). While at least two of the clubs involved would disagree, the best sort of thing that can happen at the moment in the NL Central — to the end of Maximum Pleasure, that is — is what happened last night, on which night Pittsburgh defeated Milwaukee while St. Louis also lost.

Regard, the effect on the odds of qualifying for the divisional series for each of the three relevant clubs before and after Friday’s games (in order of current place in division):

# Team Before After Diff
1 Brewers 59.7% 59.6% -0.1%
2 Cardinals 68.7% 65.0% -3.7%
3 Pirates 13.9% 19.6% +5.7%

After entering the day 55 points behind the Cardinals, the Pirates exited it (i.e. that same day) trailing by only about 45 points.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Milwaukee Radio.

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NERD Game Scores for Friday, August 22, 2014

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by viscount of the internet Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here.

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Most Highly Rated Game
Pittsburgh at Milwaukee | 20:10 ET
Jeff Locke (91.2 IP, 96 xFIP-, 0.4 WAR) faces Yovani Gallardo (154.2 IP, 96 xFIP-, 1.7 WAR). Owing to Pittsburgh’s recent series of losses, the identity of the NL Central champion this season appears to be a matter for Milwaukee and St. Louis to settle between themselves: indeed, as of Friday, there’s a ca. 95% chance that one of the latter two clubs will win the division. The Pirates’ postseason odds remain something better than immaterial, however — which is more than one can say of the author’s dignity, who just minutes ago exited the front door of his apartment holding a dog that was in the act of evacuating its bowels.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Milwaukee Radio.

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NERD Game Scores for Thursday, August 21, 2014

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by viscount of the internet Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here.

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Most Highly Rated Game
San Francisco at Chicago NL | 20:05 ET*
Madison Bumgarner (169.0 IP, 81 xFIP-, 3.0 WAR) faces Travis Wood (144.1 IP, 123 xFIP-, 1.2 WAR). Today’s games don’t scale the heights of intrigue like some recent contests have. In this case, however, one finds a Giants club that is among the closest of all major-league clubs to possessing exactly 50% odds of qualifying for the divisional series. As for the Chicagos, their virtues at the moment are less conspicuous. That said, very powerful infield prospect Javier Baez is likely to recorded four or five plate appearances, which means four or five opportunities for him to demonstrate his strong strength.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Basically Any of Them.

*The author, an idiot, originally assigned Detroit left-hander David Price to his former team, thus creating a matchup of Tampa Bay at Tampa Bay. The corrected version reveals that the Tigers and Rays’ game is actually today’s most highly rated.

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The Fringe Five: Baseball’s Most Compelling Fringe Prospects

The Fringe Five is a weekly regular-season exercise, introduced last April by the present author, wherein that same ridiculous author utilizes regressed stats, scouting reports, and also his own heart to identify and/or continue monitoring the most compelling fringe prospects in all of baseball.

Central to the exercise, of course, is a definition of the word fringe, a term which possesses different connotations for different sorts of readers. For the purposes of the column this year, a fringe prospect (and therefore one eligible for inclusion in the Five) is any rookie-eligible player at High-A or above both (a) absent from all of three notable preseason top-100 prospect lists* and also (b) not currently playing in the majors. Players appearing on the midseason prospect lists produced by those same notable sources or, otherwise, selected in the first round of the current season’s amateur draft will also be excluded from eligibility.

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NERD Game Scores for Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by viscount of the internet Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here.

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Most Highly Rated Game
Atlanta at Pittsburgh | 19:05 ET
Alex Wood (123.0 IP, 90 xFIP-, 1.5 WAR) faces Gerrit Cole (85.2 IP, 96 xFIP-, 0.7 WAR). Of some note regarding these two: they’re the same age (23), have recorded the same precise park-adjusted xFIP (88 xFIP-) and WAR (3.1), and have done all that in almost the same precise number of major-league innings (200.2 and 203.0, respectively).

Regard, those figures (and others) rendered in table form:

Name IP K% BB% BABIP GB% xFIP- FIP- ERA- WAR RA9-WAR
Alex Wood 200.2 23.6% 7.5% .315 47.0% 88 86 84 3.1 3.3
Gerrit Cole 203.0 21.3% 6.8% .308 50.3% 88 90 96 3.1 3.2

Of some other note regarding these two, as well: while the former (i.e. Wood) was omitted from most (all?) top-100 prospect lists, the latter generally occupied a place among the top-10 players on those same lists in both 2012 and -13. What ought one to conclude from this? That our painful labors are unnecessary and fruitless? No. Rather, one should enjoy him- or herself watching this game, which features two clubs that possess declining, but still real, odds of qualifying for playoffs.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Atlanta Radio.

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