Daily Notes, Feat. September’s True-Talent Leaders

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.

1. True-Talent Leaderboards: September
2. Today’s Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
3. Today’s Complete Schedule

True-Talent Leaderboards: September
Regarding What Is a True-Talent Leaderboard
A true-talent leaderboard, in this case, is the sort of board that features league leaders over the past month in regressed and defense-independent batting and pitching.

Regarding True-Talent Leaderboard, Its Use
A true-talent leaderboard, such as the ones that follows, is useful insofar as it allows one to see which players have excelled of late by those metrics which both (a) most directly inform run creation/prevention and (b) become reliable rather quickly.

A True-Talent Leaderboard, To What It’s Similar
It would be entirely fair to say that a true-talent leaderboard is similar to — even, perhaps, the exact same thing as — the SCOUT leaderboards the author has published in these Notes periodically (like, for this year’s minor-league leaders, for example, or for assorted summer college leagues). Click here to learn more about it.

True-Talent Leaderboard: September Hitters
Here are the top-10 batters for September, as determined by the methodology explained above (where a SCOUT+ of 100 is average and higher than that is above average):


Player Team PA xHR% xBB% xK% SCOUT+
Edwin Encarnacion Blue Jays 101 4.1% 13.0% 15.3% 142
Jimmy Rollins Phillies 125 4.2% 11.1% 14.7% 139
Miguel Cabrera Tigers 124 5.2% 9.6% 19.5% 137
Chase Headley Padres 122 4.6% 11.2% 19.1% 135
Adrian Beltre Rangers 109 5.4% 6.7% 18.2% 132
Yadier Molina Cardinals 106 3.4% 10.8% 12.6% 132
Adam LaRoche Nationals 119 4.6% 8.8% 18.9% 128
Carlos Santana Indians 120 3.3% 11.3% 14.7% 128
Yoenis Cespedes Athletics 127 3.9% 9.5% 15.8% 128
Justin Smoak Mariners 92 3.5% 10.4% 15.2% 127

True-Talent Leaderboard: September Pitchers (Overall)
Here are the top-10 pitchers for September, as determined by the methodology explained above (where a SCOUT- of 100 is average and lower than that is better than average):


Player Team IP TBF xK% xBB% SCOUT-
Craig Kimbrel Braves 12.2 49 30.4% 7.8% 69
Kris Medlen Braves 43.0 159 28.9% 6.7% 70
Cole Hamels Phillies 38.0 157 28.0% 7.1% 74
Yu Darvish Rangers 36.2 134 28.2% 7.5% 75
Wade Davis Rays 13.0 50 28.9% 8.5% 76
Antonio Bastardo Phillies 9.2 38 28.5% 8.2% 76
Max Scherzer Tigers 29.0 111 27.3% 7.3% 77
Jake McGee Rays 11.2 41 27.5% 7.7% 78
Marco Estrada Brewers 37.2 146 26.5% 7.1% 78
Cliff Lee Phillies 43.1 172 25.6% 6.2% 78

True-Talent Leaderboard: September Pitchers (Starters Only)
Here are the top-10 pitchers for September who made at least half of their appearances as starts — again, as determined by the methodology explained above (where a SCOUT- of 100 is average and lower than that is better than average):


Player Team IP TBF xK% xBB% SCOUT-
Kris Medlen Braves 43.0 159 28.9% 6.7% 70
Cole Hamels Phillies 38.0 157 28.0% 7.1% 74
Yu Darvish Rangers 36.2 134 28.2% 7.5% 75
Max Scherzer Tigers 29.0 111 27.3% 7.3% 77
Marco Estrada Brewers 37.2 146 26.5% 7.1% 78
Cliff Lee Phillies 43.1 172 25.6% 6.2% 78
Lance Lynn Cardinals 29.1 121 26.6% 7.6% 80
Felix Doubront Red Sox 33.1 145 28.0% 9.1% 80
Ervin Santana Angels 29.1 119 26.2% 7.9% 82
Homer Bailey Reds 44.2 167 25.1% 7.3% 83

Very Brief Notes
Justin Smoak‘s September (and, it seems, first day of October) was excellent: the Mariner first baseman walked more than he struck out (12:11 BB:K) while hitting five home runs in 92 plate appearances. Of course, little of what he did over the first five months of the season was cause for nearly so much optimism. “Which is the real Justin Smoak?” both Mariner fans and also maybe a private detective somewhere are asking.
• Atlanta reliever Craig Kimbrel had struck out 49.8% of batters faced through Tuesday — and even more than that (51.0%) in September/October. In nine August innings, he posted a negative xFIP (-0.24).
• Boston left-hander Felix Doubront posted a 21:3 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his last two starts (14.0 innings total) — in both cases, against one of the few teams (Baltimore) that had reason to be competitive over the final week-plus of the season. His final season line: 161.0 IP, 23.6% K, 10.0% BB, 43.7% GB, 3.84 SIERA, 92 xFIP-, 2.1 WAR.

Today’s Notable Games
Texas at Oakland | 15:35 ET
Bananas (a) are a herbaceous plant of the genus Musa and (b) is the correct term to describe this game. Texas and Oakland enter the last day of the regular season tied for first place in the AL West.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Texas Radio.

Boston at New York AL | 19:05 ET
Baltimore at Tampa Bay | 19:10 ET
A Yankees loss and Orioles win creates a tie atop the AL East — and the need for a one-game playoff (I think, still). (Note to self: examine the rules of baseball sometime.)

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Boston and Tampa Bay Radio.

Chicago AL at Cleveland | 19:05 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
As the author’s mother always told him: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, you’re probably watching a meaningless, season-ending White Sox and Indians game.”

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Cleveland Radio.

Today’s Complete Schedule
Here’s the complete schedule for all of today’s games, with our very proprietary watchability (NERD) scores for each one. Pitching probables and game times aggregated from MLB.com and RotoWire. The average NERD Game Score for today is 3.1.

Note: the following Game Scores include the poorly conceived playoff-odds adjustment discussed in a recent edition of Daily Notes. Also note: the following table is entirely sortable.

As Kyle Lobner, proprietor of the internet’s Brew Crew Ball notes, Yovani Gallardo will not be pitching for Milwaukee today, replaced instead by 24-year-old right-hander Josh Stinson. Stinson’s line from Double-A Huntsville: 145.1 IP, 5.64 K/9, 4.40 BB/9, 0.43 HR/9, 4.27 FIP.

Other note: Cardinals right-handed prospect Shelby Miller will be making his first major-league start tonight.


Away   SP Tm. Gm. Tm. SP   Home Time
Ben Sheets ATL 4 6 4 4 8 PIT A.J. Burnett 12:35
Cliff Lee PHI 10 5 6 7 7 WAS Edwin Jackson 13:05
Edgar Gonzalez HOU 6 4 2 2 3 CHN Travis Wood 14:20
Ryan Dempster TEX 6 6 4 7 6 OAK A.J. Griffin 15:35
Jeremy Hefner NYN 5 2 2 4 5 MIA Chad Gaudin* 16:10
Jered Weaver LAA 4 7 2 3 3 SEA Blake Beavan 18:40
Daisuk. Matsuzaka BOS 3 4 3 7 6 NYA Hiroki Kuroda 19:05
Gavin Floyd CHA 4 4 2 2 4 CLE David Huff* 19:05
Scott Diamond MIN 5 5 3 4 6 TOR Brandon Morrow 19:07
Chris Tillman BAL 5 3 2 6 4 TB Jeremy Hellickson 19:10
Jeff Francis COL 5 6 3 7 5 AZ Ian Kennedy 19:10
Ryan Vogelsong SF 4 4 4 1 10 LAN Clayton Kershaw 19:15
Undecided DET 5 4 2 6 3 KC Luis Mendoza 20:10
Andrew Werner SD 6 6 4 9 6 MIL Yovani Gallardo 20:10
Homer Bailey CIN 6 4 4 9 5 STL Undecided 20:15

To learn more about Pitcher and Team NERD scores click here.
To learn how Game NERD Scores are calculated, click here.
* = Fewer than 20 IP, NERD at discretion of very handsome author.




Print This Post



Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.


19 Responses to “Daily Notes, Feat. September’s True-Talent Leaders”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. craigjedwards says:

    Shelby Miller is getting his first start for the Cardinals.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. El Vigilante says:

    No honorary 10+ NERD for Ben Sheet’s final career start?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Nick Doyle says:

    How are the A’s/Rangers, Baltimore and New york Yankees games not closer to the top with the playoff adjustment?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Because, as a poorly conceived playoff adjustment, it fails to recognize the distinction between winning the division and just qualifying for the play-in game.

      Seriously, it’s a really stupid playoff adjustment.

      +7 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • John Thacker says:

      The playoff adjustment is based on “probability of making the playoffs at all” and has not been updated for this year’s “the division title is totally different than the wild card” system. So since all those teams have a 100% chance of making the playoffs no matter what, no bonus.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Leighton says:

    I believe you should add a ** = This game is for all the bananas of the AL West Division, and the loser will be forced to play a one-game playoff with another team (hopefully the Yankees, so that then they hopefully win the game and the Yankees won’t be able to play baseball any more this year) in order to continue in the postseason. Thus, NERD at discretion of anything EXCEPT a calculation.

    Then, assign that to the Tex/Oak NERD Score, and give it a ridiculously high score because everyone needs to be watching it (yes, during work). I suggest 94.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Chris From Bothell says:

    Again, respectfully – NERD isn’t accounting for playoff implications. Tex @ Oakland determines the West, and thus one of the WCs. Bal @ TB and Yankees/Red Sox are interesting because of the East.

    The one-game play-in is very different if it’s Oakland v. Baltimore, Texas v. Baltimore, and the remote chance of the weirdness of an AL East tie that needs to be broken Thursday to determine what the Friday game is.

    We may be watching things set in motion tonight for a Yankees v. Rangers one-game play-in! Not as tidy and overwhelming a narrative as last year’s game 162, but still freaky to contemplate anyway. Kind of like taking the same mojo from last year’s 162 and spreading it in equal amounts over most of a week.

    So, anyway. I apologize for not having a viable proposal to modify NERD to reflect things like this… but I just can’t agree with game NERDs of 2, 3 and 4 for the 3 games that actually have some playoff implications today.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Aaron (UK) says:

      NERD treats all of these teams as locks. It is indeed, in that respect, poorly conceived.

      My simple suggestion would be that we use the probability of making a division series as our baseline, thus TEX & OAK are both 75% to make the postseason proper.

      Additionally I would center the NERD-desirability of a particular team around 50%, not league average of 33%; we are interested in the binary resolution of each particular team’s season.

      My more complex solution would use Championship Leverage Index.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Chris From Bothell says:

    And I promise, there weren’t 4 other comments saying the same thing I did, when I first visited the page. Must type faster and use less words.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. Well-Beered Englishman says:

    That’s it. I am listening to Texas radio at the office today.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Anon says:

    At a very basic level, it is laughable that the nerd score for the OAK-TEX game is 4. Suggests to me that the metric is not ready for prime time.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • What it certainly suggests is that this shit doesn’t work for the playoffs — or, like, the last three days of the regular season, I mean.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Leighton says:

        Luckily, you can adopt the Cubs mantra of “There’s always next year” to create a slightly-less-poorly-conceived playoff odds adjustment, and maybe even use this year’s data in conceiving it. Then, when the final 3 days of the season come again, you can WOW us all with your brilliance!

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. NJQ says:

    Thanks for doing this all year Carson, very helpful.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current ye@r *