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Daily Notes for April 19th

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

1. Brief Previews for Select Games
2. Unhelpful Video: Cleveland Hits Four Home Runs
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Colorado Radio

Brief Previews for Select Games
Here are brief previews for four of today’s games — each including the preferred television feed of FanGraphs readers, per the results of our offseason crowdsourcing project. (Information on probable pitchers from MLB.com.)

Chicago NL at Miami | 12:40 ET
Right-hander Jeff Samardzija makes his third start of the season for Chicago. Despite allowing five runs against St. Louis on Friday, his defense-independent numbers were still very good. Line: 5.0 IP, 26 TBF, 5 K, 1 BB, 8 GB on 20 batted-balls (40.0% GB), 2.90 xFIP… Ricky Nolasco (13.0 IP, 104 xFIP-) starts for Miami… Item: Giancarlo Stanton‘s name is officially Giancarlo Stanton now on that player’s FanGraphs page.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Chicago NL.

Texas at Detroit | 19:05 ET
Yu Darvish makes his third start. His numbers so far have been decidedly pedestrian: 11.1 IP, 15.0% K, 13.3% BB, 41.5% GB, 5.07 SIERA, 5.19 xFIP, 126 xFIP-… Per PITCHf/x, Darvish has thrown five different pitches (four-seam fastball, slider, cut fastball, curveball, and two-seam fastball) at least 5% of the time. Still, his strike percentage is just 56.1%; meanwhile, league-average strike rate for starters is 63.1%… Texas entered Wednesday with the second-highest team WAR (3.6)… Left-hander Adam Wilk starts for Detroit. Here’s the line from his first major-league start (box): 5.0 IP, 19 TBF, 4 K, 1 BB, 5 GB on 14 batted-balls (35.7%), 4.13 xFIP.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Detroit.

Oakland at Los Angeles AL | 22:05 ET
Tom Milone pitches for Oakland. While ultimately less effective — in terms of actual runs allowed — in his second start (against Seattle), Milone’s peripherals were much improved over his first, scoreless appearance. Line: 6.0 IP, 23 TBF, 5 K, 2 BB, 8 GB on 16 batted-balls (50.0%), 3.63 xFIP… Earlier this week, our Bill Petti looked at pitchers who, like Milone, have averaged less than 88 mph on their four-seam fastball but have also thrown the pitch more than 45% of the time. More often than not, Petti found, pitchers who meet those criteria finish with below-average ERAs (with Petti also acknowledging that Milone is a possible outlier)… C.J. Wilson pitches for the Angels. Here’re his numbers so far, through two starts: 13.0 IP, 13.0% K, 11.1% BB, 65.0% GB, 4.28 SIERA, 4.30 xFIP, 105 xFIP-.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Oakland, Barely.

Cleveland at Seattle | 22:10 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
Through his first 21.1 innings, Felix Hernandez has produced strikeout (21.4%) and walk (4.5%) rates in line with years past. His ground-ball rate (36.1%, down from 50.2% last season) and — perhaps relatedly — average fastball velocity (91.7 mph currently, down from 93.4) look different, however. As Dave Cameron notes, the secondary stuff — and, in particular, the changeup — is still excellent, but reduced velocity is rarely, if ever, of benefit… Current as of Wednesday, the Cleveland offense has posted the highest walk rate (12.2%) and the fourth-lowest strikeout rate (16.7%) in the majors. Despite a below-average BABIP (.264), the club still features the third-highest wRC+ (118) in the league. Leaders: Shelley Duncan, 202 wRC+ (.368 BABIP) and 0.6 WAR; Carlos Santana, 164 wRC+ (.250 BABIP) and 0.5 WAR; and Asdrubal Cabrera, 124 wRC+ (.265 BABIP) and 0.5 WAR… Josh Tomlin pitches for Cleveland.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Seattle.

Unhelpful Video: Cleveland Hits Four Home Runs
As noted above, Cleveland has been one of the best offensive teams on the young season.

This video of four Cleveland batters (Shelley Duncan, Travis Hafner, Casey Kotchman, and Shin-Soo Choo) hitting home runs this past Sunday adds little to that conversation.

Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Colorado Radio
Recently, we released the results of our television broadcaster rankings — itself the product of reader crowdsourcing that started in late November. Now, FanGraphs is asking readers to rate the radio broadcast teams for all 30 major-league clubs (Click here for more on this project.)

Rate other teams: Washington / Toronto / Texas / Tampa Bay / Seattle / San Francisco / San Diego / St. Louis / Pittsburgh / Philadelphia / Oakland / New York (NL) / New York (AL) / Minnesota / Milwaukee / Miami / Los Angeles (NL) / Los Angeles (AL) / Kansas City / Houston / Detroit.