Daily Notes: Monday’s Top Performances, By Several Measures

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

1. Monday’s Top Performances, By Several Measures
2. Today’s Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
3. Today’s Game Odds, Translated into Winning Percentages

Monday’s Top Performances, By Several Measures
In case the reader was unaware, allow me to inform him or her that last night, under cover of darkness, FanGraphs CEO and probably your real father David Appelman added a “Yesterday” split to both the site’s batting and pitching leaderboards. As a result of that deft programming maneuver, it is now possible for readers to examine the previous day’s top performers in a single glance — and, more importantly, it’s now possible for the present author to copy-and-paste the contents of those same leaderboards into these Daily Notes pieces, thus giving readers the impression that he is “doing something.”

Inspecting this new leaderboard split, for example, we find that Milwaukee third baseman Aramis Ramirez added the most to his team’s probability of winning on Monday — largely due to a two-out, eighth-inning, go-ahead double he hit against Colorado’s Wilton Lopez with Milwaukee down 4-3. (We also find, coincidentally, Clayton Kershaw‘s name amongst the day’s top-five leaders for batting WPA, on account of an eight-inning home run he hit to break a scoreless tie against San Francisco.)

Name Team PA WPA
Aramis Ramirez Brewers 5 0.62
Dexter Fowler Rockies 5 0.29
Chase Utley Phillies 5 0.28
Chris Iannetta Angels 6 0.27
Clayton Kershaw Dodgers 3 0.25

From this table, we find that three players tied for the day’s best performance in terms of weighted runs above average (wRAA), Arizona right fielder Gerardo Parra doing so without the benefit of a home run.

Name Team PA wRAA
Chase Utley Phillies 5 2.4
Bryce Harper Nationals 4 2.4
Gerardo Parra Diamondbacks 5 2.4
Freddie Freeman Braves 4 2.0
Dexter Fowler Rockies 5 1.9

As Appelman notes, because of the way park factors are applied to a player’s numbers (i.e. relative to his home park, not on a game-by-game basis), park-adjusted numbers like wRAA could be slightly different for players on opposing teams who produce the same precise line. Generally speaking, though, it’s a fine indication of a day’s performance.

Among starting pitchers, White Sox left-hander Chris Sale added the most in terms of win probability en route to the club’s 1-0 victory over the Royals:

Name Team IP WPA
Chris Sale White Sox 7.2 0.54
Clayton Kershaw Dodgers 9.0 0.50
Stephen Strasburg Nationals 7.0 0.40
Felix Hernandez Mariners 7.2 0.39
Jeff Samardzija Cubs 8.0 0.38

While Pittsburgh right-hander A.J. Burnett posted the best xFIP among starters, on the strength of a 10-strikeout effort against the Chicago Cubs:

Name Team IP xFIP
A.J. Burnett Pirates 5.2 1.26
Jeff Samardzija Cubs 8.0 1.69
Ian Kennedy Diamondbacks 7.0 1.77
Adam Wainwright Cardinals 6.0 2.06
Chris Sale White Sox 7.2 2.15

And, finally, very talented Kansas City reliever Kelvin Herrera posted the day’s highest average fastball velocity, according to PITCHf/x.

Name Team IP vFA (pfx)
Kelvin Herrera Royals 1.0 97.8
Joel Hanrahan Red Sox 1.0 97.3
Craig Kimbrel Braves 1.0 96.7
Nate Jones White Sox 0.0 96.5
Aroldis Chapman Reds 1.0 96.2

Today’s Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
Baltimore at Tampa Bay | 15:10 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
Left-hander David Price (3.44 ERA and 4.8 WAR, per Steamer projections) faces Baltimore right-hander Jason Hammel (4.35 ERA, 1.9 WAR).

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Tampa Bay Radio.

Cleveland at Toronto | 19:05 ET
Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey and the majority of last year’s Miami Marlins begin their most widely anticipated season in some time.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Cleveland or Toronto Radio.

San Francisco at Los Angeles NL | 22:10 ET
Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, signed by the Dodgers this offseason out of Korea for six years and $36 million, makes his major-league debut.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Los Angeles TV / San Francisco TV or Radio.

Today’s Game Odds, Translated into Winning Percentages
Here — for purposes entirely of entertainment, and not for gambling, which is a Scourge of Propriety — are all of Tuesday’s games with moneyline odds (from relatively “sharp” sportsbook Pinnacle Sports) translated into projected winning percentages (and adjusted to account for the vigorish).

Games listed in Pacific Time for reasons that are unclear even to the author and presented in order, first, of National League and then American League and, finally, then interleague play.

Game Teams Starters Line Win%
5:10 PM Colorado Rockies Jorge de la Rosa 2.32 42.3%
PT Milwaukee Brewers Marco Estrada 1.70 57.7%
6:40 PM St. Louis Cardinals Jaime Garcia 2.11 46.5%
PT Arizona Diamondbacks Trevor Cahill 1.83 53.5%
7:10 PM San Francisco Giants Madison Bumgarner 1.99 49.3%
PT Los Angeles Dodgers Hyun-Jin Ryu 1.94 50.7%
12:10 PM Baltimore Orioles Jason Hammel 2.51 39.1%
PT Tampa Bay Rays David Price 1.61 60.9%
4:05 PM Cleveland Indians Justin Masterson 2.56 38.3%
PT Toronto Blue Jays R.A. Dickey 1.59 61.7%
5:10 PM Texas Rangers Yu Darvish 1.56 63.0%
PT Houston Astros Lucas Harrell 2.65 37.0%
7:05 PM Seattle Mariners Hisashi Iwakuma 2.28 43.0%
PT Oakland Athletics Jarrod Parker 1.72 57.0%

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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.

18 Responses to “Daily Notes: Monday’s Top Performances, By Several Measures”

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  1. binqasim says:

    Kershaw’s performance was the best overall, followed by Harper (2 HRs and a bullet to home from LF that not only prevented a run but eventually produced another out).

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    • jorgath_dc says:

      I agree; I know defensive metrics are still being worked on, but there were some rather impressive defensive plays in the Nats-Marlins game. Besides the Harper laser-beam throw that lead to a 7-2-3-4-2 double play, Zimmerman saved a run in the first inning and Desmond made a stop that kept a 1-out single from being a 1-out RBI double. On the Marlins side, Polanco, Nolasco, Pierre, and Stanton did a really good job on defense too.

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      • binqasim says:

        Yes Zimm’s play was impressive too and ALR’s dig on that same play was great as well. I think Nationals should improve their defensive metrics this season.

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  2. MikeS says:

    Clayton Kershaw’s combined hitting and pitching WPA of 0.75 is quite impressive. I wonder how often a pitcher gets that kind of number? It’s easier for a hitter since a few times a year the same guy will hit a big home run in the late innings to tie a game and then win it in extras but a pitcher needs a long outing in a close game to inflate his WPA like that.

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    • Jay29 says:

      “…a pitcher needs a long outing in a close game to inflate his WPA like that.”

      Not to mention hitting a HR. Probably hard to get 0.75 WPA as an AL pitcher. I have never looked into it — what kind of pitching WPA do perfect games and 20K games earn?

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      • Bip says:

        WPA is results-based so 20K and perfect game doesn’t matter, it’s just how close he gets his team to winning. All shutouts are equal in equal circumstances, in other words. A guy can load the bases every inning, and that decreases his WPA, but he gets all the WPA back if he makes it out of the inning without allowing a run.

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      • Bip says:

        Just for example:

        A 9 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 20K performance in a 8-0 win will have less (far less) WPA than a 9 IP, 1 R, 7 H, 4 BB, 5 K performance in a 2-1 win.

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        • Jay29 says:

          Thanks, makes sense.

          So, even if a pitcher is dominating in a 0-0 game, you’ve got to expect that his pitching-WPA is capped somewhere around 0.60, right? If it’s 0-0 in the bottom of the 9th, the home team has a WP% just above 50%, so a game-winning HR will account for ~0.4 WPA, meaning the pitching WPA is ~0.6 at most.

          If the run scores in the 1st inning, though, does his WPA end up better, since scoring a run in the 1st raises your WP% a lot less than a 9th-inning walk-off? Can that situation net a pitcher something closer to ~0.9 WPA?

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  3. Leighton says:

    If only one could actually get the LA TV broadcast for that Indians/Blue Jays game, as the notes suggest. Le sigh.

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  4. markz says:

    Did you fsctor in the Sunday night game? I feel like Maxwell for the Astros should be close to the top in the wRAA discussion.

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  5. futant462 says:

    TEX w/Yu Darvish only has a 63% chance of beating the Astros? That seems extremely low and indicates that it’s essentially impossible to get above 70% likelihood of winning a game. Maybe that’s the truth, but it’s still surprising.

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    • Bip says:

      I don’t find that surprising at all. The best teams rarely win 63% of games and the worst teams rarely lose 37%. Obviously those numbers would be more skewed if the best teams and worst teams always played each other, but you also have to figure those numbers are regressed, being as we can’t at this point say that Texas is a true talent 100-win team, nor can we conclude Houston is a true talent 60-win team.

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  6. Balthazar says:


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