Daily Notes: SCOUT Leaderboards for the First Week

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

1. A Brief Note on SCOUT, Like What It Is
2. SCOUT Leaderboards: The Season’s First Week
3. Today’s Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
4. Today’s Game Odds, Translated into Winning Percentages

A Brief Note on SCOUT, Like What It Is
Below, in this edition of the Notes, are the first SCOUT leaderboards of the 2013 regular season.

“What is a SCOUT leaderboard?” a reasonable person might ask. The author is plagiarizing himself at length when he says that, for hitters (for whom it’s denoted as SCOUT+), it’s this: a metric that combines regressed home-run, walk, and strikeout rates in a FIP-like equation to produce a result not unlike wRC+, where 100 is league average (in this case, for all MLB hitters so far) and above 100 is above average. xHR%, xBB%, and xK% stand for expected home run, walk, and strikeout rate, respectively.

For pitchers (for whom it’s denoted as SCOUT-), it’s this: a metric that combines regressed strikeout and walk rates in a kwERA-like equation to produce a number not unlike ERA-, where 100 is league average (in this case, for all MLB pitchers) and below 100 is better than average. xK% and xBB% stand for expected strikeout and walk rate, respectively.

Both metrics rely heavily on work done by Russell Carleton (a.k.a. Pizza Cutter) in determining the various sample thresholds of reliability for a number of commonly used stats — and are useful in cases where sample sizes are on the small side, as with a week’s worth of major-league data.

“Sure,” a reader might now say after reading up till this point in the post, “but how well do these SCOUT numbers correlate with actual, like, full-season run production and prevention?” Not for nothing, this is a question the author has fully anticipated.

Indeed, here is a graph comparing the SCOUT+ and wRC+ figures for the 148 batters who recorded at least 500 plate appearances in 2012:

SCOUT Image

It is not shocking — in light of that fact that it omits consideration both of BABIP and park-adjustment (for both of which wRC+ does account) — that SCOUT+ does not correlate entirely with wRC+. Still, for the advantages it (i.e. SCOUT+) provides by producing something reasonably accurate in the absence of a large samples, it has some value, I’ll submit — and is at least an improvement over wRC+ at this point.

Here’s a similar graph for pitchers — in this case, of the SCOUT- and ERA- figures for the 124 pitchers who faced at least 500 batters:

SCOUT- vs ERA-, 2012

If the correlation here is weaker, it’s probably because, like the version for hitters, SCOUT for pitchers omits any consideration of batted-ball results or park-adjustment. Moreover, because home-run rates become reliable very slowly, SCOUT- omits any consideration of those, as well. Still, like its batting-metric counterpart, it provides some sort of organizing principle to small samples.

SCOUT Leaderboards: The Season’s First Week
SCOUT Leaderboard: First-Week Hitting Leaders
Below is the current SCOUT leaderboard for major-league hitters. SCOUT+ combines regressed home-run, walk, and strikeout rates in a FIP-like equation to produce a result not unlike wRC+, where 100 is league average (in this case, for all spring hitters) and above 100 is above average. xHR%, xBB%, and xK% stand for expected home run, walk, and strikeout rate, respectively.


Player Team PA HR BB K xHR% xBB% xK% SCOUT+
Albert Pujols Angels 28 2 8 3 3.2% 10.9% 18.8% 117
Chris Davis Orioles 26 4 2 3 3.9% 8.0% 19.1% 116
Jed Lowrie Athletics 30 3 4 3 3.5% 8.8% 18.5% 115
Coco Crisp Athletics 33 3 3 2 3.5% 8.2% 17.5% 115
Ian Kinsler Rangers 27 3 3 2 3.6% 8.4% 18.3% 115
Wilson Ramos Nationals 12 2 3 0 3.4% 9.0% 19.0% 113
Dexter Fowler Rockies 29 4 2 6 3.9% 7.9% 20.7% 112
Alex Rios White Sox 25 3 3 4 3.6% 8.5% 19.9% 112
Will Middlebrooks Red Sox 27 4 2 6 3.9% 7.9% 21.0% 112
Chris Young Athletics 18 2 4 2 3.3% 9.3% 19.5% 112

SCOUT Leaderboard: First-Week Pitching Leaders
Below is the current SCOUT leaderboard for major-league pitchers. SCOUT- combines regressed strikeout and walk rates in a kwERA-like equation to produce a number not unlike ERA-, where 100 is league average (in this case, for all spring pitchers) and below 100 is better than average. xK% and xBB% stand for expected strikeout and walk rate, respectively.


Player Team G GS IP TBF K BB xK% xBB% SCOUT-
Jeff Samardzija Cubs 2 2 13.2 54 22 5 27.9% 8.1% 78
Yu Darvish Rangers 2 2 13.2 51 20 4 27.0% 8.0% 81
A.J. Burnett Pirates 2 2 11.0 47 19 5 26.9% 8.2% 82
Dan Straily Athletics 1 1 6.2 25 11 0 24.6% 7.7% 87
Clayton Kershaw Dodgers 2 2 16.0 53 16 1 24.0% 7.4% 88
Matt Harvey Mets 1 1 7.0 22 10 2 24.3% 8.1% 89
Alexi Ogando Rangers 1 1 6.1 24 10 1 24.0% 7.9% 89
Aroldis Chapman Reds 5 0 5.0 19 9 2 24.1% 8.1% 90
Brett Cecil Blue Jays 3 0 3.2 14 8 2 24.1% 8.2% 90
Roy Halladay Phillies 1 1 3.1 19 9 3 24.1% 8.3% 91

Today’s Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
New York NL at Philadelphia | 19:05 ET
Sometimes people in America are like, “I’m gonna do that thing, come hell or high water.” While such commitment likely has its benefits, let it be known that both (a) hell and (b) high water would successfully deter the author from watching this game — as would any number of other calamities. Barring those — or other similarly hostile — conditions, however, said author will be enjoying this game and will be producing animated GIFs of Matt Harvey‘s slider for the benefit of America and the formation of a more perfect union.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: New York NL Television.

Atlanta at Miami | 19:10 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
Left-hander Paul Maholm was legitimately excellent after coming to Atlanta last season at the trade deadline, recording this line in 11 starts: 68.2 IP, 20.9% K, 6.7% BB, 53.7% GB, 82 xFIP-, 0.9 WAR. His season debut last Wednesday against Philadelphia represented no kind of departure from that second-half performance, either. To wit: 5.2 IP, 24 TBF, 6 K, 1 BB, 8 GB on 17 batted balls (47.1% GB), 2.28 xFIP. Maholm faces Kevin Slowey, about whom there’s less to say — at least so far as “notable pitching performances” are concerned.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Atlanta Radio.

Tampa Bay at Texas | 20:05 ET
Texas right-hander Alex Ogando didn’t strike out 10 of the 24 batters he faced in his season debut last Wednesday (box) to be ignored in his second start. The reader will ignore Alexi Ogando at his or her own peril, is what I mean to say.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Texas Radio.

Today’s Game Odds, Translated into Winning Percentages
Note: the very popular and also critically acclaimed NERD game scores will be available at the end of April/beginning of May.

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

Games are listed in Eastern Time, as the author has recently bothered to learn how to convert time zones in Excel. Game presented in order, first, of National League and then American League and, finally, then interleague play.

***Not included below (because no odds were available for it on Sunday night) is this afternoon’s Milwaukee-Chicago NL game — which game begins at 14:20 ET and features Marco Estrada against Edwin Jackson.***


Game Teams Starters Line Win%
16:15 Cincinnati Reds Mat Latos 2.02 48.6%
ET St. Louis Cardinals Jaime Garcia 1.91 51.4%
19:05 New York Mets Matt Harvey 2.05 47.8%
ET Philadelphia Phillies Roy Halladay 1.88 52.2%
19:10 Atlanta Braves Paul Maholm 1.65 59.6%
ET Miami Marlins Kevin Slowey 2.43 40.4%
21:40 Pittsburgh Pirates Wandy Rodriguez 2.36 41.6%
ET Arizona Diamondbacks Trevor Cahill 1.68 58.4%
22:15 Colorado Rockies Jorge de la Rosa 2.41 40.7%
ET San Francisco Giants Madison Bumgarner 1.65 59.3%
14:05 Baltimore Orioles Wei-Yin Chen 2.25 43.6%
ET Boston Red Sox Clay Buchholz 1.74 56.4%
16:05 New York Yankees Hiroki Kuroda 2.15 45.7%
ET Cleveland Indians Ubaldo Jimenez 1.81 54.3%
16:10 Minnesota Twins Kevin Correia 2.24 43.8%
ET Kansas City Royals Ervin Santana 1.75 56.2%
20:05 Tampa Bay Rays Jeremy Hellickson 2.41 40.7%
ET Texas Rangers Alexi Ogando 1.65 59.3%
22:10 Houston Astros Philip Humber 2.56 38.3%
ET Seattle Mariners Joe Saunders 1.59 61.7%




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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.


14 Responses to “Daily Notes: SCOUT Leaderboards for the First Week”

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  1. Benzedrine says:

    It is notable that Paul Maholm now uses the famed eephus.

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  2. weselm says:

    No Line/Win % on Brewers/Cubs?

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  3. Brady says:

    I want my opinion to be heard! How do I vote for preferred broadcast?

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  4. Mike D says:

    Pitcher SCOUT should read:

    “Dan Straily*”

    *pitched his game against Houston

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  5. Scott says:

    Love SCOUT. Any chance we can have SCOUT splits on the leaderboards?

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  6. Jaker says:

    Love this! Weekly please…

    Can anyone explain why SCOUT includes only HR and not other hits (like doubles)?

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  7. Choo says:

    61.7% chance that Joe Saunders hangs the last chart in his locker with athletic tape as a self-affirmation of his dominance.

    38.3% chance that he uses another kind of tape.

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  8. Read with great interest ,as a Red fan intersted in all comparisions Thank You

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  9. John says:

    I miss the very proprietary NERD scores.

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  10. Ken says:

    Has there every been a release of the actual formula put in to get the Scout+ figure? I’d be interested if it’s out there.

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