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Daily Notes: The Week’s Top Performances

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

1. SCOUT Leaderboards: The Week’s Top Performances
2. Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
3. Today’s Game Odds, Translated into Winning Percentages

SCOUT Leaderboards: The Week’s Top Performances
Much as with skinning a cat, but far less gruesome, there are a number of ways, theoretically, to determine the “best” performances in baseball over a timeframe as short as a week. One could, for example, merely sort by WAR. If WAR seems inappropriate, one can use WPA, instead — to see which player, that is, most improved his team’s chances of winning (offensively, at least) over the course of the week. Alternatively, one might prefer simply to look into his or her own heart for the answer — or any of the other more vital organs.

What the author has done, in this particular instance, is to give readers another tool — namely, the SCOUT leaderboards below for the past week’s best hitters and pitchers.

“What actually is SCOUT?” a reasonable person might ask — to which question the author has provided a (hopefully) reasonable answer here. In brief, however, it’s this: an attempt to use our knowledge of certain metrics, and at what sample sizes they become reliable, to measure run production/prevention in instances where small samples are all that’s available.

In so doing, we learn lessons like:

• For as excellent as Atlanta’s Evan Gattis has been in an uncertain role, St. Louis’s Matt Adams has been that excellent in an even less certain role.

• Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson is making more contact than would have otherwise seemed likely.

• Apart from a rather unfortunate blown save in Chicago, Giants closer Sergio Romo was dominant last week.

Now, to the leaderboards.

SCOUT Leaderboard: The Week’s Top Hitters
Below is the SCOUT leaderboard for major-league hitters over the past week. 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 major-league 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+
Prince Fielder Tigers 30 2 9 2 2.9% 11.7% 16.3% 120
Joey Votto Reds 29 1 12 4 2.6% 13.2% 17.8% 117
John Buck Mets 21 4 0 2 3.6% 7.5% 17.5% 114
Billy Butler Royals 24 1 7 1 2.6% 10.9% 16.4% 114
Robinson Cano Yankees 24 3 2 2 3.3% 8.4% 17.1% 113
Justin Upton Braves 28 2 4 2 2.9% 9.2% 16.6% 112
Evan Gattis Braves 27 3 3 4 3.3% 8.8% 18.0% 112
Matt Adams Cardinals 9 3 1 2 3.4% 8.5% 19.0% 111
Chris Carter Astros 28 4 3 8 3.6% 8.7% 20.6% 111
Josh Donaldson Athletics 28 2 3 2 2.9% 8.7% 16.6% 111

SCOUT Leaderboard: The Week’s Top Pitchers
Below is the SCOUT leaderboard for major-league pitchers for the past week. 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 major-league 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-
Jake Peavy White Sox 2 2 12.1 48 18 1 24.8% 7.9% 80
Clay Buchholz Red Sox 2 2 15.0 56 19 8 24.4% 9.0% 85
Adam Wainwright Cardinals 1 1 9.0 31 12 0 22.9% 7.9% 86
Max Scherzer Tigers 1 1 6.0 24 11 1 23.1% 8.2% 86
Lance Lynn Cardinals 1 1 6.0 23 10 1 22.5% 8.2% 88
Sergio Romo Giants 5 0 4.2 20 9 0 22.3% 8.1% 88
Anibal Sanchez Tigers 2 2 14.0 55 16 5 22.5% 8.5% 89
Matt Harvey Mets 2 2 15.0 53 15 4 22.1% 8.3% 89
Hyun-Jin Ryu Dodgers 1 1 6.0 25 9 1 21.6% 8.2% 91
Dale Thayer Padres 3 0 3.2 13 7 1 21.8% 8.4% 91

Today’s MLB.TV Free Game
New York NL at Colorado | 20:40 ET
As no one on nodding terms with the faculty of reason would have predicted, the Mets entered Sunday with the highest WAR among field players in the entire both leagues, having slashed .272/.349/.467 with a not particularly inflated .311 BABIP through 433 plate appearances. Shall we consider together a table of the four Mets to have accumulated a WAR of 0.5 or more as of Sunday? “Yes” appears to be the answer.

To wit:

Name PA BB% K% HR AVG OBP SLG BABIP WAR
Daniel Murphy 46 6.5% 10.9% 2 .381 .413 .690 .389 0.8
John Buck 44 2.3% 11.4% 6 .317 .318 .780 .219 0.7
Lucas Duda 42 21.4% 23.8% 3 .258 .452 .613 .278 0.5
David Wright 49 16.3% 20.4% 0 .293 .408 .415 .387 0.5

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: New York NL Television.

Today’s Game Odds, Translated into Winning Percentages
Note: the very proprietary and also critically acclaimed NERD game scores will become available again 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 of (a) National League and then (b) American League and, finally, then (c) interleague play.

Game Teams Starters Line Win%
19:05 St. Louis Cardinals Lance Lynn 1.93 50.9%
ET Pittsburgh Pirates James McDonald 2.00 49.1%
19:10 Philadelphia Phillies Cliff Lee 1.80 54.4%
ET Cincinnati Reds Bronson Arroyo 2.15 45.6%
19:10 Washington Nationals Jordan Zimmermann 1.57 62.4%
ET Miami Marlins Wade LeBlanc 2.61 37.6%
20:40 New York Mets Dillon Gee 2.20 44.6%
ET Colorado Rockies Juan Nicasio 1.77 55.4%
22:10 San Diego Padres Eric Stults 2.65 37.0%
ET Los Angeles Dodgers Chad Billingsley 1.56 63.0%
11:05 Tampa Bay Rays Jeremy Hellickson 2.22 44.2%
ET Boston Red Sox Ryan Dempster 1.76 55.8%
19:05 Chicago White Sox Gavin Floyd 2.26 43.4%
ET Toronto Blue Jays Mark Buehrle 1.73 56.6%
20:10 LAA Angels Joe Blanton 1.89 52.0%
ET Minnesota Twins Kevin Correia 2.04 48.0%
22:05 Houston Astros Erik Bedard 2.70 36.3%
ET Oakland Athletics Tommy Milone 1.54 63.7%