Daily Notes, With More Power Rankings of Power

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

1. Item: More Power Rankings of Power
2. Brief Previews of Select Games
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Cincinnati Radio

Item: More Power Rankings of Power
On Monday, SI.com published the second iteration of its weekly MLB power rankings for 2012. As noted last week (and on Monday’s podcast), the SI power rankings are now arranged by expected winning percentage per FanGraphs WAR.

Here are your top five teams by that criteria (with WAR winning percentage in parentheses):

1. Texas (.838)
2. St. Louis (.782)
3. New York AL (.698)
4. Atlanta (.620)
5. Los Angeles NL (.601)

And bottom five teams:

26. Cincinnati (.382)
27. Minnesota (.370)
28. Chicago NL (.363)
29. Seattle (.351)
30. Pittsburgh (.331)

Brief Previews of 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.)

New York AL at Texas | 20:05 ET
• It’s very possible that someone, somewhere is asking, “What do we know so far about [tonight’s starter for Texas] Yu Darvish?”
• One part of answering that question is probably to consult Darvish’s defense-independent numbers so far. These ones, specifically: 17.2 IP, 16.3% K, 15.1% BB, 42.1% GB, 5.25 SIERA, 5.18 xFIP, 126 xFIP-.
• Another part is to note, as Dave Cameron did last Friday, that Darvish (a) has thrown his fastball off the plate a lot and (b) would benefit greatly from throwing his fastball for strikes more often — to help set up his secondary offerings, if for no other reason.
• The third step would be to acknowledge the futility of every human endeavor.
• And also for the author to note that Darvish is opposed by Hiroki Kuroda (18.0 IP, 100 xFIP-, 0.1 WAR).

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Texas.

St. Louis at Chicago NL | 20:05 ET
• As of Monday, the Cardinals owned the highest team WAR (that is, batting plus fielding) in the the majors, at 6.4.
• Perhaps surprisingly, or perhaps not, that figure exceeds even the one produced by the very potent Texas Rangers.
Your Cardinal leaders, to date: Rafael Furcal (179 wRC+, .421 BABIP, 1.2 WAR) and Yadier Molina (173, .293, 1.0) and Carlos Beltran (176, .333, 1.0) and David Freese (161, .412, 1.0).
• Your starting pitchers tonight: Adam Wainwright (13.2 IP, 87 xFIP-, 0.3 WAR) vs. Jeff Samardzija (17.1, 94, 0.4).
• Your reaction, generally speaking, to all this information: “Baseball!”

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Chicago NL.

Washington at San Diego | 22:05 ET
• Sorting through the league’s 109 qualifed starters, one finds that Gio Gonzalez, starting tonight for the Nationals, ranks second in xFIP behind only Cole Hamels.
• Here’s Gonzalez’s line (through three starts): 17.2 IP, 30.4% K, 7.3% BB, 54.8% GB, 2.35 SIERA, 2.09 xFIP, 58 xFIP-.
• Regarding Gonzalez’s pitch mix so far: it’s almost identical to last season’s, except maybe he’s throwing his four-seamer a little harder (like, by less than a mph, though) and changepiece a little more often.
• Regarding Gonzalez’s opponent: it’s Clayton Richard (18.1 IP, 115 xFIP-, -0.3 WAR).
• Regarding the possessive form for words, like Gonzalez, that conclude with a sibilant sound: both Oxford and the Economist recommend including the extra s.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: San Diego.

Atlanta at Los Angeles NL | 22:10 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
• Note you might care about: as of Monday, these two teams were fourth and fifth, respectively, per total WAR.
Here’re Atlanta’s leaders (among field players, at least): Michael Bourn (143 wRC+, .407 BABIP, 1.2 WAR) and Jason Heyward (170, .395, 1.1).
And LA’s: Matt Kemp (300 wRC+, .486 BABIP, 1.9 WAR) and then everyone else, mostly.
• Starting pitchers: Mike Minor (20.1 IP, 91 xFIP-, 0.7 WAR) and Aaron Harang (16.2 IP, 83 xFIP-, 0.2 WAR).
• Starting belly itchers: not a thing.

MLB.TV Audio Feed: Los Angeles NL.

Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Cincinnati 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 / Colorado / Cincinnati.




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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.


20 Responses to “Daily Notes, With More Power Rankings of Power”

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  1. Nate says:

    “Expected winning percentage”? Since I assume you’re not predicting the Rangers to win 136 games this season, what does that term mean? I can’t find it in the glossary on site.

    thanks.

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  2. Drakos says:

    Regarding Yu Darvish there was an interesting article on Baseball Analytics ( http://www.baseballanalytics.org/baseball-analytics-blog/2012/4/23/is-yu-getting-squeezed.html ) yesterday showing that among AL starters he had the lowest called strike percentage for in-zone pitches that weren’t swung at. Perhaps more telling than Darvish’s percentage was the fact that Feliz, Holland, and Lewis were also in the bottom 12 (out of 30). You have to wonder if the Rangers have been unlucky with the umpires they have had or if as pointed out in the comments of that article their catchers are just bad at pitch framing. According to Mike Fasts Baseball Prospectus article on pitch framing Napoli is bad a pitch framing but Torrealba is very good.

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    • mcbrown says:

      Thank you for the link. I had been wondering whether that might be happening… I followed two of Darvish’s starts on ESPN’s gamecast, and at least according to their display it seemed like he wasn’t getting calls on pitches that were well within the strike zone (let alone getting calls on borderline pitches). What I didn’t know was whether ESPN was providing a reasonable representation of reality, as I don’t follow gamecasts very frequently and had no sense of its accuracy. This article certainly makes me feel a little less crazy.

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  3. William Strunk Jr. says:

    What the hell do (well beered) Englishmen know about Grammar? Americans, enamored of liberty, equality, and consumer choice, permit generous exceptions to the rule of singular possessive + sibilant (see, e.g., Elements of Style, The American Heritage Book of English Usage and the 15th CMS). Relying on pre-apocalyptic-Europeans is your Achilles’ heel; they don’t even play baseball.

    We (and possibly you, although my doubt increases) belong to a basically religious and therefore optimistic culture, and reject the paralytic, nihilistic belief of the futility of every human endeavor. Just look at Matt Wieters’ awesomeness.

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    • Well-Beered Englishman says:

      What, I ask you, might Americans know about grammar? We invented it; your nation are like the businessmen in shabby hats who discover some fellow in the country makes delicious pies in his garden, and then build a factory to export it the world over. The pies being, in this analogy, the English language, the old fellow being the English, and the mid-level managers who supervise the assembly-line production of artificial pies being men such as yourself and Mr. White.

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      • Okay, but, real question: where can I get one of these pies?

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      • Well-Beered Englishman says:

        I don’t know the answer to that, sadly, but I can assure you that Pie Minister is a most satisfying destination for hot, savory pies of many sorts. Locations in Bristol and London.

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      • They also have a cookbook. Website linked in my username.

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      • William Strunk Jr. says:

        …and thereby introduce the world to pie for breakfast, pie with lunch, pie after dinner, and enhance pie with the world’s variety of ingredients. If you futsy Englishmen controlled pie expansion, it’d be nothing but minced meat, kidney, and ground lamb. Fortunately, we Americans have freed pie (along with the French) from your offal and delivered delicious snickerdoodle and ice cream pies. The rendered meat pies being: singular possessive + sibilant = ‘s; and Mom’s Apple Pie being: singular possessive + sibilant = Do What the Fuck you Want to Do (to borrow from Devin the Dude).

        And now I’m off to Ye Olde Kingshead for a pint and a cornish pastie and the second half of Chelsea v. Barca.

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      • A fie on you, good sir, for demeaning the name of the kidney pie, and for omitting that most sacred of pies, the steak-and-Guinness! And for daring compare savory pies to sweet. You Americans have stripped the pie concept of its innards and replaced it with your own sugary, corn-syrupy compromises to mass taste. In this case the innards are the u’s which the Honouurable Dayn Perry so ferociouusly strives to reintroduuce to NotGraphs, the corn syrup is the absence of the Oxford comma, and the Guinness is a pint of bleedin’ Guinness.

        (Out of character and with a polite hat-tip: I have sincerely never heard of snickerdoodle pie before. My grandmother baked snickerdoodle cooki…er biscuits.)

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      • William Strunk Jr. says:

        Carson, you can get pi by dividing the circumference by the diameter of the “o” in Carson. Ancient Greek recipe.

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      • jorgath says:

        But I want cake!

        Death would work too, I suppose. Cake or death.

        But no pie, thank you.

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  4. Mike says:

    I’m sorry, but ranking the Royals, a 3-13 team, seventh, is absurd. At some point you need to consider whether the team is actually winning.

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  5. geo says:

    I listened to a Spring Training Reds game this year and was absolutely appalled with how bad those guys were. They were playing the Royals, but referred to them as the Brewers throughout the game. They talked about “Brett Butler” and “Eric Gordon.” I don’t remember at this point how they referred to Dayton Moore, but I specifically recall that they butchered that one too. I mean, c’mon, I know you don’t see the Royals very often, but it’s not like Gordon and Butler are unknowns. Do a little homework if you don’t know a team to that terrifyingly bad level.

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    • Well-Beered Englishman says:

      When I was in a press box (covered one game), they gave me a list of all the players on both rosters. It’s really not that hard and there is no excuse.

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  6. Chone says:

    Why don’t the power rankings account for schedule at all?

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    • wilsonm24 says:

      Because WAR doesn’t account for strength of schedule? Did you read at all about how the Power Rankings were calculated?

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  7. Dave Silverwood says:

    I believe the Reds will be at least in the middle of the pack before June1 and if the right line-up is used probably 11th or12th by September , Al teams with dh do have some advantage,but a few nl teams playing a al schedule would make hay.

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