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