Leaderboards of Pleasure – 9/26/11


Howie Kendrick has made this and other plays in 2011.

In Preston Sturges’ 1941 film Sullivan’s Travels, protagonist John L. Sullivan learns that — instead of a socially conscious film designed to raise awareness about their struggles — that the downtrodden actually prefer the light, airy comedies on which he (i.e. Sullivan) has made his reputation as a film director.

Leaderboards of Pleasure is essentially Sullivan’s Travels in miniature. Except you read it. And it’s on the internet.

While reading this particular edition of the LOP on the internet, the reader will find that:

Howie Kendrick remains underrated.
Howie Kendrick continues to rank among the league’s most underrated players. The reader will also find that much of that is due to Kendrick’s 17.6 UZR. An interesting thing about that: Kendrick has been worth +16 runs per Defensive Runs Saved and a more modest, but still above-average, +7 runs per Total Zone (which has him as +12 at second base and -7 in left field).

More news on this story as it does or does not develop.

Liam Hendriks has been better than he’s looked.
The young Australian, now with 23.1 innings as a major-league starter, has posted a 6.17 ERA so far but only a 3.77 SIERA and 3.66 xFIP (91 xFIP-).

Murder is legal in Australia.
This is a fact that you don’t need to look up and can just tell anyone at the bar about, totally comfortable in the knowledge that it (i.e. the legality of murder in Australia) is a fact.

1. Team NERD Leaderboard
2. Underrated Player Leaderboard
3. Player NERD Leaderboard
4. Pitcher NERD Leaderboard

Team NERD Leaderboard
Like the NERD scores you’ll find below, this one represents an attempt to anticipate the “watchability” of each team. The first iteration appears in a heartfelt love letter to America, which anyone is free to read here.

Please note that the “POFF” numbers (playoff-odds adjustments) are not included in the Team NERD scores you see below, but are instead the bonuses/penalties applied to the Game Scores for each respective team — a thing about which you can learn more by reading here.


Teams NERD Age BAT HR/FB Spd BULL UZR Pay Luck POFF
Royals 10 2.64 0.56 -0.22 1.20 -0.15 0.10 1.40 1.48 0
Yankees 10 0.00 1.99 1.59 1.57 0.60 0.78 0.00 0.00 0
Red Sox 9 0.00 2.21 1.43 0.28 0.42 1.65 0.00 0.00 1
Diamondbacks 9 0.42 -0.24 0.56 1.02 0.03 2.19 0.97 0.00 0
Rangers 9 0.00 1.83 1.58 1.02 0.10 0.80 0.02 0.00 0
Brewers 8 0.00 0.57 0.98 -0.09 1.66 0.45 0.18 1.08 0
Marlins 8 1.22 -0.55 0.07 -0.64 0.42 -0.34 0.89 2.00 0
Rays 7 0.42 0.35 0.08 1.02 -1.50 1.47 1.25 0.00 2
Rockies 6 0.15 -0.35 0.40 0.65 1.02 -0.19 0.12 0.49 0
Blue Jays 6 0.42 0.41 0.30 1.02 -0.15 -0.75 0.75 0.00 0
Padres 6 0.68 -0.87 -1.23 1.57 -0.25 0.50 1.16 0.00 0
Angels 5 0.00 -0.03 0.20 0.47 -0.43 1.22 0.00 0.62 0
Braves 5 0.00 -0.57 1.05 -1.56 2.26 -0.87 0.15 1.14 1
Nationals 5 0.24 -0.77 0.76 -0.64 -0.15 -0.42 0.72 1.60 0
Dodgers 5 0.00 -0.34 -0.81 0.28 0.74 0.22 0.00 1.21 0
Reds 5 0.06 0.04 0.80 -0.82 -0.72 1.45 0.41 0.00 0
Pirates 5 1.40 -1.27 -0.89 0.10 -0.33 -0.28 1.15 0.00 0
Indians 5 0.86 0.00 0.77 -0.27 -1.00 -1.10 1.08 0.00 0
Astros 4 0.50 -0.61 -1.79 0.28 0.21 -0.63 0.55 2.00 0
Cubs 4 0.00 -0.59 0.02 -0.09 -0.33 -0.50 0.00 1.80 0
Giants 3 0.00 -1.62 -1.03 -1.37 1.55 0.54 0.00 2.00 0
Mets 3 0.59 0.52 -1.68 1.02 -0.36 -2.12 0.00 1.01 0
Cardinals 3 0.00 1.27 1.24 -1.92 -0.01 -1.14 0.00 0.00 4
Phillies 3 0.00 -0.22 -0.02 0.65 -0.68 -0.37 0.00 0.00 0
Tigers 2 0.06 1.10 -0.04 -1.01 -1.11 -0.22 0.00 0.00 0
Orioles 2 0.42 -0.05 0.47 -1.19 -0.04 -1.67 0.19 0.00 0
White Sox 2 0.00 -0.76 -0.68 -1.92 1.80 -0.02 0.00 0.00 0
Athletics 1 0.00 -0.61 -1.35 0.10 -0.47 -1.11 0.65 0.00 0
Mariners 0 0.00 -1.66 -1.26 -0.09 -0.64 -0.11 0.16 0.58 0
Twins 0 1.04 -1.36 -1.32 -0.64 -2.52 0.30 0.00 0.00 0

Underrated Player Leaderboard
To determine the most underrated player, we look at each qualified player’s WAR relative to a very fake version of WAR (called FANT, in this case) constructed only by the five most common fantasy categories. (Read more here.)


Name Diff WAR FANT Avg HR R RBI SB
Alex Avila 2.5 5.5 3.0 0.83 0.09 -0.70 0.30 -0.75
Brendan Ryan 2.4 2.4 0.0 -0.87 -1.59 -1.33 -1.48 0.09
Placido Polanco 2.4 2.7 0.3 0.18 -1.38 -1.62 -1.07 -0.75
Kurt Suzuki 2.2 2.4 0.2 -1.23 -0.44 -1.16 -1.30 -0.83
Yunel Escobar 2.2 4.3 2.1 0.65 -0.75 0.17 -1.07 -0.75
Howie Kendrick 2.2 5.9 3.7 0.51 -0.02 0.69 -0.38 0.17
Peter Bourjos 2.2 4.5 2.3 -0.04 -0.65 -0.12 -1.39 0.83
John Buck 2.1 2.1 0.0 -1.48 -0.23 -1.91 -0.66 -1.00
Jamey Carroll 2.0 1.8 -0.2 0.40 -1.91 -1.33 -2.53 -0.16
Alberto Callaspo 2.0 3.1 1.1 0.65 -1.28 -1.22 -1.16 -0.33
Shane Victorino 1.9 5.8 3.9 0.22 -0.12 1.03 -0.47 0.58
Matt Wieters 1.9 4.0 2.1 -0.36 0.19 -0.29 -0.34 -0.91
Evan Longoria 1.8 5.2 3.4 -1.16 1.14 0.05 1.08 -0.75
Yadier Molina 1.7 4.0 2.3 1.19 -0.44 -1.22 -0.34 -0.66
Omar Infante 1.7 2.5 0.8 0.18 -1.17 -1.22 -1.02 -0.66
Alexei Ramirez 1.7 4.4 2.7 -0.14 -0.33 0.34 -0.11 -0.41
Jhonny Peralta 1.6 5.0 3.4 1.05 0.19 -0.41 0.58 -1.00
Dustin Pedroia 1.6 7.6 6.0 1.08 0.19 1.55 0.76 1.17
Miguel Montero 1.6 4.5 2.9 0.47 -0.02 -0.58 0.67 -0.91
Rickie Weeks 1.6 4.0 2.4 0.04 0.09 -0.01 -1.07 -0.25

Player NERD Leaderboard
Very similar to Pitcher NERD (below), except for position players. This version of NERD considers all batters with at least 100 plate apperances. (Read more here.)


Name NERD Age WAR xBABIP HR/FB Spd K%
Brett Lawrie 10 1.83 2.86 -0.34 1.40 1.79 0.11
Ryan Braun 10 0.42 2.15 -0.12 1.73 1.48 0.63
Jacoby Ellsbury 10 0.42 2.41 -0.10 1.37 1.17 0.87
Jason Kipnis 10 1.13 1.76 -0.06 2.13 1.58 -0.52
Ian Kinsler 10 0.00 1.71 0.41 0.57 1.33 1.46
Jose Constanza 10 0.42 1.14 0.64 0.50 1.58 1.11
Desmond Jennings 10 1.13 0.96 -0.09 1.44 2.15 -0.27
Matt Kemp 10 0.66 2.24 -0.29 2.11 1.12 -0.72
Curtis Granderson 10 0.00 1.81 0.06 2.11 1.94 -0.97
Jose Reyes 10 0.19 1.64 0.00 -1.07 2.25 1.94
Carlos Gonzalez 9 0.89 1.14 -0.29 2.06 1.17 -0.10
Justin Upton 9 1.36 1.71 -0.43 1.07 1.02 0.03
Shane Victorino 9 0.00 1.72 -0.19 -0.01 1.89 1.31
Albert Pujols 9 0.00 1.33 0.14 1.70 -0.16 1.65
Troy Tulowitzki 9 0.66 1.84 -0.13 1.37 -0.06 0.96
Alejandro De Aza 9 0.42 2.66 -0.58 0.55 1.89 -0.34
Jose Bautista 9 0.00 2.47 -0.33 2.41 -0.31 0.34
Howie Kendrick 9 0.42 1.76 0.14 1.35 1.12 -0.22
Robinson Cano 9 0.19 1.37 0.01 1.35 0.87 0.76
Pablo Sandoval 9 1.13 2.09 -0.29 1.24 -0.57 0.84

Pitcher NERD Leaderboard
The idea with Pitcher NERD — as with the other NERDs — is to express with one number the likelihood that the learned fan might have interest in a certain player. (To read more about Pitcher NERD, click here.)


Name NERD xFIP SwStrk Strk Velo Luck Age KN
Zack Greinke 10 2.54 1.66 0.18 0.76 1.31 0.13 0.00
Clayton Kershaw 10 2.06 1.83 0.83 1.10 0.00 1.13 0.00
Roy Halladay 10 2.29 1.66 2.20 0.57 0.00 0.00 0.00
Michael Pineda 10 0.94 2.23 1.33 1.60 0.21 1.38 0.00
Cliff Lee 10 2.31 0.86 2.43 0.37 0.00 0.00 0.00
Madison Bumgarner 10 1.57 0.63 1.56 0.45 0.18 1.63 0.00
Brandon Beachy 10 1.54 2.23 0.46 0.57 0.52 0.88 0.00
CC Sabathia 10 1.77 1.89 1.30 1.26 0.00 0.00 0.00
Justin Verlander 10 1.61 1.31 1.02 1.72 0.00 0.00 0.00
Brandon Morrow 10 0.97 2.06 0.44 1.26 1.27 0.38 0.00
Cory Luebke 10 1.77 1.71 0.88 0.37 0.27 0.38 0.00
Matt Garza 9 1.43 1.89 0.97 1.22 0.12 0.13 0.00
Felix Hernandez 9 1.56 0.51 0.59 1.06 0.32 0.63 0.00
Cole Hamels 9 1.77 1.94 1.00 0.45 0.00 0.13 0.00
David Price 9 1.39 0.40 0.29 1.64 0.10 0.63 0.00
Jonathon Niese 9 1.36 0.17 1.23 0.03 1.13 0.88 0.00
Juan Nicasio 9 1.12 0.34 -0.10 1.37 0.72 0.88 0.00
Anibal Sanchez 9 1.49 1.71 0.67 0.49 0.48 0.13 0.00
Joe Blanton 9 1.33 0.51 1.06 0.00 1.74 0.00 0.00
Liam Hendriks 9 0.72 0.17 0.40 0.00 2.00 1.38 0.00




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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.

10 Responses to “Leaderboards of Pleasure – 9/26/11”

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  1. phoenix2042 says:

    how is lincecum not fun to watch???

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. This might be your greatest writing yet

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Bruce the Wombat says:

    Dear Carson,

    Here in Australia we treasure our God-given freedoms. We do as we please to whom we please whenever we please. Americans believe they are freedom personified, but the teat from which you suckle liberty’s sweet nectar is emaciated and flabby compared to our robust, engorged national mammary.

    On behalf of Australia’s fully liberated citizenry I cordially invite you to visit us down under. Enjoy a cross-country drive (sans speed limits, of course), eat tender Queensland-raised steak and drink Coopers Best Extra Stout until you burst, and engage in the brutal slaying of one of our gleeful nationals. First killing’s on the house, mate.

    Cheers,
    Bruce

    +11 Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. Aaron (UK) says:

    Do you feel that POFF needs a bit more refinement? Centering it to 25% at this stage of the season seems wrong when there are now 4 teams playing for 2 places. Scaling to 50% would give BOS/TB higher POFF’s than STL which instinctively feels right.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Breadbaker says:

    I’m trying to figure out how good Matt Wieters would have to be compared to his pre-call up hype to be really underrated. I think Johnny Bench just shed a tear.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. Dave S says:

    Sublime, as always. Many thanks.

    Perchance an update of the “least underrated” leaderboard is also in order?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. JCA says:

    Beast Mode Morse is not on your list. You must recalculate your list based on Beast Mode’s watchability. I suggest you include batting music and t-shirts. He personally rescued A-Ha from obscurity and elevated them to trivial.

    More seriously, do you miss the surprise element in watchability when you focus on xBABIP rather than BABIP? Past luck is not a predictor of future luck, but isn’t part of the intrigue of baseball watching something that does not appear to be explainable? The “how does he get away with that junk he is throwing?” or, in Morse’s case “how does a slow guy consistently have a very high BABIP over 1250 PAs?”

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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