Gary Sanchez as Rookie of the Year

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post about Michael Fulmer, I’ve been chosen as a voter for this season’s American League Rookie of the Year Award. And while I don’t yet know how I’m going to vote — and while I’m not supposed to tell you how I’m going to vote — I am supposed to supply content to FanGraphs.com, and there’s nothing wrong with going over my thought processes in the public sphere. I already have to go through this stuff anyway. Might as well get some articles out of it, so that I can further consider reader responses.

Most years, this vote would be seemingly easy, at least as first place goes. Fulmer’s been up most of the season, and he’s got a low ERA to show for it. Low ERAs aren’t as common now as they were a couple years back. But there’s an increasingly legitimate contender, who goes by the name of Gary Sanchez. Sanchez wasn’t supposed to get to this point. He’d made one single appearance before the month of August. But — well, you know. You know all about Gary Sanchez. Has he done enough to deserve some hardware?

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Weak Contact and the National League Cy Young Race

The National League Cy Young race is an incredibly competitive one, and as Dave Cameron (who has a vote this year) broke down a few weeks ago, much of the differences between the candidates deals with run prevention in a team sense (RA/9-WAR and ERA) versus run prevention in a component sense (FIP, WAR). As a result, there has been considerable discussion on the concept of weak contact, and last week I looked at the role of the Cubs defense in the Chicago pitchers’ low BABIPs. Taking a small step further, let’s use the Statcast to look at weak and strong contact to determine if the Cy Young candidates in the National League have been helping out their defenses.

To whittle down the candidates, I found the pitchers who are among the National League’s top 10 both by WAR and RA/9-WAR — and then added Jose Fernandez, who just missed the second list. This is a list of those pitchers and their respective ERA, FIP and WAR marks.

National League Cy Young Candidates
Name ERA NL Rank FIP NL Rank WAR
Noah Syndergaard 2.63 3 2.34 1 6.1
Clayton Kershaw 1.73 1* 1.68 1* 6.1
Jose Fernandez 2.99 9 2.39 2 5.7
Max Scherzer 2.78 6 3.08 4 5.6
Johnny Cueto 2.86 7 3.06 3 4.9
Madison Bumgarner 2.57 4 3.12 5 4.9
Kyle Hendricks 2.06 1 3.27 6 4.1
Jon Lester 2.40 2 3.45 7 3.9
*Kershaw does not have enough innings to qualify

As you can see, the NL pitchers ranked first and second in ERA only rank sixth and seventh in FIP, which has led to discussions, particularly with regard to Kyle Hendricks, about how to evaluate such discrepancies when discussing a pitcher’s Cy Young candidacy. To examine the type of contact a pitcher is generating, ee can start with a simple look at average exit velocity. Here are the pitchers’ average exit-velocity numbers and MLB ranks, per Baseball Savant.

Exit Velocity of NL Cy Young Candidates
Avg Exit Velocity (mph) MLB Rank
Clayton Kershaw 87.1 6
Kyle Hendricks 87.3 9
Noah Syndergaard 87.5 12
Max Scherzer 87.7 13
Johnny Cueto 88.1 25
Jon Lester 88.3 30
Madison Bumgarner 89.1 60
Jose Fernandez 90.0 106

While the evidence isn’t overwhelming, there is some reason to think that a pitcher has some, if not a lot, of influence over exit velocity, with the bulk of the influence coming from the batter. Those arguing for Kyle Hendricks for the Cy Young would likely say there is a considerable effect and point to the very good exit-velocity numbers and very low BABIP he’s conceded as evidence. That said, Clayton Kershaw has an even better average exit velocity and his BABIP isn’t quite as low as Hendricks’. Which pitcher gets more credit?

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Job Postings: Kansas City Royals Baseball Systems Developer & Lead Developer

To be clear, there are two postings here.

Position: Kansas City Royals Baseball Systems Developer

Location: Kansas City

Description:
The Kansas City Royals Baseball Club is seeking a highly motivated developer to support baseball operations. The ideal applicant will be able to manage multiple concurrent projects that facilitate enhanced communications, reporting, and other interactions between teams internal to the organization.

Responsibilities:

  • Assist in development tasks and data operations.
  • Assist in daily task monitoring to ensure data health, quality assurance, and reliability of systems.
  • Support schema and testing of databases of various sizes.
  • Develop, test, and optimize performance and accuracy of scripts used to calculate derived data.
  • Automate, manage, and report data lifecycle based on retention and storage requirements.
  • Explore novel tools to visualize data and explore models by implementing UI/UX in HTML, CSS, JavaScript/JQuery in conjunction with lead developer.
  • Collaborate with baseball operations staff to create and improve internal analysis and informational tools.
  • Apply mobile technology enhancements.

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Tanner Roark Has Been Washington’s Kyle Hendricks

Stephen Strasburg‘s been in the news lately for playing catch. It’s still unclear whether he’ll pitch again this season. Given that the Nationals are just a few weeks away from postseason baseball, and given that Joe Ross just returned from having missed 10 weeks with a shoulder injury and is currently working on a limited pitch count, it’s not an ideal situation for Washington’s rotation. Gio Gonzalez is having his worst season in six years by ERA and FIP, and Lucas Giolito was unable to provide the shot in the arm that many had hoped.

And so, the comfort of having the always stellar Max Scherzer notwithstanding, anyone invested in the success of the Nationals is currently thinking what I’m sure they all expected they would in the spring: thank goodness we have Tanner Roark.

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Graphing a Week of the Giants Bullpen

Last night, the Giants took a 1-0 lead over the Dodgers into the 9th inning. They lost anyway. At this point, the team’s lead-blowing prowess has become so well known that it wasn’t even really a surprise, and the last week has cemented the tire-fire status of the team’s relief corps. They gave up two in the ninth to lose by one last night. They gave up two in the ninth to lose by one on Saturday. They gave up five in the ninth to lose by one last Tuesday. In the last seven days, the Giants bullpen has handed over three should-win games with three outs to go, and as a result, the Giants are now six games back in the NL West race, and tied with the Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot.

Those words make it sound bad, but I thought some graphs might more adequately represent the disaster that was the Giants bullpen over the last week.

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-8-58-42-am

This is a scatter plot of shutdowns and meltdowns, a couple of relief pitcher metrics we track here on FanGraphs. A shutdown is any relief appearance where the team’s win probability goes up by at least six percentage points during the outing, and a meltdown is an appearance where it goes down by at least six percentage points. The standard ratio of shutdowns to meltdowns is a little under 2:1, though for high leverage relievers, they usually earn those roles because they do much better than that.

As the graph shows, the Giants ratio last week was 1:7. They had the fewest shutdowns in MLB and the most meltdowns. Their bullpen essentially only pitched well when the game wasn’t really on the line, and then was a total disaster if the game was close.

So let’s look at the league’s relievers total Win Probability Added last week, or in the Giants case, Win Probability Lost.

bullpen-wpa-last-7-days

I probably didn’t have to highlight the Giants line there; you likely would have known it was them even without the assistance. They racked up nearly -2.0 WPA last week, which is astonishingly bad for a seven day stretch.

Let’s finish up with a table. Here is how hitters performed against various Giants relievers in high leverage situations over the last week, thanks to our handy new splits tool.

Giants Relievers in High Leverage, Last 7 Days
Pitcher Batters Faced BA OBP SLG wOBA
Hunter Strickland 4 0.667 0.750 1.000 0.702
Santiago Casilla 2 1.000 1.000 1.000 0.784
Javier Lopez 2 0.500 0.500 0.500 0.439
Derek Law 2 0.500 0.500 0.500 0.439
Steven Okert 1 1.000 1.000 4.000 2.012

That isn’t so much closer by committee as it is a Jonestown Massacre reenactment. Bruce Bochy has taken a good amount of flak for his bullpen management in the second half of the season — especially his loyalty to Casilla — but no one could look good managing a group of pitchers who did that.

The Giants still have a chance to turn this around and make the playoffs, but they’re going to need their bullpen to pull it together. Like tonight.


August Fagerstrom FanGraphs Chat — 9/20/16

12:09
august fagerstrom: starting chat soon!

12:14
august fagerstrom: ok, let us begin

12:15
august fagerstrom: while listening to Andre Benjamin:

12:16
Borkmeisel: Hello, friend!

12:16
august fagerstrom: hello, Bork!

12:16
The Lure of the Animal: Any idea on why a lot of guys with middling power like Galvis are doubling and tripling their HR totals, while most traditional heavy hitters like Trout aren’t experiencing a significant bump?

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Clay Buchholz on Evolving

I first interviewed Clay Buchholz in June 2005. Newly drafted — 42nd overall by the Red Sox — he’d made his professional debut a few days earlier. His future was bright.

A lot has happened since then. Buchholz has had a roller-coaster career in Boston, with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. He’s thrown a no-hitter, won a World Series ring, and made a pair of All-Star teams. He’s also had train-wreck seasons. Injury prone and maddeningly inconsistent, he’s become a lightning rod for the Fenway Faithful.

Earlier this year, his days in Boston looked numbered. Relegated to the bullpen, he was 3-9 with an ERA north of 6.00 as the July trade deadline approached. By all accounts, he was as good as gone — assuming a rival team made a decent offer. It didn’t happen.

Buchholz is still wearing a Red Sox uniform. He’s also back in the starting rotation and showing signs of a revival. The 32-year-old right-hander has pitched well in two of his last three outings, and his ERA is down to 5.20. His future remains cloudy, but for now, he’s taking the ball every five days in a pennant race.

Buchholz talked about his past — and where he is today — prior to his last start.

——-

Buchholz on how he’s changed since 2005: “I think it’s probably moved in three- or four-year intervals. Obviously, the older you get — the more innings and pitches that you throw — your stuff goes down a tick. The velocity on my fastball has gone down three or four mph. That’s happened gradually. When I go out there now, I’m anywhere from 91 to 94. When I came out of junior college, I would start the game 88-90. Third inning I’d be 92-94. Fifth inning on I’d be 97.

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NERD Game Scores for September 20, 2016

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by sabermetric nobleman Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here.

***

Most Highly Rated Game
Boston at Baltimore | 19:05 ET
Rodriguez (90.1 IP, 119 xFIP-) vs. Gausman (160.0 IP, 87 xFIP-)
Despite Boston’s win over Baltimore last night, this series remains the most relevant where postseason implications are concerned. The Red Sox possess the lowest probability of winning their division among the league’s six divisional leaders. The Orioles, meanwhile, have nearly even odds of qualifying for the wild card or not doing that. With regard to Kevin Gausman, here’s something not entirely irrelevant, either: over the last 30 days, he’s recorded the third-highest WAR among major-league pitchers — the sort calculated with FIP — and the second-highest WAR as calculated with runs allowed. This has all been information.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Baltimore Television.

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J.A. Happ’s (Newest) Fastball Secret

Watch J.A. Happ pitch, and you know he has to have a secret. The Blue Jays lefty throws a fastball with average velocity nearly three-quarters of the time, pitches in a tough home park, and somehow is a win away from 20 with an ERA better than three-quarters of baseball.

He must have a secret. And it’s not that he has a riding fastball: we’re getting more comfortable with that one and he’s a known rise-baller. Nor is it a secret with which Ray Searage blessed him. “I was pitching pretty good for two-and-a-half months in Seattle,” he responds at the prospect being counted as a Searage Surprise. “I wasn’t struggling to get outs.”

It isn’t a sexy secret, and of course it wouldn’t be. Happ’s never lit up the radar gun or dazzled anyone with his darting, diving stuff. And it’s not even his first secret regarding his stuff; he might have three secrets about the fastball. But it’s his newest one, and it’s been a big driver for his success this year.

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Anthony Rendon Is No Mike Trout, But

We can all agree that Mike Trout is probably the best player in baseball, right? And if Mike Trout is the best player in baseball, that means Anthony Rendon is not the best player in baseball, right? OK, so it’s settled. Rendon is good, but he’s no Trout. That being said, let’s have fun!

This year, 188 players have batted at least 400 times. Of those, 90 have a walk rate that is at least a hair better than the league average.

Of those 90 players, 49 have a strikeout rate that is at least a hair better than the league average.

Of those 49 players, 28 have a BABIP that is at least a hair better than the league average.

Of those 28 players, 14 have an isolated slugging that is at least a hair better than the league average.

Of those 14 players, five have a baserunning rating that is at least a hair better than the league average.

Of those five players, three have a defense rating that is at least a hair better than the league average.

The three players we’re left with: Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, and Jonathan Lucroy. These players are above-average at walks, contact, hits, power, baserunning, and defense, at least as far as the 2016 season is concerned. The defense rating uses UZR, and maybe you don’t love that, but DRS likes Trout even better. We know that Lucroy is a strong defensive catcher. And DRS likes Rendon, too. So it makes for an interesting group. These are regular position players who have made positive contributions across the board. Trout’s positive contributions have been the most positive, but if you’re looking for well-roundedness, Rendon is very nearly by himself.

Injuries mostly spoiled what Rendon tried to do a year ago. If you go back two years, though, there were 209 players who batted at least 400 times. Going through all the same process as above, one would’ve been left with just two players: Anthony Rendon and Alex Gordon. So Rendon has had a season like this before, and now that he’s healthy again, perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that he’s back to being fantastic.

He could even maybe be an MVP candidate, were it not for an awful first month. Since the beginning of May, Rendon has been good for a 127 wRC+ and a WAR of 4.5. That puts him right around his 2014 pace, and back in 2014, it was Rendon who felt like the underrated borderline superstar. Last year did nothing to help his perception, but now he’s back and just 26 years old. He’s not as flashy as Bryce Harper, and he doesn’t have the offensive potential of Bryce Harper, but Rendon does a little bit of everything, which makes him enormously valuable. It really shouldn’t be a secret why the Nationals have been so good even with Harper mysteriously coming somewhat apart.

Once before, Rendon has been among baseball’s most underrated players. Now he’s back to being exactly the same. When you think about the Nationals, you think about Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. You’re doing your own self a disservice if you stop there.


How Cleveland’s Injuries Changed Our World Series Odds

Just a little more than a week ago, the Indians had a reportedly healthy Danny Salazar, a totally healthy Carlos Carrasco, and their odds of winning the World Series, according to our projections, sat at 13.4%. Aside from a 24-hour window back on July 5 during which Cleveland’s odds jumped up to 14.2%, last week’s figure was the highest of the year for the soon-to-be American League Central Division champions.

Of course, Salazar is no longer healthy, having finally given in to the right elbow that’s been barking at him for much of the season. He seems unlikely to contribute again until 2017. And of course, Carrasco is no longer healthy, having been knocked out just two pitches into his most recent start after being struck by an Ian Kinsler line drive and fracturing his throwing hand. He won’t contribute again until 2017.

Understandably, this has provided a huge blow to Cleveland’s odds, which our own Corinne Landrey touched upon this morning. While the Indians will still have a better shot at winning it all than all but seven teams come October, their odds have been cut from 13.4% to 9.3% in the blink of an eye, a 30% decrease that couldn’t occur so quickly without a devastating injury or two. Our projections have long viewed Cleveland as either the strongest contender for the American League pennant, or at least the team most likely to stand in someone else’s way. No longer is that the case.

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Joey Votto Is Playing With His Food

Hi! You read FanGraphs, so you probably like Joey Votto. As such, you’re probably aware that, two seasons in a row, now, Votto has gone crazy in the second half. Last year, he boosted his game by increasing his hits, his power, and his walks. He ran a second-half wRC+ in the neighborhood of 200. This year, Votto is again running a second-half wRC+ in the neighborhood of 200. Once again, he’s increased his power. Once again, he’s increased his hits. Yet this time, the walks have stayed where they were. Votto isn’t earning free pass after free pass. Rather, somewhere around the middle of this season, Joey Votto just decided that he didn’t like striking out anymore.

votto-strikeouts

So he stopped. Votto, earlier, was more strikeout-prone than ever in his life. More recently, Votto has been less strikeout-prone than ever in his life. That graph seems like it should be impossible — where first-half Votto struck out a quarter of the time, second-half Votto has struck out a tenth of the time. To put it another way, while second-half Votto again has one of the highest walk rates in the league, he’s also managed a lower strikeout rate than Jose Altuve. You just can’t get the ball by Joey Votto anymore. He doesn’t allow pitchers to do it.

Perhaps just as amazing — second-half Votto hasn’t done any better in terms of avoiding two-strike counts. In the first half, Votto saw 29% of his pitches while in a two-strike count. In the second half, that’s risen, ever so slightly, to 30%. Votto is still disciplined, and, clearly, Votto is still letting counts run deep. And even when swinging in two-strike counts, Votto hasn’t necessarily gotten more aggressive or better at hitting the ball fair. His swing rate has risen just a couple points, and the same could be said of his in-play rate. That’s not where you can find an explanation for the whole drop-off.

The answer involves foul balls. When Votto swung with two strikes in the first half, he hit 38% fouls. That ranked him in the 39th percentile. When Votto has swung with two strikes in the second half, he’s hit 49% fouls. That ranks him in the 98th percentile, or, put differently, it puts him in second place. Votto has replaced two-strike whiffs with two-strike fouls, and there’s no penalty for a two-strike foul for a hitter. If you foul off a tough pitch, you earn the opportunity to see another pitch. Votto has fought pitches off and earned himself additional looks, and that’s how he’s maintained his sky-high walk rate while also keeping the defense on its collective toes. He’s refused to strike out, and he’s remained really good at everything else.

I don’t know why it would just click like this, and I don’t know why Votto wouldn’t have done this before, given how well it’s worked. I’m sure there’s a little bit of a hot-streak factor involved. But it’s not like there’s ever been any question that Votto is outstanding, and while there’s limited evidence that hitters overall are able to fight pitches off consistently when they need to, it makes sense that Votto could be an exception, given his almost unparalleled bat-to-ball skills and knowledge of the strike zone. At some point this year, Joey Votto didn’t want to strike out so much anymore. So he quit striking out so much. Everything else, he’s mostly maintained. You can’t say it’s mattered very much for the Reds, in the bigger picture, but at least Votto’s been able to have himself some fun.


Michael Fulmer as Rookie of the Year

I’ve spent more than 10 years as an online baseball writer with mild opinions. Now I’m about to have my first chance to act on those mild opinions, as I’ve been selected as a voter for the 2016 American League Rookie of the Year Award. If I had my druthers, I would’ve been selected as a voter for the 2015 American League Rookie of the Year Award, but I’ll take what I can get. Thinking about the awards feels different when you have an actual say, and so while I haven’t yet made up my mind, I figured it would make sense to put together a few FanGraphs posts so I can lay out how I’m thinking.

I’m not going to tell you how I’m going to vote. Not only is that explicitly prohibited — I don’t even know which way I’m leaning. I’m hoping to make a decision this week. But the race probably isn’t that much of a mystery. NL Cy Young voters can’t talk about their first-place pick, but they’re free to acknowledge that Noah Syndergaard has a stronger case than Alfredo Simon. And with the AL rookies, Michael Fulmer was the presumptive favorite before Gary Sanchez went insane. Fulmer is going to finish somewhere around the top. So, let’s talk about him, shall we?

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Matt Holliday’s Absence Not Inconsequential for St. Louis

We don’t talk much about Matt Holliday these days. It’s been awhile since he was one of the best players in baseball. Probably the last time you could have honestly made that claim was in 2014, when his 132 wRC+ was 28th-best in the game. However, with the news that Holliday has probably succumbed to his thumb injury for the rest of the season, I thought we would take a minute to talk about Holliday. Holliday can’t do most of the things he used to, but even after all this time can still hit.

Holliday has always had a special place in my heart because he got to Coors Field at the same time as I did. I started working for the Rockies in March of 2004, about a month before Holliday would make an unexpected major-league debut. He got the call when both Preston Wilson and Larry Walker came up lame in the first couple weeks of what would become (at the time) the bleakest moment in Rockies history. Technically, the team’s winning percentage had been worse in 1993, but in 1993 no one in the Rocky Mountain region had cared, because they had a major-league team for the first time.

That 2004 season was bad not just because of the team on the field, but because it was the year the team traded Larry Walker away — twice — getting far less in return the second time. The first time, when they tried to trade him to the Texas Rangers for Ian Kinsler, Walker had vetoed the deal. He was then sent to the Cardinals, which, in retrospect, was absolutely the right move for Walker, who would finally get to play in the World Series that fall. I’m pretty sure the Rockies would have rather had Kinsler than Chris Narveson, though. In any case, trading away Walker meant that any scant hopes the team would contend had totally and completely died. The “Todd (Helton) and the Toddlers” era had begun.

The most prominent “toddler” was Holliday. He would come along slowly, but he could always hit. As fate would have it, the season he put it all together coincided with Troy Tulowitzki‘s arrival and Todd Helton‘s final good season, and the three helped lead the Rockies to their first and still only World Series berth. Holliday slugged .607 that season, and if that seems like a ridiculous number, it is. Coors Field might still be a hitting haven, but no Rockies player has slugged .600 since.

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A Remarkable 30 Days in Queens

On August 19th, the Mets lost 8-1 to the Giants, dropping to 60-62 on the season. The loss, coupled with a depleted roster — that was just about to get more depleted, as they would place Steven Matz back on the disabled list three days later — pushed their playoff odds to a season-low 6.6%. Here’s what has happened over the last month, in graph form.

chart-41

That is simply a remarkable image; the visualization of a team saving a nearly-lost season in very short order. Since that loss to the Giants, the Mets have gone 20-7, and have now taken the lead for the top spot in the NL Wild Card race. The defending NL Champs are now very likely to be back in the postseason, 30 days after they were just about to write their own eulogy. Let’s take a look at how they got here.

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Eric Longenhagen Prospects Chat 9/19

2:02

Eric A Longenhagen: G’day everyone. We’re likely to have an annotated chat today as I tie up loose ends before heading to an instructional league double header this afternoon and then to Florida, apologies ahead of time.

2:02

Slamboni: Tyler O’Neill just finished a second consecutive great season. Is it unreasonable to expect he is a big spring away from the bigs? The Seattle OF is nothing to write home about..

2:04

Eric A Longenhagen: Don’t think that’s unreasonable. He’s answered every challenge thrown at him. I have no issues aggressively promoting players who have performed and O’Neill has. If he rakes in Fall League I’d absolutely let him run with the big leaguers next spring and see hot things go.

2:04

Sailor Jerry: Have you seen Ryon Healy this year? Do you think this sort of production is sustainable?

2:05

Eric A Longenhagen: I have. The power is definitely real, it’s approaching 7 raw power. I don’t think he’s going to make as much contact as he has thus far, though.

2:05

MetsFan: Who will be the first 2016 draft prospect to hit the majors?

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Injuries Are Attempting to Ruin Playoff Rotations

I don’t mean to stress out anybody whose teams are still fighting for a playoff spot, but the postseason is almost here. In less than two weeks fans of either the Mets, Giants, or Cardinals will be crushed as will fans of the majority of the (approximately) 82 teams vying for an American League Wild Card spot. When that time comes, the disappointed will be able to dry their tears while engaging in one of the great annual postseason traditions: overanalysis. For six months, we’ve been watching up to 15 games every night — a pace which lends itself nicely to broad, big-picture analysis more than football-esque gameday breakdowns. In the playoffs, however, that all changes and suddenly every game and series will be diced up and analyzed in every possible way, for better or worse.

One of the biggest ways this overanalysis creeps into our baseball consciousness is through an obsession over starting pitching. If you check a newspaper — I see you and I respect you, old-school newspaper folks — or open a game preview on the MLB.com At Bat app, the first thing you’ll find is that day’s starting-pitcher matchup. Is your team going to win on a given day? Better know who’s toeing the rubber to set your expectations correctly. Intellectually, we know that baseball is too unpredictable and complex to be effectively parsed down to a look at the day’s starters, but that won’t stop us. With that in mind, it’s been a rough stretch for a few playoff-bound teams who figure to see their starting rotations scrutinized under a high-power microscope over the next few weeks. I’m talking, of course, about Cleveland losing Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar to injury, the Mets losing Jacob deGrom, and the Nationals losing Stephen Strasburg.

The good news for each of those teams is that they all have at least one healthy ace-level pitcher remaining, but will that be enough when matching up against other ace-laden playoff rotations? Are any of them particularly well-suited to handle the loss? In preparation for overanalysis season, let’s take stock of what each of these injuries means to these teams and what their October rotations look like as things stand today.

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Dan Szymborski FanGraphs Chat – 9/19/16

12:15
Dan Szymborski: Sorry for the late start! My login was giving me issues.
12:15
Jeremy: What do you think of Noah Syndergaard’s chances for NL Cy Young?
12:15
Dan Szymborski: Probably not happening.
12:16
mtsw: One of the fastest-growing TV genres is “Slow TV.” Examples include a 7 hour video showing the view out the window of a train ride in Norway. Should baseball embrace the slower-paced, leisurely aspect of the game rather than chasing “The MTV generation demands constant stimulation” theory?
12:16
Dan Szymborski: Eh, I think fast tv still is more popular than slow tv!
12:16
Dan Szymborski: Not that I want MLB to do any crazy dumbass stuff

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Addison Reed Has Become Andrew Miller-Lite

Over the last calendar year, Andrew Miller has a 1.81 ERA and a 2.22 FIP. Those dominant numbers, combined with the compelling nature of Miller’s complete transformation, have rightfully earned him the reputation as perhaps baseball’s best active relief pitcher.

Over the last calendar year, Addison Reed has a 1.87 ERA and a 2.14 FIP. You might not have heard about it, but dating back 365 days, Reed’s been every bit as dominant as the guy who’s rightfully earned the reputation as perhaps baseball’s best active relief pitcher. And you might not have realized it, but Reed’s undergone a similarly compelling transformation that’s left him looking more and more like Miller than one might expect.

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NERD Game Scores for September 19, 2016

Devised originally in response to a challenge issued by sabermetric nobleman Rob Neyer, and expanded at the request of nobody, NERD scores represent an attempt to summarize in one number (and on a scale of 0-10) the likely aesthetic appeal or watchability, for the learned fan, of a player or team or game. Read more about the components of and formulae for NERD scores here.

***

Most Highly Rated Game
Boston at Baltimore | 19:05 ET
Porcello (201.2 IP, 91 xFIP-) vs. Bundy (99.2 IP, 108 xFIP-)
The AL East has been — and will remain for most of today, at least — the most tightly contested division in the majors. Here one finds two of the three principal characters in that race, Boston and Baltimore. In conclusion, this has been a brief, nearly unnecessary paragraph.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Baltimore Television.

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