Who Faced Tougher Pitching: Tulo or Longoria?

Earlier this week on Twitter, I was part of a discussion comparing Troy Tulowitzki and Evan Longoria, two of the best players in the game. I personally give Longoria a slight edge, but obviously Tulowitzki is great, too. If someone prefers him to Longoria, that is fine, and I could probably be talked in to it. What really spurs this particular post is the discussion we had about comparing their offense. Keeping in mind that this was a casual discussion rather than a deep evaluation of “true talent” involving all of the necessary regression and adjustments, someone noted that over the last three seasons (2009-2011) the two players have had virtually identical offensive value per plate appearance: Tulowitzki has a 137 wRC+, and Longoria has a 136 wRC+. I argued that Longoria’s performance was more impressive given that the American League has superior pitching relative to the National League.

However, Dave Cameron made an interesting point: the Rockies play in the National League West, where hitters seemingly face s larger proportion of stud pitchers — Dave mentioned Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Clayton Kershaw, and Mat Latos in this connection. He also pointed out that Longoria did not have to face the Rays’ own excellent pitching staff. So I decided to look at it more closely. The point is not to settle the Longoria versus Tulowitzki dispute. Rather, I am interested in whether individual hitters face (or do not face) particular pitchers enough that they require a “divisional” adjustment of some sort.

Let’s get a couple of things out of the way. First of all, I am not going to get into the overall American League versus National League dispute here. I realize that even seeing a birth certificate is not going to convince some people, so I will simply reference (again) MGL’s recent study and his more extensive 2006 study. If you want to complain about the assertion that the AL has better talent overall, please direct your complaints there or elsewhere. While the Senior Circuit has caught up and perhaps taken a slight lead in hitting talent (at least through 2011, who knows how this off-season might have changed things), the AL still had more talent overall because of a much greater lead in pitching.

Second, the best way to do this would be to take all the pitchers each hitter faced and get projections (or retro-jections) of the true talent in 2011, including all of the relevant adjustments for environment, and then compare. Well, I’m not doing a whole set of pitcher retro-jections and then matching them up per plate appearance with two hitters for one post. I am claiming that this is some super-duper rigorous study. I am simply going to look at the small group of “really good” pitchers as given by my Twitter interlocutors. There were other qualifications I could put in here, e.g., the problem of park factors and interleague comparison, but I’ve already gone on too long with prefatory remarks. Caveat lector.

Did Troy Tulowitzki face such a great proportion of NL West studs (as listed by Dave and others) such that he should get a special “adjustment” for difficulty level? For the sake of keeping things relatively simple, we will just look at 2011 matchups. (I just used MLB.com’s pages, which do not have PA listed separately, in a convenient way, so “plate appearance” should be understood as AB+BB for the purposes of this post. Yes, this probably led to an insignificant arithmetical error or two.) Tulowitzki had 596 plate appearances (AB+BB) in 2011: six versus Linceum, six versus Bumgarner, nine versus Cain, nine versus Kershaw, and 10 versus Latos. That is a total of 40, just under seven percent of his total plate appearances.

While that might be a slightly greater proportion of good pitching than hitters for other NL teams and divisions may have faced, given that 93 percent of his plate appearances came against the “rest” of the league (I know it gets complicated because of interleague, but let’s just stick with the basic premise for the sake of simplicity), I do not think that requires us to make NL West hitters like Tulo a special case. We do not take 40 plate appearances to be a significant sample for almost anything of which I am aware of off the top of my head.

How about if we expand this off-the-cuff selection of great pitchers to include the Diamondbacks’ Daniel Hudson and Ian Kennedy, as Paul Swydan suggested? (With all due respect to Paul and the great years and Hudson and Kennedy had, I am not sure who would put them on the same “true talent” level as Kershaw, Lincecum, or Cain, but let’s humor Paul. Dude’s gotta be exhausted from running all those “After Dark” chats.) That adds another 16 plate appearances to Tulo’s list of “stud” opponents. Again, without doing the math, I am pretty sure that those 16 plate appearances do not push things over into “cancel that league adjustment” territory, as the total is still under ten percent of Tulowitzki’s plate appearances.

What about Longoria not having to face the Rays’ staff? That’s a bit trickier, since we do not have the numbers for how many times Longoria would have faced individual Rays pitchers in an alternate universe. With a bit of digging, I found an AL East hitter who faced the Rays quite a bit: Dustin Pedroia. Now, I was not given a list of “official studs” on the Rays’ staff, but for 2011, I will count David Price and James Shields. Pedroia had 721 plate appearances (AB+BB) in 2011; 16 versus Price, 17 versus Shields. That comes to a total off 33, or less than 5 percent of Pedroia’s plate appearances.

Oh, I’ve forgotten one Tampa Stud: Pedroia also faced Matt Moore twice, pushing things all the way up to… 4.8 percent. Obviously, if I am no inclined to accept that Tulowitzki’s proportion of stud pitchers faced should change the way we thing of his “difficulty adjustment,” I am not going to be doing the same for Longoria based on an even smaller proportion of hypothetical plate appearances.

[Side note: Longoria faced CC Sabathia 16 times, more than Tulowitzki faced any one of the NL West pitchers listed above.]

The 2011 National League West (and the San Francisco Giants in particular) did feature a number of tremendous pitchers, and it is understandable that one would be tempted to judge the hitters in their division on a different grading curve. However, even taking both those pitchers that Tulowitzki faced (including Hudson and Kennedy) and that Longoria did not face together, we are talking about less than 80 plate appearances between two players versus more than 1000 PA versus of all the other pitchers they collectively faced during the season. If someone wants to do a more detailed and mathematically rigorous account of that proves otherwise, that would be both great. Until then, I do not think Tulowitzki and other NL West hitters get bonus points, or at least not a significant number of them.

Our current measures of opponent strength are imperfect and somewhat crude, and can probably be improved upon. I can understand the why Dave and others want to note that hitters in the 2011 NL West faced a great number of excellent starters. But as we have seen, a hitter like Tulowitzki faces a group of seven starters less than 60 or 70 times a season, and given all the other evidence about the league-wide skill level of the far greater proportion of hitters he faces, those league-wide evaluations likely come closer to the truth about the difficulty level faced by a individual hitters. In any case, Tulo is a great player, he doesn’t need the extra credit.



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Matt Klaassen reads and writes obituaries in the Greater Toronto Area. If you can't get enough of him, follow him on Twitter.


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adohaj
Guest
adohaj
4 years 3 months ago

I’d hazard to guess that any difference the difficulty of opposition on an individual player basis is utterly destroyed by the 162 game schedule. Differences in difficulty of opposition team wise seem to make sense still. Playing in the AL east is different than the AL central. Because the average talent level of all players is higher. Not because of 10 pitchers.

CSJ
Member
4 years 3 months ago

Baseball Prospectus has a quality of opponents faced stat. Looking at Opponent RPA+, which includes league quality, Longoria’s opponents are 101 and Tulowitzki’s are 94. That means other batters fared better against Longoria’s opponents than Tulowitzki’s. So Tulo had the better opponents.

AJS
Guest
AJS
4 years 3 months ago

Is that quality of team or quality of starting pitcher?

Anon
Guest
Anon
4 years 3 months ago

So Tulo faced pitchers that were ~7% better and still edged Longoria in wRC+.

RC
Guest
RC
4 years 3 months ago

“I’d hazard to guess that any difference the difficulty of opposition on an individual player basis is utterly destroyed by the 162 game schedule”

And I’d guess you’d be completely incorrect.

The last time I did the math, Pitchers saw as much as .150 OPS difference in the average hitter they faced (IE, the average guy that Pitcher A faced was a .850, while the average guy Pitcher B faced was .700)

This article is really kind of sad, because its not that tough to pull the correct stats and do it, but instead the author half-assed it.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/batter_vs_pitcher.cgi?batter=tulowtr01#gotresults&batter=tulowtr01&min_year_game=2008&max_year_game=2011&post=1&opp_id=&throws=any&opponent_status=&c1criteria=&c1gtlt=eq&c1val=0&c2criteria=&c2gtlt=eq&c2val=0&orderby=PA&orderby_dir=desc&orderby_second=Name&orderby_dir_second=asc&ajax=1&submitter=1

Take that, look at each pitcher’s FIP/Sierra/ERA/whatever, and come up with an AveragePitcherHeFaced, then do the adjustment.

Gobstopper
Guest
Gobstopper
4 years 3 months ago

Great link and great point.
Look at Tulo’s destruction of Matt Cain..

dday0606
Member
dday0606
4 years 3 months ago

I really like this thought experiment and I agree that in this case the effect seems to be minimal. However, this has led me to another question.

I havent done any real statistical research, but doesn’t it seem like the NL central became a much easier division to pitch in this year? You lost Pujols, Fielder, and Pena. Bourn and Pence are now gone for a full season. Braun may be lost for 50 games.

Are any of the lineups better on paper than last year?

*The cardinals did add Beltran, but I also would expect some regression from Berkman, so I call this a wash.

joeiq
Guest
joeiq
4 years 3 months ago

I am a big fan of yours Klassen, but your point is not obvious.

It appears you spend a lot of time talking about things you say aren’t the true point of the article.

steex
Member
steex
4 years 3 months ago

Agreed. I have no idea why Pedroia is mentioned at all when the Rays pitching staff has nothing to do with the point. Once you looked at Tulo vs. NL West aces he faced, the natural counterpoint is Longoria vs. AL East aces he faced. Instead, we get the Tulo info, and then a bizarre attempt to see the theoretical impact on Longoria’s numbers that might have occurred from facing his own team through the proxy of a player on a different team.

GTW
Member
GTW
4 years 3 months ago

If you’re comparing Tulo vs Longo over the past 3 seasons, why not compare the number of “really good” opposing pitchers from the past 3 seasons instead of 2011 alone? Did the NL West have as many “stud” pitchers in ’09 and ’10 as last year?

And you forgot the adjustment needed for the Orioles “really bad” pitching staff.

Ronin
Guest
Ronin
4 years 3 months ago

So what you are saying is that when we look at RC+ we need to adjust American League hitters up by about 5pts to adjust for the difference in leagues?

jeff_bonds
Guest
jeff_bonds
4 years 3 months ago

Why is Klassen debunking a non-existent myth? I honestly have never seen anyone talk about the superior pitching of the NL West or the need to adjust for the difficulty of playing in the NL West. If anything, if an NL West pitcher does well, it’s because of the poor hitting and pitcher friendly parks in NL West, and if an NL West batter does well, it’s because of the poor pitching and the hitter friendly parks.

quincy0191
Member
quincy0191
4 years 3 months ago

Completely agree. The NL West is a terrible division – never mind that at least one NL West team made the NLCS four straight years from 2007-2010, including four of the five teams in that period. Or that it’s had all five teams win 90 or more games in the last three seasons. Or that the NL West consistently has the second or third highest win% in MLB. Or that it’s full of young All-Stars. Fangraphs got it totally right when they had it as the only division without a team in the top 10 organizations and three in the bottom 10.

Devil's Advocate
Guest
Devil's Advocate
4 years 3 months ago

Tulo has played in a division with a team that has made the WS 3 of the past 5 years, been in the ALCS 4 of the past 5 years, has has the AL WC each of the past 5 years, and has had at least 2 90+ win teams each of the past 5 years.

So yeah, in general I think the NL West gets a bad rap, but for the sake of the Tulo vs Longo argument, the divisional adjustment is not in Tulo’s favor.

Phrozen
Guest
Phrozen
4 years 3 months ago

You mean Longoria. Tulowitzki is in the NL.

David C.
Guest
David C.
4 years 3 months ago

Hense the reason, the NL West has had 3 different division winners the last 3 seasons. It’s a complete toss up in the NL West, compared to any other division.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
4 years 3 months ago

You can’t seriously be making the argument that the only reason that guys like Lincecun, Cain, Kershaw, and Latos are considered excellent pitchers is because they have pitched in the NL West. There are legitimate arguments to be made here but the notion that these guys are great pitchers because “of the poor hitting and pitcher friendly parks of the NL West” is absurd on its face.

Oasis
Guest
Oasis
4 years 3 months ago

Lol

Are all AL fanboys this stupid???? Coors Field & Bank One Ballpark are pitchers parks now?

That’s almost as stupid as saying the AL has superior pitching …..

padsforme
Guest
padsforme
4 years 3 months ago

it’s seems to me that not only do the pitchers that each one of this hitters face must be calculated, but also the stadiums in which they play. The NL west has some of the toughest park to hit like: Petco, Chavez R. and SF. with the other two being more of a hitters park but nothing compare to what the AL East team play in they tend to be much more friendly to hitters.

RC
Guest
RC
4 years 3 months ago

Thats probably already factored into the pitchers that pitch half their games in those parks.

if you want to give Tulo credit for hitting in shitty hitting parks, you also need to penalize Cain/Lincecum/etc for pitching in them.

Max
Guest
Max
4 years 3 months ago

Clap. Clap.

ClapClapCLAP.

ClapClapClapCLAP.

Jake
Guest
Jake
4 years 3 months ago

TULO!

Anthony
Guest
Anthony
4 years 3 months ago

There were 24 pitchers in 2011 who posted a WAR of 4+

NL West (non Rockies):

Clayton Kershaw – 6.8
Madison Bumgarner – 5.5
Matt Cain – 5.2
Ian Kennedy – 5.0
Daniel Hudson – 4.9
Tim Lincecum – 4.4

AL East (non Rays):

CC Sabathia – 7.1
Josh Beckett – 4.3

They are split though 11 in each the AL and NL (taking out Shields and Price from the Rays)

RC
Guest
RC
4 years 3 months ago

WAR doesn’t do any sort of adjustment for quality of hitters faced.

IE, its a lot tougher to have a high WAR when you face better hitters, and like I said above, it doesn’t balance out over 162 games.

LeftBrainSwag
Guest
LeftBrainSwag
4 years 3 months ago

Positional scarcity > who faced better pitchers

mmmm...typos
Guest
mmmm...typos
4 years 3 months ago
mmmm...typos
Guest
mmmm...typos
4 years 3 months ago

I’ll try that again:
“I am claiming that this is some super-duper rigorous study”

pft
Guest
pft
4 years 3 months ago

Tulowitzki also faces these stud pitchers at Coors in 1/2 his games. The lower pressure adversely affects pitchers stuff as balls do not break or move as much.

Also, some of these so called stud pitchers are studs because they pitch in the NL West. Bring them to the AL East and see those ERA’s soar.

puffy
Guest
puffy
4 years 3 months ago

This. Stud pitchers in the NL West are not necessarily stud pitchers in the AL East. Not even close.

Mhad
Guest
Mhad
4 years 3 months ago

Do you really think that Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Clayton Kershaw, and Mat Latos are only successful because of an inferior division?

I think if you are going to claim that their ERAs will soar moving to the AL East, you are claiming something contrary to readily available data and should probably provide some evidence.

RC
Guest
RC
4 years 3 months ago

I think that all of those pitchers would have higher FIP/ERAs if they were playing in the smaller parks in the ALEast, not facing other pitchers, and facing better hitters.

Is Lincecum going to suck? No. Is he going to continue rocking a sub 3 career ERA? Hell no.

Park factors matter. Facing pitchers matters. Quality of opposing hitters matter.

quincy0191
Member
quincy0191
4 years 3 months ago

To sum up:

Point 1: Coors Field inflates offense. Therefore Troy Tulowitzki’s accomplishments ought to be taken with a grain of salt.

Point 2: The NL West is full of terrible hitters. Therefore the pitchers’ accomplishments ought to be taken with a grain of salt.

Do you see how you’re simultaneously arguing that both the hitters and pitchers have relative advantages? And do you not think that getting to hit in Fenway, Rogers, Camden Yards, and New Yankee Stadium is helping hitters? Offenses are certainly stronger in the AL East, but the pitching is undoubtedly better in the NL West.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy
4 years 3 months ago

That’s not even factoring their home parks, which would make the biggest difference in my opinion.

Tulo hit 17 HR, 60 RBI, .310/.381/.567 at home and 13 HR, 45 RBI, .292/.362/.519 on the road.

Last season Evan hit 14 HR, 41 RBI, .235/.350/.462 at home and 17 HR, 58 RBI, .253/.361/.527 on the road.

As you can see, Troy benefits from being in an extremely hitter friendly park, while Evan suffers from being in an extremely pitcher friendly park. That, to me, is the deciding factor.

Andrew T. Fisher
Guest
4 years 3 months ago

I think you’re missing the point here. The reason these two are compared is because their wRC+ is nearly identical, and wRC+ is already park adjusted. That variable is already taken into account.

Anon
Guest
Anon
4 years 3 months ago

As you can see, Troy benefits from being in an extremely hitter friendly park, while Evan suffers from being in an extremely pitcher friendly park. That, to me, is the deciding factor.

This is poor logic. Splits don’t just reflect on the home park. Tulo plays a lot of games at SD, LA, and SF (all pitcher friendly). Longoria plays at BOS, NY, and against the pitchers at BAL (all favorable to hitters).

Side note: Texas is extremely hitter friendly, but having Seattle and Oakland as common road destinations makes it look even more lopsided.

BlackOps
Guest
BlackOps
4 years 3 months ago

Even then, the road OPS’s are nearly identical.

Sandy Kazmir
Member
Sandy Kazmir
4 years 3 months ago

I haven’t reviewed the comments of others so I apologize if this has been covered, but I pulled up all pitchers faced by both guys in B-Ref’s Play Index. I then used a vLOOKUP to a Fangraphs drawn list of all pitcher’s cumulative lines versus right-handed batters from 2007 – 11. I regressed their FIP by a 1,000 batters faced at a level of 4.00 to smooth out for smaller samples. These numbers are completely from the hip.

I get that the pitchers that Longo faced had a 4.02 regressed FIP versus right-handed batters while the pitchers that Tulo faced had a 3.95 regressed FIP versus right handed batters. It’s close, but I’d say Tulo faced slightly better pitchers as Mr. Cameron proposed.

Sandy Kazmir
Member
Sandy Kazmir
4 years 3 months ago

That’s all batters faced in 2011 if that was unclear.

jeff_bonds
Guest
jeff_bonds
4 years 3 months ago

But…but… AL East!

Sandy Kazmir
Member
Sandy Kazmir
4 years 3 months ago

@jeff_bonds

This is something that I actually quantified for 2010:
http://dockoftherays.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/attempting-to-quantify-the-al-east-effect-2010-edition/

“The average American League player saw a 2.2% increase to his wOBA when playing a team from the American League East.” You can do this across all categories, eventually getting to the point that you would expect the average team to score 6.4% more runs than usual when playing a team from the ALE. “”

Of course this doesn’t adjust for park effects which could be a reason for the higher offensive environment.

Sandy Kazmir
Member
Sandy Kazmir
4 years 3 months ago

And I see your point about pitchers facing pitchers. Perhaps that makes up the .07 difference in FIP. Maybe that means Longo faced the tougher guys. Depends how much you think the “pitchers v. pitchers” affect matters. I think ultimately it shows just how close these two guys are and I’d still give the nod to Tulo for not only playing the more difficult position, but playing it well. And I’m a huge Longo fan.

Psst
Guest
Psst
4 years 3 months ago

As a Rays fan you should have a little shrine to Ian Stewart who if the Rockies hadn’t had coming off a #16 BA ranking in 07 would have almost certainly had a Longo/Tulo IF.

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
4 years 3 months ago

About 40 years ago, I was one of a group of computer/engineering Geeks whose (sarcastic) slogan was, “If you can’t have accuracy, have precision.” (Think about it.)
Matt has definitely made his point. I would have stated it differently, “The difference between Tulo’s and Longoria’s batting is so small that it can’t be measured accurately. Such factors as which pitchers they’ve faced might improve the precision, but not the accuracy.”

JoeC
Guest
JoeC
4 years 3 months ago

NL hitters better than AL hitters? Not with Prince and Pujols transferring to the AL this year. That’s a huge swing when you have two of the ten best hitters transferring leagues.

pft
Guest
pft
4 years 3 months ago

If you look at the good young hitters coming up over the last 3 years, most of them are in the NL.

CircleChange11
Guest
4 years 3 months ago

If only there was a way of looking up pitchers that moved from the NLW to the ALE over say the last 3 years and note any change in performance? And vice versa. We could also do the same for NL to AL and AL to NL. Or even take all of the individual pitchers that faced Tulo and averaged their performance and then did the same with Longo, and combined the results into a quantified conclusion.

Maybe someday there will be large databases, fast computers, and some type of advanced metrics and processes (maybe call it something like swordmatrix or something) that would allow us some detailed analysis. A man can dream.

Psst
Guest
Psst
4 years 3 months ago

This idea contains massive selection bias as the pitchers most likely to be allowed to leave would be the lesser pitchers

MGL
Guest
4 years 3 months ago

While it may or may not be that one or the other batter faced a tougher set of pitchers (the AL in 2011 had MUCH tougher pitchers on the average, than the NL, so it is very likely that Longo faced tougher pitchers), that is already included in wRC+, since wRC+ is a league relative stat!

I am afraid that Matt and everyone else (what is this, mass hysteria?) is barking up the completely wrong tree! If two players have the same wRC+ (or any other league-relative stat), the way to tell which one is actually a better hitter is to compare the level of offense between the two leagues, not the level of pitching!

Let’s say that we take out all the batters in the AL and substitute them with all the kids in your local Little League. Now let’s say that Johnny has a wRC+ in our new AL (with MLB pitchers and Little League hitters) of 136 or 137 (albeit with a likely wOBA of .013 or something like that), the same as Tulo in the NL. If we want to see who is the better hitter, do we compare the pitching in the NL and AL? Of course not! If we did, and we found out that they were around the same, would we conclude that Tulo and Johnny were around the same caliber hitter? Obviously not!

So how do we know who is the better hitter? Compare the hitting in both leagues! Once we see that MLB hitters in the NL are better than the Little League hitters in the AL, then we know that Tulo is indeed better than Johnny.

The relative strength of the pitching is irrelevant, as we can verify by doing a similar thought experiment, where we replace the AL pitchers with Little League pitchers and leave the AL hitters alone. Now, Longo will still have a wRC+ of around 136, even though he is facing Little League pitchers, since the rest of the MLB hitters in the AL are facing the same pitchers. Obviously his wOBA will be like 1.00, but the average batter will be like .750. So, if we compare pitching and find out that Longo faced Little League pitchers to get his 136 and Tulo faced MLB quality pitchers to get his 136, do we conclude that Tulo is 100 (or whatever) times better than Longo? No. The relative quality of the pitching is irrelevant!

Sandy Kazmir
Member
Sandy Kazmir
4 years 3 months ago

You could have just said Baltimore Orioles instead of taking the time to type out “Little League Pitchers.”

MGL
Guest
4 years 3 months ago

“NL hitters better than AL hitters? Not with Prince and Pujols transferring to the AL this year. That’s a huge swing when you have two of the ten best hitters transferring leagues.”

Maybe and maybe not. I computed, based on IL play, that the NL was .008 runs better per game than the AL in hitting.

Fielder and Pujold combined are around 80 runs per 150 games better than average. So the NL will lose 80 runs, or .06 rpg and the AL will gain .07 rpg, so the net change is .13. Indeed, this should shift the balance of power in hitting to the AL to the tune of around .05 rpg, assuming nothing else changes…

MGL
Guest
4 years 3 months ago

Sorry, that should be a .122 edge for the AL and not .05…

Antonio Bananas
Guest
Antonio Bananas
4 years 3 months ago

baseball is an extremely streaky sport. So even if I kill a pitcher in 2 games in April and May, and someone else got shut down in 2 games in August and September, that doesn’t mean I’m necessarily better. If the pitcher was cold when I killed him, but hot when the other guy came up with goose eggs, that would explain a lot. So maybe we should find a way to adjust for hot/coldness.

Baltar
Guest
Baltar
4 years 3 months ago

I have to disagree with your comment, Antonio.
First, I have never seen any evidence, even anecdotal, that baseball is more “streaky” than any other sport.
Second, perceived streaks are largely, if not entirely, a result of normal statistical variation, like flipping heads 10 times in a row.
(Due to its sheer number of games played being higher than other sports, more perceived streaks may occur.)
Third, even if your premises were correct, the adjustment you call for would be trivial.

Antonio Bananas
Guest
Antonio Bananas
4 years 3 months ago

Isn’t there statistical evidence that pitcher’s “stuff” isn’t as good early in the year? It’s not even necessarily streakiness, but if it’s 65 degrees for a night game in the Bronx in April vs a 90 degree game in Kansas City in June and CC Sabathia gets hit hard in April and dominates in June, assuming everything else is adjusted for already, wouldn’t you have to say that the weather had an effect? I know there’s a study on this somewhere.

So my point is, if you get lucky and face good pitchers earlier in the year and face mediocre pitchers during the warm months, that should be some sort of advantage even if it’s justa small one. If you REALLY want to split hairs, we can look at wind too. If the wind is blowing out, and you sneak one over a short left or right field fence, you got lucky.

If we’re going to get anal about adjusting for competition and variables, we can’t half ass it.

Psst
Guest
Psst
4 years 3 months ago

AB only if you can prove that it doesn’t also effect hitters equally

brown
Guest
brown
4 years 3 months ago

@Baltar

You are aware that nothing is “a result of normal statistical variation”, right?

The stats measure what happened. They enable a considerably more refined conclusions, projections, comparisons and the like. But there is absolutely nothing causal there. No one has ever struck out because it was improbable that they wouldn’t. More likely had to do with the filth off the plate (or whatever). Statistical variation causes nothing. It measures.

Except, perhaps, faulty conclusions.

merizobeach
Guest
merizobeach
4 years 3 months ago

Why is that, among all pitchers Tulo has faced more than ten times over the past three seasons, he has his lowest BA (.074) and OPS (.292) against Barry Zito?!

Psst
Guest
Psst
4 years 3 months ago

soft tossing lefty did you notice how Ted Lilly has done?

kick me in the GO NATS
Guest
kick me in the GO NATS
4 years 3 months ago

I am so sick of hearing that the AL east is somehow tougher than other divisions. That is a huge pile of Dung perpetuated by people who root for AL east teams. Because of pinch hitting, pitchers who can’t hit well average less than 2 plate appearances per game in the NL. They have a much lower leverage index than regular batters in other words they rarely bat in key scoring situations or with runners on base). Plus, since they are asked to bunt frequently their ISO and BA are negatively affected which makes them appear even worse than they are in fact. Moreover the other PA against the pitchers are nearly always lefty on righty or righty on lefty which makes those at bats likely tougher than average for most pitchers.

kick me in the GO NATS
Guest
kick me in the GO NATS
4 years 3 months ago

If your try to bunt and fail you get a PA and an out. If you try to bunt fail but are not out yet you will be down several strikes and have poor odds to get a hit. If you succeed you get a sac. If your really fortunate you force and error (out) or a single. in other words, trying to bunt hurts your BA and OB% unless you are really fast and can beat out singles as often as you fail to bunt. Bunting always hurts your ISO. In other words, pitchers true talent as hitters is likely higher than the stats show them to be

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