Daily Notes: Batting Stats with Live and Yesterday Splits

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

1. Batting Stats with Live and Yesterday Splits
2. Today’s Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
3. Today’s Game Odds, Translated into Winning Percentages

Batting Stats with Live and Yesterday Splits
With the addition recently of both the Live and Yesterday splits to the site’s leaderboards, it’s possible now to get a sense of how players are performing in real time by certain advanced metrics in a way that wasn’t before.

What the author has found himself wondering, though, is how best to adjudge the day’s Champions of Hitting and Pitching using the metrics available at the site. As is the case even with larger samples, there are actually multiple ways of doing so — it’s a matter always, as Dave Cameron suggests, of the particular question one is attempting to answer.

Below are four metrics, all of which answer slightly different questions about a player’s single-game batting performance. I’ll looking at some pitching metrics tomorrow.

Weighted On-Base Average, or wOBA, is a record of a hitter’s batting production for the day scaled to on-base percentage. As such, it’s the best way to determine offensive output per plate appearance. That’s its strength. It’s less useful for reporting cumulative production, however. So, a batter with one home run in a single plate appearance will have a higher single-game wOBA than another hitter who’s hit three home runs in four plate appearances — even though we might say that the latter has been “more productive.”

Here are the single-game wOBA leaders from Wednesday:

Name Team PA wOBA
Chris Davis Orioles 4 1.407
Jed Lowrie Athletics 4 1.355
Rickie Weeks Brewers 4 1.086
Lucas Duda Mets 4 1.034
Vernon Wells Yankees 4 0.985

Where wOBA is a record of a hitter’s batting production per plate appearance, Weighted Runs Above Average (or, wRAA), presents a player’s cumulative offensive production for the day relative to league-average, where 0.0 is average and higher than 0.0 is better than average. In most cases, wRAA will give an accurate portrayal of the day’s best hitter, although hitters will benefit from added plate appearances from extra innings — like Gerardo Parra, for example, from yesterday’s 16-inning game between St. Louis and Arizona.

Here are the single-game wRAA leaders from Wednesday:

Name Team PA wRAA
Chris Davis Orioles 4 3.3
Jed Lowrie Athletics 4 3.1
Rickie Weeks Brewers 4 2.4
Gerardo Parra Diamondbacks 8 2.3
Lucas Duda Mets 4 2.2

In most cases, WAR will correlate pretty highly with wRAA (a win being worth about 10 runs above replacement). Because WAR takes into account a number of variables, however — fielding, park-adjustment, positional adjustment, etc. — it’s not really designed to be produced on a single-game basis.

Here’s what FanGraphs CEO David Appelman has to say with regard to single-game WAR:

Positional adjustments are more or less in there now for the current day, but I’d still consider WAR totals unofficial. They will most likely change a little overnight because of readjusting baselines, exact inning totals at positions, etc… Might be .1 WAR off at most.

So, it’s (a) probably close but also (b) unofficial, is what Appelman says.

With those caveats having been made, here are Wednesday’s single-game WAR leaders:

Name Team PA WAR
Chris Davis Orioles 4 0.4
Jed Lowrie Athletics 4 0.4
Rickie Weeks Brewers 4 0.3
Gerardo Parra Diamondbacks 8 0.3
Lucas Duda Mets 4 0.3

RE24 is a measure of expected runs added by a player relative to average using the 24 base/out states — which, that might sound confusing at first, but David Appelman provides this helpful example as illustration:

In game 4 of the 2007 World Series, the RE for the Red Sox to start the inning was .52. When Jacoby Ellsbury doubled off Aaron Cook in the very first at-bat in the game, the Red Sox were then expected to score 1.15 runs for the rest of the inning. The difference or RE24 was .63 runs. Ellsbury was credited +.63 runs and Aaron Cook credited with -.63 runs.

RE24, therefore, is a record of everything that resulted — in terms of actual run-scoring, or run-scoring “potential” — from a specific batter’s plate appearances. Because more than singles, doubles, etc., are considered, a player might post a high wOBA but lower RE24, relatively speaking. This was the case with Adam Dunn yesterday, for example, who recorded .933 wOBA and 1.9 wRAA, but only a 0.57 RE24 — because of a double play into which he grounded, and for which RE24 penalizes him more strongly than wOBA, which just regards it as a normal out.

Furthermore, RE24 is park-adjusted for the stadium in which each specific game is being played — so the run expectancy with no outs and the bases loaded is actually about 0.1 runs higher at Chicago’s US Cellular Field than Tampa Bay’s Tropicana Field.

Here are the single-game wRAA RE24 leaders from Wednesday:

Name Team PA RE24
Chris Davis Orioles 4 4.11
Jed Lowrie Athletics 4 3.59
Vernon Wells Yankees 4 2.77
Freddie Freeman Braves 4 2.56
Lucas Duda Mets 4 2.32

Today’s Notable Games (Including MLB.TV Free Game)
Baltimore at Tampa Bay | 15:10 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
Chris Davis has produced a higher WAR (0.5) in the first two games of the season than he posted cumulatively in 1,091 plate appearances (-1.1 WAR) between 2008 and -11. Miguel Gonzalez (106.0 IP, 4.53 ERA, 0.7 WAR projected line, per Steamer) faces Roberto Hernandez (95.0 IP, 3.86 ERA, 0.6 WAR).

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Tampa Bay Radio.

Seattle at Oakland | 15:35 ET
Seattle right-hander Brandon Maurer (50.0 IP, 4.67 ERA, 0.4 WAR projected line, per Steamer) makes his major-league debut this afternoon. Maurer was one of the best pitchers in spring training, according to a regressed form of kwERA — a positive sign for spring’s pitching leaders in 2012. He faces Oakland’s A.J. Griffin (127.0 IP, 4.04 ERA, 1.7 WAR).

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Oakland Radio.

Philadelphia at Atlanta | 19:10 ET
The starters for this game, Cliff Lee and Kris Medlen, posted a cumulative strikeout-to-walk ratio of 327:51 last season in 349.0 innings, or 6.4:1. The former featured baseball’s best two-seam fastball in 2012, according to pitch-type linear weights; the latter, baseball’s third-best changeup by that same measure.

Here’s an example of Medlen’s changeup from last year, against Carlos Gonzalez, from a piece by the present author regarding Medlen’s repertoire as a whole:

The author has written no such pieces about Cliff Lee. As such, the reader is invited to use his or her mind to produce a “mental GIF” of Lee that bears resemblance to the “actual GIF” embedded above of Kris Medlen.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Atlanta or Philadelphia Radio.

Today’s Game Odds, Translated into Winning Percentages
Here — for purposes entirely of entertainment and not for gambling, which is a Scourge of Propriety — are all of Tuesday’s games with moneyline odds (from relatively “sharp” sportsbook Pinnacle Sports) translated into projected winning percentages (and adjusted to account for the vigorish).

Games listed in Pacific Time for reasons that are unclear even to the author and presented in order, first, of National League and then American League and, finally, then interleague play.

Game Teams Starters Line Win%
9:35 AM Chicago Cubs Travis Wood 2.31 42.5%
PT Pittsburgh Pirates James McDonald 1.70 57.5%
10:10 AM San Diego Padres Eric Stults 2.30 42.6%
PT New York Mets Dillon Gee 1.71 57.4%
1:05 PM Miami Marlins Wade LeBlanc 3.28 29.9%
PT Washington Nationals Jordan Zimmermann 1.40 70.1%
4:10 PM Philadelphia Phillies Cliff Lee 2.22 44.2%
PT Atlanta Braves Kris Medlen 1.76 55.8%
10:10 AM Detroit Tigers Rick Porcello 1.72 57.0%
PT Minnesota Twins Mike Pelfrey 2.28 43.0%
11:10 AM Kansas City Royals Jeremy Guthrie 2.13 46.1%
PT Chicago White Sox Gavin Floyd 1.82 53.9%
12:10 PM Baltimore Orioles Miguel Gonzalez 2.16 45.4%
PT Tampa Bay Rays Roberto Hernandez 1.79 54.6%
12:35 PM Seattle Mariners Brandon Maurer 2.38 41.2%
PT Oakland Athletics A.J. Griffin 1.67 58.8%
4:05 PM Boston Red Sox Ryan Dempster 2.09 46.9%
PT New York Yankees Andy Pettitte 1.85 53.1%
4:05 PM Cleveland Indians Brett Myers 2.43 40.4%
PT Toronto Blue Jays Mark Buehrle 1.65 59.6%
9:35 AM LAA Angels Joe Blanton 2.11 46.5%
PT Cincinnati Reds Bronson Arroyo 1.83 53.5%

We hoped you liked reading Daily Notes: Batting Stats with Live and Yesterday Splits by Carson Cistulli!

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Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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the humber games
the humber games

Is anyone keeping track of the game odds vs. Actual results? Would be very interesting to see how that stacks up at the end of the season