Archive for September, 2013

Game 163 Live Blog

7:59
Dave Cameron: It’s Game 163! These are great. This should be fun.

8:00
Dave Cameron: If you haven’t been in a live blog here before, these are a little different than our regular chats. We won’t do as much Q&A, and this will be more of us reacting to the game as we watch it, interspersing your comments and questions when we can.

8:01
Dave Cameron: \’

8:02
Dave Cameron: Also, this is my first live blog during the puppy ownership era, so if there are sudden bouts of random letters appearing, my apologies in advance. She’s excited about snuggling with me though.

8:02
Comment From Bango
Jeff late as usual

8:02
Comment From Tom
I don’t have TBS! WTF do I do?! Postseason.tv? Dave you mentioned you were in the same boat…how are you watching tonight?

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A First Last Word on Strengths of Schedules

In just a short while, the Rangers and Rays will begin determining the American League’s second wild card. In a less short while, the second wild card will have been determined. One of these teams is going to live to play the Indians, while the other will not live, which I guess means it dies. It will subsequently be revived, in time for offseason roster maneuvering. One-game wild-card playoffs were introduced last year as a means of increasing excitement. Because of those wild-card playoffs, this particular one-game playoff feels a little less dramatic, but even so, a lot is resting on 9+ innings. Whole seasons, and their fates.

So why is this game being played? Because, of course, the Rangers and Rays finished with identical 91-71 records. It’s not the sort of tie you break by looking at head-to-head record. This has to be sorted out on the field, and as luck would have it, Monday was otherwise a scheduled off day. There’s no arguing that the Rangers and Rays have achieved an identical number of wins. There’s something to be said, though, about their respective paths.

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FanGraphs Audio: Dave Cameron Analyzes All Play-In Games

Episode 383
Dave Cameron is both (a) the managing editor of FanGraphs and (b) the guest on this particular edition of FanGraphs Audio — during which edition he discusses the play-in game for the play-in game for the play-in game for the play-in game for the play-in game.

Don’t hesitate to direct pod-related correspondence to @cistulli on Twitter.

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or other feeder things.

Audio after the jump. (Approximately 36 min play time.)

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Analyzing the Umpires: Play-In Games Edition

Here is a quick look at the called strike zone and strikeout and walk rates for the three home plate umpires over the next three nights.

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Contract Crowdsourcing 2013-14: Carlos Ruiz

Free agency begins five days after the end of the World Series. As in other recent offseasons, FanGraphs is once again facilitating this offseason a contract-crowdsourcing project, the idea being to harness the wisdom of the crowds to the end of better understanding the 2013-14 free-agent market.

Note that, this year, in addition to asking readers to estimate the years/dollars each free agent is likely to receive, FanGraphs is also requesting that readers make note of how much they’d pay each free agent were they, themselves, actual GMs.

In this edition: Carlos Ruiz.

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David Price Against the Rangers

Today marks, basically, the beginning of the postseason, as it’s now that good teams begin being eliminated. There are fewer games each day than before, with every game being more and more important, and there will be a corresponding level of daily analysis. People are going to try to find keys to individual baseball games, because this is how it’s always been, and it’s with that in mind that I’d like to issue you a quick reminder. Last year, MLB debuted the one-game wild-card playoffs. People tried to analyze Orioles vs. Rangers. They tried to analyze Cardinals vs. Braves. In the former game, Joe Saunders bested Yu Darvish. In the latter, the hosts were undone in large part due to errors by Chipper Jones, Dan Uggla, and Andrelton Simmons. The point of the lead-up is to try to know; the magic of the game is that there is no knowing. This is forever going to be the truth.

But it’s still fun to try, to pretend like we could figure things out, and tonight the Rangers host the Rays as the teams battle in a one-game playoff for the right to make another one-game playoff. The starters are going to be Martin Perez and David Price, and there’s something about Price people have honed in on. Price, see, has an ugly history against Texas, and this information is presented to make people think he could struggle again in another big game.

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Accomplishments of 2013

Sure, Game 163 is looming, and it counts as part of the regular season, but aside from some tweaks, the numbers are pretty much in for the 2013 season. We are close enough for at least some simple retrospectives on certain numerical accomplishments from the almost finished season. Some of the metrics involved are more meaningful or useful than others, but this post will not focus on analysis. As long as one does not confuse the listing of some metric below with an endorsement — or a criticism, for that matter — of its value, it is fine to simply take pleasure these accomplishments..

Some of these achievements have more historical resonance than others (and to a certain extent that is in the eye of the beholder). This is not presented as an exhaustive list, either. To begin, though, we do have two all-time marks set by relief pitchers this season.

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Contract Crowdsourcing 2013-14: A.J. Pierzynski

Free agency begins five days after the end of the World Series. As in other recent offseasons, FanGraphs is once again facilitating this offseason a contract-crowdsourcing project, the idea being to harness the wisdom of the crowds to the end of better understanding the 2013-14 free-agent market.

Note that, this year, in addition to asking readers to estimate the years/dollars each free agent is likely to receive, FanGraphs is also requesting that readers make note of how much they’d pay each free agent were they, themselves, actual GMs.

In this edition: A.J. Pierzynski.

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The Value of Hunter Pence

Over the weekend, the Giants made the first big signing of the off-season, even though it wasn’t technically the off-season yet. Rather than let Hunter Pence get to free agency and potentially start a bidding war for his services, the Giants chose to sign him to a five year, $90 million contract before he got to test the market. I did a very short post in the aftermath of the deal, noting that Pence has pretty similar numbers over the last three years to what Nick Swisher did in his run up to free agency, but that the price to sign the two was pretty different. However, no decision on contract pricing is ever that simple, so let’s take a closer look at what the Giants are paying for in Hunter Pence.

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Contract Crowdsourcing 2013-14: Brian McCann

Free agency begins five days after the end of the World Series. As in other recent offseasons, FanGraphs is once again facilitating this offseason a contract-crowdsourcing project, the idea being to harness the wisdom of the crowds to the end of better understanding the 2013-14 free-agent market.

Note that, this year, in addition to asking readers to estimate the years/dollars each free agent is likely to receive, FanGraphs is also requesting that readers make note of how much they’d pay each free agent were they, themselves, actual GMs.

In this edition: Brian McCann.

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