Archive for March, 2014

FanGraphs 2014 Crowd Predictions: National League

On Friday, managing editor Dave Cameron published the various (and probably wrong) FanGraphs staff predictions for the American League and National League — shortly after which the present author provided the readership their own opportunity to make embarrassing predictions.

Below are the results of that same exercise for the National League. The results for the American League, published earlier this afternoon, are available here. Note that, owing to rounding error, percentages might add up to slightly more or less than 100%.

Division Winners

West: L.A. (89%), San Fran. (6%), Arizona (3%), San Diego (2%), Colorado (1%)
Central: St. Louis (87%), Pitt. (8%), Cinn. (5%), Milwaukee (1%), Chicago (0%)
East: Washington (82%), Atlanta (17%), Miami (1%), Phil. (1%), New York (0%)

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FanGraphs 2014 Crowd Predictions: American League

On Friday, managing editor Dave Cameron published the various (and probably wrong) FanGraphs staff predictions for the American League and National League — shortly after which the present author provided the readership their own opportunity to make embarrassing predictions.

Below are the results of that same exercise for the American League. The National League will follow later this afternoon. Note that, owing to rounding error, percentages might add up to slightly more or less than 100%.

Division Winners

West: Oakland (49%), Anaheim (29%), Texas (18%), Seattle (4%), Houston (0%)
Central: Detroit (83%), Kansas City (10%), Cleve. (7%), Chicago (1%), Minn. (0%)
East: Tampa Bay (47%), Boston (37%), New York (8%), Toronto (4%), Balt. (3%)

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How The Angels Can Compete In A Tight AL West

If there’s one thing I like here at FanGraphs — well, there are many things, but this is just one of those things — it’s our Depth Charts, which are fueled by manual inputs of playing time (the NL West is my beat, so you know who to yell at if you’d like to argue about, say, Marco Scutaro’s projections) and get funneled as part of the input into our projected standings. And if you look at the projected standings, they’re more or less what you’d expect. The Dodgers are expected to be the best team, the Astros the worst. The Dodgers, Nationals and Cardinals are projected to win the three NL divisions. The Red Sox and Tigers look to win the most games in the American League. This all makes sense, even if that’s all but certainly not how it will really play out. Maybe that’s not exciting, but projections aren’t supposed to be exciting. It’d be a lot more interesting if the Twins were projected to win the AL Central and then face the Marlins in the World Series. It’d also be proof of a projection system that wasn’t worth looking at.

Like with any projection system, you can quibble around the edges, but in five of the six divisions there are clear leaders, ranging from projected leads of two games (Red Sox over Rays) to seven (Nationals over Braves, because like every media site, we are biased against the Braves).

Then there’s the American League WestRead the rest of this entry »


Five Things I Believe About the 2014 Season

The Major League season is, I guess, already three games old, but for basically everyone who isn’t the Dodgers, today is still the real Opening Day. We have a nearly full slate of games on the docket, and we’ll be live blogging throughout the day here on the site. But before we get to the actual games, let’s run through a few more preview-ish things I believe about the 2014 that you might not infer from my picks in the Staff Predictions (NL, AL) posts from Friday.

1. I believe that the Cubs might be better than we think.

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How Yasmani Grandal Stole Third Base

In the first 2014 regular-season baseball game played in the Northern Hemisphere, the Padres hosted the Dodgers. A 1-0 game became a 1-1 game late, and then Yasmani Grandal got on and stole third base. Moments later he scored the go-ahead run, and the Padres held on to win 3-1. That steal happened to be the first of Grandal’s major-league career. It also happened to be the first of Grandal’s professional career. Grandal is a slow-moving catcher and he’s coming off knee surgery. You’re right to identify this as an unlikely turn of events. It was also, in part, the consequence of an unlikely turn of events.

Not long ago I wrote a few posts about the challenge of bunting. Bunting, see, has the reputation of being something absurdly easy to do, but it’s really quite hard, even if certain position players don’t do it enough. Sunday night’s attempted bunting was a mixed bag. There were seven attempts overall. There were two successful sacrifices. There was one blown sacrifice, where the lead runner was thrown out. Two bunts went foul. Another bunt went foul into a glove on the fly. One attempted bunt was missed completely. That missed bunt, by the Padres, was instrumental in the Padres earning the win.

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Effectively Wild Episode 417: Baseball Banter for Opening Day

Ben and Sam cover a range of topics, including Mike Trout, Hanley Ramirez, and who’s hitting cleanup for the Marlins.


FanGraphs Audio: Dave Cameron Previews All Baseball

Episode 437
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 provides something not unlike a preview of the 2014 season.

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 55 min play time.)

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Sunday Notes: Rangers, Dodgers, A’s, Tigers, Growing Up Baseball

Seth Rosin is a Texas Ranger. At least for now. The 25-year-old right-hander learned yesterday he’ll be on the opening-day roster, but as a Rule 5 pick he will have to be offered back to the Phillies if he doesn’t remain with the big-league team all season.

Rosin‘s suitcase has been kept busy. Originally drafted by the Giants in 2010, he was traded to the Phiilies two years later. The Mets took him in last December’s Rule 5 and proceeded to sell him to the Dodgers. Rosin pitched well in spring training, but with no room in a loaded LA bullpen, they cut him loose. The Rangers picked him up on Wednesday.

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FanGraphs Audio: Nathaniel Stoltz, Live from Winston-Salem

Episode 436
Nathaniel Stoltz is a very thoughtful prospect writer for FanGraphs and RotoGraphs. He’s also the guest on this edition of the podcast, recorded live on tape from Dave Cameron’s house in Winston-Salem, NC.

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 49 min play time.)

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The Best of FanGraphs: March 24-28, 2014

Each week, we publish a lot of content here in the FanGraphs family. Between the main blog, RotoGraphs, NotGraphs, The Hardball Times and the Community blog, we publish well over 100 posts each week. It can be hard to sift through all that content, even for us! So, we’re here to help. Starting today, we’re going to put up this Best of FanGraphs post every Saturday, to help you catch up on all the great content you didn’t get a chance to read in the past week. Or, if you did, this post will serve as a reminder to go back to the comments and explain to us just how wrong we are. Either way, this should be a good cap to the week, and then David Laurila will ease us into the next week with his Sunday Notes feature on … you guessed it, Sunday.

We’ll pull from the whole FanGraphs family, picking 10-15 stories that we feel you really should read before the week draws to a close. The links are color coded — green for FanGraphs, burnt sienna for RotoGraphs, purple for NotGraphs, dark red for The Hardball Times and blue for Community. They are listed in this order as well in each day, just for the sake of consistency. We hope you like this catch-up post. And if you don’t, or have suggestions on how we can make it better, let us know down below. Enjoy!

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