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FanGraphs Live! Friday: MLB The Show, Indians at White Sox, 2 PM ET

In this week’s MLB The Show 20 stream, featuring Paul Sporer and Dan Szymborski, the Cleveland Indians head to Chicago to kick off a three-game series against the first-place White Sox.

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FanGraphs Live! Friday: MLB the Show, Dodgers at Braves, 2 PM ET

In this week’s MLB The Show 20 stream, featuring Paul Sporer, Ben Clemens, and Dan Szymborski, the Los Angeles Dodgers head to Atlanta in a battle of first-place teams.

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FanGraphs Live! Friday: MLB The Show, Tigers at Diamondbacks, 2 PM ET

In this week’s MLB The Show 20 stream, featuring Paul Sporer, Ben Clemens, and Dan Szymborski, Casey Mize gets his first major league start against the Arizona Diamondbacks, live from Digital Chase Field.

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FanGraphs Live! Friday: MLB The Show, White Sox at Twins, 2 PM ET

In this week’s MLB The Show 20 stream, featuring Ben Clemens and Dan Szymborski, the White Sox head to Minnesota to square off against the Twins in a battle for first place in the AL Central.

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FanGraphs Live! Friday: MLB the Show, Cubs at Padres, 2 PM ET

In this week’s MLB The Show 20 stream, featuring Paul Sporer, Ben Clemens, and Dan Szymborski, the Cubs and Padres head to the Polo Grounds at 2 PM ET.

In light of how unlikely it is that professional sports will be played in California until at least the end of summer, we’re relocating in both time and space to play this game at the Polo Grounds. Opened in 1890 to replace the previous, less famous Polo Grounds, it was the home of the (baseball) New York Giants for three decades and the New York Jets in the AFL for a few years. It was demolished in 1964, leading pitching Dick Donovan to quip, upon seeing the rubble, that there “must have had a helluva game there last night.”

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FanGraphs Live! Friday: MLB The Show Red Sox at Yankees, 2 PM ET

In this week’s MLB The Show 20 stream, featuring Paul Sporer, Ben Clemens, and Dan Szymborski, the Red Sox head to New York to start a three-game series against the Yankees.

Mookie Betts was a huge real-life loss for Boston, but the PlayStation Sox have surprised and spent most of April at the top of American League East. Boston (22-17) is currently just three games behind the first-place Yankees thanks to the digital good health of Chris Sale (5-1, 2.44 ERA, 2.1 WAR) and Collin McHugh (3-0, 2.97 ERA, 1.0 WAR). Alex Verdugo has struggled at times as the de factor replacement for Betts and currently has a .636 OPS, but Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez rank first and sixth in the American League in WAR, respectively.

The Red Sox have benefitted from a healthy Chris Sale, but the Yankees have also lucked out in this alternate reality, with Luis Severino having avoided Tommy John surgery. The Yankees are cruising on an eight-game winning streak after sweeping the Tigers, Blue Jays, and Pirates. In the rotation, only Jordan Montgomery has an ERA above four and the Yankees offense leads baseball in runs (214), home runs (68), batting average (.296), and slugging percentage (.507). Gio Urshela has continued where he left off in 2019 and is currently tied with Aaron Judge for the team lead in home runs (10).

FanGraphs Live! Friday: MLB The Show Braves at Mets, 2 PM ET

In Friday’s FanGraphs Live stream with Paul Sporer, Ben Clemens, and Dan Szymborski, the Atlanta Braves head to New York to face off against the Mets in a weekend showdown between NL East rivals.

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FanGraphs Live: MLB The Show Doubleheader Features Two Elite Matchups

In Friday afternoon’s FanGraphs Live stream, starting at 2 PM ET, we are bringing you a doubleheader of games featuring surprising early contenders.

In our first game, Wade Miley makes his 2020 debut for the Cincinnati Reds, a team off to a shocking 21-3 start and standing comfortably at the top of the NL Central. As we near the end of April, Jesse Winker leads the National League with a .405 batting average and Trevor Bauer, at 3-0 with a 2.24 ERA, ranks third in the National League with 1.2 WAR. Five Reds currently rank in the top 20 in position player wins: Eugenio Suárez (1st), Joey Votto (4th), Winker (12th), Shogo Akiyama (14th), and Tucker Barnhart (19th). Of the regulars, free agent signing Nick Castellanos has been the only disappointment, hitting .216/.303/.364 in the early going for -0.5 WAR.

That Arizona is tied for second place in the NL West, 3 1/2 games behind the leader, isn’t surprising. What is surprising, however, is that the leader is the Colorado Rockies, not the Los Angeles Dodgers! The Diamondbacks are coming off getting swept by the Atlanta Braves, but get Madison Bumgarner for today’s turn against Miley, likely Cincy’s weakest starting pitcher.

Over in our American League game, we get a prime Dallas Keuchel vs. Shohei Ohtani matchup as the 15-11 White Sox take on the 12-13 Angels. The White Sox have fallen back to second in the division with the Twins winning nine of their last 10 games, but get Luis Robert back in the lineup coming off a strained hamstring. Their Nomar Mazara gamble has paid off in the early going with Mazara standing at a .377/.402/.740 triple-slash with seven homers in 21 games. Gio González has struggled with a 7.23 ERA, but Keuchel has been a prime pickup so far and has yet to allow a home run in 33 1/3 2020 innings.

So join Paul Sporer, Ben Clemens, and Dan Szymborski for some hot virtual baseball action right here, on this very page!

FanGraphsLive: Indians at Red Sox on MLB The Show 20

Today’s virtual broadcast at 2 PM ET, featuring Paul Sporer, Ben Clemens, and Dan Szymborski, is a clash of aces as the Cleveland Indians (11-9) travel to Fenway Park to start a four-game set with the Boston Red Sox (12-8).

The Red Sox are coming off a much-needed day of rest following two blowout losses to the A’s (14-1, 14-5) that snapped Boston’s six-game winning streak. It’s a good time for an appearance for Chris Sale, who is 2-0 in four starts, with 30 strikeouts in 29 innings, a 2.83 FIP, and a 3.41 ERA.

The blazing start of Xander Bogaerts continued with a home run in yesterday’s A’s blowout, giving the shortstop five round-trippers in 19 games. With a .338/.483/.647 line, Bogaerts leads the American League in WAR with 1.8, ahead of Marcus Semien (1.5) and Mallex Smith (1.3).

Cleveland, third in the AL Central and a game behind the White Sox and Twins, turns to Shane Bieber (2-2, 3.45). Bieber was abandoned by the FIP gods in his last start, allowing 12 hits over 4.1 innings against the Rays in a 4-0 loss. José Ramírez is off to a better start than last year with five home runs already. In 2019, Ramírez didn’t hit his fifth home run until June. Francisco Lindor, on the other hand, is still yet to peek above replacement level and his .152/.243/.242 line in 17 games is reminiscent of Ramírez’s struggles last year.

So check back on this page for the live video and with integrated live chat, join in the action! And when the stream is done, drop us a follow on Twitch to be notified of the latest streams. As time goes on, we’ll be having a lot more than just MLB the Show!

Introducing FanGraphs Prep!

In the new reality of sheltering in place, most schools are now closed. Parents might be looking for new problems and lessons that are interesting to students; it’s a lot easier to keep your mind on a problem when it’s about something that’s already interesting. Teaching addition is a lot easier when you’re counting balls and strikes, or shots and points, than when you’re counting Greek letters or something equally obscure.

To that end, we’re going to be testing out a new program over the coming weeks: FanGraphs Prep. I’ll lay out the project in this article, but in essence, FanGraphs Prep will use baseball as a teaching tool. What we teach is still up in the air, and you can help us with that part by answering a few questions.

For many of the writers at the site, part of baseball’s enduring appeal is the math underlying the game. It’s not the only reason we like the sport, or even necessarily the main reason, but in almost every case, it hooked us as kids. Batting average, ERA, wins and losses; baseball and numbers are inextricable.

For others, the call of the game has been more literary. Roger Angell, Stephen Jay Gould, Jim Bouton — baseball’s written history is rich and varied. Many of us took a flashlight under the covers to read about baseball at night as kids.

In that spirit, we’d like to share our knowledge, and provide what we hope will be a welcome educational diversion for students and those helping to teach them at home. Our plan is to create writing prompts and sample problems that frame different school subjects in the context of baseball. Want to learn basic math? A box score is a treasure box of numbers. Want to learn algebra, or probability? The sport provides excellent examples of those as well. Read the rest of this entry »