Effectively Wild Episode 1370: Hot to Trout

Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about the Hall of Famers Mike Trout just surpassed in WAR (featuring a story about Goose Goslin and Joe Cronin) and Trout’s recent improvements in plate discipline, then answer listener emails about Cody Bellinger’s extreme hot streak, whether most baseball fans notice the rising strikeout rate, a Statcast conspiracy theory, when it makes the most sense to trade Madison Bumgarner (and other players), and the level at which the best pitcher in baseball would be favored to throw a perfect game in every outing, plus a Stat Blast about pitchers hitting in high-leverage situations.

Audio intro: The Stroppies, "Better Than Before"
Audio outro: The Bees, "Hot One!"

Link to Sam on Trout’s April
Link to Adler on Trout’s April
Link to Jay on Trout compared to other Hall of Famers
Link to Sam on Trout’s 2012
Link to highest-WAR months
Link to Devan Fink on Bellinger
Link to Ben on strikeouts
Link to Sam on extra innings
Link to Dave on the cost of wins in July
Link to Dave on valuing relievers in the postseason
Link to video of Proctor’s walk-off
Link to preorder The MVP Machine

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If you want a pitcher to have a 50% chance of throwing a perfect game, then the opposing team each need to have an OBP of 0.025 (obviously ignoring errors and HBP – and the HBP is important if it is Max Scherzer trying to pitch a perfect game)

There are 3 players who have managed that in a season (minimum 40 PA): Jason Bergman (2008), Wei-Yin Chen (2016) and Ivan Nova (twice: 2017, 2018) since 2002 (as far back as the fangraphs splits go)

So maybe it is possible if you have a team of really, really, really bad hitting pitchers to do this.