The Best of FanGraphs: July 2-6, 2018

Each week, we publish in the neighborhood of 75 articles across our various blogs. With this post, we hope to highlight 10 to 15 of them. You can read more on it here. The links below are color coded — green for FanGraphs, brown for RotoGraphs, dark red for The Hardball Times and blue for Community Research.

MONDAY, 7/2
The Pyramid Rating System’s All-Time Arizona Diamondbacks, by Paul Moehringer
An excerpt: “The Snakes are far from the best team in this league, but regardless of who they are up against, whenever Randy Johnson is on the mound, they have a chance at winning. Among all National League starters, Johnson is rated the highest by the Pyramid Rating System. One look at his peak dominance period of 1999-2002 should be enough to see why.”

Did Jon Gray Deserve His Demotion to the Minors?, by Craig Edwards
Or could the Rockies have found a Gray area? (Sorry, sorry, sorry.)

Matt Harvey Is Getting It Together, by Jay Jaffe
When the Mets finally relinquished their hold on the self-proclaimed Dark Knight to send him to the worst team in the league, it didn’t seem like he’d have an easier climb upward. Yet, here he is.

TUESDAY, 7/3
The Mariners Are Trying to Be the Clutchiest Team on Record, by Jeff Sullivan
Something is definitely notable when it inspires a writer to use words not recognized by dictionaries. Like Shakespeare, but for baseball.

Losing the Red Queen’s Race, and Other Tales from the Road, by Shane Tourtellotte
An excerpt: “Historically, it hasn’t been a great idea for the minor league teams to get too invested in, or identified with, their parent clubs. Affiliate switches, out of a farm team’s control, could sever those bonds at the parent’s convenience. My own research, however, has shown this is happening much less frequently today, at least in the high minors. This may have paved the way for greater willingness to link those affiliates with their big-league parents.”

The MLB Landscape of Negative WAR, by Jeff Sullivan
It’s not the greatest looking landscaping in the world, but it’s hard to look away nonetheless.

We Can’t Not Talk About the Royals, by Jeff Sullivan
The Royals gave us something to talk about and we’d be remiss to ignore it.

THURSDAY, 7/5
Bad Plate Discipline Is Not Working Out for Salvador Perez, by Al Melchior
Who could have seen this coming? We can’t all be Javy Baez.

UFC & MLB: A Tale of Two Sports, by Eli Ben-Porat
An excerpt: “Every decision a pitcher makes (location, velocity and pitch type) impacts the probability distributions for the outcome of that pitch (ball, strike, barrel, ground ball, etc.). Similarly, in UFC, every decision has a cost/benefit tradeoff; throw a significant strike, and be more susceptible to a counter-punch; go for a take-down, and be susceptible to a leg kick. The interactions of these decisions, and opponents’ strengths and weaknesses, allow for dynamic and dramatic competitive outcomes.”

Jon Gray Has a Pitch Strategy Problem, by Alexander Haynes
Someone should have told the Rockies.

Dexter Fowler and the Cardinals’ Foul-Up, by Jay Jaffe
Foul-up. Get it? FOUL-up. Wow. Pretty sure this article deserves a read, not least because of the title.

Albert Almora and the Declining Value of Batting Leaders, by Rian Watt
Who needs ’em anyway?

FRIDAY, 7/6
The Civil War, Civil Rights and Black Baseball, by Shakeia Taylor
An excerpt: “In 1871, Octavius Catto was murdered while on his way to vote. He used baseball as a means to accomplish more than wealth; Catto believed Black credibility and acceptance could be promoted by competing against white teams on a baseball diamond. It was sport as activism and activism as sport. It was a rather simple assertion of dignity, in the radical form of Black bodies pitched in equal competition against white bodies.”

We hoped you liked reading The Best of FanGraphs: July 2-6, 2018 by Mina Dunn!

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