The Best of FanGraphs: October 23-27, 2017

Each week, we publish north of 100 posts on 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.

Thirty-Two Is a Magic Number for MLB, by Travis Sawchick
Thirty-two doesn’t quite roll off the tongue the way “three” does, but Travis definitely explains what he all means.

The Yankees’ Path Forward, by Dave Cameron
In this well-thought-out piece, Dave didn’t talk about the Yankees needing a new manager, because no one would have ever thought that the Yankees would need one. The Yankees thought otherwise, however, and until that issue is resolved, most — if not all — of the issues Dave brings up here will likely be put on hold.

Does Prep Work Change for the World Series?, by Eno Sarris
Eno talked to Justin Verlander, Rich Hill, and a bunch of other players and coaches to get their perspective.

The Astros’ Bewildering Offensive Approach, by Dave Cameron
The Astros finally broke out toward the end of Game 2, but up until that point, things had looked bleak.

Clayton Kershaw’s Five Most Remarkable Pitches, by Jeff Sullivan
Jeff cheats in the best possible way as he breaks down the big lefty’s Game 1 start.

The Astros, the Dodgers, and World Series Payrolls, by Craig Edwards
Before you adjust for 2017 levels, this World Series has the highest disparity in payrolls. After you adjust for 2017 levels…well, you’ll have to read on to find out.

Demonstrative Takes By Yasiel Puig, by Jeff Sullivan
The Dodgers’ right fielder has a lot of different moves, and Jeff catalogs them all.

2018 Too Early Mock Drafts Final ADP, by Justin Mason
There are plenty of takeaways from this very, very useful article, but one I noticed right away is the wide range of opinions on Jon Lester.

Get a Grip, by Stephanie Springer
THT’s resident chemist navigates us through the ways that pitchers currently grip the baseball, and ruminates on the changes that have and may come.

In Defense of Dave Roberts, by Dave Cameron
The Dodgers manager made a divisive decision, but it’s one he’s made before, and one he’ll probably make again.

The Defensive Runs Saved by Chris Taylor’s Hat, by Carson Cistulli
Baseball costumes to the rescue!

A Whiff of Failure: The Texas Rangers and Rougned Odor by 1908
After two straight league-average-ish seasons, it appeared that the Texas second baseman had established a baseline for his performance. Then he cratered in 2017, and became emblematic of his team’s developmental struggles.

Game Two Was Objectively, Historically Crazy, by Craig Edwards
Intuitively, we all sort of knew this. But Craig put in the work to confirm it. Hopefully we get three or four more of these kinds of games!

The Best Ottoneu Team Money Can Buy?, by Justin Vibber
If you had more than three or four of these guys on your team, chances are you won your league this year.

The New (Old) Meaning of 20 Wins, by Dave Jordan
In his THT debut, Dave reflects on one of baseball’s much-beleaguered statistics.

Paul Swydan used to be the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for and The Boston Globe. Now, he owns The Silver Unicorn Bookstore, an independent bookstore in Acton, Mass. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan. Follow the store @SilUnicornActon.

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