Forecasting the 2016 Postseason


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Predicting the results of a short series, let alone a whole tournament, is a fool’s errand.  This fool, though, had some measure of success in attempting to do so last season with a model I called Playoff Runs.

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Playoff Rosters


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The 2016 playoff matchups are set, kicking off in Toronto on Tuesday.  As I did last season, I’d like to use my Playoff Runs model to predict the playoffs, but I need a little help from the readers here. (more…)

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2015 High Heat Stats Award Results


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I asked you last week who you thought deserved to win each league’s MVP and Cy Young Awards.  12 of you submitted ballots for MVPs and 13 submitted Cy Young votes. Winners are after the jump:

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Crowdsourcing Cys Young


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Yesterday, we began a conversation about this year’s MVPs.  The Cy Young Award races pack more drama this year, particularly in the NL, where the top four candidates had historic years and three of them are practically indistinguishable in their excellence.  Let’s vote for the best pitchers now.

List your top five candidates for Cy Young in either league or both in the comments, with or without commentary.  I’ll compile on Friday, 11/13...

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MVP Crowdsourcing


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I can’t think of a better crowd from which to source annual baseball awards than this site’s readership.  Let’s kick off a series of groupthink ballots with a conversation about who should win the MVP award in each league.  Your mission, should you chose to accept: List the ten players most worthy, in order, of winning the MVP in either league, or both.  Feel free to elaborate on why you chose these players or just leave the ballot there in the comments...

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Postseason Preview: the Mets are Better than You Think


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We all know the outcome of a playoff series is a random enough event that it’s pointless to spend 15+ hours building a model to predict the winners.  So I spent 15+ hours last week building a model to predict the winners.  It’s based on fangraphs’ Runs Above Replacement for pitchers and Runs Above Average for hitters, fielders, and baserunners.  More after the jump.

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The Greatest Active…


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Doug’s doing all the heavy lifting around here this spring, and acquitting himself admirably, but I thought I’d lend a hand.  I don’t have much of substance to offer, but here’s a frivolity I adapted from my own site.

Who are the greatest active players in Major League Baseball?  Are they the guys with the most career WAR?  The guys who have never turned in a bad season?  The guys who had the highest peaks?  ...

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The Three Larry Walkers


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Is any other great baseball player’s Hall of Fame case met with less objective thought than Larry Walker’s?

In 1997, Walker hit .366/.452/.720.  He hit 49 home runs and 46 doubles, stole 33 bases, played his typical stellar rightfield defense, and, for good measure, was hit by 14 pitches.  Five other times, Walker’s on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) topped 1.000, something no player in either league accomplished in 2014.

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Jeter, Ortiz, and the Value of Youth


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Would the Yankees have made the playoffs this season without Derek Jeter?

Let’s start with a disclaimer.  The following words are by no means a judgment of the Yankees’ decision to keep Jeter on the roster in 2014.  That wasn’t really a decision, and even if it were, there’s a justification for letting a legend have one last lap around the league.  If you would rather not read about how bad Jeter has been this season...

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Bunts and RE24


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This week’s piece at USA Today Sports Weekly mercifully wrapped up my series on the effectiveness of bunting.  In the comments of past bunt-related screeds I’ve shared in this space, mosc has suggested that I look at this year’s bunting data through the lens of RE24, rather than WPA.  I did so for USA Today, and I’ll share an edited version below.

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