Author Archives: Bryan O'Connor

Crowdsourcing Cys Young

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, using the same 7-4-3-2-1 scoring system MLB uses.  Stats after the jump.  All are sortable.  Please don’t take the default sort as an endorsement.

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MVP Crowdsourcing

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.

My task: counting the votes.  I’ll do it a week from tomorrow: Friday, 11/13.  I’ll use the same 14-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scoring that MLB uses. Also, after the jump, I’ll throw some stats out, since that’s what this site is about, right?

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Postseason Preview: the Mets are Better than You Think

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…

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?  I think we’d all agree the answer is a combination of those three things, perhaps weighted toward the former.  I developed a simple formula using fangraphs WAR to combine accumulated value, consistency, and peak:

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The Three Larry Walkers

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

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, don’t click below to read more. Continue reading