‘O Slugger, Where Art Thou?’

After a five-year slide in scoring landed on the lowest mark since 1981, everyone’s scrambling for offense. That’s a natural response, but maybe not a sensible one.

Stating the obvious, there’s no fixed scoring level that wins ballgames. You just have to score more runs than you allow. And the “pythagorean formula,” which predicts winning percentage from runs scored and allowed, has two corollaries that speak to the most efficient path to improving a team’s record:

(more…)

...
More

Josh Donaldson: The Curious Trade of a Unique Player

Josh Donaldson, one of the best two-way players in baseball, has been dealt to Toronto.

With 15.4 WAR in 2013-14 (second to Mike Trout), Donaldson ties Chuck Knoblauch for the most age 27-28 WAR of any player who changed teams going into or during age 29. Even if you don’t buy his top-notch defensive metrics, Donaldson ranked 6th in offensive WAR for the last two years. He’s a player.

(more…)

...
More

Game Notes from the ALCS Opener

ALCS Game 1: Royals 8, @Orioles 6 — That’s eight straight postseason wins for the Royals since 1985. A five-and-oh postseason start would have left a team two wins from the title in 1984; to put that another way, KC is still seven victories from shocking the world, which was a full champion’s portion that year. But don’t bet against them. The Royals don’t know it’s a damn show; they think it’s a damn fight...

More