Baseball’s Takeaway/Giveaway Leaders

As football season gets underway, here’s a look at baseball’s version of the takeaway/giveaway margin. On the gridiron, the unit of measurement is turnovers and winning teams usually need to show a positive margin between turnovers forced (takeaways) and turnovers surrendered (giveaways). In baseball, the metric is more like points off of turnovers, as this post will consider unearned runs scored vs. unearned runs allowed, those runs being the “points” arising from errors forced and errors committed, More after the jump.

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Don Baylor 1949-2017

Don Baylor, longtime AL player and later an NL manager, has passed away at the age of 68. Baylor played over 2000 games, all in the AL, in a career spanning 19 years that included an MVP selection in 1979 and appearances in 7 post-seasons and 3 World Series. After his playing days, Baylor was the first manager of the expansion Colorado Rockies, guiding them to a post-season appearance in only their third season. More on Baylor after the jump.

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Marquee Matchup – Cubs vs. Brewers

The front runners in the NL Central squared off last weekend in Milwaukee. The Brewers had held down top spot for 60 straight days until the Cubs caught them last week, with the Baby Bears holding a 1½ game lead entering this series. The Northsiders were riding high with an 11-2 run since the All-Star break while Milwaukee had hit the skids with a 2-9 swoon.

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Marquee Matchup – Indians vs. Twins

The two front-runners in the AL Central faced off in home and away series on consecutive weekends. The defending AL champions from Cleveland have yet to hit their stride this season, while the upstart young Minnesotans continue to surprise, leaving pundits still waiting for the Twins’ Cinderella start to reach midnight. More after the jump.

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Leadoff hitters are slugging at an unprecedented rate (in the first at bat)

Last week Anthony Rizzo, first baseman for the Chicago Cubs, hit leadoff for the first time in his seven year career. Before Rizzo’s first at bat, Cubs’ color man Jim Deshaies recalled:

Big Riz did it a couple of times in spring training, and on one occasion he went out there and ambushed the first pitch and hit a home run.

Two pitches into the regular season version of this experiment Rizzo hit a leadoff home run. The next evening Rizzo, still batting in the No.1 spot, made an impact one pitch sooner by hitting the first offering of the game over the outfield fence.

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