Will is a lifelong New Yorker and Yankees fan who splits his time between finance, music, and baseball. He was one of the early contributors to IIATMS, though life took him away for some time. He is very excited to be back.

Author Archives: Will@IIATMS

World Series head-to-head: Starters

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CC Sabathia Cliff Lee AJ Burnett Cole Hamels Andy Pettitte Joe Blanton Pedro Martinez
FIP 3.39 3.11 4.33 3.72 4.15 4.45 4.28
ERA 3.37 3.22 4.04 4.32 4.16 4.05 3.63
K/BB 2.94 4.21 2.01 3.91 1.95 2.76 4.63
HR/9 0.70 0.66 1.09 1.12 0.92 1.38 1.41
LD% 19.8% 22.2% 18.0% 20.8% 19.3% 20.1% 26.6%
BABIP 0.284 0.326 0.302 0.325 0.301 0.302 0.315
LOB% 71.4% 76.2% 75.9% 72.1% 70.2% 78.9% 83.7%

As discussed in my relievers post–FIP is a fielding independent version of ERA constructed from K, BB and HR, that is a significantly better predictor of future ERA than current ERA is. That’s because it strips out the luck associated with (amongst others) BABIP and LOB%. K/BB is how many strikeouts a pitcher gives up per walk issued, HR/9 is how many HR each pitcher allowed per 9 innings pitched, LD% is line drive percentage allowed (which, combined with BABIP, gives us a good idea of whether a pitcher was lucky on balls in play), BABIP is the percentage of balls put into play become hits, and LOB% is what percentage of a pitchers runners are left on base (otherwise known as strand rate).…

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World Series head-to-head: Bullpen

Here’s how the two teams stack up in terms of value delivered during the regular season.

Name Relief-IP RAR WAR Dollars FIP ERA
Phil Hughes 51.1 20.9 2.09 $9.41 1.83 1.40
Mariano Rivera 66.1 20.1 2.01 $9.05 2.89 1.76
Alfredo Aceves 80.2 12.9 1.29 $5.81 3.75 3.54
David Robertson 43.2 7.3 0.73 $3.29 3.05 3.30
Phil Coke 60 1 0.1 $0.45 4.68 4.50
Joba Chamberlain 1 0.2 0.02 $0.09 4.82 4.75
Chad Gaudin 11 -1.4 -0.14 ($0.63) 4.16 4.64
Damaso Marte 13.1 -1.5 -0.15 ($0.68) 5.65 9.45
Name Relief-IP RAR WAR Dollars FIP ERA
Chan Ho Park 50 15 1.5 $6.75 3.49 4.43
Ryan Madson 77.1 13.3 1.33 $5.99 3.23 3.26
J.A. Happ 21.2 1.8 0.18 $0.81 4.33 2.93
Antonio Bastardo 1 -0.1 -0.01 ($0.05) 5.08 6.46
Scott Eyre 30 -0.3 -0.03 ($0.14) 4.63 1.50
Brett Myers 7 -0.4 -0.04 ($0.18) ? ?
Chad Durbin 69.2 -4.3 -0.43 ($1.94) 5.14 4.39
Brad Lidge 58.2 -7.2 -0.72 ($3.24) 5.45 7.21

For reference sake, RAR refers to how many runs above average the pitcher was worth as a reliever during the season.…

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Don't play this as a win for the Mets

Now, compared to Tom Hicks’ current ordeal with the Rangers, the Mets’ situation doesn’t look all that bad. Except, there’s one biiig catch which suggests that this will all end in tears, which is briefly touched on at the end of the ESPN article above.

Picard, the liquidator appointed by the court, has filed lawsuits against some Madoff investors who profited from the Ponzi scheme, seeking to recover approximately $15 billion. The Mets Limited Partnership hasn’t been sued.

Bradley Simon, a former federal prosecutor who is not involved with the case, told Bloomberg that he expects Picard to try to recover the money from the Wilpons.

“It cannot be argued on Wilpon’s behalf that these were legitimate investment returns,” Simon told Bloomberg. “It would be a violation of his fiduciary duty for Picard to not seek the return of that money.”

Herein lies the rub. In previous ponzi schemes, trustees have gone after investors who withdrew their money previous to the fraud’s exposure, in an effort to even out the losses amongst all investors.…

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Interesting Pitching Choices

Managers roles are often overblown. The winners are deemed saints and the losers pariahs, but in reality they do a lot less than they’ve historically been given credit for, in terms of determining the outcome of the game. At least in the positive direction, that is. The job of a manager is almost entirely to do no evil. Politically, they have to juggle keeping the players, FO, and ownership groups happy. On the bench, though, they are just expected to send the best players they have out to play each night. Get your best hitters the most at bats, and your best pitchers the most innings. And inexplicably, Scioscia has decided to send the worst starting pitcher in his playoff rotation out for game two.

Consider the table above–Kazmir and Weaver both have significantly better FIPs than Saunders (which is the most obvious sign). The only weapon Saunders has against the Yankees is his slider, and it sure looks like Weaver and Kazmir’s sliders have produced just about equivalent outcomes per 100 pitches as Saunders’ has.…

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Scouting the ALCS: Pitch Value Edition

Name Pos wFB/C wSL/C wCT/C wCB/C wCH/C
Mark Teixeira 1B 2.19 1.42 4.37 -0.29 0.63
Derek Jeter SS 1.61 -1.37 0.79 3.67 2.38
Nick Swisher OF 1.82 -2.2 0.47 0.01 0.29
Alex Rodriguez 3B 1.86 0.44 -3.12 0.58 0.45
Robinson Cano 2B 1.59 1.11 -4.91 3.4 -1.03
Hideki Matsui DH 1.21 0.49 2.21 3.52 0.04
Jorge Posada C 1.14 -1.42 -3.08 -1.08 3.3
Johnny Damon OF 0.53 0.4 4.09 2.4 0.45
Eric Hinske 3B/OF 0.01 -2.31 5.9 -1.32 5.36
Melky Cabrera OF -0.02 1.32 -3.54 -0.01 0.45
Jerry Hairston 3B/OF -1.14 3.5 0.18 -3.42 -0.31
Brett Gardner OF -0.5 1.25 -1.9 2.15 -0.84
Jose Molina C -1.89 -3.32 -2.68 0.58 -4.84
Name
wFB/C wSL/C wCT/C wCB/C wCH/C
John Lackey SP 0.23 0.16 0.37 -1.51
Jered Weaver SP -0.33 0.97 0.58 1.87
Scott Kazmir SP 1.73 0.92 1.05
Joe Saunders SP 0.21 1.08 -1.64 -1.25
Darren Oliver RP 0.94 2.31 1.29
Kevin Jepsen RP 1.01 -9.02 1.48 -3.44
Brian Fuentes CL 0.81 -0.42 -2.7 -3.5
Matt Palmer RP 0.42 1.69 1.34 0.92 -3.41
Jason Bulger RP -0.44 3.35 0.74
Ervin Santana RP -1.39 1.92 -4.13

Looking at the Angels’ four starters, Weaver, Kazmir and Saunders all throw quality sliders that will befuddle a number of the big Yankee bats.…

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Twins Pitching versus Yankees Hitting

Using fangraphs.com’s pitch values, we can compare how the Yankees batters have done against various pitches, and how the Twins’ pitchers have done using various pitches. Red is good, blue is bad, and everything else is in between. For clarification, wFB/C is how many runs a player created per 100 fastballs thrown, or per 100 fastballs seen. SL is slider, CT is cutter, CB is curveball and CH is changeup. No Twins pitcher currently on the roster throws a knuckler, and only Carl Pavano throws a splitfinger, so they were removed from the analysis.

So the first thing to note, the Twins are terrible as a team at throwing changeups and curveballs, while the Yankees are very, very good at hitting them. The Yanks also have a sizable advantage on fastballs. The only pitches in which the Twins have an edge are when throwing sliders and cutters, and even these are arguable, as the rankings show. Of course, these are very top level, and we need a significantly more granular look to really come away with any expectations about this series.…

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Quick notes on the Twins offense

  • As I mentioned in my previous post, lost amidst the breakout year he’s having, Jason Kubel is struggling mightily against left handed pitching. Only two of his twenty-eight long balls have come against southpaws, and his OPS against lefties is .648. If I were Ron Gardenhire, I’d be tempted to bench him against Sabathia in favor of getting Carlos Gomez‘s glove in the lineup.
  • The back end of the Twins order is awful. Matt Tolbert, Nick Punto, and Brendan Harris all had wOBA’s under .300 this season. Walking any of these men is inexcusable.
  • Delmon Young had a huge series against Kansas City, but let’s not that these last few games re-shape our impressions of him. He’s a below average hitter (.312 wOBA, .308 OBP) and an awful fielder (-10.3 career UZR/150). Don’t let his power potential scare you; he was one of the worst regulars in the league this year.
  • Despite speedy players like Punto, Gomez, Denard Span, and Alexi Casilla, the Twins do not steal a ton of bases.
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Molina should not be taking at bats from Jorge Posada

IP

FIP

ERA

RA

Cash

26.1

5.25

4.25

4.25

Cervelli

24

3.25

2.14

2.14

Molina

73.2

3.99

4.22

4.47

Posada

86

4.58

4.51

4.93

The data isn’t particularly staggering in Molina’s favor. Remember that these are rather small samples, and pitching performances are subject to significant volatility (see: Chamberlain, Joba). What is particularly staggering, is the difference between Posada and Molina offensively.

wOBA

AVG

OBP

SLG

Posada

0.378

0.285

0.363

0.522

Molina

0.260

0.217

0.292

0.268

Matsui

0.378

0.274

0.367

0.509

Naysayers will suggest that Girardi can get around this by DHing Posada when he plays Molina behind the plate, but at that point Molina would be taking at bats from Hideki Matsui instead. I’d suggest that in the playoffs, and especially in series that are now designed to allow extra days off all over the place, Molina shouldn’t ever be in a position to swing the bat unless Posada gets injured.

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