An alternate look at ground ball “luckiness”

Earlier this season, BaseballSavant unveiled expected wOBA, which, around these parts of the Internet, is a relatively big deal. For those unfamiliar, expected wOBA, or xwOBA, predicts a batter’s wOBA from the launch angles and exit velocities of his in-play contact. Because certain speeds and angles are more conducive to hits – for instance, most consider […]

Dansby Swanson, figuring stuff out

By now, I’d imagine most readers are, at least to some extent, familiar with the young career of Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson. After being drafted first overall by the Diamondbacks in 2015, Swanson was dealt to Atlanta in the infamous Shelby Miller trade, and virtually immediately became more relevant than the player for whom […]

Reds pitchers are setting records in fastball futility

Entering the 2017 season, projections were not particularly friendly to the Cincinnati Reds. FiveThirtyEight projected a 70-win season for the team, and FanGraphs was even more pessimistic, predicting just 68 wins and the league’s second-worst run differential. They also projected the Reds to allow 5.02 runs per game – trailing only the Coors Field-dwelling Colorado […]

Even without Brad, the Padres’ pen will be in good hands

As with most rebuilding teams, the San Diego Padres aren’t in any particular need of a strong bullpen, and they’ve handled this season’s trade deadline accordingly. As of July 30, they’ve already traded away Ryan Buchter and first-half closer Brandon Maurer, and relief ace Brad Hand is expected to follow this offseason. The rest of San Diego’s bullpen […]

Do sluggers really swing more on 3-0?

According to BaseballProspectus’s set of Run Expectations matrices, when Evan Gattis stepped up to the plate in the fifth inning of Houston’s June 27 game against Oakland, the Astros were expected to score an average of 2.26 runs (taking the three-year mean from 2014-2016). The bases were loaded for Houston, which was down 1-0, and in over […]

Overly aggressive Odubel

Anyone who’s regularly watched the Philadelphia Phillies over the last few years knows that something’s been off lately with Odubel Herrera. The Phils’ starting center fielder put up seasons of 4.0 and 3.8 WAR in 2015 and 2016, respectively, providing excellent up-the-middle defense while slashing a combined .291/.353/.419 with an 111 wRC+. The team duly […]

Logan Morrison: A tale of actualization

On April 17, David Laurila posted the transcript of an excellent Q&A with Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Logan Morrison. At that point, the season was exactly two weeks old, and Morrison, then sporting a 136 wRC+ and .302/.348/.535 slash line, had been a pleasant surprise for the Rays. Prior to 2017, most thought of Morrison […]