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Compounding the Obvious

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It's said that the science of big data analytics has revolutionized the game of baseball. That may be but sometimes these propellerheads can go to great lengths to prove something that's pretty obvious if you just think about it.

I recently read a scholarly article about pitching and how it affects your team's chances of winning it all. The conclusions?

  1. If your starting pitching sucks and your bullpen is stellar, you will probably lose.
  2. If your starting pitching is formidable and your bullpen is shaky, you will probably lose.
  3. If your starting pitching and bullpen are "balanced." you have a good chance to win.

Based on this thinking the Red Sox and Astros should be the best bets to win, and the Dodgers and Brewers are the underdogs.

 

Of course implicit in this balanced argument is that you have a great starting rotation and bullpen. A balanced but bad pitching staff would be a loser anyway (hello Blue Jays.)

I guess we'll see how the rest of the playoffs go, but it seems obvious enough to me without all the SABRmetrics.

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I would guess baseball teams knew that shortly after baseball was invented. Certainly obvious, and it's obvious to me that big data always has diminishing returns as it multiplies.

We have a similar game called cricket where people throw balls and someone hits it with a stick and runs while the ball is being chased. It's still highly unpredictable. Australia was looking like losing in the current game in Pakistan until a remarkable performance by one of our batters.

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Last night was the first game in the National League Championship series. The Dodgers had shaky starting pitching and bad play in the field. The Brewers had shaky starting pitching and their bullpen was up and down, but they scored enough runs to win narrowly. All in all not a good show by either team.

 

@sunrat nothing more fun to watch than Aussie rules football. Rugby League is also interesting (but brutal.)

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I would guess baseball teams knew that shortly after baseball was invented.

Well in the early days, baseball was a much different game. The starting pitcher was expected to pitch the whole game and the bullpen was a bunch of shlubs that the manager didn't want to use.

This year Justin Verlander (an elite starter) pitched 219 innings started 34 games and finished 1 completely.

In 1902 Cy Young pitched 384 innings, started 45 games and finished 43 completely.

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@sunrat nothing more fun to watch than Aussie rules football.

 

I prefer watching soccer. Or cricket. Or two flies racing up a wall. :whistling: :lol:

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Baseball is actually the only sport I follow regularly. I occasionally watch hockey, if the TB Lighting get into the playoffs. I've always been a baseball fan since I was a wee lad. I enjoyed playing it in Li'l League back in my youth, too. I played 1st base. I was the only 1st baseman in the park with a real 1st baseman's mitt, thanks to a hand-me-down from my older brother who played pro ball for the KC Royals and later the Pittsburgh Pirates. I wish I still had that mitt. I don't remember what happened to it. :(

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I have followed baseball since 1955, although I did not see my first major league game until 1970. I saw quite a few Expos games when in Montreal, and of course the highlight for me was attending the World Series in Toronto in 1992 and 1993. I was there when Joe Carter hit the historic home run to win the World Series in 1993.

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@sunrat nothing more fun to watch than Aussie rules football.

 

I prefer watching soccer. Or cricket. Or two flies racing up a wall. :whistling: :lol:

I remember reading a Sports Illustrated article where the writer went to Australia to see football and witnessed Soccer, American football (Gridiron), Rugby Union, Rugby League, and Aussie rules - all in the same week.

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Sometimes the analytics stories are interesting. I read an article recently which concluded that of the 400 or so players in the major leagues in 1901, only about 70 would make it today. Back then there were no African-American players, no Latins, No Asians, and even if you consider the whites-only there is double the population to choose from today. Scouting is better too, so more deserving players won't be missed.

Rube Waddell (who is in the Hall of Fame) would have trouble making a major league team today.

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It's said that the science of big data analytics has revolutionized the game of baseball. That may be but sometimes these propellerheads can go to great lengths to prove something that's pretty obvious if you just think about it.

I recently read a scholarly article about pitching and how it affects your team's chances of winning it all. The conclusions?

  1. If your starting pitching sucks and your bullpen is stellar, you will probably lose.
     
  2. If your starting pitching is formidable and your bullpen is shaky, you will probably lose.
     
  3. If your starting pitching and bullpen are "balanced." you have a good chance to win.

Based on this thinking the Red Sox and Astros should be the best bets to win, and the Dodgers and Brewers are the underdogs.

 

Of course implicit in this balanced argument is that you have a great starting rotation and bullpen. A balanced but bad pitching staff would be a loser anyway (hello Blue Jays.)

I guess we'll see how the rest of the playoffs go, but it seems obvious enough to me without all the SABRmetrics.

umm, no. "great" of neither is required. so if you have a budget, what is the best way of using that money.

(btw: remember Chuck Tanner? one of his ideas that has always intrigued SABR people may be getting a real shot next year or so. start a game with a 2 inning pitcher.)

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umm, no. "great" of neither is required. so if you have a budget, what is the best way of using that money.

Budget isn't a big deal for either Red Sox or Dodgers. Sox are #1 in payroll, Dodgers #3. Both have great starters although sometimes they use them as shutdown relievers.

I would say the one team that went all bullpen all the time (Brewers) has to be logged as FAIL. That said, the Astros had a formidable rotation and they were tonged by Boston's relentless lineup.

 

BTW the last time the Dodgers and Red Sox met in the WS, Casey Stengel played for Brooklyn (they were the Robins then.) Babe Ruth pitched for the Red Sox. The Sox didn't even play at Fenway that October - they used the old Boston Braves park which held more spectators.

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