Tuesday, October 22, 2013

World Series Preview

The World Series starts tomorrow night, and while I have zero rooting interest, being a baseball blog, I figured we should give you a bit of preview for what you'll see for the Fall Classic and what you should watch for.  This World Series will be remembered as the clash of the insufferable fan bases (Calling yourselves the best fans in baseball doesn't make it so.  We get it, the whole city loves the Cardinals, but that's just because it is literally the only thing to do in that terrible city), so get ready to hear the flocks of annoying fans boast about how their team is best.  Here are my 10 things to look for:

1. Every Cardinals prospect seems to work out.  Look at this roster, and you'll see it littered with guys you've never heard of that the Cardinals get the most out of.  David Freese, Matt Adams, Matt Carpenter, Michael Wacha, Yadier Molina, Carlos Martinez, Trevor Rosenthal, Kevin Siegrist and the list goes on and on.  And they wonder why everyone hates them??? (Yes we know it's mostly jealousy)

2. Tim McCarver's final World Series as a broadcaster.  THANK GOD!!!  McCarver is bad enough as it is, but his rampant homerism is unwatchable when his beloved Cardinals are involved.

3. The Cardinals high socks are really cool.  For as much as I hate this team (Can't you tell??), their high socks are probably the best in baseball.  I don't even know if any current players opt for the high socks look, but if they don't, that's a travesty as they are delightfully old school.

4. Enjoy Carlos Beltran's playoff greatness while you can.  Carlos Beltran has been one hell of a player throughout his career, but he is even better in the playoffs.  The performances he has put up are staggering over the years.  Beltran is probably one of the best playoff performers of all time, so simply enjoy his playoff success while he's still around, as he is closing in on the end of his career.

5. Matt Holliday playing defense in left field in Boston.  Holliday is one of the most laughable defensive outfielders in the game.  Some of the plays I've seen him make over the years are among the funniest I've ever seen.  Throw in one of the toughest left fields to play in the big leagues and there is sure to be some shenanigans.  Partner that with Jon Jay's terrible routes in center field and any ball hit to left or left center could be an adventure.

6. The Red Sox have bushy beards.  This is probably the easiest thing to notice, but the Red Sox roster looks like some sort of combination of Tom Hanks from Castaway and the Peter from that episode of Family Guy.  I wonder if they have birds living in their beards as well?? They seem to like the look, but has anyone told these guys that it isn't November yet??

7. Koji Uehera is good.  The ageless Japanese closer has been dominant throughout the playoffs.  Seriously, how does anyone hit this guys' splitter???  Uehara could very well be the difference in this series, as John Farrell has not been hesitant to use him for more than 3 outs.

8. Some Red Sox can make themselves some serious money with good World Series performances.  Pending free agents include Mike Napoli, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Jarrod Saltamacchia, and with a huge World Series, these guys could earn themselves some healthy contracts.  All 3 have had good years, so that helps, but a big World Series could get them an extra year or some serious extra cash.

9. The fun police.  With Brian McCann out of the playoffs, the duty of fun police relies solely on the Cardinals.  They took exception to some celebrating by the Dodgers in the NLCS, so how will they feel about the Red Sox enthusiasm and celebrations?  Will this create some tension in the series??

10. The Red Sox went from worst to first.  Yes this happened, but it will be talked about much more than it should be.  So I propose a drinking game, take a shot for every time this is mentioned, and a double shot if John Farrell is mentioned as the only reason for this (if you're of age of course), and let us know how drunk you get.

Enjoy October baseball, because as we all know I'm a Cubs fan, and I can't

Friday, October 18, 2013

You guys are back?!?!?!? Plus a Sabermetric lesson

Wait....What??  I know what you guys are thinking, I thought you said you were going to be on a different site??  Are you lying to us?  Can we ever trust you again??

Well my answer to this is that were are on Blogger and for now, we are here to stay (Usual call for a millionaire to give us a nice website).  And to all of you asking that last question, could you ever really trust us in the first place.

It was actually quite humbling as while we were gone, multiple people asked us why we stopped writing and where have we been??  People told us that they read every post and to that I say thank you and don't you have anything better to do with your time??  In all seriousness, keep reading as we come back with some more consistent content because while we definitely do this for self-fulfillment, we find it absolutely awesome that we have regular readers.  If you guys have any suggestions, feel free to share them and if we have a large enough viewership, we actually have some big ideas for the future.

While I know we missed probably the most excited couple months of the year, and as the season winds down and pushes toward the off-season, we are going to bring back what we originally started with and that is season reviews.  So look forward to reading about how your favorite team did in 2013.

As we have grown as fans, we have picked up on some awesome statistics and we want to share that with the rest of the baseball world, so for this years edition of reviews, we are going to start talking about some more advanced statistics.  Things like ISO, wOBA, OPS+, FIP, K%, BB%, and everyone's favorite WAR.  So what do all these statistics mean?? 

Fangraphs has some excellent information about what all these stats mean HERE.  For now, I will give you a quick explanation of what each of these stats mean

ISO-The measure of a hitter's ability to hit for extra bases.  ISO can be calculated by subtracting a hitters' batting average from their slugging percentage.  An average ISO is somewhere around .145, while an very good ISO is usually greater than .200.

wOBA-Weighted on base average weighs all the individual components of hitting based on their run value.  It is a more accurate measure of offensive value than batting average, slugging, and on-base average.  .320 is usually around league average for wOBA, while a number over .370 is considered very good.

BABIP-Batting average on balls in play measures how many of a players' balls put in play go for hits.  While BABIP can be flawed, it is usually a good measure of how "lucky" a player can be.  As a general rule of thumb, about 30% of balls put in play go for hits.  BABIP can be used to measure both hitter and pitcher success.

FIP-Fielding independent pitching factors in only things in which a pitcher can control, which includes walks, hit by pitches, strikeouts, and home runs.  FIP isn't a great metric for individual game performances and is better for larger samples like and entire year or multiple seasons.  It is seen as a better metric than ERA and league average FIP is usually around 4.00, while a good FIP is around 3.25 and under.

WAR-Wins above replacement is a metric that tells how valuable a player is to his team.  It basically tells how many wins a player provides for his team compared to a league average player.  Fangraphs and Baseball Reference both provide a WAR statistic which can be calculated differently, but both provide a good snapshot of how valuable a player is to his team.

Hope you learned something here today, thanks for coming back, enjoy some playoff baseball, and Go Tigers!!!  Although it was in a Red Sox win, I leave you with this....the picture of the postseason so far.