July 21, 2011

Lets Talk Baseball

Sorry for the lack of blogging lately, my life isn't that exciting without poker. However the good part about the summer time is baseball is in full swing. Out of my team totals bets Pittsburgh, Boston, Atlanta, and Milwaukee are all looking pretty good for the over. The only one that's in trouble is Philadelphia under 97.5 wins. Also if you look back to my original post I have a shot to pick 7 of 8 playoff teams, Oakland really let me down. 
Cliff notes on a long boring post that I'm not going to write is the Redsox are really good, the Phillies are really good but their line-up is awful, I'm not concerned about the Yankees although a Sox/Yankees ALCS will take more years off my life, I'm rooting for the Pirates in the NL Central, the playoffs should be really exciting. What I'd really like to talk about is Jose Bautista, how awesome he is, and advanced stats. 

These are some allegations of him using performance enhancing drugs however unlike some players in the past people aren't as loud about it because he's a very likeable guy. Someone who always had talent but always struggled a bit. I'm going with the naive approach on this one. In September of 09 he changed his swing to hit more flyballs, One of the great myths that go around little league clinics is you want to hit the ball on the ground. The opposite is true, you can't have too many extra base hits with top spin grounders through the 4 hole. Ideally you want to plug gaps and hit the ball hard in the air.

JoeyBats has mastered this. In September of 09 he hit 9 homers, in 2010 he hit 54 and so far this year hes hit 31. He's been the best player in the AL this year although it wouldn't surprise me if he didn't win the MVP since the Blue Jays are going to finish in 4th place in the toughest division in baseball. If you go by WAR (Wins above replacement) hes been the best player in baseball this year and yet if you look at any mid-season awards that don't focus on advanced stats he's not on anyone's list. He has a 1.157 OPS this season. That's better than Pujols' best, DiMaggio's, and Griffey's. The guy is a machine.

If you want to read a bit more on advanced stats here is a blog that debunks a few myths. I can't tell you how many casual fans would choose Ichiro over Giambi but Ichiro has a very empty batting average with a low OBP which makes him incredibly overrated at the plate. As an all around player he's (or was) very good but as a hitter criminally overrated. 


Chuckie: Well why don't you give me your fucking sixteen cents you got on you and we'll put your sandwich on layaway. There you go, keep it right up here for you, We'll put you on a program. Everyday you bring your six cents and at the end of the week you'll get your sandwich. 

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