Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Newsletter Excerpt, June 18, 2024 -- "Automation, Pt. 1"

 

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $79.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

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 Whatever the outputs, though, ABS is far superior to human umpires in one key way: It calls pitches based on where they cross the plate, where they go past the batter, rather than based on what the catcher does. This alone makes ABS better than what we have now, because ABS calls pitches. In modern baseball, home-plate umpires don’t call pitches, they call catches.

Let’s repeat that.

ABS calls pitches, umpires call catches.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Newsletter Excerpt, June 17, 2024 -- "Mailbag"

 

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

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Do you think it's really, really good for MLB that they have so many wild cards to keep everyone interested when division leaders have such terrific records/leads so early? Plenty of time for most teams to get hot and get themselves a shot.

--Tom E.


The expanded playoffs are designed to keep mediocre teams in the race and theoretically keep their fans invested longer. I don’t really enjoy watching .480 baseball teams, and I have argued many times that if you just analyze the games played by wild-card contenders in September, they do not seem to move attendance at all. My personal preference would be for a maximally meaningful regular season feeding into a shorter, smaller postseason.

--J.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Newsletter Excerpt, June 14, 2024 -- "The Cubs"

 

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $79.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

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The Cubs have lost six games when leading after six innings, as they did last night. That’s tied for eighth-worst in baseball. Their .793 winning percentage when leading after six is eighth-worst. The Cubs are seventh-worst in runs allowed in the last three innings. Their relievers have the second-most losses in baseball, with 18, and the Cubs’ bullpen is one of four with more losses than saves. 
 
 

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Newsletter Excerpt, June 13, 2024 -- "Thinking Inside the Box"

 

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

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Right now, the Brewers have a top-ten offense and a top-ten bullpen. Their starters...are 25th in FIP, 24th in K-BB%. They just need to not lose games for the team, and so far, they’re doing just that. The Brewers have used 12 starters, tied for most in baseball with the Braves, with Jared Koenig serving as an opener four times. The Brewers are down Wade Miley for the year, as well as DL Hall, Robert Gasser, and Joe Ross for the moment. Every quality start from the likes of Myers is big as they try to steal the NL Central. 
 
 

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Newsletter Excerpt, June 12, 2024 -- "Parity"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

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Instead of investing our baseball attention in the best teams, the next few months will be spent with this large group of mediocrity, seeing which ones, if any, can rise to an 85-win level. There are any number of reasons to dislike expanded playoffs, but this may be the most frustrating for me, the way it forces us to care more about teams playing .525 ball than ones playing .625 ball. 
 
 

 

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

2024 All-Star Ballot

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

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American League

First Base: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays
Second Base: Jose Altuve, Astros
Third Base: Jose Ramirez, Guardians
Shortstop: Gunnar Henderson, Orioles
Catcher: Adley Rutschman, Orioles
Outfield: Aaron Judge, Yankees; Juan Soto, Yankees; Kyle Tucker, Astros
Designated Hitter: Yordan Alvarez, Astros

National League

First Base: Freddie Freeman, Dodgers
Second Base: Ketel Marte, Diamondbacks
Third Base: Matt Chapman, Giants
Shortstop: Mookie Betts, Dodgers
Catcher: William Contreras, Brewers
Outfield: Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres; Christian Yelich, Brewers; Cody Bellinger, Cubs
Designated Hitter: Shohei Ohtani, Dodgers
 
 

 

Newsletter Excerpt, June 6, 2024 -- "Nine Pitches"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

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In play, run(s), 100.1 mph four-seam fastball

Tell your statistics to shut up.

The best part about this homer wasn’t the swing, wasn’t the exit velocity, wasn’t the distance. The best part about this homer was how Paul Skenes knew it before the ball was even over his head. Skenes finishes the pitch and swings around, facing towards the first-base stands, grimacing, well aware his shutout is over. It turns out you can’t throw six fastballs past Shohei Ohtani, especially when the sixth is as poorly located as the Young Republicans booth at Smith College orientation.
 
 

 

Newsletter Excerpt, June 5, 2024 -- "Tucupita Marcano"

 

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For these people, baseball players being suspended for betting on baseball games is evidence that MLB is being corrupted by the league’s gambling relationships. For a smaller number of people, the suspensions are morally tenuous, MLB taking with one hand and banning with the other. 

I don’t think the two stories are related at all. Marcano, Kelly, Jay Groome, Andrew Saalfrank, Jose Rodriguez...they all walked past Rule 21(d) every day, they all got the lectures each spring about the rules. Granted the ability to play professional and even Major League Baseball, they elected to break the one rule that would forfeit that privilege. MLB has every right to suspend them even as game odds scroll across the screen on MLB Network while it’s covering the story. They’re just not related. Baseball players are governed by Rule 21(d), the larger public is not. MLB is pitching bonus bets and strikeout props to tens of millions of people while holding those in its employ to a higher standard.
 
 
 

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Newsletter Excerpt, June 4, 2024 -- "Clutch Central"

 

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

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These two teams represent one of the great divides in baseball: Clutch performance isn’t a skill over and above performance, but clutch performance does happen and can make all the difference in a given season. Saying “it probably won’t continue” doesn’t take away from the value it’s had to date, nor does it mean that everything will even out over the next four months. 
 
 

Monday, June 3, 2024

Newsletter Excerpt, June 3, 2024 -- "Dynamic Duos"

 

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $79.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

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After that explosion, which drove a Yankees sweep at Oracle Park, Aaron Judge is hitting .288/.417/.658 for a 200 OPS+; Soto is at .322/.417/.614 for a 189 OPS+. Together, they have started every game for the Yankees, who now have MLB’s best record at 42-19. Together, they’re threatening to become the best-hitting pair of teammates -- not Yankee teammates, any teammates -- in almost 100 years. 
 
 

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Newsletter Excerpt, June 2, 2024 -- "Aaron Judge"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider.

You can subscribe to the newsletter for one year for $79.95 using your PayPal account or major credit card.

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Through April 26, batting exclusively in front of Stanton and Rizzo, Judge hit .178/.317/.356, taking his walks -- 20 -- but not seeing enough pitches to do damage against. Just 45.9% of the pitches he saw were in the zone, per Statcast. On April 27, with Verdugo behind him, Judge homered. On April 28, with Verdugo behind him, Judge homered. Verdugo then went on paternity leave for a few days, and Judge didn’t homer. On May 3, Boone slotted Verdugo into the cleanup spot behind Judge against right-handed pitchers for good, and Judge has hit .394/.509/1.000 in the 27 games since then.