LATEST STORIES FROM FANGRAPHS

Effectively Wild Episode 1127: A Whole New World (Series)

Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Jeff’s weekend trip and discuss the end of the ALCS and the Astros’ crazy curveball reliance in ALCS Game 7, the Astros’ reluctance to use regular relievers, the Yankees’ outlook for 2018 and beyond, why this World Series isn’t easy to analyze, whether the Dodgers and Astros are evenly matched, what to make of the Nationals’ and Mets’...
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3 hours ago  |  Discuss

The Dodgers Have Made It Look Way Too Easy

The Dodgers have won two playoff series, but they aren’t undefeated. Remember that the Cubs beat them by a run in NLCS Game 4. Other teams have somewhat recently advanced to the World Series without having lost. Back in 2007, the Rockies swept the NLCS, after they swept the NLDS, after they took a one-game playoff over the Padres. And in 2014, the Royals swept the ALCS, after they...
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11 hours ago  |  Discuss

The Yankees Path Forward

On Saturday night, the Astros ended the Yankees season with a 4-0 shutout. For New York, even reaching Game 7 of the ALCS was a surprising accomplishment, as this was a team widely considered to still be in rebuilding mode heading into 2017. As a young team who became a good team faster than expected, the easy comparisons are to teams like the 2015 Cubs or the 2008 Rays, and expectations...
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12 hours ago  |  Discuss

Contract Crowdsourcing 2017-18: Ballot 4 of 15

Free agency begins five days after the end of the World Series. As in other recent offseasons, FanGraphs is once again facilitating this offseason a contract-crowdsourcing project, the idea being to harness the wisdom of the crowds to the end of better understanding the 2016-17 free-agent market. Below are links to ballots for five of this year’s free agents, including a shortstop...
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13 hours ago  |  Discuss

Travis Sawchik FanGraphs Chat

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15 hours ago  |  Discuss

Kenley Jansen Is Marvelous

Kenley Jansen has only been charged with earned runs in two of his 24 career postseason appearances.(Photo: TonyTheTiger) Kenley Jansen certainly hasn’t been ignored around here. Back in June, for instance, Travis looked at how Jansen’s reliance on a single pitch compares to Mariano Rivera‘s. And yet, I still feel like we don’t really appreciate just how great Jansen really is...
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15 hours ago  |  Discuss

How the Dodgers Made Their Great Bullpen

It would be easy to assume that the Dodgers bullpen is just another part of the club bought and paid for by means of the organization’s massive and unrivaled resources. With the team’s payroll and competitive-balance expenses coming to roughly $250 million this season — itself a substantive decrease over the $300 million outlays of the 2014-16 campaigns — the Dodgers clearly have...
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16 hours ago  |  Discuss

Thirty-Two Is a Magic Number for MLB

Please pardon this break from playoff-related content. Writing for Baseball America earlier this month, longtime baseball scribe Tracy Ringolsby reported there’s “building consensus” that MLB is soon headed toward expansion and a 32-team structure and perhaps a 156-game schedule. There have been rumblings of expansion for some time. As a guest in the Rockies’ broadcast booth back...
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18 hours ago  |  Discuss

Sunday Notes: Collin McHugh and Josh Hader Take Their Mechanics Seriously

Collin McHugh wasn’t consumed with worry, but he was concerned. The Astros right-hander had shoulder/biceps tendinitis in the spring, and then his elbow tightened up during a rehab outing in April. Tests didn’t raise any red flags, but it’s hard not to ponder worst-case scenarios when your livelihood is at risk. Tendinitis is mostly an inconvenience. Tightness can be a prelude to...
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1 day ago  |  Discuss

Lance McCullers Curveballs and Tandems the Astros to World Series

The Astros are going to the World Series for a number of reasons. Saturday night marked the culmination of a lengthy, creative, bottoming-out rebuild gone right, a rebuild so extreme it had earned the club the “Disastros” moniker. NO one is laughing now. The Astros are going to the World Series because of the accumulation of hirings, signings, draft decisions, development and...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

2017 ALCS Game 7 Live Blog

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2 days ago  |  Discuss

The Best of FanGraphs: October 16-20

Each week, we publish north of 100 posts on our various blogs. With this post, we hope to highlight 10 to 15 of them. You can read more on it here. The links below are color coded — green for FanGraphs, brown for RotoGraphs, dark red for The Hardball Times and blue for Community Research. MONDAYJoe Maddon Had a Bad Night, by Dave Cameron Joe Maddon actually had a pretty bad series...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

Mapping Out 27 Outs for A.J. Hinch

Astros, Yankees, Game 7. This should be fun. This has been a pretty terrific ALCS already, and with a winner-take-all contest to decide it tonight, this could end up being one of the best league championship series we’ve seen in a while. For the Yankees, the plan seems pretty obvious. CC Sabathia is going to start the game, and given how he’s pitched so far this postseason, Joe...
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2 days ago  |  Discuss

Effectively Wild Episode 1126: Homers, Homers, Everywhere

Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about the home run’s postseason supremacy, Clayton Kershaw’s performance in NLCS Game 5 and the Dodgers’ World Series outlook, the Cubs’ upcoming offseason and long-term future, and the significance of the Tigers’ Ron Gardenhire hiring. Audio intro: Pernice Brothers, "Subject Drop"Audio outro: Lurleen Lumpkin, "Bagged Me a Homer"  (Please...
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3 days ago  |  Discuss

Contract Crowdsourcing 2017-18: Ballot 3 of 15

Free agency begins five days after the end of the World Series. As in other recent offseasons, FanGraphs is once again facilitating this offseason a contract-crowdsourcing project, the idea being to harness the wisdom of the crowds to the end of better understanding the 2016-17 free-agent market. Below are links to ballots for five of this year’s free agents, including a number of...
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3 days ago  |  Discuss

Keuchel, Verlander, and Facing These Yankees Twice

If we know anything about Dallas Keuchel it’s that he possesses some of the best command in the game. No starting pitcher more often targets and hits the lower third of the zone — and the borderline, 50-50 area at the bottom of the zone — according to Baseball Savant’s pitch data. Keuchel located 29.4% of his total pitches in these zones this season, tops among MLB starting pitchers...
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3 days ago  |  Discuss

(Mostly) East Valley Instructional League Notes

Periodically, I’ll be posting notes from in-person observations at Fall Instructional League and Arizona Fall League play. Each are essentially the scouting calendar’s dessert course, both in their timing and sometimes dubious value. I take bad fall looks with a large grain of salt as players are sometimes fatigued, disinterested, put in difficult situations purposefully so that...
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3 days ago  |  Discuss

Jeff Sullivan FanGraphs Chat — 10/20/17

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3 days ago  |  Discuss

When Bullpenning Goes Wrong

Playoff baseball has changed in recent years. Where managers might have once employed tactics very similar to those used in the regular season, that has increasingly not been the case. In 2011, for example, Tony LaRussa used his bullpen just as often as he did his starting pitchers en route to a championship for the St. Louis Cardinals. A few years later, the Royals shortened games...
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3 days ago  |  Discuss

The Yankees’ Air-Ball and Home-Field Advantages

The return of Greg Bird allowed the Yankees to address a weakness internally.(Photo: Keith Allison) No one is lifting and launching like the Yankees this postseason. More specifically, no one is lifting and launching like the Yankees at their home park, where the club is 6-0 this postseason after enjoying a sizable home-field advantage during the regular season (51-30), as well...
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3 days ago  |  Discuss

The Cubs Already Need to Retool

Is Javier Baez part of the core? Or a means to acquiring pitching depth?(Photo: Arturo Pardavila III) A year ago, the Cubs were baseball’s most dominant team, first putting up 103 regular-season wins and then capping the achievement with their first World Series win in 108 years. (So I was told a few times along the way.) The question wasn’t whether the 2016 Cubs were the best...
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3 days ago  |  Discuss

Effectively Wild Episode 1125: Effectively Arrieta

Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan banter about Jake Arrieta’s effective wildness (and free agency), the Astros’ offensive struggles, and Yu Darvish’s bases-loaded walk, then answer listener emails about sequencing wins in the playoffs, a Dodgers fun fact, postseason managerial specialists, why hitters telegraph taking all the way, whether hitters can read fielders to tell which pitch...
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4 days ago  |  Discuss

Clayton Kershaw Has Brought His Experiment Back

A few hours from now, Clayton Kershaw will take the ball in Chicago, hoping to help the Dodgers move on to the World Series. Even though the Dodgers lost last night, being able to turn now to Kershaw makes everything better, as he still deserves the benefit of the doubt, any recent struggles aside. Now, I want to take only a couple minutes of your time. Kershaw has already started...
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4 days ago  |  Discuss

Dallas Keuchel Executed, the Yankees Executed Better

Dallas Keuchel didn’t overwhelm the Yankees like usual on Wednesday. Rather than continuing his career domination of the New York nine — which includes 14 scoreless innings in the postseason and a 1.09 ERA in eight starts overall — he did what Joe Girardi said before the game he rarely does: lay an egg. Keuchel was chased in the fifth, having surrendered seven hits and four runs...
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4 days ago  |  Discuss

Can Jose Quintana Save the Cubs?

The Cubs staved off elimination last night through the might of Javier Baez, retaining the hope of becoming the first back-to-back World Series winner since the 1998-2000 New York Yankees. As a reward for their survival, they get to face the best pitcher of this generation in Clayton Kershaw, who has a chance to exorcise some postseason demons of his own with a decisive putaway performance...
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4 days ago  |  Discuss
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