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"Buy low" pitchers

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Postby Tavish » Sat Apr 22, 2006 11:28 pm

klvrdude wrote:I'm curious to know if the 30% watermark is good for ALL pitchers or just SP? The reason I ask is that I would think this could be skewed when talking about RP, closers in particular.


Its a good rule of thumb (the league average is usually between .300 and .290), ground ball pitchers tend to have slightly higher BABIP (slightly below .300) while fly ball pitchers hae slightly lower BABIP (slightly above .280)
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Postby hoya1982 » Sun Apr 23, 2006 2:20 am

Wow, John Lackey was actually unlucky last year. Seems a repeat/improvement on last year's excellent numbers is very likely. Makes me regret trading him even more. :-o

Also, seems like Joe Blanton was very lucky last year (very unlucky so far this year), so those of us hoping he would turn last year's 2nd half into a great full season are probably going to be somewhat disappointed.

Edit: Here is something interesting, seems like almost all of Oakland's pitchers were "lucky" last year, this probably reflects the fact that Billy Beane focused on acquiring undervalued defensive players, and thus more balls put in play were fielded by Oakland's defense than is normal.
Last edited by hoya1982 on Sun Apr 23, 2006 2:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Bukoski77 » Sun Apr 23, 2006 2:40 am

GREAT POST!! ;-D ;-D ;-D



I could swear it is an old cafe article from here or maybe just one that I linked to from the cafe, but I picked up somewhere that Randy Johnson's 4.26ERA in 2003 was due largely in part to having a 37% hit rate. ALA, he was very unlucky that year as I do put stock in 100 years of baseball proving the 30% rule of thumb. And yes…………, it is still a little too early to put too much stock in some of these metric theories if your trying to project April numbers over a full season.

If anyone can provide the link or a more detailed explanation of the article I’m referring to, please do.
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Postby tuff_gong » Wed Apr 26, 2006 7:06 pm

Should we add Jake Peavy to this list?
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Well that's just like, your opinion man.
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Postby PlayingWithFire » Wed Apr 26, 2006 7:10 pm

just curious, what's Elizardo Ramirez's numbers? He hardly walks a soul and doesn't strike out anybody(around 5k/9ip)
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Postby Rohan » Thu Apr 27, 2006 1:43 am

Lilly was actually an All-Star a few years back. With a loaded team he's a good pikcup now. You probably wont find Lilly on waivers, unless your in a league of 10 or less.
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Postby mweir145 » Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:10 am

Rohan wrote:Lilly was actually an All-Star a few years back. With a loaded team he's a good pikcup now. You probably wont find Lilly on waivers, unless your in a league of 10 or less.

He was an All-Star because the Jays were so bad that they didn't have anybody else to go (Halladay was injured, and Wells was struggling). If I remember correctly, he had an ERA over 4.00 and he still made it.

I still can't trust this guy enough to put him on my team, especially when he pitches agaisnt the tough AL East so often, and has a tendency to blow up when you least expect it..

A few more starts like the last few though, and I might finally change my mind about him. For the Jays' sake, I hope he turns into a consistent starter while Burnett is out. They'll certainly need him.
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Postby Los_Dodgers » Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:25 am

Cool post...but I'm really not sure I agree. I wouldn't buy Garland at all.
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Postby sockeye » Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:16 am

MissingOakley wrote:Before I think about making trade offers for these guys... your work is based on the idea that pitchers have little control over whether balls put into play become hits or outs. I've heard this talked about before. I've just never gotten fully comfortable with it. I feel like when a guy like Glavine is throwing well, righties are taking weak swings and hitting weak grounders off the end of the bat... but when a pitcher is struggling everything is line drives and he's lucky if they're caught.

So is your claim that the pitchers on your list will start throwing better pitches, which are more likely to induce weak swings... or that if these pitchers keep throwing exactly the same their WHIP and ERA will probably improve?

And most important, have people been successful targeting buy-low fantasy pitchers with this metric in the past?


I'm a little confused by this post, but i THINK it is the same thing I am wondering.....do some pitchers throw in a way that consistently induces weak swings, and therefore the 30% rate is not as good of a benchmark? Intuitively, this would seem to HAVE to be the case for any pitcher who consistently has below-average ERAs, yet is not a strikeout pitcher - ie, he throws a lot of batted balls that, for whatever reason, do not translate into hits.

I would very interested in testing this. I think a nice little study would be to identify the group pitchers have had significantly (statistically, that is) lower hit rates than the league average for, say, 3 years in a row. Maybe going back to 1990 or something to keep it simple. It will probably be a small group, and probably will exclude some high-K pitchers. Greg Maddux in his dominant years would likely to be on it.

If a pitcher cheats the odds consistently enough (and 1 full season is compelling evidence, so 3 would be great), then there is somethign to the idea that a guy with a low hit % may NOT be at the tail end of the normal curve because of chance (and thus likely to revert to the norm), but instead because he has figured somethign out.

And of course, the point of all this would be to get a better idea of whether to grab the guy whose rates have been low for awhile, vs. leaving him on the ww.
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Postby MissingOakley » Thu Apr 27, 2006 11:46 am

Anyone buying low on Matt Cain?
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