The last twenty comments in true blog fasion, with the links to their authors and the player commented upon.

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Stephen Strasburg Washington Nationals

I only bet underdogs (or close to even) in baseball, so with the Astros -176, I actually think it's easy to bet against them.  The teams are not that disparate and Strasburg is an excellent pitcher. 

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Oct 28

I hope you're right, if only to give us a game seven, but it's hard to bet against the Astros in game six.

mike fenger mike
Oct 28

For some reason I think Strasburg will win yet again and Verlander lose let again, and the visiting team will win yet again, and so on and so forth.

But if I'm right, I wouldn't bet against the Astros in Game 7. 

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 28
Zack Wheeler New York Mets
Robinson Chirinos Houston Astros

The last two paragraphs:

The baseball is at the literal center of MLB’s game. Its physical characteristics affect every single play, often multiple times: from the way the pitcher grips and spins it to the flight it takes to the hitter to the hitter’s swing and, if contact is made, all the way to how fielders track and catch it (or whether it passes the fence). That MLB cannot monitor the baseballs or control them well enough for there to be consistent equipment from game to game in the same season, postseason or even World Series is an indictment of their quality control.

That the home run commission warned them this could be a problem, and they still failed to take steps to prevent it, shows that ignorance shouldn’t be accepted as a defense. (Nor small sample size, weather, or the quality of pitching, which has nothing to do with the baseball’s physical properties.) The baseball has varied for at least the last decade, but only recently has its drag swerved around so wildly, so visibly, and with such huge consequences on home run rate. Major League Baseball may hope that denials will cause this issue to fade away, but the interest in tracking air resistance suggests that won’t be an effective strategy. And until they take the issue seriously, fans will be left wondering how much each baseball contributed to the game-defining home runs they see.

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 27

Robert Arthur continues his excellent study of the baseball's drag -- even if Manfred thinks it's a drag.

BP really shouldn't have this behind it's pay wall, but if it does, let me know and I'll cut and past the key paragraphs.

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 27
Michael Brantley Houston Astros

All 18 will get my attention.

Today's Matchups to Watch

  • Michael Brantley vs. Max Scherzer: 49 PA, .341/.367/.636, 1 HR
  • Josh Reddick vs. Max Scherzer: 11 PA, .455/.455/.636, 0 HR
  • Anthony Rendon vs. Gerrit Cole: 15 PA, .385/.467/.385, 0 HR
  • Matt Adams vs. Gerrit Cole: 18 PA, .235/.278/.471, 1 HR
  • Jose Altuve vs. Max Scherzer: 11 PA, .182/.182/.182, 0 HR

View All Possible Matchup Histories for Today

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 27
Jose Urquidy Houston Astros

The World Series continues to write its own script.

Yesterday's Top Performers


Jose Urquidy* (HOU): 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 4 K, 0 BB, 67 GmSc

Brad Peacock* (HOU): 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 54 GmSc

Chris Devenski (HOU): 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 53 GmSc

* - pictured above

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 27

Looks like Tsutsugo will in fact be playing his trade in MLB in 2020. He'd be a great fit with the White Sox and I wouldn't at all be surprised to see him there as a DH/OF/1B type next season.

Tim McLeod tlmcleod
Oct 26
Stubby Clapp St. Louis Cardinals

A Canadian icon, for many reasons, but hitting a bases-loaded single in the 11th inning in the '99 Pan Am Games to beat the US and put Canada into the semi's definitely helped. He was popular wherever he played and as a Manager has enjoyed a successful run, including back-to-back PCL Manager of the Year Awards while with Memphis. Go get 'em Stubby!!

Tim McLeod tlmcleod
Oct 26
Justin Verlander Houston Astros

Same thing for JV and his #1 age 36 comp Mike Mussina

Wins +1

Losses +2

ERA +0.31

Ks +606

CG -30

Win%  -.002

GP +10

GS +10

IP -41

Hits -339

BB +166

ShO -14

Saves 0

This may give us an idea of which stat differences have the biggest SS impact. 

van wilhoite LVW
Oct 26

Comparing Verlander and Gibson thru their age 36 seasons. The +\-  by each stat is how far ahead or behind(better or worse for rate stats) Gibby  that JV is.

Wins 0

Losses -12

ERA - 0.54

Ks +220

CG -206

Win%  +.021

GP +5

GS +43

IP -358.1

Hits -229

BB -263

ShO -45

Saves -4

van wilhoite LVW
Oct 26
  • One point for each difference of 1 win.

  • One point for each difference of 2 losses.

  • One point for each difference of .002 in winning percentage (max 100 points).

  • One point for each difference of .02 in ERA (max 100 points).

  • One point for each difference of 10 games pitched.

  • One point for each difference of 20 starts.

  • One point for each difference of 20 complete games.

  • One point for each difference of 50 innings pitched.

  • One point for each difference of 50 hits allowed.

  • One point for each difference of 30 strikeouts.

  • One point for each difference of 10 walks.

  • One point for each difference of 5 shutouts.

  • One point for each difference of 3 saves

Jack Morris is #2 on the career SS to Bob Gibson

van wilhoite LVW
Oct 26

Who would have expected Bob Gibson and Mike Mussina to be in the same comp?

We assume there's some sort of logic in the algorithm that creates comps. Might be a false assumption. Change one variable (I'm guessing) and you get a completely different list.

Alex Patton Alex
Oct 26
Clayton Kershaw Los Angeles Dodgers

His black ink appears to have stalled.  It's 65, just behind as Verlander for 17th all-time for pitchers.

His top 10 through age 31 is more impressive, though:




Doctor K

Tom Terrific

Johan Santana

Lefty Grove

Pete Alexander


Doc White!?!?!?

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Oct 26
Justin Verlander Houston Astros

Verlander now scores 66 on Black Ink.  That's 15th All-Time among pitchers.  He's only 35th in JAWS, just behind the average HOF P.

Through age 36, his top 10 comps are:





Bob Gibson

Bob Welch (who would have expected that!)

Tim Hudson

Roger Clemens


Juan Marichal

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Oct 26
Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels

He's now led the league in OPS+ every year from 2015 through 2019, plus 2012 for good measure.  He's 5th all-time, but he hasn't had a decline phase, so we'll see where it ends.  That said, his peak is ongoing, so he could still climb too before that decline.

Ruth 206

Teddy Ballgame 190

Barry Bonds 182

Gehrig 179

Trout 176

Hornsby 175

Mickey 172

His last three years have been 186, 198, 185.

Through age 27, his best comps are fun:


Frank Robinson

Ken Griffey Jr.

Hank Aaron


Eddie Mathews

Albert Pujols

Mel Ott

Andruw Jones

Joe D

Black Ink, he's 52nd all-time

His career WAR exceeds the average HOF CF.

He just passed Griffey Jr. in JAWS, which considers peak and career WAR.  He's still way behind Mantle for 4th b/c of career WAR.  It will take him 4+ more years at his current pace to move up that much.  It will take him 6+ years at his current pace to move into 3rd ahead of Tris Speaker.  It will take more than double his current career to catch Cobb or Mays.  He will be hanging out in 5th for some time.  Then again, Mantle had 18 seasons, Speaker and Mays 22, and Cobb 24, so if he sticks around all 11 years of his contract, he's got a chance of at least getting to 3rd.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Oct 26
Ronald Acuna Atlanta Braves

See Soto.

Acuña's top 10 most comparable on B-R

Frank Robinson


Giancarlo Stanton

Hank Aaron

Justin Upton

Tony C

Eddie Mathews

Mike Trout


Bob Horner

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Oct 26
Juan Soto Washington Nationals

For his birthday, I checked his B-R page.  Turns out the new Similar Batters through 2019 have been updated, so we get updates on rookies from 2018.

Soto's most similar career hitter is Acuna, so this is going to be fun going forward.

Through age 20, Soto's most similar are:

Tony C


Frank Robinson



Ken Griffey Jr.

Mel Ott

Vada Pinson

Al Kaline

Cesar Cedeno

Quite a group.

Eugene Freedman EugeneFreed
Oct 26
Roberto Osuna Houston Astros

Yeah, he's really busy, you know, and phone calls take so long to make. 

Go Nats.

Mike Landau ML-
Oct 25

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