The days are cooler. The leaves here in
My beloved Hellmets started our league’s World Series last night, facing our oldest rival and one of the Original Four teams that opened our league 21 years ago. And the collaborative team that some of our owners run with me at Game Day Ritual, The Barking Dogs, has the third best record in the league, in only our second season, after a torrid second half. However, we lead the Wild Card chase by just 3 games with 8 games remaining to play in the regular season.
My mind has been on starts.
Most of us are there at this point if we have something for which to play. We look at our lineup for the upcoming period, or we look ahead to our daily decisions in leagues with daily transactions, and we try to figure out the best combination of 5 starters (in most leagues) that we can possibly put together, given our roster and available free agents.
Spots starts, one-offs, streaming starters, dumpster diving …whatever your group calls it, the need to pick the best options available to you is critical right now. I know, I know … You are asking me mentally “So how do I do it?”
I don’t know …
It is like filling out your NCAA brackets. There are about a zillion factors to consider and frankly, there is a lot of luck involved. Also, like filling brackets, everyone has their own “system”. And … again the same as filling out your brackets … this isn’t science as much as soothsaying. There is no formula.
When you are talking about one-game samples, you have to accept what seems like it should be an inalienable truth, namely, you don’t know what is going to happen in any given game. Neither do I. Neither does anyone else. It is something a spreadsheet cannot tell you.
All you can do is better your odds, up the probability of a positive result, give yourself the best chance to succeed. For that, my friend, you need all the info you can gather.
If you are looking at a starter for a given specific start, look up his splits and see how he has done this year in like situations. See how he has pitched home or away, and day or night. See how he has pitched each month this year, is he fading? What has he done the last 4 or 5 starts? See how he has pitched against his scheduled opponent. See how he has pitched in their ballpark if that is where the game is going to be. If you have a wide split anywhere, check last year’s split and see if the pattern was in place in 2006.
We have plenty of tools on the site as well … our 14-day pitching projections tell you when he is starting and where, and who his opposing starter is for the next two weeks and that is updated daily.
Our Pitching Intelligence Log breaks down every start for every starter on every team this year, including color coded listings of all of the indicators we use here on staff.
Our MLB Team Planner gives you a simple rating for every pitchers (and hitters) scheduled opponents for the week to let you know what they are facing ahead.
And of course, you can search our database for every starter you are looking at, and get a ton of stats and all of our news items for the player up to the last 30 days.
We give you plenty of tools. However, I am contractually obligated this morning to do a bit more than refer you to the rest of our stuff on the site. So this morning I will give you a little deeper breakdown of your starter’s scheduled opposing offenses.
The 1-10 rating you see on our MLB Team Planner is based on the team’s OBP for the last few weeks. Below we will look at some other splits on MLB offenses, giving you the 5 best and worst in baseball for each split to help keep you out of trouble with marginal starts.
Here are the best 5 offenses based on OBP this month (MLB Avg: .345) : 1)
It is surprising that that Yankees are so low, but the inclusion of the Bucs and Rangers here has to be surprising too.
And the worst this month (.345): 1) Giants - .266, 2) Orioles - .296, 3) Astros - .314, 4) Dodgers - .317, 5) Braves - .319
The Giants have been abysmal. The Braves are the only mild surprise here.
The rest of these splits are YTD unless otherwise noted….
The best vs. finesse pitchers (.338): 1) Red Sox - .400, 2)
The Bucs and Rays are not the first two names you might have guessed for sure.
And the worst (.338): 1)
A brutal split for the Rangers and Jays.
The best vs. power pitchers (.334, a hair lower than the MLB average vs. finesse pitchers): 1) Yankees - .378, 2) Red Sox - .375, 3) Mariners - .363, 4) Braves - .362, 5)
No surprises at the top except perhaps the Braves.
And the worst: 1) White Sox - .295, 2) Nationals - .306, 3) Blue Jays - .310, 4) Reds - .311, 5) D-Backs - .312.
Generally speaking you want to see the White Sox, Nationals, Reds, or Jays on your starter’s schedule.
The best at home (.340): 1) Yankees - .379, 2) Red Sox - .378, 3)
Let’s see if teams 3 through 5 can repeat their high ranking on the road …
The worst (.340): 1) Padres - .309, 2) White Sox - .322, 3) Nationals - .324, 4) A’s - .324, 5) Giants - .325
The classic chicken or the egg argument. Are these bad offenses or bad offensive parks? Or both?
The best on the road (.329, 11 points better than the home MLB average): 1) Phillies - .351, 2) Yankees - .348, 3) Red Sox - .347, 4) A’s - .345, 5) Mets - .344
The Phillies do more than repeat. The gem here however is the knowledge that facing the A’s on the road or at home is two vastly different things.
The best vs. LHP (.342): 1) Philly - .370, 2) Red Sox - .369, 3) Blue Jays - .369, 4) Brewers - .360, 5) Yankees - .356
Ahhhh … Here is a situation where the Jay’s might not be a good match up. The Yankees are a little less daunting vs. LHP, but they are still daunting.
The worst (.342): 1) Giants - .305, 2) D-Backs - .307, 3) Cubs - .314, 4) Reds - .317, 5) White Sox - .321
Perhaps a little “undiscovered” edge for lefties against the Cubs?
The best vs. RHP (.332, 10 points lower than vs. LHP) : 1) Yankees - .367, 2) Red Sox - .358, 3) Phillies - .351, 4)
The Reds post a 5th best .344 vs. RHP and post a worst in baseball .317 vs. LHP. That is just the type of insight we are looking for here … The Sox, Yanks and Phillies are just good, no matter what or where, it seems.
And the worst (.332): 1) Padres - .311, 2) Nationals - .311, 3) Jays - .312, 4) White Sox - .317, 5) Pirates - .317
The Jays have an OBP of .369 vs. LHP, good for 3rd best in baseball, but their OBP vs. RHP is .312, 3rd worst …
And just for the heck of it ….
The best in domes (.328, 7 points lower than open air): 1) Reds - .365, 2) Yankees - .358, 3) Mariners - .358, 4)
Hmmm… Here is a situation where the Reds and Padres could be dangerous it seems …
The worst (.328): 1) Royals - .295, 2) Mets - .305, 3) Cardinals - .306, 4) Pirates - .308, 5) Angels - .308
The Yankees better put a roof on that new ballpark, and quick, to solve the Angels before the division series.