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John Dewan's Stat of the Week

Who Will Throw the Next No-Hitter?

Nearing the halfway point of 2016, Jake Arrieta owns the lone no-hitter of the season, a feat he accomplished on April 21 against the Reds. In the mid-2000s, this scarcity of no-hitters would not have seemed strange, but following a total of 12 no-hitters thrown from 2014-15, it stands out. Offense is up [...]

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The White Sox’s Defensive Decline

The White Sox were the toast of the AL in the first few weeks of the season. Not only did their 16-7 start to the season earn them a three-game lead over the World Series champion Royals in the Central on April 28, it gave them the best record in the league. Only [...]

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The Best and Worst Defensive Players So Far this Season

Last season, Kevin Kiermaier led all of Major League Baseball saving an estimated 42 runs defensively for the Tampa Bay Rays. That was the most by any player in a given season since Baseball Info Solutions began tracking the data in 2003, and 13 runs ahead of the next ranked player in 2015, Ender Inciarte. [...]

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Who are the Rookie of the Year candidates?

It has been a great first two months for rookie performances in baseball, but it has not been the rookies many expected. Several elite prospects like Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios have struggled since their debuts and have landed back in the minors, but that has opened the door for some surprising and fun [...]

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Who’s Hot and Who’s Not…According to Bill James

The first month of the MLB season is already behind us, and as temperatures are heating up across the country, I am reminded of one of my favorite Stats of the Week to write each year: who’s hot and who’s not. Several years ago, Bill James developed a system to measure how hot players [...]

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Why Shifting Does Work

Renowned Baseball Prospectus researcher Russell Carleton wrote an interesting article earlier this week on Baseball Prospectus that utilized the Baseball Info Solutions shifts data made available by the great folks at FanGraphs and questioned whether defensive shifts are actually an effective technique. However, there are a couple of small flaws in the technique that [...]

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How Good Have the Cubs Been So Far?

One of our readers, Andrew Berman, shared some research he did where he looked into the best starts to the regular season in major league history, specifically referencing the Chicago Cubs and their 20-game tear to open up 2016. Andrew’s research references Bill James’ Pythagorean Winning Percentage, which uses a team's runs scored and runs allowed to estimate their expected [...]

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The Best and Worst Defensive Teams Thus Far

As we inch closer to the second month of the season, defensive performance has begun taking form across the league. Several unexpected teams have flashed some leather in the early going, which has helped propel them to the top of their respective divisions.Best Defensive Teams as of April 22TeamRuns SavedChicago Cubs17Los Angeles Dodgers16St. Louis Cardinals15Houston [...]

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Early Season Shift Leaders

While the 2016 season is still quite young, it never hurts to get an early perspective of how team-wide and league-wide trends are developing. When diving into the early-season defensive positioning numbers, several developments relative to shifting strike us as noteworthy. MLB Shifts by Season 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 [...]

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How Baserunners Alter the Way Teams Shift

As defensive shifts continue to increase across baseball, more and more teams are reaping the benefits of improved run prevention. But how do baserunners affect the way teams shift?Whether it’s driven by holding runners on, playing at double-play depth, or other situational alignments, teams in aggregate shift less often with more runners on. In the table below, shift percentage represents how [...]

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