MLB: The Surge of Analytics in the Dugout

“What are the percentages of scoring a run with a runner on first with nobody out, versus a runner on second with one out?” That is the most basic of the analytical questions that you hear about nowadays when it comes to managerial decisions.  The question stems from one simple situation in baseball:  Whether or not you should bunt with a runner on first base and nobody out. As the…

October 29, 2017

MLB: World Series Preview

1970.   Cincinnati vs. Baltimore.    That represents the last time two teams who won 100+ games in the regular season ended up meeting up in the World Series.  There have been a few close calls since then.  In 2004, the Boston Red Sox won 98 regular season games (the Cardinals won 105).  The 1998 Yankees are considered one of the best teams in history, and their opponent in the World…

October 24, 2017

Opinion: The Sudden Ending to a Season

New York Yankees.  Michigan Wolverines.  Carolina Panthers. If you think you had a bad weekend watching sports, the three teams above represent the three teams I root hardest for.  All three of them had bad weekends.  Depressing weekends.  Michigan and Carolina didn’t show up for their games, while the Yankees’ youth and Houston’s love of their home ballpark ultimately did in my favorite baseball team.   If you are a sports…

October 23, 2017

MLB: League Championship Series Preview

So far, my predictions have been spot on!   I said the Indians would win the American League, and the Diamondbacks would represent the National League.   I boldly predicted that the Astros were better suited for 162 games than a shorter postseason series (that could still come true, I suppose).   I didn’t think the Cubs would repeat, and I certainly thought the Dodgers’ late-season slowdown might carry over into the playoffs. …

October 13, 2017

MLB: National League Playoff Preview

I wrote up the American League preview yesterday. Los Angeles Dodgers (104-58) 58-15.  From June 1st through August 25th, the Dodgers put together one of the best stretches of baseball in the history of the game, and were primed to make a run at some of the best single-season teams in history.   A 13-22 finish to the season turned the discussion from “one of the best teams ever” to…

October 3, 2017

MLB: American League Playoff Preview

Cleveland Indians (102-60) Do you remember that time earlier in the season when the Cleveland Indians seemed to be suffering from “World Series Hangover Syndrome”?   When they woke up on June 17, 2017, they were 33-31, one game behind the upstart Minnesota Twins for the division lead.    They swept a double-header that day in Minnesota, and never again lost control of the division. Reasons for hope:  The Indians…

October 2, 2017