There is a lot of luck involved in baseball. After a batter makes contact with the ball, there are many factors out of his control. One way to identify the “lucky” hitters is a statistic called BABIP (batting average on balls in play). Before you shout “Nerd!” and run away, let me explain. It just might help you win your fantasy baseball league.
Regular batting average tells us how often a player gets a hit. BABIP tells us how often a player gets a hit when he puts the ball in play (home runs don’t count). The average BABIP this season is .294. Players have some control over their BABIP, but for the most part it is dependent on luck.
Continue reading MLB Fantasy Advice: Use BABIP to Reverse Your Luck
You may recognize him from Saturday afternoon FOX baseball broadcasts, MLB Network’s evening show, Twitter, or his bow-tie. During baseball season, Ken Rosenthal is everywhere. In addition to his television roles, he is the senior baseball writer for FoxSports.com, where he is known for breaking stories on a regular basis. Ken took some time from his busy schedule to answer some questions about the game.
What’s the best scoop you’ve ever gotten?
When I reported that the Angels were talking to Albert Pujols, which no one knew or even guessed at the time. A lot of other reporters knocked down the story. But it certainly turned out to be accurate!
It’s hard to analyze baseball without using sabermetrics. How do you use advanced stats and what is the best way to present them to fans who might not be that familiar?
I use advanced stats quite frequently. At this point, I assume that the vast majority of people who read me have a working understanding of a lot of this stuff. I don’t go too deeply into WAR—I don’t entirely trust it—but OPS, OPS-plus, ERA-plus, BABIP, I use ’em all. With OPS-plus and ERA-plus, I generally explain them.
Continue reading Ken Rosenthal on Sabermetrics, Replay, & Trading Picks
As the Red Sox showed us last weekend, sports can be a great distraction from reality. The pregame ceremony at Fenway Park on Saturday afternoon called to mind the post-9/11 game at Shea Stadium, an inspirational gathering after a week of terror. While nobody would argue the game itself was “necessary” or “important,” it was great to see Boston fans cheering on their team just five days after the marathon bombings. As a reminder that sports, especially baseball, can be silly and fun, I am keeping it light in this week’s “Call to the Pen.” Enjoy.
Did you see that?
Maybe the internet is just getting better, but it seems like there have been an awful lot of memorable fan catches this season. It’s only April and we’ve already seen the Catch and Chug, the Popcorn Explosion, the Baby Catch, and Super Glove.
Continue reading Call to the Pen: Boston, Mascots and More