Bits and Pieces Artificial Intelligence Weekend Edition

The stat heads have some new ideas about pitching which we are already enjoying and might see more of this year after the late season roster expansion and in the playoffs, especially the wild card death matches. It mostly has to do with the idea that the more times a hitter gets to see a pitcher in a game the better he does and not because of pitcher fatigue but because the hitter gets to see how the ball is coming out of his hand, what pitches are and aren’t working for him that day, yada yada. Therefore the starter must not be allowed to pitch for too long. Not only that they’re arguing about whether it’s best to abbreviate his time on the mound at the end of the game or at the beginning of the game. I suppose it might not be too long before we start hearing that there shouldn’t even be such a thing as a “starter”.

Before proceeding consider the thoughts below

I’m gonna put this here so when I get sauced tonight I can find it easy.


The Orioles become the 30th team to nab win # 30 !!!

Indians 8 Tigers 3 | Orioles 15 Rays 5 | Pirates 5 Mets 4

The Opener

The idea is to spare the starter the first plate appearance of the other team’s three best hitters by having a reliever who happens to match up well with them pitch the first inning. The “starter”, if you still call him that, then pitches his five or six innings starting in the second inning and is hopefully spared the dreaded third plate appearance of the deadly trio when it seems some acronym measuring the hitter’s effectiveness jumps up the most.

It might not be a bad idea. The first inning is the only inning where you know who the first three hitters are so why not take advantage of that? You never know who’s coming up in all the following inning so why not use that reliever in the first rather than the seventh inning?

Some of the other stat heads also notice that the visiting starter on average does worse than the home starter they speculate because the visiting starter has to sit in the dugout through the top of the first after he’s completed his warmup, but I don’t get that because whey couldn’t he just start his warmup routine a little later and complete it in the top of the first.

This all started when I found this to my horror over at Twinkie Town

Stat heads enjoy. This article includes multiple links to other stat head frolics.

Red Six 4 Twins 3 | Reds 6 Phillies 4 | Nationals 9 Marlins 1

The Bullpen Game

The basic idea here is that a combination of relievers going a couple or so innings each is likely to yield better results than the average teams fourth or fifth starter. Plus it saves money! So so relievers cost a lot less than so so starters. You might even be able to pull it off with guys still making the major league min. The trust fund pukes have to love that

Dodgers 4 Braves 1 | Blue Jays 10 White Sox 5 | Rangers 11 Astros 2

So What To Expect Next

The Rays having been doing this stuff more than anyone and even though it appeared that they decided to tank in the off season, playing in baseball’s toughest division, they’re currently a couple of games above 500. Hell, if they were in the AL Central they might be neck and neck with the Indians.

When the 100 win plus Borg face the possibility of extermination in a wild card matchup with Species 8472, don’t you think that, remembering what happened to Severino in the first inning of last year’s completely evil wild card game, that they might give the first inning to one of their bullpen flame throwers. And maybe ditto for some of the other all or nothing playoff game series.

After the September call ups contending teams sporting 15 man pitching staffs and desperate for those one or two more deciding wins could decide anything is worth a try. Out of contention teams could decide why not experiment.

And if these attempts are seen as successful, will teams structure their rosters to do more of it next season? Oh my.

At least it gives me an excuse to slip this in to this stat head vidless frolic


Cardinals 5 Cubs 2 | Rockies 3 Athletics 1 | Angels 4 Mariners 3

The Most Consistent Hitter In Baseball History

Here’s one last tidbit from the nerds over at fivethirtyeight. Kris Davis has been hitting between 244 and 248 every year for the past five years. They actually looked at the 21,214 other qualifying five year periods going back to 1900 and discovered that not only is Kris Davis the greatest of all but by a “scary” margin. Some people’s children.

The Most Consistent Hitter In Baseball History

Diamondbacks 6 Padres 2 | Brewers 3 Giants 1 | Royals Yankees PP due to evil

4 thoughts on “Bits and Pieces Artificial Intelligence Weekend Edition

    1. ‘Tis a fine institution indeed, a worthwhile visit, and it’s right next door to the Jazz Museum too (no, not the basketball team’s). If you’re still on the ignorant side of what they used to call black baseball, I recommend John Holway’s book, “Only the Ball was White.”


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