As the 2021 MLB season propels full speed out of its third month, we are here with an important look at the numbers behind one of the record-breaking events happening across the league. Yes, it’s about pitching; no, it’s not about “sticky stuff”… It’s about the fact that MLB pitchers have had seven incredible outings in which the Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, and LA Dodgers have amassed a total of 0 hits (yes, that’s twice for some teams).
As the halfway mark of the MLB season rolls around, baseball and sports fans alike look forward each year to the ever-entertaining evening that is the Home Run Derby. The goal is simple; hit the most home runs. Despite the widespread celebration of the event, some critics bring up the so-called “Curse of the Home Run Derby” every year. In this article, we will determine if there is any truth to this myth or if we can simply enjoy watching our favourite players participate without worry.
By now you have probably heard that the Los Angeles Dodgers are the 2020 World Series Champions. In past World Series-clinching games, the defining moment is usually the result of a game-changing home run, a timely strikeout or clutch individual performance. Unfortunately, this year’s was all about the clutch performance that could have been. In this article, QSAO Analyst Nic Osanic breaks down the Rays’ decision to pull Blake Snell from Game Six of the World Series.
As we’ve seen, there are many kinds of adjustments that pitchers can make to improve their performance. Some pitchers may change their arm slot, find new grips, or alter other elements of their delivery. In the end, there is a good chance that every pitcher can find subtle ways to improve no matter how good they already are. In the final instalment of The Art of Pitching, QSAO Analyst Nic Osanic investigates examples of pitchers decreasing the usage of their sinker and 2-Seamer in-favour of other pitches.
Previously, we discussed how pitch selection, location, and velocity can all impact the swing and miss ability of different pitches. We saw how velocity clearly makes a difference when it comes to the success of 4-Seam fastballs as long as the pitch is thrown high over the plate. However, guys like Aroldis Chapman, Noah Syndergaard, and Ken “100 Miles” Giles all throw triple-digit high heat but don’t appear on any of the high fastball success leaderboards in the previous articles. Why is that? Well, this likely means that there is more to fastball success than just location and velocity. So what other significant factors could we be missing?
In QSAO Analyst Nic Osanic’s previous article, we discussed the importance of fastball location and how pitching in the high and low portions of the strike zone can yield dramatically different results. One of the strongest examples of this was shown through Gerrit Cole. There were other technicalities at play, but essentially, Cole’s new data-driven approach allowed him to make better use of his elite pitches by throwing them more, and in areas where they were more effective, turning him into arguably the best pitcher in baseball. Now, QSAO Analyst Nic Osanic analyzes the effect of proper pitch selection and location in the modern-day MLB.
Pitching philosophy in baseball has long been a game of conventional wisdom. This philosophy always seemed to make sense as the lower the pitch, the easier it is to swing over the top and hit it on the ground. As more data has become available in recent years, batters have started to adjust. As the MLB’s data-driven pitcher/batter pendulum constantly swings in response to such change, one must wonder how traditional attitudes towards fastball locations affect the modern-day MLB pitcher. In QSAO’s latest series of articles, analysts Nic Osanic takes a deeper look into the art of pitching.
As we look into the present state of our favourite team – the Toronto Blue Jays, we hope to use a form of this popular sabermetric analysis to find a silver lining amid both the team’s poor performance over the past seasons and the delayal of the whole MLB 2020 season due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, the Blue Jays’ roster and farm system are stacked with rookies who show great potential – at least that’s what we, as fans, choose to believe. To confirm our hopes for the team’s future, we have chosen to determine which MLB Rookie stat serves as the greatest indicator for career success in the league. We will use Python and its BeautifulSoup, numpy, and pandas libraries to create models based on Machine Learning methods which will reveal important correlations, validate our results, and ultimately, be capable of predicting the future of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Liverpool’s Premier League unbeaten streak of over a year has been incredible. Currently sitting atop the table with 73 of a possible 75 points, Liverpool is on pace to set a record-breaking total of 110 points, 10 more than City’s record of 100 from 2 years ago… What is the probability that Liverpool actually deserves to be where they are in the table?
As we progress through the seasons of various professional sports, we start to notice trends worth looking into. As I have ben to expand my analytical prowess, I have learned to develop my own questions, and look to answer them through the published work of others – something that QSAO does for the sports community (Look out for all-new content next semester! – shameless plug). But I digress, in Part Two of the latest edition of QSAO’s Analytics Mythbusters, we look into load management in the NBA and how the Houston Astro’s sign-stealing scandal affected team performance.