Most recently published stories in Unbalanced.
Don’t Look Now, but Sonny Gray Is Back
2016 was not kind to elite pitchers at all. Zack Greinke stunk. Dallas Keuchel struggled. And Sonny Gray, who is typically one of the best pitchers in the Majors, finished the season as one of the worst — going from 5.8 rWAR in 2015 to -0.5 rWAR in 2016.
Unbalanced Trade Deadline Series: Gerrit Cole
We are in full swing this trade season! After the relatively surprising bombshell that was the Jose Quintana trade, the relative price has been set on starting pitching (pssst, it’s pretty high). While there are a bevy of names being floated out there, few on the trading block carry as much value as Gerrit Cole.
Mike Trout: Pull Hitting Monster
Surprise! Mike Trout is still the best player in baseball. He’s missed a month due to injury and is still a strong candidate to comeback and win the AL MVP award in a year when Aaron Judge is mashing everything into orbit and Jose Altuve’s hitting is more unbelievable than the fact that Houston’s mascot Orbit is supposed to be an alien (how is this an alien?!!?). Trout’s line this year is .328/.450/.719 with a 17.1% BB% and 20.4% K%, good for a 203 wRC+ over 240 PA. Given, we are not dealing with a full season of Trout but we are already seeing multiple changes in Trout’s approach at the plate.
The Dodgers: Kings of Weak Contact
The Dodgers have been the best pitching staff in baseball this year. They lead the league in fWAR amongst starting and relief pitchers, and they’ve been rolling through teams. They do all the things you would expect an elite staff to do. They strike out a great deal of batters (25.4% K%) and don’t walk many, either (7.1% BB%), giving them the third best K-BB% in the league.
How Kyle Lowry’s Injury Shapes the Rest of the Eastern Conference
Amidst the deadline hangover and the ‘slight high’ contending teams get by hunting for recently bought out players comes a story that will reshape how the Eastern Conference unfolds this season.
It’s Time to Start Giving Zack Godley Your Attention
Earlier in a post I wrote as the D-Backs were looking more and more like legitimate contenders, I highlighted Zack Godley as someone who was having a good deal of success. The Arizona rotation is strong. Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray are great, but Zack Godley has continued to fly under the radar.
The Hero That Golden State Needed: The Three Sides To Every Story
There are plenty of phrases Warriors’ fans could have chanted after the re-signing of NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant: the boys are back in town, the whole gang’s here, we are putting the band back together, etc. The point being, the reigning NBA champions are set for another run at a title. After a flurry of free agent movement, the dust has already seemed to settle in the Bay Area. The Champs have brought back every free agent piece of their own that they deemed important, and even some that were not their own (see Swaggy P).
Lindor Versus Correa Versus Bogaerts: Battle of the Elite Shortstops
There’s quite the disparity between the best three shortstops in the AL and the rest of the shortstops in the league. In 2016, Francisco Lindor was worth 6.3 fWAR, Carlos Correa was worth 4.9 fWAR and Xander Bogaerts was worth 4.7 fWAR — then the next closest AL SS was Troy Tulowitzki, worth only 2.8 fWAR. That’s quite the gap between tier one and tier two for AL shortstops.
Robbie Grossman or Joey Votto?
First off the answer is Joey Votto regardless of whatever question I was going to ask. But lets play a little game. Can you tell me which of these two players is Robbie Grossman based on these plate discipline numbers from this year?
Damned If He Do, Damned If He Don’t
Guess what guys? Colin Kaepernick is back in the news again, even as nauseating as it may sound to some. No need for further pleasantries though, let’s get right to it.
The Brewers, White Sox, Angels, and Starting a Rebuild on the Cheap Bullpen
We’re coming up on trade season once again, and it’ll soon be time for teams to overbuy on rentals or role players. We’re also coming across the midst of a bullpen revolution when teams are using relievers more than ever.
A California Case Study: Mining for Gems in the Golden State
Back in the 1800’s, California was all the rage as news of a “gold rush” spread like wildfire. Almost two centuries later, they are still “mining” in the “Golden State” but the gems aren’t actually made of rock, as opposed to venture, technological, and human capital. Although prevalent in multiple regions of the state, the area most known for these particular phenomena are The Bay Area and/or Silicon Valley. The millionaires and billionaires of “the valley” found and continue to find their treasures every day. The Golden State Warriors got their man when they plucked Steve Kerr from the booth, only to have him lead them to a title. While staffed with possibly the worst assembly of talent in the league, can the San Francisco 49er’s do the same?