Dave Cameron Newsbeat
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Wait til next year. Forever.
And here’s where Cubs fans should find optimism; by BaseRuns expected record, the Cubs have played like a .500 team this year. Their expected record is actually better than that of the first-place Kansas City Royals, in fact, and is not far off from what the teams contending for the NL wild cards are putting up….
This isn’t a great team, of course, but the only reason the Cubs are in the mix for a top pick again next summer is because they’re 28th in both clutch hitting and clutch pitching this season. They haven’t hit well when it mattered and their pitchers haven’t kept important runs from scoring, so despite average overall performance, they’ve lost eight more games than expected.
So why is this good news? Because clutch performance has basically no predictive value, and the historical record of teams that dramatically underperformed their BaseRuns expected record in one year shows that these teams often improve dramatically in the next year. Right now, the Cubs are 53 points of winning percentage below expectations…
t might not have shown up in the standings yet, but even without the wave of prospects that are on the way, this team has performed like a roughly average Major League team. Add in some expected production from a few of the young kids and likely a significant free agent addition or two, and the Cubs are going to be everyone’s sleeper pick next year. But it won’t just be prospect hype and a big name addition. This is a decent team that is a lot closer to winning than their current record suggests.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Jack Z. needs more time to do something stupid.
The Rays are a perfect example of why the league should consider moving the deadline back a couple of weeks. It’s probably in the long-term best interests of the organization to trade David Price, as they will get a much larger return for him now—when the acquiring team could get two postseason runs with Price as their ace—than they will if they hold him and make a trade this winter. However, they’ve clawed back into the playoff race, and currently have a 15 percent chance of making the postseason. Over the next day or so, the Rays will have to decide whether or not they’re really contenders, when the reality is that they just don’t know.
With two more weeks to evaluate, the Rays’ chances of making a real postseason run will be more clear. They’d be able to gather more information, and make a better decision about whether to keep Price for their own stretch run or trade him to a team that could make better use of his talents in October. Why is it good for baseball to force franchises to make franchise-altering decisions when it isn’t clear which way they should go?
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