July 26th, 2013

Today's slate.

The Big Hurst - Clayton Kershaw

skoormit - Jeff Locke

La Osa Rosa - Felix Hernandez

The Big Hurst: Relatedly, try this fun link to a bunch of gifs of nasty pitches.
La Osa Rosa: Woohoo! One whole point!! I’m torn between Felix Hernandez and Matt Harvey. Matt Harvey is such a stud. But Hernandez has gotten me 7 points. I’ll pick Hernandez.
The Big Hurst: Do I factor the umpires into my pick?  I do, at least a little.  Should I?  I honestly don't know.  First, it's difficult to figure out which umpires are working which games.  This information doesn't appear to become generally available until the second game of any given series.  What I've read on the topic is that MLB guards this information for umpire safety reasons, but I'm not sure this explanation makes sense.  The very fact that this data is kept secret could imply that a home plate umpire has a strong effect on the game.  If an umpire strongly affects the game, and someone could acquire this information in advance for around 1/3 of MLB games, this acquirer could probably make some money.  I'd be curious how far in advance the scheduled pitchers for the first game of any series find out who their home plate ump is.
   The website I check right now is http://www.statfox.com/mlb/umpiremain.asp.  At the very beginning of Game Score Bingo, I snagged some reliable-looking data off the Baseball Prospectus umpire report, and made a list of "good" umpires and "bad" umpires.  There's a great unwashed middle I don't care about, because I'm not sure they have a strong tendency.  My thought was that I'd rather assume an umpire is unbiased unless there's a pronounced tendency.
   I don't actually know how much of an effect a particular home plate umpire has on a game.  My educated guess is that an umpire with a very strong bias might regularly increase/decrease offense by about 10%.  I don't know if this is correct, or even a completely testable proposition, but that's what I'm going with right now.  So my system gives just a slight "nudge" for a few umpires.  Here's the list I'm working from, but I make absolutely no claims that this is accurate, insightful, or even particularly well done.  I just felt like I should consider the umpires, and I took a stab at it.  If someone's got more expertise on this, I'd love to hear it.
   The umps listed at +/-2 may influence the game by at least 10% and the umps +/-1 may influence the game by at least 5%.  As another stab-in-the-dark factor (for comparison), my system right now gives +1 to a pitcher with home field advantage.

Pitcher-Friendly Umpires:
  • Carapazza +2
  • Hernandez +2
  • Kellog +2
  • Runge +2
  • Winters +2
  • Barry +1
  • Bell +1
  • Everitt +1
  • Hickox +1
  • Kulpa +1
  • Miller +1
Hitter-Friendly Umpires:
  • Danley -2
  • DiMuro -2
  • Emmel -2
  • Joyce -2
  • McClelland -2
  • Schrieber -2
  • Campos -1
  • Estabrook -1
  • Gibson -1
  • Holbrook -1
  • Randazzo -1
  • Tschida    -1
  • Wegner -1


The Big Hurst: Should Rosa get 6 points, because she kinda picked Hernandez and Harvey?


No comments:

Post a Comment