Introducing the Rank-o-Meter!

A few days ago I posted some visuals showing the seasons of Zack Greinke, Felix Hernandez, and CC Sabathia.  I’ve made some changes to these visuals and wanted to share all three of them in succession.   I’m experimenting with something called the “Rank-o-meter,” (a bit cheesy, I know) which presents a simple concept: How hot (or cold) was a player relative to his peers.  Check out these three charts and let me know what they tell you about these three pitchers?  Did the Cy Young Award voters get it right?

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Let’s put the CC Sabathia talk to rest

Looking at CC’s 2009 season, and comparing it to the same visuals for Felix Hernandez and Zack Greinke (below), it’s not even close.  CC was great down the stretch and in the postseason, but WAY too inconsistent to win a Cy Young award.

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Do Baseball Players Need Shrinks?

Here’s a look at the difference (psychologically) between being baseball’s best and worst teams.  A Yankee player leaves the ballpark with a high probability of a win (and a smile on his face).  In stark contrast, a guy toiling away for the Nationals leaves the ballpark with a frown on his face two-thirds of the time.  What’s interesting to note, though, is that even the very best teams still lose a lot, supporting the old adage that baseball is truly a game of failure.

2009 happiness meter

2009 New York Yankees Season at a Glance

Here’s a look at the World Champion New York Yankees 2009 Season.  In a sport where even the best teams suffer their share of ups and downs, the Yankees played remarkably well for the vast majority of the season, especially in the second half.  If it wasn’t obvious enough, the red color indicates the team playing well, and blue representing a slump (measured by week-to-week win percentage).

2009 yankee season

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Pettitte and Hamels in the Postseason

This graphic shows the postseason track records of tonight’s Game 3 lefties.  The experience factor is clearly in Pettitte’s favor, but what’s most remarkable is the number of quality starts he’s given the Yankees over the last 14 years (shown in red).  An amazing run, including this postseason’s 3  quality starts over the Twins and Angels.  Note, Hamels did not submit a quality start in any of his 3 outings this postseason.  The track record points to a win by Pettitte tonight.

pettitte and hamels

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Phillies pitching vs. Yankee hitting

Here’s a graphic which matches the Phillies Game 1 and 2 starters – Cliff Lee and Pedro Martinez – against the Yankee lineup. Red means the matchup favors the Phillies, blue means the Yankees are favored, and gray means a wash. Both pitchers have faced these hitters a number of times (line width = # of at bats), but Pedro has fared much better than Lee. Of course, much of Pedro’s success came several years ago when he was a better pitcher. We’ll see in Game 2 if Pedro can cheat father time once again in this post season.

Lee and Pedro vs Yanks

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Andy Pettitte vs. the Angels

Here’s a graphic showing Andy Pettitte’s track record against tonight’s expected Angels batting order.  As evidenced by the predominance of blue, Pettitte has had his way with this lineup for the most part.

pettitte vs angels

Then again, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from watching baseball over the last 3o years, it’s “expect the unexpected.”

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