I've found myself very intrigued by the issue of altering Safeco Field's dimensions. Both Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs and Colin Wyers of Baseball Prospectus penned interesting cases for why this move may not actually increase Safeco's run environment.
What was said about Citi is similar to what’s been said about Safeco so far. Citi, once, was a fly ball graveyard; Citi would change into something not quite hitter-friendly, but something more fair. Makes sense, right? Closer fences means more dingers, and more dingers means more runs, and more runs means more offense, and more offense means more neutrality. On paper it’s a perfectly sensible idea. Yet it’s interesting to see how Citi played in its first full season with the new dimensions.
The Mariners have scored 3.77 runs per game this season, the lowest in the American League; with the additional home runs, that goes to 3.88. If we assume that instead the Mariners pick up the high-end estimate of 40 home runs, that’s .20 additional runs scored per game, or 3.97. The next lowest-scoring offense in the American League, the Cleveland Indians, scored 4.14 runs per game. The fence change, as envisioned, provides a small boost to offense, but Safeco is likely to remain one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in the league, old fences or new.
Tom Tango of the Book Blog projects how the BBWAA will vote on the Cy Young.THE BOOK--Playing The Percentages In Baseball Here's a look at his picks:
The top 5 in the AL and NL Cy Young will be: 1. Price 2. Verlander 3. Jered 4. Felix 5. Sale
1. Dickey 2. Kershaw 3. Gio 4. Cueto 5. Cain
With some undetermined love for the big relievers (Johnson, Rodney; Kimbrel, Chapman).
Dave Schoenfield of ESPN SweetSpot recaps the Athletics incredible run at the AL West division title: Oakland A's cap miracle run to division title - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN
On June 30, the A's were 37-42, having just lost their third game in a row to the Texas Rangers. Not only were they 13 games behind the Rangers, they were 4.5 games worse than the Red Sox. Oakland was a young team that hadn't hit at all the first two months and was coming around a bit at the plate but still had this young rotation with four rookie starters. There were no expectations. Dan Szymborski's preseason projections had given the A's a 1.4 percent chance of making the playoffs and 0.4 percent chance of winning the division, and they weren't much higher at this point.
Also, Matt Swartz introduced his 2013 Arbitration projection series: Introducing The 2013 Arbitration Projections: MLB Rumors - MLBTradeRumors.com
Last year, MLBTR owner Tim Dierkes asked me if I thought I could put together a model that predicted arbitration salaries. I had studied free agent salaries, but I decided that I could probably do almost as well with arbitration salaries. It went better than expected: the model was within 10% of the actual salary for 55% of players who signed one-year deals, and was within $1MM for all but 4 of the 156 arbitration-eligible players.