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Around the SaberSphere 10/5: Yu Darvish, playoff previews, 2012 awards

Friday's edition of sabermetric links include the difficultly of scouting Yu Darvish, post-season previews, FanGraphs Staff awards and more...

Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Dan Brooks of Baseball Prospectus discusses why it's so difficult to scout the Texas Rangers starter for tonight's AL Wild Card game, Yu Darvish: Baseball Prospectus | Advance Scout

Over the plate and low tends to be a good area for hitting, and Darvish has paid the price for his willingness to throw there, surrendering a .369 batting average and a .607 slugging percentage in that location, while getting only 16.5 percent whiffs. So, one useful piece of advice the Orioles might give their hitters is that he’ll frequently attack that low part of the strike zone—and this trend, unlike some of the others that we saw, has held up through September.

The Hardball TImes staff previews every playoff team: NL: Postseason outlook, National League--THT. AL: Postseason outlook, American League--THT.

The team of bloggers over at ESPN SweetSpot explain why every playoff team has a chance a chance to win it all: Why each team can win it all - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN.

FanGraphs staff of writers divvies up their 2012 awards, you'll never guess who they selected for MVP: Staff Awards Picks | FanGraphs Baseball

AL MVP: Mike Trout (25) He got all 25 votes, including mine. No big surprise here, and we probably don’t need to spend too much time on this one, given all the discussion over the last few weeks.

Finally Dave Fleming of Bill James Online uses the Braves game 162 approach to managing their pitchers as a (possible) template for the Wild Card Play In game scenarios: Sudden Death Games | Articles | Bill James Online

Because there have been so few one-game playoffs in history, no one has spent too much time examining optimal or alternative strategies that a team could use in sudden-death scenarios. Now that a one-game playoff will be a twice annual events, it’s time to start thinking about strategies for a one-game season. Yesterday, the Atlanta Braves inadvertently tried a very interesting surprising success. It is unlikely that any of the Wild Card teams will use that strategy tomorrow, but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone tries ‘bullpenning’ in the sudden-death game in years to come.

Enjoy tonight's Wild Card games folks!