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Friday's Saber-Links

Here's Friday's edition of Saber-Links:

Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated looks at the resurgence of the Pittsburgh Pirates' offense: Buc bats strengthening Pittsburgh’s playoff bid | Hit and Run

Though they’re now 2 1/2 games behind the Reds at 63-47, the Pirates have a 3 1/2 game cushion in the Wild Card race, and according to the Baseball Prospectus Playoff Odds, they have a 60.9 percent chance at reaching the postseason. Their success thus far still owes more to their run prevention,which ranks fourth in the league at 3.83 runs per game allowed, but with their offense now pulling its weight, it’s a whole lot easier to believe in their chances.

Jack Moore of FanGraphs discusses Prince Fielder's ability as a hitter, not just a power guy: Prince Fielder: Hitter With Power | FanGraphs Baseball

Fielder has just a .201 ISO this season, a career low, and perhaps he won’t be able to hit for the same eye-popping power we saw from him in Milwaukee. But the way Fielder has improved his contact ability is enough to keep him among the most productive hitters in the league. Even with a walk rate down to 11.1% — another career low — Fielder has a .400 OBP entering play.

Our own Lewie Pollis looks into the mathematical improbability of the Indians' eleven game losing streak: The Mathematical Improbability of Cleveland's 11-Game Losing Streak — Wahoo's on First

What would it take for a team’s losing 11 straight to be not just possible but probable? For a team to have a greater chance of losing 11 games than winning at least one, its true-talent winning percentage would have to be no better than .061.

In an incredible piece of writing at Baseball Prospectus, Jason Wojciechowski discusses why bloggers and fans of baseball feel the need to be intellectual in their analysis of the game: Baseball Prospectus | In A Pickle: Why We Want To Be Smart

But again: why? Why is our energy channeled intellectually instead of emotionally? Not to project my own stuff on all of you, but do we just like feeling smart? I fear that might be part of it, that we get a feeling of superiority over the less analytical fans who cheer sacrifice bunts and intentional walks and think closers are just the cat's meow. This is a natural feeling, one that lots of us share in lots of facets of our lives, but it's one many of us are taught to be ashamed of.

Saber-Links will return on Monday. Enjoy the weekend folks!