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Friday's Saber-Links

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

Russell A. Carleton of Baseball Prospectus proposes a fun twist on game theory, tiebreakers and the Wild Card play-in game: Baseball Prospectus | Baseball Therapy: Wild-Card Game Theory

Even throwing those objections away, there's another more logical reason why a team would never actually do this. Suppose the Orioles telegraphed their intentions, most likely through announcing their starting pitcher. Suddenly, the Yankees are looking at "wasting" Sabathia's start on a game where the other team is clearly not even trying and the game is not really a must-win.

The Yankees might figure that they can get by with some other starter, hold Sabathia back a day, and get him some extra rest. In some sense, the Yankees might be seen as punting here. But now, if the O's play their "real" team, the game looks a lot more winnable—maybe a better bet than going to Oakland, even with the extra rest. But, if the Orioles are going to play their real lineup, the Yankees might go back to Sabathia. Which could lead the Orioles to go back to their Triple-A lineup. This turns into a bizarre cat-and-mouse game really quickly. We've entered the land of game theory.

Also, I somehow forgot to link to the awesome new PITCH f/x leaderboards courtesy of Brooks Baseball and BP: Baseball Prospectus | BP Announcements: PITCHf/x Leaderboards Have Arrived

These leaderboards draw on the same dataset you see at Brooks Baseball, custom classifications and all. So now it takes a couple of clicks to look up which pitchers throw hardest or softest, which pitches are hardest to hit, and a whole host of other interesting insights.

Alex Remington of FanGraphs questions why the Pirates never do well down the stretch: Why the Pirates Always Limp to the Finish | FanGraphs Baseball

This year isn’t the first time that the Pirates have come tantalizingly close to a good season only to come up disappointingly short. You only have to remember back to 2011 for another example of that. But it’s remarkable how robust the pattern has been over the past 20 years: the Pirates play decently for a while, and then they fall off a cliff. Rinse and repeat.

Kyle Boddy of The Hardball Times gives us an interesting study into pitching biomechanics, PITCH f/x and injuries: Getting out of the injury zone, part one--THT

The reason for this is fairly simple: More pitchers than not stay healthy throughout a given year! You don't get to pick a matched group of 50/50 when using a neural network for real-time classification; you get the whole population. So, if you used this network to predict who would be injured, you'd be pulling healthy starters way more often than you'd be pulling injured starters, even if on a percentage basis you'd be right. However, that doesn't invalidate the model.

And here's what's easily the best link of the day. The full-length trailer for the Jackie Robinson biopic, 42, has been released: '42' Official Trailer [HD]: The Real Life Story Of Jackie Robinson, Baseball Legend - YouTube Harrison Ford plays Branch Rickey!!

Enjoy your weekend, folks!