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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 7/4/18

Mariners are the luckiest team; Jon Gray’s slider troubles; Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez are Cleveland superstars; changes to Bill James’ starter rankings formula

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MLB: Miami Marlins at Colorado Rockies Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Jeff Sullivan: The Mariners are on pace to be the most clutch team since at least 1974, and they have the second-highest high leverage wOBA differential in baseball. Odds are they aren’t going to keep doing this despite how good Edwin Diaz is, but they’ve already put themselves in the position where they don’t have to be.

Baseball Prospectus | Zach Crizer: The Rockies demoted Jon Gray to Triple-A. How much of that was the decline of his stuff, and how much of it is mechanical? It’s probably the latter, as his issues are coming from the placement of his slider down in the zone, possibly attributed to a lower slot on his fastball, affecting the tunneling.

The Athletic | Zack Meisel ($): Cleveland has lost LeBron James, but they still have Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor. Sporting among the best numbers in the American League, and dynamic personalities to boot, they fill a superstar void in a season where the Indians are poised to make the postseason again.

Bill James Online | Bill James: Bill James has a starting pitcher ranking system, if you didn’t know already, and he made some adjustments. He has decided to weight the most recent start more heavily, changed the entry point for pitchers, and introduced a higher decline rate for older, inactive players. He also adjusted for the “Opener” concept by making a relief appearance in the first four innings that last for at least four innings equivalent to a “start”.