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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 8/22/18

Justin Verlander and the meaning of win totals; Edwin Jackson’s successes; the Nationals’ true potential; the flaws of the balk

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MLB: Washington Nationals at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: Justin Verlander just reached 200 wins, and while we don’t use that stat authoritatively anymore, Hall of Fame voters do care. It’s still a decent marker of high-performers in baseball, and even though there might not even be a single 300-win player in baseball today, you can’t deny it’s a routine clearing house for entry into Cooperstown.

Baseball Prospectus | Matthew Trueblood ($): The Athletics keep winning, and so does Edwin Jackson. The A’s have won in eight of his last eight starts, and while you can’t guarantee his recent successes will last, the change in mechanics to give him an effective cutter/slider and curve/sinker pitch tunnel.

The Athletic | Eno Sarris ($): It’s funny, but the Nationals have actually played very close to their projections. A lack of producing those runs late-and-close, however, is the reason why Matt Adams and Daniel Murphy wear different uniforms. Bryce Harper may leave, and the managerial spot is in question, but you can’t say the core of this team doesn’t have talent.

Bill James Online | Bill James: Odd metaphors about the American auto industry aside, James argues that the balk is “broken,” in the sense that it is vague enough that one is punishing pitchers for deception, which isn’t common in any other sport. That doesn’t substitute a method for regulating pitchers so as not to eliminate steals, but this might be a too-broad mechanism.