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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 3/7/19

Jose Leclerc’s extension; Vegas over/unders; rWAR discussion with Tom Tango and Bill James

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MLB: Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Dan Szymborski: The Rangers signed Jose Leclerc to a four-year, $14.75 million deal. He was one of the most improved pitchers by ZiPS, and now he has guaranteed money through his arbitration years.

The Athletic | Jonah Keri ($): Vegas has their official over/under’s for baseball teams this season, and with Keri’s good record betting on them, here are a few to look out for. The Phillies likely will win more than 83 games with Bryce Harper; the Reds are a decent bet to win more than 77; and, more controversially, the Cubs could very well win fewer than 93 games.

Discussion rWAR, from Bill James, and Tom Tango: The truth of pitcher value lies somewhere between fWAR and rWAR, which are two polar opposites in that the former assigns no credit or debit to pitcher’s balls in play, and the latter assigns all the credit or debit to the pitcher. James thinks that one of the issues is that when you do this, you’re (with RA9def) double-counting defensive adjustments’ random variations that are already counted in park effects to an extent. Tango disagrees with that characterization, but agrees that it only gets you “85% of the way there” to true value, and there is probably a way to go 50/50 between the two numbers.