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

Will Smith’s trade value; how Matthew Boyd emerged; the home run derby curse

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T-Mobile Home Run Derby Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

FanGraphs | Sung Min Kim: Teams will certainly be shopping for relievers at the trade deadline, and first among them should be Will Smith. Smith leads all relievers in WPA on the back of a very effective slider, and teams like the Red Sox, Twins, Braves, or Phillies could sorely need him.

Baseball Prospectus | Matthew Trueblood ($): Matthew Boyd is one of the biggest breakouts of the year, so how did he do it? One way was through his slider, and improving his fastball-slider velocity differential was very helpful in 2019. He also has paired the sinker and changeup effectively, which he can throw to the same side of the plate while deceiving hitters on the finishing location. This makes a Chris Sale-like repertoire that a number of teams are vying for at the deadline.

The Athletic | Eno Sarris ($): A lot of fans don’t want their favorite players to be in the home run derby, thinking it will curse them for a bad second half. It can be exhausting, sure, but there’s very little evidence it’s true. Not only are players picked who already are out-performing their projections, but if you even control for that, they generally only under-perform their projections in the second half by....... a single home run.