Thoughts Before Tonight’s Game (June 28, 2014)

June 28, 2014 | 1 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Rupert Pupkin

This is going to be a (mostly) regular thing.

Thoughts on both teams before tonight’s game:

Yankees:

Thing I’m Expecting: Tanaka should pitch well. He’s made 15 starts and has 15 Quality Starts. The safe bet is that he’ll do it again. I mean, you saw someone named Vidal Nuno shut down this Red Sox lineup last night, yes? One would think “Ma-kun” could (should) do the same.

Thing I Hope to See: More HRs please. The team has been struggling at home this year and, until last night (K. Johnson, Gardner, McCann), hadn’t had a multi-homerun game at home since May 17th, when Mark Teixeira, Zoilo Almonte and Brian McCann did it against the Pirates. The Yankees need to keep taking advantage of their home field and hitting the ball in the air to RF.

Player I Want To Watch: Now that McCann delivered on my hope from last night, I’m looking for something similar from Carlos Beltran. He’s one of four switch hitters (Teixeira, Roberts, Solarte) on the roster and has historically hit (slightly) better from the right side of the plate, which is where he’ll be vs. Boston’s southpaw starter, Jon Lester. Really, this team has no hope of improving upon their current state if they don’t get the expected productions from Beltran OR McCann.

Player I Don’t Want To Watch: Alfonso Soriano, who will assuredly get the start against the LHP Jon Lester. I’m not looking forward to his wild swings at pitches in the dirt and opposite batter’s box to accompany his bad routes and terrible plays in the OF. Seriously, at some point enough has to be enough with this guy. They’re only on the line for $5M of the $18M owed to him this season (thanks, Cubs) and we’re almost halfway through the year, so a percentage of that is already paid. It is probably addition by subtraction to just send him and the remainder of his salary packing and see what Zoilo Almonte or other internal OF options can bring to the table.

Red Sox:

Thing I’m Expecting Tonight: Jon Lester has been excellent so far, placing 2nd among starting pitchers in WAR coming into the day – Tanaka is 5th (Phil Hughes is 7th!). I’d expect Lester to give the Red Sox length and compete with Tanaka in minimizing base-runners and runs.

Thing I Hope To See: Tanaka (and/or any other pitcher on the mound for NYY) hitting David Ortiz in the ass in all of his plate appearances. I’m saying this because I expect Tanaka will go on to strike out every other batter he faces, of course. The degree to which the media and MLB aid and abet this sloppy, entitled mess of a man is truly astounding. I’d really just love to see him lose his temper for the 4435th time this season, realistic or not. Maybe they can use Yankee Stadium’s official scorer to just mess with his hit total.

Player I’m Interested in Seeing: The Red Sox just called up their prized prospect Mookie Betts. He’ll likely play the OF, though he was an infielder most of the time in the minors. He’s only 21 and was hitting .345/.437/.520 with 8 HR, 48 RBI and 29 SB between Double-A and Triple-A this year (per rotoworld). It should be interesting to see if his skills translate to the big league this early, or if he’ll struggle and become Jackie Bradley, Jr., Jr.

Player I’m Afraid Of: Ortiz. Assuming he’s NOT drilled in the ass every time he steps to the plate, which wouldn’t make sense. The guy has a career OPS of .973 against the Yankees and, as already mentioned (for years), is one of the most intolerable, petulant globs of human in the game.

What DO YOU, the NoMaas reader, think will happen tonight? Sound off (or just insult me) in the comments below!

The Boston Red Sox: Making Vidal Nuno look good since 2014

June 28, 2014 | 3 comments | in Featured | by SJK

Vidal Nuno Yankees NoMaas Hot Girl
Ballin! 5.2 IP, 5 K, 2 BB, 2 H, 0 ER

Daily Thoughts Before Tonight’s Game

June 27, 2014 | 14 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by Rupert Pupkin

Thoughts on both teams before tonight’s series begins against the Red Sox – June 27th, 2014:

Yankees:

Impression Lately: The team has been up and down in just about every way. They took 3 of 3 from Toronto at home, dropped 2 of 3 to Baltimore at home and dropped 2 of 3 in Toronto. They are 5-5 in their last 10, which suggests up and down-ness. I don’t think it’s possible to have any explicit expectation of the team going into this series other than “Tanaka’s start should be good.”

Thing I’m Expecting: Vidal Nuno will likely give up a homerun. He’s in Yankee Stadium and that’s his thing (he’s surrendered 15 HR and has started 12 games). He’s a southpaw and the Red Sox have a righty heavy lineup with Pedroia, Napoli, Gomes and Bogaerts all presenting power from that side of the plate.

Thing I Hope to See: Vidal Nuno give up only one solo homerun, preferably to someone like Bogaerts who I haven’t had enough time to develop deep-seated hatred for. Beyond that, I’d take 5 innings of 3 ER or less from Nuno. Even that is probably asking way too much.

Player I Want To Watch: It would be nice to see Brian McCann do something positive off Brandon Workman, the Red Sox right handed starting pitcher. I understand that he hits into the shift often and his numbers are career lows, but if there’s a time to get it going its now, against an in-division team and a right handed starting pitcher with a career HR/9 of 0.83. The short porch beckons, Brian. Won’t you heed the call?

Red Sox:

Impression Lately: Like the Yankees, the Red Sox are 5-5 over their last 10 games. They are coming off a series in which they dropped 2 of 3 to Seattle and were outscored 24-10. Prior to that, they’d dropped 3 straight to Oakland, with all of those games being decided by 2 runs or less. They’re in 4th place (36-43) in the division and look like a shell of the team who won the World Series last year. Perhaps that’s because they lost Jacoby Ellsbury and replaced him with Jackie Bradley, Jr., who is sporting a comical wRC+ of 63 and a cute slash line of .211/.292/.302 over 261 PA.

Thing I’m Expecting Tonight: I expect the Red Sox to force Nuno to throw strikes. Beyond that, I have little expectations with regard to the Red Sox. They’re a bit enigmatic so far, with a -31 run differential, which is better than the Yankees (-34) despite being 5 games worse in the standings.

Player I’m Interested in Seeing: I know it’s sacrilege to enjoy watching anyone on the Red Sox, but Xander Bogaerts is developing into a special player already. Bogaerts has a slash line of .256/.338/.388 and an ISO of .132. He’s only 21 years old. He also wears #2 to honor Derek Jeter, whom he idolized growing up, which is apropos of very little, strategically speaking.

Player I’m Afraid Of: Tonight, it’s Napoli. On most nights, it would be Ortiz. But Nuno is a lefty, so I’m going to go ahead and fear the fat, bearded 1B over the fat, bearded DH. Napoli currently leads the team in OBP (.391) and OPS (.844) to go along with his 136 wRC+. He’s second on the team in WAR (1.9), just behind Dustin Pedroia (2.0). Napoli is hitting .327 off LHP with 1 HR, 6 RBI and 14 BB in 70 PA. Once again, Nuno is a LHP who is prone to giving up long balls. So again, tonight I am afraid of Mike Napoli.

The Guru speaketh…

June 27, 2014 | 5 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

NY Post / Kevin Long on Brian McCann:

“It seems to happen when he has a couple of good at-bats and then for whatever reason, he will have an at-bat that doesn’t go so well and it will affect him and get to him a little bit,” hitting coach Kevin Long said. “I certainly understand. The biggest thing with McCann is when he has had some good at-bats and doesn’t get rewarded and then he has a bad one and it seems to snowball.’’

Tremendous tutelage.

Replace Nuno with who?

June 26, 2014 | 6 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Vidal Nuno is set to start in Friday night’s opener versus America’s Team™.

With a 5.88 ERA/5.54 FIP/4.41 xFIP, he’s clearly the worst pitcher in the rotation.

He’s rated as sub-replacement level by both Fangraphs (-0.2 WAR) and Baseball-Reference (-0.6 WAR)

So based on these numbers, why keep him around? In an ideal situation, you wouldn’t. But after Chase Whitley was deservedly called up, the cupboard is now bare.

Looking at the Yankees 40-man roster, there is Shane Greene (AAA) and Bryan Mitchell (AA). Both of them have ERAs over 5.00, so the case to bring them up isn’t very compelling.

However, despite the higher ERAs, they both have respectable FIPs. Mitchell has a 3.47 FIP, bolstered by a 9.47 K/9. Greene’s FIP is 3.52.

The high ERAs can be sourced to low Left-On-Base percentage rates — meaning a high rate of baserunners are scoring when they reach base. Both Greene and Mitchell’s LOB % are among the worst in their respective leagues. This could be an indicator of bad luck or crappy defense. Who knows?

But, they’ve both pitched better than their ERAs suggest, and Nuno is sub-replacement. Roll the dice. Maybe you catch lightning in a bottle. It’s worth a shot.

Updated: Yankees’ chances of making the playoffs

June 26, 2014 | 4 comments | in Living in Mom's Basement | by SJK

After Wednesday night’s victory over Toronto, here are the Yankees’ latest playoff odds as projected by both Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus. Remember, these projections are based on the teachings of Lord Pythagoras, who preaches run differential. Each site then adds their own tweaks.

The Yankees have been outscored by 34 runs to date. That is the 6th-worst run differential in MLB.

Fangraphs (via CoolStandings):

26.5% chance of making the playoffs either as the division or wild card.

The 26.5% probability is split between a 16.1% chance of winning the division and a 10.4% chance of getting a wild card spot.

The 26.5% is slightly higher than the 24.8% chance from two weeks ago.

Also of note, Fangraphs projects the Yankees to end up at 82 wins for the season, and play .496 ball the rest of the way.

Baseball Prospectus:

39.7% chance of making the playoffs either as the division winner or wild card.

That 39.7% probability is comprised of a 27.1% chance of winning the division and a 12.6% chance of winning the wild card.

The 39.7% is also slightly higher than the 38.9% from two weeks ago.

Dump two, call up two

June 25, 2014 | 12 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

DUMPEES:

Alfonso Soriano - we won’t even bother listing his stats again, he’s just awful

Brian Roberts – .244/.324/.359, 90 wRC+, +0.3 WAR — he’s off his lows from earlier in the season, but he’s still slightly above replacement level. If you’re not in favor of dumping him, give him a bench role.

CALL UP(EES):

Rob Refsynder: We’ve covered him extensively over the past 2 years, and he’s exploded this year. After lighting up Double-A (155 wRC+), he’s hitting .311/.404/.489 since recently being promoted to Triple-A. He’s young (23), he’s performing, and he’s the Yanks’ second baseman of the future. Pull the trigger and bring him up.

Jose Pirela: He’s having a breakout season at Triple-A: .321/.360/.458 (128 wRC+). He can play second and has seen recent action in the OF. He’s also only 24.

So Cash, stop bullsh*tting with these old ass players who can’t perform anymore. You have a mediocre team at best. You may even find out you don’t have to purchase more overpriced aging free agents next season.

Wednesday morning humor

June 25, 2014 | 7 comments | in Quick Analytical Blurbs | by SJK

Star-Ledger:

Yes, of course I feel like I can play everyday,” Soriano said, speaking in Spanish. “The most important thing is the ability with my hands is there. The most important things are health and the hands. I feel like my bat is there, too.

.231/.254/.387, 69 wRC+, -0.6 WAR

Based on WAR, Soriano is the 6th-worst player in the American League (min 220 PA).

Hal: “Quick! Announce another day honoring a 1990s player!”

June 24, 2014 | 7 comments | in Featured | by SJK

To distract the masses after a disappointing defeat to Toronto and the club’s 4th loss in a row, Hal goes back to the well:

Clay Bellinger NoMaas Yankees

Toronto trounces the Bombers

June 23, 2014 | 12 comments | in Featured | by SJK

75 games into the season and a team with a $200 million payroll has been outscored by 35 runs.

Brian Cashman NoMaas Massage Yankees
Life is good.

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