Oakland’s Misfortune

Run_Differential_2015_Oakland_AsData via the Baseball-Reference Play Index

Oakland entered Tuesday with the worst record in baseball, at 14-26, despite being outscored by only four runs for the season. The A’s have been particularly unfortunate in one-run games, going 2-13 in those contests. In the 30-team era, no other team with a run differential of -4 or better through 40 games has had a record as bad as Oakland’s. Close company includes the 2014 Cubs (-8 RD, 13-27) and the 2000 Astros (-2 RD, 15-25).

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Speeding up play

Unsurprisingly, the length of baseball games is correlated to the number of total batters:


Thanks to the new pace-of-play initiatives, the average length of nine-inning games is down eight minutes in 2015 versus the comparable time period in 2014. The effect has been slightly stronger for games with more batters:

MLB_length_of_games_2014-15Follow: @DiamondGraphs

Choosing Slides

MLB_Sliders_2010-2015_YankeesData via Fangraphs

Earlier this week, Nick Ashbourne at BP Bronx wrote about the Yankees’ heavy reliance on sliders. As the chart above shows, the Yankees were among the least slider-happy teams five years ago, but their usage of the pitch has spiked this season to 27.0%; if they keep that pace up for the full year, it will be the highest percentage in at least six seasons (surpassing the 2013 Giants at 25.8%). However, as Ashbourne notes, slider usage is correlated with injuries, which is bad news for the already old and injury-prone Bronx.

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