AL Central’s hot and cold players
Baseball's Best (and Worst)
by G. Scott Thomas
1d ago
There are three reasons why it made sense for me to predict on Tuesday that the Cleveland Guardians will repeat as champions of the American League’s Central Division. The first is the obvious fact that Cleveland was 11 games better than any of its four opponents in 2022, giving it a substantial head start for the upcoming season. The second is that my prediction formula — powered by an analysis of 1,258 teams from the era of free agency — found the Guardians to be better positioned for 2023 than their divisional rivals. And the third reason is that Cleveland’s roster includes all five players ..read more
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AL Central 2023 forecast
Baseball's Best (and Worst)
by G. Scott Thomas
4d ago
Most experts agreed that the Chicago White Sox were destined to win the American League’s Central Division in 2022. But the Sox were ravaged by injuries and lethargy, and consequently struggled to eke out a .500 record. The young Cleveland Guardians surprised the baseball world by walking away with the divisional crown, finishing 11 games ahead of Chicago. So what about 2023? The experts are leaning toward the Sox once again, even though history suggests that a Cleveland repeat should come as no surprise. I compared all five AL Central clubs against 1,258 teams from the span between 1976 and 2 ..read more
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AL East’s hot and cold players for 2023
Baseball's Best (and Worst)
by G. Scott Thomas
1w ago
Tuesday’s story featured my 2023 predictions for the American League East, establishing the Toronto Blue Jays as slight favorites over the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees. Today’s installment could be considered a sequel — a look at the AL East players who’ll enter the new season with a full head of steam, as well as those whose momentum is running in the wrong direction. My measuring stick is overall base value (OBV), an effective measure of a given player’s performance. Base values are usually calculated separately for batters and pitchers. If a batter racks up a positive BV, he has reac ..read more
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AL East 2023 forecast
Baseball's Best (and Worst)
by G. Scott Thomas
1w ago
Most experts believe that the 2023 race in the American League East — whose members brag of being the toughest division in baseball — will be extremely tight. My prediction system agrees. It gives a slight nod to the Toronto Blue Jays, with the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees right on their heels. I developed a computer program that compared each team’s record during the past three seasons (2020-2022) against the corresponding marks for 1,258 clubs that played during the era of free agency, which began in 1976. The forecast for each current team was determined by its 50 closest matches (CM ..read more
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Toward the centennial
Baseball's Best (and Worst)
by G. Scott Thomas
2w ago
My new book, Cooperstown at the Crossroads, offers a nine-point plan to reinvigorate the National Baseball Hall of Fame. (The book is now available from Niawanda Books.) I went into detail about each of my nine proposals on successive Fridays over the past two months. Today — a summation. Thousands of halls of fame dot the American landscape, celebrating national, regional, and local excellence in a myriad of fields, occupations, and sports. They span the alphabet from the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, Burlesque Hall of Fame, Candy Hall of Fame, and Disc Golf Hall of Fame to the Television Academ ..read more
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Dusting off the crystal ball
Baseball's Best (and Worst)
by G. Scott Thomas
2w ago
Nobody knows how the 2023 baseball season will turn out. Nobody. The rosters for all 30 clubs were in flux as the calendar flipped into the new year, and they’re certain to remain unstable all spring. Free agents will keep hopping from team to team as January, February, and March drag on. Trading activity will continue unabated as the weather gets warmer. Phenoms will pop up in spring-training games in Florida and Arizona. Marginal players will be waived, and equally marginal replacements will be signed. It’s a fool’s errand to predict 2023’s standings in the midst of such uncertainty, yet a p ..read more
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An updated look
Baseball's Best (and Worst)
by G. Scott Thomas
3w ago
My new book, Cooperstown at the Crossroads, offers a nine-point plan to reinvigorate the National Baseball Hall of Fame. (The book is now available from Niawanda Books.) I’m going into detail about each of my nine proposals on successive Fridays in this newsletter. Today — Point No. 9, an updated look. David Ortiz was no different from other baseball fans. He found the Hall of Fame’s plaque gallery to be an awe-inspiring place. Ortiz paid his first visit to Cooperstown on May 2, 2022, almost three months prior to his induction ceremony. He donned the appropriate uniform — a Hall of Fame cap an ..read more
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A question of character
Baseball's Best (and Worst)
by G. Scott Thomas
1M ago
My new book, Cooperstown at the Crossroads, offers a nine-point plan to reinvigorate the National Baseball Hall of Fame. (The book is now available from Niawanda Books.) I’m going into detail about each of my nine proposals on successive Fridays in this newsletter. Today — Point No. 8, character guidance. Ozzie Smith was an ever-smiling embodiment of humility, always quick to applaud others, always slow to accept praise. Comtemporaries hailed him as the slickest shortstop in history — a fielder without peer — yet he expressed doubts. “People who get to see me all the time may say I’m the best ..read more
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Going to extremes
Baseball's Best (and Worst)
by G. Scott Thomas
1M ago
Getting three hits in one big-league game is an impressive accomplishment. Repeating that feat multiple times in a single season is nothing short of amazing. The latter adjective definitely applies to Freddie Freeman. The first baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers not only topped the majors with 199 hits in 2022, but he also led the way with 20 games of three or more hits. I waded through last season’s stats in search of extreme performances like Freeman’s. Today’s story focuses on the 2022 leaders in the American and National Leagues in three categories for hitters and another three for pitche ..read more
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Crème de la crème
Baseball's Best (and Worst)
by G. Scott Thomas
1M ago
My new book, Cooperstown at the Crossroads, offers a nine-point plan to reinvigorate the National Baseball Hall of Fame. (The book is now available from Niawanda Books.) I’m going into detail about each of my nine proposals on successive Fridays in this newsletter. Today — Point No. 7, elite recognition. Joe Morgan was unfamiliar with failure. He tackled — and succeeded at — a variety of baseball-related jobs. Morgan played 22 seasons in the big leagues, winning two Most Valuable Player Awards, amassing an excellent quality score (64 points), and entrenching himself as one of the greatest seco ..read more
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