26 May 2019 • 9 min read
Every year, it seems that home runs become more and more prevalent in the modern version of Major League Baseball. After all, in recent years, more players seem to be following the Three True Outcomes when they go up to hit: a strikeout, a walk, or a home run. These outcomes seem rare because they do not require the involvement of any defensive players besides the pitcher and catcher; however, hitters are making these outcomes more common due to an increased motivation to hit home runs. Analytics in the past several years have advocated for batters to try to hit more home runs with the end goal of increasing the expected amount of runs scored; players and managers alike have been heavily influenced by the analytics revolution, as they want to gain any kind of competitive advantage they can. In fact, players are following these analytics to such an extent that they are sacrificing batting average and on base percentage as a direct result of strikeouts; as players try to hit the ball farther, they are more likely to swing and miss, which explains the uptick in strikeouts.
05 Dec 2018 • 6 min read
In Major League Baseball (MLB), a reliever is defined as any pitcher who is substituted for a starting pitcher to help finish a game. Ideally, even as of a few years ago, relievers were meant to be brought in after the starter had pitched at least 6 or more innings. However, as the game has evolved, relievers have expanded their respective roles. For instance, teams like the Tampa Bay Rays have implemented relievers in a starting role, where the relievers are known as "openers." Starters, who used to go much deeper in the game, are being pulled in the 5th inning--sometimes earlier--more often than ever. After all, starters are limited to a certain number of pitches, meaning that you'll rarely see pitchers venture into triple-digit pitch counts to prevent injuries that may require Tommy John surgery. Consequently, relievers are being used more often and for longer periods of time. But, the volatility amongst MLB relievers hasn't gone away, which means consistency might be hard to find in a reliever. This variability brings about an important question for MLB front offices: is it worth paying extra for free agent relievers in today's game? Through an examination of past and present player salaries and performance, I will try to see whether inflated salaries for relievers are really worth it.
30 May 2018 • 10 min read
The Mercury News; from L to R, Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, and Marcus Semien
At the beginning of the 2018 MLB season, many experts thought the Oakland Athletics would once again sport one of the worst records in baseball. According to Baseball Prospectus, the Athletics were projected to have a 76-86 record this year, which would be a miniscule improvement from their 75-87 record last year. The oddsmakers at Bovada had even lower expectations for the squad, as the over/under for their win total was set at 74.5. Given that the team has been in the American League West cellar for three years straight, even the most optimistic A’s fans had to acknowledge that a playoff appearance might not be in order for at least a couple of years. So, you can’t really blame all the people who slept on the A’s going into the season, especially since Oakland didn’t do much over the offseason to improve themselves. But, the A’s have given their fans some hope with their impressive start to the season; after the first 54 games of the campaign, Oakland stands at 28-26, good for a .519 win percentage. People around the game might be surprised at this kind of run, but when looking at the roster makeup and the major statistics on both sides of the ball, one can better understand why the A’s are experiencing this kind of success.
20 Apr 2018 • 22 min read
It’s that time of year, again. The 2018 NFL Draft is right around the corner, as the event will take place this year on April 26th in Arlington, Texas at the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium. The draft is a chance for all teams to improve in their own ways; teams at the top of the draft like the Cleveland Browns have to fill a litany of position needs, while teams at the bottom of the draft like the Super Bowl LII Champion Philadelphia Eagles just need to polish their already strong squads. The draft is also a crucial time for general managers around the league, who all bear the responsibility of determining the fates of their respective teams for many years to come.
28 Feb 2018 • 11 min read
Throughout his 20 years in the National Hockey League (NHL), Joe Thornton has proven time and time again that he is one of hockey’s best players. Drafted first overall in the 1997 NHL Draft by the Boston Bruins, Thornton was highly-touted, but nobody thought he would turn out to be such a legendary player. With a large frame and an insane ability to distribute the puck to his teammates, he has been and continues to be remarkably consistent. As a result, he has won numerous awards, including the Hart Memorial Trophy (League MVP), the Art Ross Trophy (Most Points), 6 All-Star Team nominations, and a gold medal at the 2010 Olympics with Team Canada.
26 Jan 2018 • 6 min read
In a game where individuals, not teams, play one another, parity should rule the day. However, living legends of tennis still remain amidst a flurry of youngsters emerging onto the scene. After eight days of action, the results provided a mix of predictable yet unpredictable results.
10 Jan 2018 • 12 min read
One hot topic for debate among coaches, fans, and analysts who follow college football centers around the role of pro prospects in postseason play (bowl games) and whether or not they should play. This is because several highly touted players have opted to skip their bowl games to protect their health for their future in the NFL. This trend captures a very small portion of players who declare for the NFL Draft, but notable players such as Josh Rosen and Derwin James have skipped their games this year to prevent injuries.