Have you even heard of WAR, WHIP, xFIP, wRC+, BABIP? Check out these NEW Sabermetrics delights, special for the 2020 baseball season:
Projects number of beanballs or brushbacks per game vs. Astros hitters thrown by veteran pitchers who pitched against Houston in the 2017-19 seasons.
Formula: A pitcher’s Earned Run Average (ERA) against Houston during his outings in that span [DIVIDED BY] the number of innings pitched [TIMES] the number of position players in the Astros line-up who were on the 2017-19 teams [EQUALS] the likely number of beanballs thrown by that pitcher in a 2020 appearance against the Astros.
EXAMPLE: Clayton Kershaw pitched against the Astros twice in the 2017 World Series, his only appearances against the Astros between 2017-19. His ERA was 5.63. If, in a 2020 outing, he pitches 7 innings and faces an Astros lineup with five position players from those teams, you would expect [5.63/7 X 5] 4.02 brushback pitches during the outing.
Frontier Justice Note: Don Drysdale’s total in a similar circumstance might have been incalculable.
2020 fans threaten to taunt Astros hitters by drumbeating thumping sounds during at bats. This would mimic the garbage can tom-toms Houston hitters listened for to get pitch selection from tech sources. This stat quantifies the distraction level posed for Houston hitters facing such hazing by projecting their loss of OPS [On base PLUS slugging] percentage during said at bats.
Formula: The decibel level (About 60 dB is the sound of normal conversation; about 90 a lawnmower; and about 120 a rock concert with anything above about 85 considered having a potential for cheating you out of future hearing) expressed as a percentage [SUBTRACTED] from the player’s OPS IF 30-60 dB, [MULTIPLIED TIMES TWO and SUBTRACTED] from the player’s OPS IF 61-90 dB, and [MULTIPLIED BY FOUR and SUBTRACTED] from the player’s OPS IF over 90.
EXAMPLE: Astros star Jose Altuve racked up a .903 OPS in 2019. IF he has a similar OPS in 2020, but he is at bat against a team whose fans are shaking the stadium with a dB of 90, his OPS in that given at bat would be expected to be [.903 MINUS .90 TIMES 4 OR .360] .543, or less than that of any Astros position player who had 100 at bats or more in 2019.
Movie Note: The MLB Commissioner, always seeking justice, will not countenance fans beating tom-toms if dressed like the bleacher creatures made up to look like stereotyped Native Americans in the movie Major League.
Percentage chance of 2017-19 Astros position players eventually making the Hall of Fame, denied to past greats tainted by scandal such as Shoeless Joe Jackson, Pete Rose, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds.
Formula: Deleting decimal points and converting to percentages, [SUBTRACT] Astros position player’s career OPS from 105% [Barry Bonds career OPS = 1.051]. [SUBTRACT] that percentage from 100% to calculate gross percentage chance. Then, [SUBTRACT] 75 % for a 1-5 year career; 50% for a 6-10 year career; and 25% for a 11-15 year career. Further, [SUBTRACT] another 20% for each season playing with the Astros during 2017-19. The remaining % expresses the player’s chance of getting voted into Cooperstown.
EXAMPLE: Alex Bregman, a 2017 World Series hero and 2018-19 All-Star, has a fine career OPS of .911. He has played four seasons. His chance of getting into the Hall of Fame right now would be [105% – 91% = 14%; 100% – 14% = 86%; 86% – 75% (4-year career) = 11%; 11% – 60% (3 years as an Astro) =] MINUS 49% or NO chance. Even assuming he plays 17 years and raises his career OPS to 920, his chances, tainted by playing on the Astro-nots, would still yield only a [105 – 92 = 13; 100 – 13 = 87; 87 – 60 =] 27% chance of gaining Hall of Fame entry, even with Hall-of-Fame-worthy stats.
Justice Note: What to do about pitchers on the Astros staff from 2017-19, three of whom (Verlander — 3 years, Cole — 2 years, and Greinke — 1 year) might someday be Hall-of-Fame-worthy? Worth noting that steroid-linked Roger Clemens has not been voted into the Hall of Fame despite having an exceedingly high WAR [Wins Above Replacement] of 139.2 and a total of 354 career wins.
Projected Major League Baseball Attendance Dip in Light of Cheating Scandal.
Formula: Total MLB attendance has dropped from a high of approximately 79.5 million in 2007, just after the Mitchell Report (unveiling the PED scandal), to 68.5 million in 2019 (itself a 1.7% drop from 2018). What will the 2020 dip be, given the fact that with “Houston, we have a problem” and more dirty (red) sox might come out of the closet soon? [DOUBLE] the percentage decrease from last year and then [SUBTRACT] the number of Astros players disciplined by the baseball commissioner for cheating to yield the percentage decrease to figure gross projected attendance.
EXAMPLE: That’s right, Commissioner Rob Manfred gave all Astros players immunity. So, just double the percentage decrease from last year without ANY subtraction, which gives you [1.7 X 2] 3.4% of 68.5 million = a 2.33 million decrease to project 2020 attendance as 66.2 million.
Sabermetrics Note: Some say that technology, especially television which squelches the expanse of the sport and stresses big-event viewing rather the seasonal narrative, has robbed fans of the reflection and studied anticipation essential to playing and watching a baseball game. Have they never understood the beauty of a box score or the tabulation of arcane stats? Oldtimers, launch your “that makes baseball an abstraction” argument. It doesn’t have an exit velocity that will fly even with tech-tightened baseballs.