Time to Change it Up: An Examination of Changeup Usage and Effectiveness from 2015-2018

A 2010 study conducted by Dave Allen over at The Baseball Analysts suggested that all else equal, pitchers should try to avoid throwing their changeups to same-handed hitters and should be more willing to throw their changeups to opposite-handed hitters. 2010 was nearly a decade ago and baseball statistics, technology, and data manipulation have come quite far since then, so we figured we would investigate Allen’s claim that a changeup thrown to an opposite-handed hitter should be more effective than one thrown to a same-handed hitter. Our findings were unexpected.

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Breaking Down Clayton Kershaw’s Contract Option

Kershaw has had back issues in his career (though he says they are no longer a problem), and he has missed significant time in each of the past three seasons due to various other injuries. From 2010-2015, Kershaw averaged just over 222 innings pitched per season. In the three seasons since, he has averaged fewer than 162 innings, meaning he has not thrown enough innings, on average, to qualify for the ERA title. Of the past three years, he has qualified for the ERA crown in just 2017. He led the majors in ERA that year, of course, but that’s beside the point. Kershaw is looking like a mortal. 

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I Love You, David

When David announced that he was going to be calling it quits after this season, I got a little bit choked up. That’s actually an understatement; I cried. Not only because he himself was crying while announcing his plan to retire the media, but also because I feel connected to David. No, I have never met him (although I did once walk by him on the streets of Manhattan while I was walking home from Synagogue one night) but I think that speaks volumes to the power of sports. More on that later, though.

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A Look at the National League Playoff Picture

Fangraphs is currently giving the Dodgers a 72.3% chance to make the playoffs and a 58.5% chance of winning the NL West. FiveThirtyEight doesn’t like the Dodgers nearly as much, giving them just a 56% chance to make the playoffs a 45% chance to win the division. 

The discrepancy between the two models is why we play the games; these are contests between two groups of nine humans, and anything can happen in baseball.

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