The Cubs Pitchers Are Making Their Own Luck

Midseason is rapidly approaching, and the Chicago Cubs are still making the rest of Major League Baseball look bad. They’re World Series favorites by a mile according to our Elo predictions — which also have them pegged for 104 wins — and they’ve outscored their opponents by an average of 2.3 runs per game, the most of any team through 70 games since the legendary 1939 Yankees.The Cubs have excelled on offense, scoring the third-most runs in the majors, but to an even greater degree the team owes its extreme success to run prevention. Chicago’s current 2.73 team ERA would be the lowest full-season1So, not counting the strike-shortened 1981 campaign. figure in the designated hitter era (since 1973), and the lowest relative to the MLB average since World War II.This Cubs staff is pretty good at making guys miss — it ranks fifth in the majors in K-BB rate — but that alone isn’t enough to explain such a microscopic ERA. Chicago has also allowed a .254 batting average on balls in play, 42 points below the major-league average and 19 points lower than the next-closest team. If the Cubs were to finish the year that far below the norm, their BABIP would also be the lowest relative to average since World War II. As a byproduct, the gap between Chicago’s ERA and its Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) is 0.64 runs, the widest positive gap in the majors.We know of three things that could contribute to such a separation. One is flat-out luck, but the others are a good defense and a pitching staff that induces especially fieldable batted balls. Prior to the advent of Statcast, MLB’s new radar-based motion-tracking system, it was almost impossible to separate the latter two elements, parsing out a pitcher’s impact on batted balls from that of his fellow defenders. But now we can start to unravel those relationships and assign partial credit to each possible factor at work.To do that, we built a couple of models. The first model estimated each MLB pitcher’s effect on the exit velocities and launch angles he allows by comparing his rates to the same hitters’ numbers against all other pitchers.2Specifically, we used two mixed models that incorporate effects for each batter, pitcher and park to predict exit velocity and launch angle. Because 20 to 25 percent of batted balls are missed by the tracking system, all models in this piece imputed missing Statcast data using the average of similarly classified batted balls and outcomes. Then we calculated what would happen if we replaced each team’s actual pitchers with a staff full of generic arms that allowed league-average exit velocities and launch angles. The difference between those actual and generic figures gives us a number of runs attributable to each pitching staff’s contact-management skills, i.e., its tendency to allow batted balls that do less damage.Next, we modeled fielding on a team-by-team basis by estimating how much each batted ball “should” have been worth (in terms of linear-weight run value) based on its exit velocity and launch angle.3This was a random forest model, as described in an earlier piece. Then we compared those estimated values to the actual values of the same batted balls.4Using a separate model to adjust for ballpark effects. If a batted ball with an exit velocity and launch angle that would typically produce a single actually yielded an out, the model credited some of the difference to the defense, which we assume prevented the single through some combination of good range, good hands and good positioning.Finally, we combined those two values into one total figure to see how many runs each team has saved on its balls in play, relative to a team with average contact-management and defense. TEAMFIELDINGPITCHINGTOTAL Angels-6.42.4-4.1 Braves3.1-5.4-2.4 Diamondbacks4.6-23.4-18.8 Reds1.8-49.9-48.1 Pirates-6.815.58.7 Dodgers2.927.330.2 Royals0.5-12.6-12.0 Cardinals6.413.419.8 RUNS SAVED Rangers18.5-6.212.3 Indians6.7-7.1-0.4 Nationals-3.816.312.6 Phillies-3.9-31.2-35.1 Marlins5.3-2.82.5 Twins-12.1-39.0-51.1 Yankees-11.215.84.6 Blue Jays14.16.520.6 Brewers-10.9-3.4-14.4 Giants6.717.524.2 Red Sox9.7-3.85.9 Padres2.4-9.2-6.8 White Sox3.125.428.5 Mariners-0.27.67.4 Cubs12.644.557.1 Mets-4.026.422.3 Rockies9.8-24.9-15.1 There’s a moderate, statistically significant relationship5A correlation coefficient of 0.44. between a team’s ERA-FIP gap and our estimate of its runs saved from contact management and defense. Add in sequencing (as measured by Left on Base Percentage), and we can explain about 60 percent of the difference between a team’s ERA and its FIP. The rest can be chalked up to random variation, plus a variety of smaller factors6Such as the way pitchers influence other batted-ball characteristics (i.e., spray angle), the tendency of good pitch-framing catchers — such as the Cubs’ Miguel Montero and David Ross — to produce more favorable counts and make batters swing at bad pitches (which can’t be hit as hard), and the ability of batters and pitchers to restrict the running game (the rare area in which the Cubs don’t excel). and, admittedly, other unknown elements that we can’t conceive of or are unable to calculate using current data.According to our models, the Cubs’ defense — aided perhaps by data-driven positioning, if not frequent infield shifting — has been the third-best in baseball, behind the Rangers and Blue Jays. But fielding is a relatively small piece of Chicago’s run-preventing puzzle. Its pitching staff’s collective ability to manage contact leads the next-best team by close to 20 runs. As a group, Cubs pitchers have depressed exit velocity by 0.4 miles per hour and launch angle by almost 2 degrees, relative to average.7As of June 19.That leads to a larger takeaway from our models: Leaguewide, the impact of pitchers’ contact management is more than twice that of defense, which seems to contradict the traditional defense-independent pitching theory that most pitchers have little ability to prevent hits on balls in play. (It’s probably no coincidence that the career leader in Inside Edge’s Soft Contact rate is fabled bat breaker Mariano Rivera.) In other words, much of what appears to be good or bad defense might really be good or bad contact management, which can produce easier (or more difficult) fielding opportunities that make certain fielders look better or worse than they are. In theory, only a Statcast-derived defensive stat could account for this heretofore-camouflaged effect.Exit velocity is meaningful even over small samples, but at this early stage of the Statcast Era, we still don’t know enough about how pitchers control contact to say whether the Cubs’ BABIP is sustainable, or if it stems from a conscious pitching (or even pitching-acquisition) approach. As with any extreme observation, it seems safe to expect some regression to the mean for Chicago’s pitchers. Still, we can conclude that the Cubs’ historically low BABIP through their first 69 games isn’t merely luck. One way or another, the Cubs have earned a lot of those outs. Tigers-10.69.9-0.7 Includes games through June 19Source: MLBAM, PitchInfo Astros-10.310.0-0.3 Rays4.2-19.6-15.4 The Cubs Are The Best At Controlling Contact Athletics-5.7-8.8-14.5 Orioles-2.7-4.9-7.7 read more

Carnival urges TCI to spend swifter on sprucing up Grand Turk competition

first_img Minister of Works puts government buildings reconstruction post hurricanes at $8.6m Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Cruise figures forecast to drop, says Tourism Director Beaches puts former Premier on blast about controversial pier Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 08 Oct 2015 – Carnival Cruise Lines is encouraging the TCI to use that $4 million in the joint fund to speedily improve the look and appeal of the capital, Grand Turk. When the UK Governors of Caribbean Overseas Territories got together in Miami last month, they talked about more than domestic and national security; they talked about each country as a tourism destination. His Excellency, Peter Beckingham said, for the TCI it is about maintaining the edge.“Turks and Caicos is also in an enviable position compared to most of the Caribbean OT’s for cruise ship business. At the end of our meeting I called on senior management at the Carnival Group to hear about latest developments affecting our business in Grand Turk.” The Governor added that, “Not surprisingly Carnival emphasised how important it was for Grand Turk to start using the $4 million plus that we have in the joint TCI Government/Carnival Infrastructure Fund to make our destination a cleaner, more attractive and hassle free destination.” The Governor said the TCI also has some catching up to do when it comes to attracting more European visitors to the territory. Related Items:Carnival Cruise Lines, gordon ‘butch’ stewart, governor peter beckingham, grand turklast_img read more

Warm Water Temperatures Have Interesting Sea Life Visiting Our Coast

first_img Posted: August 6, 2018 Dave Scott, Warm Water Temperatures Have Interesting Sea Life Visiting Our Coast August 6, 2018 Dave Scott Categories: Local San Diego News, Weather FacebookTwitter 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsLA JOLLA (KUSI) – The ocean water is at record warm temperatures, and we’re seeing marine life not usually seen off our coast.KUSI’s Dave Scott was with Dr. Daniel Rudnick, Professor at The Scripps Institution of Oceanography earlier today, discussing our recent visitors to our coastline. last_img read more

I am banned from WWE Major star makes shocking confession

first_imgClose Chirs Jericho is a legend in the WWE and might one day make it to the company’s coveted hall of fame but for the moment things do not look good for the wrestler. In a recent interview with Jim Norton and Sam Roberts on Sirius XM, Jericho said that he is now banned from WWE.Jericho had signed a contract with All Elite Wrestling earlier this year and the new wrestling promotion is seen as WWE’s biggest competition. This is the reason WWE has debarred him from their company. “I’ve talked with him a couple of times. But I’m kind of public enemy number one there now. I’ve been kind of removed from the annals of history,” Jericho said when asked if he had spoken to Vince McMahon before signing for AEW.”I asked the other day if I could have a couple of their guys on my podcast to promote Mania and I was told, ‘No, it’s not appropriate because you’re in AEW.’ I am banned from WWE.” Talking about the ban he said that although the WWE Network does have his content, he has been edited out of some other videos. Wikimedia Commons / Concerttour”I think my stuff is still on there [WWE Network]. I haven’t been disgraced. But as far as I know, they had to take some videos down from UpUpDownDown of me playing. Took that off. They edited some stuff from The Edge & Christian Show that had my name on it,” Jericho said.Jericho also spoke about Hall of Fame speeches and how the main event stars should be given more time to speak than those who are the opening acts. “Here’s the problem though. When you have something like the Hall of Fame that’s so subjective. Once again, you can’t have one guy go 45 and then Stone Cold Steve Austin I think went five minutes or ten minutes. If someone’s gonna talk for 45 minutes it should be Steve,” said Jericho.”They should weight it on, ‘Listen, we love you, but you’re the opening match. The opening guy. You get, you know, ten minutes. You’re lucky to be in it.’ And as you get to the top, the main event guy, you go as long as you want within reason. I think that’s the way to do it.” WWE stands for World Wrestling Entertainment.Mark Mainz/Getty ImagesJericho had signed for AEW in dramatic fashion. Being the final act of a historic press conference, Jericho almost gate-crashed the event saying, “I’m here because I believe in doing something different, I believe in doing something new.””It’s what I’ve always done my entire career. I’m a maverick. I’m an outlaw. I’m a pariah. I’m Chris Jericho, baby. I’m not here just to change the world. AEW is not here just to change the world. We are going to change the whole universe,” Jericho had said. WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2017 inductee Kurt Anglelast_img read more

3 dozens Facebook Twitter IDs sued

first_img.Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has said tough actions would be taken against the perpetrators who misused social media, including Facebook, to spread rumours to instigate violence in the name of movement for quota reforms in government jobs.”We must find out those culprits who spread rumours through the social media to instigate destructive and subversive acts in the name of quota reform movement across the country,” BSS quoted the home minister as saying.Necessary instructions have already been given to the police to find out the culprits and file cases under relevant sections of the law to stop recurrence of such activities, he added.Talking to BSS, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) deputy commissioner Md Alimuzzaman, who is in charge of Social Media Monitoring and Cyber Security Division, said investigation is underway to find out those Facebook accounts and groups, Youtube videos and other posts in different social media involved in spreading propaganda to create an unstable situation in the name of waging movement for quota reform in government jobs.”Perpetrators must be brought to justice to avert recurrence of such violent acts by spreading propaganda in social media,” he said.Meanwhile, DMP’s Cyber Security and Crime Division has filed a case with Ramna police station against about three dozens of Facebook and Twitter IDs, blogs and online domains involved in spreading rumours to instigate the students who were demanding reformation of the quota system.Sub-Inspector (SI) Sajibuzzaman of the division has already been appointed as the investigation officer (IO) of the case.In the four days of movement in different educational institutions, including Dhaka University, were agog with rumours of darkest kind, drawing the students of residential halls to take to the streets and flaring up the anti-government sentiments.All such sensitive rumours were emanated at the dead of the night mostly when the students went back to their halls while the most spectacular one hit the very first day: A Dhaka University student demonstrating for quota reform was shot by police and then succumbed to his injuries.It was later learnt that for spreading those fake stories, Facebook pages including ‘Zakir’s BCS specials’, ‘Troll Du’ and ‘Quota Songskar Chai’ were used.On the other hand, among the pages and news portals that already earned the notoriety for being run by Shibir activists like ‘Basherkella’ has also been found to be very much active and at the forefront to instigate the general students.One popular page among the BCS job-seekers, Zakir’s BCS Special, posted “AB Siddiq, a third year Dhaka University student, has breathed his last at a hospital suffering from bullet injuries”.More strikingly, to make it more authentic, this post was attributed to a private TV channel.Soon after the announcement was made, this fake story went like wild fire, fuelled a sense of disgust among the dormitory students.On impact, female students broke the gates of the dormitories and came out to the streets while in male dormitories, residents in their hundreds streamed in too, chanting slogans in demand of punishment for the “killing of the student.”Moments later, it was unearthed that AB Siddiq is alive and he sustained minor injuries while participating in the protest.From his Facebook account, he posted that he could not communicate with others as his cell phone was shut as its battery exhausted. Siddiq also mentioned that he sustained some minor injuries in his forehead.On Monday night, another rumour spread that Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) DU hall unit leaders are assaulting the general students for taking part in the movement.Again, in the wee hours on Monday, those pages put another post “The Sufia Kamal Hall BCL unit president has cut tendons of a resident of that hall for her involvement in this quota movement.”At around 3:00am on that day, another post appeared in Basherkella, that “DU Zia Hall unit president is leading a band of unruly activists in front of the hall to launch an assault on the general students.”Armed with weapons, BCL activists riding around 100 bikes are coming to TSC to swoop on the agitators” read another post.last_img read more

Decoding a healthy diet

first_imgYou seem to have a special interest in culinary skills. How did you get initiated into this field?My passion for cooking started when I was 12 years old. I was like a puppy following my elder sister. She joined a cookery class and I followed her too. I had too much fun cooking back then. I kept up learning from every one around me. And today  my paasion has taken a shape with these two books. How and when did you decide to pen down your ideas into a book? Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Around 15 years ago, I was at a stage when I was learning to make Indian desserts and pickles, and I happened to write it all down. That is when my home cook book started coming up. And rest is history. Your first book ‘Don’t diet, diet cookbook’ and now Unjunked lay a lot of stress on healthy eating. Why?I am a nutritionist and while consulting I realized that there is a need for tasty, healthy, quick to make, easy recipes. It was initially to support my client daily diets. Then slowly the collection of these recipes took form of the book. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix How is Unjunked different from the first book?Unjunked is very different from the first book. First of all it gives weight loss guidelines in a chapter called ‘Seven Day Cyclical Menu for Weight loss’.Secondly it also tells the readers about how to make healthy low calorie options when dining out. Thirdly, we have given a healthy twist to many popular junk food like pav bhaji, vada pav, sev puri, burger etc. Further the book also tells the reader how to balance all the four main meals of the day that is, breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. The recipes do not fall into the usually listed categories such as soups, salad, vegetables, bakes, rotis etc. If I were to ask you your favourite junk food, what would it be. Would you also tell our readers, how can it be converted into something healthy?My favorite junk food is Pav Bhaji, and that is one of the first recipe I unjunked! Reduce potato and butter content, add boiled mashed moong sprouts and more boiled peas, maintain the spices and garlic, and here you have a tasty healthy Pav Bhaji. Instead of having coke as a drink have it with cool miny buttermilk. Here you go a well balanced lunch or dinner menu.  Being a nutritionist first and writer later ( or so I presume), what’s your idea of a daily healthy diet?Daily diet should be consisting of well-balanced breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a small snack in the evening with major nutrients (carbs, protein, fiber and fats). These meals should be well placed with ideally 4 hours apart. With the help of the book Unjunked I have tried to reinforce why these major nutrients are important for healthy functioning of human body and  why there is a need to complete the plate.last_img read more