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

Primaryschoolers yanked for bullying investigation launched

first_img Ministry of Education Announces Registration 2016-2017 for Public Schools in the Turks & Caicos Islands Five Cays ‘bullying’ video goes viral, MP on the case Ministry of Education & Digicel team up for Learning Hub Related Items:bullying, ministry of education, primary school Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 22 Apr 2015 – A shocking case of bullying is now being investigated by the Ministry of Education and the students involved have been pulled from the primary school in question. Video has been in circulation and has now made local TV news. The boys from one of the Provo-based public primary schools appear to capture themselves roughing up another boy, using foul language and completely enjoying repeatedly hitting the student. In the face, in the back, in the head, hits to the intimidated boy’s abdomen, lots of jeering and cheering and at one point the lead antagonist seems to spit on the bullying victim. The Ministry is discouraging spread of this video, but up to news production time well over 1,100 had viewed the news report by SunTV. I quote from a press release issued last night: “We are asking the public, that in the interest of the welfare and protection of the child who was bullied and parents, that we respect their rights and cease and desist from the circulation of this horrid video.” The authorities have already been called in this case.last_img read more

People on the Move

first_img The MPA named Susan Fraysse Russ senior VP of communications. Russ joins the team from Reader’s Digest Association where she was VP of global communications and president of Reader’s Digest Foundation. Time Inc.’s Entertainment Weekly announced promotion and new editorial hires. Mashable has hired Heidi Moore as business editor to oversee coverage of business, marketing, media and startups. Moore had been the U.S. finance and economics editor for the U.S. edition of The Guardian. First Look Media has had a volatile first year and a half of existence, but the company is hoping its latest hire can bring some stability. Kerri Chyka was promoted to VP of communications for Time Inc. where she will oversee an expanded news and lifestyle portfolio including Time, Real Simple, Fortune, Health, Cooking Light, Money, MyRecipes and All You. Meeta Agrawal has been elevated to deputy editor. She is being promoted from executive editor and will provide editorial oversight for EW while continuing to work closely with the digital team to oversee cross-platform initiatives. Here’s the rest of this week’s people on the move: Bloom’s most recent gig was as the founder of media and tech advisory firm, Woodshed Ventures, but he’s had a number of corporate media roles. He served as CEO of Guardian News and Media for North America from 2012 to 2014, and as chief digital officer for Wenner Media before that. Gillian Telling has been named senior editor, TV and will begin March 16. She is joining the EW team from PEOPLE, where she served as a staff editor since 2013. Michael Bloom is joining the group as president and general manager, where he’ll “be responsible for both the journalistic future of the organization and developing commercial opportunities to support First Look Media.” Anna Roth has been hired by Civil Eats as senior editor. Roth had most recently been the food and drink editor for SF Weekly. He’s faced with a much different situation in First Look though. Founded by eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar in 2013, the company has already gone through a number of high-profile hirings, resignations and exposés. Gina McIntyre is joining as news director (movies) based out of L.A. McIntyre will edit the News & Notes section of the magazine, film features and oversee movie news coverage across all platforms.last_img read more

India to Invest 4 Billion in Power industry to Wipe Out Theft

first_imgThe Indian power ministry announced on Thursday that it will invest $4 billion (INR 25,300 crore) in the power industry to roll out a new metering system and upgrade distribution networks around the country to help tackle the power theft issue.The announcement is a key step by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to wipe out the electricity theft problem plaguing the country and to introduce uninterrupted power supply. The total project will reportedly cost $5.27 billion of which $4 billion will be contributed by the government.The new scheme will see the power ministry rolling out new meters for distribution feeders, transformers and consumers. The plan also intends to strengthen sub-transmission and distribution networks, Reuters reports. The project will help cut technical and commercial losses in the power department.Power theft has been a major problem in the country. According to a previous Bloomberg analysis, India loses $17 billion in revenue annually due to prolonged power cuts and blackouts. The country also loses over a quarter of its power due to poor wiring.Billing rates “are too low, and theft is too high. If you look at the power losses, 80 percent is theft,” Ratul Puri, chairman of Hindustan Powerprojects , a privately held power plant operator told Businessweek in an earlier interview.The government has raided several private companies after the Modi administration stepped in. More than 750 cases of power theft were reported before June.Experts suggested that power should be subsidized to solve the emerging problem. But theft- from both the poor and rich – made it unfeasible.In a 2013 feature for The Hindu, William Ash, a Strategic Program Manager at the IEEE Standards Association explained that “smart meters” are a great way to tackle the theft problem.”Most of the time, this theft happens through tapping of electricity from live wires, which also poses risks to people’s lives. The use of smart meters thus becomes extremely relevant in developing countries such as India,” Ash wrote.A smart meter is an electricity-measuring device that remotely switches “the customer’s power supply off and/or individual appliances based on demand response. It can remotely control electricity consumption to maximise energy efficiency and load balancing,” Ash explained.The Modi government has set a goal to use renewable energy to power at least one light bulb in the remote areas of India by 2019. Narendra Modi has been credited for solving the power theft problem in Gujarat when he was the chief minister. o f the statelast_img read more

YouTube accidentally links NotreDame fire to 911 attacks

first_imgThe steeple collapses as smoke and flames engulf the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on 15 April 2019. Photo: AFPA YouTube fact-check feature which is meant to tackle misinformation accidentally tagged live broadcasts of a fire engulfing Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris with details about the 9/11 terror attacks.The blaze erupted in the UNESCO world heritage landmark in the French capital Monday, sending its spire and roof crashing to the ground as flames and clouds of smoke billowed into the sky.The fire, which at one point threatened the entire edifice, was brought under control early Tuesday about nine hours after it broke out.News outlets began live-streaming broadcasts of the fire on YouTube, but below some of the clips an unusual text box popped up — an entry from the Encyclopedia Britannica about the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.In those attacks, Al-Qaeda militants hijacked two passenger planes and flew them into the towers of the World Trade Center in New York, causing them to collapse, while a third hijacked jet smashed into the Pentagon. Some 3,000 people were killed.A spokesman for YouTube, which is owned by Google, said the text box feature had been disabled for live streams related to the fire.”These panels are triggered algorithmically and our systems sometimes make the wrong call,” the spokesman told AFP. “We are deeply saddened by the ongoing fire at the Notre-Dame Cathedral.”The feature, which also links to other outside sources such as Wikipedia, was introduced last year after YouTube faced intense criticism over videos containing misleading and extreme content.The panels are supposed to combat misleading videos about well-known events — such as the first successful manned landing on the moon — by presenting the true facts, in a bid to stop the spread of conspiracy theories.YouTube, Facebook and Twitter came under fire last month after a horrific video of a gunman’s deadly rampage at two New Zealand mosques was circulated on the sites.The Christchurch massacre, in which 50 people were killed, was live-streamed on Facebook, which moved to block the footage. But it was then shared repeatedly on the other two sites.last_img read more

Minni confesses father claims shes forced

first_imgAysha Siddiqa Minni, wife of slain youth Rifat Sharif, has confessed to her involvement in the much talked-about Rifat murder before a Barguna court.The court of Barguna judicial magistrate recorded her confessional statement on Friday afternoon, said police inspector Humayun Kabir who is investigating the case.Minni’s father Mozammel Hossain, however, claimed that his daughter was forced to give the confessional statement.”Minni is sick. She was forced and tortured to record the confessional statement,” he said on the court premises.”My daughter tried to save her husband risking her own life. Was that her crime?” he added.Pointing his finger to local member of parliament Dhirendra Debnath Shambhu, Minni’s father said, “It’s all Shambhu Babu’s game. We are being made scapegoat to save his son Suman Debnath.”On the court premises, Minni was seen guarded by two female police members. Minni was stopped to speak up when she tried to say something to the journalists there.Earlier on 17 July, Minni was arrested after nearly 13 hours of interrogation.In a statement, superintendent of police in Barugna, Maruf Hossain, said the investigation officer’s interrogation of Aysha Siddiqa Minni and analysis of the information she provided him appeared to show her involvement in the murder.On 14 July, Minni addressed a media conference at her father’s residence, where she claimed herself innocent.She defended herself saying those who created Nayan Bond and the terrorist group Bond 007 in Barguna are trying to divert the murder case to a different direction by accusing her.”By uploading negative posts, doctored images and comments, a vested quarter has been plotting against me since Rifat’s murder. Their main intention is to direct the case to a different course. Because, those who created 007 Bond group are very influential and rich,” she told the press conference.She made the claim after her father-in-law Abdul Halim Sharif, on the earlier day, told a media conference at Barguna press club that Minni was involved in the Rifat killing.He also demanded her arrest.On 26 June, Rifat Sharif was killed in broad daylight in front of Barguna Government College.On the following day, victim’s father Abdul Halim Sharif filed a lawsuit with Barguna police station against 12. Besides, four-five others unnamed people also were made accused in the case.Main accused in the case Sabbir Ahmed alias Nayan Bond was killed in what police called a gunfight with them on 2 July.As of Thursday morning, 15 people have been arrested in connection with the murder.last_img read more