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Umpire Check

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Something new for the ALCS; a look at the umpires and their tendencies. Unfortunately I don't have Pitchf/x data for each of them and cannot tell you whether the strike percentages are due to great pitching or simply a tight or loose zone, but what can you do at this point?

Tim McClelland - 42.7% strikes (79th of 83 umpires)
Derryl Cousins - 43.5% strikes (70th of 83 umpires)
Alfonso Marquez - 43.9% strikes (54th of 83 umpires)
Brian Gorman - 45.3% strikes (13th of 83 umpires)
Brian O'Nora - 44.8% strikes (21st of 83 umpires)
Sam Holbrook - 43.8% strikes (61st of 83 umpires)

Only ~2.5 percent separates the top of the pack from the very back. In fact there's only a standard deviation of 0.012 throughout the list. Here's a look at the BB9 and SO9 ratios:

McClelland - 4 BB9 6.18 SO9
Cousins - 3.7 BB9 6.39 SO9
Marquez - 4 BB9 6.68 SO9
Gorman - 2.95 BB9 6.95 SO9
O'Nora - 3.03 BB9 6.84 SO9
Holbrook - 3.54 BB9 6.69 SO9

These numbers really don't mean a lot. Some umpires might have gotten a better cut of aces than others and some simply had to call the games with a ton of walks. The Rays have some history with McClelland (see: Sammy Sosa corked bat) and Cousins (see: Kazmir explodes) the other names don't jump out as having anything big with the Rays. In other words: no Jerry Meals.

Reference

Baseball Prospectus