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The Rays Tank: The Attack Of The Saber

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We may be in a dead time of the year for baseball news, but that certainly doesn't mean there's a dearth of cool articles to read. In fact, there were a number of articles yesterday that featured some interesting -- and new! -- sabermetric research. If you're into such things, don't waste a moment and check out these three pieces:

  • Matt Swartz continued his series on the price of a Win, and he finished his piece with a chart of the $/WAR that teams have spent in every year going back to 1985. To me, it's fascinating to see how prices remained relatively stable through the '90s, but then started to skyrocket come the '00s. It also seems like that inflation is increasing faster and faster.
  • Jeff Zimmerman looked at how intentional walks can screw up a player's perceived walk rate and patience. In short, players that see a boost in their intentional walk rate also typically receive a bump in their unintentional walk rate as pitchers will be more cautious around them and give them non-intentional walks. So when you see a player that boosted his walk rate dramatically, you should first stop and see if that's because the player has truly improved their plate discipline, or in large part because pitchers are being more cautious with them.
  • Bill Petti has done some recent research on park factors affect a team's chance of winning, and he followed that work up by looking at how park factors and ERA estimators relate. Are certain ERA estimators more effective in hitter- or pitcher-friendly parks? Do ERA estimators that include batted ball profiles gain importance depending on the park? It's some interesting stuff, and will hopefully lead to even more research down the line.

And now, on to other baseball articles. If research bores you, there are still plenty of fun reads this morning: