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It’s not just “him”.

January 28, 2017

Be honest. The third starter on whatever team you cheer for has that one tiny problem that stops him from being an ace: the Third Time Through The Order.

Turns out, it’s not just your guy.

2016, all pitchers across MLB from Sports-Reference via Fangraphs:

Screen-Shot-2017-01-25-at-9.30.54-PM-1024x181.png

Batter OPS jumps to .792 the third time through…and those .725 and .753 numbers for the first couple times through the order INCLUDE the occasions, of course, when the pitcher gets wrecked and never sees the third time through. So the difference would be even bigger if the guy who gave up seven runs in the first was forced to stay in and eat the ball.

On the one hand, this goes back to Mendoza’s fantasy innovation that no provider has picked up yet: the ability to start a pitcher but specify that you only want his first X-number of innings or hisfirst X-number of batters faced.

On the other hand, if Mendoza got his way, this stat set suggests that pretty much everyone paying even a little attention would play it pretty much the same way: everyone would hook their pitcher after trying for the six-inning Quality Start.

So there’s not much joy for fantasy.

Question: when will real life MLB teams pay attention?

 

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