DRays Bay was also thinking about the postseason rotation this morning. Clearly, the folks I talk baseball with and the folks they talk baseball with have a slightly different approach.
Here is the link to the post.
Three quick thoughts:
1. This analysis is interesting but I still think it looks like the skipper is leaning towards Davis over Niemann.
2. I have followed baseball my entire life and have never heard of 80% of the analytical tools used in this analysis and, therefore, cannot really argue that the conclusion is wrong. (isn’t this game great? you can spend 30 years watching it and still not even scratch the surface of the experience.)
3. But, what the hell, I’ll try to argue against it anyway. This is America. You don’t really need to understand someone’s argument when you can oppose it based solely on gut-reaction. Right?
Despite my ignorance to the analysis, I think this is the ultimate conclusion:
Looking for the hot starter is neither a sound nor proven methodology. Tom Tango’s The Book clearly demonstrates that hot and cold streaks begin and end instantly — we cannot use them as barometers of future success (except for in the case of a lingering injury, which I don’t think either have). Instead, we should base our analysis on longer swathes of history and career numbers. And if we do that, we can only say one thing:
Wade Davis, go to the ‘pen!
Here is my counter. Maybe hot streaks are statistically unstable and bad predictors of future statistical performance. But, there is a psychological factor that comes with a hot or cold streak. During his last 7 starts, Wade Davis has that King Kong look. He has total confidence in his stuff because he thinks he is hot and is going to stay hot. I don’t know how you account for that statistically. But, as an ex-athlete, I think that kind of confidence is invaluable, particularly in high-stress situations like say the playoffs.