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Friday, April 12, 2013


" appears the way to force an early exit for Nolasco is to make him throw his fastball..."

So, we shouldn't expect a big game from Howard then.

Rollins, Utley, Howard and Nix all ahve very good career numbers against Nolasco.

Hopefully Nix gets the start then, eh?

Rollins: .803 OPS in 43 PA
Utley: .870 OPS in 39 PA
Howard: .935 OPS in 38 PA
Nix: 1.098 OPS in 13 PA (basically he hit a HR once so it looks really good due to SSS)

So there we are.

Interestingly, even as his strikeouts have plummeted, Nolasco's FIP and xFIP have remained right around the same as they were back when he was striking people out and sabermetrics guys were attributing his high ERA to bad luck. Unfortunately, his ERA has stayed the same too.

He seems to be one of those pitchers who significantly underperforms his FIP and xFIP every year. The best I can figure is that it's because, in every year except his career-year of 2008, he has had really low strand rates. The guy stinks with runners on base. Maybe he struggles to pitch out of the stretch or something.

Who is batting clean-up for the fish tonight? Polanco? Dobbs?

Lefty Lannan starting, so my guess would be Polly batting cleanup - but who knows.

The Phillies are looking to hit 3 HR in 3 straight games tonight for the first time since June 8th-11th in 2004.

Their franchise record is 4 straight games, dating back to August 23rd-26th 1964.

BAP, his xFIP went up as strikeouts when down, while FIP stayed consistent. I tend to look at xFIP more than FIP.


2008: 7.88 Ks per 9; 3.69 xFIP
2009: 9.49 Ks per 9; 3.23 xFIP
2010: 8.39 Ks per 9; 3.37 xFIP
2011: 6.47 Ks per 9; 3.55 xFIP
2012: 5.89 Ks per 9; 4.17 xFIP

I guess that's an upward trend, but it's not really as strong as I would have guessed. Besides, as I understand it, the only difference between FIP and xFIP is that xFIP adjusts for homerun/flyball ratio. So, to the extent that his xFIP is rising, it's not because of the decrease in strikeouts. It's because his homerun/flyball ratio has decreased since his high-strikeout days.

This game to me tonight is all about what version of Lannan shows up.

Fish scored 2 runs in 3 games vs Braves in their most recent series and here is their run distrubtion:

0 runs - 4 times
1 runs - 1 time
2 runs - 2 times
3 runs - 2 times
7 runs - 1 time

They have hit just 2 HRs and stolen 3 BBs. It is a lineup that has almost no power outside of Stanton and limited speed. Definitely the makings of one of the worst lineups in MLB history especially if Stanton has his annual DL stint.

The only guy really hitting for the Fish is Polanco & he has good career numbers vs Lannan (7-17, 2 BBs, 0 Ks). Stanton also had good numbers vs Lannan (5-11, 3 2Bs, 1 HR)

Fish do have 27 BBs though in 9 games which is t-7th in the NL. As long as Lannan doesn't have one of his outings where he is his own worst enemy and he ends up giving up 4-5 BBs, I like the Phils tonight.

Marlins' offense is a like a blind beggar and the only way it really can hurt you right now is if you provide it with plenty of chartity. Be stingy tonight Lannan.

If I'm Pierre, I'm dropping bunts down left and right this series especially with Lannan and Halladay on the mound (two poor fielding pitchers), an immobile guy behind the plate (Kratz), and guy with zero range at 1B (Howard) and questionable range at 3B (M. Young).

Why are the Phils only at -115 tonight? National betters definitely are undervaluing this team a bit early (depending upon who is on the mound besides Lee) and I smell profit.

MG, I'd actually advocate that Lannan needs to walk a few batters. More specifically, I'll be a bit miffed if Stanton sees a single pitch anywhere near the strike zone.

But, yeah, other than him, Lannan needs to just pound the zone. Not like Polly and Pierre are going to beat you with long balls. need to change your name to MG the Greek

Just sayin'.

Also, while I know some people dont care for the gambling posts, I enjoy them as I'm never going to look up those lines otherwise and its interesting to see.

Stanton shouldn't have a single AB the entire series...he should have 12-15 BB though.

Adding a Jimmy the Greek type (non-racist) certainly would enliven some of the NFL broadcasts instead of the ridiculous 5-man studio teams they have now with at least 1-2 ex-athletes who bring almost nothing.

MG: My opinion of MYoung's problems seem to be putting himself into position on hard hit balls so far, I dont think he's that weak on making plays on softer hit balls.

But yes, Pierre would be wise to test that theory and especially Howard's mobility at 1B. Dragging it down the line to Howard seems like a great idea against a guy like Lannan who is good at keeping the ball on the ground anyway.

Revere would be wise to try the exact same strategy. Not like Polly/Dobbs are swift of foot.

MG: I see the Phils at -140 after getting 93% of the bets.

The happiest day of my life was three Sundays ago. I was sitting on my daddy's knee when the Saints, who were four-and-a-half point favorites, but only up by three, kicked a meaningless field goal at the last second to cover the spread.

-Lisa the Greek

"My opinion of MYoung's problems seem to be putting himself into position on hard hit balls so far, I dont think he's that weak on making plays on softer hit balls."

He doesn't seem to be particularly error prone, and he definitely has the arm for 3rd base. It's just that he has the mobility of a tree stump. Unless the ball is hit right to him, he's not getting it.

WP - While you don't want Stanton to beat you with a HR, he's swinging at a ton of stuff out of the zone and not a lot in it. He isn't steroid-era Bonds deadly either.

Lannan should give him a steady diet of curves and sliders tonight in on his hands and low in the zone. The one thing Lannan shoudl stay away from is trying to throw him cutters in though. Lannan can hang that pitch and if it is up high the zone it is just asking for Stanton to crush it.

MG: sorry, looking at wrong data. -118 with Phils getting 79% of the bets. (

lorecore - Your right. I just looked at updated one. It is -130. Still take the Phils but with a small wager then.

lorecore - Actually kind of a wide variation on the game. Strange.

Anyone care to give me a quick explanation of what exactly the betting lines mean?

yeah - i like that site because it gives you the percentage of "public" bets for perspective, but it does seem to vary a few bucks off the actual available line you can get.

As for betting, I would never do it in large increments (usually do $5/10 game when I bet) or do it for more than anything for fun. You have to be disciplined and very mathematically-inclined to make a living from it.

My only reservation about tonight's game is that Lannan has crappy numbers against the Marlins - whether that means anythingor not.

So, MG, that may be one reason the line is what it is.

for moneyline wagering(most common in mlb) a minus number indicates the favorite, a positive is underdog. In each case, the larger number means a larger degree of underdog/favorite.

If the Phils are -130, then a $130 wager would be required to win just $100. If the Marlins are a +120, then a $100 wager would win you $120.

Thanks, Iorecore. Are the numbers for opposing teams always the same on opposite sides of the betting line (i.e., if the Phils are -130 are the Marlins automatically +130)? And, if not, why would that be?

the plus will always be lower, since thats the "juice" or "vig" the casino/bookie takes as profit.

This way, if you bet both sides, you're guaranteed to owe money. A ~10 difference , or "dime line" is a common industry amount.

awh - Not against the current guys he doesn't. As long as Lannan isn't really wild tonight (4-5 BBs), I like the Phils chances in this game.

Here is what Nolasco has done against the Phils

5/11 PHL: 6 1/3 IP, 2 R (1 R)
7/4 @ MIA: 7 IP, 1 ER
9/3 @ MIA: 6 IP, 4 ER

6/2 PHL: 5 IP, 4 ER
7/1 @ MIA: 7 IP, 2 ER
9/29 @ MIA: 5 IP, 5 ER

If Nolasco gives up 3 R tonight, the Fish are going to struggle to win this game. If he gives up 4/5, they almost certainly will lose.

My sportsbook has moved to Phillies -135, Marlins +115. Not enough value for me either way. I'm staying away.

They should just legalize and regulate sports betting in every state. I not a big proponent of gambling and recognize it has clear downsides but the alternative (organized crime, offshore betting) are genererally worse. Better to move black market/underground activities into the main stream & collect tax revenue on them.

While I love the idea of playing the Marlins to get W's, its such a pain to basically need to sweep them just to consider it as a win, since ATL and WAS both did so already.

Ayala trade:

Iceman brought this up the other day and was really pissed Amaro didn't make this move.

I agree that Ayala would have been an upgrade over Valdes & certainly Durbin. Even if the Phils want to keep Durbin on the roster, they easily could have sent down Valdes to LV.

Braves gave up a nothing prospects and Ayala is only making $925k. Are the Phils really that tapped out financially that they could pick up that salary?

Interesting fact about Stanton:

Of the 8 hitters on the Marlins with at least 20 PAs, Stanton has the lowest pLI, via fangraphs.

pLI is the average leverage when a player comes up to hit. So Stanton tends to come up in low leverage positions.

Why is this? Well, as documented by sabermetricians, the #3 spot in your lineup is actually not that important. #1, #2, #4, and even #5 hitters come up in higher leverage situations on average. The reason is mainly that #3 hitters come up a lot with nobody on base and 2 out, which is the lowest possible leverage situation.

I thought this was somewhat interesting:

The has a story this week about the high price of beer in America's major league baseball stadiums, concluding that "Major League Baseball's average price for a small beer has risen from $5.81 in 2011 to $6.12 this year. At this time in 2011, the highest price for a small beer was the $7.25 the Boston Red Sox were charging at Fenway Park. This year five teams have exceeded that price, with two teams breaking the $8 barrier."

The 10 most expensive ballparks for beer - rating the price of a small draft - are AT&T Park in San Francisco ($6.75), Busch Stadium in St. Louis ($6.75), Turner Field in Atlanta ($7.25), Wrigley Field in Chicago ($7.25), Fenway Park in Boston ($7.25), Rogers Center in Toronto ($7.34), Target Field in Minneapolis ($7.50), Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia ($7.75), Marlins Park ($8), and, selling the most expensive small draft beer in Major League Baseball, Nationals Park in Washington, DC ($8.25).

Personally, I'm slightly surprised that neither of the NYC venues made the "most costly" list.

"Only 12 batters have swung at his first pitch." We can match that in 6 innings or less.

Marlins Park has the most expensive beers in MLB? WTF? Loria's a schmuck in so many ways I've lost count...

So Loria knows that the few fans who do show up will want to drink beer while watching this lousy team so he increases the price to a MLB-leading $8/beer?

Evil genius even if it is entirely more likely he did that to make up for the huge decline in ticket reveneus with some additional concession revenue.

MG: agreed that gambling should just be made legal and be taxed.

What I don't get is the separation of gambling vs. fantasy sports: fantasy is considered a "skill" and therefore legal? It's as much a skill as regular betting is...

I feel like that beer study is off. The Phillies don't have a small or large draft, just 1 size.

These other stadiums must have a small and a large, which makes their smalls cheaper.

WP: I went to a Warriors game a couple weeks ago and they were charging $10 for a Budweiser. For a decent beer, like Sierra Nevada, it was $12. I drank bottled water, which cost a modest $5.50.

Well, when you're a team with as high a profile as the Warriors, that price point makes a lot of sense.

I no longer bring cash or cards to the park anymore. Figure if I don't have any money on me, I can't spend any money on concessions.

I take the train in, and I bring just enough currency to secure a token.

Atlantic City was just recently approved for Fantasy Sports Betting. I am not sure of the format.

nokwurst: fantasy is also something done without exchanging money (wink wink nudge nudge)

MG: I don't think the not acquiring Ayala has to do with money. I think that Amaro really believes that he has the guys he needs in place for now and thinks Valdes and Durbin will "turn it around."

TTI - That and maybe he thinks he has a lot of 'depth' which is somethign he said a couple of times at the end of spring training.

I think he is kind of delusional though. It is De Fratus and then grasping at straws again.

The Phillies don't have a small or large draft, just 1 size.


Went to a D-Backs game during a trip to visit family; they offer "value" menu items, including a $4 draft. It's Bud Light or similar swill, and tiny (12 oz.) I didn't get it. They did have one stand selling Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy, of which I did partake. It was either $7.50 or $8.

"Well, when you're a team with as high a profile as the Warriors, that price point makes a lot of sense."

Agreed. Their perennial winning ways make it justified.

Actually, they do sell out every game & have been doing so for years. So I guess they can get away with those prices.

BAP - Or maybe the amazing arena they play in or the amazing neighborhood surrounding it (scenic 880 and light industrial/commercial zoning)

nokwurst: In fantasy, what you're paying for is to join the league. Then there are "prizes," rather than "winnings."

It's also how some video slot machines got away without a license in Baltimore for several years. You were paying to buy virtual currency, which you used to play a game. If you won the game (totally chance-oriented), you got a ticket, which you could exchange for a prize.

Of course, there was a pawn store next door that paid a premium for items in unopened packaging...

More Total Bases tonight - Chase Utley(-120) or Placido Polanco (-110)

Stuff like this that makes betting dangerous. Sounds like the lockest of locks, but anything can happen.

I'm betting the Phils will see a grand total of 26 pitches against Nolasco tonight in a CG. The umpire will declare the game over before the last batter because, well, he's tired. The final score will be 1 - 0 Fish, on a bunt by Pierre that turns into an adventure-like 4 base error.

"[Delmon Young] hit a bloop single in the sixth, then made loud contact on a double to deep center field in the seventh inning. Young tried to stretch it into a triple, but he got thrown out as he slid into third for the final out of the game."

This amused me for some reason.

From this write up...

TTI- if Amaro really believes he's got enough middle relief depth that he couldn't possibly take on Ayala's salary in exchange for a nobody prospect, he's a friggin' loon.

I give him the benefit of the doubt more often than not on here, but there is clearly room for improvement in that area, and the O's were basically giving the help away for free. The Braves have a pretty deep pen and STILL felt the need to improve because the deal was too good to pass up.

If the GM of a team that has 3-4 career retreads who arguably shouldn't be in the majors right now isn't combing waivers and making calls every day in an effort to improve that area of the team, he's failing at his job.

The Wells thing is understandable; perhaps they didn't have priority on waivers. The Ayala thing is not. He was available for weeks.

Jinx... you owe me an $8 beer.

0.8 rating. Wow. I wonder where that was on the rankings. Probably got beat by a Golden Girls rerun on Nick at Night.

"Marlins TV ratings have been dreadful, with the first two home games this week generating a 1.8 and 1.5 – numbers comparable to daytime game shows – followed by Wednesday’s embarrassing 0.8 – equaling .8 percent of Dade/Broward homes with TV sets. Conversely, opposing Heat games on Tuesday and Wednesday drew a 9.4 and 6.7...

Watching grass grow is more interesting than watching the Marlins' anemic lineup hang up zeroes, inning after inning. If the Marilns are shut out again tonight, they'll set a major league record for most blankings -- five -- in a team's first 10 games (at least since 1916, according to"

Read more here:

Cyclic, the timeline shows my post one minute ahead of yours, so I would think you would owe ME the beer. ;)


MG: In fairness, 'Golden Girls' reruns remain somewhat entertaining, whereas Marlins baseball ... not so much.

Bea Arthur would have a higher ISO than Polanco this year.

well Bea was rather man-ish...

Oh, behave!

Will will Charlie first break the mold of his "regular lineup"? When Chooch comes back?

ramsey: Exactly right. Which is why the Baseball Musings lineup generator suggests using one of the least important hitters in the 3 hole. Second and seventh are far more important than third.

Of course, virtually every MLB manager bats one of his 2 best hitters in the 3 hole.

UC should totally move Utley to the 7 hole...right?

Pierre 7, Solano 4, Stanton 9, Polanco 5, Dobbs 3, Ruggiano 8, Brantly 2, Hechavarria 6, Nolasco 1

Blanche scored more in the average episode than the Marlins have all season.

Devereaux'no he dinnit!

Murphy has a good write-up on the upcoming pitching matchups and why they need to win starts like tonight.

I wouldn't call tonight a must-win type of game- Nolasco can shut down a lineup on any given night. But I agree with Murphy that Sunday will be awfully telling when Halladay faces Slowey. The bar for what Halladay needs to give them is quite a bit above a guy like Slowey. If they can't count on him to have the advantage in that type of matchup, they are in deep trouble for the long haul this year.

My bet is that the lineup gets shut down either tomorrow night or Saturday, and Sunday will be the decisive game in this series. I may be giving the Marlins lineup too much credit, though.

Nix is in the lineup. Regular lineup.

Polly's batting cleanup for the Fish, followed by Dobbs. So if we walk Stanton, maybe Polly will hit into a DP. Then, if Dobbs hits a bomb, it won't hurt as much.

GTown Dave - Over/Under

Blanche scoring on tonight's episode of Golden Girls


Nats runs off of Lannan

Now that's an awesome prop bet

Fish run off Lannan

Watch the Phillies become the first team to go right at Stanton. It feels like a typical Charlie/Dubee plan.

Dobbs and polanco behind Stanton.

I mean, I don't even know what to say. I was saying they should IBB Stanton last year when Solano and Ruggiano were behind him. Now that isn't even an exaggeration. Any pitcher that gives up an XBH against him should be pulled from the game immediately and suspended.

***Watch the Phillies become the first team to go right at Stanton. It feels like a typical Charlie/Dubee plan.***

You assume they actually have a plan...

Nix is starting because he's 4 for 11 with a HR against Nolasco...thus he has "good numbers" against him.

MG: My money's on Blanche. She's more ... motivated ... than the Marlins.

GTown: Pretty sure she makes more money than half the players too.

I like the idea of fining the pitcher $5000 for every strike thrown to Stanton. I forget who first suggested it, credit goes to them.

I want to say theoretically that Stanton should have an OBP of 1.000 this year, given the options around him, but I understand there will come times when the Marlins are down 10+ runs, and teams won't pitch around Stanton just because, I mean, they want to get the game over and get the hell out of baseball purgatory ASAP.

So, in essence, Stanton should probably have a more realistic OBP of ~.900 this year.

Fatalotti: Hey, some of these guys care about their stats on next year's 2K or The Show!

Exclude opening day and the Fish have pulled in 14,016 fans per game. That's on pace for 1,135,296 total attendance.

Anyone want to take bets on them breaking the 1 million mark this year in attendance. I'll take the under.

Wonder whether we'll see Chad Durbin v. Chad Qualls at some point this weekend, and who will give up more runs?

Wonder whether we'll see Chad Durbin v. Chad Qualls at some point this weekend, and who will give up more runs?

Posted by: GBrettfan | Friday, April 12, 2013 at 03:57 PM

Odin is on record that he doesn't want to bring about Ragnarok early, but dammit, if this happens, he will.

A primer on MLB betting lines, 'Golden Girls' references & a threat from Norse mythology, all on the first page of the thread. This is why I enjoy Beerleaguer.

Fata, I had to look those names up, but that's a great answer.

Uhm, I think you mean Wodan. Come on now, guys. Come on now.

some other props for tonight's game to keep in mind while watching.

more H+R+RBI: Utley(-120) or Stanton(-110)
more H+R+RBI: Rollins(-125) or Ruggiano(-105)
Lannan Ks: over 3 (-130) or under 3 (EVEN)
Nolasco Ks: over 4 (-130) or under 4 (EVEN)
Will Howard HR? Yes (+400) No (-600)
Will Stanton HR? Yes (+300) No (-400)

new thread, by the way.

Will Howard HR? Yes (+400) No (-600)

You'd have to be a degenerate to risk $600 just for the chance to win $100.

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