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Upcoming Series: Texas Rangers @ Seattle Mariners

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MARINERS (62-87) Δ Ms RANGERS (86-64) EDGE
HITTING (wOBA) -153.0 (30th) -4.3 101.9 (3rd) Texas
FIELDING 30.4 (5th) -0.1 29.6 (6th) Seattle
ROTATION (tRA) 22.1 (9th) 1.7 67.9 (3rd) Texas
BULLPEN (tRA) -11.4 (25th) 3.2 -12.0 (27th) Seattle
OVERALL(RAA) -111.9 (26th) 0.5 187.3 (2nd) TEXAS

Mariners current draft spot: 4th

I found it surprising that the Rangers check in with baseball's third-best rotation according to tRA, but C.J. Wilson, Alexi Ogando and Matt Harrison have all been quite solid for them and, importantly, they've avoided any pitfalls. In fact, their main five starting pitchers (all of whom have better than average tRAs) have taken all but five starts so far this season.

Do you know which player has the Rangers best park-adjusted wOBA, by an insane 60 points? Mike Napoli. Dear every person who wants to suckle on Mike Scioscia and the Angels, to you all I present Mike Napoli, his .428 wOBA* and Jeff Mathis and his .237 wOBA*. Also, dammit, Blue Jays.

Fri 15 Sep 19:10

BLAKE BEAVAN C.J. WILSON*

I changed the first set of pitching grades slightly, moving from a straight swinging strike rate to an inverse contact rate ratings. That is, how often are the pitcher's offerings swung and missed at, when a hitter swings. This helps isolate deception and stuff a little better from control because the less control a pitcher has, the less pitches he throws which entice the hitter to offer at in the first place. To illustrate, consider Blake Beavan above and Anthony Vasquez below. Their swinging strike rates aren't all the different, a little under 2% points apart, but while Vasquez has a slightly below average contact rate of 84% (82% average), Beavan is a downright batting practice machine at 89%. 

Sat 17 Sep 16:10

ANTHONY VASQUEZ* COLBY LEWIS

That Colby Lewis went and got good again is kind of irritating. He was bad to start the year and that was way more satisfying because it's irritating that the Rangers locked him up to such an insanely team-friendly deal and got such dividends out of it. It's similar to how Josh Hamilton is all awesome and Edinson Volquez is all injured. So annoying. Luckily, Lewis didn't really cross the "good" threshold until after the Mariners were out of the race, so who cares? I hope he uses up all his good this season!

Anthony Vasquez, you can start showing the good any time. Sooner the better.

Sun 18 Sep 13:10

FELIX HERNANDEZ MATT HARRISON*

The final King's Court outing of the season. Of all things in 2011, that has to be among the greatest highlights. The atmosphere that precedent could set if the Mariners find themselves in an autumn game that matters with Felix Hernandez on the mound at home could be outstanding.

Because the Mariners are currently in a six-man rotation and play the Rangers down in Texas after just a three-game respite in Minnesota means that the exact same three pitchers will likely face Texas again, in Texas. Uh oh, Vasquez!