As a chessplayer, I think in terms of sorting through important features of a chess position to find the most important features, the ones that decide the game.
It's not a black-and-white process. There is more than one reasonable way to view any given position. Who was going to cover the spread in last Sunday's Jaguar's game? It was reasonable to see the "Post-49er Letdown" factor as the most important. It was also reasonable to see the crowd as the most important. Or was it the Seahawk defense vs. a struggling Jaguars offense, the "No First Down All Game" factor?
That's the kind of sorting we enjoy in the tournament hall. Spec points out that AAA pitchers who are wild face long odds. He's right. And having that kind of factor weighing in on the other side ... that doesn't bother us chess geeks. We're comfortable having 6 major factors on one side of an issue and 4 on the other.
But, obviously, some pitchers get better results against tougher competition -- Kerry Wood, for instance, and Tim Lincecum when graduating out of the UW. Spec's arguments are logical and reasonable. Do they weigh more heavily than the ones we posted in Paxton In 67 Words?
Q. What were the key factors in the Lincecum = Best Bet position? What exactly did SSI see that other blogs did not see?
- Lincecum's stuff was better than that of any ML pitcher
- Baseball is a game in which the pitcher holds the ball (the pitcher's ability can override the hitter's)
- Lincecum was throwing 150 pitches in a game, and then throwing foul line to foul line the next day
- His BB rate in NCAA was misleading, due to their inability to make contact
Q. What were the key factors in the Pineda = Best Bet position? What exactly did SSI see that other blogs did not see?
A 96 MPH fastball, located, is All. You. Need.
You do NOT need three pitches in major league baseball.
"Slider has a big platoon split," that is a generalization, not an absolute
Q. What were the key factors in the Seager = Best Bet position? What exactly did SSI see that other blogs did not see?
Bill James' grok on Pedroia: very hard swing, very high contact rate
Seager pulls the ball in the air
Makeup* (others saw this)
Q. What were the key factors in the Maurer = Best Bet position? What exactly did SSI see that other blogs did not see?
A. You got me there! :- ) We're 3-for-4, or make that 3-for-3.5, depending on how tough a grader you are.
Watching Brandon Maurer twice in ST, we thought his slider was a Hoffman-esque weapon, an A.J. Burnett slider. Had that been the case, yeah.
We saw him the third game, and whoops, the slider wasn't a plus-plus weapon at all. We yanked his Best Bet card at our own volition, after a week. Perhaps you're in the mood to grant a mulligan, perhaps not.
Q. What are the key factors in the Paxton = Best Bet position? What exactly does SSI see that other blogs do not see?
A. Anybody wants to bet me a baseball cap, saying that the 2014 Paxton is going to have a lousy year, you on babe.
- Paxton is NOT a Maurer-level talent. He's at a Kershaw, Price order of magnitude.
- Though he's looked and felt very shaky, he actually has very little to do before he jells. His mechanics are ready; he just needs "aim practice."
- Hitters follow smooth career arcs. Pitchers leap plateaus. AAA stats and age-arcs don't apply to pitchers!
- Paxton has got lots of margin for error, to walk people, and still be good.
- Power lefties don't HAVE to be real sharp, right away. Gio, Kershaw, etc.
- Major league infielders are MUCH, MUCH better at converting groundballs than PCL infielders. Scouting reports play in. The ML context favors Paxton; he's a "major league style" pitcher.
Q. What should a profit rate be on a 1-800-BESTBET line?
A. You be da judge. SSI don't claim a 100% prophecy outcome. One thing that is close to 100%: that James Paxton is a 2014 Mariner. Or, at least, he will come into camp needing to look awful, to lose the job. You don't put a blue chip rookie SP out there against four playoff teams* in September, have him blow them all down, and then send him back to AAA the next spring. Ever see it happen? Got a name for us?
Dr. D wouldn't bother with making Paxton a best bet, except that it seems there's another side on this one. I looooov eeeet! :- )
That's my opinion I could be wrong,