Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Umps and the Bumps

Every fantasy player is looking for an edge. The stat that nobody knows about, the matchups, weather conditions...anything. We appreciate that here at Pseudo Sports, so we are providing you with umpire stats. Is there such a thing as a pitcher's ump, or is that just something that the talking heads spew to fill up air time? While we wouldn't recommend starting or sitting someone just because of the umpires on a given night, is checking out who is behind the plate if you're at your wit's end trying to decide between 2 pitchers helpful? Let's take a look at a few useful categories for umpires with at least 5 games behind the plate this year.

Ks per Innings Pitched:
Top 5 - Dan Iassogna 0.89172, Dale Scott 0.88835, Angel Campos 0.8629, Tim Tschida 0.85142, Phil Cuzzi 0.83444

Bottom 5 - Tim McClelland 0.55166, Kerwin Danley 0.55172, Jim Joyce 0.60577, Ed Rapuano 0.625, Randy Marsh 0.62824

% of Pitches that are Strikes:
Top 5 - Tim Welke 46.3%, Phil Cuzzi 46.2%, Dan Iassogna 45.8%, Hunter Wendelstedt 45.8%, Larry Vanover 45.7%

Bottom 5 - Tim McClelland 41.0%, Paul Schrieber 41.5%, Greg Gibson 41.7%, Bob Davidson 41.8%, Joe West 41.9%

BBs per Innings Pitched:
Top 5 - Tim Timmons 0.27, Jeff Nelson 0.27273, Dale Scott 0.29612, Tim Welke 0.30682, Bill Miller 0.30836

Bottom 5 - Chad Fairchild 0.51286, Bill Welke 0.51119, Greg Gibson 0.49829, Marvin Hudson 0.49662, Charlie Reliford 0.49155

Top 5 - Gary Cederstrom 3.06, Mike Estabrook 3.08, Jeff Nelson 3.27, Chuck Meriwether 3.31, Adrian Johnson 3.34

Bottom 5 - Kerwin Danley 5.90, Bill Welke 5.90, Tim McClelland 5.72, Jerry Crawford 5.61, Scott Barry 5.49

Based on the data above, if you're looking for strikeouts, Dan Iassogna seems to be the man. Tim McClelland, on the other hand, is not. In fact, McClelland is in the bottom 5 in 3 of the 4 categories listed. Other than that though, the stats don't absolutely back the fact that there are umpires that favor pitchers over hitters. The sample size for 2008 is still a bit small, so maybe that's why the evidence is inconclusive. However, it appears that making lineup decisions based on umpires could be as beneficial as flipping a coin. Not all over the top in depth analysis is necessary.

All information presented above was obtained from Baseball Prospectus

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