FanPost

Secret Sauce and Betancourt

Nate Silver at Baseball Prospectus has put up the leaders in his "secret sauce" for 07. http://baseballprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=548 . Historically, what matters in the playoffs is having a) a pitching staff that throws alot of K's, b) a good defense, and c) a good closer. These relative quantities make up the "secret sauce".

How does the tribe make out? Not so well, but I think 2 of the tribe's quantities are misrepresented in a short series, and the third can be adjusted. For a) the tribe has power starters in 4 of the 5 games, so there short series staff is much more powerful than the regular season staff. For b) the tribe defense isn't that great, but pitchers like Byrd don't make it look much better and his pitching frequency will go way down in the playoffs.

As for c). Borowski's relatively low WXRL (wins above replacement) give the tribe a low number. But Betancourt is 2nd in the majors in WXRL. If he was the tribe's closer, they would jump to second in the AL playoff teams in this metric. Instead they are last.  

Metrics are metrics, and don't determine winners. But Betancourt and Perez need to pitch the highest leverage innings in the playoffs. If the high leverage innings are the 7th and 8th, I am fine with seeing Borowski in the 9th. But if they are the 9th, one of those two will hopefully be out there.

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