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The Saber's Edge: Freak the Mighty, Again?

Jeff Zimmerman

Jeff Zimmerman

Jeff Zimmerman writes about all things Baseball for RotoWire. He also handles scouting and reporting for PrepBaseballReport.com. Jeff also contributes to RoyalsReview.com, FanGraphs.com and BaseballHeatMaps.com.

Tim Lincecum has been pitching at a useful level, but not like his Cy Young peak level of talent for a few seasons now. On Monday night, he decided to go old school and strike out 11 batters. While it may seem like Lincecum is putting it all together again, it's worth pointing out that he was facing the swing-and-miss Braves. Here, I am going to look at how the opposing team can improve a league average starting pitcher to have Felix Hernandez type number, or conversely, bring a pitcher down to the Henderson Alvarez's of the world.

Going against the Braves on Monday, Lincecum had a strikeout percentage (K%) of 21.3%. The Braves had a K% of 23.8%. Averaging the numbers, it seems like the Braves should strike out around 22.5% of the time. This is the wrong approach. The league average K% is 20.5%. Lincecum is striking out batters at an above average pace. Assuming the Braves have seen average league pitching so far, the Braves should strike out even more than 23.8% of the time

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