Charlie Blackmon finished Monday night’s game against the D-backs with four hits, increasing his season batting average to .484 over 16 games. MLB’s Thomas Harrigan breaks down the odds of Blackmon finishing the season going .400 at the plate.
Blackmon is batting to become the first batting-title qualifier to finish a season with a .400 average or better since Hall of Famer Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941. Harrigan brings in MLB’s Senior Data Architect, Tom Tango to determine the odds for us.
Here are some key factors:
1. Blackmon probably won’t play in the Rockies remaining 44 games. Tango assumes he’ll have at least 42 more games with four at bats each, giving him 168 at-bats left this season.
2. If Blackmon gets 168 more at-bats, he’ll finish with 232 at-bats for the season. Hitting .400 in 232 at-bats would require Blackmon to collect 93 total hits.
Tango calculates there a 6% chance of Blackmon finishing at .400 which is a pretty high percentage in the game of baseball. He compares it to the below scenario:
“In 2019, Alex Bregman hit 41 homers in 690 plate appearances (5.95%). In other words, the chances of Blackmon hitting .400 are about the same as the chance Bregman would homer in any given plate appearance last season. That doesn’t seem so far-fetched, right?”
I guess we will find out!
Along with everything else that has been adjusted this season, the umpire assignments are one of them. Players, teams, managers are seeing the same group of umpires a lot more frequently than they would in a normal season. The Athletic’s Zach Buchanan weights the pros and cons of seeing the same set of umps back-to-back-to-back.
So there’s the obvious. If a player or coach gets tossed from a game, they’re going to see that umpire the very next series where in a normal season, both sides have some time to simmer down. But Peter Woodfork, Major League Baseball’s senior vice president of baseball operations, sees a benefit:
“The more often you see (the same umpires), the better understanding you have of them.”
Pitchers and catchers can get a better understanding of an umpires strike zone playing several games in a row. Same goes for hitters.
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo stresses the importance of managing relationships with the umpires now more than ever. Lovullo has asked his team that if something happens — if a player acts out or if there is a disagreement — they make amends after the game to start a clean slate in the next series and/or game.
With all the new rules, COVID issues and whatever else going on with MLB, here’s some fun news for you. MLB’s Matt Monagan tells us about how the Pirates are keeping the season fun for their season ticket holders.
Any time a foul ball lands in or near a season ticket holder’s seat, they’ll be mailed that foul ball. If you think about it, it’s a little bit easier getting a foul ball mailed to you instead of attempting to jump for it over 10 other people while holding your ballpark beer. Obviously, the latter scenario is one we all miss and love, but hey! at least some fans will have game balls from 2020 — kind of cool.