RESEARCH: How Umpiring affects batter value

In July of 2016, in the middle of Andrew McCutchen’s worst season of his career, his manager, Clint Hurdle, said “He has had more than his fair share of called strikes that were not strikes.” The implication was that the umpires were, at least in part, to blame for his struggles. Do bad calls by the umpire affect a batter's season? And is it enough to affect their fantasy value?

In this study, we will calculate how much repeated missed calls add up to affect individual hitters in a season, finding only a small but measurable effect on their final numbers.  We also discover that getting good calls is partially a repeatable “skill” on the part of the batter.

Step One: Determine the strike zone and extra strikes.


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