Luring your opponent to issue a intentional walk

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Luring your opponent to issue a intentional walk

PostFri Aug 17, 2018 11:15 pm

I wrote this on another thread

I always pay attention to intentional walks. I'll go check:
[*]Manager Profiles - Regular Season, to see if my opponent is agressive with intentional walks
[*]League Leaders - Regular Season, I look at individual leaders for intentional walks, both my team and my opponent's team.

For example, I learnt that Alfonzo, who is probably my 7th or 8th best hitter in my lineup, is one of the league leaders in intentional walks!! In fact, the player targeted here is Jimmy Rollins. For most of the year, Rollins was hitting behind Alfonzo, I sometimes had Rollins batting after Bagwell, and in effect both are among the leaders in IBB. Jimmy Rollins has a very bad clutch, and not much power. My understanding of Hal's logic with intentional base on balls is that power and clutch are somehow mixed before Hal decides to issue a walk or not, but I feel sometimes that clutch is the bigger factor for Hal. In fact, Hal will very rarely issued walks with less than two outs.

So learning that Hal is very tempted to issue intentional walks to face Rollins leads me to have two reactions: embrace it, or avoid it. I can see occasions where I would prefer to have Rollins in a potential 3-run homerun instead of having Alfonzo hitting wth first base open. It could be, against more extreme right-handed pitchers that allow more on-base vs left-handed hitters. Or I can try to avoid it. That would be by setting Rollins 8th and Alfonzo 9th, and have someone with a very bad clutch in front of Rollins.

Since Jimmy Rollins is a weak hitter, it might not seem clear why I would embrace the strategy of my opponents to accept an intentional walk---actually to even lure them to do it.

I have a much better example.

In a current 2018 league, I just saw that one of my player, Yandy Diaz, is leading the league in intentional walks. My team is roughly the current Cleveland Indians, so I have both Lindor and Ramirez.But neither Ramirez nor Lindor have the most intentional walks, weak hitter Diaz does. And consider this: he is not even a full time player on my time (he got roughly 66% of a regular player). So Hal is awfully scared of Yandy Diaz.

BTW, Diaz has a negative clutch, but he has lots of singles--over 25 singles on both sides, from memory. So I must re-visit what I said about the motivation of Hal to give intentional walks. Clutch is a factor, but pure singles are probably another.

Now here is the joke: I went through the individual games, I couldn't retrieve all the occasions, but from what I saw, Diaz got at least 2 intentional walks so my opponent faces Lindor...and 2 more occasions where my opponent chose to face José Ramirez instead. Unless you lived on another planet from the last month or so, you probably heard that Ramirez is dominating the league, and his card shows it.

So from now, I will definitely try to lure Hal in giving a walk to Diaz: Diaz will hit in front of Ramirez or Lindor every game!! Ramirez does have only 11 singles, but we'll rely on the 18 extra hits the card has.

Chris Franco

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Re: Luring your opponent to issue a intentional walk

PostMon Aug 20, 2018 7:38 am

Very interesting.

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