Dewan: Who will throw the next no-hitter?

From SABR member John Dewan at ACTA Sports on June 11, 2015:

Two nights ago, Chris Heston threw the first no-hitter of the 2015 season. It was an impressive game, with Heston striking out 11 Mets hitters and getting 13 more to ground out, one for a double play. There were only two flyball outs. According to Baseball Info Solutions’ (BIS) Range and Positioning System, there were only two balls put into play that had a higher than 50 percent chance of being a base hit: a groundball hit by Ruben Tejada in the seventh inning and a groundball hit by Wilmer Flores in the eighth. However, both were easily turned into outs because Brandon Belt was well positioned, playing deep into the hole between first and second base. In fact, every play the Giants made on defense was easy. The video scouts at BIS rate the difficulty of every ball in play on a 1-5 scale, with 1 being routine and 5 being impossible, and there was not a single play given a higher rating than a 2 during that game.

So now that the first no-hitter of 2015 is out of the way, who is going to throw the next one? Every year in the Bill James Handbook, we publish a list of the most likely pitchers to throw a no-hitter during the upcoming season in the Career Targets section of the book. The system for determining the likelihood of throwing a no-hitter is based on a pitcher’s projected games started, innings pitched, strikeouts, hits allowed, and double plays induced.

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Originally published: June 11, 2015. Last Updated: June 11, 2015.