Mains: All things seem possible in May

From SABR member Rob Mains at Baseball Prospectus on June 7, 2018:

In April, the Diamondbacks had the second-best record in baseball. The Mets led the National League East. Sean Manaea had the best ERA in the American League. Didi Gregorius was second in the majors in OPS and Matt Davidson hit the second-most homers.

In part, the obsession about April is understandable. On May Day morning, the only baseball that’s been played all year occurred in April. It’s all we’ve got! Plus, looking exclusively at every subsequent month gets messy, since the year-to-date performance includes prior periods as well.

The risk is putting too much weight into April results. As I wrote a couple years ago, batting and pitching performances in April are less correlated to full-year results than any other month of the year. It’s the least-predictive month. And you can understand why. The schedule is full of off days. The weather is often lousy. Teams are figuring out players whose performance is way out of line with career norms. High-impact prospects are wasting time in the minors as their clubs manipulate service time.

So, while some of the trends in April are durable, others aren’t.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: June 7, 2018. Last Updated: June 7, 2018.