Archive for Guest Columns

A guest post from our friends at TiqIQ:

During his impressive Major League debut, Masahiro Tanaka recorded his first big league victory by pitching seven innings against the Toronto Blue Jays this past Friday, giving up three runs (two earned) with eight strikeouts on six hits. Tanaka’s first start in a Yankee uniform wasn’t all good however, as the first batter he faced (Melky Cabrera) took him deep and there were several hard hit balls in the first two innings. Tanaka showed good poise, though, as he settled down and retired 15 of 16 batters he faced in his final five innings. He didn’t display overpowering stuff, as his fastball was mostly around the low 90s, but he showed off his nasty splitter and good control of the ball. So far it’s a good start for the $155 million dollar Yankee right hander.

The 25-year-old from Japan now has his eyes set for his first start at Yankee Stadium, Wednesday night against the Baltimore Orioles. There is much hype surrounding the young pitcher, and Tanaka will look to show both his doubters and supporters that he is the real deal in front of the home crowd. If he pitches like he did in Japan last year, when he went 24-0 in 27 starts, eight complete games, a ridiculous 1.27 ERA, and 183 strikeouts, he’ll likely receive much love from the Bronx.

Yankees fans who are looking to see Tanaka pitch live at Yankee stadium tonight will be able to do so at a discounted price. The average ticket price for tonight’s game is $77 dollars, 40% below Yankees home season average. The get in price is $8 dollars and New York Yankees tickets are down 13% for one of the most interesting games early on the Yankees schedule. The discounted Yankees ticket prices for their home opening series with the Baltimore Orioles is mostly due to ticket prices usually falling off a bit after Opening Day for the next few games, even if a possible star pitcher will be making an appearance.

Masahiro Tanaka, before signing with the Yankees, spent seven seasons with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, where he recorded 99 career wins with the team, with 53 of them complete games and a career 2.30 ERA. Tanaka has a lot to look forward tonight, and hopes to put on a show for his fans, as he puts his 29 regular season game winning streak on the line. That streak dates back to August of 2012 when he lost to the Seibu Lions.

You don’t have to be a fan to know a great New York Steak House. Prepare for your meal by checking out the great menu at NYY Steak here!

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The following is a guest post from long-time reader Alex M. He attended the recent Sloan Sports Analytics Conference and in a two-part series will outline a few themes from the conference and their application to the Yankees.

MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference

The 2014 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference is akin to Mecca for the mathematically inclined sports fan. Featuring esteemed panelists, including current athletes, coaches and front office personnel, the conference provided a forum to showcase advances in analytics across the sporting world. In particular, five* big ideas stand out for their potential to reshape our understanding of baseball going forward.

1) Disconnect Between the Availability of Information and Application on the Field – To date, the application of statistics and other analytics in sports has been primarily focused on roster construction. Going forward, new streams of data will increase the potential for in-game management. From tandem pitching to reliever usage and defensive shifts, the goal of GMs and coaches across sports will be to translate analytically-derived strategies (defensive shifts) into execution on the field (player placement and pitch selection).

2) Health Analytics as The Holy Grail– On panels covering every major American sport, health analytics, the ability to predict and prevent injuries, was consistently emphasized as “the holy grail.” Despite advances, pitcher injury rates have remained unchanged over the last 20 years, which teams hope to address through biomechanical analysis and load monitoring. Yankees fans were exposed to biomechanical analysis recently when CC Sabathia visited Dr. James Andrews to compare his delivery over time.

3) Potential for More Efficient Drafting – An interesting anecdote from the conference was about the recent tendency of the Houston Rockets to draft players with a big arm-span-to-height ratio, as chronicled in David Epstein’s book The Sports Gene. The bias towards longer wingspans highlights the variety of information teams use to assess players, and also how difficult it is to judge a draft as an outsider. Three areas where teams are making advances in evaluating draft choices include biomechanical analysis, improved comparable player projections, and, perhaps most importantly, train-ability assessments.

4) Batted Ball Profiles Have More Predictive Value than We Realized – The Houston Astros have recognized that not all line drives are created equally. By measuring the vector and speed of the ball off the bat, the Astros have been able to associate individual batted balls with a run expectancy that is highly predictive. Tracking the ball off the bat allows teams to develop individual park factors for players, potentially improving player valuations in trades or free agency. SABR President Vince Gennaro specifically cited Brian McCann as benefiting from Yankee Stadium compared to Turner Field.

5) Batter Strategies to Counter Improved Pitching and Defense – On the baseball analytics panel, multiple speakers expressed surprise at the relatively limited response of hitters to the increased use of defensive shifts. Based on the data, hitters should bunt and attempt to place hits more to overcome extreme shifts and pitching strategies. A second area for improvement is in valuing position versatility, which provides flexibility in roster construction, consistently affords platoon advances and accelerates injury recovery.

Advances in data collection, analytics and on-field implementation are happening across every major sport. The five big ideas outlined above all have the potential to improve our understanding of baseball as fans and also the performance of our favorite team. Next week, I’ll discuss applications of the next big things in sports analytics to the Yankees.

* As RAB previously reported, MLB Advanced Media’s new Player Tracking System offers fans and front offices a treasure trove of new data. Through a $300M capital investment, MLB will be rolling out network infrastructure in stadiums that will improve our understanding of defense, baserunning, and to a lesser extent offense and pitching. Most affected will be our assessment of defense with new data including first step time, first step efficiency (angle taken relative to optimal angle), route efficiency, speed, acceleration and turnaround on a throw back into the infield. Our understanding of baserunning will also be profoundly affected with data on runner leads, reaction times, route efficiency, speed at every step and acceleration. In a game of inches, MLBAM has figured out a way to measure the inches that determine the outcome of games.

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Jeter_Trend

Earlier on Wednesday, Derek Jeter announced the 2014 season will be his last with the Yankees. He is planning to retire after the coming season and that means fans only have a few short months to say goodbye. With some help from our friends at TiqIQ, here’s how Jeter’s announcement is affecting the prices of New York Yankees tickets:

  • The current average ticket price for Jeter’s last game is $1,153.01, which is up 43.49% since 3:17pm EST ($803.54), up 176.08% since 2:46pm EST ($417.64), up 278.20% since 2:08pm EST ($304.87).
  • The current get in price is $278 which is up 348.39% since 2:46pm EST ($62)  and 969.23% since 2:08 PM ($26).
  • In the same time period above the Yankees home average ticket price increased from $206.97 to $224.94.
  •  The Yankees’ 12-game pack with the home finale sold out shortly after the announcement.  They also have a single game presale on 2/18.
  • By about 2:55pm most tickets had been bought or pulled down by brokers and have since been relisted at higher prices.

Below is the price movement for the last game of the Yankees regular season in Boston, which might be his final game of his career:

  • The current average ticket price is $509.90, which is up 104.25% since the time of announcement ($249.65).
  • The current get in price is $265, which is up 159.80% since announcement ($102).

Below is some price data on Mariano Rivera‘s final home game last season:

  • At its peak average price on 3/9/13 tickets for his final home game were $467.06 and fell to a final average of $237.89 on the day of game (-49.07%).
  • At its peak get in price on 3/11/13 ticket for his final home game were $143 and fell to a final get in of $59 (-58.74%).
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By Nick Tranfaglia, TiqIQ

The New York Yankees are the premier franchise in all of professional sports, having won an unprecedented 27 World Series Championships throughout their storied history. As such, they have rarely offered discounted ticket specials. However for 2014 season they have decided to reward their loyal fan base by offering some fantastic deals for the upcoming season. Beginning at 12pm EST on Black Friday (November 29) and lasting until December 24th, the Yankees, in conjunction with MasterCard, will offer three different promotions for fans to purchase tickets.

MasterCard Preferred Pricing

  • $15 off select seats when purchasing tickets with your MasterCard.
  • Available for every home game through June.
  • New for the 2014 season!

MasterCard Holiday Buy 2, Get 2

  • Save 50% on select seats (Terrace Level, Grandstand Level or Bleachers) for the following games:
  • Must be purchased with a MasterCard between 12 pm EST on Black Friday (11/29) through Cyber Monday (12/2).
  • Entering the promo code “MCB2G2” at check out.
Offer available for these games:
  • 4/8 vs Baltimore Orioles
  • 4/9 vs Baltimore Orioles
  • 4/15 vs Chicago Cubs
  • 4/16 vs Chicago Cubs
  • 4/29 vs Seattle Mariners
  • 4/30 vs Seattle Mariners
  • 5/1 vs Seattle Mariners

MasterCard $5 & 1/2 Priced Games

  • Tickets available in select areas of the Stadium in the Terrace Level, Grandstand Level or Bleachers
  • Tickets must be purchased with a MasterCard.
  • Tickets can be purchased on the day of the game.
Offer available for these games:
  • 4/9 vs Baltimore Orioles
  • 4/29 vs Seattle Mariners
  • 4/30 vs Seattle Mariners
  • 5/1 vs Seattle Mariners
  • 6/3 vs Oakland Athletics
  • 6/17 vs Toronto Blue Jays
To take advantage of these great deals on 2014 New York Yankees tickets, click here.

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By TiqIQ

Over the last week, the average price for Mariano Rivera‘s final game has dropped on the secondary market from $238 on September 8th to $103 today.  It’s one of the few games the Yankees have sold out this season. Despite that fact, the average price is now only 10% above the Yankee’s regular season average.  That’s quite a contrast from opening day, when the game had an average price of $371. In April, Yankees fans envisioned a strong finish after an injury-slowed first half, and Mariano on the mound saving a game to put them into the playoffs for one final magical Mo postseason.  Instead, it’s been almost a week since he has pitched, and while a there have been a couple wins along the way, the last 10 days has been filled with a lot of lopsided losses.  Tonight, the Yankees will face Alex Cobb, whose 2.90 ERA is the best of any of the Rays starters this series.  Based on the first two games of the series, a save opportunity may be a long shot.

Mo.Final.Game.Trends

To the dismay of Yankees fans, Mo has not been trotting out for a ceremonially inning this series.  Not surprisingly, it’s been business as usual for the Mo, and last night was no exception.  With two outs in the bottom of the 8th, the Yankees, down 7-3, loaded the bases. When Curtis Granderson came to plate, one swing could have tied the game. Many managers feel that a tied game in the 9th at home is the equivalent to a save situation. Preserving the tie gives the home team a chance to win the game in the bottom half of the 9th, so goes the logic.  With that possibility, Mariano quickly stood, loosened his arm with a few bent-over windmills and stepped up the bullpen rubber.  The crowd cheered in anticipation of a miracle, and Mo threw two quick pitches at about three-quarters speed before Granderson grounded sharply into a shifted 4-2 putout.  With the threat over, Rivera returned to his seat and eventually watched the Yankees go out 1-2-3 in the ninth.

MO

If the Yankees can’t make it close tonight, those could have been Mariano’s two last warmup pitches in Yankee Stadium.  Despite their elimination last night, and the final confirmation that there would be no world series tickets in the Bronx, the Yankees still have something to play for tonight: the chance to give their fans one last opportunity to see the great Mariano close a game.   It would be some version of a happy ending to a miserable and tortured season, and give Yankees fans a brief moment to reminiscence about the last 19 seasons before turning their attention to an uncertain future.

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By Jesse Lawrence, TiqIQ

It’s been a challenging year for the Yankees, with more injuries and off-field drama than should be possible in a single year. While many expected September in the Bronx to be audition central, the Yankees are, improbably and amazingly, still in it. Yankee Stadium, new or old, is the largest stage in baseball and this is arguably the most drama-filled season there since Reggie Jackson and the Bronx is Burning days of the 70s.

As with any good drama, intriguing storylines sell. The 2013 Yankees are filled with heroes (Mariano Rivera), villains (Alex Rodriguez), the opportunity for redemption (A-Rod, Derek Jeter), and the realization of salvation (Mo). It is a producer’s dream and as a result, Yankees tickets for the next month of baseball in the Bronx have an average price of $125, or 52% higher than September 2012 and 31% more than 2011.

In addition to all the juicy storylines, there’s also some excellent baseball to been seen, including the World Champion San Francisco Giants’ first ever visit to the new Yankee Stadium. Amazingly, there’s also a pennant up for grabs, and if Joe Girardi can get this team across the October line, he would have to be a lock for Manager of the Year.

Of the remaining series this year, the Giants series is the most expensive, with an average price of $155. At $139, the Rays are second, and the Red Sox are third at $111. The Rays series average price is boosted significantly by the final game of the season — and possibly of Mariano Rivera’s career. It could also be a play-in game for the playoffs.

Just before A-Rod’s return, I joked in a Forbes article that all A-Rod really wanted was to bring the Yankees to playoff glory, after which he’d tell Bud Selig to stuff his 211-game suspension and retire forever. While he’s more likely to get off than walk away from his millions, for now he has the opportunity for playoff glory. If the Yankees can finish off the sweep of the ChiSox on Wednesday, the race begins in earnest against the Red Sox on Thursday night.

Below is some color on each Red Sox games and a couple deals that will get you into the middle of the drama for less.

Thursday night is the cheapest on the Red Sox Series, and we’d recommend spending more time in the primary market looking for deals than the secondary market. Our pick for the game is 1 row of Section 305, for $53.

TiqIQ1

Friday night is the second most expensive game of the series, and we’d say the primary market has the better values. We particularly like the below 100 level deal for Friday night, which is $30-$40 less than what’s available in the secondary market in the same section.

TiqIQ2

Saturday’s game has very few Yankees vs Red Sox tickets left on the primary market. You’re probably better off in the secondary market, but if you’re reading this before Thursday, you might find some a hidden gem. Check out RAB Tickets above for secondary and primary.

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A-Rod_Tennis

If you love tennis and like A-Rod parodies, you’ll probably enjoy the latest from our ticketing partners at TiqIQ. One person that likes their US Open page and posts a reason why they love tennis, A-Rod, and/or wants to go to the Open gets a free pair of US Open tickets for Tuesday or Wednesday. They’re calling it the #ARodInWhites contest and it’s just for Yankees fans.

Click here to enter to contest.

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Yankees-RedSox copy

By Jesse Lawrence, TiqIQ

At 8.5 games back, the Yankees play their first of 10 remaining games against the Red Sox tonight at Fenway Park. With a sweep of all 10, the Yankees would be back in first place, and the first five months of frustration would be forgotten. That’s a long shot; there’s a better chance that the Sox use these 10 games to bury the Yankees 2013 season. Based on prices for the three remaining series, it appears that Sox fans taste blood in the water and are looking to do everything they can do ensure the Yankees don’t see the light of postseason day. The six games at Fenway have an 88% premium above the Red Sox home average of $107. By contrast, the three Yankees games in early September only have an 18% premium above the Yankees season average of $89.

Fenway has 13,000 less seats than Yankee Stadium, which means that Red Sox tickets will always be more expensive than Yankees tickets. The premium, however, indicates that demand for the best rivalry in baseball has rebounded in Boston after last year’s disastrous Bobby Valentine experiment. As a point of comparison, the final series at Fenway last year on September 11th to 13th had an average price of $92, and you could get in for as little as $15. This year’s September series at Fenway has an average of $221 and the cheapest ticket is $51 to the Sunday night game and $88 to either of the other two games.

For tickets to any of the remaining home games at Yankee stadium, or Fenway, visit RAB Tickets.

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For our friends at TiqIQ:

Since Derek Jeter was called up to Triple-A Scranton last week, speculation has been swirling about when he will return to the mothership in the Bronx. The latest news reports have Jeter pushing for a return before the All-Star break and GM Brian Cashman hedging. Amidst all the rumors and speculation, anyone who says they know the answer is just guessing and hoping. 

For a more dispassionate perspective, the ticket market may offer some insight. Prices for Yankees tickets over the next four home games suggest that the last game before the All Star Break is the most likely return date. As the below data shows, that Sunday afternoon game is the most expensive of the series, and also 48% higher than the last three Sunday afternoon games, which were against the Blue Jays, Rays and Orioles, all divisional rivals.

Date

Opponent

Average Price

Get-in Price

12-Jul

Vs. Minnesota

$65

$11

13-Jul

Vs. Minnesota

$70

$9

14-Jul

Vs. Minnesota

$95

$17

19-Jul

@ Boston

$247

$51

20-Jul

@ Boston

$269

$44

21-Jul

@ Boston

$200

$57

26-Jul

Vs. Tampa Bay

$91

$17

If Jeter doesn’t make it back before the All-Star game, his return would happen in Boston, and prices for that game on July 19th have the 2nd most expensive average price for Red Sox Tickets all year. His return in the Bronx would them come on July 26th vs. the Rays.

If you’re looking to get the best deal to Sunday’s game, check out the Yankees.com. In particular, section 206 has tickets available for $66.20, which is about $30 less than anything on the secondary market. Click here to get those or any other seats to the Sunday 1:05pm game.

If you’re looking for a good last-minute deal to tonight’s game, you can get a day-of deal from the Yanks in the 3rd row of section 136 for $91.

 

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By Greg Cohen and Jesse Lawrence, TiqIQ

When the Dodgers last won the World Series in New York City, a ticket to Game 4 could be had for $7.35, or less than the cost of a hot dog or a beer at the New Yankee Stadium. The last time the Dodgers visited the Bronx was for the 1981 World Series, and the face price for Yankees tickets in the in the Loge section of the old stadium was $20. Times have obviously changed, and for last year’s World Series, the minimum face price to see the Giants beat the Tigers was $110. For the second half of the Yankees vs. Dodgers doubleheader, though, there are a handful of tickets available for 1981 prices. As of 11:30am, the Yankees Ticket Exchange had tickets in section 239 for $21.

1981 was the year before Don Mattingly made his major league debut, and the last time the Yankees would see the post-season until his final year in 1995. The prospects of a managerial postseason for Mattingly in 2013 are low, and a rematch of the ’81 series even lower. The Dodgers enter the series last in the NL West, seven games out of the playoff hunt. The Yankees are surviving at third in the AL East. With Mattingly in the opposing dugout, though, the game will evoke memories even for those too young to remember 1981.

Mattingly only played two postseason games in Yankee Stadium, both in 1995. In those games, he batted .500 and led the team into Seattle with a good chance to return home for the ALCS. As we all now know, Edgar Martinez and Ken Griffey Jr. had other plans. Despite the Yankees’ dramatic and traumatic loss, there was some solace in knowing that the Captain had seized the moment and delivered big on the postseason stage. While his legacy as a great Yankee was already fortified, those two games dispelled any questions about his October mettle.

While we’re still months from October, the two games today at Yankee Stadium may be critical to dispel rumblings about his viability as Dodgers manager. A dismal performance on the biggest stage in baseball could be the final straw. Two wins could be a turning point in the season. If the past is any predictor, Mattingly will do everything he can to make sure his guys leave it all out on the field.

While you can see all options for Yankees Tickets from our partners at TiqIQ, they also did some advanced scouting to identify the best deal from the Yankees. Section 135 and 136: $86 with fees. $18 below anything else on the market – CLICK HERE.

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