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Major League Baseball

rousseau

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Looks like this is going to be the year I take a break, I've cancelled my MLB.TV subscription.

Tired of the same teams winning every year, tired of nothing happening every game but home-runs, tired of the stupid clips now played between innings.

Actually, the only thing I've reasonably cared about the past few seasons were the playoffs, except the games start at 8pm and end past 12, making it impossible to watch them and still get enough sleep for the next workday, so I usually don't end up watching anyway.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Looking at the stats, it looks like the only thing up notably is strikeouts, up about two more a game than a couple decades ago. Comparing 2014 with 2017, homeruns were up 50%! But otherwise, seems similar with the decade.
 

rousseau

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Looking at the stats, it looks like the only thing up notably is strikeouts, up about two more a game than a couple decades ago. Comparing 2014 with 2017, homeruns were up 50%! But otherwise, seems similar with the decade.

I think we had this conversation previously. A few years ago MLB tweaked the composition of the balls, which caused a spike in home-runs, but IIRC they've been rising for a while.
 

rousseau

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Article by FiveThirtyEight:

We X-Rayed Some MLB Baseballs. Here’s What We Found





When comparing the new and old groups, however, there was a clear difference in the density of the core.

Dr. Law’s team isolated the density difference to the outer (pink) layer of the core, which was, on average, about 40 percent less dense in the new group of balls.

It may not seem obvious, but these slight changes in the chemical composition of the core could have an impact on how the balls played once they were sewn up and shipped to major league teams.

But the timing of these changes to the weight and density of the core coincides with a much larger boost to the bounciness of the baseball. According to a previous analysis performed by The Ringer, that increase in bounciness alone would add around 0.6 mph to the speed of the ball as it leaves the bat and add roughly 3 feet to the travel distance of a fly ball — enough to make the difference between the warning track and the stands.

. . .previous research at FiveThirtyEight showed that they also became less air resistant. The decrease in drag is probably a result of a smaller, slicker baseball with lower seams. The change in air resistance could add an additional 5 feet to the travel distance of a fly ball. Combine all these factors together — a lighter, more compact baseball with tighter seams and more bounce — and the ball could fly as much as 8.6 feet farther. According to Nathan’s calculations, this would lead to a more than 25 percent increase in the number of home runs. Asked whether these changes in combination could have significantly affected the home run rate, MLB declined to comment.

TL;DR the MLB lowered the density of the baseball cores, as well as the air-resistance of it's seams which may have accounted for a 25% increase in home-runs after the 2015 season. Article also mentions that hitting philosophy accounts for some of the difference too.



Wasn't the HR increase seen just in one league, where as the other league it was flat with the previous season and homeruns?

Oddly enough, the numbers have been back and forth since 2000. First column is AL, second is NL, third is MLB.

[SIZE=-1]2,688[/SIZE]3,005[SIZE=-1]5,693[/SIZE][SIZE=-1]2000[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]2,506[/SIZE]2,952[SIZE=-1]5,458[/SIZE][SIZE=-1]2001[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]2,464[/SIZE]
2,595[SIZE=-1]5,059[/SIZE][SIZE=-1]2002[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]2,499[/SIZE]2,708[SIZE=-1]5,207[/SIZE][SIZE=-1]2003[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]2,605[/SIZE][SIZE=-1]2,846[/SIZE][SIZE=-1]5,451[/SIZE][SIZE=-1]2004[/SIZE]
2,437
2,580
5,017
2005
2,546
2,840
5,386
2006
2,252
2,705
4,957
2007
2,2702,6084,8782008
2,5602,4825,0422009
2,2092,4044,6132010
2,2712,2814,5522011
2,5002,4344,9342012
2,5042,1574,6612013
2,0252,1614,1862014
2,2752,6344,9092015
2,6572,953[SIZE=-1]5,610[/SIZE]2016
3,1702,935[SIZE=-1]6,105[/SIZE]2017

Wasn't the HR increase seen just in one league, where as the other league it was flat with the previous season and homeruns?

Oddly enough, the numbers have been back and forth since 2000. First column is AL, second is NL, third is MLB.

[SIZE=-1]2,688[/SIZE]3,005[SIZE=-1]5,693[/SIZE][SIZE=-1]2000[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]2,506[/SIZE]2,952[SIZE=-1]5,458[/SIZE][SIZE=-1]2001[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]2,464[/SIZE]
2,595[SIZE=-1]5,059[/SIZE][SIZE=-1]2002[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]2,499[/SIZE]2,708[SIZE=-1]5,207[/SIZE][SIZE=-1]2003[/SIZE]
[SIZE=-1]2,605[/SIZE][SIZE=-1]2,846[/SIZE][SIZE=-1]5,451[/SIZE][SIZE=-1]2004[/SIZE]
2,437
2,580
5,017
2005
2,546
2,840
5,386
2006
2,252
2,705
4,957
2007
2,2702,6084,8782008
2,5602,4825,0422009
2,2092,4044,6132010
2,2712,2814,5522011
2,5002,4344,9342012
2,5042,1574,6612013
2,0252,1614,1862014
2,2752,6344,9092015
2,6572,953[SIZE=-1]5,610[/SIZE]2016
3,1702,935[SIZE=-1]6,105[/SIZE]2017

Early 00's was the steroid era. Bouncing up and down would be attributed to random variation, but you can see that 2016 and 2017 are markedly higher than the previous near decade.

My guess about the NL having more home-runs in general would be due to the pitcher having to bat, and having a weaker overall pitching performance, but hard to say.

Here's the convo.
 

steve_bank

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Bats and balls have always been adjusted for competition. Back in the 90s when pitching began dominating hitting the ball was livened. It is no secret. Fans want to see homeruns and hitting as well as strikeouts.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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Bats and balls have always been adjusted for competition. Back in the 90s when pitching began dominating hitting the ball was livened. It is no secret. Fans want to see homeruns and hitting as well as strikeouts.
Was it pitching or trying to combat anger over the strike.
 

TSwizzle

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A tasty brawl in the Reds v Pirates game;

The best thing about Tuesday's Reds-Pirates brawl in Cincinnati is how unique it was. While most fights begin with a player charging the mound, this one began with Reds reliever Amir Garrett charging OFF the mound and toward the opponent's dugout to seemingly take on the entire team by himself.

CBS

It's also funny that former Dodger Puig got got himself involved and will most likely get a ban, had been traded from the Reds to the Indians :D
 

blastula

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Postseason! Houston should be the favorite, their pitching is scary. Yankees and Dodgers do have a slugger's chance. Dodgers set a franchise record in wins, but this team is not looking as good as their last couple going in. Their pitching is not playoff caliber. Everyone knew they had one major weakness in relief but they didn't get anybody. They may have to rely on some rookies which will be dicey. And Justin Turner may be out. Rooting for Milwaukee today.
 

TSwizzle

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Postseason! Houston should be the favorite, their pitching is scary.

I happened to be at the Astros v Angels game on Saturday and Verlander was pitching. He got his 3,000th strike out which was graciously acknowledged by the Angles and fans in attendance with a round of applause and a cheer. Next batter hit a home run :D

Rooting for Milwaukee today.

Dang !! Costly error in the outfield put the Brewers out. Shame because I was looking forward to seeing "Front Row Amy" behind home plate at Brewer games.
 

Fentoine Lum

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So perhaps some of you sports heads will know the answer to this, I admittedly do not, just wondering. Are ALL of these major league baseball team owners socialists? Are they ALL subsidized by the public? Do any of these owners build their own shrines/cathedrals/stadiums sans socialist public funding? And how much public $ do they rake in from the military for staging these patsiotic homages to US imperialism, militarism and endless war at games?
 

TSwizzle

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Acuna catching some grief for admiring a line drive instead of hustling down the line.

Dodgers were outstanding in their demolition of Washington, gave poor Hendricks a torrid time. Rendon made an outstanding stop at third base and made a fantastic throw to first which was not in time to get the out and allowing (Bellinger?) to make it to third base from first. Dodgers offense is very strong, hopefully the pitching can stay strong.
 

blastula

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1 down, 10 to go. :cheer:


I have one question. How is it possible that Kendrick is hitting .344?
 
Last edited:

TSwizzle

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Uh-oh, trouble in Chavez Ravine. Kershaw had a shaky start and labored through the first couple of innings while Washington starting pitcher Strasburg was excellent. In fact the Washington bullpen kept the Dodger bats very quiet. Bottom of the ninth, bases loaded with two outs and Seager struck out. Ugh.
 

TSwizzle

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Dodgers bounce back and thrash the Nationals 10-4 after going behind early in a very entertaining game. I think the Dodgers will close it out tonight.
 

blastula

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Uh-oh, trouble in Chavez Ravine. Kershaw had a shaky start and labored through the first couple of innings while Washington starting pitcher Strasburg was excellent. In fact the Washington bullpen kept the Dodger bats very quiet. Bottom of the ninth, bases loaded with two outs and Seager struck out. Ugh.

Kershaw only gave up 3 runs and only got 2 runs support. Headlines were going on about how he had a bad game. This is his post ace period his career, he's still good just not great. Compared to his past playoff performances, it was an improvement.

Scherzer tonight, so LA will have to hope for a short outingn from him.
 

TSwizzle

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Kershaw only gave up 3 runs and only got 2 runs support. Headlines were going on about how he had a bad game. This is his post ace period his career, he's still good just not great. Compared to his past playoff performances, it was an improvement.

Not his worst post season performance but when he's hitting batters and giving up hits/runs it makes us all a bit nervous. He recovered very well.
 

TSwizzle

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Think of a well know phrase that rhymes with "clucking bell". Dodger bats were left in the dug out seems. I'm still confident of winning the series though.
 

blastula

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Buehler at home sounds good.

Yankees sweep with dominance, everyone else goes 5 games, St. Louis makes it there most dramatically.
 

rousseau

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Please let there be a Verlander / Scherzer showdown in the world series.
 

KeepTalking

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I would rather see Verlander go up against Flaherty, the veteran vs. the kid.

Of course, I may be just a bit biased against Scherzer at this point...
 

rousseau

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I would rather see Verlander go up against Flaherty, the veteran vs. the kid.

Of course, I may be just a bit biased against Scherzer at this point...

I don't have any preference in the national league, but having followed the Tigers on their run between 11 - 14 I've got a soft spot for both pitchers. Scherzer was (still is) unstoppable, and it'd be nice to see him get a championship, but I'm sure his salary is a nice consolation prize.

Outside of that I'm leaning towards the Astros, but only because I don't know anything about the national league and the alternative is the Yankees.
 

TSwizzle

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Roberts screws it up again, Kershaw has a spectacular and predictable wobble and Kelly sinks the Dodgers two seasons in a row.
 

KeepTalking

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I would rather see Verlander go up against Flaherty, the veteran vs. the kid.

Of course, I may be just a bit biased against Scherzer at this point...

I don't have any preference in the national league, but having followed the Tigers on their run between 11 - 14 I've got a soft spot for both pitchers. Scherzer was (still is) unstoppable, and it'd be nice to see him get a championship, but I'm sure his salary is a nice consolation prize.

Outside of that I'm leaning towards the Astros, but only because I don't know anything about the national league and the alternative is the Yankees.

Scherzer and Flaherty actually match up pretty well, with Flaherty having a slightly better ERA. Cards and Nats meet up tomorrow night for game 1 of the NLCS, so we are about to see how that matchup plays out. The Cards have a better bullpen, so I think that gives them the edge in the series, if they can just keep Martinez sober. I am a Cards fan, however, so once again I am likely showing a bit of bias.
 

blastula

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*Gives blastula a hug*

Eh, I didn't see them going too far, and I don't mind losing so much to Washington, they have had some tough season enders themselves. That's a harrowing town for a sports fan.

Roberts screws it up again, Kershaw has a spectacular and predictable wobble and Kelly sinks the Dodgers two seasons in a row.

I didn't see the game but was checking the scoreboard, and when I saw that Kershaw was now pitching, I thought "oh fuck." Too predictable. Feel bad for him that he is going to have his playoff failures as his legacy. They didn't bother to get any real pitching help. Kelly was ridiculously overhyped all season. Next year? If some of their young pitchers can come through, sure, but Dodgers best shot was really 2 years ago.
 

TSwizzle

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It was ugly. Roberts has proven to be inept in the playoffs. But it's not entirely his fault but he carries most of the blame. When I saw Kendrick coming to the plate with the bases loaded, that's when I thought "oh fuck". The Dodgers were not smart at all. Tried to win by brute force when some finesse was required. Oh well, maybe next season !
 

TSwizzle

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Washington Nationals book their place into the World Series after sweeping the Cardinals. The Cardinals had a disastrous first inning, giving up seven runs with a few errors thrown in. It was quite a good game to watch as the Cardinals fought back to make the score 4-7 after five innings. they had the bases loaded at one point but couldn't get the job done. So, will it be the Yankees or Astros that take the ALCS ?
 

Tharmas

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Washington Nationals book their place into the World Series after sweeping the Cardinals. The Cardinals had a disastrous first inning, giving up seven runs with a few errors thrown in. It was quite a good game to watch as the Cardinals fought back to make the score 4-7 after five innings. they had the bases loaded at one point but couldn't get the job done. So, will it be the Yankees or Astros that take the ALCS ?

I'm rooting for the Astros because I can't stand the Yankees, but then I'll root for the Nationals in the Series.
 

rousseau

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Washington Nationals book their place into the World Series after sweeping the Cardinals. The Cardinals had a disastrous first inning, giving up seven runs with a few errors thrown in. It was quite a good game to watch as the Cardinals fought back to make the score 4-7 after five innings. they had the bases loaded at one point but couldn't get the job done. So, will it be the Yankees or Astros that take the ALCS ?

I'm rooting for the Astros because I can't stand the Yankees, but then I'll root for the Nationals in the Series.

With the rain delay tonight, and the potential that this series could go 6 or 7 I wonder if Washington's going to get some crust build-up.

Exactly what happened to the Tigers in 2012. They swept the Yankees and the NLCS went seven, then the Tigers got swept in the World Series. Although I can't recall how they compared with San Francisco that year.
 

TSwizzle

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I don't have any real preference as to who wins the WS. New York and Astros are very good teams and I am more familiar with the Astros and like a few of their players so maybe a slight bias toward the Astros. But I won't be upset if the Yankees go through. I am still smarting that the Nationals beat the Dodgers !! The Dodgers would certainly have beaten the Cardinals over a seven game series, grrrrr.
 

rousseau

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https://www.freep.com/story/sports/...n-verlander-detroit-tigers-astros/1193975001/

Justin Verlander explains why Detroit Tigers lost twice in World Series

“The reason? I think the reason was the time off before the two world Series. I think we had the talent to do it, for many, many years. When it comes to playoff time, it’s kind of a roll of the dice — it comes down to the hottest team at the right time. I think we were that team twice. We got cooled off by the week layoff before the World Series both times. It sucks. It’s the name of the game. This is probably the only sport where time off like that will hurt you. Every other sport, I think it’s a benefit. This sport it is absolutely a negative. ... Mr. I (late team owner Mike Ilitch) put his heart and soul into this organization and did everything he possibly could, to allow us to win a championship. We came close a couple of times. It’s probably one of my biggest regrets, not winning one for him.”
 

blastula

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It was ugly. Roberts has proven to be inept in the playoffs. But it's not entirely his fault but he carries most of the blame. When I saw Kendrick coming to the plate with the bases loaded, that's when I thought "oh fuck". The Dodgers were not smart at all. Tried to win by brute force when some finesse was required. Oh well, maybe next season !

Roberts's managing history has been like Kershaw's, great in regular season, but shaky in the post season. He does make some very easily second guessed decisions.

After the start of the Yankees-Astros series and their recent 7 game series, I was hoping this might be the makings of a good rivalry but with Verlander going tonight and then 2 home games, this one is likely over. I hope they prove me wrong.
 

TSwizzle

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Well the Astros won over a battling Yankees. A bottom of the ninth walk off home run by Altuve who will surely be MVP. It was a great game and series. I look forward to the World Series and expect the Astros to win it.
 

Tharmas

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Well the Astros won over a battling Yankees. A bottom of the ninth walk off home run by Altuve who will surely be MVP. It was a great game and series. I look forward to the World Series and expect the Astros to win it.

Rats I didn't stay up for the end. Would have liked to see it. I'm hoping now that the Nats will surprise us.
 

ronburgundy

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Well the Astros won over a battling Yankees. A bottom of the ninth walk off home run by Altuve who will surely be MVP. It was a great game and series. I look forward to the World Series and expect the Astros to win it.

Rats I didn't stay up for the end. Would have liked to see it. I'm hoping now that the Nats will surprise us.

Apparently, no Nats or Astros fans in here. Me neither, but that was an amazing game proving the odds makers wrong. It's gonna be a exciting series. I like the Astros players, but am pulling for the Nats for underdog reasons.
 

rousseau

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Just finished watching game 1 - looks like the Nationals had some time to prepare for Cole.
 

rousseau

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I like the Astros players, but am pulling for the Nats for underdog reasons.

I'm not convinced the Nats are deserving of underdog status. They seem a very solid and capable team and have been worthy winners against the Astros so far.
I didn't follow them this year but I believe they had a slow start then later added a bunch of pieces. So their regular season record is deceptive.

Sent from my SM-A520W using Tapatalk
 

blastula

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Things were looking great a few days ago for the Nats. Teams opening with 2 road wins have been hard to beat. After two home losses, the Nats might still have been somewhwat confident with Sherzer and Strasburg coming up, but Sherzer is now out tonight, and Joe Ross will be going against Cole. This could be disastrous. But it's also on verge of being a great series.
 

TSwizzle

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And now the Nats face elimination after losing three games at home ! With Verlander due to pitch tomorrow, I think they may have a chance to score some runs as his record is a bit patchy. But what happened to the Nats, they looked pretty good on the road.
 

rousseau

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Has there ever been a World Series where the visiting team won every game?

Nope, but there also hasn't been a day where some statistical anomaly wasn't generated by the random number generator (MLB).

I've been rooting for the Astros, but it's going to be really hard to root against Scherzer pitching a game 7 after coming back from an injury.
 

hurtinbuckaroo

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Has there ever been a World Series where the visiting team won every game?

Nope, but there also hasn't been a day where some statistical anomaly wasn't generated by the random number generator (MLB).

In fact, it's never even happened for the first six games, in MLB, NBA, or NHL; so, the first time in 1,420 best-of-7 series.
 
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