Baseball Bats Slump HardThis has definitely been an odd season. 2019 featured a juiced ball that sent baseball's offense soaring to new heights. Even little middle infielders were contributing to the onslaught against starting pitchers. The 2020 season seems to be providing the pitchers with a bit of revenge, though maybe not quite as much as the slumpers on your fantasy team would lead you to believe. Check out this piece from Eno Saris of the Athletic:
The Giants had just four batters projected to be better than league average before the season, and one of them was Buster Posey. The Brewers’ Lorenzo Cain was one of only 12 center fielders projected to have an above-average bat across baseball this year. In Yordan Alvarez, the Astros had a player that was projected to have the 10th-highest OPS in baseball this year. These teams all lost vital cogs when these players opted out or were unable to join their teams.
But is there any evidence that this missing talent skews more toward the hitters? When it comes to non-COVID IL visits, the evidence is clear that pitchers are actually suffering more. Even when you look at the two teams most affected by the virus so far — the Cardinals and Marlins — though they are missing a lot of players, neither team was projected to be above league average with the bat. Friends, family, and fans of course are rooting for their recovery and return, but their absence does not explain the drop in league-wide offense.
Not All Bad News: