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Postby hersch223 » Fri Sep 29, 2006 6:32 pm

BritSox wrote:
Amazinz wrote:I think Wrveres is pretty much spot on. I don't question that the AL is the stronger league this year but the notion that the NL is far inferior is media-driven and not really substantiated. The parity in the NL or the lack of it in the AL doesn't speak to the strength of either league. Also, the AL teams do have an inherent advantage in interleague play. Is it enough to totally account for the lopsided record? No but it's definitely a factor.


Couldn't disagree more. I think NL teams have an inherent advantage. They can just plug their best bench hitter into the DH slot on the road, or use it to give stars partial days off, as many AL teams without specialist DHs do. Whereas NL pitchers are far more used to hitting than their AL counterparts, and the DH on many AL teams is a crucial part of their offense.


The bench hitters on NL teams aren't strong sluggers like an AL DH is. They have to be versatile players that can cover multiple positions. True, they're better than pitchers, but nothing like most AL DH's. Just plugging in the best bench hitter doesn't make it like a true AL team's lineup.

And yes, NL pitchers are far more used to hitting, but that doesn't make them better hitters. Most don't really take BP, for fear of an oblique injury.

Also, since pitchers do have to hit, and subs happen so much in the NL, most NL teams have to carry one more bench player than most AL teams. That means one less bullpen pitcher. Those extra innings add up over time on the pitching staff. It's not an super-big deal, but it does make a difference.

Overall though, it's really hard to compare the two leagues because the DH makes things so different. I think if we saw the AL play a whole season without the DH, there would be a lot more parity and fewer 90 win teams.
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Postby mamorris » Fri Sep 29, 2006 6:45 pm

BritSox wrote:
Amazinz wrote:I think Wrveres is pretty much spot on. I don't question that the AL is the stronger league this year but the notion that the NL is far inferior is media-driven and not really substantiated. The parity in the NL or the lack of it in the AL doesn't speak to the strength of either league. Also, the AL teams do have an inherent advantage in interleague play. Is it enough to totally account for the lopsided record? No but it's definitely a factor.


Couldn't disagree more. I think NL teams have an inherent advantage. They can just plug their best bench hitter into the DH slot on the road, or use it to give stars partial days off, as many AL teams without specialist DHs do. Whereas NL pitchers are far more used to hitting than their AL counterparts, and the DH on many AL teams is a crucial part of their offense.

Not only that, but teams like the White Sox and Indians are at a huge disadvantage when they visit NL parks, since they have to bench one of their best hitters (or in the case of the White Sox, one of the best hitters in the majors). I don't see how anyone could even begin to justify a 154-98 record as being close to .500.
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Postby Amazinz » Fri Sep 29, 2006 7:57 pm

mamorris wrote:Not only that, but teams like the White Sox and Indians are at a huge disadvantage when they visit NL parks, since they have to bench one of their best hitters (or in the case of the White Sox, one of the best hitters in the majors).

This is not a disadvantage. In theory an AL does not have to bench their best hitter. They only have to bench their worst hitter to make room for the pitcher. Realistically, not every AL team has the flexibility to field their 8 best hitters but it's still not a disadvantage since they are facing an NL lineup.
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Postby blankman » Fri Sep 29, 2006 8:11 pm

wrveres wrote:
RynMan wrote:
blankman wrote:The NL has been so much worse than the AL


I've heard this alot, from many different people. Can you explain the logic behind it?


they can't

A) They never account for the DH ..
B) They forget that there are two extra teams in the NL
C) ESPN told them so, so it must be true


ESPN?

LMAO. I don't watch Sportscenter anymore.

From Hardball Times' study on the subject:
While the above analyses are somewhat problematic for various reasons, taken in their entirety, it is clear that the conventional wisdom with regard to the current AL dominance in inter-league play is correct – namely that the overall or average talent in the AL is likely much better than that in the NL. However, it appears that most or all of that advantage is in the offense and that the quality of pitching is roughly equivalent in both leagues.

The difference in offensive talent is somewhere around .4 to .5 runs per game, which would give the average AL team around a 55% advantage over the average NL team, assuming that the pitching were equal. If it is true that the AL has the better pitching overall as well (and there is some suggestion in the data that that is true), then the AL advantage may be as high as 56 or 57%.

So if you happen to be in Las Vegas soon, walk into the nearest sportsbook and start loading up on the AL to the win the All-Star game and the World Series, assuming that the cat has not been let our of the bag. Considering the AL’s utter and complete dominance in inter-league play so far this year, the cat may not only be out of the bag, he may be on his way to Vegas himself!


http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/is-the-al-really-superior-part-3/
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Postby mamorris » Fri Sep 29, 2006 9:41 pm

Amazinz wrote:
mamorris wrote:Not only that, but teams like the White Sox and Indians are at a huge disadvantage when they visit NL parks, since they have to bench one of their best hitters (or in the case of the White Sox, one of the best hitters in the majors).

This is not a disadvantage. In theory an AL does not have to bench their best hitter. They only have to bench their worst hitter to make room for the pitcher. Realistically, not every AL team has the flexibility to field their 8 best hitters but it's still not a disadvantage since they are facing an NL lineup.

The White Sox build their team according to AL rules. If they have to bench Konerko in an NL park, he becomes a $12 million pinch-hitter. This puts them at a significant disadvantage when playing in NL parks since their team is clearly not designed to play without a DH. If it were, that $12 million spent on Konerko would be used to upgrade pitching and other positions. How is that not a disadvantage?
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Postby KoopaTroopa211 » Fri Sep 29, 2006 9:49 pm

mamorris wrote:The White Sox build their team according to AL rules. If they have to bench Konerko in an NL park, he becomes a $12 million pinch-hitter. This puts them at a significant disadvantage when playing in NL parks since their team is clearly not designed to play without a DH. If it were, that $12 million spent on Konerko would be used to upgrade pitching and other positions. How is that not a disadvantage?


If baseball had a salary cap, this argument would be ironclad. ;-D
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Postby mweir145 » Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:59 pm

While biased I may be, I don't think there is any question that the AL has been the stronger league this year. If the White Sox, Blue Jays, Red Sox, and Angels were playing in the NL, they would be playoff contenders, and would actually be fighting the Mets for the best team in that league.
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Postby mweir145 » Fri Sep 29, 2006 11:10 pm

The Hardball Times wrote:The difference in offensive talent is somewhere around .4 to .5 runs per game, which would give the average AL team around a 55% advantage over the average NL team, assuming that the pitching were equal. If it is true that the AL has the better pitching overall as well (and there is some suggestion in the data that that is true), then the AL advantage may be as high as 56 or 57%.

That's the huge difference. Look at teams like the White Sox, Jays and Red Sox (all teams that will finish out of the playoffs in the AL), they all have huge offensive depth when compared to almost any team in the NL outside of the Mets and Phillies. If you have bad #6-9 hitters in the AL, your team probably isn't going to be making the playoffs as you'll be falling behind the good offensive playoff teams like the Yankees and Tigers (unless you have great pitching like the A's, and can get by on that). But if you have bad #6-9 hitters in the NL (this is a little bit flawed, because all teams have bad #9 hitters in that league), you can usually get by, as shown by San Diego, Houston and St. Louis this year. All 3 of those teams had poor offenses, and all are still on the verge of playoff contention. I'm just not sure either of those 3 teams could have even competed in the AL this year, yet they will have the opportunity to go to the World Series because of the weakness of their league.
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Postby Amazinz » Sat Sep 30, 2006 1:41 pm

The Braves and Dodgers have outscored Boston and Toronto as well and they did without the benefit of the DH and in parks that are more pitcher-friendly than they are hitter-friendly.
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Postby mweir145 » Sat Sep 30, 2006 2:56 pm

Amazinz wrote:The Braves and Dodgers have outscored Boston and Toronto as well and they did without the benefit of the DH and in parks that are more pitcher-friendly than they are hitter-friendly.

I don't know about the Red Sox, but I know the Jays did have one of the league's top offenses this year (.811 OPS, 2nd in the league), but just couldn't score any runs with it (796 runs, 12th in the league). Mostly that could be chalked up to being poor with RISP, I guess that's how much being clutch actually matters. Should you judge offenses based on the amount of runs they've scored, or their OPS to determine who's been better? That's the question there.

Either way, both the Braves and Dodgers had strong offensive teams this year, and that's why I didn't name them above. If the Braves had been a better pitching team they might have remained in contention, but they were in the bottom half of the league this year in that area.
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