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.