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AL dominating interleague play (again)

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#1 spinowner

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 11:20 AM

Going into today's game the AL has a 34-21 record in 2017 interleague play. While it's still early in the season this has become standard procedure. In 20 years of interleague play the NL has won the season series only 4 times, the most recent in 2003.

 

This imbalance is so strong that it's highly unlikely to be a random coincidence. And what is the only significant difference between the two leagues? The designated hitter rule. While correlation and causation are two different things I don't have any other explanation.

 

What about the DH rule gives the AL the advantage? Many baseball people feel it's easier for NL teams to adjust to playing with the DH than for AL teams to adjust to playing without it so that would not seem to be the reason. I'm hypothesizing that the DH rule somehow results in better players populating AL rosters. It may be a difference in how teams approach player development, it may a difference in philosophy of how pitchers pitch, it may be that free agents prefer to play in the AL, it may be all of these and other reasons.

 

The floor is open for discussion.


#2 spinowner

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 01:11 PM

Bump.

 

Games won as of now in interleague play: AL 103, NL 101. Guess I was a bit premature on the original post.

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#3 spycake

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 01:47 PM

Yeah, seeing this thread title reappear after the Twins-Dodgers series felt like some kind of cruel joke. :)

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#4 h2oface

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 02:09 PM

Dodgers: 12-3, and Arizona coming up: 9-1. And our incredible road record.... now 26-20.


#5 spinowner

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 05:16 PM

 

Yeah, seeing this thread title reappear after the Twins-Dodgers series felt like some kind of cruel joke. :)

Probably not so much cruel joke as reality slapping us in the face.


#6 gunnarthor

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 08:03 AM

To the basic gist of the thread - AL baseball has been better than NL baseball for quite some time. It's almost certainly the DH, which allows managers to rest regulars on occasion and it forces AL pitchers to face longer, harder line ups where their NL counterparts can walk #8 to get a nearly automatic out.

 

Rob Neyer wrote about this some time ago during the PED era. He noted that 1) suspected PED use was more common in AL teams 2) he suggested that the many pitcher friendly parks in the NL protected pitchers so they threw the more traditional fastball, change, curve whereas smaller AL parks + DH made pitchers adapt so you saw more types of pitches in the AL. Lastly for a long time the top payroll teams resided in the AL so they can buy out the talent. We'll see Bryce Harper in the AL pretty soon and it's unlikely that a guy like Machado is going to leave the AL when he hits FA. Because the DH helps protect the longterm deals, it's easier for AL teams to give a guy like Harper all the money.