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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

FiveThirtyEight: Who Needs A DH? The NL Is Outhitting The AL, Somehow

Entering play on Tuesday, the National League hitters — including the pitchers — had a .739 on-base plus slugging percentage compared with .735 for the American League. This is remarkable considering the NL’s OPS includes 1,590 plate appearances by pitchers whereas AL pitchers have batted just 125 times. Only once in history has the NL outhit the AL across a full season, in 1976 — and that year it was a virtual dead heat (.6812 OPS to .6809). The average advantage for the AL has been 22 OPS points, with a high of 57 in 1996. And the push for hitting equality appears to be the trend as the NL finished last year just 10 points worse in OPS than the AL, the sixth-smallest differential over a full season in the designated hitter era.

This is not the result of pitchers hitting better, either. In fact, pitchers are particularly terrible this season at the plate, with a .324 OPS in the first two months. The culprit is more likely located in left field.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 31, 2017 at 12:16 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: fivethirtyeight, offense

 

 

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