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Sunday, November 15, 2020

Handing out MVPs, Cy Youngs and more for the East, Central, and West regions

The 2020 MLB season was unusual for countless reasons, including the 60-game schedule. That’s a little more than one-third the normal 162-game slate, so awards decisions were based on small samples. Also, regional play meant unbalanced schedules. Take a look at each region’s batting line:

East: .257/.334/.439
Central: .233/.312/.396
West: .243/.319/.417

The Central Region objectively stunk. Sorry, but it’s true. The Central Region housed nine of the 12 lowest scoring offenses. What do, say, Jacob deGrom’s stats look like if he had Bauer’s schedule? Bauer made eight of his 11 starts against four of the nine lowest-scoring offenses (Brewers, Pirates, Royals, and Tigers). The NL Cy Young race could’ve been very different if not for regional play.

Of course, you can only play the schedule you’re given, so it’s not Bauer’s fault he started so many times against bad teams. Unlike the other major sports, MLB has different awards winners in each league because the leagues never used to play each other. Interleague play put an end to that, but there are separate AL and NL awards because they were separate leagues for a long time.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 15, 2020 at 12:26 PM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: November 15, 2020 at 04:12 PM (#5988852)
Did the Central's offense suck or was the pitching that good or a bit of both? The postseason suggest more the former but the collective pitching performance is blown out by Cleveland's drubbing by the Yanks (22 rns in 2 games). Still that 233/312/396 line is also the Central's pitchers' "against" slash line. They had 9 of the 12 lowest-scoring offenses ... and 8 of tbe 13 lowest RA/G. It was simply a different context.

That context is "naturally" captured in bWAR for pitchers through RA9opp. (Not sure if it's captured in fWAR but I assume so.) In another post around here, I roughly recalculated Bauer's ERA+ comparing with just the Central and it drops but was still something like 230, well above deGrom's roghly adjusted ERA+.

But yes, obviously the cleaner way to hand out awards this year would be by "conference." The choices here are the pretty obvious ones, they just make the different decision on Abreu vs Ramirez that the actual voters did.

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