Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Friday, August 27, 2021

Have Games Become Less Competitive Since the Trade Deadline?

Another way to look at this is analyzing performance after trade deadlines of past seasons. The last full season in 2019 yielded nearly identical average run differentials before (3.66) and after (3.64) the trade deadline. The bigger issue, however, is that each deadline has its own unique impact on the season, and 2019 was a bit of a dud in that regard, with only a handful of truly impactful moves.

I’m not saying the bevy of sellers at the trade deadline isn’t detracting from the competitiveness of some games for the rest of the season. The Orioles are currently in the midst of an 18-game losing streak, but let’s not forget, that’s their second double-digit losing streak this year, and Baltimore was more or less silent at the deadline, too. And while most of the beatdowns over the last few weeks have come at the expense of sellers and teams far outside of the playoff picture, the Rays, owners of the best record in the American League, lost 20–8 to the Red Sox and 12–0 to the Twins within a span of a few days. Blowouts can happen to anyone at any time.

I have my reservations, but there is certainly credence behind the idea that teams that traded proven major leaguers away are more at risk of losing by a lopsided margin than before. But even these teams tend to be more competitive than we give them credit for.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 27, 2021 at 08:42 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: trade deadline

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Dolf Lucky Posted: August 27, 2021 at 01:33 PM (#6036723)
Disappointing article, in that I would be very interested in drawing a conclusion to this question, but this piece got me no closer to such a conclusion.

   2. Walt Davis Posted: August 27, 2021 at 05:52 PM (#6036791)
Looking for small, mostly individual differences in small, aggregate samples is a tough way to make a living. Mainly -- clearly the Cubs are a much less talented team than they were; same for the Nats. That will be true for any big seller. But how common is it for there to be one or two big sellers? (I don't know) The receiving teams mainly are slightly more talented than they were because usually the wealth gets spread around at the deadline. The teams that stand pat are largely the same. Then in the old days, things could go out the window in Sept with the massively expanded rosters and fringe contenders recognizing there's not enough time left.

Then there's the bizarre randomness of baseball. As the article alludes to, in June the Cubs only scored about 3.5 runs per game, then in July just a smidgen 4.1 ... and so far in Aug without Bryant, Rizzo, Baez, they've scored 4. Their terrible Aug is due to giving up 7 runs a game which was partly predictable due to cleaning out the bullpen of Kimbrel, Chafin and Tepera but that's still a smaller amount of talent than they gave up on the offensive side of things. Javy's a pretty awesome SS but not 2 runs a game. But maybe that seemingly stable offensive output looks closer than it is -- 13 of their 23 games have been against the likes of the Rox, Royals, Miami. Against the White Sox and Brewers they went 0-7 and scored just 18 runs with two shutouts. So is it our AAA hitters are doing well against other bad teams' AAA pitchers? Still it's the pitching and defense -- in Aug, we've twice scored 10 and lost and we gave up 19 in 3 games swept by the Royals at Wrigley. Prior to the deadline, the Cubs went 18-12 against bad teams (as we might expect of a 500 team); post-deadline they've gone 3-10. Maybe you don't think the Rox are a bad team in which case we've gone 0-7 against bad teams.

Anyway, it's just not a question you want to answer in the aggregate unless you're going to pool many seasons together. For this season, it's a question about specific teams with specific pre/post-deadline talent levels and schedules and maybe even specific pitcher match-ups. The article starts with an example of the Astros shellacking the Ms. As far as I recall, neither of those teams did much at the deadline -- what is run differential in games between teams that didn't change their talent level substantially supposed to tell us? (If that game told us anything, it reminded us the Ms record through end of July was a good bit better than their pythag.)
   3. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 27, 2021 at 07:34 PM (#6036807)
Have Games Become Less Competitive Since the Trade Deadline?


After the Orioles series ended on August 4th, the average Yankees game has been decided by 2.5 runs. 14 of those 20 games have been won by 1 or 2 runs, and only 2 games have been blowouts.
   4. Dolf Lucky Posted: August 28, 2021 at 09:05 AM (#6036843)
After thinking about this question for a bit, I think I would structure the analysis to look at standard deviation of the pre-game money lines before the trading deadline vs. after. Still not perfect, but gets a bit more at the heart of the question.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Backlasher
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogA’s reportedly eyeing Tropicana site for possible Strip ballpark
(1 - 1:55pm, Dec 02)
Last: Joyful Calculus Instructor

NewsblogNBA 2021-2022 Season Thread
(1223 - 1:54pm, Dec 02)
Last: Moeball

NewsblogMarcell Ozuna was choking wife as cops burst in, police video shows
(28 - 1:52pm, Dec 02)
Last: jacksone (AKA It's OK...)

Newsblog'Chicago!' Stroman says he's joining Cubs
(32 - 1:40pm, Dec 02)
Last: The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV)

Sox TherapyLocked Out and Semi-Loaded
(3 - 1:40pm, Dec 02)
Last: Jose Has Absurd Goosebump Arms

NewsblogJackie Bradley, Jr. back to Boston in deal with Crew
(15 - 12:58pm, Dec 02)
Last: Textbook Editor

NewsblogMLB, union stopped blood testing for HGH due to pandemic
(16 - 12:54pm, Dec 02)
Last: Never Give an Inge (Dave)

Sox TherapyMeet the 2022 Red Sox
(73 - 12:50pm, Dec 02)
Last: Darren

NewsblogThe 100 Best Baseball Books Ever Written
(69 - 12:48pm, Dec 02)
Last: Perry

NewsblogClint Frazier nearing deal with Cubs after Yankees release
(10 - 12:41pm, Dec 02)
Last: jacksone (AKA It's OK...)

NewsblogReport: MLB Owners Vote Unanimously to Institute Lockout
(19 - 11:59am, Dec 02)
Last: John Northey

NewsblogSources: Boston Red Sox in agreement with Rich Hill
(13 - 11:47am, Dec 02)
Last: pikepredator

NewsblogJames Paxton, Boston Red Sox agree to 1-year, $10 million deal, sources say
(6 - 11:19am, Dec 02)
Last: Nasty Nate

NewsblogMiami Marlins acquire Joey Wendle, send Kameron Misner to Tampa Bay Rays
(17 - 10:59am, Dec 02)
Last: jacksone (AKA It's OK...)

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 2021 Results
(2 - 10:26am, Dec 02)
Last: DL from MN

Page rendered in 0.1934 seconds
48 querie(s) executed