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2019 Juiced Ball Discussion

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1 hour ago, sportsfreak2744 said:

 

I see a good bit of people say this and I strongly disagree.  More is not always better.  As home runs become more common, the less exciting they become.  There is a balance.

 

maybe for the MLB loyalists but the casual fan it is. more HRs is better. it makes more money. everyone was watching baseball in the mid-late 1990s.

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9 minutes ago, mlb2019 said:

 

maybe for the MLB loyalists but the casual fan it is. more HRs is better. it makes more money. everyone was watching baseball in the mid-late 1990s.

 

No, more HRs is not always better.  If more HRs is always better, why do teams not move the fences in another 30 feet in each park?  Then you can add more seats and make more money!  Hockey should do it too. Make the nets 6x8 instead of 4x6.  Make the endzones 10 yards deeper in the NFL.  More touchdowns weeeeeeee!!!!!!!!

There's a limit.  Yelich's torrid start with 28 HRs is cheapened by every Ketel Marte type player with 20 HR.  No one in their right mind thinks Marte is a 50-HR talent.  But he's on pace for it thanks to the league continuing to mess with the ball.

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last year in my 14 team dynasty league the top team in HRs finished with 338 HRs.  The current leader has 221 ... and we're not even at the half way point in the season.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, jb_power said:

last year in my 14 team dynasty league the top team in HRs finished with 338 HRs.  The current leader has 221 ... and we're not even at the half way point in the season.

 

 

Same vein in that last year I lead the league with 353 HR. This year I am in third with 181.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, sportsfreak2744 said:

next year we are going to see LOOGYs lose their jobs because

Why should fans care about that? Who wants to see 6 pitching changes in the final 3 innings? The LOOGY is going to have to adapt and become a LTOGY or become obsolete and disappear

Edited by cs3

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56 minutes ago, cs3 said:

Why should fans care about that? Who wants to see 6 pitching changes in the final 3 innings? The LOOGY is going to have to adapt and become a LTOGY or become obsolete and disappear

 

Why should fans not care?  I don't care how many pitching changes there are if it's a close game.  I like to see more than just HRs and strikeouts there is a strategy element as well.

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1 hour ago, cs3 said:

Why should fans care about that? Who wants to see 6 pitching changes in the final 3 innings? The LOOGY is going to have to adapt and become a LTOGY or become obsolete and disappear

It’s a game of chess. I want to see all those pitching changes. 

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pitchers gets Ks, you get HRs and they can go on about OBP and OPS all the time. tech companies are making so much money with their analytics.

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It's a way for the MLB to get the steroid era, legally, without steroids.

 

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Are more HRs really generating more revenue?  Is attendance up?  What about TV ratings?

I can't see any purist liking it.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, mlb2019 said:

maybe for the MLB loyalists but the casual fan it is. more HRs is better. it makes more money. everyone was watching baseball in the mid-late 1990s.

I think fans in general, casual or hardcore, love long rallies with guys running around the bases and steals and "action" going on.  The home run is the hot stuff of rallies.  Not the main course.  I'd rather see 3 runs scored in an inning with 8 different players to cheer than 3 solo homers that make me yawn because they don't come with excitement building and fans clapping and screaming.

I do NOT like pitchers' duels.  I'm not some pitching purest in the least.  I love offense in baseball but I like exciting offense with all sorts of action going on including homers but not just limited to them.  Because now it is strike out or homer and strike-outs bore me to tears especially when my team is at the plate.

Yes I used the word "action" twice.  That is what is lacking with this homer or strike-out type of game.  Runners on base.  Chaos.  Trying to take an extra base.  Steals.  Close plays at second.  That is what adds excitement to the game and enhances homers.

Edited by The Big Bat Theory
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Dr. Meredith Wills (@Bbl_Astrophyscs) has a new Athletic piece (sub. req.) reviewing some of the conclusions from previous studies (including her own studies from last year), summarizing some recent comments from MLB players and MLB themselves, and detailing her own findings from a study of the 2019 balls themselves, as compared to samples from other seasons.  Her findings are remarkable.

I'm sure some coverage of her study will be leaking out in the coming days through other venues if it hasn't already, and it'd be improper to quote too much of the piece here, but the TL;DR is that, unlike the 2017 surge, which seems to have mostly been about thicker laces, which led to balls being more spherical, and therefore having less drag, the 2019 balls have all sorts of statistically significant variations, including lower seam height:
 

Quote

image.png.5d3fbe69c28c1c343f8a155217a754dd.png

 

smoother leather:

 

Quote

image.png.3c05653b9a02ca21b4b3fb8fc9b5cf90.png

 

and more spherical baseballs:

 

Quote

image.png.0e89d3b9c867dc3603541f5ca0be0c5a.png


There was one finding -- lace thickness -- which Wills says undermines her previous findings about thicker laces leading to a more spherical ball:

 

Quote

image.png.68e139f714975284cf12e4ce52fc996a.png

 

 

Nonetheless, as she says in conclusion:

Quote

[...] any one of these changes would cause the ball to fly farther; together, they have made the current home run surge inevitable.

 

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50 minutes ago, tonycpsu said:

Dr. Meredith Wills (@Bbl_Astrophyscs) has a new Athletic piece (sub. req.) reviewing some of the conclusions from previous studies (including her own studies from last year), summarizing some recent comments from MLB players and MLB themselves, and detailing her own findings from a study of the 2019 balls themselves, as compared to samples from other seasons.  Her findings are remarkable.

I'm sure some coverage of her study will be leaking out in the coming days through other venues if it hasn't already, and it'd be improper to quote too much of the piece here, but the TL;DR is that, unlike the 2017 surge, which seems to have mostly been about thicker laces, which led to balls being more spherical, and therefore having less drag, the 2019 balls have all sorts of statistically significant variations, including lower seam height:
 

 

smoother leather:

 

 

and more spherical baseballs:

 


There was one finding -- lace thickness -- which Wills says undermines her previous findings about thicker laces leading to a more spherical ball:

 

 

Nonetheless, as she says in conclusion:

 

 

Close to 0% chance this was unintentional.

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Posted (edited)

With the MLB on pace to hit 500 home runs more than record-breaking 2017, how is this impacting the overall game of fantasy baseball? 

I personally have found this year challenging. Injuries aside, it's been difficult with the feeling that every bat is mashing. IDK if it feels diluted, but how do we know who's truly elite? What separates my team from the next team in any given week aside from luck? 

 

EVERYBODY MASHES.

 

https://theathletic.com/1044790/2019/06/25/yes-the-baseball-is-different-again-an-astrophysicist-examines-this-years-baseballs-and-breaks-down-the-changes/

 

Your thoughts?

Edited by tonycpsu
Merged with Juiced Ball thread
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My guess is the MLB suits realize all the HRs this year are becoming ridiculous.  It wouldn't surprise me if they went to a different ball next season and possibly even the second half of this season.

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I have more solid hitters than I know what to do with and a lot of my pitchers have been busts. And can't swing a deal for a pitcher on the trade market. 

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1 hour ago, SkinsNoles21 said:

I personally have found this year challenging. Injuries aside, it's been difficult with the feeling that every bat is mashing. IDK if it feels diluted, but how do we know who's truly elite? What separates my team from the next team in any given week aside from luck?  

 

One tangible thing I've done on the hitting side has been skewing my player evaluation process toward "what if this is real" rather than looking for reasons why it might not be real.  The home run environment is what it is, and we don't know when/if it will change.  That means you have to fade track record at least a little bit in favor of year to date performance.  That doesn't mean you chase every breakout, but you have to roll the dice on some of them if your "tried and true" options aren't getting it done.

The "good" news is that there have been enough of them that if you miss any one, it's not the end of the world.  Didn't draft Pete Alonso?  That's fine, you grabbed Carlos Santana as a reserve bat and he's a perfectly cromulent 1B.  Missed out on the Tommy LaStella breakout?  Fear not, because you grabbed Hunter Pence because you needed an OF5.  Pence is on  the IL now?  No worries, you needed MI help so you scooped Lourdes Gurriel.  Gurriel goes ice cold for the next couple weeks?  Fine.  Who's the next guy?  Obviously it won't work every time, but if you're willing to cycle guys and not worry too much if the guy you dropped starts mashing again on someone else's roster, you should come out ahead of the guy who's still holding Matt Carpenter and Kyle Schwarber because of their track record.  (Obviously this calculus is different in deeper mixed / mono leagues where those guys are still must-own, but you get the idea.)

The other thing I'm doing on the hitting side is preferring guys with a hit tool even more than usual.  I've never been one to punt or fade AVG or OBP, but in this environment, where it's not nearly as hard to go find some dingers on the wire, give me bats that can give me a plus AVG or OBP in a good spot in the lineup and hope the power stroke comes around.  Michael Brantley had some home run success earlier this season, but now some of those balls aren't clearing the fence anymore.  Nonetheless, he's still must-start because the AVG is there, which means the R and RBI are there, so he's got the floor of an OF2.  And if the homers come back, he's an OF1 again.

On the pitching side...  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  That's where the real randomness is.  Of course you've got Scherzer and JV and some other aces just doing their thing, but I can't find any pattern to explain why some SPs are getting killed in this environment and others aren't -- not just back-end rotation fillers but guys who teams were counting on to be SP1/SP2 types.  I don't even know if we have a big enough sample to try to figure out who's being most affected by the environment, and even if we did, guys are constantly adjusting, so the skills will change before we even get enough of a buy signal.

Instead of waiting for some explanation, I'm just trying to be a little more ruthless about moving on from a run of bad outings, and if that burns me, so be it.

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Dr. Wills was on the most recent episode of Hittin' Season (a Phillies podcast).  Toward the end of the interview, she made an interesting point that might have some direct fantasy implications.

Her point was that even though the baseballs are distributed to teams twice per season (once before the season and once around the All Star break), there's really no opportunity to make major changes to how the balls are made mid-season, because of the amount of human labor that goes into them, and because there are so many to be made.  Her feeling was that in 2017 when the differences were more subtle, there might have been an opportunity to go with a different lace supplier, but when so many variables have changed in ways that seem to do with quality control, she didn't believe that any return to "unjuiced" balls was likely.

I'm paraphrasing a much longer discussion here, so I might not be communicating some of the nuance, so go listen for yourself if you care to.  The part where she discusses the possibility of mid-season changes begins around 46:30.  But the TL;DR here is that I came away with an even stronger feeling that these juiced balls are probably here to stay for the remainder of the season.

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I just saw that one pitching staff of mine has a 4.62 ERA the past two weeks. Looks awful, until I realize it’s tied for third best in the 12-team league in that span. Baseball ‘19.

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On 6/21/2019 at 3:23 PM, sportsfreak2744 said:

 

No, more HRs is not always better.  If more HRs is always better, why do teams not move the fences in another 30 feet in each park?  Then you can add more seats and make more money!  Hockey should do it too. Make the nets 6x8 instead of 4x6.  Make the endzones 10 yards deeper in the NFL.  More touchdowns weeeeeeee!!!!!!!!

There's a limit.  Yelich's torrid start with 28 HRs is cheapened by every Ketel Marte type player with 20 HR.  No one in their right mind thinks Marte is a 50-HR talent.  But he's on pace for it thanks to the league continuing to mess with the ball.

 

Do we really think Ketel Marte's increase in power is more because of the juiced ball than because of the improvements Marte has made as a player?

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2 minutes ago, FouLLine said:

 

Do we really think Ketel Marte's increase in power is more because of the juiced ball than because of the improvements Marte has made as a player?

 

it's more about him as a player with a little bonus from the ball being juiced.

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Just now, Members_Only_76 said:

 

it's more about him as a player with a little bonus from the ball being juiced.

 

My thoughts exactly.  While I truly do think the juiced ball is helping home runs.  I also think that more of the HR uptick is due to other factors outside of the juiced ball.

1.  Velos are at an all time high (seem to increase just about every year) faster it comes in the faster it goes out.

2.  More young talent than ever just pouring into the league the league really needs to expand to 36 teams there's enough talent out there to add a team in every division.

3.  The new age approach that striking out isn't the worst outcome swing hard and get deep into counts to try and hit a home run.

4.  Launch angle flyballs are actually good if you're hitting one out of every 4 out for HR.

5.  Advanced analytics hitters have better ideas of what pitches to sit on and what pitches to stay away from before the game even starts.

6.  Don't forget about bat makers!! Finding ways to produce with harder wood.  Better balancing from end loaded to balanced and all in between.  Different types of handles (axe handle).  Among many other things the bat makers are doing to make their bats the best (and it's an extremely competitive field).

7.  The coaching in baseball (and all sports for that matters) just continues to get better and better as most things this is just naturally due to human progress.

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On 6/26/2019 at 2:41 PM, B&F said:

My guess is the MLB suits realize all the HRs this year are becoming ridiculous.  It wouldn't surprise me if they went to a different ball next season and possibly even the second half of this season.

 

Home runs draw the attention.

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So it's the talent and the velocity? Then tell me why AAA,where the MLB ball is being used, HRs are going through the roof while A,A+ and AA remain roughly the same?

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