Sinister right-handedness provides Canadian-born Major League Baseball players with an offensive advantage: A further test of the hockey influence on batting hypothesis
> Recent research has shown Major League Baseball (MLB) players that bat left-handed and throw right-handed, otherwise known as sinister right-handers, are more likely to have a career batting average (BA) of .299 or higher compared to players with other combinations of batting and throwing handedness.
> Since the inception of the MLB, the relative proportion of Canadian-born sinister right-handers is at least two times greater than players from other regions, although being Canadian-born does not provide a direct offensive advantage. Rather, results showed evidence of a significant indirect effect in that being Canadian-born increases the odds of being a sinister right-hander and in turn leads to greater performance across each offensive performance statistic. Collectively, findings provide further support for the hockey influence on batting hypothesis and suggest this effect extends to offensive performance.
Velocity is strangling baseball — and its grip keeps tightening
> The 2018 season was the first in history in which strikeouts outpaced hits, a trend that has accelerated so far in 2019. The ball is in play less than ever, with a record 35.4 percent of plate appearances in 2019 resulting in a strikeout, walk or home run. Teams are using an average of 3.3 relievers per game in 2019, just below last year’s all-time record of 3.4. The leaguewide batting average of .245 in 2019 is the lowest since 1972 and a drop of 26 points from 1999, at the height of the steroids era. The leaguewide strikeout rate of 8.78 per nine innings, also a record, is higher than the career rate of Roger Clemens.
Thirteen Years of Bryce Harper Feels Like Forever
> Who knows what the planet will look like in 13 years? It’s entirely possible we’ll all be living in space, drinking space juice and eating space pizza. The robots will have taken all of our jobs. The President of the United States will be Bill Belichick. The Marlins might be good. Or playing on an island.
MLB myth-buster: The shift isn't curbing runs; it's creating them
> The twist is that, eight seasons after the shift era really took off, two years after the first shift data became widely public and now a few months after Statcast-based shift data became available, we have a growing body of research into how the shift affects the game and, indeed, whether it even works. And the data confounds the conventional wisdom.
'Strikeouts are sexy' ... but these pitchers are succeeding without K's
> “They call it a perfect inning when a guy gets three strikeouts on nine pitches. Everybody ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ at that. But really, the perfect inning is three pitches and three outs. You can’t do any better than that.’’