Friday, January 15, 2010

A New Era

The end of the PED era has meant a strong reduction in the amount of offense, as seen specifically in Runs scored (R) and Home Runs (HR) hit. But just how much of an adjustment and how does any of this compare to the MLB numbers the last 15 years (1995-2009 seasons)?

First off, the MLB averages for R, HR, stolen bases (SB), Slugging percentage (SLG), and On base percentage plus slugging percentage (OPS) have not varied that much over the last 15 years. This may make you wonder whether that is because we are still in the PED era.

On the other hand, the end of the PED era in Gehrig has taken a dramatic hit. The catch comes in that we have only played about half a season (76 games exactly) in Gehrig, but so far the trends are dramatic. Averages for runs scored are down from 5.21 per game on season 14 to 4.55 per game this season. Average HRs are down from 1.44 per game, season 14, to 0.93 per game this season. SLG is down from 0.443 on season 14, down to 0.396 this season, whereas OPS is down from 0.780 to 0.730 this season.

A statistic that should not be affected by PEDs, at least in Gehrig, SBs remains pretty constant from the last few seasons.

A cursory look at other numbers like 2Bs (1.44 per game season 14, 1.39 this season) and 3Bs (0.167 per game season 14, 0.145 this season), also suggest that the main effect is being seen in HRs, but not in other extra base hits. This is somewhat interesting in that if the ball is kept in the park more, maybe extra base hits would have been expected to at least move up a bit.

The take home point? It's a great year to be a pitcher.