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The correlation between payroll and wins; home runs in pitcher counts; the youth revolution
FanGraphs | Craig Edwards: There is an r=0.46 correlation between payroll and wins this year, which… shouldn’t be a coincidence! There’s been a lot of talk about avoiding expensive free agents, and teams have been wont to do that, but it’s clear that spending is essentially half the battle of winning games.
Baseball Prospectus | Jeff Wiser ($): One of the ways in which the increased home runs have hurt pitchers isn’t just that they’re happening, but when they’re happening, namely in good pitcher counts like 0-2 and 1-2. Home run frequencies have jumped about a point over the last year, and that means pitchers like Andrew Miller and Jerad Eickhoff have suffered greatly.
The Ringer | Ben Lindbergh: The game is now being dominated by the likes of Fernando Tatís Jr., Ronald Acuña Jr., and Juan Soto very literally in that the share of WAR for players under 25 continues to increase to its highest levels. Because of better scouting and development players are plucked early, given the tweaks to succeed, and then they immediately start excelling at ages 22, 21, 20, and younger.