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The Twins’ fall from grace; Lance Lynn’s Cy Young bid; what makes a good slider
FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: The Indians have won 43 games since June 2nd, and the Twins just 31, meaning the former has finally overtaken the latter for the division lead. Cleveland has been remarkable pitching-wise even considering the injuries to Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco, and the trade of Trevor Bauer. Meanwhile the Twins have sputtered on both sides of the ball, and if they fail to win the division or even make the playoffs, they’ll regret sitting still at the trade deadline.
The Ringer | Michael Baumann: Lance Lynn has basically come out of nowhere in terms of pitching stardom, and now he could very well win the AL Cy Young. Even though he’s been dependable as far as starters go, it was adding a hearty mix of secondary fastballs to his repertoire that made him the pitcher he is today.
The Athletic | Eno Sarris ($): Pitchers all have different ideas of what makes a good slider, but what actually makes it good, mathematically speaking? It’s likely some combination of velocity differential and/or spin direction differential, ie: a hard curve that drops a lot, or a late-breaking slider that essentially looks like a fastball.