Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Newsletter Excerpt, September 29, 2020 -- "AL Playoff Field"

This is a preview of the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for nearly 25 years.

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"One of the things I want to watch for this week is how many pitchers these teams use. In a best-of-three over three days, you shouldn’t really be using more than seven pitchers. Choose your three best starters, let them pitch until you need to take them out, and then turn the game over to your best relievers. AL teams have a day off prior and three days off after their series, and most didn’t use any high-leverage relievers on Sunday. In a best-of-three, there are very few low-leverage innings; you’d need to be playing out a blowout in the final couple of frames to justify using the bottom of your staff. I know some of these teams will carry 12, 13, maybe 14 pitchers, and maybe that’s as much because they can’t find hitters, but it’s nonsensical. A best-of-three with this scheduling demands only the best pitchers be used."