As the 2021 MLB season propels full speed out of its third month, we are here with an important look at the numbers behind one of the record-breaking events happening across the league. Yes, it’s about pitching; no, it’s not about “sticky stuff”… It’s about the fact that MLB pitchers have had seven incredible outings in which the Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers, and LA Dodgers have amassed a total of 0 hits (yes, that’s twice for some teams).
As we’ve seen, there are many kinds of adjustments that pitchers can make to improve their performance. Some pitchers may change their arm slot, find new grips, or alter other elements of their delivery. In the end, there is a good chance that every pitcher can find subtle ways to improve no matter how good they already are. In the final instalment of The Art of Pitching, QSAO Analyst Nic Osanic investigates examples of pitchers decreasing the usage of their sinker and 2-Seamer in-favour of other pitches.
Pitching philosophy in baseball has long been a game of conventional wisdom. This philosophy always seemed to make sense as the lower the pitch, the easier it is to swing over the top and hit it on the ground. As more data has become available in recent years, batters have started to adjust. As the MLB’s data-driven pitcher/batter pendulum constantly swings in response to such change, one must wonder how traditional attitudes towards fastball locations affect the modern-day MLB pitcher. In QSAO’s latest series of articles, analysts Nic Osanic takes a deeper look into the art of pitching.
By Cody Smith and Patrick Mills A note from the article’s editor (Anthony Turgelis): This article will read somewhat differently from the rest of our content, as this was a detailed final project for a 4th year Applied Econometrics course at Queen’s. I hope you enjoy the format, as it is more typical for analytics …