FanGraphs | Craig Edwards: Here’s something really interesting: the balls might be de-juiced. After record isolated power numbers all the way into last postseason, a cold April was the reason for the decline early this season. But ISO is still down relative to last year, and xwOBA/wOBA differentials are also lagging, which means the same launch angle and exit velocity is resulting in a shorter decision. Whether that’s because of a change in the ball or a humidor is yet to be seen.
The Ringer | Ben Lindbergh: Mike Trout is probably not going to reach Babe Ruth for the single-season WAR record, but two players might hit Ruth and Lou Gehrig’s combined teammate WAR record of 24.2—Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor.
Baseball Prospectus | Matthew Trueblood: Despite the likes of Blake Treinen, Aroldis Chapman, and Edwin Diaz dominating the reliever discourse, one Twins pitcher is incredibly underrated: Ryan Pressly. He’s been in the league since 2013 but all of the sudden is putting up a 13.5 K/9, and his DRA- is just a few points shy of Diaz and Josh Hader.
SB Nation MLB | Tyler Tynes: But here’s the real story with Hader. After pitching in the All Star Game the internet discovered a torrent of racist and homophobic tweets from 2011, using both the N-word and “white power.” Yet, people of course rushed to defend him, claiming both distance from the incident in question and that he was too young to realize his offenses. Both the club and league offered tepid remarks, at best, despite putting him in racial sensitivity training that will likely be co-opted for the narrative of white-athlete-maturation. The fact is that with white athletes in America, whether they be Hader, Riley Cooper, or Brock Nelson, the media class will always try to absolve and explain away what are ingrained prejudices that exist in everyone, both in these overt manners, but also through the way sports media phrases them to draw sympathy for some, and scorn to the other.