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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 8/24/18

Payroll and parity; the NL overtakes the AL in interleague play; no reason for concern in Houston

MLB: Houston Astros at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Craig Edwards: Like it or not, but there’s a pretty strong correlation between payroll and winning. While the correlation is a weak positive correlation in a single year, it is more telling for winning over a sustained period. Despite all of the regulations put on big market teams, payroll and wins still have a lot to do with each other, which is why the Yankees, Cubs, and Dodgers aren’t going anywhere.

Baseball Prospectus | Rob Mains ($): For the first time in 15 years, the American League has a sub-.500 winning percentage against National League teams. What gives? Is it because of the recent tanking of AL teams, or is it because the declining usefulness of designated hitters in recent years? Either way, the talent level in the leagues has swung back.

The Ringer | Zach Kram: On one hand, the Astros’ recent stretch is worrying. They squandered a sizable division lead to the Athletics and key players have had injuries, like Carlos Correa, and Justin Verlander has under-performed as of late. But they’re still the most talented team in the division, easily, and still one of the best offenses on paper in the league. They’re going to be fine.