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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 9/20/18

The end of the AL-dominated interleague; a new method for avoiding service time manipulation; the most surprising teams; MiLB DRS

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MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Jeff Sullivan: With a Pirates walk-off win, the National League will maintain an above-.500 record against the American League for the first time since 2003. It’s been talked about a lot that the AL has the best teams, but it can’t be forgotten that the NL now has the best aggregate talent level. Tanking has had an effect, and it made its way to interleague.

Baseball Prospectus | Russell A. Carleton: To fix service time manipulation, what if we turned to an age-based free agency system instead of service time? I’m skeptical, mostly because based on the calculations here, teams would, yes, be calling up players once they are ready, but it would penalize younger players. In this system, Juan Soto would be cost-controlled for a decade with almost no comparable arbitration players. I think it works in the sense it ends the ambiguous manipulation, but it changes it in such a way that it even more so hurts the player’s aggregate financial gains, which is the crux of the argument to begin with.

The Athletic | Eno Sarris ($): This year’s most surprising teams are who you would expect: the Red Sox (in the sense they over-performed from 93 to 110 wins), the Braves, and the A’s, who rode a stellar bullpen to a Wild Card spot. Atlanta stands out, though: they have the youngest core with the best farm system, and now they are going to win the NL East versus a weakening Washington team.

Bill James Online | Alex Vigderman: We talk a lot about DRS at the big league level, but what about in the minors? Jake Rogers of the Tigers has 18 DRS behind the plate, and San Diego’s Luis Urias has 13 DRS at second, to name a couple. For those over 24, Josh Fuentes has 19 DRS in Colorado’s Triple-A system.