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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 10/11/19

The dejuiced playoff ball; Gabe Kapler’s firing; the Yankees/Astros rematch

MLB: ALDS-Tampa Bay Rays at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball Prospectus | Rob Arthur ($): If there’s one article to read this postseason, it’s this. Essentially, we’ve been duped by the ball again, but this time in the opposite direction. The drag coefficient of balls is a total outlier in the postseason, and there have been 24 fewer home runs already than there would have been with the regular season ball. MLB has responded that this is a varying batch, but this doesn’t seem like random variation at all.

The Ringer | Michael Baumann: Gabe Kapler is out as Phillies manager, and yet the issues at hand run deeper. Yes, he was an incredibly problematic hire who both botched his first day as manager and it was uncovered that he allegedly covered up sexual assault allegations and was involved with violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, but that’s not why he was fired, it was ultimately for the banal reason that this team was only one game better than last year, when they really should be facing the Cardinals in the NLCS.

The Ringer | Zach Kram: Gerrit Cole pitched eight innings of one-run ball to help the Astros clinch the series, sending them to their third straight ALCS. They will face the Yankees, who are certainly a different ball club than the one that last faced them in 2017. Both teams have deeper rosters and more complete teams, both at different phases in their contention cycle, and this should be yet another great chapter in what is becoming one of the best rivalries of this decade.