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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 7/25/19

The Indians’ rollercoaster season; pinch hitter changes; Soroka carrying the Braves

MLB: Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Craig Edwards: We knew that the Cleveland Indians were a vulnerable team after this offseason, where they let Michael Brantley walk and swapped out Edwin Encarnacion for Carlos Santana and Jake Bauers. But their stars have rebounded in June/July and they have boosted their playoff chances. It’s still a stars-and-scrubs lineup, but it could be good enough to get them over the finish line.

Baseball Prospectus | Rob Mains ($): The pinch hitter penalty is at its lowest in divisional play history, and no one is really sure why. Usage is at an all-time low in the AL, but totally normal in the NL, so it’s strange that pinch hitters have basically been just as good as position player hitters this season.

The Ringer | Michael Baumann: With a Braves team where the pitching could have been a concern, Mike Soroka has led them to a possible division win. With a 93 mph fastball and a nasty slider and change, he has rode that stuff to a 2.46 ERA in just over a hundred innings.