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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 9/20/19

The moves that helped the A’s; the hurting competitive balance; who could win the wild card

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Devan Fink: Yet again, the Athletics shock us all as they cruise into the postseason. After their playoff odds jumped from 10% on June 1st to 96% now, they were also buttressed by a series of shrewd moves, like for Homer Bailey, Jake Diekman, and Tanner Roark.

Baseball Prospectus | Rob Arthur ($): As we all know, tanking sucks, and it has screwed with the competitive balance of the league. The difference between the best and worst teams have grown even since last year, and 2018 and 2019 represent two of the three worst years in that regard since 1950. It’s not just the tankers, though. Even the Phillies were hesitant to go all-out in July because they didn’t want to get run over by the Dodgers in the NLDS, but that ignores that even the best teams fail in the playoffs, and even OK playoff teams are still... playoff teams.

The Athletic | Eno Sarris ($): Who do we think is going to grab the last wild card spots? Based on hotter Rays and Brewers teams, it could be that the Brewers and Cubs come to a tie for the wild card, and the Rays edge out the Indians for the last AL spot. Yet in just a small sample, really anything can happen.