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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 1/31/20

The Cardinals’ missed chance; the effect of sign-stealing; the best lineups in baseball

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MLB: Houston Astros-Dusty Baker Press Conference Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Brendan Gawlowski: The Cardinals may have really missed an opportunity at a run last year. While only kind of sneaking in, they are really getting the tail-end of some good player performances: Paul Goldschmidt seems to be beginning his decline; Marcell Ozuna is gone; and, Yadier Molina is getting close to retirement.

The Athletic | Jayson Stark and Eno Sarris ($): Another look at the sign-stealing data is that it helped the Astros greatly; they saw a record drop in their strikeout rate, saw incredible home/road splits, and crushed breaking pitches. How much of the World Series was an increase in talent and how much is sign-stealing is... unknown.

ESPN Insider | Bradford Doolittle ($): Most starting lineups are nearly set, so which would we think are the best? Well obviously the Astros and Dodgers are going to be near the top, followed closely by the Cubs, A’s, and Braves, and the list bottoms out with the usual suspects in the Orioles and Tigers.