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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

DEFENSE WINS IN MLB, TOO

By Marc Lawrence, PlaybookSports.com — MLB offense is down across the board this season, insists Yahoo Sports AM.

By the numbers: The league-wide batting average of .242 is tied for the third-worst in the modern era (since 1901), besting only 1908 and 1968 — a year in which the offense was so bad it resulted in the pitcher’s mound being lowered to give hitters a chance.

There’s also a power outage: Teams are hitting their fewest home runs per game (1.06) since 2015 and their fewest doubles per game (1.58) since 1992 (excluding 2020’s small-sample, pandemic-shortened season).

Add it all up and runs are down nearly 6% compared to last season, which would be the largest year-over-year drop since 2001.

After offense slowed to a crawl in 2022, MLB introduced a host of changes last season (pitch clock, shift ban, bigger bases) to level a playing field that skewed too heavily in pitchers’ favor. But a year later, here we are again.

This year’s offensive environment makes what MVP frontrunners Aaron Judge and Shohei Ohtani are doing that much more impressive, as they’re both nearly on pace for 400 total bases — a feat accomplished just 29 times in MLB history, and not since 2001.

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