View Full Version : NL vs. AL

02-02-2007, 03:39 PM
The other day in one of my classes we got onto the topic of baseball. My professor was talking about how the AL has the advantage over the NL because of the fact they have a DH. All those at bats the pitcher gets to sit for in turn allows that pitcher to be more rested and have more success. He said the DH is a horrible thing and it is unfair and is the reason that the AL has more success than the NL. I actually got into it a bit with him. My point was that pitchers have more success coming from the AL to the NL than the NL to the AL and it speaks volumes to the fact that pitchers have a harder time facing AL lineups. He asked me to back that up with some stats, so I thought I would come to you guys. Does anyone have any articles or sites that would help me out with this?

02-02-2007, 05:01 PM
He said the DH is a horrible thing and it is unfair and is the reason that the AL has more success than the NL.?
That could be one of the reasons, but then again, the AL had the DH back in the 1980s, when the NL was better. I think it just runs in cycles. The NL was dominant for a long time (1960s-1980s), now it's the AL (1990s-present). The balance of power, as time goes by, will slowly shift back to the NL again. It's sorta like in the NFL, when the NFC kicked ass for years, and now it's the AFC who is dominant. That's just how those types of things work.

02-02-2007, 05:06 PM
Yeah I'd have to agree with PK it's a pendulum that's just swung to the AL at the moment.

Dan Mega
02-02-2007, 05:10 PM
Yeah I'd have to agree with PK it's a pendulum that's just swung to the AL at the moment.

Exactly. When the KC Royals go to an NL park and crush the NL team, you know the DH isn't a factor.

02-02-2007, 05:30 PM
The DH was first suggested in 1929 by National League president John Heydler, the NL owners were all for it but couldn't get the support of the American League, which roundly vetoed it.

Dick Allen
02-02-2007, 05:37 PM
What does the prof mean by better? When the teams play in an NL park, they play NL rules and vice versa. So his argument is flawed.

02-02-2007, 05:40 PM
Ah the NL pitchers going from the AL to the NL have always had an advantage. Look at javier vazquez going from the nl to the al, randy johnson, derek lowe, jeff weaver, roger clemens, pedro, and jaret wright. when they went from the al to the nl their numbers all got better, from their year before, while the ones who went from the nl to the al all did poorly compaired to their previous years.

02-02-2007, 06:46 PM
At first I thought the difference in overall play - minus the DH - would come down to payroll, but I did a quick search and found this site: http://www.onestopbaseball.com/TeamPayroll.asp

I added up the given payrolls and took an average for each league. The average payroll for an AL team in 2006 was $76,870,980. The average payroll for an NL team in 2006 was $71,735,142. I then took the averages again without including TB and Florida and the numbers were even closer: the average AL payroll was $80,059,673 while the average NL payroll was $75,517,584,

In both leagues the large markets dominate spending and the smaller markets are forced to build teams from within.

I would assume the slight $4-5mil difference in payroll comes from the DH position, but still, like someone else mentioned, when playing each other under the same rules the AL dominates.

The only thing that makes sense to me since the payrolls are so close is that generally the AL is run by smarter GMs and has better organizational scouting. One thing that I thought of is that possibly agents are taking advantage of NL teams in the pitching market. For example a pitcher in the AL who gives 200IP with an ERA around 3.50 might be worth $15mil per season. In the NL, a lesser pitcher that puts up the same numbers is worth the same amount, so maybe the NL is overpaying for pitching more than the AL is and this is removing offensive resources?

I don't know what the difference is, but I guess if I had to pick anything I'd just go with the idea that the AL teams generally have a much better idea of what they are doing.