NL DH Failed
When you looked at the Wild Card Series between the Braves and Reds, you were left to wonder if a series with six total runs over 22 innings could push the NL to add the DH. After all, one of the purported reasons for the NL DH was to increase offense.
It was just one series, but it showed just how the universal DH yet again failed to do what the DH purports to do.
That series wasn’t an anomaly either. This is exactly what we saw play out over the course of the 2020 season.
In 2019, NL batters, inclusive of pitchers, hit .251/.323/.431. They would walk 8.6% of the time and strike out 23.0% of the time. Ultimately, they would score 4.78 runs per game.
This year, NL batters without pitchers batting hit .246/.325/.421. They would walk 9.3% of the time and strike out 23.1% of the time. Ultimately, they would score 4.76 runs per game.
Looking over those and all numbers, we see the NL DH had zero impact upon the league. That’s not surprising when you see there’s very little difference over the last five years between NL and AL offensive production.
Part of the reason for that is pitchers revive on average little over two PA per game. After that, there are PH who hit roughly on par with AL ninth placed batters.
Really, when you look at it the only thing MLB accomplished by instituting an NL DH was making the AL fans happy. That’s a bizarre decision to make.
After all, we’re not going to see a flood of New York Yankees fans suddenly become New York Mets fans because of the DH. Really, if that fanbase sat through vastly inferior broadcasts and still continued to watch Yankee games, you can’t imagine seeing pitchers two ABs per game go away being the straw which broke the camels back.
No, in the end, such thinking is nonsense, which is exactly what the NL DH was – nonsense.
Rob Manfred got to have his shtick for a year, and it failed miserably. There wasn’t an increase in offense. Pitchers still got hurt. Fan interest didn’t increase. Taking all of that into account, we again see the DH has zero impact on the game and has no place in the National League.
Fortunately, it is set to go away in 2021. For the few fans bemoaning that fact, please console them when NL teams have effectively the same batting line and runs per game as they had in 2019 and 2020.