Remember 1992? That was the last time National League offense had gone lower than the current level of 4.36 runs per game. The same goes for the American League, which has seen an even sharper scoring drop-off since last season. AL teams averaged 4.82 runs per game in 2009. That figure had plunged to 4.45 through September 14. The NL had a more gradual decline from 4.43 runs per game last year to 4.36.
This presents a challenge for agents with arbitration-eligible and free agent position players this offseason. Clubs will no doubt pull out comparables from recent seasons when the run context was substantially higher.
Fortunately, there is a solution. Agents can adjust for the decreased offense in the same way economists do so for inflation. The Sports Resource has built a statistical model that adjusts for run context, which helps your position player clients when scoring drops.
You can even turn the scoring trend into a positive for hitters: some of this season’s individual achievements will stand out even more at contract time. For example, should Jose Bautista reach 50 home runs, he will match a feat last accomplished in 1990. Look for another post on this topic in the weeks ahead.