Effectively Wild Episode 1577: Chaos Theory

Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller banter about whether the idea of sports as a distraction from the pandemic has panned out, whether unexpectedly hot-starting teams like the Rockies and Tigers should “go for it” (and what that would entail), and what, if anything, MLB should do to address the curious case of Trevor Bauer’s spiking spin rates, then answer listener emails about the ideal balance between chaos and predictability, why lower pitch counts haven’t kept pitchers healthy, a clever solution for preserving extra-long games in the era of the automatic-runner rule, and pitchers calling their own pitches, plus a Stat Blast about how many more homers some of history’s greatest sluggers would have hit if they’d batted higher in the order.

Audio intro: L.E.O., "Distracted"
Audio outro: The Go-Betweens, "Your Turn My Turn"

Link to Will Leitch on how it feels to watch sports now
Link to story about streaking Tigers
Link to Ben Clemens on the hot Rockies
Link to playoff odds changes since Opening Day
Link to Ben on foreign substances and Bauer’s spin rates
Link to Jeff Passan on foreign substances and Bauer’s spin rates
Link to article about projections and the 2015 season
Link to Phil Birnbaum on the limits of predictions
Link to Ben on 2020’s injured pitchers
Link to Neil Paine on the unsolved injured-pitcher problem
Link to Russ Hull’s Stat Blast Song cover
Link to Michael Baumann on the odds of anyone reaching 700 homers
Link to Aaron Gleeman on the new no. 2 hitter
Link to video of Greinke calling his own pitches
Link to story about Maddux calling his own pitches
Link to Ben Gibbard’s “Centerfield”

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