Effectively Wild Episode 1605: Welcome to the World Series

Ben Lindbergh and Meg Rowley discuss the exciting seventh games that decided the ALCS and NLCS, the exits of the Astros and Braves, the Braves’ future, how the Dodgers defeated Atlanta, the joy of home run robberies, the Mookie trade revisited, and more, then preview the World Series, focusing on the return of off days, the similarities and differences between the Dodgers and Rays, how we got a matchup between the two top seeds, the dangers of shifting against right-handed hitters, the best way to frame the payroll disparity between Andrew Friedman’s former and current clubs, the Dodgers’ legacy, and the factors that could decide the series.

Audio intro: Billy Joel, "Got to Begin Again"
Audio outro: Vetiver, "More of This"

Link to Ben on NLCS Game 7
Link to Wood’s comments on the Dodgers’ mindset
Link to Eno on the aesthetics of the Rays
Link to postseason home run robberies montage
Link to Ben on the golden age of home run robberies
Link to Smith’s shift-beating grounder
Link to Tango on shifting against righties
Link to Meg on Gonsolin’s look
Link to Tom Ley on trading Mookie
Link to Ben on the Braves’ rebuild in 2019
Link to Baumann on the Braves’ pitching test in 2020
Link to Rob Arthur on postseason fastball velocity
Link to Jay on Arozarena
Link to Dan’s World Series preview
Link to FanGraphs playoff coverage

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The NLCS and ALCS were impacted as much by the lack of off days and the resulting impact on pitching and resulting managerial decisions as they were by the actual in-game pitching. Even a one day break after game 3 or 4 would have allowed both teams to plan a little more traditionally. One of the points of a best of 7 series is that one game shouldn’t decide it… and yet, for the Braves, the game 5 pitching implosion decided the series. I’m not taking anything away from the Dodgers; both teams played under the same rules and conditions.

Baseball 2020 is different for all the reasons that writers have written about but postseason 2020 is not comparable to recent pst because of the lack of off days.