A real consequence of the lower scoring environment is we will need to re-evaluate our reliance on...
A real consequence of the lower scoring environment is we will need to re-evaluate our reliance on OBP vs SLG as a measure of value for a hitter.
Regardless of the cause, a real consequence of the lower scoring environment is we will need to re-evaluate our reliance on OBP vs SLG as a measure of value for a hitter. As was noted in "Moneyball," in the high octane ‘90s and ’00s, OBP was generally more valuable than SLG, with the thinking that the out is valuable, and they should not be sacrificed for runs due to the fact this will limit your scoring in any given inning, and over the long haul it’s better not to give up outs (I know I’m simplifying here). However when a run environment changes, the relative value of outs and runs change, too.
To illustrate, imagine a slow pitch softball game vs. a fast pitch one. In a slow pitch game, people routinely hit .600, and given the extremely high chance that the man behind you will get on base, getting a single is almost as valuable as getting a double, and therefore risking an out by hitting the ball hard is less rewarding than taking a safe soft swing. In this high scoring format, outs are far more valuable than bases.
On the other extreme, a fast pitch game routinely ends in 1-0. In this atmosphere, the difference between a single and a double is high, as it greatly increases the odds that you will get one run that inning, which will often prove to be the winning one. The value of a HR is way more than 4 times a single for the same reason. Here, it’s well worth it to swing as hard as possible, and bunt, and generate productive outs, than in slow pitch, where such strategies all yield to the importance of not getting an out.
Comment by NJBammer at BtBS