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Why Dempster's impact will be minimal

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08:17 AM ET 08.03 | Welcome to the American League, Ryan Dempster -- who was rudely welcomed to the AL by the Angels Thursday night. Unfortunately for him, the Rangers are really counting on him, after Colby Lewis and Neftali Feliz were lost with season-ending injuries, and Roy Oswalt was declared a failure in his NL-to-AL transition. What can the Rangers expect from Dempster? "To me, he's a fourth or fifth starter in the National League," said one scout (not the same one cited earlier) who works for an NL team. "I don't care what his ERA [with the Cubs] is. It's going to be very difficult for him to pitch in Texas." ... [For his career] Dempster has a 4.63 ERA in 50 games against AL teams, as opposed to a 4.27 ERA against NL opposition.

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Ryan Dempster, Icon Sports Ryan Dempster, Icon Sports
August 3, 2012  08:29 AM ET

They are going to have to bash their way to the division title and beyond.

Comment #2 has been removed
August 3, 2012  08:48 AM ET

One game, not even five innings ... let's give him an opportunity.

Oswalt sucked before he got to the Rangers, can't blame his "failure" on switching to the AL.

August 3, 2012  08:49 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

They are going to have to bash their way to the division title and beyond.

They are good enough to bash their way into the playoffs, but they will need pitching to go anywhere.

August 3, 2012  09:13 AM ET

Agreed. NL is a cemetery of dead bats, from 6-9 in an order. Roger Clemens' ERA was microscopic in Houston, then returned to the Yankees and got shelled. Look what AJ Burnett is doing in Pittsburgh after flaming out in New York. The National League is a pitcher's best friend. Dempster will be remarkably average in Texas. The Rangers panicked because they lost out on Greinke, and HAD to pick up pitching help.

Comment #6 has been removed
August 3, 2012  09:27 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

They are good enough to bash their way into the playoffs, but they will need pitching to go anywhere.

they might get a sniff at Cliff Lee if they want to.

August 3, 2012  09:39 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

they might get a sniff at Cliff Lee if they want to.

Now that move IMO would do it.

August 3, 2012  09:59 AM ET

I think this will be a rude awakening for him.

August 3, 2012  10:04 AM ET

Both leagues have weak hitting ss and 2b, and most of the time weak hitting catchers also. Still the biggest difference is a power hitting DH not a power puff pitcher to face every night.

August 3, 2012  10:05 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

I think this will be a rude awakening for him.

it certainly was last night!

August 3, 2012  10:40 AM ET

Another performance like last night and we'll change his name to Dumpster.

August 3, 2012  10:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Both leagues have weak hitting ss and 2b, and most of the time weak hitting catchers also. Still the biggest difference is a power hitting DH not a power puff pitcher to face every night.

I just quickly checked the OPS splits year to date for the AL and NL by position. I found the results interesting. If you don't, feel free to go **** yourself.

Position - AL OPS - NL OPS

C - .707 - .725
1B - .771 - .776
2B - .675 - .717
3B - .729 - .762
SS - .671 - .695
LF - .764 - .769
CF - .771 - .738
RF - .765 - .766
DH (AL only) - .775
P (NL only) - .329

August 3, 2012  10:46 AM ET

According to those numbers, the AL only has an advantage at the CF and P/DH positions.

Regarding the P/DH slot, that 446 point difference is ****ing crazy.

August 3, 2012  11:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

I just quickly checked the OPS splits year to date for the AL and NL by position. I found the results interesting. If you don't, feel free to go **** yourself.Position - AL OPS - NL OPSC - .707 - .7251B - .771 - .7762B - .675 - .7173B - .729 - .762SS - .671 - .695LF - .764 - .769CF - .771 - .738RF - .765 - .766DH (AL only) - .775P (NL only) - .329

Why are you trying to confuse this discussion with facts? ESPN has explained to us over and over that the American League is superior to the NL, and the AL East is the permanent residence of the God-like monarchs of baseball.

Your stats largely confirmed Toad's comments--SS especially tends to be light hitting iin both leagues, and the P/DH split is the difference between the two. What I found surprising is that the NL out-hits the AL at every position except CF. I would never have guessed that from listening to the TV broadcasts.

August 3, 2012  12:00 PM ET

that's moronic. dempster's not sandy koufax, but he's a darn good big league pitcher who is gonna help any team in a pennant race.

August 3, 2012  12:01 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

I just quickly checked the OPS splits year to date for the AL and NL by position. I found the results interesting. If you don't, feel free to go **** yourself.Position - AL OPS - NL OPSC - .707 - .7251B - .771 - .7762B - .675 - .7173B - .729 - .762SS - .671 - .695LF - .764 - .769CF - .771 - .738RF - .765 - .766DH (AL only) - .775P (NL only) - .329

wow. those stats say a lot. i obviously realized there'd be a difference, but that's substantial, esp at certain positions.

August 3, 2012  01:14 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Why are you trying to confuse this discussion with facts? ESPN has explained to us over and over that the American League is superior to the NL, and the AL East is the permanent residence of the God-like monarchs of baseball.

You're getting a little ahead of yourself there.

While interesting, looking at the OPS's by position of the two league is not a good way to compare the relative strenghts of the leagues. All positions combined, the AL still does have the advantage in OPS.

Frankly, I would agree with ESPN (I'm taking your word for it that they said this because I never watch) that the AL is the superior league over the last decade or so. If you're going to compare the leagues, I think the best way to do it is by looking at the outcomes of 250+ yearly interleague games. The National league has not had a winning year agains the American league since 2003. This year, the AL took the series 142-110.

I do think that over the last few years, the NL has closed the gap to some extent, but the newly-found strenght of the AL West is making that more difficult.

I also believe that the AL East is, hands down, the best division in baseball. It's just a meat-grinder of a division. The last place team has a positive run differential and is only three games below .500. That's ridiculous. The Boston Red Sox, who appear to be floundering nine games back with a .500 record, have a positive 30 run differential, which is good for 5th in the AL. In my opinion, there are only a handful of teams from the other five division that wouldn't be completely buried in the AL East and probably only a couple that would actually compete.

August 3, 2012  01:17 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Your stats largely confirmed Toad's comments--SS especially tends to be light hitting iin both leagues, and the P/DH split is the difference between the two.

Yeah, but I wouldn't say that "SS is a light-hitting position" or "much of the offensive difference between the leagues is the DH" are Earth-shattering revelations. Seems both sentiments are well known.

 
August 3, 2012  01:19 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

What I found surprising is that the NL out-hits the AL at every position except CF.

I'd agree with you there. I would not have guessed that either.

If I feel so inclined, I might check into the leauges' OPSs by batting order and see what that turns up.

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