Starting pitchers in Major League Baseball have seen better days. That’s because today’s orthodoxy puts them on the mound for just a few innings, followed by relievers and closers that keep batters guessing. But as OZY reports, that could change: For the first time since 1969, relief pitchers have a higher earned run average (4.49) than their starting colleagues (4.48).
What accounts for this change? For one, batters are hitting more home runs, which boosts the ERAs of players throwing more pitches. But relievers don’t have as many great pitches as starters, possibly explaining that phenomenon, too.