Tips from Experts on Evaluating Baseball Games for Aspiring Players
There would hardly be any place in the US, where baseball is not played. Whether it’s a slum or an elite neighborhood, a sugarcane farm or a billion-dollar high-tech stadium, baseball is quite ubiquitous. And besides being ubiquitous, it’s quite varied too, the variations being brought by the imaginative street children, high school aspirants and influential professionals. If you are an aspiring baseball player and want to know everything about MLB and learn how to watch and assess the game, I recommend you to visit True Sports, a portal that offers all game news from what the Rockies, Mets and Pirates need to make the playoffs to why Chicago Cubs will win the NL. Their experts share here tips and information on how to evaluate the sport on a professional level.
American and National Leagues
Major League Baseball (MLB) comprises of two leagues, viz. the American and the National. Each of these consists of fifteen teams and 3 divisions. The league is run by a commissioner who is elected by the thirty teams’ owners.
Each of the thirty teams has a farm system. The farm system is a series of smaller league teams players of which are at different stages of proficiency and which make a hotbed for bigger league players. Scouts are employed by teams to gauge amateur players’ talent from the high school and college sporting events across the US, Latin America and even Asia, the latter two being emerged as baseball breeding grounds.
A typical MLB season comprises of 162 games. Most of these are played inside the league of a given team, though interleague games are also played, normally a couple of such stretches, during a season’s middle third. (Every day there is at least one interleague play in MLB). Interleague game consists of teams hailing from the American League playing against the National League teams in the regular season. Before 1997, when it was first introduced, it only took place in the postseason.
During the initial five years, games were played within teams of the same divisions in different leagues, for example, AL Central vs. NL Central or AL West vs. NL West, etc. A new format was introduced in 2002 by MLB according to which a rotation of teams started so that interleague games were started being played within teams of different divisions in a given year. For example, the New York Mets have to play against New York Yankees every year, besides their scheduled divisional rivals. However, hometown rivalries were exempted from the rule.
Each division‘s winners progress towards the division championship playoff round of their league, together with the wild card team (the best team among the non-division winners). The winners in the two divisional series play against each other in the league championship series. And the series’ winners in each league get a chance to play in the World Series.
The active roster of each team has 25 players. An on-field manager leads the team along with the coaching staff. The organization’s baseball and commercial sides are in the control of the general manager. The GM is in charge of trading and drafting players, assembling the team, negotiating players’ contracts and several such tasks.
Some of the prominent teams in MLB as you may be knowing are Chicago Cubs, Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros and many more. At True Sports, you can get information of these teams as well as predictions like whether Baltimore Orioles will win the AL and much more.
Arbitrators in every MLB game are four umpires, one each at the 1st, 2nd and 3rd base and one behind the plate to call strikes and balls, along with other things.
Which is the Best Seat in the Stadium?
Actually the best seat in the stadium can be selected as per your personal preference of what you want to see. For example, if you want to cover the entire field and also if you want to watch the chess game between the hitter and pitcher at the same time, select a seat straight behind home plate.
Evaluation of Players
Evaluation of players is done by statistics, i.e. the numbers they collect in a season. The most widely accepted stats are:
Batting Average: The percentage of at-bats outcome in base hits of a player
RBI (Runs Batted In): The total number of runs generated by a hitter from his at-bats excluding runs generated out of errors made by the fielding team. An RBI is awarded to a batter upon getting a hit (home runs included), an infield out, a sacrifice fly, sacrifice bunt or a fielder’s choice causing runners scoring. In addition to this, if the batter is hit by a pitch, walked (based on balls), or meddled with and gets on base where the bases are full causing a run, the batter gets an RBI.
Home Run: A home run is hit when a batter comes back home safely with his bat’s one swing. Often home runs are hit over the fence; but sometimes a home run can also be hit inside the park. This happens when the player hits the ball inside the field but can round all the bases safely without an error or being tagged out.
OBP (On-base Percentage): This means how many times a player reaches base. It’s almost equal to times on base divided by the number of plate appearances.
Slugging Average: This refers to the total bases divided by at-bats. The true power of the batter is measured by this stat. Slugging average is added by OBP to find out OPS (on-base plus slugging).
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