Sarris: Does lifting the ball lead to more strikeouts?

From SABR member Eno Sarris at The Athletic on April 25, 2018:

It’s probably true that players are trying to lift the ball with more authority. It’s definitely true that players are striking out more. But does one beget the other? Does trying to hit the ball over the fence mean missing the ball more often? Is the game rife with uppercut swings that are designed to either homer or strikeout?

The answer is definitively yes. And no. And maybe. Which makes pursuing it as fun as it is futile.

First we have to establish that there is some league-wide trend towards lifting the ball more. This is our best evidence of the fact: league-wide launch angle is up a little, and especially up on hard-hit balls.

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Originally published: April 25, 2018. Last Updated: April 25, 2018.