SI Daily Cover: The 1981 Season Was a Chaotic Time for MLB and Could Be a Window Into How the 2020 Season Will Look Statistically

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For today's Daily Cover, SI senior writer Tom Verducci took a look back at another delayed season in MLB history. In 1981, the league was fraught with distrust between players and owners which led to the players holding out until August with a strike. The 1981 MLB season was wild and tumultuous as one would expect 80s baseball to be, but the shortened season didn't yield much change in run production. It's a yearly conversation among baseball fans whether it will be a hitter's year or a pitcher's year - and as for this year? As Verducci says, "We just don't know."

Read the full transcript below:

Tom Verducci: When Major League Baseball returns, who will have the upper hand? The pitchers or the hitters? Be prepared to hear a lot of opinions on that subject. But here's the truth. We just don't know. Go back to 1981, which is probably the most analogous situation to what we have this year. Players, because of the strike were out for two months and they came back in August. What happened to run scoring? Well, they scored 8.19 runs per game in August. The regular season average in '81? 8.00. So runs went up two percent. That's essentially within the margin of error. No change. 

Now, here's one difference. Back in 1981, they played with the same 25-man rosters even after being out for two months. This year we're likely to see 30-man rosters and 20-man taxi squads. So that means you're liable to see even more pitching changes than we normally see these days in Major League Baseball. Bottom line, we just don't know.

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