I am listening to the XM Radio and the Rotowire Fantasy Hour with Chris Liss on XM Sports Nation. He is talking with the ubiquitous Jeff Erickson about the effects of switching leagues for starting pitchers and how positive the move is from the AL to the NL.
This used to be accepted as true, but unquantifiable, for any single pitcher. I still believe that to be the case. However, the clarity with which I see it becoming an accepted fact and specifically applicable to every player scares me. (Note: I commented on Allan Schwarz's NYT piece here.)
Why? Because I am not sure a deflator/inflator can be applied evenly across the small sample of pitchers who switch leagues each year. Recall Mr. Schwarz's sample was taken over five years and included just 29 AL emigrees and 28 NL emigrees - fewer than 6 per year.
To provide the "proof" this is true, many casual listeners will remember how poorly Beckett did with the Red Sox in 2006 versus the Marlins in 2005. However, I think of Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson switching to the "easier" NL a couple years ago.
Are you ready to deflate AL-to-NL pitchers 13% while inflating NL-to-AL pitchers by 13% and drafting accordingly? Ted Lilly 12th round because he is going to have a 3.80 ERA. with 180 Ks?