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Did MLB De-Juice The Ball Right Before The Playoffs?

Rumors are swirling around MLB that the ball has been deadened for the postseason, leading to a decline in home runs after a historically dinger-filled season. Our team discusses the merits of these claims and, more importantly, whether MLB should be manipulating the ball.

The 2019 WNBA season wrapped up with the Washington Mystics claiming their first championship title in a Game 5 win over the Connecticut Sun. The Athletic’s Lyndsey D’Arcangelo joins us to reflect on the season and to forecast the league’s ongoing CBA negotiations.

Finally, our Rabbit Hole honors the most decorated gymnast of all time, Simone Biles, and takes stock of what Team USA’s performance at the World Gymnastics Championships signifies about our strategy for the 2020 Olympics.

What we’re looking at this week:

  • Rob Arthur’s work on the drag on the ball this postseason in Baseball Prospectus.
  • Jay Jaffe of FanGraphs is less convinced that there are significant changes to the ball.
  • The Washington Post breaks down the victories from this season’s WNBA and the battles still to come.
  • We can’t stop watching Simone Biles’s jaw-dropping routines — complete with new signature moves — at the 2019 World Gymnastics Championships.

Grace Lynch is the former producer of Hot Takedown.

Sara Ziegler is the former sports editor at FiveThirtyEight.

Neil Paine was the acting sports editor at FiveThirtyEight.

Geoff Foster is the former sports editor of FiveThirtyEight.