Among the many ideas that have surfaced about a potential 2020 Major League Baseball season have been the prospect of seven-inning doubleheaders. If that comes to fruition and/or becomes a prevalent occurrence, teams with great starting pitching can coast to the playoffs.
When a prototypical ace takes the hill, the opposition expects them to go at least six, maybe seven innings depending on how dominant they can be. Imagine a scenario where them doing so is a complete game. They get into a groove on the hill and don’t have to even think about facing an order a fourth time.
Empty the tank, and call it a day.
Even in outings where pitchers struggle, all they have to do is bear down and get through five innings, leaving their bullpen to get just six outs. In a day and age where relievers are so heavily leaned on, seven-inning doubleheaders takes weight off their shoulders. They’d have to get six less outs — barring extra innings — and even if the team’s starting pitcher gets rocked they only have to find a way to get through a few innings.
The league average for innings thrown by a starting pitcher per game by team last season was 5.2. The Los Angeles Angels were last,…