So this is a theory I've had for a few years. Typically at launch the gameplay mechanics, with regard to hitting and batted balls, plays pretty well. The game is fun, there's a lot of variety in batted ball and hit types, and there tends to be more non-HR XBH and runners on. As the year progresses, it seems that batted balls and hitting outcomes are more stingy and the game feels "off". The game becomes increasingly devoid of offense, with HRs being the main source of offence sprinkled in between a lot of flyballs that used to be XBH. My belief is that this is due to the influence of high diamonds and in particular the effect of high H/9 and HR/9 stats needed to balance the hitting attributes of high diamond position players.
I'm consistently a NMS player, and I'm still using cards that I used from launch including TN Yermin Mercedes and LS Muncy. These cards who once hit very well for me are not generating a whole lot. This is understandable in the sense these cards are "obsolete", but there remains one big issue: with the same timing and PCI positioning, batted ball outcomes are drastically different. That is to say for the same batter, I can hit the same sinker down and away, pretty much dead center of the PCI, and with good timing, and watch what used to be a no doubt home run be consistently a routine fly-ball out. Similarily, POTM Byron Buxton when released was routinely hitting HRs on anything even with poor PCI placement, but now is playing like a normal card.
That makes no sense.
In addition to the batted ball outcomes, I suspect that the overall increase in fielding stats of players that get released throughout the season only help to contribute to diminished BABIP as groundballs and gappers turn into outs, and increased range shortens ABs by way of foul outs.
Curious what you guys think of this. In years past it was blamed on patches, but I'm starting to believe it's the effect of unusually high attributes causing the game mechanics to play differently.