Friday, August 05, 2005

Scoring Runs - The Good, The Efficient and The Ugly

I thought it might be interesting to compare the American League when it came to how efficient various teams are when it came to scoring the runners they get on base and, obviously, how efficient they were at keeping their opponets from doing the same. Below is a table, in order by won-loss record, reflecting those numbers.

TeamTotal Base RunnersPct Runners ScoredOpp BaserunnersOpp Pct Scored
CHI1308 40.3%128233.6%

Although, it is not suprising to see all the teams with a shot at the post season to be among the most proficient at scoring their runners and generally (with the exception of the Yankees) much better at keeping their opponets from doing the same, here are some very interesting tidbits:

Chicago and Anaheim (yes, I said Anaheim intentionally) rank 11th and 12th in total number of baserunners - ahead of only mighty Tampa Bay and Kansas City. Yet, those two teams have dramatic spreads in the percentage of runners they score versus the percentage they allow to score. Chicago is second only to Texas in scoring 40.3% of their baserunners and Anaheim is well above average at 38.2%, but they both are at the top of the league in allowing less than 34% of their opponets baserunners to cross home plate.

Why is Minnesota fading in the wild card race? Well, look no farther than a league low 34.8% rate of baserunners scored. Although no one will confuse Minnesota with Texas offensively, the Rangers are putting less than one extra baserunner on base per game than the Twins. The Rangers, however, score their baserunners at a league leading 41% rate, fully seven points better than Minnesota. Why aren't the Rangers better (and they are over .500 anyway)? Well, the allow opponets to score 38.6% of their runners, identical to Boston and much better than New York, but at 1,432 baserunners allowed, the Rangers let too many guys on base (only Tampa Bay and Kansas City allow more).

These number reveal nothing earthshaking. After all, good hitting teams get guys on base and generally will hit more in. Good pitching teams will limit runners on base and pitch out of trouble when they do. Still, I believe that the above percentages do provide a glimpse into which teams combine good pitching with good defense and solid fundamental play which translates into low percentages of opponet baserunners scoring. On the offensive side, I think it reflects not only who can hit the ball, but hit the ball when it matters, move runners along when they need to, and run the bases efficiently.

For a recap of a dismal Royals' weekend, remember to check us out over at The Royals Authority.