• Jun
    01

    HHP: Kerry Leibowitz - Run Differential Through May


    by Kerry Leibowitz

    Run Differential Through May 31

     

    AMERICAN LEAGUE

                         

    Team

    R

    OR

    R DIFF

    G

    R/G

    OR/G

    DIFF/G

    PW%

    EXP W

    ACT W

    W DIFF

    Baltimore

    280

    257

    23

    55

    5.09

    4.67

    0.42

    .543

    30

    31

    1

    Boston

    275

    228

    47

    56

    4.91

    4.07

    0.84

    .593

    33

    33

    0

    Chicago

    183

    215

    -32

    52

    3.52

    4.13

    -0.62

    .420

    22

    24

    2

    Cleveland

    266

    245

    21

    54

    4.93

    4.54

    0.39

    .541

    29

    29

    0

    Detroit

    273

    212

    61

    53

    5.15

    4.00

    1.15

    .624

    33

    29

    -4

    Houston

    220

    312

    -92

    55

    4.00

    5.67

    -1.67

    .332

    18

    18

    0

    Kansas City

    205

    215

    -10

    52

    3.94

    4.13

    -0.19

    .476

    25

    22

    -3

    Los Angeles

    247

    258

    -11

    55

    4.49

    4.69

    -0.20

    .478

    26

    25

    -1

    Minnesota

    222

    248

    -26

    52

    4.27

    4.77

    -0.50

    .445

    23

    23

    0

    New York

    222

    204

    18

    54

    4.11

    3.78

    0.33

    .542

    29

    31

    2

    Oakland

    265

    236

    29

    56

    4.73

    4.21

    0.52

    .558

    31

    32

    1

    Seattle

    202

    236

    -34

    55

    3.67

    4.29

    -0.62

    .423

    23

    24

    1

    Tampa Bay

    271

    244

    27

    54

    5.02

    4.52

    0.50

    .552

    30

    30

    0

    Texas

    257

    197

    60

    54

    4.76

    3.65

    1.11

    .630

    34

    34

    0

    Toronto

    244

    286

    -42

    55

    4.44

    5.20

    -0.76

    .421

    23

    23

    0

     

    3632

    3593

    39

    406

    4.47

    4.42

             
                           

    NATIONAL LEAGUE

                         

    Team

    R

    OR

    R DIFF

    G

    R/G

    OR/G

    DIFF/G

    PW%

    EXP W

    ACT W

    W DIFF

    Arizona

    222

    205

    17

    54

    4.11

    3.80

    0.31

    .540

    29

    30

    1

    Atlanta

    242

    193

    49

    54

    4.48

    3.57

    0.91

    .611

    33

    32

    -1

    Chicago

    221

    210

    11

    53

    4.17

    3.96

    0.21

    .526

    28

    23

    -5

    Cincinnati

    262

    195

    67

    55

    4.76

    3.55

    1.22

    .644

    35

    34

    -1

    Colorado

    261

    236

    25

    55

    4.75

    4.29

    0.45

    .550

    30

    28

    -2

    Los Angeles

    187

    222

    -35

    53

    3.53

    4.19

    -0.66

    .415

    22

    23

    1

    Miami

    152

    238

    -86

    55

    2.76

    4.33

    -1.56

    .290

    16

    14

    -2

    Milwaukee

    216

    261

    -45

    53

    4.08

    4.92

    -0.85

    .406

    22

    20

    -2

    New York

    207

    244

    -37

    52

    3.98

    4.69

    -0.71

    .419

    22

    22

    0

    Philadelphia

    192

    242

    -50

    55

    3.49

    4.40

    -0.91

    .386

    21

    26

    5

    Pittsburgh

    209

    186

    23

    55

    3.80

    3.38

    0.42

    .558

    31

    34

    3

    San Diego

    216

    242

    -26

    54

    4.00

    4.48

    -0.48

    .443

    24

    25

    1

    San Francisco

    243

    245

    -2

    54

    4.50

    4.54

    -0.04

    .496

    27

    29

    2

    St. Louis

    250

    178

    72

    53

    4.72

    3.36

    1.36

    .664

    35

    35

    0

    Washington

    193

    215

    -22

    55

    3.51

    3.91

    -0.40

    .446

    25

    28

    3

     

    3273

    3312

    -39

    405

    4.04

    4.09

             

     

    Orioles Notes

    At a superficial level, the Orioles essentially treaded water during the month of May.  At the end of April, the club was 16-10 with a +26 RDIFF and a 0 WDIFF.  At the end of May, those numbers are 31-24; +23, +1.  But dig a bit deeper and a somewhat different picture emerges.

     

    On the morning of May 1, the Orioles had scored 138 runs (5.11 per game) and allowed 112 (4.15), ranking third and sixth respectively in those categories in the American League.  The per game averages at the end of May show the Orioles ranking second in runs and 11th in runs allowed.  During the month of May, the Orioles scored 5.07 runs per game (third in the AL for the month)—nearly a perfect replication of their April performance—but allowed 5.18 runs per game (13th), more than a full run per game worse than April.  The biggest problem for the club’s pitching staff was the longball; the Orioles surrendered 43 home runs in 28 games in May, worst in all of major league baseball.  In April, the club allowed 29 home runs in 27 games.

     

    AL Notes

    There are no significant WDIFF outliers in the AL East.  The Red Sox continue to be the best performing team in the division, with the third best RDIFF in the AL, on the strength of significantly better than average offense and pitching/defense.  To date, they’re clearly the best balanced team in the division.  The Yankees have the #2 OR/G average in the AL and they’ve needed it, because the offense is now 11th in the league (at the end of April they were 6th) and it remains to be seen if the return of some of the members of the club’s previously injured starting lineup will produce an improvement.  (The Yankees scored a bit more than 3 ½ runs per game in May, a full run below the league average for the month.)  One of the most surprising developments in baseball thus far this season has been the Rays getting it done with the bats.  The team’s offense (third in the AL) has been the driving force; the pitching/defense has been roughly league-average.  The Blue Jays have the second worst RDIFF in the league, largely a function of the worst pitching staff in baseball outside of Houston.

     

    The Tigers have been the league’s biggest underachiever, with a -4 WDIFF.  They are neck-and-neck with the Rangers for the best RDIFF in the AL and are clearly the best team in the Central Division, if not the league.  The Indians have been a surprise, and have been getting it done with plus offense and average pitching/defense but have teetered a bit of late.  The rest of the division simply hasn’t been very good.  The Royals are one of only three clubs in the AL scoring fewer than four runs per game, which has more than offset the team’s better than average pitching/defense.  The Twins have been run-of-the-mill below average in both categories and the White Sox have sported the worst offense in the league.

     

    Out West, the Rangers are the class of the division, though the formula has been a bit different:  the best pitching/defense in the league and above average (but no better than that) offense.  The A’s are hanging tough, though May’s shocking best-in-league offense has cooled off dramatically…but their surprisingly poor OR/G mark in April has been replaced by the second best performance in the league in that category in May.  The Angels used a run of good play in the second half of May to rise to their current level:  mediocrity.  It’s the same old story for the Mariners, with the second worst offense in the league and modestly better than average pitching/defense.  The Astros simply aren’t fielding a major league team and are presently on pace to be outscored by roughly 270 runs this season.  To put that in perspective, only 44 teams in modern (i.e. since 1901) major league history have been outscored by at least 270 runs, a feat mostly recently accomplished by the 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates (-279).

     

    NL Notes

     In RDIFF terms, no one is even close to the Braves in the East.  They’ve been well above average in both R/G and OR/G and they hold the division’s only positive RDIFF, hard as that may be to believe.  In fact, Atlanta is the only team in the NL East even close to the break even mark in run differential.  The Nationals have put up a mediocre record but their RDIFF suggests that they should be below .500. They have a +3 WDIFF.  The Nats simply haven’t played well this year, mostly because of the third worst offensive performance in the NL.  The Phillies have, in RDIFF terms, been the second worst team in the league and are only being kept afloat by a +5 WDIFF which is masking the fact that they’ve been outscored by nearly a run per game thus far this season.  The Mets have had the reverse problem—the second worst pitching/defense in the league, and an average offense.  The Marlins are the NL’s version of the Astros in terms of competitiveness, but the real story here is the remarkably poor offensive performance of the team.  The Marlins are scoring fewer than three runs per game (2.76) one-third of the way into the season.  The last team to score at a rate this low was the 1942 Philadelphia Phillies.  The other five teams to “accomplish” this feat in the modern era all played during the deadball era.  So no team that didn’t play during WWII or the deadball era has ever had this much trouble scoring runs for a full season.  It will be interesting to see how poorly the Marlins do as the rest of the season unfolds.  No team has scored fewer than three runs per game over the course of an entire season since 1972 when both the Rangers and the Angels did it.

     

    The Central hosts the two best RDIFF teams in the NL—the Cardinals and the Reds.  The Cards have the best pitching/defense in the league and a solid offense.  The Reds are just a hair ahead of St. Louis with the bats and a tick behind them with the arms.  This should be a great race.  The Pirates are playing well, but they’ve been a bit lucky to date (+3 WDIFF).  They have been almost as good at run prevention as the Cardinals, but the team’s offense has been below league average levels.  The Cubs have the biggest negative WDIFF in baseball (-5) and have, shockingly, posted a positive RDIFF to date (though this is mostly due to a series of lopsided wins over the course of the last week).  The Brewers have been, by far, the worst team in the division based largely on the league’s worst pitching/defense (by a wide margin).

     

    The Rockies and Diamondbacks have been the class of the West, but that’s not saying much.  Removing the effect of Coors Field, the Rockies have been an average offensive team and a better-than-average pitching/defense club, while the Diamondbacks have been the reverse.  The Giants, by all rights, have simply been a slightly overachieving .500 caliber club thus far, with a particularly disappointing performance by the pitching staff.  The Dodgers have really earned their poor record; the offense has been awful (13th) and the pitching/defense has been mediocre, so the Mattingly Watch goes on.  Considering the impact of Petco Field, the Padres have been a surprisingly potent offensive club, but their pitching/defense has been a real disappointment. 


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