Monday, August 18, 2008

2008 LOB Data, Six Weeks to Go

Two posts in one day? What's up with that? Either way, on to the post.

I don't update this nearly as often as I should or would like, but I've got a Google spreadsheet with information about 2008 team left on base numbers. It's basically a lot of numbers, but it contains a lot of interesting information, like how every team plates between 37 and 48% of their runners in scoring position. Every team also leaves between 54 and 64% of their baserunners on base at the end of innings. What's interesting is that driving those runners in doesn't seem to match up very well with the total runs scored by each team, at least in the National League.

For example, here are the LOB percentages (the number of baserunners is total times on base minus home runs - I only wanted to count guys who actually spent time on the basepaths) for each team in both leagues, with their league rank in runs scored per game in parentheses.

2008 National League, LOB% by Team
(through 8/17/08)
  1. Los Angeles, 58.20% (13)
  2. Chicago, 58.65% (1)
  3. Houston, 59.05% (11)
  4. Arizona, 59.15% (9)
  5. Colorado, 59.77% (5)
  6. Pittsburgh, 60.10% (7)
  7. San Francisco, 60.15% (15)
  8. New York, 60.43% (2)
  9. NL AVERAGE, 60.67%
  10. St. Louis, 60.74% (4)
  11. Atlanta, 60.96% (10)
  12. Milwaukee, 61.57% (6)
  13. Washington, 61.64% (16)
  14. Philadelphia, 61.94% (3)
  15. Florida, 62.21% (8)
  16. Cincinnati, 62.36% (12)
  17. San Diego, 64.34% (14)
2008 American League, LOB% by Team
(through 8/17/08)
  1. Minnesota, 54.59% (4)
  2. Los Angeles, 55.99% (8)
  3. Baltimore, 56.94% (3)
  4. Chicago, 57.04% (5)
  5. New York, 57.73% (7)
  6. Texas, 57.99% (1)
  7. Boston, 57.99% (2)
  8. Kansas City, 58.29% (13)
  9. AL AVERAGE, 58.38%
  10. Toronto, 58.90% (11)
  11. Detroit, 59.07% (6)
  12. Tampa Bay, 60.19% (10)
  13. Cleveland, 60.28% (9)
  14. Seattle, 60.57% (12)
  15. Oakland, 62.12% (14)
I guess having the pitcher bat must level the playing field in the senior circuit. Here are the numbers for each team expressed in percentage of runners in scoring position scored, again with runs per game in parentheses.

2008 National League, RISP Scored % by Team
(through 8/17/08)
  1. Chicago, 44.23% (1)
  2. Arizona, 42.79% (9)
  3. Los Angeles, 42.57% (13)
  4. Pittsburgh, 42.51% (7)
  5. Houston, 41.53% (11)
  6. New York, 41.33% (2)
  7. San Francisco, 40.64% (15)
  8. NL AVERAGE, 40.50%
  9. St. Louis, 40.41% (4)
  10. Colorado, 40.31% (5)
  11. Atlanta, 39.74% (10)
  12. Philadelphia, 39.48% (3)
  13. Cincinnati, 38.99% (12)
  14. Milwaukee, 38.90% (6)
  15. Florida, 38.33% (8)
  16. Washington, 37.65% (16)
  17. San Diego, 36.98% (14)
2008 American League, RISP Scored % by Team
(through 8/17/08)
  1. Minnesota, 48.38% (4)
  2. Baltimore, 45.55% (3)
  3. Los Angeles, 45.02% (8)
  4. Texas, 43.97% (1)
  5. Chicago, 43.49% (5)
  6. AL AVERAGE, 42.89%
  7. New York, 42.83% (7)
  8. Boston, 42.78% (2)
  9. Detroit, 42.41% (6)
  10. Kansas City, 41.84% (13)
  11. Cleveland, 41.42% (9)
  12. Seattle, 41.21% (12)
  13. Toronto, 40.94% (11)
  14. Tampa Bay, 40.16% (10)
  15. Oakland, 39.70% (14)
The Twins really bring the AL average up. Again, it's interesting to see how mixed up the National League teams are in terms of runs per game compared to their AL counterparts. Like I said above, maybe having the extra hitter in the lineup helps even things in the American League, but perhaps NL teams are more reliant on home runs (the average NL team has five more homers than the average AL team) and thus they don't get as many other base hits that drive runners in.

I guess the moral of the story is that leaving men on base and driving in runners in scoring position is important in scoring runs, but it's not the whole story. It's annoying when you've watched your favorite team fail at hitting with RISP yet again, but that doesn't mean they necessarily have a dysfunctional offense.

Oh, one final note. When the Cubs were getting everyone and their brother on base all the time earlier this year, they were on pace to set a new record for team left on base in a season by virtue of having a bazillion baserunners. Unfortunately (I guess?), they've fallen off that pace and now are just ahead of the Braves in LOB per game (the difference is 2 runners left on over 124 games). Of course, when you have the best offense in the league, you don't really care about such things.

2 comments:

Bopperland said...

Those "in the know" frequently take a look at my 2008 Blue Jays and try to figure out why the team with the #2 defense in the league and terrific pitching (including the best bullpen in baseball) is not contending as it should. Lyle Overbay admitted what we fans have known for a long time - they don't have timely hitting. That should show up on LOB and RISP stats, where they are both below average.

Do you have any stats to show how many of these LOBs and RISPs are due to the manager's worst enemy, the double play (or triple play, if even unluckier)? The DRK (designated rally killer) phenomenon is one of the few stats which can be attributed to managerial control, largely because of the batting order and pinch hitter decisions made.

Theron Schultz said...

Out of all thirty teams, Toronto is tied for the third-most double plays with RISP with 54. Only Seattle (58), Atlanta (57), Boston (54), and the Yankees (54) have as many or more.

If you look at just double plays with one out and RISP, the Blue Jays are tied for sixth with 36. I haven't looked at other teams, but the Jays have stranded 45 runners in scoring position due to 1-out double plays. That's less than 10% of their runners left in scoring position.

Of course, the other double plays undoubtedly cut down on the total number of runners in scoring position in the first place, lowering the total run-scoring opportunities.