MLB Stats: Making You The Smartest Fan Around
Baseball is a numbers game. We can watch as much as we like and evaluate talent based on the “eye ball test”, but production wins championships (both Fantasy and reality). Here are some trivia questions that you can impress the water cooler with and gain a further understanding about the direction the 2015 MLB season is headed as we prepare for the stretch run.
These are difficult questions, so I’m going to start you off with a fact moreso than a question … you know, to raise your confidence level a bit before the intricate questions turn you in circles.
- The San Diego Padres have two more wins than the Cleveland Indians but have been victim of a quality start from the opposing pitcher 51.2 percent more times.
- There are two players with a Top 20 ISO that are being walked less than six percent of the time. You can’t pitch around Nolan Arenado, so he shouldn’t be a major surprise, but who do you think is the other?
- At .311, Jose Altuve has the lowest BABIP of the 24 players hitting over .300 this season, but that’s not a surprise because he also ranks 24th on that list in batting average. The second lowest BABIP, however, belongs to the player with the sixth highest batting average in all of baseball. These metrics like him to be even better moving forward.
- Name the player (minimum 300 plate appearances) who has seen the highest percentage of his plate appearances end in either a strikeout or a walk.
- There is one player in the league with an O-Swing% over 39 percent that is hitting over .300. The statistics point to steep regression sooner rather than later.
- Of the 10 players who rank in the Top 10 in Swing%, who has the lowest strike out rate?
- There are two pitchers with a HR/FB% of at least 15 percent but have managed a sub-4.00 ERA. James Shields’ dominance minus the long ball has been well documented, but who is the other pitcher with a similar issue this season that could really have an impressive second half with home run normalization?
- There are 12 pitchers with a HR/FB% of no more than seven percent. The player with the lowest rate has the highest ERA and his name is …
- There are two starting pitchers who rank in the Top 20 in ERA and have the following advanced stat line: ERA > FIP > xFIP. Clayton Kershaw isn’t a shocker, as he has discovered his dominate form since struggling through May. The other pitcher is young than Kershaw and already in the midst of a breakout season: forget “the next” big thing, he may already be on that level.
- There are 13 pitchers that are getting batters to swing and miss at least 12 percent of the time and the average strikeout rate of those pitchers is 28.2 percent. Who is dragging that average down with 23.9 K%?
- It stands to reason that the starting pitchers with the highest BABIP against are ground ball oriented pitchers, as grounders simply have more moving parts in order to convert them into outs. That said, the truly unluckiest pitcher in baseball is a ground ball pitcher with a high BABIP and a high HR/FB%, as this type of pitcher tends to surrender harmless fly balls. CC Sabathia tops this list, but I think we can agree that his declining skill set and hitter-friendly park are here to stay. Other than the Yanks veteran, there isn’t a pitcher in baseball with a higher BABIP against and a higher HR/FB% than this pitcher.
Ever in the need for statistical insight? Feel free to contact me with questions and I’d be more than happy to investigate.
- Ryan Howard
- Buster Posey
- Steven Souza
- Billy Burns
- Yadier Molina
- Miguel Gonzalez
- Tyson Ross
- Chris Archer
- Michael Pineda
- Brett Anderson
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