04-15-2014, 06:09 AM #1
6-6 and Other Numbers of Interest
I like to look at ESPN's statistics as a quick and easy comparison of teams and players. I usually look when the Twins are playing well and look for positive trends--call me an optimist. Anyway, since the Twins just finished a sweep and got back to .500, I thought it would be a good time to look at some numbers and see what was sustainable and what was a likely statistical anomaly.
The run scoring is out of line with the Twins' other offensive numbers. They are second in the league in runs per game despite being near the bottom in team batting average, home runs and slugging. They have a positive run differential despite having a team OPS of .712 compared to their opponents .776. Those numbers will not stand, but there is a promising reason why the Twins have been efficient--they have gotten on base quite a bit (2nd in OBP in the AL) and they've hit quite well with runners on base. Improvements over any point last year, to be sure.
Further, the Twins have drawn 59 walks in 12 games, that is almost five per game, and the most walks in the American League. Certainly, some of this is small sample size, but there is a noticeably better approach by many of the hitters compared to last year. The Twins have fanned 112 times (more than nine per game), which puts them near the top in that category. It probably would be worse except that two of the team's most strikeout prone players are disabled currently. The pitching staff has uncharacteristically walked a lot of batters (46) and struck out among the least (78). The lack of strikeouts is to be expected, but not the walks.
After outhomering KC 5-0, the Twins still have hit three fewer long balls than their opponents (13-10). A series with Toronto usually hurts their home run ratio, but maybe they are on a roll. Notably, seven of the ten homers have come from two players who weren't counted on to provide that much power.
To summarize, the Twins are 6-6 after four series, all against teams with winning records in 2013, so that is quite acceptable. They have had a surprisingly good offensive showing, but their pitching has been bottom of the barrel, although they are coming off a real good weekend which included three quality starts. Perhaps their toughest part of the schedule runs from now until the end of the month. If they can hang around .500 through May 1, this team may well provide some entertainment this summer.
04-15-2014, 08:34 AM #2To summarize, the Twins are 6-6 after four series, all against teams with winning records in 2013, so that is quite acceptable.
04-15-2014, 08:35 AM #3
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They were .500 after 36 games last year.
04-15-2014, 09:27 AM #4
The walks and patient approach this year is a noticeable difference. Any insight from you guys that this was a designed effort by the coaches/Bruno?
If so, kudos to them. I think it's the single biggest factor behind the team's flukey scoring given the other statistics.
04-15-2014, 09:49 AM #5
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We've had some help. 15 unearned runs so far. Thanks!
04-15-2014, 10:44 AM #6
04-15-2014, 10:47 AM #7
This user likes stringer bell's post and wants to buy him/her a steak dinner:
04-17-2014, 03:10 AM #8
I'd like to play a fun game where we try and guess the last date of the 2014 season where the Twins will be at .500 or above. I'm guessing it's next week.
04-17-2014, 05:18 AM #9
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04-18-2014, 10:40 AM #10
OK. Another series is in the books and the early trends are continuing. The Twins lead the AL in runs per game, OBP and walks. They still have disappointing pitching numbers despite four solid starts in the last six games and they continue to take advantage of other teams' generosity, be it free passes or extra outs. I'll confess that after the Twins lost two of three in Chicago to open the season, I didn't think they would see .500 any time this year.
The coming road trip should be a good test. If the team comes back within sight of .500, I'll be satisfied and surprised.