Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Twins at the break

The Twins are 45-43, 2.5 games behind Cleveland in the American League Central. This you can tell from a glance at the standings.

But the innards of that record are ... interesting.

For example: The Twins are 10-5 in games decided by one run. They are 12-20 in games decided by five or more runs.

This is NOT typical of good teams. The better the team, the more often they win in blowouts, and as a rule they have a lesser record in one-run games. Truly good teams turn the game they imight win close into an easy win and the game they might get blown out in into a tight contest.

For example: The Los Angeles Dodgers, who have the best record in baseball, are 12-10 in one-run games, but 21-4 in blowouts.

The Twins have been outscored on the season by 60 runs. The Pythagorean Theorum says their record should be 38-50. That's not the worst pythagorean figure in the AL, but it's close, and that suggests that the real record is something of a mirage.

Drilling a bit deeper:

Hitting: The average American League team has scored 4.71 runs per game. The Twins are averaging 4.58, ninth of the 15 teams. They are next to last in slugging percentage but seventh in on-base percentage, which is helped by the second-highest walk total in the league.

Minnesota also has the youngest lineup in the league (according to Baseball Reference, which weights the ages by at-bats and games played). As a general rule, hitters walk more as they age, which makes the Twins' high walk totals a bit of an oddity.

Pitching: The Twins (no surprise) have the second worst ERA in the league (4.89). They are one spot better in runs allowed per game (5.26) because they allow relatively few unearned runs. They have surrendered 135 homers, second-most in the AL, and they remain, as they have for years, dead last in the league in strikeouts.

Defensive metrics: The Twins currently have a DER -- Defensive Efficiency Rating -- of .694, meaning that they have turned 69.4 percent of balls in play into outs. This is fourth in the AL, and closer to seventh than to third. Their status in this metric has slipped over the past month or so.

The Twins rank better in some other metrics. They're second in the league in runs saved as estimated by the Total Zone method and third in runs saved as reckoned by Baseball Info Systems' methodology.

1 comment:

  1. How likely is a long losing stretch that drops them in the standings? I'm not optimistic. . . .