Friday, September 01, 2006

Ranking The Contenders Going into September

With one month to go in the season, the Tigers are still up by 4 ½ games after a poor August. As we head into the September pennant race, I thought it would be a good time to take another look at where the Tigers and other contenders rank in various hitting, pitching and fielding categories. The Ranks of the 5 main contenders in the American League Central division are shown in the table below. Here are the highlights:


The Tigers lead the league in run prevention but are only 8th in run production. They are 3rd in the league in pitching (FIP) and 1st in fielding (DER). Offensively, they are 6th in the league in power but do not get on base that much (12th). Their biggest weakness offensively is drawing walks (13th in the league).


The Yankees have the best offense in the league and are 5th in run prevention. They are the most balanced team in the league ranking above average in every category offensively and defensively. Their biggest strength is getting on base ranking 1st in that category. On the defensive side, they are 6th in pitching and 2nd in fielding.



The White Sox rank 2nd in run production but are 7th in run prevention. Their biggest weakness is pitching (11th) while their fielding ranks 3rd in the league. Offensively, they are first in the league in power and 6th in OBP.


The Twins rank only 7th in run production but are 3rd in run prevention. They are 1st in batting average but are 8th in walks and 13th in power. Defensively, they are 1st in pitching but only 10th in fielding.


The Athletics are the most unbalanced team ranking 2nd in run prevention and 11th in run production. They are not ranked especially high in either pitching (5th) or fielding (6th) but that is a result of teams being closely bunched together on both of those stats. Offensively, they are ranked below average in every category except walks per plate appearance where they rank 3rd.


Table: How the Top Contenders Rank among American League Teams


Category

Det

NY

Chi

Min

Oak

Record

83-51

99-53

78-55

77-55

77-56

Runs/Game

8

1

2

7

11

Runs Allowed/Game

1

5

7

3

2







BA

8

4

3

1

13

BB/PA

13

2

7

8

3

ISO

6

4

1

13

11

OBP

12

1

6

5

9

SLG

7

4

1

8

14

OPS

7

1

3

8

12







FIP(Pitching)

3

6

11

1

5

DER(Fielding)

1

2

3

10

6

ERA

1

5

8

3

2

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