Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Is The Tigers Offense Inconsistent?

How consistent has the Tigers offense been this year?
(Photo credit: Steve Mitchell, USA Today Sports)

Throughout the year, Tigers fans have expressed a good deal of frustration with the Tigers offense.  If you look at the raw statistics, the Tigers lead the American League with a .754 OPS and are third with 4.6 runs per game.  So, what's the problem?  The claim is that the Tigers offense is "inconsistent".  I'm going to investigate that theory here.

One definition of inconsistent is that they mix good hitting months with poor hitting months.  Table 1 below shows that their offensive output was very similar from April through July scoring 4.5 runs per game in April, 4.7 in May, 4.7 in June and 4.8 in July.  They also ranked between second and fourth in the AL each month. The outlier is August where they have scored only 3.8 runs per game, good for only ninth in the league.  So, it's been a bad month so far, but they were pretty consistent the first four months.

Table 1: Tigers Runs Per Game By Month
Month
RPG
Rank
April
4.5
4
May
4.7
4
June
4.7
4
July
4.8
2
August
3.8
9
Data Source: BaseballProspectus.com

Another thought is that the Tigers have a good season average runs per game, but they have a disproportionate number of games where the offense goes completely flat.  As shown in Table 2 below, the average MLB team has scored either 0 or 1 runs in 19% of their games which is probably more than you thought.  The Tigers have been held to 0-1 runs only 15% of the time, so they have been shut down less than the average team.  Additionally, the Tigers have scored just 2-3 runs in 26% games compared to the MLB average of 29%.

The Tigers score more runs than an average team though, so it makes sense to compare them to the best hitting teams.  The run distributions for the eight highest scoring teams is included in Table 2.  Only the Angels have had fewer games of 0-1 runs (8%) with all the other teams falling between 15%-17%.  Moreover, only two teams - the Brewers (24%) and Blue Jays (25%) - have had fewer games of 2-3 runs.  Overall, the Tigers run distribution looks quite typical for a good hitting team.

Table 2: Distribution of Runs Per Game
Team
RPG
0-1
2-3
4-5
6+
MLB Avg
4.1
19%
29%
25%
27%

Oakland
4.8
15%
28%
22%
35%
Los Angeles (AL)
4.7
8%
32%
26%
33%
Colorado
4.7
17%
30%
18%
34%
Detroit
4.6
15%
26%
26%
33%
Toronto
4.5
17%
25%
25%
33%
Cleveland
4.3
16%
31%
24%
29%
Milwaukee
4.3
17%
24%
30%
30%
Baltimore
4.3
15%
32%
22%
32%
Data Source: BaseballProspectus.com

Based on the data above, it seems that the Tigers offense have been pretty consistent this season relative to other teams.  They are having a bad month though and that needs to be turned around quickly.

1 comment:

  1. Good post. I think its difficult for fans to grasp how much luck plays a factor in the game despite the constant evidence to the point. Too much is attributed to advantages in skill

    Pythagorean theory has the Tiger at one win less than their current record, so given the number of runs they've scored and the number scored against them, they are about right where they should be. That goes against the argument that they disproportionately win big and loose small.

    ReplyDelete

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