Baseball Smart Stats Awards

November 1, 2011 by

What an wonderful Baseball season! From Jeter’s 3,000th hit to the exciting final day of the regular season to David Freese’s heroics for the World Champion Cardinals, 2011 was a real treat for Baseball fans. Now that the season is in the books let’s honor the best players and team from the season.

Best Hitter
While 2011 will be remembered as a low scoring, pitcher friendly season, many hitter still put up incredible numbers. Check out the offensive production of the top Major League hitters.

RBIs (Blue), Home Runs (Purple) & Total Bases (Red)

While many players were able to knock in over 100 runs including Matt Kemp’s phenomenal 126, Boston’s Jacoby Ellsbury was the best hitter this season. Ellsbury batted .321 with 105 RBIs, 32 Home Runs and lead the Majors with 364 total bases.

Best Starting Pitcher
Fantastic pitching was abound this season, including Philadelphia’s dominate trio leading the Phillies to over 100 wins and Justin Verlander and Jared Weaver twice squaring off in enthralling pitcher’s duels. Compare some of the pitching statistics of the top pitchers in baseball.

Earned Runs Allowed (Blue), Strikeouts (Purple) & Walks (Red)

Even though Clayton Kershaw had amazing season for the Dodgers with his 248 strikeouts, Detroit’s Justin Verlander was hands-down the Major’s best pitcher. Verlander lead the Majors with 24 wins and 250 Strikeouts and recorded his second career no-hitter in 2011.

Best Closing Pitcher

The 2011 season saw some huge records set by closing pitchers. Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel’s 46 saves shattered the record for most saves by a Rookie. An even better record though, was Mario Rivera becoming the all time saves leader when he recorded his 602nd save in September.
Check out the numbers for this season’s top closing pitchers
.

Saves (Blue), Pitching Strikeouts (Purple) & Walks (Red)

While these all these records were impressive, there was no better closer this season than Detroit’s Jose Valverde. Valverde lead the Majors with 49 saves but the fact that he did not blow a single save all season made Valverde 2011’s best closing pitchers.

Best Team
While the Phillis won 102 games and the Brewers were an amazing 57-24 at Miller park this season, the best team defeated both of them in the playoffs on their way to their 11th World Championship. Even though they need an epic collapse from the Atlanta Braves and all 162 games to make it into the playoffs, the St. Louis Cardinals rode their September momentum all the way to Championship. Check out the offensive numbers from the Cardinals’ incredible September.

RBIs (Blue), Runs Scored (Purple) & Home Runs (Red)

Thank you to all who partook in the SAP Challenge throughout the season. Hopefully Smart Stats provided you with with insightful analytics and gave to a greater appreciation for great game of Baseball.

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Rangers Frozen

October 28, 2011 by

In game six David Freese twice froze the Texas Rangers’ on the cusp of the Championship. First in the bottom of the 9th, on his and the Cardinals last strike, Freese belted a game-tying two run triple. Then Freese forced a game seven with a solo walk-off Home Run in the 11th. Freese now has 19 RBIs in the postseason which is tied for the most every in playoffs. Freese’s offensive outburst in the playoffs is even more incredible seeing that he had a quiet regular season with only 55 RBIs and 10 Home Runs. Check out Freese’s pedestrian regular season numbers.

RBIs (Blue), Runs Scored (Orange) & Home Runs (Green)

Will Freese and the Cardinals put the Rangers’ Championship hopes on ice tonight in game seven?

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Game 6 of the World Series

October 26, 2011 by

In game 6 of the World Series tonight, Colby Lewis will get his first chance to pitch for a title. Lewis, who pitched Game 2, limited the Cardinals to one run off four hits and pitched six and 1/3 innings. Pitching for the Cardinals will be Jaime Garcia. Garcia will pitch a must-win game in order to force a Game 7. Take a look at both pitchers.

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The Marvolous Mike Napoli

October 25, 2011 by

Rangers catcher, Mike Napoli, is having a productive postseason and a stupendous World Series. In the first five games of the World Series Napoli is batting .400 with two Home Runs and nine RBIs and has a slugging percentage of 1.100! Napoli’s four multiple RBI games in a World Series has tied Micky Mantel’s all time record. Napoli’s two RBI double in the 8th inning last night propelled Texas to a 4-2 victory and moved the Ranger’s one win away from their first ever Championship. Napoli was both monster at and behind the plate in game five. He threw out two runners trying to steal second base and called a great game all night to help the Rangers’ pitchers strand 12 Cardinals base-runners. While catching during the regular season, Napoli only allowed 20 stolen bases and caught 13 base-runners. Check out Napoli’s defensive numbers in the 2011 regular season.

Stolen Bases (Blue) & Stolen Bases Caught (Orange)

If the Rangers win the World Series, it would be a real shock if Napoli is not named the MVP of the series.

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Rangers’ Pitching Meltdown

October 23, 2011 by

Game three of the World Series ended with the Cardinals up two games to one. The Rangers, who had the home field advantage, seemed to struggle throughout the game. Rather than complaining over the blown call in the third inning (yes, yes, we know), the Rangers should examine how they really lost the game: poor pitching and Albert Pujols’ bat, to name a few.  The Cardinals demolished the Rangers’ pitching for 11 runs and nine hits during the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. Albert Pujols hit not one, but three home runs during the game. Although the Rangers are only down by one game, statistics suggest that the Rangers have struggled against the Cardinals during the entire series. For example, the Rangers have led in only one of 27 innings. Tonight, game four continues in Texas with Derek Holland pitching. Take a look at his stats for the season. Do you think he can save the ball club from defeat?

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World Series Travels To Texas Tied 1-1

October 21, 2011 by

Following last night’s blunder in the 9th by the Cardinals, the Rangers have tied the series one game apiece. With only three outs needed for a 2-0 deficit, the Rangers rallied in the 9th to tie the series and add momentum in their favor. The series will resume on Saturday with the Rangers having the home field advantage. Take a look at how the Rangers have played at home this season.

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Lewis and Garcia: Both Pitching in their Place of Strength Tonight

October 20, 2011 by

Game two of the World Series features a match up of two pitchers who perform the best in this situation. The Rangers’ Colby Lewis has been dominant in the post season and on the road this season while Jaime Garcia of the Cardinals brings his best stuff while toeing the rubber in Busch Stadium. Colby Lewis was 9-5 with a 3.43 ERA and 3.96 Strikeout to Walk Ratio away from Arlington Ballpark this regular season. Check out Lewis’ numbers on the road in the regular season.

Earned Runs Allowed (Blue), Hits Allowed (Orange) & Strikeouts (Green)

Lewis’ career numbers in the playoffs are even better. Lewis is 4-1 with a 2.37 ERA in five post season starts. The Cardinals will counter with the young Lefty, Jaime Garcia, who has been phenomenal at home this season. Garcia only allowed 28 Earned Runs and six Home Runs in St. Louis this season going 9-4 with a 2.55 ERA. Check out Garcia’s great numbers at home this regular season.

Earned Runs Allowed (Blue), Hits Allowed (Orange) & Strikeouts (Green)

If Texas hopes to avoid going down 0-2 they will need a stellar performance form their journeyman hurler. Will the confidence Lewis gained honing his skills for two seasons in Japan produce another much needed postseason victory for Texas? Or will the young Garcia have yet another fantastic start at home and propel the Red Birds to a two game World Series lead?

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Will NL All-Star Victory give St. Louis an Edge in the World Series?

October 19, 2011 by

With the National League winning the 2011 All-Star Game, the St. Louis Cardinals will enjoy home field advantage in the World Series. Will four potential games in Bush Stadium, played with NL rules, give the Cardinals the extra advantage needed to raise the Commissioner’s Trophy? The Rangers will have to sit their powerful DH, Michael Young. Young had his best regular season ever in 2011, knocking in a career best 106 runs and batting .338. Check out Young’s phenomenal power at the plate in the 2011 regular season.

RBIs (Blue), Hits (Orange) & Total Bases (Green)

Fortunately, the Rangers were able to win the American League with a struggling Michael Young. Young has been slumping in the post-season, batting a dismal .209 and has more Strikeouts (8) than RBIs (7). However, where the Cardinals’ home field advantage could really hurt the Rangers’ is having an almost automatic out in their lineup. This season, Texas’ pitchers went 3 for 24 (.125), with no RBIs in three series in NL ballparks. Check out how the Rangers’ pitchers performed at the plate this season in road inter-league games.

Hits (Blue), At-Bats (Orange) & Total Bases (Green)

While the Cardinals’ pitchers are not Ted Williams at the plate, they are much better hitters than Texas’ pitchers. St. Louis’ starter tonight, Chris Carpenter is two for six this postseason and Edwin Jackson had a .307 batting average this regular season. Check out how the Cardinals’ four probable starters did at the plate this regular season.

Hits (Blue), At-Bats (Orange) & Total Bases (Green)

Will St. Louis’ home field advantage propel them to their 11 World Series Championship? Keep in mind that since 2003, when the League that won the All-Star game had home field advantage, the team with home field advantage have won the World Series four out of seven times. Last years was the only time, since 2003, that the NL earned home field advantage and the Giants defeated the Rangers in five games.

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Game 1 of the World Series

October 19, 2011 by

The World Series officially starts today. The Rangers will take on the Cardinals in St. Louis. This matchup should prove interesting, especially since these two teams have not met this season. The Rangers and the Cardinals have played the fewest games between a pair of opponents in the Majors. The last time the Rangers and the Cardinals faced off was in 2004 for a three game series in Texas. Needless to say, this series will remind many people of the olden days–many players facing each other for the first time– before NL and AL teams played other during the regular season. Click on the chart to take a look at the teams’ offensive and defensive stats.

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Do or die for the Tigers

October 13, 2011 by

Down three games to one in the ALCS, the Detroit Tigers will place the fate of their season onto the arm of Justin Verlander. Verlander won 24 games with a minisule 0.92 WHIP in a phenomenal regular season but after collecting a lose in game one of the ALCS his postseason ERA has soared to 6.75. Fortunately for the Tigers, C.J. Wilson, who will start for Texas this afternoon, has struggled even more this postseason. Wilson has allowed three Home Runs in two starts and has an enormous 7.45 postseason ERA.

While Texas’ offense was much more productive in the regular season, they have scored 19 runs so far this postseason, the same amount as the Tigers. Surprisingly, Detroit’s batters have reached 10 more bases than the Rangers. However, the Tigers continuously squander their base-runners and have grounded into eight double plays this post season!

Runs Scored (Blue), Total Bases (Oragne) & Double Plays Grounded Into (Green)

Detroit has lost two heart break extra inning games this series and if they hope to rebound and progress to the World Series they must stop grounding into double plays and convert their extra base hits into runs.

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