Author Archive

Baseball Smart Stats Awards

November 1, 2011

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.

Insight and analytics brought to you by SAP.

Sign up for automatic email notices in the Email Subscription area by clicking here.

Access more SAP Baseball Analytics by clicking here.

Play the SAP Baseball Challenge by clicking here.

Advertisements

Rangers Frozen

October 28, 2011

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?

Insight and analytics brought to you by SAP.

Sign up for automatic email notices in the Email Subscription area by clicking here.

Access more SAP Baseball Analytics by clicking here.

Play the SAP Baseball Challenge by clicking here.

The Marvolous Mike Napoli

October 25, 2011

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.

Insight and analytics brought to you by SAP.

Sign up for automatic email notices in the Email Subscription area by clicking here.

Access more SAP Baseball Analytics by clicking here.

Play the SAP Baseball Challenge by clicking here.

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

October 20, 2011

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?

Insight and analytics brought to you by SAP.

Sign up for automatic email notices in the Email Subscription area by clicking here.

Access more SAP Baseball Analytics by clicking here.

Play the SAP Baseball Challenge by clicking here.

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

October 19, 2011

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.

Insight and analytics brought to you by SAP.

Sign up for automatic email notices in the Email Subscription area by clicking here.

Access more SAP Baseball Analytics by clicking here.

Play the SAP Baseball Challenge by clicking here.

Do or die for the Tigers

October 13, 2011

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.

Insight and analytics brought to you by SAP.

Sign up for automatic email notices in the Email Subscription area by clicking here.

Access more SAP Baseball Analytics by clicking here.

Play the SAP Baseball Challenge by clicking here.

Pressure is on the Pitchers in this Pivotal Post-Season Match

October 6, 2011

In the must win game five of the ALDS both the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers will place their Championship hopes on the arms of two young, inexperienced pitchers. Game five will be a rematch of game one, where Yankees’ Rookie, Ivan Nova’s two earned runs over six and a third innings earned the victory over Doug Fister and the Tigers. While on the surface it appears that Ivan Nova had the more dominant regular season, as he collected 16 victories and only four losses, opposed to Fister’s 11-13 Win-Loss mark. However, over the last two months of the season, Fister was the best pitcher on the Tigers, (A staff that features presumable Al Cy Young winner, Justin Verlander), going 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA in 11 starts. Check out Nova’s and Fister’s home and away records in the regular season.


While Fister’s had a phenomenal August and September on the hill, he only faced clubs with winning records twice in his 11 starts. Nova, playing in the AL East, faced fierce lineups all year. Compare the amount of Earned Runs Nova and Fister allowed in each of their starts and how it affected their ERAs. Notice that Nova’s ERA was very mercurial while Fister’s ERA significantly tapered off towards the end of the season while facing sub-par lineups.


Examining tonight’s starting pitcher’s Strikeout to Walk Ratio when broken down by home and away, one notices that Fister’s control is more consistent. Also, Nova’s 1.39 home Strikeout to Walk Ratio is nearly three times less than Fister’s 4.12 away Strikeout to Walk Ration and reduces the Bronx Bombers’ advantage at Yankee Stadium.


Fister’s overall regular season WHIP (Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched) was .26 points better than Nova’s and Fister’s away WHIP is .34 points better than Nova’s home. Check out Fister’s and Nova’s WHIPs in the regular season.


While is appears that Fister is the better pitcher, if one factors in their Strikeout to Walk Ratios, WHIPs and Fister’s stellar August and September, Nova was much better in game one. Will Fister again blow up against the powerful Yankees’ lineup and torpedo the Tigers’ season? Or will Nova’s inexperience and lackluster numbers at Yankee Stadium derail the Yankees’ October? Either way a young pitcher will likely become a postseason hero.

Insight and analytics brought to you by SAP.

Sign up for automatic email notices in the Email Subscription area by clicking here.

Access more SAP Baseball Analytics by clicking here.

Play the SAP Baseball Challenge by clicking here.

In a New York Nightmare

October 4, 2011

With the struggling A.J. Burnett toeing the rubber in a critical ALDS game four this evening, the Yankees’ 2011 season could be over in a New York minute. Burnett (11-11, 5.15 ERA) has a 7.66 ERA in his last ten starts and allowed five runs in six innings against Texas for a Yankees loss in last year’s ALCS. The Yankees will have to overcome some recent history as well, because since 2007 no team has won a playoff game starting a pitcher with an ERA over five. Check out how Burnett’s ERA has fluctuated this year and skyrocketed at the end of the season.

This nightmare scenario for Yankees fan becomes even dimmer when one notices the slumping production of the Yankees’ best bat, Curtis Granderson. Even though Granderson was tied for fourth in the Majors with 77 Extra Base Hits this season, the overall trend of the number of Extra-Base Hits he hit per week was down. Much worse, Granderson’s batting average was a dismal .205 in September. Meanwhile, the Tiger’s best hitter and AL batting Champion, Miguel Cabrera, had an upward trend for Extra Base hits throughout the season (he was third in the Majors with 78) and finished the year with a sizzling .429 batting average in September. Compare Grandrson’s and Cabrera’s Extra Base Hit production in 2011.

The nightmare match up continues when one compares the Tiger’s and Yankees’ Designated Hitters. Detroit’s Victor Martinez batted .333, drove in 103 Runs and only struck out in 8.6 percent of his plate appearances in the 2011 regular season. Yankee DH, Jorge Posada is batting a dismal .169 outside of the Bronx this season. Posada is a major liability at the plate tonight in Comerica Park, as he only had 13 RBIs and struck out in a whopping 23.9 percent of his plate appearance on the road this year. Compare Martinez’s and Posada’s offensive production this season.

With a struggling pitcher on the mound and slumping bats at the plate will tonight be the end of the Yankees’ season?

Insight and analytics brought to you by SAP.

Sign up for automatic email notices in the Email Subscription area by clicking here.

Access more SAP Baseball Analytics by clicking here.

Play the SAP Baseball Challenge by clicking here.

ALDS Ace Showdown, Take Two

October 3, 2011

With game one of the ALDS suspended due to heavy rain on Friday evening, the much anticipated showdown between pitching aces Justin Verlander and C.C. Sabathia will instead commence tonight at Comerica Park. The series is tied up at one game a piece so this evening’s assumed pitching duel will go along way in determining who move onto the ALCS. This match up taking place 650 miles west in Detroit as opposed to the Bronx appears to give a distinct advantage to Justin Verlander. Five of Sabathia’s eight losses this season have come on the road. Verlander has only lost one game in Detroit since May. Also, Sabathia’s 2.90 Strikeout to Walk ratio on the road is almost half his 5.22 Strikeout to Walk ratio at home. Meanwhile, Verlander’s 4.60 Strikeout to Walk ratio in Detroit is only slightly better than his 4.16 road Strikeout to Walk ratio. Compare Sabathia’s and Verlander’s win loss records and Strikeout to Walk ratios at home and on the road.

Click for much further analysis of Sabathia’s and Verlander’s performance this regular season.

It is highly unlikely that both squads would send their aces to the hill on such short rest in a potential game five, so this pitching showdown shall be decisive for both the Yankees’ and Tiger’s Championship hopes.

Insight and analytics brought to you by SAP.

Sign up for automatic email notices in the Email Subscription area by clicking here.

Access more SAP Baseball Analytics by clicking here.

Play the SAP Baseball Challenge by clicking here.

Keys to the Game: Rangers Vs. Rays, ALDS Game Three

October 3, 2011

Splitting the first two games of the series in Arlington, the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays will seek a decisive game three victory this afternoon at Tropicana Field. The Rangers will send Colby Lewis (14-10, 4.40 ERA) to the hill. Lewis has been streaky this season but did pitch eight shutout innings in Tampa Bay this July. Lewis went 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA in the 2010 postseason and is 3-0 in three career starts against the Rays. Tampa Bay will counter with struggling David Price (12-13, 3.49 ERA), who has not won a game in over a month. Also, Price has never defeated the Rangers, including two devastating losses to Texas in last years ALDS, and has an enormous 5.69 ERA in six career starts. Check out how many Runs Colby Lewis and David Price allowed in each start this season and how it effected their ERAs.

Click for much further insight on Lewis and Price.

Will Lewis continue his postseason and career success against the Rays or can Price snap out of his funk and pitch a dominant game?

Insight and analytics brought to you by SAP.

Sign up for automatic email notices in the Email Subscription area by clicking here.

Access more SAP Baseball Analytics by clicking here.

Play the SAP Baseball Challenge by clicking here.