Anything You Can Do, I Can Replicate The Result
Posted by Kris N. on August 25, 2010
There are 37 games left for The Braves, 38 left for the Phillies, and 2.5 games separating them. While talking to Braves fans this weekend, I found that a lot of them did not think the team had the stuff to ultimately beat out the Phillies for the division, but they had the stuff for the wild card.
The Phillies have won 8 out of their past 13 games… So how to The Braves prevent them from gaining any ground? Well, going 8 – 5 in their past 13 games certainly helps.
1st Half Offense
2nd Half Offense
These numbers don’t surprise me at all. Braves wanted to trade away OBP for SLG at the deadline, and did that by acquiring Gonzalez and Ankiel. The number that did surprise me is Philly’s 2nd half OBP. That’s explained by Werth’s, Ibanez’s, and Gload’s 340 point increase, way to go fellas.
1st Half Pitching
2nd Half Pitching
Ahh, the luxuries of pitching in Turner Field! The Phillies pitching staff’s stats would look a lot better if they weren’t playing half their games in a shoe box nicknamed “CBP.” All the homeruns and doubles really aren’t helping the SLG percentage. Another detail you’ll notice is that both of the staffs are getting better, the Braves at a faster rate, and both are already good., maybe even the same.
xFIP is a stat that determines what a player’s/team’s ERA should be based off their strikeouts, walks, hit by pitches, etc. It also adjusts for a proper Home Run/Fly Ball rate, as it is not controllable. In these two teams, The Braves have a lower than average HR/FB rate (lucky), and The Phillies have an above average rate (unlucky). This is due to the difference in the pitchers park that is Turner Field and the homer friendly Citizen Bank Park. When you even out the “luck,” you’ll see that the Braves have a 3.90 xFIP and The Phillies have a 3.92 xFIP.
Re-evaluating The Braves Fielding
Despite pitching, The Braves defense looks like it can’t compete in the playoffs, or at least, a playoff race. Don’t let it fool you because it’s all a mirage. The Braves demoted their worst 2 defenders (Troy Glaus and Nate McLouth) and reduced the playing time of their 3rd (Melky Cabrera).
They also improved the defense at: (“Defensive Runs Saved” divided by number of plays)
- First Base – Glaus: -.08 DRS/Play / Lee: (for the Cubs + Braves) .02 DRS/Play
- Second Base – Prado: .01 DRS/Play / Infante: .05 DRS/Play
- Third Base – Chipper: .06 DRS/Play / Prado: .16 DRS/Play
- Center Field – McLouth: -.09 DRS/Play / Ankiel: .14 DRS/Play
And just in case you were wondering the drop off from Yunel Escobar to Alex Gonzalez:
Escobar: .10 DRS/Play / Gonzalez: .08 DRS/Play
So the defense is MUCH better than the first half team, but it doesn’t feel that way. That’s because The Braves have committed 15 errors in the past 16 games. That’s an average of .93 errors per game, which is a much more alarming rate than the previous 110 games, an average .71 errors per game. (Still pretty high, league average is .62 errors a game)
Nothing more you can really say about that, there is talent on the field, perhaps getting some crisp Colorado error is all they need. 😉