Rays By The Numbers

After winning 21 of their last 28 games, the Rays are back in first place in the AL East with a record of 22-15 and believe it or not, only 1.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians for the best record in the American League. The Rays have accomplished this by taking advantage of all facets of their team. The starters and bullpen have locked down the opposition with the help of superb defense behind them. The offense is back at full strength with the return of Evan Longoria, the breakout season being put on display by Matt Joyce, and the return of the 2009 Ben Zobrist

Looking inside the numbers for the Rays offense and pitching thus far this season (numbers through Wednesday evening's game) it appears as the offense has more room to grow (low BABIP and uncharacteristic walk total), but the starting pitching and bullpen may be pitching with the benefit of some of the luck factors (low BABIP, high LOB%, E-F gap). A quick look at the Rays overall team numbers are provided after the jump.

After looking at the numbers the following questions came to mind:

  • After leading the league in drawing walks in 2010 with 672, why aren't the Rays drawing  walks this season? 
  • Which component of Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, or Jason Bartlett's game have not been replaced by someone on the 2011 squad? 
  • The statistics for the offense are weighted down by the very poor start during the first 9 games of the season. With Longoria back, Matt Joyce having a breakout season, and Ben Zobrist back to being Zorilla how good can this offense be? 
  • After the Rays pitching staff finished 2010 2nd in K/9 with 7.4, why are they struggling at only 12th in the league with 6 K/9?
  • Do the luck numbers for the starting pitching and bullpen necessarily point to a significant regression?
  • Given the premium the Rays place on defense how long does the team continue to play John Jaso with his inability to block balls in the dirt?

OFFENSE

Runs per Game: 7th at 4.42 and the league average is 4.28. The Yankees are first with 5.18 and the Twins last at 3.23.

Home Runs: 8th with 34 and the league average is 33. The Yankees are first with 55 and the Twins are last with 17.

Average: 10th at .248 and the league average is .251. The Angels are first at .270 and the Twins last at .231.

On-Base Percentage: 10th at .310 and the league average is .321. The Yankees rank first at .341 and the Twins last at .296.

Slugging Percentage: 6th at .406 and the league average is .393. The Yankees are first at .454 and the Twins last at .325.

On-Base Plus Slugging: 9th at .716 and the league average is .714. The Yankees are first at .794 and the Twins last at .622.

Drawing Walks: Last in the AL with 103  (tied with the Twins) and the league average is 122. The Red Sox are first with 140.

Striking Out: 5th with 264 and the league average is 246. The Angels are first with 294 and the Twins last with 204.

Batting Average Balls in Play (BABIP): 10th at .290. The A's have the lowest at .264 and the Angles the highest at .322.

Stolen Bases: 3rd in Stolen bases with 37 and the league average is 26. The Royals are first with 46 stolen bases and the Orioles last with 11.

OVERALL PITCHING

Runs per Game: 2nd  at 3.47 and the league average is 4.28. The A's are first at 3.41 and the Twins last with 5.34. 

Earned Run Average (ERA): 2nd at 3.23 and the league average is 3.91. The A's are first at 2.75 and the Twins last with 4.91. The Rays starters rank 4th at 3.43 and the bullpen ranks first at 2.71.

Field Independent Pitching (FIP): Overall the Rays pitching staff ranks 7th at 3.86. The Rays starters rank 4th at 3.91 and the bullpen ranks 7th at 3.76.  

E-F Gap: Overall the Rays pitching staff ranks 1st at -0.65. The Rays starters rank 1st at -0.47 and the bullpen is 3rd at -1.05.

K/9: Overall the Rays pitching staff ranks 12th with 6 and the league average is 6.7. The Rays starters rank 10th at 6.24 and the bullpen ranks last at 5.23.

BB/9: Overall the Rays pitching staff ranks 4th with 3.2 and the league average is 3.3. The Rays starters rank 8th at 2.8 and the bullpen ranks 7th at 3.97.

Batting Average Balls in Play (BABIP): Overall the Rays pitching staff has the lowest BABIP at .258. The Rays starters have the lowest .267 as the bullpen also has the lowest at ..234.

Left on Base Percentage (LOB%): Overall the Rays pitching staff ranks 2nd in LOB% at 75.8%. The Rays starters rank 2nd at 76.6% and the bullpen ranks 9th at 74%.

DEFENSIVE METRICS

Defensive Efficiency: 1st at .734 and the league average is .702. The Mariners are last at .682.

Errors: 1st with fewest errors committed with 14 and the league average is 22. Texas is last with 34.

Total Zone, Total Fielding Runs: 1st at 25 and the league average is 3. The Mariners are last with -20. 

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