Thursday, April 7, 2011

Getting Carried Away with 6 games of Data

I got curious how the Cubs were stacking up to other teams. I know the record is even, so middle of the pack. What what about the sabremetrics? The stats behind the stats that are a better indicator of how the team has done and where it's going in the future.

Some stats have more luck involvement than others, like the record. First, I will focus on the stats with the least luck involvement.

Strikeout rate - 16.7% Cubs are tied 3rd in the National league. That's certainly a good sigh. Especially when paired with the 9.8% walk rate, 5th in the league.

They have a low line drive percentage, the best kind of hit, 13th in the league, but they have hit the fewest grounders of any team, making them first overall in fly balls hit. Fly balls are good in general. This is where homers come from. Only 6.5% of these fly balls have become homers though, making them 11% in that category.

So there are two possible conclusions for the first week. The Cubs lack power, or the Cubs jusst haven't been hitting the home runs that are coming to them. With the likes of Soto, Soriano, Pena, Ramriez, I think it's the latter. The Cubs might see more home runs as the season progresses.

For pitching, the best metric for predictive success is xFIP. The Cubs are 3rd best in that in the league. So that is a very good sign. tERA is another one used. The Cubs are 6th, but first in the division. The pitching has been pretty good.

The significance of all this is low unfortunately, since the Cubs have played 6 games against teams that don't figure to be part of the playoff hunt. But if you are hard up for Cubs reading material then here you go.

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