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Lineup is Pretty Good

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Two other great teams come to mind with our slash-and-burn, pass-the-baton style of attack: the 2002 Angels and the 2014 Royals. The Angels had five (almost six) regulars with OPS over 800; amazingly, the Royals had none.

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That Royals team from 2014-15 was really annoying in that they never swung at bad pitches.  You get them down two strikes and they wouldn’t chase anything at all.  Three inches off the plate and they still wouldn’t bite.  Also their lineup 1-9 was equally dangerous all the way through.  No superstars, but zero holes anywhere.  

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Percentage of games scoring at least 5 runs:

Colorado 12/16 75%
Baltimore 13/18 72%
San Diego 14/20 70%
Houston 11/18 61%
LA Angels 11/19 58%
Chicago Cubs 9/16 56%
NY Yankees 10/18 56%
Atlanta 11/20 55%
LA Dodgers 11/20 55%
Detroit 8/16 50%
Philadelphia 7/14 50%
Everyone else  < 50%

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46 minutes ago, JR Oriole said:

That Royals team from 2014-15 was really annoying in that they never swung at bad pitches.  You get them down two strikes and they wouldn’t chase anything at all.  Three inches off the plate and they still wouldn’t bite.  Also their lineup 1-9 was equally dangerous all the way through.  No superstars, but zero holes anywhere.  

You're right, that 2015 Royals lineup had dangerous depth, with five at 800+ OPS and Zobrist a virtual regular adding a sixth at .816.

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13 hours ago, JR Oriole said:

That Royals team from 2014-15 was really annoying in that they never swung at bad pitches.  You get them down two strikes and they wouldn’t chase anything at all.  Three inches off the plate and they still wouldn’t bite.  Also their lineup 1-9 was equally dangerous all the way through.  No superstars, but zero holes anywhere.  

The 2014 and 2015 Royals were 4th and 5th in the majors in percentage of time they swung at pitches outsize the zone (O-swing%).  They swung at non-strikes almost as often as any team in the majors.

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1 hour ago, DrungoHazewood said:

The 2014 and 2015 Royals were 4th and 5th in the majors in percentage of time they swung at pitches outsize the zone (O-swing%).  They swung at non-strikes almost as often as any team in the majors.

Yeah. Those teams didn’t hit for much power either. It clicked for a couple of seasons. They didn’t walk or hit HR’s but it worked for them. 

I think the AL was much more balanced then. Had no dominant teams.  

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48 minutes ago, eddie83 said:

Yeah. Those teams didn’t hit for much power either. It clicked for a couple of seasons. They didn’t walk or hit HR’s but it worked for them. 

I think the AL was much more balanced then. Had no dominant teams.  

In '15 every team in the AL was between 68 and 95 wins.  That might be the most balanced season of any Major League ever.  If every team was identical you would still see teams with 70 and 90 wins, so that was close to the Platonic ideal.

The 2007 National League only had a 22 game spread between the Pirates and D'backs.

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4 minutes ago, DrungoHazewood said:

In '15 every team in the AL was between 68 and 95 wins.  That might be the most balanced season of any Major League ever.  If every team was identical you would still see teams with 70 and 90 wins, so that was close to the Platonic ideal.

That was also the most recent offensive nadir the game has seen.  I wonder if there is a connection?

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5 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

That was also the most recent offensive nadir the game has seen.  I wonder if there is a connection?

Maybe? 

In 1908 scoring was the lowest ever, and the Cubs won 64% of their games, the Cards 32%, nearly a 50-game spread.  In '68 the Tigers won almost 64% of their games, the Senators just over 40%, a 38-game spread, which is pretty typical.  In 1930 runs were at a 20th century high and there were 50 games separating the A's and Red Sox.  1894 was the highest scoring year since the founding of the NL, and the O's finished 53 games ahead of Louisville in a 130-ish game schedule, but that was a long time ago in a primitive league. 

I don't know.  It's hard to tease out the effects of other things from the overall compression of win loss records over time.

My guess is that '15 was a combination of luck, few teams tanking yet, and the gradual evolution of the game towards greater parity, and it was mostly coincidence that runs were down.  Although changing circumstances might have a leveling effect as high-resource teams struggle to shift long-term investments to the new context. In other words, the Yanks bought their Mark Teixeiras for the PED era and he was still there for the dip in offense even if he wasn't an optimal player for the new way of doing things.

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2 hours ago, DrungoHazewood said:

The 2014 and 2015 Royals were 4th and 5th in the majors in percentage of time they swung at pitches outsize the zone (O-swing%).  They swung at non-strikes almost as often as any team in the majors.

Ah, facts.    But it’s also true that they struck out the fewest times in the league both years.   They had a 146 strikeout margin over the next closest team in 2015.

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17 minutes ago, OFFNY said:

o

 

(vs. NATIONALS, 8/15)

 

Orioles Use Unconventional Lineup to Beat Nationals

(By Roch Kubatko)

https://www.masnsports.com/school-of-roch/2020/08/orioles-use-unconventional-lineup-to-beat-nats-7-3.html

 

o

o

 

The Orioles have scored 5 runs or more 14 times this season, and they are 12-2 in those games.

 

SOURCE: Steve Melewski

 

https://www.masnsports.com/steve-melewski/2020/08/notes-on-os-20-game-start-the-bullpen-and-more.html

 

o

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o

 

(vs. NATIONALS, 8/16)

 

The Oriole offense was able to rally for 5 runs in 7 innings off of )Max Scherzer.

Unfortunately, a large early lead for the Nationals and a defensive miscue late in the game was too much to overcome to get a team win.

 

o

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So about that pretty good lineup...

The injuries to Hays and Iglesias is really exposing the lack of depth. Slumps by Nunez and Ruiz and all of a sudden most of the lineup is a black hole. 

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2 minutes ago, Moshagge3 said:

So about that pretty good lineup...

The injuries to Hays and Iglesias is really exposing the lack of depth. Slumps by Nunez and Ruiz and all of a sudden most of the lineup is a black hole. 

Hays wasn't an asset to the lineup.  He wasn't hitting any better than Mullins.

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