Jump to content

There haven't been any easy games

Spy Fox

Recommended Posts

There's no such thing as a truly easy game, but I've had the feeling this year that we have played an unusually high number of close games, and an unusually low number of "comfortable" games where one team takes command and keeps it. I decided to take a quick look into some of the numbers.

Pitching Leverage Index

According to Fangraphs the Orioles pitchers have faced an average Leverage Index of 1.15, so our pitchers' assignments have been 15% more important to the game than the league average. This is the highest Leverage Index in the AL, and second highest in MLB behind St. Louis. Toronto is at 1.09, Tampa 1.04, Boston 0.97, and New York 0.94.

Hitting Leverage Index

For whatever reason, probably because we have had the lead more often than not, our hitters have faced a much lower leverage index. The Orioles hitters have a 1.02 Leverage Index for the year, 12th highest in MLB, 7th in the AL, and 4th in the division. Toronto is at 1.13, Boston and Tampa each 1.04, and New York 0.96.

Big Wins

Let's use a very loose definition and say a Big Win is something that doesn't automatically include a save situation, so winning by more than three runs. The Orioles have won only four games by more than three runs, and haven't won a game by more than three runs since beating Chicago 4-0 on May 7. To compare to the rest of our division, Toronto and Boston each have seven such wins, Tampa has 10, and New York has 14. 

Big Losses

Big losses are bad, and not really a good sign for your team. But at least they may not always be as stressful. Using the same method as above, the Orioles have had six losses by more than three runs. And again comparing to the AL East, New York has six such losses, Boston has seven, Tampa has eight, and Toronto has nine.

(Arbitrary Threshold Alert: If you say that a Big Loss is losing by more than four runs instead of by more than three, then the Yankees have only ONE big loss all year, a 7-1 loss to Toronto on May 1. Yikes.) 


We've played a lot of close games over the last five seasons but this year even more than others it's seemed that almost every game is mentally taxing. The numbers bear that out. We've had had only four relatively comfortable wins, the lowest in the division by several wins despite having the second-best record. And not many big losses either. The result is that the pitching staff leads the AL in Leverage Index by a pretty wide margin, meaning a lot of strain for both starters and relievers. I don't like to assign psychological explanations for individual players' performance. But it'd certainly be understandable if all these close games add to the mental exhaustion of the season, especially considering all the blown leads as of late. We need a couple big wins. Well, right now we need some wins of any sort. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Posts

    • I do think front offices generally are trying to get more innings from big relief arms, looking at what the Giants are doing with Jordan Hicks, or even the Brewers with DL Hall. I believe the Sigbots seeing so many Arms that can be good once through the order is some of how/why the SP5 role isn't as prominent anymore.    SP5 does have more pre-trade deadline importance as the middle-tier Clubs see who is and is not having a good season any given year. Akin has been so good so far I'm sure he'll get expanded opportunities for more innings if he keeps throwing well.    He'd be an interesting Opener against a lineup with some strong left handed bats, and after last night looking for ways to ease things up for Tyler Wells may be helpful.
    • Sometimes we need to tip our hat to the other team.  We weren't hitting or pitching.  They were. People under-estimate Peralta as "just" a 5 and diver. MIL is a good team.  Ortiz looks like he could be an answer to one of their holes.  Chourio having a ROY start.  And Yelich is a competitor.  Hoskins > Tellez.  Other than the long-term decision of cashing out on Burnes, they made some good moves this off-season.
    • Is that reaching for the line drives back up the middle?
    • Wells will continue to get starts in trying to pursue that goal.   But he needs to improve. Means and Bradish aren't ready yet. Akin could be stretched out in the mean time.   Its not effecting any of the other starters until Akin is ready to go 5 innings.
    • The BP Annual made brief mention of his pitching motion having elite extension.
    • True but Cowser is the only Elias/Sig high 1st rounder in this group.     Its been almost 4 years of at least some uncertainty if his game would translate to MLB at all, and 4 days to dream on. Cowser even more than Kjerstad felt like a floor more than ceiling profile, so this tease of "I'm gonna make Adley hit 5th" is a big moove.
    • Whether that happens immediately or after a game or two, I expect that is the general plan with Ramirez. We had the luxury of a couple open 40-man spots, so it makes sense to grab a fringe player with decent stuff that has a good chance to pass through outright waivers. I guess counter argument would be: why would Orioles need to trade for him if no team was going to claim him? The other reason he might not get outrighted immediately is our lack of right-hand relief options on the 40-man. The only ones are Baker and Ort. Despite being  our hardest throwing options (outside of Charles), they’ve both been terrible so far.   Among non-40 man relievers, the only righty who has been decent is Albert Suarez (assuming we’re not skipping Keegan Gillies over AAA). However, he is out of options so couldn’t be removed from MLB active roster in future without exposure to waivers. I expect Elias to wait for more visibility into Bradish/Means/Perez status before Suarez becomes a consideration.
  • Popular Contributors

  • Create New...