The Major League Baseball season is now a mere week-and-a-half old, a time span that is both nothing but can feel like forever. That short amount of time leads to all sorts of statistic anomalies … and some downright weirdness. Here's a look at an incredibly strange statistic for each
The Major League Baseball season is now a mere week-and-a-half old, a time span that is both nothing but can feel like forever. That short amount of time leads to all sorts of statistic anomalies … and some downright weirdness. Here's a look at an incredibly strange statistic for each of MLB's 30 teams so far.
American League East
The Orioles are averaging more than 11 strikeouts a game -- they struck out 15 times in their extra-inning win over the Yankees on Sunday -- and have struck out more than twice as much as three other MLB teams. The 2013 Astros hold the MLB record for most strikeouts in a season with 1,535, which averages out to just below 9 1/2 a game.
Boston Red Sox
Before getting hurt sliding into the dugout tracking a foul ball Sunday, Xander Bogaerts had the highest average distance on balls hit in baseball, more than four feet longer than the second-place hitter, Michael Trout.
New York Yankees
Giancarlo Stanton has three home runs, and only four hits that are not home runs, in 48 plate appearances. Since his three hits on Opening Day, he is hitting .108, 4-for-37.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays have one hitter with an OPS+ above 100 (100 is an average hitter): Denard Span. Span is also one of only two of the Rays' lineup regulars with more hits than strikeouts. (Matt Duffy is the other.)
Toronto Blue Jays
Randal Grichuk singled in his first at-bat in a 5-3 win over the Yankees on March 31. He is since 0-for-April and has gone 0-for-26 since that hit.
Chicago White Sox
Matt Davidson famously hit three home runs on Opening Day, and he also went 2-for-3, scoring four runs, in a loss to Detroit on Thursday. In the six games other than those two, he's gone 2-for-21. He nevertheless is tied for the American League lead in home runs and is third in slugging.
The Indians have the lowest batting average in baseball by a rather dramatic margin: They're hitting .158, more than 100 points lower than their .263 mark in 2017. The lowest single-season batting average since 1900 belonged to the 1912 Chicago White Sox, who hit .212. There are currently five teams below that mark. (It has been very cold outside.)
The Tigers have two home runs … but are tied for seventh in the American League in runs scored.
Kansas City Royals
The Royals also have two home runs … but are last in the Majors in runs scored, averaging nearly three runs a game less than the Tigers.
More than half the Twins' regulars have an OPS-plus above 159, which means they have five starting hitters at least 50 percent better than the average hitter. (They are, in order, Miguel Sano, Eduardo Escobar, James Dozier, Joe Mauer and Max Kepler.) One of their big free-agent acquisitions and No. 4 hitter, Logan Morrison, is 1-for-19 on the season.
The Astros have the best ERA in baseball, at exactly 2.00. They've given up 20 earned runs in 10 games. That's more than two runs better than last year's team, which, by the way, won the World Series. If you're curious, the lowest team ERA in the last 50 years was the 1968 St. Louis Cardinals, with 2.49.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels might be the least selective, most productive offensive team in baseball. The Angels have the fewest walks per game in baseball -- just 22 non-intentional walks in 10 games -- but still lead the Majors in total bases with 172. (Along with home runs, and two-way players. They have one of those. It's pretty exciting.)
Before Shohei Ohtani nearly threw a perfect game on Sunday, the A's were actually tied for the MLB lead in hits (with the Angels, actually) and second in the American League in walks.
The Mariners have the worst Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) in the Major Leagues, at 5.44, and their pitching staff has given up nearly two home runs a game. Opponents have hit nearly twice as many homers as the Mariners have. They nevertheless have a winning record.
The Rangers have the oldest average pitchers' age in baseball this year at 31.1.
National League East
The Braves have by far the best offense in baseball, scoring more than seven runs a game, but they're doing it despite having only 10 total home runs. How? Well, they're getting on base at a ridiculous clip. The Braves have three players with more than 10 plate appearances who have reached in half or more than their plate appearances: Freddie Freeman (.558), Ryan Flaherty (.514), and Lane Adams (.500).
The Marlins have three homers on the season so far, one each for Brian Anderson, Miguel Rojas and Derek Dietrich, if you're wondering. The Marlins' starting outfielders last year, now playing for the Yankees, Cardinals and Brewers, have combined for five.
New York Mets
Not to get Mets fans too excited, but the Mets' starters entered Sunday with a 2.77 ERA. The ERA for the five best starters on 1986 Mets, the World Series-winning team considered by some to have the best rotation of the last 40 years, was 3.05.
J.P. Crawford, formerly a Top 10 prospect, has come to the plate 25 times so far this season and has only gotten on base twice, with a single and a walk. Despite this, he has scored three times. (He reached once on an error.) This is only one fewer run than teammate Maikel Franco, who has two homers.
The Nationals have two starting pitchers with ERAs under 1.64 and two hitters with an OPS above 1.535 … and they are under .500 at 4-5.
The Cubs have more intentional walks (seven) than any other team in baseball. No one else has more than four. Their team leader in intentional walks is Javier Baez, who is hitting .148.
Joey Votto has led the National League in on-base percentage six times in his career, including last season. He has yet to score a run in 2018.
Closer Corey Knebel is on the disabled list, and replacement Jacob Barnes coughed up his second save opportunity on Saturday night, but the Brewers' bullpen remains the team's strength: Relievers currently on the active roster have given up only six earned runs so far this season, the best in baseball. (Knebel had given up three on his own.)
Pittsburgh has scored the third-most runs in baseball, and with good reason: Every single regular member of the Pirates' lineup other than catcher Francisco Cervelli has an OPS+ higher than 131 (100 is league average). Their best hitter has been Gregory Polanco, with an OPS+ of 201. In 2017, his mark of 81 was the worst among Pirates starters.
St. Louis Cardinals
Much has been made of the fastball velocity of rookie Jordan Hicks, who has (perhaps temporarily) taken the fastball crown from Albertin Chapman, but he has been effective as well. He has faced 20 batters, only two of which have hits, and he hasn't given up an earned run. Despite the velocity, oddly, he has only struck out three batters.
Paul Goldschmidt is hitting only .100, with only one-extra base hit. The D-backs are nevertheless 7-2 and have a four-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers. They have not had a four-game lead over the Dodgers at any point since the 2011 season.
Chris Iannetta is hitting .346, but not only is he the only regular Rockies starter without a home run, he has scored fewer runs than everyone else in the lineup. Iannetta actually has as many assists as runs scored.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have just 96 total bases, an average of 10 1/2 a game. In 2017, the Dodgers averaged 14 1/2 total bases a game, roughly a home run a game less than what they've done so far.
San Diego Padres
Manuel Margot, who stole 164 bases in six Minor League seasons, finally attempted his first steal of the season on Sunday. (He was safe.)
San Francisco Giants
Andrew McCutchen had a career-high six hits, including a walk-off homer, in Saturday's win over the Dodgers. That is three times as many hits than he had in his entire Giants career heading into that point. With those six hits, he raised his average from .083 to .258. He was 0-for-4 on Sunday, his first game since the Dodgers outburst.
Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.