Posted at 9:40 AM on May 5, 2008
by Than Tibbetts
The Twins did David one better, sweeping the Tigers to jump into first place in A.L. Central with a 16-14 record. For all practical — and statistical — purposes, the Twins shouldn't be there.
Minnesota at or near the bottom in more than a handful of offensive categories in the American League: dead last in on-base percentage and walks; second-to-last in runs scored, home runs and at-bats, only one step up from there in the strikeouts category, and 10th in slugging. By the numbers, the only offensive bright spots are batting average — third in the A.L. at .266 — and stolen bases — second, thanks to Carlos Gomez's league-leading 13 thefts.
One thing struck me while perusing the Twins on Baseball Reference: according to some fancy statistimatics, the Twins should be 14-16, according to the Pythagorean W-L calculation, which calculates a winning percentage based on runs scored and runs against.
You may recall that the Twins hitters occasionally like to explode for double-digit runs. Three times this year they've scored more than 11 runs. Take those games out of the aforementioned calculation, and the father of numbers, er.. the father of numbers predicts the Twins should be 10-17, probably good enough for the bottom spot in all big league baseball.
Yesterday's delightful 7-6 comeback victory sort of exemplifies the confusing A.L. Central. The Tigers' well-paid, high-powered offense isn't translating into wins, while the Twins — 7-4 in one-run games — are scrapping along, picking up valuable wins against their division opponents.
Does this mean a wild ride into playoff time?
Perhaps. At least I can take great joy in these statistics in the meantime.
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)