Continuing my “hot and cold” theme of late, here’s a visual of Josh Beckett’s 2009 season, with red indicating a quality start (minimum 6 innings pitched with no more than 3 earned runs allowed). The squares represent innings completed, with earned runs allowed inside each inning.
Everyone knows that the Sox are better at Fenway Park. What’s interesting to note is where that extra oomph in offense comes from. Here’s a graphic that shows the boost (or drop) in production (measured by OPS) for each starter in the lineup. Note the vast majority of the boost comes from the bottom of the order. The Red Sox will be relying on that tomorrow to extend this series.
Much has been made of the Angels’ running game and the Sox’ inability to throw out runners. Here’s a graphic comparing the base stealers on both teams. While these two teams have similar stolen base totals, the Red Sox are much more dependent on one player – Jacoby Ellsbury – while the Angles have a number of players who can wreak havoc on the base paths.
Here’s a different way to look at MLB’s standings, now that we’ve wrapped up the season. Like my other posts, I’m experimenting with font size to indicate payroll. The larger teams have the higher payroll, the smaller teams the lower payroll. Not surprisingly, most of the teams that made the playoffs (in red) had medium-t0-high payrolls, with Minnesota being the exception. I’m also amused by the comparison between the Florida Marlins (tiny font, tiny payroll) and the New York Mets (further back in the standings, larger font, bloated payroll). Go Mets!