2011 MLB Season: Unorganized Stray Observations

2011 MLB Season: Unorganized Stray Observations


Presented without order or pattern, with varying levels of explanation or insight, merely because they interested or surprised me:

No one in baseball has hit more doubles (44) this season than Jeff Francoeur. By the time that you read this, Ben Zobrist (43), Alex Gordon* (41) or someone else may have caught him, but that is a ton of doubles for the free-swinging Francoeur. In fact, three of the top seven doubles hitters are Royals, with Frenchy, Gordon, and Melky Cabrera (39).

*While we’re getting off on tangents, Alex Gordon is having a hell of a year too. Not many recover from the hype-to-bust roller coaster, but Gordon’s .304/.377/.505 is a great story.

The Dodgers have a positive run differential (+9).

In their disastrous August, the Giants scored 78 runs in 29 games (2.69 runs/game). They scored two or fewer runs 17 times. No amount of pitching can carry that anemic of an offense.

Four of the top five home run hitting teams are in the AL East (Yankees – 190, Red Sox – 173, Blue Jays – 165, Orioles – 159), with the only other being the Rangers at 168. While Yankee Stadium, the Rogers Centre, and Oriole Park at Camden Yards have all been launching pads, Fenway Park has continued to suppress home runs.

Justin Verlander has thrown at least six innings in all of his thirty starts, including twenty-six quality starts. His season is shaping up to be a carbon copy of Felix Hernandez’s 2010, which was good enough for a Cy Young with only 13 wins. With Verlander’s 21 wins and role on the Tigers, is there any way that he’s not a slam dunk winner in 2011?

Albert Pujols’ OPS by month:
April – .758
May – .752
June – 1.197
July – .955
August – .951

I’d call it a slow start and nothing more, as after May, he’s been back to being Albert Pujols. With Matt Holliday being the only big contract on the Cardinals’ books ($109MM 2011 payroll, $52.6MM committed in 2012, $35.8MM committed in 2013), it will be interesting to watch how generous they are with their franchise player.