Friday, June 09, 2006

Home Runs Percentage and winning

Karl Ravech, on Baseball Tonight last night, stated that the “Tigers have scored 40% of their runs off of home runs. And it is tough for a team to win that way.” I thought it was a ridiculous statement and thought it didn’t really matter how your runs were scored as long as you scored runs. If you relied on home runs you better hit a lot of home runs. The only thing that matters that you hit home runs, it is the single easiest, fastest and most efficient way to score runs.
It is my supposition that teams that rely on home runs will in fact score more runs than those that don’t. And in doing so will increase their chance of winning.

So I thought I would look into the numbers and then realized that those numbers were actually hard to find. I found the leaders and trailers on an article about small ball in the HardballTimes.

Teams Least Reliant on Home Runs
Team RonHR Pct
WAS 0.260
KCA 0.285
FLO 0.300
SDN 0.301
SEA 0.303
TOR 0.307
PIT 0.310

Teams Most Reliant on the Home Run
CLE 0.406
ARI 0.414
CHN 0.421
CHA 0.424
NYA 0.440
CIN 0.444
TEX 0.477

Let’s look at runs scored first. All of the teams that relied on home runs were in the top half of the league except for Arizona and the Cubs. In fact, the Yankees, Rangers and Reds were 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the league in runs scored.

The opposite was true for teams that did not rely on the homerun. 5 of the bottom 7 teams to rely on the home run to score runs were in the bottom 3rd in total runs scored.
The fact is that the top 7 teams scored an average of 786 runs while the bottom 7 scored an average of 699 runs. That is about a ½ a run a game, over a whole season that can really help a team win.

Do teams actually win that rely on the home run to score runs? The White Sox won the World Series, the Yankees also made the playoffs and the Indians nearly made the playoffs. That seams to be a quick yes. But we can dig a little deeper and look at the winning percentage of the top and bottom 7 teams.

The winning percentage of the top 7 teams to rely on the home run is .525. For the bottom 7 the winning percentage is .457.

So yes Karl teams can rely on the home run to score runs and to win. In fact, I would tell you that the Tigers really don’t rely on the home run as much as many other teams. They wouldn’t even have cracked the top 7 from last year. The “small-ball” White Sox won a World Series relying on the home run at a higher percentage than the Tigers are this year.

I really wish that broadcasters would really do their home work before spouting misinformation. I have to believe that they have some down time to do a little research.

To top it off, on of the analyst then said that they “strike out too much”, hinting that it will be tough to score runs when they strike out too much. That is a report for another day.


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