AL Teams Batting Average and BA w/RISP
I can't help be fascinated with the differential between team batting average and team average with runners in scoring position as an indicator of team success.
AL teams are hitting .251 overall and .251 with runners in scoring position
It stands to reason then that the teams that are succeeding this young season are the ones with the highest positive differential between the two figures.
As you mouse over the teams, you can see that in terms of batting, the team closest to the average is Houston. Remember, this only takes into account batting and clearly the 5-13 Astros have problems that far exceed their ability to hit with runners in scoring position.
When you look at the Kansas City Royals numbers you can see why they are a first place team. Their batting avg. is fifth best in the league, but their abilty to hit with runners in scoring position is the best in the AL and at +55 points, you can see a reason for their success.
Look at the Twins, and you can see a reason for their surprising early success. They have a +49 point differential. The Red Sox have a +35 which has brought them success when paired with their strong pitching.
Wonder why the Tigers with their great bats are off to a rocky start? How about hitting 42 points lower with runners in scoring position as an answer?
The Angels have the highest batting average in the league at .280, but are only hitting .223 w/RISP. This puts them in the bottom four in the league.
But no team is exhibiting worse timely hitting than the White Sox
Chicago, like Toronto, is not hitting well overall, both at .232. But as bad as the Jays are hitting with RISP at .200, that is robust compared to the White Sox at .170, a -62 differential.
Unless, and until, those two teams narrow the gap, the liklihood of even reaching .500 this season remains remote.
In the meantime, as the Royals, Twins, Red Sox, Orioles, and Rangers continue to hit well with runners in scoring position, we will see them above .500 and challenging in their respective divisions.