Monday, February 24, 2014

More Strikeouts = Fewer Runs Scored?


Top 5 in K by an offense (rank in runs scored)

2013
#1 Astros (26)
#2 Twins (25)
#3 Braves (13)
#4 Mets (23)
#5 Mariners (22)

2012
#1 A's (14)
#2 Astros (30)
#3 Pirates (23)
#4 Nationals (10)
#5 Rays (18)

2011
#1 Nationals (24)
#2 Padres (28)
#3 Pirates (27)
#4 Mariners (30)
#5 Indians (16)

2009
#1 D-Backs (20)
#2 Angels (2)
#3 Rangers (10)
#4 Brewers (9)
#5 Rays (7)

2005
#1 Reds (4)
#2 Brewers (16)
#3 Rangers (3)
#4 Rockies (14)
#5 Dodgers (26)

2000
#1 Cardinals (8)
#2 Brewers (26)
#3 Marlins (29)
#4 Padres (24)
#5 A's (4)

What's going on here?  Obviously this doesn't include every season since 2000, but the trend it pretty clear.  Over the past few years, the number of teams that were in the top five in strikeouts and scored a respectable number of runs plummeted.  One of the most obvious answers is that home runs have also gone way down and it is more difficult for teams to make up for striking out a lot with a lot of power.

Most of the teams that had a lot of strikeouts and runs (2000 A's, 2000 Cardinals, 2005 Reds, 2005 Rangers) hit well over 200 home runs.  That's just not happening anymore.  In 2013, only 1 team (Orioles) hit over 188 home runs, and that's probably going to continue.  The days of an entire team leading the league in strikeouts and being near the top in runs scored appear to be over for the time being. 

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