Monday, June 4, 2012

AL Central Pitching and Defense Breakdown

Earlier I looked at run scoring for the ALCentral teams.  Now I’ll look at the other side, run prevention, i.e. pitching and defense. 

Runs Allowed/Game:
CHW – 4.07
KCR – 4.38
DET – 4.57
CLE – 4.85
MIN – 5.36


CHW – 3.89
KCR – 4.16
DET – 4.24
CLE – 4.48
MIN – 5.15

DET – 3.80
KCR – 3.94
CHW – 4.01
CLE – 4.09
MIN – 4.77

DET – 3.72
CHW – 4.01
KCR – 4.22
MIN – 4.36

DET – 4.29
CWS – 4.37
CLE – 4.55
KCR – 4.55
MIN – 5.24

DET – 3.44
CHW – 3.64
KCR – 4.03
MIN – 4.15
CLE – 4.24

The Tigers have allowed more runs than the White Sox and Royals, however how much of that is pitching and how much is defense?  FIP, xFIP, tERA and SIERA attempt to remove defense from the equation and the Tigers are #1 in all 4 of these stats in the AL Central.  The Tigers also lead in K/9, 8.49 and in K/BB, 2.88, not only in the AL Central but in the entire AL.  Looking at these stats, it’s a safe assumption that the Tigers have a pretty good pitching staff as a whole and dare I say the best pitching in the division?

KCR – 11
CLE – 1
MIN – 0
CWS – (3)
DET – (25)

MIN – 7.9
CWS – 1.1
KCR – (2)
CLE – (19.5)
DET – (24.2)

The Tigers have been absolutely horrible on defense and it’s making their pitching look much worse than it actually is.  Brennan Boesch and Miguel Cabrera are last in their respective positions in UZR.  Prince Fielder and Ryan Raburn are near the bottom.  Alex Avila, Jhonny Peralta and Andy Dirks are only average at best.  The only position player that has been way above average is Austin Jackson.
Putting it all together, run differential:
CHW: +40
KCR: -8
DET: -14
CLE: -24
MIN: -74

The White Sox are the team to beat.  If the Tigers were even average on defense (adding about 24 or 25 runs to their run differential), they’d be on the positive side.  I personally believe their offense will improve; they are just too talented not to.  It’s their defense that will be the Tigers downfall.  And they are kind of stuck.  They aren't going to move Cabrera or Fielder away from their positions, which is the main difference between last year and this year.

Therefore, the Tigers need to compensate in other areas, mainly their offense.  Not only do they have to improve their hitting with the players they have, but they need to add someone at the deadline.  


  1. Boesch has no defense and no bat? Looks like he's next to go.

  2. I agree with that statement. Boesch may be odd man out when Austin Jackson is healthy again, given the fact the that Quintin Berry is on fire.