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Phillies Stat Notes: On the road again

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Having wrapped up a 6-4 homestand, the Phils head to Miami

The Phillies and Braves leave their weekend series tied for the 5th best record in the NL, at 16-11.

Standings

Miami, as expected, is in a race to the bottom of the NL, battling the Reds and Padres for worst record in the league. The abundance of the color red on their row below is just one more indication of how bad they’ve been.

The Phils, somewhat surprisingly, are shown by baseball reference as having the toughest strength of schedule of any team in MLB. I would take that with a grain of salt, though some of their opponents may be better than originally expected (the Braves and Pirates, in particular).

Batting

The Phillies’ scoring (6th overall, and 6th in scoring 3+ or 4+ in a game), is gradually falling to the middle of the pack where their overall stats are: OPS, wOBA, and wRC+, all 9th in the NL.

The Marlins meanwhile are at or near the bottom in every significant hitting stat.

Getting on base

One area where the Phils have done a little better is getting on base, where their league-leading walk rate (11.6%) has helped to give them the 7th best OBP in the NL.

Miami has combined the league’s worst batting average (.222) with a 13th-ranked walk rate (8.3%) to produce that rare sub-.300 OBP (.297).

Power

The Phillies are near the bottom in power (12th in HRs per game, 13th in overall ISO), but that’s still quite a bit better than Miami (15th in both).

*ISO, short for Isolated power, is the difference between batting average and slugging percentage, and essentially measures the average extra bases per at bat (1 for a double, 2 for a triple, 3 for a HR).

Plate Discipline

The only team in the NL that is taking the first pitch more often than the Phillies is the Marlins.

The Phils are either 1st or 2nd in most of the categories here, but also have the 2nd highest strikeout in the NL.

The Phillies’ BB/K ratio is 7th best in the NL.

Small Ball

Both teams rank near the bottom in these stats (the rankings on sacrificing are set up as more sacrifice bunts are good, which is debatable).

The one exception is the Phillies still lead the league in scoring runners from 3rd with less than two out, part of the reason they’ve scored more runs than their hitting stats might indicate.

*Productive outs are defined as a) successful sacrifice by a pitcher with one out, b) advancing a runner with none out, or c) driving in a baserunner with the second out of the inning.

Base Running

The Phils have been less aggressive on the bases lately, possibly as a result of trailing in games more. Still quite a bit more aggressive (and more effective) than the Marlins though.

Batting — Individual

Below is how each Phillie hitter’s OPS has progressed over the last three weeks or so:

  • Rhys Hoskins had a rough series, going 2 for 11 (singles) with a walk.
  • Cesar Hernandez and Odubel Herrera diverged sharply over the weekend, after running neck-and-neck.
  • Aaron Altherr continues to climb, and has a .998 OPS over the last two weeks, as shown below.

The two colorful columns in the middle of the table below compare each hitter to the average OPS at that position, first last year’s Phillies, and then for last year’s NL average.

Franco for example is 9% above what the Phils got from all their third basemen last year, but still 6% below last year’s league average for a third baseman.

Pitching

As with the hitting stats, the Phillies are dropping towards the middle, but are still far better than what the Marlins have shown so far.

Except for fielding that is, where the Marlins look relatively good, but the Phillies have been pretty bad in most measures:

*FIP (Fielding-independing pitching) is based only on the stats that are considered to be most controllable by pitchers: strikeouts, walks, and home runs. xFIP takes that one step further by also assuming that home runs are only controllable by a pitcher to the extent to which they allow fly balls to be hit, and adjusts their HRs to the league-average rate of HRs per Fly Balls.