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Phillies Stat Notes: An offensive juggernaut comes to CBP to face the Yankees

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The Phils begin a nine-game home stand vs. the Bronx Bombers. Guess which has been the much better hitting team lately.

The Phillies took two of three from the Nationals to win their fourth series in a row, and they now have the 5th best record in the National League.

Their OBP is now back up to 5th best in the NL, and their hitting overall is now 6th, at a 95 wRC+.

Standings

With the series win the Phils moved ahead of the Nationals into second place in the NL East, and if the season ended today they would be facing the Cubs in the Wildcard Game.

Runs vs. Average

The graph below shows Runs above average for each team in the NL, by each aspect of the game, as measured at Fangraphs.

So the Phillies for example have been well above average in starting pitching (+38), and slightly above average in both their bullpen (+4, despite recent troubles), overall hitting (+3), running the bases (+4).

The only major aspect that they’ve been below average in is fielding (-19).

The net total is that as a team they’ve been 29 runs better than average:

Batting

Over the last two weeks, the Phillies have been the best-hitting team in the National League, with a wRC+ of 128. They’ve been 3rd in the NL in batting average (.273), 2nd in walk rate (11.3%), 2nd in OBP (.360), and 1st in Slugging (.490):

In fact they’ve been the 2nd best hitting team in MLB over that time, behind only the Astros (142 wRC+). The Yankees have been 11th, at 104.

Astros 142 wRC+
Phillies 128
Reds 127

However that’s a bit misleading, since the the NL lineups include pitchers. If we compare just position players, it’s been much closer:

Astros 142
Phillies 137
Reds 130

Nevertheless, Phillies position players are still only 11th in the NL in WAR for the season to date (per fangraphs), while their pitchers continue leading the league. Overall they are 5th in WAR, consistent with their W-L ranking:

*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).

The Phillies continue leading the league in walking (10.4% of the time), but have the second highest strikeout rate (25.4%).

Their recent hitting surge has inched them up slightly in both Line Drive% and Hard-hit%, from 15th in the NL to 14th. They’re still last in making contact (73.8%).

Progress over time

The graphs below show how some key stats have progressed. On the left is the weekly performance (with a dotted line showing the NL average for each one), and on the right is the cumulative season-to-date number. Batting Average and BB% together drive a team’s On Base Percentage, and Batting Average and ISO combine to form Slugging Percentage.

Batting — Individual

Below are the Phillies ranked by OPS, along with how they compare to the MLB average OPS at their position. To the right are their OPS over the last 30, 14, and 7 days.

There’s a lot of green on the far right for the last two weeks, including from Knapp, who has nearly caught up to Kingery in OPS (and wOBA).

It’s also good to see Nick Williams’ .841 OPS over the last 30 days. He’s brought up his wRC+ to 100, despite a modest BABIP of .275, a full 100 points lower than in 2017. He’s been able to do that with an uptick in power, but a reduction in his strikeout rate (24.4% vs. 28.3% last year).

Below is how each Phillie hitter’s OPS and wOBA have progressed over time.

These graphs are very busy — I suggest starting with the names to see how they currently rank, and then follow each line to the left to see how they got there (tough for the colorblind though).

There is a stat called Runs Created, which has gone through various iterations, starting with Bill James in the 1980s. Fangraphs calculates a version of that called weighted Runs Created (wRC) which is a counting stat version of wOBA.

The table below shows wRC by each Phillie, by week (the first is more like a week and a half). It quantifies the ups and downs we’ve seen: the hot starts by Hoskins, Hernandez, and Herrera, the occasional good week from Franco, and the strong hitting from Santana since May 1st.

Herrera had a huge week, as did Hoskins, Herrera, and Santana:

(Note that the 3/26 “week” was actually 11 days long, from Opening Day on 3/29 through 4/8)

Pitching

Phillies pitching leads the NL in WAR (per fangraphs). They also lead in WAR for starting pitching in particular.

Phillies starters are only 6th in ERA, but that’s largely because errors and fielding percentage are inadequate measures of fielding, and so “earned” vs. “unearned” runs is a very flawed distinction. Based on FIP*, Phillies starters rank 2nd in the NL.

*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.

Pitching - Individual

Below is a high-level break down of each starter’s games:

QS is the typical definition (6+ IP, 3 or less ER)
“bad” is any start with more ER than innings pitched, and
“other” is all the rest.

The bullpen has been a problem in June, but so has the starting pitching, with 5.09 ERA in the month (granted some of that is due to inherited runners scoring):

And below are each pitcher’s games, with the Game Score for each one on the right (highlighted green if in the 60-79 range, dark green if 80+):

Miscellaneous

On Base Streaks

Odubel Herrera has the longest on-base streak of the season so far (41 games, plus another 4 from the end of 2017), but Shin-Soo Choo is now up to 37 and counting. Jose Ramirez is also not far behind:

Odubel’s HR Streak

Herrera’s HR streak came to an end on Saturday — he was on deck as Rhys Hoskins made the last out in the 9th, but tied some illustrious names for the Phillies franchise record of five straight games:

Odubel also tied for the 4th longest streak by a center fielder in MLB history:

Griffey’s 8-game streak in 1993 shares the all-time record with Dale Long (1956), and Don Mattingly (1987).

Team Home Run Streak

The Phillies still own 2018’s longest streak of games with at least one home run, with 16.

They also now have the longest active streak in the majors, at 12 games, and are the only team this season to have two streaks of 12+:

References

Phillies hitters (fangraphs)
Phillies pitchers (fangraphs)
Team hitting stats (fangraphs)
Team pitching stats (fangraphs)
Team stats (baseball-reference)