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Phillies Stat Notes: First place at stake today

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Latest look at the Phillies’ rankings in key categories.

The Phillies have the 3rd best record in the NL. They rank 7th in the NL in both scoring and preventing runs. The offense is helped by excellent baserunning (2nd in Baserunning Runs).

On the other side of the ball, run prevention is a combination of very good pitching (particularly in the starting rotation), hampered by the worst fielding in the league:

BsR = Fangraphs’ Baserunning Runs measure. They haven’t stolen much, but they’ve been extremely efficient at taking extra bases on fly balls/passed balls/etc. while rarely getting caught, having made by far the fewest outs on the bases in MLB this season.

Standings

The Phils are in a virtual tie for first place in the East, percentage points ahead of the Braves. Atlanta is idle today, so by the end of the day the Phillies will be either one game ahead (if they sweep the doubleheader), exactly tied (with a split), or one game back (if the Mets sweep).

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 (+41), and slightly above average in both their bullpen (+6, despite a terrible June), and running the bases (+5). Their batting has been slightly below average (-2).

The only major aspect that they’ve been well below average in is fielding (-21).

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

Batting

Compared to last year, and to the Mets

The Phillies continue to supplement a near-below average BA (.235, 12th), with a high walk rate to end up with a respectable OBP (.320, 6th).

The Mets are either below average or even in the bottom three in every major category:

*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 are back in the lead in pitches per PA (4.05), and they continue leading the league in walking (10.3% of the time), but have the second highest strikeout rate (25.3%).

They are dead last in both making contact (73.8% of their swings), and in their Hard-hit rate (30.1%). Line drive rate has inched from the bottom to “only” 3rd worst (20.2%).

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.

The surprising trio of Nick Williams, Maikel Franco, and Andrew Knapp have all been very solid for at least a month now.

Combining the three over the last 30 days:

179 PA, .296/.373/.559 (.932 OPS)

The BB/K ratio is pretty good too: 9% walks vs. 22.4% Ks

Franco in particular, though it’s only 66 PAs, has 6 walks to 7 Ks over that time. All obviously in small samples.

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

These graphs are very busy — start with the names to see how they currently rank, and then follow each line to the left to see how they got there.

The Runs Created stat, which has gone through various iterations, starting with Bill James in the 1980s, takes all of a hitter’s stats and estimates how many runs they should translate to. Fangraphs calculates a version of that called weighted Runs Created (wRC) which is a counting stat version of wOBA.

The table below shows wRC for 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.

Pitching

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

Phillies starters are up to 4th in ERA, though that’s still likely lower than it should be because errors (and unearned runs) don’t adequately capture the impact of bad fielding. Based on FIP*, Phillies starters rank 2nd in the NL.

As has been the case all year, the stats all agree that the Phillies’ fielding has been really bad:

*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 Phillies are tied for the most Quality Starts in the NL (43, with Washington). They’ve done it though despite having played two fewer games than the Nats, so the Phils lead the league for the percentage that are Quality Starts (49%).

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

Shin-Soo Choo has now surpassed Odubel Herrera for the longest on-base streak of the last two years, having gotten on in 47 straight games.

If Choo makes it 48 straight tonight in Boston, he will match Joey Votto for the longest on-base streak of the last 10 years:

Coincidentally

Phillies catchers Jorge Alfaro and Andrew Knapp have now each played in exactly 100 games in their brief careers.

References

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