Nationals Baseball: Fun tracker

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fun tracker

We don't have to think about the playoffs, (spoiler : the Nats are in) so how about some fun stuff to keep track of regarding the Nats?  

Can Span hit .300? 

Barring a complete collapse, at age 30 Span will have his best year of the 10's. Such things happen especially in easy pennant years. (I'm looking at you Daniel Nava, Mike Carp, Jarrod Saltalamacchia... basically Boston 2013) Right now Span is hitting .300 (actually .300036) so he has to hit .299 or better the rest of the year to do it. That's a little high for Span historically.

A prolonged super hot streak this year (.447 for 23 games) elevated his stats but really the Span you've seen for the other 120 games is the "real" Span.  He's can get hot, but not THAT hot (.340 in past 11 games) and he can get cold (.226 for the 15 games beyond those 11) It's a back and forth that gets you to a .275/.280 average.

We're in the home stretch so timing of these streaks is going to matter more than anything.

My bet : No.  Falls just short in the .295 range.

Will Rendon lead the league in runs scored?

Rendon bats 2nd, but his OBP isn't special and the hitters behind him are good but not great. How is he leading the league in runs scored? OK that has a lot to with PAs (he has a lot) and the situational hitting of the guys behind him (Werth - great, LaRoche - pretty good) but why not Span who has a better OBP and hits in front of Rendon? A little bit of it is Rendon's HRs where he knocks himself in, but the rest of it is just fluky. Rendon has 18 homers. In theory Span should have been on base for 6 or 7, but he was only on base for 5.  Werth has homered with Rendon on base 6 times, but Span only 3.

Anyway - Rendon leads the league a couple runs ahead of Hunter Pence. Pence is the only competition as 3rd place is 10 runs behind Hunter.

My bet : Yes. Nats are better at scoring than Giants. Giants are either in SF, LA, or SD for all but 3 of their remaining games.

Will Desmond lead the league in strikeouts?

We've dealt with Ian's issues before, but suffice to say he's striking out a lot.  Still it's MLB in 2014. Everyone strikes out a lot.  Ian's 171 is only good enough for #2.  Marlon Byrd is #1 at 172 and both Stanton and Howard are within 3 of Ian. It's anyone's game.

My bet : No. Nats will give Ian some rest down the stretch cutting his ABs enough that either Byrd or Howard will pull away.

Will Strasburg lead the league in strikeouts?

The reverse of Desmond because K's here are good! Strasburg is currently 2Ks ahead of Cueto and 5 ahead of Kershaw. Kershaw strikes out very very slightly more guys per inning than Strasburg, while Cueto has pitched more innings .Normally you'd have to go Kershaw - he also pitching a lot of innings per start and he'd be well ahead if not for missing those first few weeks, but it's not an even race from here on out. Strasburg pitches tonight, Cueto tomorrow, Kershaw not again until Sunday.  Barring some moving around to ward off the charging Giants, Clayton should get one less start than the other two.

My bet: Yes. Strasburg is the only guarantee for getting four starts (Cueto should get #4 on the final day but who knows if the Reds will bother putting him out there for a meaningless game and him up around 240 IP). 


Donald said...

One more thing to track -- Does Ian Desmond make the 20/20 club again? He's got 22 HRs and 18 SBs so he just needs 2 more steals. I say yes.

Zimmerman11 said...

Here's hoping Span goes cold IMMEDIATELY and misses .300 but then goes on a tear in the playoffs :)

Same for everybody else... Let's SUCK! Give a few of those 9 games back to ATL! Go cold now, get hot in October :)

Froggy said...

Fun stuff yes. I think Span hits .304, and Rendon leads in runs, and with the weather cooling in Strasburg's favor, I think he K's more.

More importantly, does Werth do ANYthing to his mop or beard until Nov? I say No! (queue Game of Thrones music...)

Harper said...

Donald - I agree...

Z11 - unless they go ice cold now and forget to warm up

Froggy - Werth enters post-season completely clean shaven with an earring ala Mr. Clean.

JWLumley said...

Here's the one I've been looking at, largely because I want to see if I'm right. Harper is much better than Span, and when Harper was scuffling and Span was on fire, I said that Harper would finish with a higher OBP than Span. I still think that Harper should bat higher in the order due to wOBA, but it's going to be close as far as OBP because Span was essentially Ricky Henderson without the power for 3 weeks. Span's currently at .353 and Harper's at .338. I expect Harper to come up and Span to go down, but interested to see where they'll finish.

As for the others, I always assume the worst for Span, so don't think he'll hit .300 if you care about batting average, which I don't. Rendon may or may not lead the league in Runs, but since it's a useless stat who cares and I'd say Strasburg wins the strikeout crown.

Anonymous said...

Also home field advantage. And Zimmerman's health.

My bets: No, LA takes HF. And Zimm plays in a few meaningless games to ramp up for October beast mode.

Kenny B. said...

I think Pitt makes a big comeback to reclaim his crown from Gosling, with a similar upward charge by Clooney through the Oscar season stretch. Cruise remains irrelevant, along with Kilmer.

Harper said...

kenny b - save the big guns for the courtroom

Anonymous said...

I was going to say something about your foresight, predicting a 6-4 game in your previous post. Then I saw that was under the Pirates section. You landed on the .05 cents section of the Big Wheel. So close, but you get nothing!

Strasburger said...

Yo Harp - can we get a post on Storen at some point?

I know it is a small sample size, but I've been waiting for this moment for two years!

He looked amazing in his three closes, and I can't wait for him to win this job back indefinitely in the playoffs when he quiets all the haters.

I think the most fun thing to track would be Wilson Ramos' 40 yard dash time. It has to be somewhere between 10 and 20 seconds.

Donald said...

Happy for Storen too. At this point, the only way Soriano gets the closer job back is if he pitches completely clean innings for a while AND Storen implodes. I don't see them just handing the job back to him after a few low leverage outings.

Zimmerman11 said...

I'm with anonymous... home field could be huge. Look at our home/road splits... Harper has discussed Stras' performance away from DC... but the whole team is .500 away and .621 in the friendly confines :)

Playoff series are a coinflip... but it would be nice to play in DC.

Froggy said...

Z11 - not to mention the extra game at home opportunity for season plan holders and walkup fans.

...I noticed at yesterday's game that Werth had TRIMMED HIS BEARD!

Uh, we will have no more of that thank you.

Kenny B. said...

Werth's beard trimming is the new letting Teddy win.

blovy8 said...

I set the Over/under on non-intentional walks for Ramos the rest of the year at 1. He's walked once in the last 29 games.

JWLumley said...

Just bought my game 1 playoff tickets. Super exciting.

Anonymous said...

@jwlumley - !!!!! where when how???

JWLumley said...

@Anon - Bought them on stubhub, apparently some season ticket holders who have purchased postseason tickets are already flipping them.