Cards’ OF Better than Sox? Stats say Yes

Before the Cardinals from St. Louis show up at Fenway this Wednesday for Game One of the World Series let us acquaint ourselves with our opponents and size up our chances.  Today’s result, Better OF,  may surprise you…

Today, in Part Two, we will compare the two teams’ Outfields.  In Part One, we covered the C position and the INF. [http://bosoxinjection.com/2013/10/20/world-series-preview/] Tomorrow, in Part Three will evaluate the Starting pitchers and Part Four will deal with the Closers and pens and DH.

Here is the latest depth chart listed by MLB [http://mlb.mlb.com/team/depth_chart/index.jsp?c_id=stl]

Last Verified: Oct 20, 2013.

LEFT FIELD

Matt Holliday 1,320 vs. Gomes 710/Nava 550

Speed

 Contact

Patience

Batting

Power

Holliday

   51

      59

          65

        82

         75

Gomes

  52

      9

            77

        42

        91

Holliday 332, Gomes 271

GRAND TOTAL: Holliday 1,652, Gomes 981

Holliday’s 2013 Regular Season: .300/.389/.490, 144 OPS+, 2.7 WAR in 141 G

This was his seventh-straight campaign with a .290 batting average and 20-plus home runs. Miguel Cabrera is the only other player who has a longer active streak of exceeding those milestones.

Holliday has tweaked his plate approach the past two postseasons, drawing three walks in 100 combined plate appearances. He walked 11.2 percent of the time—nearly four times as often—during the 2012-2013 regular seasons.

You sometimes need to exercise patience to get easy pitches to hit.”

Gomes’ 2013 Regular Season: .247/.344/.426, 111 OPS+, 1.2 WAR in 116 G

Nava’s 2013 Regular Season: .303/.385/.445, 128 OPS+, 2.9 WAR in 134 G

Neither guy matched Holliday’s production during the summer, and they haven’t been lighting it up recently, either.

Gomes and Nava are just as shaky in the field as Holliday. At least they’re familiar with Fenway Park, though, where four of the seven potential World Series games will take place.”

[http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1816638-world-series-2013-cardinals-vs-red-sox-position-by-position-breakdown/page/7]

WINNER:  CARDINALS

NOTE: If we sub in Nava, the Sox improve their defense, but lose offensive points.

 

CENTER FIELD

Jon Jay 820 vs. Ellsbury 990

Speed

 Contact

Patience

Batting

Power

Jay

67

          78

        51

         86

      42

Ellsbury

93

          85

        55

         86

      35

Jay 324, Ellsbury 354

GRAND TOTAL: Jay 1,144, Ellsbury 1,344.

NOTE: ”

Jay’s 2013 Regular Season: .276/.351/.370, 102 OPS+, 1.5 WAR in 157 G

Most of Jay’s value comes from getting on base, but he isn’t particularly active once that happens. He has fewer steals in his four-year major league career than Ellsbury did last summer.

Ellsbury’s 2013 Regular Season: .298/.355/.426, 114 OPS+, 5.8 WAR in 134 G

Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen and Carlos Gomez were the only center fielders to contribute more value in terms of Wins Above Replacement this season.

Ellsbury had an enormous impact defensively while playing alongside relatively unathletic left fielders. That’s why he made so many plays outside of his fielding zone (about one every 14 innings), per FanGraphs.” [http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1816638-world-series-2013-cardinals-vs-red-sox-position-by-position-breakdown/page/8]

WINNER:  RED SOX

Although the Sox win CF contest, it is surprising how close the scores are and that Jay took the Power category.  Also, the +200 for Ells in CF is nowhere near enough to counter-balance the huge deficit with Gomes [or Nava] in LF -671.  Before factoring RF, the Sox OF is in the hole by 471 points.

 

RIGHT FIELD

Carlos Beltran 910 vs. Victorino 1,150

Speed

 Contact

Patience

Batting

Power

Beltran

75

         55

        69

          63

      70

Victorino

92

         79

        36

         64

       39

 

Beltran 332, Victorino 310

GRAND TOTAL: Beltran 1,242 Victorino 1,460.

WINNER:  RED SOX

NOTE:  In light of the Grand Slam that Victorino hit to assure the Sox win over the Tigers, it is hard to imagine that Beltran has more power, but the career numbers bear it out.  The Cardinals still worry about Beltran’s cranky knees and an injury would re-set the RF and Methany would need to rely on his OF bench: Allen Craig, Shane Robinson and Adron Chambers. 

Beltran’s 2013 Regular Season: .296/.339/.491, 128 OPS+, 2.4 WAR in 145 G

According to High Heat Stats, he was responsible for four of the five most important plays during their NLDS and NLCS victories in terms of Win Probability Added.

Clutch postseason performance isn’t anything new for Beltran. The veteran switch-hitter boasts an otherworldly .337/.449/.724 batting line in 45 career games in October.

Victorino’s 2013 Regular Season: .294/.351/.451, 119 OPS+, 6.1 WAR in 122 G

A nagging hamstring injury convinced him to abandon switch-hitting. His .386 on-base percentage as a right-handed batter against right-handed pitching is relatively hollow because he was plunked 11 times in those situations. It’s not surprising that he’s been slow to identify inside offerings when at a platoon disadvantage after many years of facing righties from a different perspective.

Nonetheless, Victorino is the superior right fielder in this matchup based upon the strength of his defense—as a longtime center fielder, he’s overqualified for a corner spot—as well as the value he adds as a baserunner.” [http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1816638-world-series-2013-cardinals-vs-red-sox-position-by-position-breakdown/page/9]

 

OF RESERVES

Allen Craig RHB

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

GO/AO

SEASON 134 508 71 160 232 29 2 13 97 40 2 100 2 0 .315 .373 .457 .830 1.28
MLB Totals 372 1291 192 395 635 86 2 50 247 101 4 255 9 2 .306 .358 .492 .850 1.19

 

Shane Robinson RHB

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

GO/AO

SEASON 99 144 22 36 46 2 1 2 16 23 0 17 5 1 .250 .345 .319 .664 1.02
MLB Totals 221 342 43 84 112 11 1 5 33 38 2 53 7 1 .246 .316 .327 .644 1.37

 

Adron Chambers LHB

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

GO/AO

SEASON 25 26 5 4 5 1 0 0 1 3 2 11 0 1 .154 .241 .192 .434 1.75
MLB Totals 84 88 11 19 26 1 3 0 9 8 4 30 2 2 .216 .289 .295 .584 1.41

NOTE:  Allen Craig has hit .306 in 372 ABs with little power.  Shane Robinson is .246 in 221 ABs and just 1 HR. Adron Chambers, at .216 in 88 ABs is not much of a threat offensively.  The inexperience of Robinson and Chambers could be significant.

 

Daniel Nava LH/RHB

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

 

     AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

GO/AO

SEASON 134 458 77 139 204 29 0 12 66 51 2 93 0 2      .303 .385 .445 .831 0.73
MLB Totals 282 886 138 243 366 64 1 19 125 107 4 202 4 3      .274 .369 .413 .782 0.83

 

Carp LHB

G

AB

R

H

TB

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

IBB

SO

SB

CS

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

GO/AO

SEASON 86 216 34 64 113 18 2 9 43 22 0 67 1 0 .296 .362 .523 .885 1.17
MLB Totals 259 761 86 203 338 46 4 27 114 74 1 212 2 2 .267 .337 .444 .781 1.25

Nava brings some speed, Postseason experience, and a solid .267 BA, but, most important, he is a switch-hitter and can also play 1b.  Carp is a LHB with some power at .267 and can also play 1b.

 

SUMMARY:

The combined scores for the OFs:

Cardinals 4,038 vs. Red Sox 3,785

Cardinals by 253 points.

WINNER: CARDINALS

The most glaring difference is in LF, but that point advantage may be reduced by the Fenway-Friendly Factor, where the visiting OFs have difficulty playing the “Wall balls” off the pocked and mottled Green Monster.

The reserve OFs, Nava and Carp, also give the Sox a slight edge in versatility and experience.

On the basis of our statistical results, we would conclude that the Cardinals OF is better than the Red Sox.

Surprised?

 

Tomorrow, in Part Three will evaluate the Starting pitchers and Part Four will deal with the Closers and pens.

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Topics: 2013 World Series, Boston Red Sox, Outfielders, St. Louis Cardinals

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  • Michael Macaulay-Birks

    great stuff Earl, thanks a bunch!

    • http://bosoxinjection.com/ Earl Nash

      Michael, Great thanks for the kind words of encouragement.

  • Mike King

    I still don’t know how you do your numbers, but any way you count right field as an advantage of Shane over Beltran is just mind boggling. About the only thing that he has an advantage on is his ability to cover more territory defensively. If Beltran can get to the ball it is even. Arm is huge advantage to Beltran.

    Go ahead and ask all the GMs in MLB if they had their choice for starting right fielder in the WS this year, would they rather have Beltran or Shane, it will be 100% towards Beltran. That is no slight against Shane, I like him as a player, but he is not better than Beltran.