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May 7, 2013

Fantasy Freestyle

Beware of the Tribe

by Paul Sporer


With the completion of Monday’s slate of games, we are officially one-sixth of the way through the season, as every team has played at least 28 games, or 17 percent of its allotted 162. Exactly half of the league has actually hit the one-fifth mark, having played 20 percent of its games, but the Twins and Royals finished off the first sixth of their seasons on Monday. We have also turned the calendar on the season’s first month, and the accumulation of data from that month is giving us some useful information.

For example, did you know that the Oakland Athletics lead all of baseball with 174 runs? They have 10 more runs than the Detroit Tigers and Colorado Rockies, who sit tied for second with 164 (because 174-10 = 164!). The A’s also have three more games played than the Tigers and two more than the Rockies. That doesn’t diminish their runs-scored achievement, but it does send them to the bottom of that trio when you look at runs per game: The Tigers have 5.47, the Rockies 5.29, and the A’s 5.27. Sitting eighth in total runs scored are the Cleveland Indians.

That fact alone isn’t particularly surprising to me.

I spoke rather highly of them (relative to expectations) on the Effectively Wild podcast episode linked above. I updated my win total for them to 82 after the Michael Bourn signing (hey, hey, hey, stop reading that part where I gave the Red Sox 78 wins!). Humblebraggery or outright brag-braggery aside, the point is that I believed in the lineup, but the reason I said that the simple fact of their scoring the eighth-most runs to date isn’t surprising is because that general fact isn’t. The composition of their 149 runs definitely is.

Considering that I gave them a handful of extra wins with the signing of Bourn, I obviously expected him to be contributing heavily to the cause. Well, he’s been excellent this year, but he’s only played in 10 games thus far. Of course, that’s okay, because they have Ryan Raburn. That is somehow a real sentence. Raburn didn’t directly replace Bourn in center field, but his absence helped generate the hole for Raburn to net 140 innings in the outfield and post an astounding .343/.389/.597 line with four home runs, 11 RBI, and 10 runs scored in just 72 plate appearances. Sure, the production essentially came in three games where he went 11-for-13 (.846) with all four of the homers, nine of the RBI, and five of the runs, but it still counts, and they went 3-0 in those games.

But it’s far more than Raburn.

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Related Content:  Cleveland Indians,  Baseball Ops,  Indians,  Ops,  Michael Bourn,  OPS+,  Runs

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Monday Morning Ten Pac... (05/06)
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Fantasy Article Fantasy Freestyle: Ask... (05/08)
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