Why we should all root for an Astros-Dodgers World Series

Why we should all root for an Astros-Dodgers World Series

Postautor: lucky » 9 sie 2017, o 07:59

Root for your favorite team. That's your Authentic Ken Griffey #24 Youth jersey first rooting priority, always. But after that, let me suggest what your next rooting priority might be for the next few months: Root to see the Dodgers' pitchers face the Astros' batters in the World Series. My case for this comes down to one number: 136. That's the best OPS+ in baseball, which is held by the Houston Astros, and it means that adjusted for ballpark, the Astros' offense has been roughly 36 percent better than the league average. That's also the best ERA+ in baseball, held by the Los Angeles Dodgers, meaning their pitching has been roughly 36 percent better than the league average. Those numbers might not mean much to you -- somebody's got to be at http://www.officialmarinersonline.com/authentic-24-ken-griffey-jersey.html the top of a leaderboard -- but they put the Dodgers and Astros on course for a potentially historic World Series matchup. No team in at least the past century has had an OPS+ of 136. (The Murderers' Row-era Yankees managed 127 in 1928.) And only one team in the past century -- the 1926 Philadelphia A's -- has had an ERA+ as high as 136. OK, maybe my case doesn't come down to one number. To appreciate the Astros and the Dodgers, there are a lot of numbers that are useful. Like Those are the OPS+ leaders among all qualified major leaguers. If Aaron Judge knocks off a 1-for-16 stretch, the Astros might arguably have the four best hitters in baseball this year. (At least until Mike Trout reaches our minimum-playing-time Zach Miller Youth Jersey threshold.) No team has ever had four qualified batters with an OPS+ of 165 or higher. No team has ever had three batters with an OPS+ of 165 or higher. No team has ever had four batters with an OPS+ of 160 or higher. No team has ever had four batters with an OPS+ of 150 or higher. No team has ever had four batters with an OPS+ of 145. Or even 141. To find a team that fielded four elite batters, you must drop the definition of "elite" all the way to 140. And only two teams managed even that: The 2003 Red Sox, with http://www.bearsnflofficialproshop.com/zach-miller-jersey-for-sale-c-21.html Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Trot Nixon and Bill Mueller, and the Big Red Machine of 1976, with George Foster, Joe Morgan, Pete Rose and Ken Griffey. Marwin Gonzalez, whom you'll recall from that list right up there that I was just freaking out about, has most often batted seventh in this lineup. (As recently as three weeks ago, he started a game in the eighth spot.) By OPS+, Marwin Gonzalez, the Astros' fourth-best hitter, is having a better season at the plate than Vladimir Guerrero ever had. Better than Cal Ripken, Paul Molitor or Orlando Cepeda ever had. The Astros, unsurprisingly, have hit better in the No. 7 spot than any other team, thanks in part to Gonzalez. But here's how they've hit in every other spot of the order, relative to the rest of the American League In fairness, that's all OPS, which isn't adjusted for home ballpark, and the Astros play in a hitter-friendly home ballpark. But fear not: The Astros hit much better on the road than at home! On the road, they've hit .300/.364/.516, which is a) 122 points higher than any other AL Brandon Flowers Authentic Jersey team, and b) an almost perfect match for Matt Holliday's career line: .300/.379/.516. Brother. The Astros can field an entire lineup of players who have batted at least 200 times this year and have an OPS+ of 119 or higher. Andre Dawson retired with an OPS+ of 119. Their No. 9 hitter Sunday, Jake Marisnick, has a better OPS than 19 teams' cleanup spots this year. Better than 21 teams' No. 3 hitters. Indeed, the Astros' 136 OPS+ -- which includes every sub, every pitcher batting in interleague play, every player who has appeared for Houston this year -- is higher than any hitter on 14 major league teams, including the first-place Red Sox and the first-place Chicago Cubs. The Astros, as a team, would be the 23rd-best hitter in baseball by OPS+, just ahead of Anthony Rizzo and Nelson Cruz. This seems impossible, like something in OPS+ must be distorting things somehow, so let's check some other, more precise all-in-one offensive metrics: The Astros lead the American League in singles, in doubles and in home runs. They lead in infield hits and extra-base hits. You can't throw the Astros strikes. They hit .403/.409/.745 on the first pitch of at-bats, the best in baseball by a lot. (League average is .346/.353/.589.) But if they miss http://www.officialnikechargershop.com/brandon-flowers-jersey-for-sale-c-48.html the first pitch and you get ahead 0-1 -- welp, they're still the best in baseball by a lot, with an OPS after 0-1 more than 50 points higher than the next team. And if they miss that pitch, they're still the best team in baseball. The only way to turn the Astros into an "ordinary" offense is to fall behind in the count against them, which, of course, is a stupid idea that makes no sense. They're best in baseball against right-handed pitching and second best against lefties. They're best against starters, and they're best against relievers. They're the best in baseball against ground-ball pitchers, best against fly-ball pitchers and best against neutral GB/FB pitchers.
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