RISPy Business

BASEBALL

Fans frequently complain that their team does not do well hitting with runners in scoring position (RISP).  Most likely this is just the frustration of leaving runners on base at key times.  I got the idea for this post when someone on a message board said the Tigers hit worse with runners in scoring position.  I looked it up and the Tigers average was 0.263 overall and 0.263 with RISP.  (MLB.com lets you sort by situation this year using pull down menus.)

The chart below give some  offensive stats for all the teams in the league.

Hitting with RISP versus Overall Hitting
Hitting with RISP versus Overall Hitting

 OPS is calculated from raw stats so for some teams it will be off 0.001 from just adding OBP and SLG.  The first thing to notice is that no team has a worse OBP with RISP.  To me this means that any inherent “goodness” or “badness” of a team with RISP is overcome by the number of intentional walks and semi-intentional walks issued.  SLG is skewed slightly to the low end.  I could hypothesize a couple contributing factors.  Sometimes bunts and other plays to move over the runner take away opportunities for extra base hits.  Also, walk off hits only give as many bases as are needed to end the game.  Generally though all these effects are small.

If, like me, you think all this is just noise- that hitters will hit about as well in any situation- then there is cause for hope for the Tigers.  The Indians seem to be slightly over-performing with  RISP.  They are likely to hit slightly worse with RISP for the rest of the year.

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