The St. Louis Cardinals are often leading many tops lists and frequently this is a good thing. One category this season has the Cards leading and that is not a good thing.
The St. Louis Cardinals of 2018 are off to a decent start in relation to record, but once we start digging into the hitting statistics, we see a much darker picture. I’ve know this for a while when I’ve watched our team play but the numbers are simply staggering.
What am I talking about? Strikeouts of course. The 2018 St. Louis Cardinals are on a terrifying pace in regard to Ks. And, oversimplifying a bit here, but this garbage must stop. My worry is that should it not stop that this club will find themselves struggling more when other clubs have righted their ships.
This tweet from the esteemed Derrick Goold helped me solidify my opinion:
Say what?! When I went and pulled the numbers from Fangraphs, I found the NL list to be as follows:
- Paul Dejong, St. Louis Cardinals, 30 Ks
- Ian Happ, Chicago Cubs, 25 Ks
- Domingo Santana, Milwaukee Brewers, 24 Ks
- Marcell Ozuna, St. Louis Cardinals, 22 Ks
- Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals, 21 Ks
- Billy Hamilton, Cincinnati Reds, 21 Ks
Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.
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It is not good for the number-three, number-four, and number-six (or so) batters to strikeout as much as they have been. When these batting positions struggle with Ks to this degree, runners are left on base. When runners are left on base, teams begin losing at rates that prevent them from making the postseason.
In looking at the names above the team LOB stats seem to indicate the value of striking out and its impact on runners left. Take a look:
- Chicago Cubs, 17.25 LOB per game
- Cincinnati Reds, 15.89 LOB per game
- St. Louis Cardinals, 14.67 LOB per game
- Milwaukee Brewers, 14.30 LOB per game
- Pittsburgh Pirates, 12.47 LOB per game
So maybe the poor hitting performances of DeJong, Ozuna, and Carpenter didn’t overly affect the Cardinals in terms of worst standings in the LOB race. Is this due to their respective average or OPS? Let’s look at the same players from above:
- Paul Dejong, .231 AVG, .857 OPS
- Ian Happ, .204 AVG, .631 OPS
- Domingo Santana, .222 AVG, .545 OPS
- Marcell Ozuna, .257 AVG, .638 OPS
- Matt Carpenter, .175 AVG, .671 OPS
- Billy Hamilton, .172 AVG, .525 OPS
If you are looking closely at those numbers you see that DeJong has the best OPS and Ozuna has the best average of the six names leading the list with the greatest strikeouts. Thus, I would argue that average and OPS can negate the derogatory affect of the high K numbers.
All of that aside, the St. Louis Cardinals of 2018 must cut down on the K numbers. As a team, the games that have recorded as losses this season have come with large K counts. This just won’t do.
How can the St. Louis Cardinals reverse their striking ways? Stay tuned to see if the Reds series beginning tonight will be a catalyst in this endeavor. Thanks for reading!