Monday, April 29, 2013

Percent of Runs from Home Runs

STATS LLC had a tweet last week stating that the White Sox led the majors in the percent of runs that had were scored on home runs, somewhere over 50% as I recall. I measured that number earlier in the year, but it's buried somewhere in one of my Box Score Ephemera posts and it deserves its own spot. This tables shows the percentage of runs scored by home runs for all teams (games through Sunday, April 28th):

Using the Red Sox as an example, they've scored 128 runs this year, hit 23 home runs which drove in 35 runs, for a percentage of 27.3% of their runs coming from home runs. There are many moving parts in this chart:
1. Runs are runs, no matter how they're scored. The Red Sox are in the middle of the pack for homers, don't have many runners on base when those homers are hit, yet are still second in the majors in runs scored. Results, not how they occur, are what matter.
2. You can't score what isn't on base, so this become a proxy measure (and a not-particularly-accurate one, I'll admit) of the number of base runners a team has. You can see how well a team is doing in getting runners on base AND scoring them at this chart--it tells a much more complete story. The reason the Red Sox are second in the majors in runs scored is because they're fourth in runners on base with 625.
3. Even after approximately 25 games, it's easy to see the teams that can score runs and contrast them with the teams that can't. This is just another measure of how woeful the Marlins are going to be this year--they have no power outside of Giancarlo Stanton, and he's only hit three homers so far. At least the Astros are young and bad--the Marlins are OLD and bad.

Two teams are over the 50% threshold in runs scored on home runs, both Chicago teams. Both are well below the league average in the number of base runners (451 for the Cubs, 425 for the Sox), and runners that aren't on base can't score. Ultimately, that's what is measured using this stat--teams aren't over-reliant on the home run as much as challenged in getting runners on base.

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