Math says Tigers’ bats due to heat up
Detroit — There is a correction coming for the Tigers’ offense.
If all of baseball’s myriad and complicated algorithms are to be trusted — and the sabermetric community insists on it — the Tigers easily have been the unluckiest team in the league offensively.
Here are a series of statistics that measure how well a team has swung the bat vs. actual results:
■ Hard outs. On balls struck with an exit velocity of at least 95 mph, the Tigers have made 247 outs, the most, by far, in baseball. Second on the list, Cleveland, has made 195 outs. The league average is 164.
■ Hit percentage. On balls struck with an exit velocity of at least 95 mph, with what is considered a good launch angle, the Tigers rank first in baseball with a .443 average. Second on the list is Baltimore at .417. The Tigers actual average of .253 ranks 16th in the majors.
■ Weighted on-base average (wOBA). Considered a more accurate measure of offensive productivity than OPS, the Tigers have an expected wOBA of .347, which is tied with Houston for the best. The league average is .324.
■ The Tigers actual slugging percentage (.428) ranks 13th in baseball. Their expected slugging percentage ranks first.
Nick Castellanos and Miguel Cabrera have been the poster boys for this hard-luck streak. Cabrera ranks first the majors with a 28 percent line drive rate according to FanGraphs.com. Castellanos ranks 10th (25 percent).
Cabrera and Castellanos rank fourth and fifth, respectively, in hard-hit rate — 48.4 and 48.3.
And yet, Cabrera is hitting .265 and a .454 slugging percentage — far below his norm. And Castellanos is hitting .242 with a .419 slugging.
The math says the Tigers are due an offensive rampage. The question is, will the correction come in time, and will the pitching hold up enough, to save the season.