Top Stats to Know: Royals vs. Cardinals
June, 2, 2014
By ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
Scott Rovak/USA TODAY SportsTop prospect Oscar Taveras homered Saturday in his major league debut.
As the Cardinals fight to catch the division-leading Brewers and the Royals look to pull themselves out of the AL Central basement, both teams will be trying to add the long ball to offenses that have suffered power outages to start the season.
Power Problems for Both
The Royals and Cardinals rank last and second-to-last, respectively, in home runs this season. Much of their power struggles have come in the middle of the lineups.
Both teams have received three home runs from their third and fourth hitters in the lineup, tied for the fewest by any team this season. The Royals (0.099) and Cardinals (0.111) also rank last and second-to-last this season in isolated power, which measures extra bases per at-bat.
Chasing History . . . The Wrong Way
The Royals are on pace for 69 home runs this season, which would be their second-lowest total in team history and fewest since 1976 (65) in a non-strike season.
The Cardinals' home run totals are way down as well -- they are on pace to hit 85. That would be their lowest home run total in a non-strike season since 1991 (70).
Matt Holliday has hit only three home runs, the fewest he has had in his first 56 games of a season. Matt Adams, who was recently moved to the disabled list with a left calf strain, has averaged a home run every 64.7 at-bats this season. Adams averaged a home run every 17.4 at-bats last season.
Cardinals' Defense Delivers
The Cardinals lead the majors with 38 defensive runs saved, five more than the next closest team.
St. Louis' infield has been especially dominant defensively, with second baseman Kolten Wong tied with Ian Kinsler for the second-most defensive runs saved with six (Colorado's DJ LeMahieu leads MLB second basemen with seven).
Last season, the Cardinals' defense ranked 22nd in the majors with minus-39 defensive runs saved, while the Royals led the majors in 2013 with 93 runs saved.