5 stats to know: Rangers at Cardinals
June, 23, 2013
By Jeremy Lundblad | ESPN.com
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
Adam Wainwright is on pace to set a modern baseball record this season for highest K-BB ratio.
1 - Adam Wainwright looks to become the first 11-game winner in the National League this season. R.A. Dickey was the first to 11 last year in the NL and he won the Cy Young Award.
Wainwright’s ratio of 11.1 strikeouts-per-walk is almost double that of the next best starter (Cliff Lee -- 5.8). Even in three-ball counts, he has more K (11) than BB (nine).
He’s on track to break Bret Saberhagen’s K-BB record of 11.0, set back in 1994. Wainwright currently has more wins (11) than walks (eight), something that’s been done only five times since 1900 and not since Saberhagen (14 wins, 13 walks) in 1994.
2 - The Cardinals lead the majors by a massive margin with a .339 BA with RISP this season. The Tampa Bay Rays are second at .290. The last National League team to hit at least .300 with RISP over a full season was the 2000 Colorado Rockies (.309).
The Cardinals have the top two in the NL in BA with RISP, and six f the top 20. Allen Craig’s .453 BA with RISP would be the highest since Tony Gwynn (.459) in 1997.
3 - Rangers starting pitchers are just 2-8 with a 5.31 ERA in June and their ERA has gone up each month this season. That’s the fewest wins from their starting rotation this month of any team in baseball.
Much like the rotation this season, Sunday’s starter Nick Tepesch tends to start strong, but fade as the game progresses. He has a 1.67 ERA in the first three innings, and an 8.73 ERA after.
The offense has also struggled this month, ranking 10th or worse in the American League in slugging, on-base percentage, batting average and runs per game. After going 19-9 in June last season, the team is just 9-12 in June so far this season.
Four players in this game are in the top six in baseball in Defensive Runs Saved at their position this season -- Yadier Molina (5th among C), Matt Carpenter (T-6th among 2B), Elvis Andrus (T-4th among SS) and David Murphy (4th among LF).
Adrian Beltre has 167 Defensive Runs Saved since the stat was first kept in 2003, the most of any major league player in that span (Chase Utley is second with 141).
It’s easily the most among third basemen (Scott Rolen is second with 114 and Pedro Feliz is third with 80, less than half Beltre’s total).
He’s won five gold gloves, second-most all-time among NL catchers. And only Henry Blanco (40.5) has a higher caught-stealing percentage among active players Molina has thrown out 40.3 percent of would-be base stealers in his career.
His defense helps make the case that he could be the most valuable position player in the NL -- since the start of last season only Andrew McCutchen and David Wright have more Wins Above Replacement.
-- John Fisher contributed to this post