BennStencilBy Ben Allman

Major League Baseball’s annual All Star game is right around the corner. This is always a time to celebrate the game itself with annual charity softball games, a home run derby, plenty of autograph opportunities for the kids, and the best fan experience the MLB can bring to the hosting city. The All Star game has provided the sports world memorable moments over the years. Some good, some bad, some funny, some ugly; whether they are quality moments or not, they are moments forever sketched in the mind. Depending on how long you’ve been watching the game, your memories maybe different.

If you were playing word association with a hardcore baseball fan who is north of 40 and you said “All Star Game,” they would probably say Pete Rose and Ray Fosse, when Rose had to be Rose, good old Charlie Hustle, and went full beastmode into home plate.

rose

If you play the same game with another fan who is under the age of 40, laughter would more then likely be their initial reaction and then they would go into a story about Commissioner Bud Selig’s misfortune when he had to declare the 2002 midsummer classic a tie because nobody had any pitchers left as the game went into extra innings. I actually like this moment more and more because I still feel like Bud’s mishandling of PED’s in the majors is one of the most hypocritical moments I’ve witnessed in sports. Best part of this moment is it happened in Milwaukee where Bud owned the Brewers at the time. Nothing against Milwaukee, just the grumpy looking guy in the picture below.

bud-asg-tri

My favorite All Star moment has to be Randy Johnson throwing a 600 mph heater over John Kurk’s head in 1993, scaring the ever loving daylights out of the big guy, but making everyone else around him laugh their heads off.

010215_rj_kruk_tw_7bezpjvq

Rockies trivia note, Kurk’s backup in that game was first basemen Andres Galarraga, their very first All Star, who I’m pretty sure replaced Kurk in the field that very next inning. Kurky probably has some PTSD after this moment.

galarraga(2)

So while the All Star game and all its celebrations are good for creating memorable moments,  the game itself also roughly marks the halfway point of the major league season. I got to thinking about what teams have been the best at the plate, the best on the mound, and the best in the field. I put together lists of the top and bottom fives in major hitting and pitching categories as a team and gave some very obvious observations. While numbers aren’t the whole story, they are always a part of the story. Have a look and think for yourselves. If you’d like to chat with us about these numbers, hit us up on twitter @TheGrandSlamDnk #BenDen. Cheers to baseball!

Hitting Top 5 Bottom 5 Notes
On Base Percentage 1)    Red Sox – .360

2)    Cubs – .346

3)    Pirates – .336

4)    Giants – .335

5)    Rockies – .334

26) Padres – .305

27) Athletics – .303

28) Reds – .299

29) Braves – .298

30) Phillies – .294

Red Sox have the most productive offense so far this season with the Cubs not far behind. That would be a fun World Series matchup. The Cursed vs. The Formerly Cursed. Chicago and Boston fans will be crazy obnoxious if this happens. I don’t know who I’d root for here.
Home Runs 1)    Orioles – 131

2)    Mariners – 129

3)    Blue Jays – 128

4)    Nationals – 121

5)    Mets – 119

26) Pirates – 80

27) Royals – 77

28) Marlins – 75

29) Giants – 72

30) Braves – 47

Strikeouts 1)    Astros – 800

2)    Brewers – 797

3)    Rays – 783

4)    Padres – 775

5)    Diamondbacks –  769

26) Red Sox – 597

27) Yankees – 582

28) Giants – 577

29) Athletics – 571

30) Angels – 511

Walks 1)    Cubs – 363

2)    Blue Jays – 337

3)    Astros – 335

4)    Giants – 311

5)    Brewers – 310

26) Reds – 232

27) Rangers – 228

28) Athletics – 213

29) Phillies – 201

30) Royals – 189

Runs per Game 1)    Red Sox – 5.67

2)    Cubs – 5.22

3)    Rockies – 5.18

4)    Cards – 5.16

5)    Blue Jays – 4.92

26) Rays – 3.98

27) Brewers – 4.00

28) Mets – 3.89

29) Phillies – 3.56

30) Braves – 3.37

Pitching (Starters) Top 5 Bottom 5 Notes
ERA 1)    Cubs – 2.90

2)    Mets – 3.40

3)    Nationals – 3.46

4)    Giants – 3.53

5)    Indians – 3.69

26) Athletics – 5.05

27) Rockies – 5.10

28) Orioles – 5.14

29) Twins – 5.27

30) Reds – 5.30

There are several reasons the Cubs are heavy favorites to make a deep playoff run, but the top reason has to be starting pitching. Every team is shooting for second place in terms of best starting pitching after Chicago.
WHIP 1)    Cubs – 1.07

2)    Indians – 1.17

3)    Dodgers – 1.17

4)    Giants – 1.17

5)    Nationals – 1.18

26) Pirates – 1.45

27) Angels – 1.46

28) Orioles – 1.46

29) Athletics – 1.50

30) Reds – 1.50

Strikeouts 1)    Nationals – 567

2)    Dodgers – 539

3)    Cubs – 501

4)    Rays – 488

5)    Indians – 484

26) O’s/A’s – 367

27) Twins – 354

28) Rangers – 352

29) Brewers – 349

30) Reds – 346

Walks 1)    Reds – 204

2)    Padres – 189

3)    Rangers – 189

4)    Marlins – 182

5)    Athletics – 181

26) Twins – 137

27) Giants – 135

28) Yankees – 132

29) Phillies – 127

30) Mets – 112

Pitching (Relief) Top 5 Bottom 5 Notes
ERA 1)    Dodgers – 2.85

2)    Royals – 2.90

3)    Astros – 3.17

4)    Nationals – 3.20

5)    Orioles – 3.20

26) Padres – 4.57

27) Rays – 4.89

28) Rockies – 4.95

29) Rangers – 5.07

30) Reds – 5.80

The Dodgers statistically have had the best bullpen so far this season. After that, you can put the Royals, Astros, Yankees, and Nationals in any order you like probably.
WHIP 1)    Dodgers – 1.02

2)    Astros – 1.10

3)    Yankees – 1.10

4)    Nationals – 1.16

5)    Royals – 1.20

26) White Sox – 1.44

27) Brewers – 1.45

28) Rangers – 1.46

29) Braves – 1.47

30) Reds – 1.59

Saves 1)    Mets – 32

2)    Marlins – 31

3)    Rangers – 31

4)    Orioles – 29

5)    Pirates – 29

26) Braves – 16

27) Angels – 15

28) Cubs – 14

29) Reds – 14

30) Twins – 12

Holds 1)    Giants – 66

2)    Rangers – 59

3)    Astros – 54

4)    Mets – 53

5)    White Sox – 51

26) B’Jays/Cards – 33

27) Braves – 28

28) Indians – 26

29) Reds – 24

30) Twins – 24

Fielding Top 5 Bottom 5 Notes
Fielding Percentage 1)    Nationals – .990

2)    Dodgers – .988

3)    Blue Jays – .987

4)    Astros – .987

5)    Pirates – .987

26) Twins – .981

27) Padres – .981

28) Phillies – .981

29) Reds – .981

30) Cardinals – .980

Best defense in the majors goes to the baseball team in our nation’s capital for the first half of the season.

Citations

Statistical information can be view at www.mlb.com under the team statistic tab.

Photo Credits

1) https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/rose.gif?w=1000

2) https://espngrantland.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/bud-asg-tri.gif

3) http://mlb.mlb.com/images/8/1/8/105440818/010215_rj_kruk_tw_7bezpjvq.gif

4) http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3A6E97yPcOU/Ua0mp86WrvI/AAAAAAAAAJc/o_nn2wzuNOo/s1600/galarraga(2).jpg

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