The Indians offense this season has been the poster child of overall inconsistency, according to fans on twitter. Even though the Indians rank sixth in baseball in runs scored, it seems like the teams scores a bunch in one game before using Erik Kiss bats in the following contest. As much as Indians twitter wants to complain about this issue, they might have to simmer down, according to the data.
In terms of high scoring games, which I decided would be scoring 8 or more runs. In terms of the set criteria, the Indians are tied for fourth in baseball with 17 high scoring games, including last night. Their record in these games is 16-1. The Rockies, aided by Coors Field, have had 27 such games, though they also have had the most losses of any team, going 22-5. A table containing all teams with at least 15 high scoring games this season is below.
For low scoring games, I made the criteria 3 runs scored or fewer. Not surprisingly, the worst offense in baseball, San Diego, has the most of these unfortunate occurrences, scoring 3 or fewer in 69 games. The Indians are actually way down the list, tied for 21st, with just 49 games matching the criteria. Unsurprisingly, no team is so bipolar to rank in the top five in both categories. Each of the above teams’ low scoring game totals is below.
Colorado aside, all of these teams are in the playoff hunt. In fact, the Indians are the only team of the remaining seven that is looking up at the playoff teams. It makes sense, good teams usually have good offenses, which is why five of the eight best high scoring game teams are also ranked 26-30 in terms of low scoring games. Unfortunately, the Indians are a tier below the six remaining teams, which means that their pitching could be bad (it isn’t good, that’s for sure), that the offense is bound to regress (unlikely), or that the fielding has been that costly. According to Baseball-Reference, the Tribe fielding has cost the team 48 runs. At 10 runs per win, going from terrible to average would give this team almost five more wins, making up the five game deficit the Indians currently find themselves in. It also means that the Indians have the talent to make a playoff push so long as their fielding doesn’t keep letting them down.
“But, Alex,” you say, “the Indians are known for scoring only a few runs in the next game after their offensive fireworks.” Not the case. In the 16 previous games where the Indians scored 8 or more runs, the offense fell apart in the following game just 8 times. Essentially, it’s a coin flip as to whether or not the offense will show up tonight. Based on the ERA of Miles Mikolas, the Rangers starter for tonight, the Indians will probably make it 8/17 in terms of “bipolar” scoring. My advice: if someone bets that the Indians’ offense will fall apart tonight, bet him that they won’t, and you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.