The worst time to strike out

by Bill Chuck on February 22, 2016

where-will-you-be-Chicago-Cubs-640x425
Many pundits have already stated their preference for the 2016 World Champions: the Chicago Cubs.

The Cubs are now an outstanding amalgam of youth and experience at the plate, in the field, and on the mound. But as ye olde English proverb states: “There’s many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip.”

One of the areas that the Cubs need to work on is their tendency to strike out. They do it a lot. And there is one thing that all baseball people will agree on, whether they are into analytics or traditional baseball, that the worst time to whiff is when there is a runner on third and less two outs.

Call it coincidence or call it karma, but the two teams that struck out the least when there was a runner on third and less than two outs, were the World Champion Royals and the NL champion Mets. Now, I lean toward coincidence because two last or near-last place teams in their respective East divisions were next on the list. Nevertheless, the fact that the KC and NYM were tops makes for a nice story.

Oh, and take a look at what team struck out the most.

Most Strikeouts with a runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs (2015)

Rk G SO
1 KCR 118 34
2 NYM 111 36
3 ATL 109 40
4 BOS 121 40
5 CLE 119 45
6 TEX 130 47
7 CHW 121 48
8 PIT 121 48
9 MIL 121 50
10 MIA 115 50
11 WSN 114 50
12 LAD 113 52
13 LAA 117 54
14 TOR 126 55
15 OAK 124 55
16 SFG 117 55
17 SDP 109 56
18 BAL 110 57
19 DET 124 57
20 CIN 116 59
21 PHI 120 59
22 NYY 122 60
23 SEA 113 62
24 COL 121 62
25 TBR 120 63
26 STL 125 63
27 ARI 120 64
28 MIN 126 70
29 HOU 116 70
30 CHC 120 84
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/22/2016.

Here are the players who whiffed 10+ times with a runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs (2015)

Rk Player G SO PA
1 Kris Bryant 34 17 39
2 Chris Davis 33 13 36
3 Starlin Castro 35 12 45
4 Ian Desmond 27 12 34
5 Yasmany Tomas 22 11 24
6 Brandon Belt 28 11 29
7 Ryan Howard 27 11 29
8 Kole Calhoun 37 10 40
9 Justin Upton 33 10 37
10 Brandon Moss 26 10 30
11 Marcus Semien 33 10 37
12 Albert Pujols 39 10 39
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/22/2016.

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