The Cardinals’ good fortunes know no limits.
Two seasons after setting a new standard in hitting with runners in scoring position with an otherworldly .330 average (447 hits in 1,355 at-bats), the Cardinals are at it again. This time around, they find themselves historically lucky in regard to stranding runners on base.
Ben Lindbergh’s piece on Grantland highlights the Cardinals’ great fortune by noting their extraordinary numbers in several notable categories.
Traditional or advanced stats. You name it, the Cardinals are excelling at it in an atypical fashion.
Check out the Cardinals’ 2.61 team ERA, which Lindbergh notes is akin to throwing Matt Harvey out to the bump all the time. Their bullpen has been even better, posting a league best 2.26 ERA. And it’s not as if the Cardinals were content with these numbers, as Lindbergh points out they added a pair of former closers — Jonathan Broxton and Steve Cishek — in an attempt to further lengthen the bullpen.
Nothing exemplifies the Cardinals’ run of superb luck like the team’s pitching numbers with runners in scoring position and its strand rate.
St. Louis pitchers are holding opposing hitters to a .198 average with runners in scoring position. And it’s not as if the Cardinals have been limiting those kinds of opportunities, as 1,052 batters have stepped to the plate in those situations.And while that ranks 16th in opportunities, only 178 have managed hits.
Meaning that 83.1 percent of batters who have faced St. Louis pitching with runners in scoring position have failed to get hits in that particular scenario.
As for the team’s strand rate, its 81.0 LOB% is by far the best in all of baseball. It is 5.3 percentage points better than the category runner-up Mets (75.7 percent) and 8.3 percentage points better than the league median strand rate.
Lindbergh’s piece and full dive into the Cardinals run of good luck is worth a read, if you were to dare take a peek behind the curtain at what drives #CardinalsDevilMagic.