Baseball, more than any other sport, is a game of numbers. Unlike basketball or hockey, which offers more rouge variables, bettors can get a good idea of a team’s makeup just by looking at the stats.
We combed the National League for the most telling stats and figures, in order for MLB bettors to get a quick handle on what to expect when laying down your hard-earned coin on certain teams. Check out one telling stat for every American League team
.Stats as of May 19, 2012Atlanta Braves – 3.93 pitches per batter for starters (Most in NL)
The Braves rotation hasn’t been very efficient, totaling 234.1 innings and recording only 18 quality starts – tied for second last in the NL. Starters Tommy Hanson and Brandon Beachy are third and fourth in the NL in total pitches.
Miami Marlins – 5-1 in extra innings
The Marlins have a flair for the dramatic this season. Miami has thrived in extra innings, walking a very thin line between a winning and losing record. The Fish’s extra-inning efforts have kept them out of the basement and in the middle of a jam-packed NL East.
New York Mets – 44 home runs allowed (Most in NL)
The Mets are coming back to earth after a quick start thanks to the wheelbarrow of watermelons their staff is throwing out there. New York tossed four taters to the Blue Jays in Friday’s 14-5 interleague beating.
Philadelphia Phillies – 71 runs scored from 7th inning on (Most in NL)
Those 71 runs scored in the late innings make up 43 percent of the Phillies’ total run production this season. However, many of those offensive explosions have been spoiled by a bullpen that lugs their worst ERA in the NL - 5.34 ERA.Washington Nationals – 17 one-run games
As dominating as the Nationals pitching is, it hasn’t saved Washington bettors from biting their nails. The Nats are 10-7 in one-run contests this season, a record that could be much better if the offense would show up each day.Chicago Cubs – 1.82 strikeout/walks ratio (Worst in NL)
The Cubbies have given out the second-most free passes in the NL this season, walking 152 batters. On top of that, Chicago has only 276 strikeouts. Outside of Jeff Samardzija, the Cubs don’t have many answers when they need that key K.
Cincinnati Reds - .201 BA with RISP (Worst in NL)
The Reds were predicted to be the class of the NL Central this season, but can’t seem to get the bat off their shoulder when it really matters. Cincy has struck out 83 times with runners in scoring position, with big boppers like Jay Bruce hitting just .182 with RISP.
Houston Astros – 7 home runs on the road (Tied for worst in NL)
Runs are tough to come by away from home. So, when you can’t get a rally going, sometimes a dinger is all you need to scratch across the go-ahead run. Houston has hit 19 home runs at home but just seven on the road this season.
Milwaukee Brewers – .206 BA for lead-off hitter (Third worst in NL)
Ryan Braun’s power is going to waste without anyone to set the table. Rickie Weeks is hitting a dismal .159 and has since been demoted to the middle of the order. Nyjer Morgan (.189) and Corey Hart (.252) have failed to spark the top of the order in their shots at the No. 1 hole.
Pittsburgh Pirates - 85 walks drawn (Worst in MLB)
The Bucs have some of the best pitching stats in baseball right now, but couldn’t find home plate with a GPS. Pittsburgh sits in the basement of most hitting categories, averaging just 2.85 runs per game and posting a .269 OBP.
St. Louis Cardinals – 10 home runs with RISP and two outs (Most in NL)
The Cardinals weren’t supposed to be a better hitting team with Albert Pujols out of the picture. But, St. Louis has powered itself to the top of the NL Central thanks to cashing in with big hits at the right time. However, Carlos Beltran’s bad knees could throw a hitch in the Cards’ giddy-up.Arizona Diamondbacks – 263 strikeouts (Worst in the NL)
The Diamondbacks are hoping to make another postseason run but will need to find some strikeout power if they’re going to get out of those pinches in September and October. Arizona hasn’t been able to get out of jams this season, posting a 13.02 ERA with RISP and two outs – second-worst in the NL.
Colorado Rockies – 5.55 ERA at home (Worst in NL)
Blame it on the thin air at Coors Field or just blame it on crappy pitching at home. The Rockies have been hit hard at home, leading to a 12-8-1 over/under mark as hosts this season. Opposing batters are hitting .307 against Colorado at Coors Field.Los Angeles Dodgers – 4 series losses
The Dodgers have dropped only four series to start the year with just one of those coming at home. Los Angeles has 17 wins at Dodgers Stadium this season, and a big part of that is manager Don Mattingly’s ability to make adjustments over the course of a series.
San Diego Padres – 16 home runs (Worst in MLB)
The Padres suffer from a serious lack of pop, hitting just 16 home runs – nine fewer than San Francisco, the second lowest HR total in the NL at 25. Sure, Petco Park is where home runs go to die, but San Diego has actually hit nine of its 16 dingers at home this season.
San Francisco Giants – 20 unearned runs
The Giants have kicked around the ball for 42 errors – most in the majors – translating into 20 unearned runs. When you only score a handful of runs each game, those costly mistakes will be the difference between winning and losing the NL West.