Author Archive

Walks, Strikeouts, and the Playoff Race

There are still a lot of teams that are fighting for a postseason spot while we wind down the season. As I watch a lot of games down the stretch, I hear many different announcers bring up the same thing. If you want to win championships, then you need to follow a key ideology that the Astros and Red Sox have both preached in their title-winning seasons: You need to be able to take your walks, and you need to be able to put the ball in play instead of striking out.

In 2017, the Houston Astros had the lowest strikeout rate as a team. They were able to do that while also having the league’s highest team isolated power. Last season, the Red Sox had the third-lowest strikeout rate in the league while having the ninth-best walk rate and fourth-best ISO. This got me to thinking about teams’ walk and strikeout rates. But I did not want to just look at it from the full season perspective. I wanted to compare teams’ rates from before the All-Star game to post-All-Star game (more specifically August 26th, because that is when I am writing this).

Thanks to FanGraphs, I was able to pull the data for the two date ranges and compare the numbers. Let us take a look: Read the rest of this entry »