One of the themes I hear fairly frequently is the Cardinals ability and desire to go up the middle and the other way. I thought it would be worthwhile to see how well reality matches perception. First the numbers for going to the opposite field (all data in the post is derived using Fangraphs.com splits data and is for 2013 only)
Clearly not much to write home about here. The Birds sit dead in the middle of the pack. From an individual perspective the folks that you would expect to be near the top of the Cardinals leader board are there(Freese, Molina,Carpenter,Craig) and the bottom has folks that aren’t too surprising either (Beltran and Kozma).
Moving on to up the middle
Here we see the Cards bubbling more towards the top of the list. For this the team leaders were Beltran and Craig, with Carpenter and Holliday not far behind.
Finally I have a table that compares the wOBAs as a percent of the wOBA to the pull field, to see if teams are nearly as good at hitting the ball up the middle and the other way as they are at pulling it (where all teams wOBA is highest).
|Team||Middle wOBA||Oppo wOBA|
Interestingly the table seems to indicate that the Cardinals are getting more of their value out of pulling the ball than a lot of other teams. It’s not to say that they aren’t good at going up the middle per se (the previous table shows they are) just that they are really good at pulling the ball so far this year. Clearly all of this is still in a reasonably small sample size.