The beauty of baseball is that the season is so long it is hard to take anything seriously for the first month or two.
In football, with its limited season, you can generally start to draw some meaningful and educated conclusions by Week 3. Basketball, with its 82 game schedule, usually is ready to go after the first month. In soccer, which apparently never ends, you just constantly made judgements year round. But baseball is its own beast. We get so excited for it to start, and then we have to wait a quite a bit of time to deliver any informative takeaways.
Luckily, no one said we only have to deliver informative takeaways. The small sample size is beautiful because is it a useless and fun exercise into a vast treasure trove of data, which at the moment, ultimately means absolutely nothing.
Which is why the headline up there also means nothing. In a couple of months, maybe it will mean something, but eight games does not make a trend in baseball. In other sports, perhaps. In baseball, not even a something worth writing about.
Right now (or prior to yesterday’s game), the Mariners had a rather interesting statistical split of sorts. The Seattle Mariners are No. 1 in BABIP, at 0.333. The Mariners pitchers are holding their opponents (aka the Cleveland Indians, the San Francisco Giants, and the Minnesota Twins) to a 0.249 BABIP, the fourth-best mark in the league. That vast spread equates to phenomenally uninspiring run differential of negative one, good for No. 15 in the majors.
|team||runs for||BABIP||runs against||BABIP against||run differential|
(for a better view and sorting click here for the Google doc)
Now what can we draw from this? Literally nothing! It has been only seven games!
But, if we were to be bored in the beginning of the season and to slightly extrapolate on this, it is a bit odd that the Mariners have the luckiest bats, some of the luckiest pitchers, and haven’t been able to translate this to much of anything.
Other teams with such wildly positive differences between BABIPs, have run differentials exactly how you would expect. Just take a quick look at the table above, paying close attention Mets, Diamondbacks, Braves, and Pirates. Those teams, like the Mariners, have pretty severe differences between BABIPs, yet their run differentials are much higher, in the case of the Braves, 30 runs higher than Seattle.
In the grand scheme of things that seem very “Mariners” to do. Being lucky at hitting, lucky at hitting, and doing very little about it seems right in line with the local legend of this team’s constant futility. If anything, if you want to take away one iota of meaningless information from this dumb exercise, the one thing the Mariners appear to be doing right: the negative one run differential currently equates to a roughly .500 record. That appears to be right in line with how baseball should operate.