Each Wednesday, blogger Matt Vensel will highlight five statistics that really mean something for the Orioles.
37 -- home runs for Chris Davis before the All-Star break, putting him on a pace to hit 62 this season.
Davis entered the All-Star break with 37 home runs and 93 RBIs. He is one of two players in baseball history to have at least 30 home runs and 90 RBIs before the All-Star break, according to ESPN Stats and Info. The other is Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera, also this season. As for the home runs, only Barry Bonds has had more before the All-Star break than Davis. Bonds had 39 home runs in 2001 on his way to hitting a record 73, and his San Francisco Giants had fewer games than the Orioles, who have played 96 games so far. Catching Bonds will be highly unlikely, but barring injury, Davis should shatter the club record of 50 homers.
11 -- victories for Chris Tillman, three more than Hiroki Kuroda.
By most measures, Kuroda, who pitches for the rival New York Yankees, has had a better season statistically than Tillman, who leads the Orioles in wins. Kuroda is second among American League starters and fifth in the majors with a 2.65 ERA. His 1.05 WHIP is 13th in baseball and he is 28th in strikeout-to-walk ratio, per the Sporting News. Meanwhile, Tillman is 55th in the majors with a 3.95 ERA. He is 65th in WHIP and 71st in strikeout-to-walk ratio. So why did American League manager Jim Leyland choose Tillman over Kuroda? Tillman is 11-3. That's the only stat he needed to see.
232 -- bases on balls drawn by the Orioles so far this season.
In his past positions, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette prioritized players who drew a lot of walks and had high on-base percentages. But in the second year of his tenure in Baltimore, the Orioles are near the bottom of baseball in walks. They have drawn just 232 this season, the second lowest in the American League and fourth lowest in the major leagues. Manny Machado has earned a free pass just 16 times and Adam Jones just 13. But the Orioles do lead the majors in homers, though, so Duquette can deal with a lack of walks.
.280 -- the Orioles’ average with runners in scoring position.
Last season, the Orioles struggled to bring runners home when they were in scoring position. They batted .256 in those situations, which ranked 16th in baseball. This season, they are batting .280 with runners in scoring position, which ranks fourth. That is one of the biggest reasons why the Orioles are averaging 4.81 runs in 2013 after averaging 4.40 in 2012. Three Orioles starters are batting over .325 with runners in scoring position, led by Davis, who is batting a ridiculous .382 in those situations with 11 homers and 60 RBIs.
1.96 -- Matt Hobgood’s ERA in his final six outings in Delmarva.
Hobgood, the team's first-round draft in 2009, was promoted this week to High-A Frederick after a successful first half of the season at Low-A Delmarva. The 22-year-old, who missed all of the 2012 season after surgery on his right rotator cuff, had been operating out of the bullpen for the Shorebirds, pitching 63 innings in 24 appearances. He had posted a 7-3 record with a 3.71 ERA. In his final six appearances there, Hobgood allowed four earned runs over 18 1/3 innings for a 1.96 ERA. We’ll see if he can continue to climb the ladder at the next rung.
Bloggers note: Have a nifty stat you want to share? E-mail me at email@example.com or tweet at me at @mattvensel. If I use it, I’ll be sure to give you a nice plug on the blog.