MLB Playoffs 2011: Ranking the Offenses

By Scott Barzilla (Contributor) on September 30, 2011

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Do the Yankees have the best offense in baseball?
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Offense is not the only thing that will determine who will advance to the World Series. In fact, when you ask most experts, it isn't even the biggest factor. However, it can't be ignored. So, how exactly do we grade these offenses?

I am going to use my real offensive value (ROV) statistic to help us. We will also take a look at batting average on balls in play (BABIP) to see which teams have experienced more luck than anything else. FInally, we'll throw in stolen bases to see how speed will play a part.

ROV= Secondary Average + Batting Average / 2

Secondary Average (SEC)= (OBP-AVG) + (SLG-AVG)

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Key = ROV/BABIP/SB

Carlos Ruiz. . . . . . . . . .237/301/0

Ryan Howard. . . . . . . ..267/294/0

Chase Utley. . . . . . . . .268/266/13

Placido Polanco. . . . . ..203/292/3

Jimmy Rollins. . . . . . . .233/303/29

Raul Ibanez. . . . . . . . ..232/268/2

Shane Victorino. . . . . ..284/292/19

Hunter Pence. . . . . . . .279/361/9

Overall, this gives the Phillies regular lineup a .250 ROV and a .297 BABIP. The BABIP is slightly below league average, so the Phillies have earned everything legitimately. The .250 mark is league average, but that means they may have the worst offense in the playoffs. On the other hand, their 75 stolen bases means they could manufacture some runs.

John Mayberry Jr. could spot Ibanez in left and possibly improve things a bit. Otherwise, there is no one else on the bench that is likely to be a factor.

Milwaukee Brewers

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Key= ROV/BABIP/SB

Jonathan Lucroy. . . . . . . . . . . .214/317/0

Prince Fielder. . . . . . . . . . . . . .332/304/0

Rickie Weeks. . . . . . . . . . . . . .279/313/9

Casey McGehee. . . . . . . . . . .205/249/0

Yuniesky Betancourt. . . . . . . . .202/260/4

Ryan Braun. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..333/353/32

Nyjer Morgan. . . . . . . . . . . . . .237/362/13

Corey Hart. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .291/323/7

The Brewers might have the best offense in the National League. But, there are balance concerns to be sure. A majority of the value (.262 overall) is tied up in Fielder and Braun. However, Hart and Weeks are very good complements.

Obviously, McGeehee and Betancourt looks bad, but they had strong second halves respectively. Morgan also came on late after sharing time with Carlos Gomez for most of the season.

Gomez and Felipe Lopez are good bench players that could serve as decent regulars in a pinch. The Brewers did enjoy some good luck with a .310 BABIP. The team levied 65 steals which isn't as good as the Phillies or Diamondbacks, but is decent enough.

St. Louis Cardinals

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Key= ROV/BABIP/SB

Yadier Molina. . . . . . . . . . . . .246/307/0

Albert Pujols. . . . . . . . . . . . ..311/283/9

Skip Schumaker. . . . . . . . . ..201/.321/0

David Freese. . . . . . . . . . . . .245/352/0

Rafael Furcal. . . . . . . . . . . . .208/240/9

Matt Holliday. . . . . . . . . . . . .309/330/2

Jon Jay. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .235/341/6

Lance Berkman. . . . . . . . . . .329/315/2

The Cardinals are the slowest team in the playoffs with only 26 stolen bases. However, several regulars in the lineup have some speed to work with. No team has a combination of three hitters with real offensive values well above .300. The Cardinals have a .261 collective real offensive value.

Like the Brewers, they have players playing very well in the second half. Furcal has been brilliant since moving to St. Louis. Jay has also been better when getting regular time. The lack of team speed might get them in the end though. Ryan Theriot is the only bench player of note.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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Key= ROV/BABIP/SB

Miguel Montero. . . . . . . . . .271/318/0

Paul Goldschmidt. . . . . . . .286/318/0

Aaron Hill. . . . . . . . . . . . . .194/269/18

Ryan Roberts. . . . . . . . . . .262/278/18

John McDonald. . . . . . . . . .174/250/2

Gerardo Parra. . . . . . . . . . .246/342/15

Chris Young. . . . . . . . . . . .256/275/22

Justin Upton. . . . . . . . . . . .305/319/21

The D'backs officially bring up the rear with a collective .249 ROV, but that is more than a bit deceiving. The D'backs have been platooning John McDonald with Willie Bloomquist. Bloomquist isn't going to make anyone forget Stephen Drew, but he is better offensively than McDonald. McDonald is better defensively, so it is a trade off.

Also, Hill has been much better since coming to the National League. So, when you put both of those together you see a whole different team. The D'backs are also the best running team in the playoffs. At least they are the best in the National League.

New York Yankees

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Key= ROV/BABIP/SB

Russell Martin. . . . . . . . .246/252/0

Mark Teixiera. . . . . . . . ..290/239/0

Robinson Cano. . . . . . . ..287/320/8

Alex Rodriguez. . . . . . . ..276/311/4

Derek Jeter. . . . . . . . . . .224/338/16

Brett Gardner. . . . . . . . ..227/304/49

Curtis Granderson. . . . . .328/294/24

Nick Swisher. . . . . . . . ..282/295/2

Jorge Posada. . . . . . . . .239/262/0

The Yankees have 103 steals as a team, and while their .267 ROV is technically not the highest, they have an ace in the hole. If they want to go for broke, they can insert Jesus Montero at DH in place of Posada. They probably don't want to put him under that kind of pressure. Yet, they have the best combination of power and speed in the playoffs.

Texas Rangers

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Key= ROV/BABIP/SB

Mike Napoli. . . . . . . . . . . .356/352/0

Mitch Moreland. . . . . . . . ..241/293/0

Ian Kinsler. . . . . . . . . . . . .253/242/25

Adrian Beltre. . . . . . . . . . .288/270/0

Elvis Andrus. . . . . . . . . . .215/316/35

Josh Hamilton. . . . . . . . . .294/320/8

Endy Chavez. . . . . . . . . . .224/321/10

Nelson Cruz. . . . . . . . . . ..279/288/9

Michael Young. . . . . . . . ..258/367/0

The Rangers enter the playoffs in the best position offensively. They top the majors with their .268 mark, but they also have more lineup options than anyone. They can shift Napoli to first base and catch Yorvit Torrealba. They can also DH him and move David Murphy to first base. They can play Murphy in right field and sit Cruz. Julio Borbon can play center in place of Chavez. It is an embarrassment of riches quite frankly.

Detroit Tigers

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Key= ROV/BABIP/SB

Alex Avila. . . . . . . . . . . . . .304/370/0

Miguel Cabrera. . . . . . . . . .333/356/0

Ramon Santiago. . . . . . . . .218/283/0

Brandon Inge. . . . . . . . . . ..176/256/1

Jhonny Peralta. . . . . . . . . ..263/329/0

Delmon Young. . . . . . . . . ..219/302/1

Austin Jackson. . . . . . . . . .222/339/22

Brennan Boesch. . . . . . . . .258/315/5

Victor Martinez. . . . . . . . . .255/341/0

I wouldn't say the Tigers are slow, but they clock them with a calendar instead of a stopwatch. They do have some flexibility with Victor Martinez's ability to catch. Magglio Ordonez has been hitting better lately, so he might be a factor as well. Yet, their .250 ROV and league low 29 steals makes their offense a bit underwhelming.

Tampa Bay Rays

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Key= ROV/BABIP/SB

John Jaso. . . . . . . . . .260/282/1

Casey Kotchman. . . . .247/335/2

Ben Zobrist. . . . . . . . .270/310/18

Evan Longoria. . . . . . .297/239/3

Sean Rodriguez. . . . ..229/268/11

Desmond Jennings. . ..273/312/20

B.J. Upton. . . . . . . . ..259/301/35

Matt Joyce. . . . . . . . .274/317/13

Johnny Damon. . . . . .241/283/19

The Rays have some flexibility in that lineup. Sean Rodriguez platoons with Reid Brignac at shortstop and Jaso platoons with Kelly Shoppach behind the dish. Their .261 ROV is strong, but their 122 steals is stronger. They have the best base running team in the playoffs and they are better at manufacturing runs than anyone.

What is the duplicate article?

St Louis Cardinals: Like this team?