Published On: Sat, Apr 7th, 2018

Fun with small samples: Hilariously unsustainable stats after 1 week

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Sabermetrics is helpful in numerous ways. It informs baseball fans to put more faith into on-base percentage, it teaches us that runs batted in are neither instructive or predictive, and, perhaps most importantly, it tells us that small sample sizes are not to be used for any meaningful analysis.

Of course, meaningful analysis certainly serves a purpose, but, let’s face it: small samples are fun. So, without extrapolating any true significance to any of the early-season statistics, here are four that are hilariously askew:

Bogaerts has as many doubles as the Royals and Indians


Through seven games, Xander Bogaerts has been on an absolutely torrid pace: The Boston Red Sox shortstop has collected 11 total hits, with six doubles.

After the Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians faced off against each other Friday night, both teams had collected six doubles each. The Royals offense has been lethargic to say the least, but has only played five games to Cleveland’s seven. Adding intrigue, the Indians employ the 2017 doubles king in Jose Ramirez who, one season removed from hitting 56, has yet to hit one.

Freeman has reached base 21 times … in 22 at-bats


Freddie Freeman continues to cement himself as one of the most gifted hitters in baseball and, through his first seven games, the Atlanta Braves first baseman has reached base 21 times in 22 at-bats.

As part of the package, Freeman boasts a .621 OBP with nine hits and 12 walks. Technically speaking, Freeman has made 34 plate appearances, but due to walks not officially counting as at-bats, it’s obviously more fun to use ABs. Freeman has a long way to go to reach base 376 times in 373 at-bats though, as Barry Bonds managed in 2004.

Matt Davidson has more HRs than the Dodgers


That’s right. Not only do the Chicago White Sox have more home runs than the team that made it to the World Series last year, but their third baseman alone has gone yard more than the Los Angeles Dodgers. While that may be the most eye-catching stat, it’s not all. This is how the table looks:

Team/Player HRs
Charlie Blackmon 4
Bryce Harper 4
Brian Dozier 4
Matt Davidson 4
Los Angeles Dodgers 3
Tampa Bay Rays 3
Detroit Tigers 2
Miami Marlins 2
Kansas City Royals 1

So, put alternatively, the four players tied for first in home runs have collected more dingers than five different teams.

3 pitchers have allowed as many HRs as Red Sox starters have allowed runs


The starting pitching staff for the Red Sox have allowed four runs total. On the flip side of the coin, Julio Teheran, Kendall Graveman, and Andrew Cashner have allowed four home runs apiece.

Over 42 innings pitched, Red Sox starters own a sterling 0.86 ERA. The combination of Teheran, Graveman, and Cashner own a 7.14 ERA over 29 innings. Interestingly, Teheran and Graveman were both Opening Day starters for their respective teams.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)



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