The Bill Chuck Files overflow each day with stats, factoids, and observations that are sometimes relevant, sometimes irrelevant, and sometimes simply intriguing. At the start of each Sox series, I will share some of these in my "Nine to Know,” and I hope you will do the same.
The year was 1990, the film was the disappointing “Godfather III,” but the words as spoken by Al Pacino as Michael Corleone are resonating throughout Red Sox Nation this morning: “Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in.”
Yes, the Sox are showing signs of life winning seven of their last eight games.
Their AL East opponent:
• Tampa Bay Rays have won six of their last eight including five in a row.
• New York Yankees have won four of their last eight including three in a row.
• Toronto Blue Jays have won four of their last eight including two in a row.
• Baltimore Orioles have won four of their last eight, just dropping 2-of-3 to the A’s.
They have picked up ground on each team.
You see, both the Sox and the Rays have won 7 of 10, gaining one game on the Orioles and Yankees.
The Sox have won 11 of 20, gaining a game on the Yankees, losing a game to the Orioles, and losing four games to the Rays, who are the hottest team in the division.
And, if you look at the last 30 games, the Sox and Yankees are 15-15, the Orioles are 18-12, the fading Jays are 11-19, and the reviving Rays are 20-10.
The Sox are still 7.5 games out of the AL lead and 6.0 out in the AL Wild Card. And, the next 13 games which includes seven against the reeling Jays, and three each against Tampa and the Yanks may tell us whether this Sox team, still six games under .500, will be sellers or buyers at the deadline.
Some GM simply makes Ben Cherington an offer he can’t refuse.
Nine to Know: Boston (46-52, 20-26 on the road, 16-22 vs. the AL East) @ Toronto (51-48, 27-22 at home, 18-17 vs. AL East)
1. The AL East is hitting .255. The Orioles have the best batting average hitting .264; the Red Sox have the worst at .247. The Orioles and Jays have each hit 119 homers, the most in the division; The Red Sox have the least with 72.
2. The Yankees have struck out 689 times, the fewest in the division; the Red Sox have whiffed 780 times, the most in the AL East.
3. The Blue Jays have scored 445 runs, the most in the division, the Red Sox have scored 380, the least in the division.
4. The ERA for pitchers in the division is 3.87. The Red Sox and the Rays each have a 3.76 ERA, the best in the division; the Blue Jays 4.07 is the worst. The AL East has a 1.301 average WHIP. The Rays 1.261 WHIP is the best, the Jays 1.368 WHIP is the worst, and the Sox are in the middle with a 1.288 WHIP.
5. AL East starters have a 1.307 average WHIP. The Yankees 1.253 WHIP is the best, the Orioles 1.369 WHIP is the worst, and the Sox are in the middle with a 1.301 WHIP. AL East relievers have a 3.76 average ERA and 1.292 WHIP. The Sox 3.31 ERA and 1.260 WHIP are the best, the Jays 4.35 ERA and 1.425 WHIP are the worst.
6. Of qualified batters, the Orioles’ Nick Markakis is the only .300 batter in the division, hitting .307. For batters with a minimum of 250 PA, Brock Holt is the division’s leading batter at .326.The division’s leading HR hitters are Nelson Cruz (28), Edwin Encarnacion (26 and currently on the DL), and David Ortiz (20).
7. Chris Davis leads the division with 110 whiffs, followed by Xander Bogaerts (90), Mike Napoli (87), Brett Gardner (87), and Jackie Bradley Jr. (85).
8. Jon Lester has the best ERA in the division at 2.50, while Jake Peavy has the worst at 4.59. Masahiro Tanaka (currently on the DL) has the best WHIP at 1.005, followed by David Price at 1.041, and Lester at 1.117. Ubaldo Jimenez has the worst at 1.535.
9. Coming out of the bullpen, Dellin Betances has the best WHIP at 0.720, followed by Koji Uehara 0.745. The O’s Darren O’Day has the best ERA at 1.06, followed by Jake McGee at 1.43, Betances at 1.54, and Uehara at 1.58.
See you Friday at the Trop.