Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Check Out Runs Differential Before Making Trades

As the clock ticks closer to the July 31st trading deadline certain questions come to mind for virtually every team in the league.

Do we need to shake up the team? Are we in the race? Are we trying to load up for the postseason? Are we gearing up for next year?

Normally I don’t like to get bogged down in statistics, but there is one that I feel accurately gives guidance when weighing those questions.

Runs scored minus runs given up.

Click below for more!The higher the positive number after subtracting runs allowed from runs scored, the better off you are.

Even if the runs scored come in blow out games, it still shows your team has the firepower to put crooked numbers on the board.

With that formula in mind (thru Friday’s games) let’s check the top teams in the American League.

In Detroit all the talk around the deadline concerns the Tigers need for a lefthanded hitter. Not so fast. The Tigers have outscored their opponents by 135 runs, the highest differential in baseball. Detroit can hit the ball. I’d strengthen the bullpen first.

The White Sox (+84), Yankees (+91), and Red Sox (+69) all hit the ball extremely well. Their run differentials should be higher.

They need pitching.

Boston and New York must add at least one starting pitcher and more reliable relievers if they want to improve their chances of getting to October.

It’s clear the White Sox are falling in the standings because of a team wide slump in pitching. Unless the hurlers in the Windy City turn it around over the next two months, their run differential will continue to shrink, meaning no title defense in October.

In the AL West the teams stack up like this: Texas (+6), Los Angeles (+17), Seattle (-1), and Oakland (-7).

The A’s pitching has been their strength. Turn the hitting around and watch the A’s take off.

Since the A’s don’t hit many doubles, they should be looking for a gap hitter or a lead off hitter that can score runs with speed once on base.

Texas added slugger Carlos Lee. Even though Texas still needs more pitching, the Rangers plan is clear: we’ll beat you 7-6.

The Angels have the pitching. The Angels need hitters. A middle of the order hitter is where they should be looking. No doubt if Los Angeles gets Miguel Tejada or Alfonso Soriano their chances of success will increase dramatically.

As the number of runs scored increases in relation to runs given up, the wins follow.

Seattle pitches very well. Ten teams in the league score more runs than the Mariners. Ben Broussard and Eduardo Perez will share time as Seattle’s new DH platoon. Seattle needs hitters Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson to light it up. If that happens they can continue to stalk the field.

Minnesota is an intriguing team. The Twins are mirroring the A’s meteoric run through the AL last summer. The A’s stopped hitting last September.

Minnesota (+54) should learn from last year’s A’s team. Get more hitting now. Take the pressure off the pitchers because you can’t play .800 ball for four months.

The Twins run differential is close enough to the White Sox, Red Sox, and Yankees to sneak into the wild card if they upgrade the offense.

Toronto (+57) has the top offense in the AL. Memo: Inconsistent pitching has doomed you to third place in the East. If starters AJ Burnett and Ted Lilly find their groove and the Jays add another reliable starter then beware. Until then, Toronto will harmlessly chase the leaders down the stretch.

In the NL based on run differential the playoff teams would be the Mets, Cards, Padres, and the Braves. Now you know why Atlanta is adding every pitcher in sight.

If a team’s run differential is within 30 of the team it’s chasing bolster the team now. Otherwise plan for ’07.


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