There’s a number of reasons that the San Diego Padres are keeping pace in the National League West this season. A big one has been hitting with runners in scoring position.
As of this morning, the San Diego Padres are 31-36 and 5.5 games out of first place in the NL West. As we spoke about last week, there are a number of valid explanations for the Friars’ recent run of success. Here, we’re going to focus on just how good this team has been while hitting with runners in scoring position.
The Padres are currently slashing .264/.328/.431 with RISP, with their batting average ranking second in the National League (Braves, .287). They’ve only found themselves in 478 at-bats in those scenarios (11th in NL) and are tied for ninth in the league with 193 runs scored in those same situations, so what sets them apart, exactly?
It could be the Friars’ offensive exploits in late/close games (after the sixth, +/- three runs). Their .255 batting average ranks third in the NL, and their .712 OPS in those spots is good for sixth (tied with Dodgers). Clearly, this team is picking some right spots to flip the switch on.
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Padres lead all of baseball in a very important stat
The San Diego Padres are currently the most potent team in MLB with two outs and runners in scoring position. Go ahead, I’ll let that register…
The Friars lead the majors in batting average with RISP and two outs, hitting at a .286 clip in those situations. Their .846 OPS in those spots also is tops in all of baseball.
Their 238 at-bats in those spots are tied for twentieth in MLB with the Dodgers, but the Padres are obviously making the most of any opportunities that do indeed come their way.
Friars have been outstanding with RISP and two outs
More than a few of the Padres’ qualified hitters have been lights-out in these spots too. Jose Pirela is slashing .375/.444/.708 in 24 at-bats with RISP and two gone, Manuel Margot is hitting .375/.474/.500, and Franchy Cordero was at .368/.429/.684 in 19 at-bats before getting hurt.
Eric Hosmer, who just keeps getting more and more comfortable as the season wears on, is slashing .304/.407/.478 in those spots in 23 at-bats and Freddy Galvis is just behind him with a .259/.333/.481 line in 27 at-bats.
These are the kinds of clutch performances that the San Diego Padres need if they want to continue to find themselves in the thick of things.