San Diego Padres continue the stellar defense
When hitting and pitching aren't going well, what else do you have? Fielding? Yes, fielding.
San Diego may be in the bottom 10 of the entire MLB in things like batting average, slugging percentage, RBI, stolen bases, and runs, but their defense has been top notch. As July began, their team fielding percentage was tied for second among all MLB clubs at .989 and they had committed the second-fewest errors (31) in all of baseball. For those who may be thinking, "Big whoop! So they don't make errors. Whatever dude," I say, "It can be a sizeable whoop, dude." Over the past 10 seasons, World Series participants like Houston ('22, '21 & '19), Washington ('19), Red Sox ('18 & '13), Cleveland ('16), KC ('15) and the Mets ('15) were all top 10 in the league those seasons in either least errors made or fielding percentage and sometimes both, like the 2018 Red Sox. In fact, both World Series teams from last season (Houston and Philadelphia) finished in the top 10 in both fielding percentage and least errors made.
Fielding percentage may be as unsexy as special teams statistics in football. However, in the end, it could turn out to be a valuable reason why a team gets to the Fall Classic or even possibly a key factor in a team just making it into the postseason. Oh, and a quick B-T-Dubs (as the kids say), last season's playoff Padres finished in the top 10 in both fielding percentage and least errors made. Just saying.