Within the NL Central

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Yet again the Reds managed a winning record within the NL Central. In looking over the numbers, it’s not too difficult to see why that was the case. Granted, the 2011 record of 42-37 does not compare to last season’s record of 49-30. When you play almost half your games within the division, you must have a winning record there in order to even think of contending for the division crown.

Upon viewing some offensive and pitching stats from the season, the Reds didn’t fare too bad against divisional foes this past season. Here’s how the Reds offense fared against the divisional foes this psat season.

Batting

From a statistical point of view, it should come as no surprise that the Reds bats were a little more alive against the Houston Astros. Houston’s pitching staff was last in the NL in ERA (4.51), saves (25), runs allowed (796), home runs allowed (188), and WHIP (1.42).

If you followed the Reds closely this season, you realize that the staff of the Pittsburgh Pirates gave them fits on many an occasion. The Pirates allowed the most hits in the NL this past season (1,513). They also recorded the least number of strikeouts (1,031), yet they managed to keep a pretty good offense in check. Also worthy of note is that Pittsburgh’s staff registered the lowest SLG of any team within the division. In the grand scheme of things, you could say the Pirates simply had the Reds number for 2011.

What’s peculiar is how the Reds amassed 11 wins against the Chicago Cubs (most against any in the NL Central), yet they fared the worst against that staff in terms of batting average.

Concerning the division-winning Brewers, it was a case of early season/late season. The Reds took it to the Brew Crew early on, but Milwaukee reversed that trend later on in 2011.

Pitching

Here’s the numbers from how the Reds staff fared against the NL Central…

Back to the Pirates again here. Among all the NL teams, they ranked 12th in batting average (.244), 12th in OBP (.309), and 15th in SLG (.368). The Bucs managed to be above those numbers in all areas against Cincinnati pitchers.

It’s also not too hard to imagine that the Brewers registered the most home runs and highest SLG (by far). Didn’t Rickie Weeks start every other game with a home run? And in case you’re wondering, Bronson Arroyo allowed 6 homers to the Brewers this season, most against any team…period.

Like with the bats, the Reds arms fared the best against Houston; however, this is a little weird. The Astros finished 2011 with a higher team batting average (.258) than the Reds (.256)! It dominance ends there. The ‘Stros were 11th in OBP (.311) and 13th in SLG (.374). The Reds held the Astros below their average in all facets. I know, I know…

The only team where the Reds staff did not have a SO/BB ration against was the Cardinals. Considering teh Cards can boast the NL’s best offense leads to an odd question. How can the Reds staff, viewed as average at best, keep these guys somewhat in check for 2011? I mean the Pirates had better stats against the Reds. I guess that’s difference between the records.

No matter how you cut all of this, the one thing remains. The Reds bats are all right with a slight dropoff from 2010, but the arms fell off more. That will most likely be the area of focus during the off-season. Walt has stated as such.

I hope that’s true…