Detroit Tigers fans who listen to the Tigers SRD podcast should be familiar with our Inside the Numbers segment. For those who don’t listen, we simply pick a number or two and then explain the context. It’s not groundbreaking, but we like to think it’s a good way to add some heft to stats that might otherwise go by unnoticed.
We’ve decided to bring the Inside the Numbers segment to readers, too, beginning with a five-pack of ugly stats to help explain Detroit’s rough start
Detroit Tigers Stat: -28
That is Detroit’s run differential through 16 games this season, the worst in baseball. If you’re unfamiliar with run differential, it’s simply the difference between the number of runs a team has scored and the runs they have allowed. A team’s run differential is a quick and dirty way to determine their overall talent and luck.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, for instance, currently have a +37 run differential, which seems to match their 13-4 record. The Seattle Mariners have a 11-6 record with a -2 run differential, suggesting some early good luck. The Chicago White Sox are just 8-9 despite a +11 run differential, suggesting some bad luck and/or bullpen issues.
The 2021 Detroit Tigers probably aren’t the worst team in baseball. But it seems like, for the 5th consecutive season, they’ll be battling to avoid that ugly distinction.