I check this metric once a year and it is interesting to see how the team performs on the field and the corresponding win and loss record. This year looks like no different and that’s good news for the SF Giants team.
This metric is the offensive walk-to-strike (BB/K) ratio. As a team, the Giants scored a 0.44 BB/K ratio in 2022. This consisted of a 10.0 percent walk rate versus a 22.7 percent strike rate. The walking rate is the second highest in baseball after only the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have a walking rate of 10.3 percent.
So, why is this even important? Teams with a good BB/K tend to have a better overall record. This is more correlation than causation, but it is an interesting trend. Conversely, teams with poor BB/K ratios tend to be much lower in the rankings. Is this true in 2022?
Here are the top teams in baseball’s BB/K ratio along with their corresponding win and loss history in parentheses:
1. Houston Astros – 0.48 BB/K (Record 43 – 25)
2. Dodgers – 0.48 BB/K (Record 42-25)
3. New York Yankees – 0.45 BB/K (50 – 18 records)
4. Giants – 0.44 BB/K (Record 38 – 30)
5. San Diego Padres – 0.43 BB/K (Record 44 – 27)
Did you notice a thread? All five seasons are in the top eight in baseball by winning percentage. Three of the five teams listed (the Dodgers, Yankees, and Astros) are in first place in their respective league.
Not only do the Yankees and Astros rank first in the Middle East and Al West, respectively, but they’ve had a huge lead. Of course, the other three teams play in NL West.
The Giants (29.1% O-Zone%) and the Dodgers (28.4% O-Zone%) are two of the top three teams in terms of not swinging the courts outside the strike zone. This is certainly a factor that explains their high rates of walking.
The five lowest teams in terms of the BB/K ratio are listed below with their corresponding record in parentheses:
26. Texas Rangers – 0.32 BB/K (Record 33 – 35).
27. Atlanta Braves – 0.32 BB / K ratio (40 – 30 Standard)
28- Baltimore Orioles – 0.31 BB/K (Record 30 – 39)
29. Oakland A’s – 0.31 BB/K (Record 23-46)
30. Detroit Tigers – 0.27 BB/K ratio (record 26-43)
What are the brave people doing there?! There is a perfectly reasonable explanation for them. They aren’t the most patient hitters, but their players have incredible playing power. They compensate for their impatience with the ability to outdo their opponents. Only the Yankees (115 home runs) had more votes than the Braves (106 home runs) in 2022.
The remaining four teams are among the worst in baseball. Orioles and Orioles have the worst records in the Middle East and Al Gharb, respectively. Unfortunately, Team A also has the worst record in baseball.
The Tigers outperform the Kansas City Royals in just one game and have the worst record in AL Central. In some oddity, the Rangers are second in All West, but it’s worth noting that they play in a weak division.
It’s not exactly a linear connection but quite a few things in life as well. I think this all indicates that a good exercise like walking at a high rate relative to the write-off tends to lead to the desired result for more wins. What that means for the Giants is that they tend to have a consistently good operation and remain competitive in part because of that.