Baseball Offense Comparison – 2008 vs. 2007

You might debate why, but facts are that scoring is down 5% across MLB this season compared to last.

A comparison of key offensive indicators at the All-Star break reveals that scoring is down 5% in the major leagues compared to the same period in 2007. Various factors have been cited as reasons for the decline including weather effects and the clampdown on the use of performance enhancing drugs.

A comparison of major offensive measures is shown below:

Pre All-Star Break Pre All-Star Break % Full Year
American League 2007 2008 Change 2007
Team Runs/ Game 4.88 4.61 -5.5 4.9
Team HR/Game 1.04 0.95 -8.7 1
BAVG 0.268 0.264 -1.5 0.271
OBP 0.337 0.332 -1.5 0.338
SLG 0.419 0.411 -1.9 0.423
OPS 0.756 0.743 -1.7 0.761
National League 1H2007 1H2008 % Chg Year 2007
Team Runs/ Game 4.68 4.48 -4.3 4.71
Team HR/Game 0.98 1.01 3.1 1.05
BAVG 0.261 0.258 -1.1 0.266
OBP 0.328 0.329 0.3 0.334
SLG 0.411 0.409 -0.5 0.423
OPS 0.739 0.738 -0.1 0.757
Major Leagues 1H2007 1H2008 % Chg Year 2007
Team Runs/ Game 4.78 4.54 -5 4.8
Team HR/Game 1.01 0.98 -3 1.02
BAVG 0.264 0.261 -1.1 0.268
OBP 0.332 0.33 -0.6 0.336
SLG 0.415 0.41 -1.2 0.423
OPS 0.747 0.74 -0.9 0.759

Observations:

1. Offense is down across the board in 2008 vs. 2007 (column 2 vs. column 1).

2. The decline is greater in the American League.

3. Home runs per game are up slightly in the National League and are higher than in the AL as they have been since the middle of 2007.

4. Home runs per game are down 8.7 % in the American League.

5. In 2007, offense was slightly higher for the full year than it was prior to the All-Star break (column 4 vs. column 1). The same can probably be expected in 2008.

6. At the All Star break, only three players were on target to reach the triple milestones of a .300 batting average, 30 home runs and 100 RBIs. (Lance Berkman, Josh Hamilton and Carlos Lee). In 2007, eight players achieved all three milestones.



Bill Gilbert is a baseball analyst and writer and member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).


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