Day 3 moves us to 5th in our standings,
The Owls had just the one trade that they completed early on in the season. They gave up what was likely the best player in the trade, but did so to gain a more balanced roster.
The real steal in this trade for the Owls was the acquisition of Sarfaraz Karmali who, while not as effective with the offensive side of the ball, has filled in well on the defensive side of the ball and has been a strong voice of leadership on the team.
Please note these stats do not account for any production by any players serving in a reserve capacity and reflect the team member’s output throughout the year, regardless of what team(s) they may have been on.
Team AB: 377
Team AVG: 0.424
LOB: 92 (Runners Left on Base)
LOBi: 205 (Times the individual left runners on Base)
BA/RSP: 0.399 (Batting Average with Runners in Scoring Position)
GB%: 17.3 (% Ground Balls)
LD%: 49.3 (% Line Drives)
PU%: 5.3 (% Pop Ups)
FB%: 28.1 (% Fly Balls)
FPSw: 46.3 (First Pitch Swinging %)
In reviewing the advanced numbers, the biggest difference between the Owls and the Wolves from yesterday’s analysis is the batting average numbers. The Owls meanwhile have 5 extra points (2 wins and a tie) additional due to that 21 point difference. However, there’s more than just those basic numbers at play – we’ll review the team in detail but it wasn’t until about game 4 of the season, before which the Owls were 0-3, that the Owls figured out the secret to winning games. That secret for them…never have a full roster. The Owls have only 1 win (2 points) on the season with a roster greater than 9 players. Every other point they have has been with a depleted roster.
As previously mentioned, the secret to the Owls success has been having less players present, meaning the top of the lineup gets more ABs as a result. However, they only have 3 players in their lineup that are hitting above .500 (Shane Nasser, Irfahn Khimji, and Abbas Fazal). Many were likely expecting to see the captain’s name amongst that list, but Kumail Meghani fell just below .500 at .487. However, the dangerous part about letting Kumail have an extra AB each game (or more) is that he is slugging at a rate of 1.308 (good for 4th best in the league) and an astonishing .455 points above second place on his own team.
When you sort this lineup by hits, the distinction is even clearer. There are 5 batters (the aforementioned 4 and Salim Chagani) on this team that contribute the majority of the hits and then the rest of the team does what it can to get on base so that they can be in a position to score. If, and it’s a strong if, the entire team shows up for the playoffs they’re going to need to be able to turn over the lineup so that the top half of the order can get some more chances. Specifically two players that are going to need to step up are Asad Nasser (28 runners left on base) and Moe Abdalla (30 runners left on base).
The odd thing about this team is that the the players that hit the best, do the worst when there are runners in scoring position and the opposite is true for the bottom of the lineup who do better (but not by a marked amount) than their average when under pressure. The aberration to all of that is Meghani who hits .727 with runners in scoring position and clearly shows up when the lights are brightest.
However, speaking of Asad Nasser, the Owls play their quarter final game at 8:30 AM. The last time someone saw Asad Nasser at 8:30 AM he was headed to bed. Without him, this team is completely devoid of any pitching depth. While Kumail Meghani can likely pitch to get strikes, or Sarfaraz Karmali can step in – neither of the two is particularly effective or comparable to Nasser. Nasser has pitcher 61.33 innings and walked 17. While his counter parts have pitched just 12.33 innings and walked 16. The Owls would be well served to have Asad Nasser stay at someone’s house so they can bring him to the field. If he doesn’t make it, the Owls don’t have a chance.
The strength of his pitching is in his ability to generate fly ball outs. He does so at a ration of 4:1 – this is partially due to the strength of his outfielders all cover a lot of ground and are able to keep runners off the base. Without Nasser and a full contingent of players the Owls are going to have to try and bootstrap their defence – but with the larger field that is Bayview Reservoir that could further complicate things.
The makeup of the Owls team has been scrappy all year. They have beat every single team except one, the Tigers. However, seeing where they finished, they wouldn’t have to play the Tigers in either the Finals or if both the Owls and Falcons as the lower seeds pull off an upset. Their matchup against the Eagles is against a defensively minded team that doesn’t usually give up a lot of runs. The last time the Owls played at Bayview Reservoir, they made use of their speed and were able to generate 4 HRs all inside the park, 12 XBHs and 26 total hits. So their memories of this field are all positive ones.
The team though, as good as they can hit, will be all meaningless if they can’t get someone on the mound that can throw strikes consistently or if they have to play without a rover. As it stands right now they have 7 people committed for the game, 1 maybe and 4 yet to answer. It seems that right to the end the Owls are going to find out what and who they have at approximately 8:30AM.