A Comparison

Seattle: .238/.311/.348, 1.6% PA/HR, 9.3% BB/PA, 29% XBH/H
San Diego: .241/.321/.360, 1.8% PA/HR, 9.7% BB/PA, 30% XBH/H

Seattle: 27 DRS, 7.6 UZR
San Diego: 35 DRS, 19.9 UZR

Seattle: 3.78 ERA, 3.99 FIP, 4.39 xFIP
San Diego: 2.88 ERA, 3.66 FIP, 4.08 xFIP

Seattle: 3.70 ERA, 3.75 FIP, 4.27 xFIP
San Diego: 2.91 ERA, 3.14 FIP, 3.19 xFIP

Seattle: 18-28
San Diego: 28-18

Okay, to the commentary.

No, I’m not saying Seattle and San Diego are equals. I do think Seattle will play better than they’ve played so far – which is to say better than one of the worst teams in baseball – and I think San Diego will play worse than they have so far – which is to say worse than one of the best teams in baseball – and I think most people would agree with that.

Seattle and San Diego are basically playing with the same blueprint: good-to-great defense, above-average pitching, and an offense that chronically struggles to scrap out a few runs per game. And it’s working beautifully for one and horribly for the other. Obviously, the comparison using raw statistics is imperfect. Safeco is tough on batters, but Petco is tougher. The Padres are without access to a designated hitter and that has the tendency to affect offensive statistics.

My point is, though, that Seattle’s paltry offensive efforts are well-publicized and mocked. San Diego’s efforts aren’t much better, and would do little to inspire that certain poultry staple of the area. Seattle has a number of struggling batters right now that seem unlikely to be this bad going forward. Jose Lopez, Milton Bradley, Casey Kotchman, and Chone Figgins, for starters, and maybe not all of them come around like we’d expect, but by the end of the year, Seattle should end up outhitting San Diego. That’s largely irrelevant though, since both are below average offenses.

Teams can compete without hitting for a lot of power or hitting a lot in general. Ask San Diego. They’re just doing what a lot of folks thought Seattle would do.

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