Indians Mega-Season Preview
6. Ranking the Best AL Offenses
1. Astros: Like I said earlier, the Astros OPS+ of 127 was not only first in the AL, but 22% better than the next closest two teams (Twins and Yankees both at 105). Their only true loss was Carlos Beltran, who was actually one of their worst hitters. They scored 10 or more runs 23 times, and as a whole, their 896 run total was 38 more than the second-place Yankees.
2. Yankees: Speaking of the Yanks, here they are at number two. Just know this number, the trio of Judge, Stanton, and Sanchez produced 131 runs just from their batting alone. The next closest trio was from the team ranked above them (Correa, Altuve and Springer produced 127 runs).
3. Angels: An odd choice for sure, but looking at it, I just don’t see how this team doesn’t produce. Mike Trout played in just 114 games and still produced the fourth most runs from batting. They get Justin Upton for a full season and added Zach Cozart and Ian Kinsler. Those two will replace he duo of Yunel Escobar and Danny Espinosa, who contributed -21 runs with their bats. Cozart and Kinsler were worth 18 runs last season. That’s a difference of 39 runs or about four wins. If Trout produces another 10 WAR season, the Angels will have added eight wins just with those three players.
4. Red Sox: Apparently David Ortiz was worth a lot more the Red Sox than we knew. The season after his retirement and the Sox offense dropped off by 93 runs. Well, it seems as though the Red Sox finally found his replacement in J.D. Martinez. Martinez played in just 119 games, but still smashed 45 home runs (that’s a 61 homer pace over 162 games). Martinez could be the tide that rises all boats, as Mookie Betts hitting dropped by 25% with the loss of Ortiz.
5. Indians: The loss of longtime lineup stalwart Carlos Santana will certainly hurt. But his replacement, Yonder Alonso, was quietly better than Santana in 2017 (112 OPS+ for Santana, 133 OPS+ for Alonso). But if we’re being honest this lineup gets its juice from the Lindor, Ramirez, and Encarnacion trio (84 runs from batting). Throw in a bounce-back season from Jason Kipnis, a healthy Michael Brantley and an improving Bradley Zimmer and you’re looking at a lineup that might best its 818 runs from last season.