WASHINGTON — The Nationals offense has been among the best in baseball this season, and if not for a historically bad bullpen, Washington would likely be atop the MLB standings.
As it sits on Saturday morning, the Nationals are 10 games ahead of the Miami Marlins for the top spot in the NL East, 1.5 games behind the Colorado Rockies for the top spot in the National League and 3.5 games behind the Houston Astros for the No. 1 spot in MLB.
They are, however, just eight runs behind the New York Yankees for the most in baseball. Thanks to Baseball Savant and Statcast, we can see just how potent the Nationals offense has been this season.
As Darren Willman notes, the Nats have the most balls batted of at least 100mph this season, smacking a total of 423 triple-digit blasts already. Having played 67 games so far this season, that’s an average of about 6.3 per game.
They come in second as far as percentage of balls batted at least 100mph — that goes to the Baltimore Orioles, with 4.21 percent of all pitches being hit at least 100moh — but their rate of 4.09 percent is nothing to scoff at.
This is one of those times where the advanced statistics match the common statistics. As noted, Washington is among the league leaders in runs, and with 103 bolts on the season, the Nats are just five away from the league-leading New York Yankees.
The Nationals also lead the league in total bases (1,124) and are tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the lead in doubles (134). They’re third in team average (.276), third in on-base percentage (.341), first in slugging (.475) and second in on-base-plus-slugging (.816).
Hitting the ball really, really hard a half-dozen times per game will do that for a team.
Now, if only they could put together a decent bullpen.