The first full month of the 2020 MLB season is behind us. Long-time fixtures atop the MLB standings like the Red Sox and Nationals are in last place. Young exciting teams like the Padres have brought in reinforcements at the deadline and are primed for a deep playoff run.
The Tigers and Marlins are defying last-place expectations and are still in the playoff mix. The Dodgers once again look like the National League’s best team while the Yankees are starting to string together some wins themselves on the East coast. The Houston Astros have shaken off a slow start to put themselves in the thick of the AL West division race with AL-best Oakland.
Fernando Tatis Jr. seems to be the clear frontrunner for NL MVP while Mike Trout is doing what Mike Trout does best in the American League – playing baseball well.
There are some new names in the running for Cy Young in both leagues – including Max Fried, Shane Bieber, Sonny Gray, Kenta Maeda, Lance Lynn, and Dylan Bundy.
Tim Anderson is hitting in the .330s again. Jose Abreu is one of the league’s top power hitters along with Luke Voit and Teoscar Hernandez.
Mike Yastrzemski is out in the Bay looking like his grandpa. Anthony Rendon is off to a great start with his new team. Jesse Winker is suddenly a household name in the Midwest. Luis Robert is taking no time getting adjusted to MLB pitching. Oh yeah … and Nelson Cruz is still great.
What a crazy year! You saw this coming? You are a liar!
Arizona Diamondbacks – 11-16 in August – 14-21 Overall – 5th in NL West
The DBacks sport the 2nd-best fielding percentage in baseball during the month of August at .990. Offensively, Arizona does the 4th-most damage in the league against curveballs with a 1.43 weighted runs against curves.
Arizona’s top individual performer this month is 25-year-old pitcher Zac Gallen. Gallen has not dropped a decision in August. Opposing hitters are batting just .200 against Gallen and his K/9 is 9.84.
Atlanta Braves – 14-11 in August – 19-14 Overall – 1st in NL East
Atlanta has picked up their play this month after getting off to a dreadful start in late July. The Braves are the best hitting team in the league against straight fastballs with weighted runs against 4-seamers at 1.52.
Atlanta’s biggest weakness is their outfield defense. Braves’ outfielders posted the 2nd-worst fielding percentage in the league this month while recording just 1 measly outfield assist – the lowest mark in the MLB.
Baltimore Orioles – 11-16 in August – 15-19 Overall – 4th in AL East
After such a promising start, the wheels have completely fallen off the Orioles’ wagon. These two August stats are all you need to know about the current state of Baltimore baseball:
Orioles pitchers have the 2nd-most wild pitches thrown (18) this month. Orioles hitters chase pitches outside the strike zone at the highest rate in baseball (36.2%).
Boston Red Sox – 9-17 in August – 12-22 Overall – 5th in AL East
The Red Sox have been the most disappointing team of 2020 – even below the lowly Nationals. The Red Sox 9-17 record in August is the 2nd-worst in the league this month.
Boston pitchers combine for the highest team ERA in August – a whopping 6.04! With all that traffic on the basepaths, Red Sox outfielders have plenty of chances for outfield assists. They lead the league this month with 10.
Chicago Cubs – 15-12 in August – 20-14 Overall – 1st in NL Central
The Cubs are 1 of just 10 teams to record 15+ victories in the month of August. Chicago did most of their winning during the first 2 weeks of the month, however. Since August 14, the Cubs are 7-11 and have lost bettors over $560.
Chicago White Sox – 18-9 in August – 21-13 Overall – T-1st in AL Central
The White Sox are 1 of just 10 teams to win 15 games in August. The Sox routinely crush their opponents, winning 8 games this month by 5 or more runs.
Chicago is fueled by their prolific offense. The Sox hit for the highest average in baseball this month (.278) and scored the 3rd-most runs in the league.
Cincinnati Reds – 13-14 in August – 15-19 Overall – 4th in NL Central
Pitching the key to success in Cincinnati this month. The Reds staff boasts the highest K/9 rate in the MLB (11.48) during August. Reds pitchers have a knack for missing bats. Cincy pitchers posted the lowest Z-Contact% (80.6%) in the league this month – which is the percentage of pitches inside the zone with which batters make contact.
Offensively, Cincinnati is led by Jesse Winker. This month, Winker owns the top slugging percentage (.813), 2nd-highest batting average (.363), and 2nd-highest OBP (.457) in baseball.
Cleveland Indians – 16-10 in August – 21-13 Overall – T-1st in AL Central
The Indians are 1 of just 10 teams to win 15+ games in August. Cleveland is led by nasty pitching and solid defense. Cleveland pitchers have allowed the fewest walks in the MLB in August while their catchers have caught more runners stealing this month than any other team (tied with STL at 10).
Colorado Rockies – 13-15 in August – 17-17 Overall – 3rd in NL West
The Rockies are pretty solid defensively, turning 111 double plays in August – most in the Majors. Offensively, even Coors Field cannot elevate the Rockies’ game. Colorado posted the 2nd-lowest hard contact rate in the MLB this month (37.6%). For reference, the league leading Dodgers made hard contact on 51% of their batted balls.
Detroit Tigers – 11-13 in August – 16-16 Overall – 4th in AL Central
After a hot start, Detroit went into a tailspin during the first couple of weeks of August. The Tigers have used this past week to dig themselves out and bring their record back to .500.
Tigers hitters have gotten pretty lucky this month – posting a league-high BABIP of .327. Lucky hits are the only way Detroit is scoring as they draw walks in a league-low 7.2% of plate appearances this month while striking out in 25.7% of appearances – 5th-most in the Majors.
The Tigers also cannot hit a curveball to save their lives. Their -1.3 weighted runs against curves metric ranks lowest in the MLB this month.
Houston Astros – 15-11 in August – 19-14 Overall – 2nd in AL West
The Astros are 1 of 10 teams to win 15+ games this month. Don’t throw these guys cheese over the plate – they come to eat. Houston posts the highest Z-Contact% in the MLB this month (88.4%). This is the percentage of pitches inside the zone resulting in contact.
The Astros post the 4th-best numbers against straight fastballs this month – with a 1.14 weighted runs against 4-seamers.
Kansas City Royals – 10-16 in August – 13-21 Overall – 5th in AL Central
Not much to speak about here. Kansas City is not good and has not flirted with contention the entire year. The Royals can hit fastballs but that is about it. Their weighted runs against 4-seamers metric stands at 1.23 this month – 3rd-best in baseball.
Los Angeles Angels – 10-17 in August – 12-24 Overall – 5th in AL West
The Angels are a dumpster fire. Their catchers are tied for nabbing the most runners stealing in the league this month (10). Turns out this may be due to volume, however, as their catchers also lead the league in most steals allowed during August (31).
Mike Trout is the only player worth anything on the Angels right now. His 11 August homeruns and 28 August RBIs both lead baseball (11 HR tied with Tatis).
Los Angeles Dodgers – 21-7 in August – 26-10 Overall – 1st in NL West
The cream of the crop. The Dodgers are 1 of just 2 teams to win 20+ games this month. The Dodgers are a freight train – winning 9 games in August by 5 runs or more and never losing by more than 4.
The Dodgers .750 winning percentage in August is the best in the league. They have hit 57 homers this month (1st in baseball), scored 164 runs (1st in baseball), own a .236 ISO (2nd in baseball), and that’s just one side of the ball.
The Dodgers team ERA in August is a league-best 2.76! These guys are unstoppable right now.
Miami Marlins – 12-14 in August – 15-15 Overall – 2nd in NL East
The Little League-esque Marlins own the MLB-worst outfielder fielding percentage this month (.973). They do have some speed on the paths, though, with Jonathan Villar (9) and Jon Berti (8) leading baseball in August steals.
Milwaukee Brewers – 12-15 in August – 15-18 Overall – 3rd in NL Central
Inconsistency is the name of the game in Milwaukee this month. The Brewers have won 4 games by 5+ runs while dropping 7 games by 5+ runs.
This may be in part to the Brewers hitters owning the lowest August Z-Contact% (81%) in baseball. Z-Contact% is the percentage of pitches inside the zone resulting in contact.
Minnesota Twins – 15-13 in August – 20-15 Overall – 3rd in AL Central
The Twins are 1 of 10 teams to record at least 15 victories this month. Bet the under in Twins games! The under is 18-9 this month when Minnesota is playing. Betting $100/game on the under would yield a profit of $855.
Minnesota shines defensively. Their .993 August fielding percentage is best in baseball and their 7 outfield assists are 3rd-most in the Majors.
New York Mets – 12-14 in August – 15-20 Overall – 4th in NL East
Mets hitters own the 3rd-highest Z-Contact% (87%) in baseball. This metric is the percentage of pitches in the zone which result in contact. The Mets absolutely clean up on offspeed pitches. Their hitters rank first this month in weighted runs against changeups (2.92) and 5th in weighted runs against sliders (0.31).
New York Yankees – 14-12 in August – 19-13 Overall – 2nd in AL East
Gary Sanchez may not be hitting but he can slow the opposing running game. The Yankees have allowed the fewest steals in the league this month (tied with STL at 5).
Also, don’t try to sneak straight fastballs past the Yankees. They’re ready for them! New York is the 2nd-best fastball hitting team in August with a weighted runs against 4-seamers of 1.32.
Oakland Athletics – 19-8 in August – 22-12 Overall – 1st in AL West
Oakland is 1 of 10 teams to reach the 15-victory mark in August. A’s hitters have struck out at the highest rate in baseball this month (26.8%) but it doesn’t seem to be negatively impacting their offense.
Oakland posted the 9th-highest August OBP in baseball (.332) while scoring the 6th-most runs in the league. A’s hitters do not hit ground balls very often – posting the lowest ground ball rate in baseball this month (37.1%).
Philadelphia Phillies – 13-13 in August – 14-15 Overall – 3rd in NL East
Phillies pitchers are pretty nasty this month – posting the highest O-Swing% (33.5%) in baseball. This means they get tons of swings on bad pitches.
When the Phillies come into the zone to challenge opposing hitters, they typically lose. Phillies pitchers have allowed the most contact in the league on pitches in the zone this month (86.9%).
Offensively, Philly avoids using the middle of the field. This is not a good sign. The Phillies hit just (32.3%) of their balls to center field this month – 2nd-lowest in the league. They love going oppo in Philly, however, as their hitters boast the 2nd-highest August opposite field rate in the league (26.1%).
Pittsburgh Pirates – 8-16 in August – 10-21 Overall – 5th in NL Central
The Pirates are awful. Pittsburgh is the holder of the lowest winning percentage in the league this month at .333.
Pirates pitchers have issued the most walks in baseball (4.57 BB/9) while their fielders cannot pick up the ball to save their lives – posting a league-worst fielding percentage of .977.
San Diego Padres – 15-13 in August – 21-15 Overall – 2nd in NL West
The Padres are 1 of 10 teams to win 15+ games this month. Fernando Tatis Jr. is the only story in SD. Tatis’ 11 August homeruns are tied for 1st in the league. His 1.9 WAR is 1st among all position players this month. Tatis has scored the most August runs (29) and driven in the 8th-most August RBIs (22). He has also stolen 4 bases this month for good measure. The complete package!
San Francisco Giants – 13-15 in August – 17-19 Overall – 4th in NL West
The Giants have a bad record and own the 2nd-worst fielding percentage in baseball this month (.978). That’s all you need to know.
Seattle Mariners – 10-18 in August – 15-22 Overall – 3rd in AL West
The Mariners are terrible. Their .357 winning percentage is 3rd-lowest in the league this month. The team cannot hit – posting the 5th-worst August Off in baseball (-14.6).
The silver lining for the Mariners is their youth and incredible speed. The M’s have stolen the most bases in the league this month (29) and boast a league-best BsR of 5.4. BsR is a baserunning metric. The league average is -0.6. The Mariners score of 5.4 is quite impressive and indicates that Seattle changes games purely through baserunning.
St. Louis Cardinals – 10-10 in August – 12-13 Overall – 2nd in NL Central
38-year-old Yadier Molina has still got it. The Cardinals have allowed the fewest steals in the league this month (tied with NYY at 5). Paul Goldschmidt is carrying the Cards’ offense right now. His .481 August OBP is highest in the league.
Tampa Bay Rays – 20-7 in August – 24-11 Overall – 1st in AL East
The Rays are 1 of just 2 teams to post 20 victories in August. Their pitchers attack the zone relentlessly as evidenced by a league-high first-pitch strike rate of 63.4%.
Tampa is the most profitable MLB team over the month of August. Their 20-7 record combined with an average moneyline of -132.5 means just under $1000 in profits. The Rays have squeaked by in some close games – managing to claim a 7-2 record this month in 1-run affairs. This is the league-best winning percentage in such games.
Texas Rangers – 10-17 in August – 12-21 Overall – 4th in AL West
The Rangers were blown out 5 times this month and could not manage to win a game by more than 4. Feeding Texas hitters a steady diet of sliders is a great idea. The Rangers own a league-worst -2.04 weighted runs against sliders in August.
Toronto Blue Jays – 15-10 in August – 18-15 Overall – 3rd in AL East
The Jays are 1 of 10 teams to win 15+ games this month. Toronto had some nail biters – posting the most 1-run wins in the league during August (9).
Interestingly, Blue Jays pitchers have the worst first-pitch strike percentage in baseball this month (55.5%) but almost never throw wild pitches. They have thrown just 5 this month which is tied for the league-low.
Washington Nationals – 9-15 in August – 12-19 Overall – 5th in NL East
The 2019 World Series champs are the least profitable team in baseball this month – losing $100/game bettors $1200. Because the Nats pitching has been so horrible, the over is a terrific bet when Washington comes to town. The over is 16-7 for a $790 profit this month in Nationals games.
Juan Soto and Trea Turner are doing their parts to keep this team afloat. Soto holds a league-2nd-best slugging percentage of .744 this month while Turner is hitting .388 in August – top in the league among qualified hitters.