Baseball Sabermetrics: Home Run Decimal-Cabrera vs Bryant

Part two of home run decimal series pits Chicago White Sox against Chicago Cubs. This time, it will be Melky Cabrera of the White Sox against Kris Bryant of the Cubs.

As some of you may have read, I recently dissected Home Run Decimal through first half statistics from Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier. While Frazier was not on the White Sox during the half that I analyzed, he is currently a member of the ballclub. This time around, I am going to use a player that is part of the Cubs. He is currently the favorite to win the 2016 National League MVP award, and his name is Kris Bryant.

While I will use a Cubs player in the study, I will also use a White Sox player. Outside of Abreu and Frazier, this player might be the most impactful offensive player on the team. Some might argue Adam Eaton is that guy, however this study will involve Melky Cabrera.

Just as before, I am going to analyze an entire half. I may have looked at two different players first halves before, however this time I am going to use the second half for data usage.

You will see results from Home Run Decimal (HRD) and Decimal Power Average (DPA) for each month.

Jul 23, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago White Sox left fielder Melky Cabrera (53) rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

July 2015 (post All-Star break)

Melky Cabrera

7/23: @ Cleveland Indians: W 8-1, HRD: 0.7993

7/23: @ Cleveland Indians: W 8-1, HRD: 0.8627

Cabrera had a Home Run Decimal (HRD) for the month of July of 1.662. His Decimal Power Average (DPA) was 0.831, but it is hard to get a valuable HRD or DPA for this month (or post All-Star break) because Cabrera only hit two home runs. What might have hurt Cabrera in this month is the fact that he had good protection with Abreu, and the fact the game wasn’t very close.

July 2015 (post All-Star break)

Kris Bryant

7/24: vs Philadelphia Phillies: L 5-3, HRD: (0.6899)

7/27: vs Colorado Rockies: W 9-8, HRD: (1.1653)

Thanks in large part to a walk-off home run, Bryant had a higher HRD (1.8552), not to mention a better Decimal Power Average (DPA), which checked in at 0.9276. Outside of a ten inning loss to the Phillies for the Cubs, neither player lost a game  they homered in. However, both of Cabrera’s home runs came in the same game. The biggest detriment to both players is who protected them, as I mentioned Cabrera’s protection above, and Rizzo was behind Bryant both times.

Moving to the month of August, both players heated up a bit. Let’s take a look at both players to see how they fared.

Aug 23, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (17) is thanked for hitting a home run by third base coach Gary Jones (1) during the sixth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

August 2015

Melky Cabrera

8/1: vs New York Yankees: W 8-1, HRD: (1.2643)

8/16: vs Chicago Cubs: W 3-1, HRD: (0.9619)

8/30: vs Seattle Mariners: W 6-5, HRD: (1.3941)

August was a much better month for Cabrera, as he had an HRD of 3.6203. Considering the fact  his HRD was 3.6203, his DPA is going to be much higher. Which is exactly what happened, as it came in at 1.2068, meaning that per home run, it was measured much higher. What might have helped him this month could be two things. His protection  with Avisail Garcia all three times, and the fact he hit one game-tying home run in the late innings. Given three home runs is not a lot of data, but it will have to do as it is all he hit for August.

August 2015

Kris Bryant

8/8: vs San Francisco Giants: W 8-6, HRD: (1.6705)

8/12: vs Milwaukee Brewers: W 3-2, HRD: (0.9719)

8/19: vs Detroit Tigers: L 15-8, HRD: (0.7691)

8/23: vs Atlanta Braves: W 9-3, HRD: (1.4752)

8/23: vs Atlanta Braves: W 9-3, HRD: (0.7148)

8/24: vs Cleveland Indians: W 2-1, HRD: (1.1750)

8/30: @ Los Angeles Dodgers: W 2-0, HRD: (0.9393)

Since Bryant went yard seven times in August, it is going to be a bit easier to get realistic data on his HRD. It came in at 7.7158, which is good just as Cabrera’s. Bryant’s DPA was 1.1023, which was nearly identical to Cabrera’s (a bit lower) as his DPA is measures how much a home run is worth per each home run.

The fact Bryant hit a walk off homer, not to mention had poor protection for the most part  in Jorge Soler, Miguel Montero, and Jonathan Herrera. This still helped Bryant during August however. The only loss either player had in August was when the Cubs got trounced by the Tigers on August 19 ,15-8. Otherwise every time Cabrera and Bryant went yard their team won. Bryant also victimized Atlanta twice on August 23rd, which is the same thing that Cabrera did to the Indians on July 23, 2015. Those are the only teams either player has homered against multiple times so far in the second half of 2015.

Jul 9, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox left fielder Melky Cabrera (53) waves his hand after hitting a home run in the sixth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

September 2015

Melky Cabrera

9/15: vs Oakland Athletics: L 17-6: HRD (0.9565)

9/18: @ Cleveland Indians: L 12-1: HRD (0.8648)

9/23: @ Detroit Tigers: L 7-4: HRD (0.9565)

Not only did the White Sox lose all three games  Cabrera homered in, but Cabrera’s home runs were not deemed valuable by the formula. His HRD for the month of September was 2.7778, and this is below one per home run (since he only hit three total). His DPA was poor as well, coming in at 0.9259. While Cabrera wasn’t helped due to poor protection in Garcia and Trayce Thompson, it also didn’t help his cause in other situations (count and score).

Now let’s look at Kris Bryant’s final month of 2015.

September 2015

Kris Bryant

9/2: vs Cincinnati Reds: L 7-4: HRD (1.3420)

9/6: vs Arizona D-Backs: W 6-4: HRD (1.1213)

9/11: @ Philadelphia Phillies: W 5-1: HRD (1.1068)

9/19: vs St. Louis Cardinals: W 5-4: HRD (0.6899)

9/22: vs Milwaukee Brewers: W 4-0: HRD: (0.6899)

For the first time in this study, a HRD came in just below one per home run (others were much farther below one). Bryant’s HRD was 4.9499, meaning his DPA would be virtually one which it was, checking in at 0.9899. Unlike the White Sox, the Cubs played well when Bryant hit a home run, as they went 4-1 in those such games.

The main issue that hurt Bryant in this month (HRD wise), is the fact  Rizzo was protecting him. On top of that, four of his five home runs came before the seventh inning started. The score was close for the most part, as there were no blowout situations.

Neither Cabrera nor Bryant left the premises in October  2015 during the regular season.

Aug 8, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant (17) hits a home run during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

As far as teams Cabrera and Bryant victimized multiple times, Cabrera was able to go deep off of the Indians three times. However, two were in the same game. Bryant homered twice off of the Braves (in the same game), not to mention the Phillies and Brewers. Since the last study involved more home runs, Abreu and Frazier got more teams more than once.

Here are the overall 2nd half totals for Cabrera and Bryant when it comes to both HRD and DPA.

Home Run Decimal (HRD)

Melky Cabrera (8 home runs)

8.0601

Kris Bryant (14 home runs)

14.5209

Decimal Power Average (DPA)

Melky Cabrera

1.0075

Kris Bryant

1.0372

For both HRD and DPA, Bryant got the better of Cabrera. Obviously, in HRD’s case, Bryant was going to due to the fact he hit six more home runs. Bryant also scored three hundredths of a percent better than Cabrera in the DPA scenario. In other words, one went heavily to Bryant and the other by a hair.

Aug 10, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox left fielder Melky Cabrera (53) hits a double against the Los Angeles Angels in the sixth inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

To wrap things up, this study shows DPA is actually the better part of the formula. Considering the fact more home runs equals a higher HRD, attempting to show how much each home run is worth per actual homer is more valuable. With four players have being measured, there is no way to know what variable in the formula is most helpful.

While I may have stated home runs in the first and second inning should be penalized, this might not be a good idea. Since getting momentum early in the game is key, it doesn’t make sense to take away value from a home run early in a game.

One area that may need improvement is the addition of value to home runs late in game including walk-off home runs. If a player hits the game winning or go-ahead homer, either in the eighth or 9th inning, he should get a huge boost in his HRD score. However, I have yet to decide how to do this, or if I will do this.

Expect more of these studies in the future as this will take much adjusting, so stay patient. More teams will be used in comparison with White Sox players so stick around.