Jonathan Schoop - Baltimore Orioles 2B -- Detroit Tigers --- ALDS

When it comes to defense, the Baltimore Orioles have the edge over the Detroit Tigers — and it’s really not even close.

DET -65 -49.5 .983 100 111 51
BAL 49 58.6 .986 87 84 32

As the table above shows, the Orioles are stronger in the advanced defensive metrics, defensive runs saved and ultimate zone rating, while also posting a slightly higher fielding percentage, fewer errors and less stolen bases.

Fifteen Tigers players with at least 100 innings at their position have posted a negative DRS this season, including Nick Castellanos, who’s -30 DRS is a team low.

New to defensive runs saved? Here’s how describes it:

Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) is a defensive statistic calculated by The Fielding Bible, an organization run by John Dewan, that rates individual players as above or below average on defense. Much like UZR, players as measured in “runs” above or below average, and Baseball Info Solutions data is used as an input.

Only two starting position players, second baseman Ian Kinsler and catcher Alex Avila,  have a positive number in the DRS category (20 and 5 respectively).

Here’s how the Tigers projected fielders have fared this season:

Position Name DRS
C Alex Avila 5
1B Miguel Cabrera -1
2B Ian Kinsler 20
SS Andrew Romine -4
3B Nick Castellanos -30
LF J.D. Martinez 0
CF Rajai Davis -3
RF Torii Hunter -18

According to FanGraphs’ DRS tiering, only two Tigers are fielding their positions at an “above average” ranking (Avila and Kinsler, who is playing “Gold Glove caliber” defense at second). Detroit is “average” or “below average” in four positions and “awful” at third base and right field.

And now the O’s:

Position Name DRS
C Caleb Joseph 8
1B Steve Pearce 9
2B Jonathan Schoop 10
SS J.J. Hardy 10
3B Ryan Flaherty 4
LF Alejandro De Aza -2
CF Adam Jones 2
RF Nick Markakis 1

It should be noted that neither playoff roster is currently set. This information was pulled from the rosters on

The Birds have just one position player with a “below average” ranking, Alejandro De Aza in left field. Interestingly, David Lough has a 7 DRS this season.

Two Orioles fall into the “above average” category (Joseph and Pearce), while Schoop and Hardy are “great”.

But you already knew that, right?

As dreadful as the Orioles have looked at third base, Flaherty’s performance has been nothing when compared to that of Nick Castellanos.

For further break down of the O’s and Tigers defenses, check out this week’s BSR Podcast.

Image Credit: Keith Allison