A complete beginner’s guide to baseball stats: Batting statistics, and what they mean
Baseball is a game of statistics. Statistical information can be found in many sports, but there is something unique about baseball that makes it the ideal sport for statisticians of all stripes. Indeed, the study of baseball statistics has been given a distinct name: sabermetrics, which stands for sabermetric analysis of baseball statistics. With all of the wacky terms like DRS and wRC+ being thrown around in baseball articles, it can be difficult for baseball writers to remember that there are those who don’t obsess over the minutiae of the game, but simply enjoy it for what it is: a game.
As a result, in order to make things easier for people who are unfamiliar with baseball statistics, we’ll take a deep dive into what each of the major baseball data means.
Consider this to be an introductory course on baseball statistical analysis.
Without further ado, let us go through the fundamentals of a box score.
We have left off the pitching statistics, which will be covered in greater detail in the following section.
At Bats (AB)
This one is very self-explanatory, however it can be a little difficult to understand. It is depicted as AB in a box score. At Bats are the number of times a player comes to the plate and either hits, strikes out, reaches on an error, or is fielded out of the field by the other team. Walking, sacrificing one’s own base, and being hit by pitch are all examples of what does not qualify as an at bat. Thus, while Jose Iglesias appears to have fewer at bats than the other members of the lineup, he actually has more since he has walked more than the other members of the lineup.
Because it includes both of the categories above, plate appearances are a more literal representation of how many times a player has really appeared at the plate on a given occasion.
Run (R) and Runs Batted In (RBI)
When a hitter reaches home plate, either via their own efforts (a home run) or through the efforts of another batter, they are awarded an Arun(R). It is possible to score a run as a consequence of a batter’s efforts, which is denoted by the term “run batted in.” Confused? It’s not a problem. We can see in the box score above that Jeimer Candelario has scored a run, but he does not have an RBI. While he did cross home plate and score a run, it did not happen as a consequence of his own at-bat.
While I haven’t looked at the play-by-play, this leads me to assume that Castellanos had a hit that drove in Candelario and that Goodrum had a hit that drove in Castellanos as well.
ESPNDing ding ding, it’s time to play.
The reason for this is because while bothCandelario and Castellanos had runs, only Castellanos and Goodrum got RBIs.
In games where there are more runs and RBIs, this is obviously much more difficult, but it is an excellent method to get a sense of the difference between the two statistics.
During an at bat, a hit (H) is defined as when the hitter reaches at least first base. Thus becomes a little more complicated since a hitter can reach first base on an error or a fielder’s choice, and this does not count as a hit in the final analysis. ** I’m included this disclaimer since I’m continuing to use the terminology and don’t want to cause any misunderstanding. An erroris was defined as any situation in which a fielder made a mistake that allowed the batter to advance to second base without being thrown out.
- Afielder’s choice denotes that an offensive player permitted the batter to advance to first base as a consequence of an unsuccessful attempt to put out a different runner in the field of play at the time.
- This would be deemed a fielder’s choice.
- Because a hit does not include an error or a fielder’s choice, it is possible for a hitter to reach first base without it being counted as a hit in baseball.
- A double, in which the hitter advances to second base, is denoted by the number 2B.
- An HR is a representation of a home run.
Base on Balls (BB)
This statistic is a slang term for the act of walking. This only applies when a hitter hits four balls in a row and is awarded first base as a result of doing so. An intentional walk (also known as IBB, or intentional base on balls) counts as a walk in the same way. An exception to this rule is when a hitter gets struck by the ball (also known as a hit by pitch or HBP) and is awarded a tripe to first base in response to the hit. Strikeouts are a type of dismissal (K) Strikeouts are rather easy; a strikeout occurs when a hitter sees or swings at three strikes, resulting in the batter’s at-bat being terminated.
If the batter is struck out looking, the batter is struck out looking, and the strikeout is signified by a K.
Batting average (also known as AVG above), on-base percentage (OBP) and slugging percentage (SLG) are the three most important batting statistics to grasp in baseball (SLG). These are sometimes depicted as three stats side by side, separated by slashes, which has given rise to the moniker “slash line,” as in.220/.267/.314 (James McCann’s 2018 slash line), which is an abbreviation for “slash line.” If you ever read that a player “slashed” a given number, it will almost always be followed by one or more of the three statistics listed above.
On-base plus slugging (OPS) is a fourth batting statistic that is exactly what it sounds like: it is a mix of on-base percentage and slugging percentage combined. Examine the methods used to calculate each of those numbers.
Batting Average (AVG or BA)
This one is really straightforward. The batting average (BA) of a player is derived by dividing the total number of hits by the total number of at bats. An individual player’s season overall batting average, rather than simply a single game average, would be represented by the box score shown above. This provides a more thorough picture of how a player has performed to this point in time. It would be reasonable to assume that every third at bat resulted in a hit for a player with a.300 average.
On-base percentage (OBP)
This is also referred to as the “on-base average” from time to time in baseball (OBA). If you’ve seen the movieMoneyball, you might have a rudimentary concept of why this statistic is prized by certain teams and is considered more useful than batting average by others. This statistic is more comprehensive than batting average since it takes into account all of the times a batter advances to second base. Unlike in previous years, errors and fielder’s choice do not go towards this total, but it does include hits, walks, and batters who are hit by a pitch.
According to mathematical formulas, on-base percentage is computed by subtracting the total number of hits from the total number of walks and strikeouts, then dividing the result by the total number of at bats, walks, strikeouts, and sacrifice flies.
It’s no surprise that it is regarded as more inclusive.
Accept my apologies in advance for getting a little mathematical here. Slugging is defined as the sum of all bases (including all extra base hits) divided by the number of at bats. The most straightforward approach to comprehend this is to look at the formula. Thanks to Wikipedia for this image. Who else has the impression that they’re back in high school math class? It is advantageous to use slugging as a stat rather than batting average since it gives more weight to a player’s extra base hits rather than giving equal weight to all hits, as batting average does.
It enables for a more complete picture of a player’s overall performance at the plate to be obtained.
On-base plus slugging (OPS)
This may be regarded an overall evaluation of a player’s productivity because it takes into account both how frequently the batter gets to base (on-base percentage) and how frequently they hit for extra bases (on-base percentage) (SLG). It is usually accepted that if you see someone hitting with an OPS of over 1.000, it means that they are having an exceptionally outstanding season at the plate. Niko Castellanos was the Tigers’ top offensive performer last season, posting an OBP of.354, an SLG of.500, and an OPS of.854.
OPS+ analyzes a player’s overall point total and adjusts it for external factors like as the parks in which the game was played (as some are more hitter friendly than others).
For example, Castellanos had an OPS+ of 130 in 2018, which indicates that he performed 30 percent higher than the league average.
Because OPS+ begins to introduce us to more sophisticated statistics, we’ll conclude our fundamental statistics course here. If you’ve ever been curious about the terms ERA, WHIP, and FIP, keep an eye out for tomorrow’s post on pitching fundamentals.
How to understand the most important baseball stats
Due to the fact that it takes into account both how frequently a hitter gets to base (OBP) and how frequently they hit for extra bases, this may be regarded an overall assessment of a player’s output (SLG). In most cases, if you see a player hitting with an OPS of above 1.000, you can assume that they are having an extremely amazing season at the dish. Niko Castellanos was the Tigers’ OPS leader last season, with an OBP of.354, an SLG of.500, and an OPS of.854 to go along with his OBP. In addition to OPS, you may find OPS+ displayed next to OPS if you want to get even more advanced.
It is then transformed to a scale, with 100 being league average and the number after it representing the percentage of points above or below average a player has achieved.
In order to arrive at this figure, divide OPS by league OPS, which has been adjusted for park variables, then multiply the result by one hundred.
If you’ve ever been curious about the terms ERA, WHIP, and FIP, keep an eye out for a post on pitching fundamentals coming up next week!
The total number of hits a player has accumulated divided by the total number of at bats a player has had. Despite the fact that it is expressed as a three-place decimal, it is spoken as a whole number. As a result, even though a player’s batting average is listed as.278 on the scoresheet, an announcer will refer to the player as “hitting two-seventy-eight.”
Key Batting Averages
- 400: To reach 400 points over the course of a season is a remarkable accomplishment. In fact, the last player to accomplish this feat was Ted Williams, who accomplished it in 1941.
- 300: This is the line that separates having a decent season from having a terrific season. 300: Hitting. At the start of the season, every player aspires to achieve the 300-point mark.
- The “Mendoza Line” is a number between 100 and 200. (named for utility infielder Mario Mendoza). I’m going to hit you below. At the big league level, a batting average of 200 is unacceptable.
Batting Average with runners in scoring position
Because they are in “scoring position,” runners on second or third base can attempt to score on an infield single to left field. The batting average of a player with runners in scoring position is a means of determining whether or not that player gets important or “clutch” hits in the field.
Earned Run Average
The term “ERA” is frequently used to refer to this process. The total number of earned runs allowed divided by the total number of innings pitched multiplied by nine. An ERA of less than 4.00 is considered excellent. An ERA of less than 3.00 is considered outstanding.
This pitcher’s stat is based on the number of outs he has recorded, and it is displayed in thirds. Pitchers are given 5 2/3 innings pitched if they finish five innings and then get two outs in the sixth inning, respectively. Although it is incorrect, 5.2 would be written as a decimal, despite the fact that it is incorrect.
Left On Base
This is sometimes referred to as the LOB (Loss of Bases) statistic, which indicates how many runners reached base without scoring. It is most commonly represented as a team statistic for a given game.
This influences the number of times a player may take a stroll.
It is calculated by dividing the total number of hits plus walks by the total number of Plate Appearances (At-Bats plus Walks).
Bonus Percentage on Top of the Base Percentage Slugging Percentage is a measure of how much a player slugs. A lot of experts believe that this is the finest statistic to use when determining who the top player is at any particular time.
Runs that have been batted in The player who batted in the run is given credit for the run if he or she has a hit and a base runner scores as a result of the hit. If a player hits a home run, he is also given credit for a run batted in, which allows him to score as well. However, despite the fact that the term “run” is in the plural in this statistic, the plural form of RBI is RBIs, not RsBI. This statistic is referred to as “ribbies” in some circles.
There are two parts to this statistic: the total number of runs scored and the total number of RBIs. Then there is the total number of home runs hit. The rationale for deducting home runs is that each home run results in a player being credited with both a run scored and an RBI, even if the home run results in just a single run.
Runs and Earned Runs
When a pitcher allows a runner to reach base and that runner scores, the pitcher is charged with a run, even if he is removed from the game and a new pitcher is on the mound at the time of the base runner’s score (in that case, the relief pitcher who came in is charged with a “inherited run” or “inherited runner scored”). In baseball, the term “Earned Runs” refers to the amount of runs a pitcher allows that are not due to mistakes. If a man reaches base on an error and scores, the pitcher is charged with a run, but not with an earned run, because the guy reached base on error.
Even though there are numerous regulations for when a save should be awarded, the most usual scenario is when a pitcher effectively concludes a game with a lead of three runs or less.
The sum of a player’s total bases divided by the number of at-bats. Similar to a batting average, this figure is expressed as (e.g.645)
When the players’ hits are totaled, they receive a score of 1, 2, 3, or 4 for a single, double, triple, or home run respectively. This is a method of measuring hitting and accounting for power.
Per Innings, the number of walks plus the number of hits Pitched: The sum of the total number of walks plus the total number of hits divided by the total number of innings pitched. This is considered to be one of the most accurate indicators of good pitching. A WHIP of less than 1.000 is considered excellent. Featured picture courtesy of Scanvive
How to Read Baseball Statistics
Documentation Download Documentation Download Documentation Baseball fans and analysts rely heavily on statistics to determine the worth of individual players. Even if conventional statistics continue to have a significant impact, new methods of statistical analysis have demonstrated tremendous success in reviewing records and projecting player performance.
Fans may evaluate players for fantasy leagues or simply have a better knowledge and enjoyment for the game by learning how to interpret baseball statistics.
- 1Look through a regular box score. Box scores are statistical representations of how players fared in individual games and may be found in the Sports section of a newspaper or on a sports website. Box scores are a type of statistical representation of how players performed in specific games. 4 offensive statistics and 6 pitching categories are given in a tabular style in the standard box scores list
- 2 Take a look at the team’s starting lineup. The offensive, or hitting, portion of the box score contains a complete listing of the starting lineup. Players are listed in batting order, with the positions they played throughout the game following their names on the team sheet of paper. Replacement players’ names are indented within the box score and listed under the person they are replacing in the standings. The four offensive categories indicated in the offensive table are as follows:
- AB stands for at-bats
- R stands for runs scored
- H stands for base hits
- RBI stands for runs batted in.
- s3 Examine the additional in-depth fielding and hitting stats included beneath the offensive chart. Individual accomplishments are highlighted in this section of the report. A player called Smith may smash his sixth home run of the season, and the box score would read, HR: Smith (6th) (6). Other statistics categories that would be included in this portion of the box score would include:
- E: errors, LOB: left on base (team statistic), and DP: double plays (team statistic)
- 2B: doubles, 3B: triples, and HR: home runs (with season total)
- SB stands for stolen bases, SF stands for sacrifice flies, and S stands for sacrifices.
- 1 Look at the pitching statistics. The pitchers are listed in the order in which they appeared throughout the game. Winning, losing, or saving a game is shown after a pitcher’s name in the event that he or she earned a choice in the game. When the sign appears, it is accompanied by either his current win-loss record or the total amount of saves he has amassed to far. The pitching table has six categories, which are as follows:
- It is possible to have a decimal value of either.1 or.2, which represents a portion of an innings, when you pitch an inning. For example, a starting pitcher may go six innings and only allow one hitter to reach base in the seventh inning. His innings pitched would be 6.1
- H would represent hits allowed
- R would represent runs allowed
- ER would represent earned runs allowed
- BB would represent walks allowed
- K would represent strikeouts.
- 2 Gather in-depth pitching data from many sources. A collection of extra pitching statistics may be found beneath the pitching table. They can include the following:
- The terms wild pitches (WP) and balks (BK) are interchangeable, as are HBP (hit by pitch) and passed balls (catcher’s statistics).
- 3 Examine the season’s statistical data. Besides the categories given in box scores, season statistics include a variety of other useful information. The following are some of the most notable:
- For a player’s on-base percentage (OBP), put together his totals of hits and walks as well as runs scored by being hit by pitches. Divide that total by the sum of his at-bats, walks, runs scored by being hit by pitches and sacrifice flies. (H+BB+HBP/AB+BB+HBP+SF)
- Slugging percentage (%): To calculate a player’s slugging percentage, divide his total bases by his total at-bats. Total bases are the aggregate of a player’s home runs multiplied by four, triples multiplied by three, doubles multiplied by two, and singles multiplied by one. In order to compute Avg., divide the number of hits by the number of at-bats. This results in the player’s batting average, which is calculated as follows: ERA (earned-run average): The earned-run average, or ERA, of a pitcher is a measure of his overall efficiency across nine innings. To calculate an earned run average (ERA), divide the pitcher’s earned runs by the number of innings pitched and multiply the quotient by 9
- 4 Conduct more research into statistical applications. In recent decades, a number of different statistical analysis tools for baseball have been developed. Sabermetrics has transformed the process of judging baseball talent in a way that few other methods have. Even while many of Sabermetrics’ concepts have garnered general acceptance among fans and analysts, the following two have received particular attention:
- OPS: On Base + Slugging (On Base + Slugging). When Bill James developed Sabermetrics, he sought a straightforward, defining statistic that could be used to assess a player’s ability to generate runs. OPS numbers on hundreds of players were compiled over many years and the efficacy of the statistic in estimating a player’s value to his club was again demonstrated. The OPS for the Major Leagues is 0.728, which is below the league average. A superstar has an OPS of 0.900
- A good player has an OPS of 0.800. Analysis of the pitching performance: Sabermetrics developed ground-breaking approaches for analyzing pitchers by employing a number of complicated algorithms and formulas. In addition to having names that are as strange as their formulae, BABIP, dERA, and DIPS are metrics that assess pitching performance while eliminating the influences of luck and defense and factoring in the influence of the stadium.
This statistic indicates how many times a pitcher is allowed to reach base during an inning. A large number of statisticians feel that it is a more accurate formula for evaluating a pitcher’s performance than the earned run average (ERA).
- Count all walks and hits the pitcher has given up throughout his outing
- 2 Subtract the sum of the aforementioned figures from the total number of innings pitched. As an illustration:
- Kershaw walks none and gives up one hit over 7 innings, 1/7 = 0.143 WHIP. If the hit been a home run, his ERA would be 1.28. But even if was only a hit, his ERA would be 0.00 which doesn’t properly describe what happened. To better highlight the difference, assume he spreads 3 walks and 4 hits, but no runs. His ERA is still 0.00, but now his whip has increased to 1.00. You may take that two ways, either he gets out of difficulty, or he’s gotten lucky to avoid giving up runs
Create a new question
- Question What does the abbreviation IBB stand for in pitchers’ statistics? This abbreviation refers to a “intentional base on balls” or an intentional walk
- Question What do the acronyms “A” and “PO” stand for when it comes to fielding statistics? The letters “A” and “PO” stand for “assist” and “putout,” respectively. A putout is the act of retiring (or “putting out”) a hitter or a base runner from the game. In baseball, there are several different methods to get out of a jam, the most popular of which include catching a fly ball, getting out from behind first and second bases while trying to tag the baserunner, getting out from behind third base while trying to strike out. Question: When does a player receive an assist? Answer: When a player tosses a ball to aid in making a putout (with the exception of a pitcher who does not receive an assist when he strikes out a batter)
- So, what does BSA/ATT represent in terms of baseball statistics? This is not a well recognized baseball term, but it most likely refers to “base-stealing average per attempt,” which is what it means. “Stolen base percentage” is a term that refers to the degree of success a specific player (or team) has in attempting to steal bases (that is, the number of successful thefts divided by the total number of attempted steals). What is the proper way to interpret batting averages? Having a batting average of “.256” is referred to as having a “two-fifty-six” batting average. The average of “.000” is referred to as “zero.” A hitter who gets a hit in every at-bat has an average of “1.000” or “one-thousand,” which is the highest possible score.
- sQuestion What do the minuscule letters “a,” “b,” “e,” and other letters that appear before a player’s name in box scores mean, and why do they appear? Those are footnotes, and their significance is described at the end of the box score. Question What does the letter “h” imply after the name of a relief pitcher? Depending on your perspective, it’s either a typo or a footnote that’s clarified towards the bottom of the box score. Question Is there a book that describes how to comprehend the specifics of a baseball game, particularly the Cubs team’s performance? Yes, there are many such books (not all of which are about the Cubs), among them “Little League’s Official How-To-Play Baseball Book” by Peter Kreutzer and Ted Kerley, and “Baseball For Dummies” by Joe Morgan and Richard Lally
- Question: Is it possible to get a copy of “Little League’s Official How-To-Play Baseball Book”? What are the implications of the following batting statistics: 288/.339/.562? A season’s worth of hits might total up to 288 total hits throughout the season. . The numbers 339 and.562 appear to reflect batting average and slugging percentage, respectively (number of total bases divided by the number of at-bats)
- Question What are the three numerals that appear after a batter’s last name? Most of the time, the values are representative of his batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. Question What exactly is WAR, and how is it determined? “Wins over replacement” is a metric that indicates how important a given player is to his or her own club. It is a rather subjective measurement of the amount of times a player’s very successful actions result in a direct victory
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About This Article
Summary of the ArticleX Baseball statistics may be used to analyze how well players are performing and to anticipate how they will perform in subsequent games, among other things. Take a look at the four categories displayed at the top of a box score to get an idea of where to begin. At-bats are represented by the letter “Ab,” runs scored by the letter “R,” base hits by the letter “H,” and runs batted in by the letter “RBI.” Each row belongs to a single player, who is mentioned at the bottom of the box score to the left of the scoreboard.
The same is true for pitchers, who have numbers that include things like “H” for hits allowed, “R” for runs allowed, and a “K” for strikeouts among their many other things.
Continue reading to find out how to apply a statistical technique to calculate season averages.
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Baseball statistics are extremely essential, probably more so than in any other sport. Because the game of baseball has a fairly ordered flow to it, it lends itself to easy record keeping and statistical analysis, which is advantageous. As a result, it is extremely simple to create comparisons between players’ on-field performances, and as a result, baseball statistics are given greater prominence than they are in most other sports.
Development of statistics
Henry Chadwick established the tradition of maintaining records of the players’ accomplishments in the 19th century, and it has continued ever since. Based on his cricketing expertise, Chadwick established the precursors of modern-day statistics such as batting average, runs scored, and runs allowed, among other things. The statistical world of baseball has traditionally been dominated by statistics such as hitters’ batting average (the number of hits divided by the number of at bats) and pitchers’ earned run average (roughly the number of runs given up by a pitcher per nine innings).
These statistics are intended to provide a more accurate representation of a player’s overall performance and contribution to his team from year to year.
In 1969, MacMillan Publishing published the firstBaseball Encyclopedia, which was the first publication to use a computer to gather statistics for the sport.
Interestingly, this research resulted in the identification of a number of players who did not appear in the official record books. In the case of Lou Proctor, for example, some of these “phantom ballplayers” were removed from the record books.
Use of statistics
Player statistics are studied by general managers and baseball scouts in order to make conclusions about the skills of individual players. Managers, catchers, and pitchers research the statistics of opposing teams’ batters in order to determine the best way to pitch to them and place the players on the field in order to win the game. Managers and hitters research opposing pitchers in order to find out how to hit them the most effectively. Management makes personnel choices during games, such as who to start in the lineup and which relief pitcher to bring in, on the basis of statistical data collected throughout the game.
- The most frequently mentioned batting statistics are batting average, runs batted in, and home runs.
- For pitchers, wins, earned run average, and strikeouts are the classic statistics that are most frequently referenced.
- Some sabermetric data have made their way into the mainstream of baseball.
- It is calculated by multiplying the hitter’s base percentage (the number of times he or she reached base—by any means—divided by the total number of plate appearances) by the hitter’s slugging percentage (total basesdivided by at bats).
- The batting average of a pitcher is also significant in measuring his or her degree of success.
- A pitcher’s statistics may be broken down into several categories, the most important of which are K/9IP (strikeouts per nine innings), K/BB (strikeouts per walk), HR/9, WHIP (walks plus hits per inning thrown), and OOPS (opponent on-base plus slugging).
- In the case of pitchers, these statistics, such as the Defense-Independent ERA (dERA), make an attempt to evaluate a pitcher on the basis of events that are completely influenced by the pitcher’s performance and not by the strength of the defensive players behind him or her.
- An experienced manager may be more inclined to give a given batter more opportunities to face left-handed pitchers because of the hitter’s ability to hit left-handed pitchers.
Depending on the pitcher (or vice versa), other batters may have a track record of success against that pitcher, and the manager can utilize this knowledge to construct a beneficial matchup.
Commonly used statistics
The majority of these words are also applicable to softball. Several commonly used statistics, as well as their acronyms, are described in this section. In order to provide a fast reference, the explanations below do not fully or totally describe the statistic; for a more thorough definition, please go to the related article for each statistic.
- A single hit that allows the batter to safely reach first base without the assistance of a fielding mistake is designated as 1B. 2B -Double-hits in which the hitter successfully advances to second base without the assistance of a fielding mistake
- 3B -Triple-hits in which the hitter successfully advances to third base without the assistance of a fielding error
- The term “at bat” refers to a batting appearance, which does not include bases-on-balls, balls hit by pitches, sacrifices, interference, or obstruction. At bats per home run (AB/HR) is the sum of at bats divided by the number of home runs. BA – Batting average (often abbreviated AVG) – the number of hits divided by the number of at bats The term “base on balls” refers to a situation in which a batter receives four balls and advances to first base. Walking to strikeout ratio (BB/K) is the number of base on balls divided by the number of outs in a game. Extra base hits (doubles, triples, and home runs) are referred to as XBH. FC (Fielder’s Choice) refers to situations when a runner reaches base after a fielder has decided to try to force an out on another runner. Number of ground balls out divided by the number of fly ball outs is known as AO/GO (Ground Ball Fly Ball Ratio). Number of ground balls that were hit and turned into double plays (also known as GDP or GiDP)
- When a home run is hit with the bases loaded, four runs are scored and four RBIs are recorded to the batter, this is known as a Grand Slam. Batted fair ball with no errors by the defense resulted in a hit, which allowed the batter to advance to second base. HBP (hit by pitch) refers to instances in which a pitch is touched and the batter is given first base as a consequence. Home runs are defined as hits on which the hitter successfully touches all four bases without the benefit of a defensive mistake. IBB stands for “intentional base on balls.” A base on balls (see BB above) is a base on balls that is intentionally thrown by the pitcher. IW (intentional walk) is another term for this activity. Number of times a strike three is taken or swung at and missed or a bunted foul is committed is denoted by the letter K. LOB (Left on Base) refers to the number of runners who are not out and have not scored at the end of an inning. OBP (On Base Percentage) is calculated by dividing the number of times a player has reached base (H + BB + HBP) by the total number of at bats plus walks plus hit by pitch plus sacrifice flies (AB + BB + HBP + SF). On-base plus slugging (OPS) is the sum of the on-base percentage and the slugging average. PA -Plate appearance – is the total number of completed batting appearances in a season. It is possible to assess how many runs a player has contributed to his team using the RC (Runs generated) statistic. In baseball, the term “run batted in” refers to the number of runners who have scored as the result of a hitter’s action, with the exception of when the batter grounds into a double play or reaches on an error. Sacrifice fly (SF) – the number of fly ball outs that allow another runner to advance on the basepaths or score a run
- Number of sacrifice bunts that have been made to allow another runner to advance on the basepaths or score
- SH -Sacrifice hit – SLG (slugging average) is the sum of all bases divided by the number of at-bats. To calculate total average, divide total bases plus walks plus steals by the number of plate appearances plus the number of times a player is caught stealing. T – Total bases: one for each single, two for each double, three for each triple, and four for each home run
- TB = Total bases
- TOB (Times on Base) refers to the number of times a player has reached base as a consequence of hits, walks, or being hit by a pitch.
- If someone is caught stealing, they are tagged out for a certain amount of time. Number of bases advanced other than through batted balls, walks, or hits by pitch
- SB -Stolen base R – Runscored – times when the player returned to home base legally and safely
- R – Runscored – times when the player returned to home base illegally and safely
- R – Runsscored – times when the player returned to home base illegally and safely
- R – Run
- BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) is a batting average against a pitcher on batted balls that end a plate appearance, excluding home runs, that is calculated after a plate appearance. BB is an abbreviation for “base on balls” (also called a “walk”) times throwing four balls, allowing the batter-runner to make it to first base on four different occasions In baseball, BB/9 is defined as the number of base on balls multiplied by nine and divided by the number of innings pitched (bases on balls for every nine innings pitched). BF – total batters faced – the total number of plate appearances made by the opponent In baseball, BK stands for the number of times a pitcher executes an unlawful throwing motion or other illegal activity while in contact with the pitching rubber, resulting in baserunners moving forward. Number of times a player has entered the game in a save position and then been charged with a run that ties the game
- BS -Blown save- CERA is an acronym that stands for Component In baseball, the term “earned run average” (ERA) refers to an estimate of a pitcher’s ERA based on the separate components of his statistical line (Ks, H, 2B, 3B, HR, BB, HBP)
- CG -Complete game – the number of games in which a player was the lone pitcher for his side
- A player’s CG -Complete game – DICE (Defense-Independent Component) is an acronym that stands for Defense-Independent Component. the estimated earned run average (ERA) of a pitcher based on the components of his statistical line that are not reliant on defense (K, HR, BB, HBP)
- In baseball, earned runs are the number of runs that are not scored as a consequence of mistakes or passed balls. ERA (earned run average) is calculated as follows: earned runs multiplied by the number of innings in a game (typically nine) divided by the number of innings pitched
- G -Games thrown (also known as’Appearances ‘) – the number of times a pitcher throws a pitch in a season. The number of games pitched in which the player was the last pitcher for his club is denoted by the letter GF (Games completed). Ground ball to fly ball ratio (G/F) is the number of ground balls permitted divided by the number of fly balls allowed. A player’s number of games pitched when he was the first pitcher for his team is denoted by the letter GS. H/9 -Hits per nine innings – Hits allowed multiplied by nine divided by the number of innings pitched (also known as H/9IP -Hits allowed per nine innings pitched)
- H/9IP -Hits allowed per nine innings pitched H -Hits Allowed – total number of hits permitted
- HB -Hit batsman – refers to a hitter who has been hit by a pitch, allowing the runner to reach first base. HLD (or H) -Hold- is the number of games in which a save situation has been entered, where the save situation has been abandoned, where at least one out has been recorded, and where the lead has not been relinquished
- HR -Home runs permitted – total number of home runs permitted It is permissible to use intentional base on balls (IBB). It stands for inherited runners, which is the amount of runners on base when the pitcher comes into the game. IRA (Inherited Runs Allowed) is the maximum number of inherited runners that can score. Innings pitched is the product of the number of outs recorded while pitching multiplied by three. Innings pitched per game (IP/GS) is the average number of innings pitched each game. K – Strikeout – the number of hitters that were hit with a third strike
- AKA K/9 (Strikeouts per nine innings) is calculated by multiplying the number of strikeouts by nine and dividing the number of innings pitched (Strikeouts per nine innings pitched). A ratio of strikeouts to walks is calculated by dividing the number of strikeouts by the number of base on balls. Winning percentage of games in which pitcher was pitching when the opposition side gained an early lead, never relinquished control of the lead, and went on to win
- Opponents batting average (OBA) is calculated by dividing the number of hits allowed by the number of at-bats faced. PITCH COUNT – Number of pitches thrown (Pitch Count)
- RA (Run Average) is the product of the number of runs allowed multiplied by nine and divided by the number of innings pitched. Running against the average is a sabermetric statistic that may be used to forecast victory %. SO – Shutout – the amount of complete games thrown without allowing a single run
- A pitcher’s save is the number of games in which a pitcher enters a game with a lead held by the pitcher’s team and exits that game with no loss of the lead, is not the winning pitcher, and either (a) the lead was three runs or less when the pitcher entered the game
- (b) the potential tying run was on base or at bat
- Or (c) the pitcher pitched three or more innings. In games when a pitcher was pitching while his team gained the lead and went on to win (also known as winning percentage), W represents the number of games won. When a pitch is thrown too high, too low, or too wide of home plate for the catcher to field, a wild pitch charge is applied, enabling one or more runners to advance or score.
- It is possible to record the number of outs on a play in which a fielder touches the ball, save if such touching is for a putout, as a “Assist.” One for each double play in which the fielder recorded a putout or an assist, and one for each double play in which the fielder recorded an assist
- DP -Double plays Number of times a fielder fails to make a play that he should have made with reasonable effort, and the offense gains as a result of this failure
- To calculate fielding percentage, divide the total number of plays (chances less mistakes) by the total number of opportunities. INN -Innnings – the number of innings that a player spends in a specific position on the field When the ball is dropped and one or more runners advance, the catcher is charged with a passed ball (also known as a passed ball charge). Number of times a fielder tags, forces, or appeals a runner and the runner is subsequently thrown out
- PO – Putout Ranging factor (*9) divided by the number of innings played. When determining how much field a player can cover, this is taken into consideration. Stolen bases (also known as stolen bases) refer to the number of times a runner advances on a pitch without being caught by the catcher. TC stands for total chances, which includes assists, putouts, and mistakes. Each triple play during which the fielder recorded a putout or an assist is denoted by the letters TP (triple play).
- G -Games played – the total number of games in which the player participated in full or in part
- Baseball, Statistics, and the Role of Chance in the Game by Jim Albert and Jay Bennett was published by Copernicus Books in New York in 2001 with the ISBN 978-0387988160
- Jim Albert and Jay Bennett’s Curve Ball is available on Amazon.com for $9.99. Jim Albert: Teaching Statistics Using Baseball, 2nd edition, Mathematical Association of America Press, Providence, RI, 2017.ISBN 978-1-93951-216-1
- Gabriel B. Costa, Michael R. Huber, and John T. Saccoman: Understanding Sabermetrics: An Introduction to the Science of Baseball Statistics, 2nd edition, Mathematical Association of America Press, Providence, RI, 2017.ISBN 978-1-93951-216-1
- Jim Albert: Teaching Statistics Using Baseball McFarland & Company, Jefferson, North Carolina, 2008
- William Darby: Deconstructing Major League Baseball, 1991-2004: How Statistics Illuminate Individual and Team Performances, McFarland & Company, Jefferson, North Carolina, 2008. McFarland & Company, Jefferson, North Carolina, 2006. Steve Gardner (interviewer): “According to Gary Gillette and Lyle Spatz: “Not chiseled in stone. A guide to advanced baseball statistics like as WAR, BABIP, FIP, and more”, USA Today, July 17, 2019. Baseball’s Enduring Records and the SABR Era”, The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 40, Number 2 (Fall 2011), pp. 7-11
- Glenn Guzzo, “The New Ballgame: Understanding Baseball Statistics for the Casual Fan,” ACTA Sports, Skokie, IL, 2007
- Bill James, “Stats in Baseball,” The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 40, Number 2 (Fall 2011), pp. 7-11
- Bill James, “Stats “Kevin Reavy and Ryan Spaeder:Is Baseball a Simple Game?, in: Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns:Baseball: an Illustrated History, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY, 1994, pp. 101-103
- Keith Law:Smart Baseball: The Story Behind the Old Stats That Are Ruining the Game, the New Stats That Are Running It, and the Right Way to Think About Baseball, HarperCollins, New York, NY, 2017.
Some or all of the information in this article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, which you can read more about here. “Baseball statistics” is taken from the Wikipedia page “Baseball statistics.”
How to Calculate Common MLB Baseball Statistics
At first look, baseball statistics may appear to be too complicated and difficult to understand. However, if you understand how to compute these values correctly, it becomes rather straightforward. Only the statistical data produced by players may be used to determine who the greatest and worst players are in a given matchup. This will make it much easier for you to play baseball with a handicap. Let’s take a look at a variety of different baseball statistics, how they are calculated, and some of the all-time greats in each of these categories.
Baseball is one of the few games in which you may miss your target 70 percent of the time and still be regarded a reasonably strong batter, which is rare in other sports. Only 204 players in the history of Major League Baseball finished their careers with a hitting average greater than.300, according to Baseball Reference. So, how do you come up with this average number? Formula: The number of hits divided by the number of at-bats, rounded up to the third decimal place Ty Cobb, a baseball player who was known for his hustling, tenacity, and downright wrath on the field, holds the record for the best career batting average in Major League Baseball, with a.366 lifetime average.
Ted Williams, the legendary Boston Red Sox player who batted.344 in his career, including a season in which he batted.406, would be the recipient of this distinction.
On-base Percentage (OBP)
Batting average is only one method of determining a player’s overall performance at the plate. Another way to evaluate them is to look at their on-base percentage (OBP). The on-base percentage (OBP) takes into account not just hits, but also walks, hit by pitches, and sacrifices. On-base % honors players that not only get a lot of hits, but also earn a lot of walks as well as strike out a lot. Hits + walks + hit by pitch divided by (At-bats + Walks + Hit By Pitch + Sacrifices) is the formula for calculating runs scored.
Because teams were so concerned about giving up home runs to Bonds, they opted to purposely walk him instead of hitting him.
His on-base percentage of.609 in 2004 is the second-highest in the Major Leagues, trailing only his own mark of.609. The 581 mark was established in 2001. Once again, to put this figure into context, Todd Helton finished second to Bonds in the 2004 “OBP” rankings with a rating of.468.
Home Run Ratio
Calculating this number is a piece of cake for most people. In order to calculate this, you just multiply the amount of at-bats a player has by the number of home runs they have hit. At-bats divided by home runs is the formula. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that hall of fame sluggers like Mark McGwire (10.61), Babe Ruth (11.76), and Barry Bonds (12.92) rank at the top of the lifetime home run ratio leaderboard.
When calculating a batter’s total number of hits, the average is utilized. The proportion of time spent on base is used to quickly determine how many times they have reached base in general. Slugging %, on the other hand, is a measure of how many total bases a hitter generates with his or her bat. A single counts as one base, a double counts as two, a triple counts as three, and a home run counts as four. The greater the number of total bases you accumulate, the better your slugging percentage.
It’s not uncommon for the yearly slugging percentage leaders to end with a slugging percentage of 600 or higher.
Known as one of the more sophisticated hitting statistics available, Isolated Power is a means to determine the raw power output of each hitter. Separating the hitter’s slugging percentage from his or her batting average results in the calculation of isolated power. Slugging Percentage less Batting Average equals Slugging Percentage. It’s similar to the Home Run Ratio leaderboard in that the lifetime Isolated Power leaders are a who’s who of Hall of Fame hitters. Babe Ruth, the most famous power hitter of all time, is the undisputed king of Isolated Power, having hit a home run in every game he played.
On-base plus Slugging (OPS)
The on-base percentage (OPS) of a batter is perhaps the most accurate way to assess his or her worth since it incorporates the critical features of getting on base (as in, not going out) and hitting for extra bases. It’s one of the statistics that, in my opinion, might provide you with a competitive advantage when betting on Major League Baseball. Formula: base percentage plus a percentage of the total. % of slugging An on-base percentage (OPS) of over.800 is generally regarded acceptable for most players, with great sluggers consistently exceeding.900 and occasionally breaking into the single digits.
Earned Run Average (ERA)
Some statistics are adjusted to accommodate for the fact that baseball is a nine-inning game. ERA is one of these organizations. The earned run average (ERA) is a statistic that is mostly used to compare starting pitchers. It attempts to quantify how many runs a pitcher would allow in a game if they threw full nine innings. Using this formula: 9 multiplied by (Earned Runs Allowed divided by Innings Pitched) In the modern era, a starting pitcher with an earned run average (ERA) less than 3.50 is regarded above average.
It is believed that just three players in baseball history concluded their careers with an earned run average (ERA) less than 2, and all three played during what is generally referred to as the Dead Ball Era.
Walks and Hits per Innings Pitched (WHIP)
In baseball, the WHIP statistic is used to evaluate a pitcher’s ability to restrict the number of base runners he or she allows. While some pitchers may not allow many hits, their high number of walks will cause their WHIP to rise significantly. WHIP considers both a line drive single and a 10-pitch walk to be precisely the same thing. The following formula is used: Walks plus hits divided by the number of innings pitched A WHIP of 1.20 or lower is considered excellent for beginning pitchers.
Mariano Rivera, the greatest bullpen pitcher in history, retired with a 1.01 WHIP at the conclusion of his career.
Saving a game is one of the most difficult statistics to calculate since it is awarded to the pitcher on a winning team who satisfies specific requirements. This is the criterion:
- He successfully completes the game. He is not the winning pitcher
- He is the losing pitcher. In addition, he pitches at least a third of an inning and meets one of the following requirements:
He pitches one whole inning and leaves the game with a lead of no more than three runs. 2. He enters the game with the tying run on base, at bat, or on deck, depending on the situation. 3. He throws at least three innings of work. In the contemporary game of baseball, relief pitchers, sometimes known as “closers,” are responsible for the great majority of saves, who pitch the final inning of a game if their team is ahead by three runs or fewer in the final inning of a game. Mariano Rivera holds the record for most saves in a career with 652.
If a relief pitcher is unable to earn a save, the next best thing is to earn a holding position. A hold happens when a reliever enters the game in a save situation, records at least one out, and then exits the game with his side still in the lead, according to the official rules. For him to be credited with a hold, his side must maintain a one-point advantage throughout his time on the field. In Major League Baseball, holds are an unofficial statistic because they are a relatively new statistic to track.
Learn to Read Baseball Stats and Use Them to Your Advantage
Learning how to interpret baseball data is a simple method to get more enjoyment out of the game, which is especially true if you’re betting on the outcome of the game. The figures that appear on the scoreboard are simply a sliver of the vast universe of baseball statistics. When you watch a game, there are literally hundreds of different stats that are captured. Given the fact that even the tiniest aspects of the game have been measured, it helps to understand what you’re looking at. You will learn how to understand baseball numbers and which ones are the most valuable for evaluating your team’s hitting, pitching, and fielding performance in this straightforward tutorial.
How to Read Baseball Stats on the Scoreboard
Have you ever found yourself trying to figure out what the score is during a Major League Baseball game? You wouldn’t be the only one. Baseball’s distinctive scoreboard is jam-packed with supplementary information that, in addition to the current score, gives context about the game as a whole. On a traditional baseball scoreboard, each team’s name will be shown on the far left side of the screen. The away team will always appear at the top of the list, with the home team appearing at the bottom (because the home team always bats second).
- Each one corresponds to one inning of a baseball game.
- If any runs are scored during extra innings, they are added to the total in the final column, which is sometimes designated “EI.” Following the inning score boxes, you’ll see three columns with the letters R, H, and E in the heading.
- R represents the total number of runs scored.
- E – Errors in total (number of errors).
- Pitching data, such as the total number of pitches thrown or the number of innings pitched, may also display on the master scoreboard from time to time.
To realize the full potential of statistics to increase your baseball knowledge, though, you’ll need to explore outside the confines of a baseball stadium. The internet is an excellent location to begin your search.
Traditional Baseball Stats vs Sabermetrics
Baseball may be America’s national sport, but baseball fans’ favorite pleasure is debating the validity of various statistical indicators. Traditional metrics are primarily concerned with recording the successes and failures of players during the course of the game, with little regard for the greater context in which they occur. In this way, they are beneficial for comparing very particular aspects of a team’s or player’s performance, but their use is severely restricted when comparing high-level assessments of overall quality of play or performance.
This level of detail provides useful indicators of overall quality and player/team potential, but it runs the danger of becoming excessively abstract and attempting to quantify aspects of the game that are better left to qualitative observation.
Understanding Key Batting Stats
At the end of the day, baseball success is determined by the final score. No team can win a game unless they have a few outstanding batters and baserunners who can put the ball in play and make their way around the bases in the most efficient manner. The most popular option: Batting Average (Battering Average) (AVG) Batting averages are undoubtedly the most talked-about statistic in all of baseball, and for good reason. Batting average, shown by the abbreviation AVG on the scoreboard or in the box score, refers to the percentage of the time a player has successfully hit a base and advanced to a base while at bat during the current baseball season.
- Therefore, it is most effective when used as a very general measure of a player’s ability to strike the ball with his or her hands.
- At the very least, Major League players are expected to bat at least.200, with 300 and 400 considered hot and on fire, respectively.
- The aggregate average proportion of the time a hitter reaches base after stepping up to the plate is known as the on-base percentage (OBP).
- Having said that, it still fails to account for the relative importance of each achievement (hitting a triple has the same effect on OBP as being walked to first base).
- High RBI totals have traditionally been linked with successful ‘clean-up’ batters who are able to bring baserunners in for a run.
- However, RBI is a rudimentary metric that does not clearly correspond with a player’s ability to hit in crunch time situations.
- If they get on base and move through the bases on a regular basis, you’ll have a significant advantage in terms of RBI potential.
Take a look at the weighted runs that were generated in the section below.
wOBA is a catch-all sabermetric statistic that assigns a relative value to each hit and each advance to first base in a baseball game.
By weighing offensive occurrences according to their importance rather than considering them all equally, the wOBA is able to better determine which batters are making the most significant contributions to their team’s ability to put points on the board.
A similar stat to wOBA, Weighted Runs Created Plus (WRCP) measures how offensively productive a player has been throughout his career.
As a league average, all players are weighted around a value of 100, which represents the average of the league.
Isolated Power Sources (ISO) Isolated Power, also known as ISO, is a measurement that can be used to quickly identify batters who have the most raw power.
The ISO of a batter is the percentage of times he or she hits a double, triple, or home run in a given game. It should be noted that ISO is a descriptive stat, meaning that it tells you what type of hitter a player is rather than directly indicating their offensive value.
Know the Most Important Pitching Stats
The Earned Run Average (ERA) is the most popular (ERA) The earned run average (ERA) is the most extensively used pitching statistic. It is an approximate estimate of how many runs a pitcher has allowed for every nine innings he or she has pitched. When compared to more recently established comprehensive pitching numbers (such as FIP), ERA fails to account for a significant proportion of errors on the defensive side of the ball that result in runs. Pitchers who compete for teams with poor defensive units are severely penalized by this measure.
- It can be useful in assessing how many outs can be credited directly to the efforts of the pitcher who is currently on the mound throughout a single game, or even within a single game.
- If you know how many innings a starter pitches on average every game, you can make an educated guess as to when they will be replaced by the bullpen.
- Pitchers are given an inning for every three outs they record while on the mound in the game.
- The simplicity with which rate statistics may be calculated and understood is one of its most appealing features.
- The greater the difference between a pitcher’s strikeout rate and his or her walk rate, the more effective the pitcher is expected to be.
- It is meant to be a straight substitute for the earned run average (ERA), which means that it may be used to directly compare the relative worth of two or more pitchers in the same situation.
- Earned Run Average for Skill-Interactive Players (SIERA) SIERA (Skill-Interactive ERA) is a metric that is very similar to FIP in that it allows you to assess the overall quality of two or more pitchers in a straightforward manner.
- The SIERA is the most complete and accurate pitching statistic available if you are only looking at one pitching statistic.
The following pitching statistic is the most thorough and accurate if you just have time to look at one pitching statistic. See this collection of starter articles if you’re interested in learning more about this significant number.
Analyzing Crucial Defensive Stats
Errors are the most often encountered (E) Errors are one of the most important statistics that can be found on practically every baseball scoreboard (look for the ‘E’ column to see how many errors a team has committed during a game). It is considered an error when a player fails to make the type of defensive play that a reasonably skilled player would make. Clearly, players who commit a large number of errors are prone to making a large number of errors. That is not a positive development. However, keep in mind that, like other tallying data, errors alone do not take into account the pace at which these mistakes are committed in relation to a fielder’s overall defensive possibilities in play.
- Fielding Percentage is a measure of how well a team performs on the field (FPCT) The Fielding Percentage Conversion Rate, or FPCT, does account for the amount of opportunities a fielder is given to either make or break a play, but it does so in a skewed manner.
- The percentage shown by the number is the percentage of times a player successfully fields the ball when given the opportunity.
- Shortstops and third basemen continue to be disadvantaged as a result of the fact that they are frequently faced with significantly more difficult fielding possibilities than other positions players.
- Having said that, this statistic does not give enough information to gain a true feel of a player’s defensive contribution.
- When an out or double play occurs, it is frequently the player who originally fields the ball and throws it to a certain base who receives the most credit.
- It is important to remember that an ordinary player will have a DRS rating of 0, whilst the finest fielders will have DRS ratings more than 15.
- Both statistics are shown on the same scale and serve as complete indications of fielding skill when compared to the typical player in the same position as the player being evaluated.
One Stat to Rule Them All: WAR
A statistical measure known as Wins Above Replacement (WAR) may be used to assess the worth of players in all positions.
WAR is a complicated but extremely useful statistic that can be used to compare the value of players in all positions. WAR is something we enjoy so much that we put together an entire tutorial on how to utilize it to make better baseball wagers.
Use these Stats to Start Betting on Baseball
You now understand how to interpret the most significant baseball statistics, and it is ready to begin your online MLB baseball betting trip. Visit ourhow to bet on sportssection for more MLB-specific betting information, and good luck on your bets this season!