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Thread: BA and OPS

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  1. #1
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    BA and OPS

    Quote Originally Posted by SavoyBG View Post
    Stats like WAR and WIN SHARES take all of this guesswork out of it.
    I can't agree that it takes the guesswork out of it. WAR and Win Shares are good stats but they are not absolute and it is one person's guess work of how valuable something is. It is not a cut and dry stat like Usain Bolt's 100 meter time.



    Quote Originally Posted by SavoyBG View Post
    Batting average is clearly way less important than either OBP or SLG%.
    Yes I agree that BA is the least important of the three but my point was that when OBPs and SAs are that close, the significant delta in the BA does come into play as a "tie breaker".

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Joltin' Joe View Post
    Yes I agree that BA is the least important of the three but my point was that when OBPs and SAs are that close, the significant delta in the BA does come into play as a "tie breaker".
    Why is that? Is there some reaserach that proves that batting average is the most important portion of OPS?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SavoyBG View Post
    Why is that? Is there some reaserach that proves that batting average is the most important portion of OPS?
    Huh? I specifically stated in the sentence you are quoting of me that BA is the least important of the OPS troica.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Joltin' Joe View Post
    Huh? I specifically stated in the sentence you are quoting of me that BA is the least important of the OPS troica.
    I am talking about when you wrote....

    "the significant delta in the BA does come into play as a "tie breaker"."

    Why is the batting average the tie breaker, rather than the OBP or the SLG% ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SavoyBG View Post
    I am talking about when you wrote....

    "the significant delta in the BA does come into play as a "tie breaker"."

    Why is the batting average the tie breaker, rather than the OBP or the SLG% ?
    I really wish you would actually read my post if you are going to quote me. I said if the OBP and the Slug are close, then the significant delta in the batting average would be a tie breaker. The road OBP and Slugs are virtually a tie for Dewey and Mad Dog, however Mad Dog's batting average is significantly higher.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Joltin' Joe View Post
    I really wish you would actually read my post if you are going to quote me. I said if the OBP and the Slug are close, then the significant delta in the batting average would be a tie breaker. The road OBP and Slugs are virtually a tie for Dewey and Mad Dog, however Mad Dog's batting average is significantly higher.
    So, why does the higher batting average become the tie breaker, rather than the isolated power, which Evans wins .170 to .123.

    Do you have some research that shows that batting average is a more important component of SLG% than isolated power?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SavoyBG View Post
    So, why does the higher batting average become the tie breaker, rather than the isolated power, which Evans wins .170 to .123.
    Fair question, I actually made a thread asking the same questions, have you seen it?

    http://www.baseball-fever.com/showth...hitter-and-why

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Joltin' Joe View Post
    Fair question, I actually made a thread asking the same questions, have you seen it?

    http://www.baseball-fever.com/showth...hitter-and-why
    Just looked at it, and it's not really clear which player is better. But what is clear is that there's no strong evidence that we should automatically prefer the higher batting average when both players are roughly equal in OBP and SLG%. Usually the higher batting average guy will use up more outs along the way, imcluding hitting into more DPs, since he puts the ball in play more often and would be less of a flyball hitter than the Evans or Thome type.

    I checked, and Madlock hit into DPs more often than Evans, including one season where Madlock led the league with 25 GIDPs.

    Evans - 10569 PA - 227 GIDPs - one every 46.6 PA
    Madlock - 7372 PA - 190 GIDPs - one every 38.8 PA

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by SavoyBG View Post
    Just looked at it, and it's not really clear which player is better. But what is clear is that there's no strong evidence that we should automatically prefer the higher batting average when both players are roughly equal in OBP and SLG%. Usually the higher batting average guy will use up more outs along the way, imcluding hitting into more DPs, since he puts the ball in play more often and would be less of a flyball hitter than the Evans or Thome type.

    I checked, and Madlock hit into DPs more often than Evans, including one season where Madlock led the league with 25 GIDPs.
    A couple of questions being begged there. Completing an arc that ties high batting averages to a tendency to hit into more DP's is one. Between the ground ball and fly ball scenarios, there are grass-cutters and line drives aplenty. Then too, there are high average hitters who achieve that by GDP avoidance.

    We can paint idealized pictures to color debating points; but if one is inclined to hold others' feet to the task of statistical support, the idealized generalizations must stand up to similar scrutiny.

  10. #10
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    Tangotiger on BA/OBP/SLG

    The following table presents 6 players with the same OBA, same SLG, but widely differing batting averages.

    Essentially, as the walks and HR go up, I decrease the hits. In this way, I force the OBA and SLG to match, while varying the batting average.

    We see that not considering the batting average in your OPS metric will have an effect of +/- 2 runs. We again see that Linear Weights, as expected, is an almost perfect match. BaseRuns comes to within 1 run of the true value
    Code:
    PA 	AB 	H 	2B 	3B 	HR 	BB 	Outs 	AVG 	OBA 	SLG 	OPS 	BsR 	BsR/440 BsR+/- 	LWTS 	Team diff
    660 	640 	200 	30 	4 	8.1 	20 	440 	0.313 	0.333 	0.41 	0.743 	74.6 	74.6 	-1 	-1.8 	-1.7
    660 	620 	180 	30 	4 	12.1 	40 	440 	0.29 	0.333 	0.41 	0.743 	75.1 	75.1 	-0.5 	-0.9 	-0.8
    660 	600 	160 	30 	4 	16 	60 	440 	0.267 	0.333 	0.41 	0.743 	75.6 	75.6 	0 	0 	0
    660 	580 	140 	30 	4 	19.9 	80 	440 	0.241 	0.333 	0.41 	0.743 	76.1 	76.1 	0.5 	0.9 	0.9
    660 	560 	120 	30 	4 	23.9 	100 	440 	0.214 	0.333 	0.41 	0.743 	76.6 	76.6 	1.1 	1.8 	1.8
    660 	540 	100 	30 	4 	27.8 	120 	440 	0.185 	0.333 	0.41 	0.743 	77.2 	77.2 	1.6 	2.6 	2.7
    As for the batting average thing, I suppose that's another myth. It's pretty clear that given two guys with the same OBA and SLG, you want the guy with the LOWER BA (though in reality, we're not talking about much difference).

    I just tried with a weird environment (OBA/SLG of .393/.493), and in this case, the higher the BA, the more runs scored. I then tried the other way, with .289/.351, and this time the LOWER the BA, the more runs scored.

    The "break-even" point seems to be about .360/.450. That is, at that level, the change in batting average (and I checked from .200 to .340) made zero change to the run production of the team.

    RC has its own problems, magnified substantially when the HR/H or HR/PA becomes out of whack. RC does not model run scoring at all: it just got lucky that it looks like it models it. If you've got a computer, there's zero reason to use RC, when you've got BsR (unless you want to propose a model that's better).

    I don't really care about the different denominators. The whole thing of OPS centers around: more good, less bad. The more walks, the more hits, the more TB, the less outs, the better the number. There's nothing inherent in OPS that ensures that the balance is proper. It's just plain old luck that for the run environment of MLB, that it works out that way.

    Believe me, if the run environment was half what it is today, or double what it is, there'd be some other "quick" estimator that would get lucky to model run creation.

  11. #11
    Code:
    PA	AB	H	2B	3B	HR	AVG	BB	SO	TB	OBP	SLG	LH	Ex/LH	OPS	Outs	RC
    660	640	200	30	4	8.1	.313	20		262	.333	.410	42	62	.743	440	91
    660	620	180	30	4	12.1	.290	40		254	.333	.410	46	74	.743	440	89
    660	600	160	30	4	16	.267	60		246	.333	.410	50	86	.743	440	87
    660	580	140	30	4	19.9	.241	80		238	.333	.410	54	98	.743	440	85
    660	560	120	30	4	23.9	.214	100		230	.333	.410	58	110	.744	440	83
    660	540	100	30	4	27.8	.185	120		221	.333	.410	62	121	.743	440	82
    Same data, but with RC compiled. In the RC formula, higher BA is better. I haven't studied this, so I don't have an opinion which is right, but it will make for some interesting time for me at least over some coffee. (Maybe a couple pots of coffee!)

    I don't want to debate which is right since both methods have experienced and intelligent advocates. It's interesting though.
    Last edited by drstrangelove; 02-20-2012 at 07:19 PM.

  12. #12
    The model is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The guy with the highest BA is presumed to have the same OB% and SLG and the guy batting around .190. One can create an arithmetic model to suit and point under debate.

    In the context of recent remarks posted here, I tried to construct a reasonable pair of batters with very comparable stats OTHER than their respective BAs, which, in themselves are fairly well apart but not so extreme as to forbid reasonable comparisons.

    Player "Visitor" posts these numbers:

    AB 600
    H 162
    BA .270
    HR 30
    3B 0
    2B 18
    1B 114
    BB 73
    TB 270

    Player "Home" puts up these numbers:

    AB 600
    Hits 197
    BA .328
    HR 12
    3B 4
    2B 29
    1B 152
    BB 37
    TB 270

    The hour grows late, so I penalized Home a single. There is nothing in the figures that would indicate DPs batted into by either player. One has 48 extra base hits; the other 45. The big disparity would seem to be HRs; but hen the question is legitimately raised WHEN and under what circumstances game/conditions each of those 18 big hits were belted. In a full season, there's enough random chance in PA where 18 "bombs" may not be all that telling, especially when the trailer is collecting 36 more hits on his side of the ledger.
    Last edited by leewileyfan; 03-14-2012 at 08:57 PM.

  13. #13
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    Re: batting average being the tie-breaker

    When two players are normalized to the same OPS, including OBP and SLG%, and one has a higher batting average than the other, that means that Player A has more base hits than Player B and Player B has more walks/hbp/etc than Player A. Since a base-runner can take more than one base from a base hit, then that means Player A has the potential to create more runs than Player B.

    So, a normalized 280-350-420 line is more valuable than a normalized 260-350-420 line. Right?

  14. #14
    brett posted this:

    Quote Originally Posted by J W View Post
    Re: batting average being the tie-breaker

    When two players are normalized to the same OPS, including OBP and SLG%, and one has a higher batting average than the other, that means that Player A has more base hits than Player B and Player B has more walks/hbp/etc than Player A. Since a base-runner can take more than one base from a base hit, then that means Player A has the potential to create more runs than Player B.

    So, a normalized 280-350-420 line is more valuable than a normalized 260-350-420 line. Right?
    That is correct given RANDOM production. The guy with the .260 average has to make up 20 points on his on base percentage with walks, AND 20 points on his slugging percentage with extra bases to make up for 20 points lower in batting average. A walk and an extra base are only worth about .7 of a single though so the .260 guy gives up 20 points in batting average but gains back about 28 points worth in other production to bring his other rates up to the level of the first guy.

    However I have tended to find that higher batting average guys tend get slightly more run value from their walks, hits and extra bases than if they were produced randomly. Joe Morgan (for a negative example) only hit about .230 with a .350 slugging percentage in situations where a hit was much more valuable than a walk. Tony Gwynn, Rod Carew, Ichiro, Boggs all hit almost identically to their career rates with a runner on second and 2 outs.
    There is a counterbalance to what you are saying here. You're focusing on the value of singles versus walks, and there's no doubt the single is better. So in the area of making up the BA difference in OB Pct, the BA is better. However, if BA is lower, you need more XBH, or isolated power, to make the slugging percentage equal--and those XBH are superior to the singles. If it's not a wash, it comes close to it, IMHO.
    Last edited by jalbright; 02-17-2012 at 03:26 AM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by J W View Post
    Re: batting average being the tie-breaker

    When two players are normalized to the same OPS, including OBP and SLG%, and one has a higher batting average than the other, that means that Player A has more base hits than Player B and Player B has more walks/hbp/etc than Player A. Since a base-runner can take more than one base from a base hit, then that means Player A has the potential to create more runs than Player B.

    So, a normalized 280-350-420 line is more valuable than a normalized 260-350-420 line. Right?
    Maybe not. The one with more singles is more likely to be thrown out trying to stretch a hit, and is more likely to hit into DPs. He is using more outs up too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J W View Post
    Re: batting average being the tie-breaker

    When two players are normalized to the same OPS, including OBP and SLG%, and one has a higher batting average than the other, that means that Player A has more base hits than Player B and Player B has more walks/hbp/etc than Player A. Since a base-runner can take more than one base from a base hit, then that means Player A has the potential to create more runs than Player B.

    So, a normalized 280-350-420 line is more valuable than a normalized 260-350-420 line. Right?
    That is correct given RANDOM production. The guy with the .260 average has to make up 20 points on his on base percentage with walks, AND 20 points on his slugging percentage with extra bases to make up for 20 points lower in batting average. A walk and an extra base are only worth about .7 of a single though so the .260 guy gives up 20 points in batting average but gains back about 28 points worth in other production to bring his other rates up to the level of the first guy.

    However I have tended to find that higher batting average guys tend get slightly more run value from their walks, hits and extra bases than if they were produced randomly. Joe Morgan (for a negative example) only hit about .230 with a .350 slugging percentage in situations where a hit was much more valuable than a walk. Tony Gwynn, Rod Carew, Ichiro, Boggs all hit almost identically to their career rates with a runner on second and 2 outs.
    There is a counterbalance to what you are saying here. You're focusing on the value of singles versus walks, and there's no doubt the single is better. So in the area of making up the BA difference in OB Pct, the BA is better. However, if BA is lower, you need more XBH, or isolated power, to make the slugging percentage equal--and those XBH are superior to the singles. If it's not a wash, it comes close to it, IMHO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SavoyBG View Post
    Just looked at it, and it's not really clear which player is better. But what is clear is that there's no strong evidence that we should automatically prefer the higher batting average when both players are roughly equal in OBP and SLG%. Usually the higher batting average guy will use up more outs along the way, imcluding hitting into more DPs, since he puts the ball in play more often and would be less of a flyball hitter than the Evans or Thome type.
    That is a reasonable argument and the type of stuff I was looking for when I created that thread, you should post on it.
    That being said, not all high BA guys with low isolated discipline/power hit into lot of GIDP, Ichiro is a prime example.

    Quote Originally Posted by SavoyBG View Post
    Just looked at it, and it's not really clear which player is better. But what is clear is that there's no strong evidence that we should automatically prefer the higher batting average when both players are roughly equal in OBP and SLG%. Usually the higher batting average guy will use up more outs along the way, imcluding hitting into more DPs, since he puts the ball in play more often and would be less of a flyball hitter than the Evans or Thome type.
    That is a reasonable argument and the type of stuff I was looking for when I created that thread, you should post on it.
    That being said, not all high BA guys with low isolated discipline/power hit into lot of GIDP, Ichiro is a prime example.

    Quote Originally Posted by SavoyBG View Post

    I checked, and Madlock hit into DPs more often than Evans, including one season where Madlock led the league with 25 GIDPs.
    Last edited by jalbright; 02-19-2012 at 12:59 PM. Reason: fixed quote brackets
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  18. #18
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    Actually, I'm not even sure the agreement at the start of the thread that BA isn't the most important is accurate. At the very least, it depends on how one defines important. If it's the spread in BA, that may be generally true, because BA is more tightly bunched than slg % or OBP. However, BA is a vital ingredient of both stats, as OBP is mostly BA, but with walks and HBP included (among other considerations). Slg % is BA plus isolated power percentage. So BA counts twice in OPS+. Even for an extreme case, a low BA with high walk totals and lots of power type like Adam Dunn, about 65% of his OBP comes from BA, and over 45% of his slg% comes from BA. For the average player, it's more like 80% of OBP and 63% of slugging.
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  19. #19
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    If you have two players with similar SLG then the one with the lower AVG is actually putting more runs on the board since he is being more efficient with his hits.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiquitous View Post
    If you have two players with similar SLG then the one with the lower AVG is actually putting more runs on the board since he is being more efficient with his hits.
    Efficient? More like more bang for his buck or something like that. And how can we be sure he is putting more runs on the scoreboard when nearly all of those runs are team dependent?
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  21. #21
    Empirically, per the RC formula...

    Assuming I understand the discussion

    two players with the same PA, same AB (i.e., same walks, HB, etc.), same s.pct (i.e., same TB) will favor dramatically the player with the higher batting average. The reason is the higher BA is achieved with fewer outs. While it might 'seem' to defy logic, it's because we are used to thinking of the game the wrong way.

    The most precious commodity in the game is outs. Hitting a lot of MR, for example, while making a ton of outs, is far worse than hitting a ton of singles and making much fewer outs.

    Code:
    																																	Outs	TOT							
    	PA	AB	H	2B	3B	HR	AVG	BB	SO	TB	OBP	SLG	LH	Ex/LH	OPS	Made	RC	HBP	SB	CS	SF	SH	GDP	IBB
    2011	86482	77586	20004	4005	411	2274	.258	6986	15588	31653	.323	.408	6690	11649	.731	60467	10060	738	1600	619	634	530	1721	472
    																								
    BA	86482	77586	20004	0	0	0	.258	6986	15588	20004	.323	.258	0	0	.580	60467	7377	738	1600	619	634	530	1721	472
    																								
    Spct	86482	61556	3970	0	0	3970	.064	23016	15588	15880	.323	.258	3970	11910	.581	60471	6463	738	1600	619	634	530	1721	472
    Here is the 2011 Al season. Top line is data using the RC formula. Actual runs were over predicted by 57 (0.57%). So, yea, it's a good estimate.

    Line 2 is the Batting Average method. All singles. Line 3, is same number of total bases (i.e., same slugging %). I used all homers. I adjusted walks so the OBP would be the same.

    The batting average line is about 20% better in scoring. I can't get it to line up nicely for my post, (I suck at posting code from excel.)

    Notice the outs made are the same (by definition.) But while homers are move valuable than singles, singles are more valuable than walks. Per the formula, the latter offsets the formula comfortably.
    Last edited by drstrangelove; 02-20-2012 at 05:13 PM.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Joltin' Joe View Post
    I can't agree that it takes the guesswork out of it. WAR and Win Shares are good stats but they are not absolute and it is one person's guess work of how valuable something is. It is not a cut and dry stat like Usain Bolt's 100 meter time.





    Yes I agree that BA is the least important of the three but my point was that when OBPs and SAs are that close, the significant delta in the BA does come into play as a "tie breaker".
    I would say that BA does get enough credit. all the superstar hitters hit for high average:

    -ruth
    -williams
    -gehrig
    -pujols
    -bonds
    -manny

    they all hit well above .300 in their good years. out of the 10 highest OPS+ guys only 2 are not having a .300 career average (bonds at .299 and mantle at .298). most are over .330. the prototypical inner circle HOFer is not a patient pure slugger. It is a .330 hitter that slugs for power and also walks quite a lot.

    that high walk, high homer, low BA guy like jim thome usually doesn't get a lot of credit.


    for comparison I will post wOBA for 2 quite similar seasons of mantle and hornsby (by OPS).

    hornsby 1927: 1.035 OPS, .361 BA, .448 OBP, .586 SLG
    mantle 1958: 1.035 OPS, .304 BA, .443 OBP, .592 SLG


    of course mantles ISO is higher (.288 vs.225) and hornsbys BA is a lot higher.

    wOBA

    Mantle: .452
    Hornsby: .471

    So it seems like the higher BA is slightly more worth than the higher ISO. this makes sense of course since XBH are better than singles but not as much as slg might you think.
    SLG says that a single is only 25% worth a HR and 50% worth a double. linear weights however say that a single is 70% of a double and about 40% or so of a HR.

    that means the higher ISO does equal out the higher BA somewhat but not quite. the higher BA guy will produce slightly more runs.
    Last edited by dominik; 02-21-2012 at 03:20 PM.
    I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps, but the guy who walks and cant run, most of the time hes clogging up the bases for somebody who can run. Dusty Baker.

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