The easiest way to look at offensive statistics is to break them up into two larger sections: bases and outs. For every plate appearance, every play on the field, there are two outcomes: bases can be acquired, or outs can be made. Sometimes these bases are runs, sometimes there are both outs and bases on a particular play. But these two outcomes are the simplest units that we can use to measure the game. This is the formula for bases:

**Bases = Total Bases + Stolen Bases + Bases on Balls + Hit by Pitch + Sacrifice Hits + Sacrifice Flies + Times Reached on Error + Catcher's Interference + Bases Taken**

Most of these are pretty basic, the only one that may require explanation is Bases Taken. Baseball-Reference defines it as "bases taken on fly balls, passed balls, wild pitches, balks, and defensive indifference." Basically it is a miscellaneous category for baserunning advances. On the flip side is outs. Fortunately Baseball-Reference already includes outs within their statistics, so a formula isn't needed. Outs can be split up into batting outs and baserunning outs, but I won't do that here. For now we will treat outs just as outs regardless of the form that they come in.

So what we have now is two primary "accounts" for offensive statistics: Bases and Outs. Anyone with any knowledge of accounting knows that for every debit there is an equal and opposite credit, and baseball is no different. For every base acquired by a batter, it also becomes a base allowed by a particular pitcher. I personally only like to look at pitchers by their Batting Against statistics, only because they are easier to work with for me.

As far as what to do with bases and outs, the best formula for the two is Total Average. It's one of the oldest equations in sabermetrics (created back in the 70's), but it's one of the simplest ways to define the game. Batters can either acquire bases or they can make outs, Total Average accurately measures how prosperous their plate appearances were.