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Why is OPS still widely used?

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  • Why is OPS still widely used?

    I mean, I understand its bearings to broadcasters, young fans, and the uneducated (not to sound patronizing), but why do some users on this website refer to it (well, actually, mainly OPS+, which is admittedly better, but is still reliant on OPS), instead of the far superior stats wOBA and wRC+?

    It's not like these statistics are esoteric or uneasy to understand. wOBA is about on the same scale as OBP, and wRC+ is about on the same scale as OPS+. Obviously, they're not perfectly correlated, but they're close enough to these other statistics that they should be easy to grab.

    Are some people still under the assumption that OBP and SLG are weighted perfectly equally?

  • #2
    Obp and slg are old school stats that anyone can relate to while linear weights are not really intuitive without math skills. Anyone can understand why a triple counts 3 times in slg but not so much to the linear weights which usually are decimal numbers.
    I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by dominik View Post
      Obp and slg are old school stats that anyone can relate to while linear weights are not really intuitive without math skills. Anyone can understand why a triple counts 3 times in slg but not so much to the linear weights which usually are decimal numbers.
      True, and not only that, but people have the other numbers memorized for the most part. Familiarity is the key. People relate to old stats.

      I remember when people didn't know much about slug% and ob%, let alone OPS+. But they knew several career and season numbers for HRS, RBI, runs, and AVG. Those numbers were on leader boards quite often. They were mentioned often everywhere.

      Once Money Ball came along, people have started memorizing career OPS+, OB%, and SLUG% numbers.

      However, I have yet to see wOBA numbers. I couldn't tell you a single wOBA number that a player has. But I could quote several numbers off the top of my head for the more traditional stats above.

      If Trout sets a new record for wOBA next year, nobody will mention that record. However, if he set the record for HRS, SLUG%, OPS+, or even WAR, people will walk about that instead.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 1phillies fan382 View Post
        Are some people still under the assumption that OBP and SLG are weighted perfectly equally?
        I don't think people ever thought of it in that context. I think it is just a quick thing you can easily calculate that is easy to interpret. Most people here do not have a stats background.

        Think about it this way. In medicine we have many statistical models to calculate things like probability of death. Usually the result of some sort of logistic regression. That model is great and all, but doctors need to be able to calculate it on the fly in an OR so we have to come up with an accurate way to dumb it down so it can be done on the fly. So a long-ish formula becomes add two numbers and look at a chart.

        In this case, it is totally dumbed down, but it still tells us plenty. If I am a GM and want to decide between two players then sure, I will go REALLY specific. But if I am on this site and just trying to give some basic numbers then I may choose OPS.
        "Batting stats and pitching stats do not indicate the quality of play, merely which part of that struggle is dominant at the moment."

        -Bill James

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 1phillies fan382 View Post
          I mean, I understand its bearings to broadcasters, young fans, and the uneducated (not to sound patronizing), but why do some users on this website refer to it (well, actually, mainly OPS+, which is admittedly better, but is still reliant on OPS), instead of the far superior stats wOBA and wRC+?

          It's not like these statistics are esoteric or uneasy to understand. wOBA is about on the same scale as OBP, and wRC+ is about on the same scale as OPS+. Obviously, they're not perfectly correlated, but they're close enough to these other statistics that they should be easy to grab.

          Are some people still under the assumption that OBP and SLG are weighted perfectly equally?
          I am sure you know the reasons why...

          It is familiar. Mainstream places like ESPN and MLB.com have it.

          It is a simple addition problem. There is no OB% adjustment needed.

          It has been around awhile. The last thing the people who just latched-on want to do is latch on to something that has already passed it up.

          WRC+ is obviously better. But OPS+ correlates very well with runs too. It is a sabermetric gateway drug that is an easy and familiar way to get people talking analyticaly. There is nothing wrong with it as a very brief snapshot of offensive rate production.
          Last edited by Bothrops Atrox; 01-05-2017, 04:49 PM.
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          • #6
            Double post
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bothrops Atrox View Post
              I am sure you know the reasons why...

              It is familiar. Mainstream places like ESPN and MLB.com have it.

              It is a simple addition problem. There is no OB% adjustment needed.

              It has been around awhile. The last thing tje people who just latched-on want o do is latch on to something that has already passed it up.

              WRC+ is obviously better. But OPS+ correlates very well with runs too. It is a sabermetric gateway drug that is an easy and familiar way to get people talking analyticaly. There is nothing wrong with it as a very brief snapshot of offensive rate production.
              Thanks for the perspective.

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              • #8
                It also relates to percentages given on tests in school. An OPS of .900 is pretty good nowadays. So was a ninety percent on your exam.

                So the average person can wrap his head around it. Media types understand this and are using this connection to prior knowledge to help their audience make a connection to this measure of performance.
                Your Second Base Coach
                Garvey, Lopes, Russell, and Cey started 833 times and the Dodgers went 498-335, for a .598 winning percentage. That’s equal to a team going 97-65 over a season. On those occasions when at least one of them missed his start, the Dodgers were 306-267-1, which is a .534 clip. That works out to a team going 87-75. So having all four of them added 10 wins to the Dodgers per year.
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5hCIvMule0

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Second Base Coach View Post
                  It also relates to percentages given on tests in school. An OPS of .900 is pretty good nowadays. So was a ninety percent on your exam.

                  So the average person can wrap his head around it. Media types understand this and are using this connection to prior knowledge to help their audience make a connection to this measure of performance.
                  Well said. I've noticed it helps perspective and comprehension when things are put on a batting average scale. Seems to have the most history and easiest to understand. Heck, my Mom could even tell you a .300 BA is good.
                  Last edited by Sultan_1895-1948; 01-06-2017, 09:12 AM.
                  "By common consent, Ruth was the hardest hitter of history; a fine fielder, if not a finished one; an inspired base runner, seeming to do the right thing without thinking. He had the most perfect co-ordination of any human animal I ever knew." - Hugh Fullerton, 1936 (Chicago sports writer, 1893-1930's)

                  ROY / ERA+ Title / Cy Young / WS MVP / HR Title / Gold Glove / Comeback POY / BA Title / MVP / All Star / HOF

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Second Base Coach View Post
                    It also relates to percentages given on tests in school. An OPS of .900 is pretty good nowadays. So was a ninety percent on your exam.
                    Barry Bonds must have taken a few AP classes.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 1phillies fan382 View Post
                      I mean, I understand its bearings to broadcasters, young fans, and the uneducated (not to sound patronizing), but why do some users on this website refer to it (well, actually, mainly OPS+, which is admittedly better, but is still reliant on OPS), instead of the far superior stats wOBA and wRC+?

                      It's not like these statistics are esoteric or uneasy to understand. wOBA is about on the same scale as OBP, and wRC+ is about on the same scale as OPS+. Obviously, they're not perfectly correlated, but they're close enough to these other statistics that they should be easy to grab.

                      Are some people still under the assumption that OBP and SLG are weighted perfectly equally?
                      OPS+ is not reliant on OPS. It is not a player's relative OPS. Just want to make sure you understand that because it was my assumption 10+ years ago that it WAS relative OPS. The answer is simple. OPS+ is easier to say that wOBA or wwRC+. Oddly, regarding the question of the weight of OB% and Slugging, OB% X Slugging was tried at one point because it does not depend at all on the relative weights of the two percentages, and it turned out to correlate much less to run production than OPS+. Also I have seen a thread on this site that explains why OPS+ ends up producing a calculation that is very close to a linear weights estimate of the value of each event.


                      Also, people can calculate OPS+ variations is easier to calculate based on data at hand, and variations in OPS+ for a player correlate to variations in wRC+ very well. If a player has a relative OPS+ of 140 at home and 110 on the road, their home and road wRC+ hold a very similar ratio, though if a park favors or disfavors home runs for a given player, it OPS+ splits will be less accurate.
                      Last edited by brett; 01-06-2017, 11:25 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by brett View Post
                        OPS+ is not reliant on OPS. It is not a player's relative OPS. Just want to make sure you understand that because it was my assumption 10+ years ago that it WAS relative OPS. The answer is simple. OPS+ is easier to say that wOBA or wwRC+. Oddly, regarding the question of the weight of OB% and Slugging, OB% X Slugging was tried at one point because it does not depend at all on the relative weights of the two percentages, and it turned out to correlate much less to run production than OPS+. Also I have seen a thread on this site that explains why OPS+ ends up producing a calculation that is very close to a linear weights estimate of the value of each event.


                        Also, people can calculate OPS+ variations is easier to calculate based on data at hand, and variations in OPS+ for a player correlate to variations in wRC+ very well. If a player has a relative OPS+ of 140 at home and 110 on the road, their home and road wRC+ hold a very similar ratio, though if a park favors or disfavors home runs for a given player, it OPS+ splits will be less accurate.
                        Just to piggyback on this, this is how OPS correlates to wOBP

                        corr.PNG

                        r=0.95670

                        So when it comes to a group of guys debating on a message board I would think OPS is a fine place to start.
                        "Batting stats and pitching stats do not indicate the quality of play, merely which part of that struggle is dominant at the moment."

                        -Bill James

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                        • #13
                          What would a player's wOBA be if they walked every time?

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                          • #14
                            in 2015 it would be .69, I believe
                            Last edited by sturg1dj; 01-06-2017, 01:44 PM.
                            "Batting stats and pitching stats do not indicate the quality of play, merely which part of that struggle is dominant at the moment."

                            -Bill James

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sturg1dj View Post
                              Just to piggyback on this, this is how OPS correlates to wOBP

                              [ATTACH]158457[/ATTACH]

                              r=0.95670

                              So when it comes to a group of guys debating on a message board I would think OPS is a fine place to start.
                              I agree. wOBA is better...but the difference is negligable in most cases.
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