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  #16  
Old 08-16-2019, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by ChiTownTrojan View Post
Actually, OPS correlates very strongly with runs scored. I just looked at every season by every team since 2000, and the correlation between team OPS and runs scored is .955. The correlation between team AVG and runs scored is .809.

I don't have stats on BA with RISP.
OPS is an excellent correlation stat. Teams with high OPS tend to score more runs.

Teams don't tell players, "focus on your OPS" because that doesn't make much sense. They tell players, "take walks and hit for power" that in turn increases OPS and lead sot more runs.
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  #17  
Old 08-16-2019, 09:07 AM
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OPS is vague enough to be meaningless. It may correlate with run scored, but it doesn't mean that a strong OPS will lead to runs scored. What you need to do to score runs and what you need to do to increase your OPS can be two different things. OPS treats a bases-empty double the same as it would a bases-clearing double, whether the runner comes around to score or not. OPS treats a two-run single with two outs and runners on second and third only marginally better than an intentional walk with two outs and runners on second and third ahead of a strikeout.

Runs occasionally score on defensive mistakes but most have to be driven in. RBIs are not the random thing that some would have us believe. Some players are clearly better at it than others. The difference between Abreu (who isn't even having a great season) and Jimenez is not simply that Abreu has more men on base to drive in.
On a team wide basis higher OPS will lead to more runs as a general rule. Sure there are instances where it doesn't tell the whole story. That's why we have other stats to look at, but as someone pointed out before if Abreu is actually doing something different with runers in RISP that increases his average (and in turn his OPS) then why isn't he doing that all the time?
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  #18  
Old 08-16-2019, 09:13 AM
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Ok, OPS doesnít ďpenalizeĒ hitters for SFs and ground out RBI, but it does not credit the hitter in those situations, either, because it (erroneously) treats SFs and ground out RBI as being the same as any other out. As TDog says, some players are just simply better in those situations than others, despite the insistence of some that driving in runs is a random happenstance.
You think teams are telling players, "Damnit, don't hit SF it will hurt your OPS!"

Teams care about runs scored. The way to do that in general is to have a high OPS.
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  #19  
Old 08-16-2019, 09:33 AM
Frater Perdurabo Frater Perdurabo is offline
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I donít necessarily want the Sox hitters to try to take more walks.

I want them to strike out less.

If a by-product of that is more walks, great. But itís equally great if some of those additional ABs that are not strikeouts result in base hits, and itís even more excellent if they also hit more XBHs.
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  #20  
Old 08-16-2019, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by voodoochile View Post
On a team wide basis higher OPS will lead to more runs as a general rule. Sure there are instances where it doesn't tell the whole story. That's why we have other stats to look at, but as someone pointed out before if Abreu is actually doing something different with runers in RISP that increases his average (and in turn his OPS) then why isn't he doing that all the time?
Do you really want Abreu (or anyone else on the team) waiting back and cutting down on his swing in all situations?

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Originally Posted by voodoochile View Post
You think teams are telling players, "Damnit, don't hit SF it will hurt your OPS!"

Teams care about runs scored. The way to do that in general is to have a high OPS.
Of course not. I really don’t understand how my post would provoke that question.
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  #21  
Old 08-16-2019, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by asindc View Post
Do you really want Abreu (or anyone else on the team) waiting back and cutting down on his swing in all situations?



Of course not. I really donít understand how my post would provoke that question.
His SLG is 92 points higher than his regular SLG but his BA is only 79 points higher. If Abreu can post a .925 OPS all the time, then he should do it. Compared to his .766 OPS with no runners on base why not?

He's clearly not giving up a ton of power, just adding a lot of base hits some of which are going for 2B and HR.

And sorry, I misread your post but my point does stand for others claiming that OPS penalizes hitters. Teams only care about runs, OPS is merely a good predictor of what teams are more successful at scoring them.
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  #22  
Old 08-16-2019, 10:45 AM
A. Cavatica A. Cavatica is offline
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Digging a little deeper, the Sox were 8th last in runs scored in 2017 and 7th last in 2018. They've been getting worse. But their runs-per-game rebounded a little this year (4.36 in 2017, 4.05 last year, 4.20 in 2019) which means scoring across the league is up more.

They are earning the fewest walks in the league this year, after being 2nd worst last year, and 3rd worst the year before that. They clearly need vast improvement there. But because their batting average has been middle-of-the-pack, they are only 7th worst in OBP.

They have hit the fifth fewest home runs after being middle-of-the pack last year. They have hit the fourth fewest doubles after being 11th worst last year. They have hit the third fewest triples after having the fourth MOST in both 2018 and 2017. Consequently, they are 4th worst in slugging at .401. (Last year, they also slugged .401 but were 10th worst; more evidence that numbers are up across the league.)

Combine low OBP and low slugging and they are 6th worst in OPS+ at 87, down from 11th worst last year (92) and middle-of-the pack (96) in 2017. This is an appalling trend.

Who are the culprits? Well, Sanchez has gone from 97 to 86 to 68 as his extra-base power has evaporated. Right field has gone from Avi's outlier 138 to Avi/Palka at 98/109 to Palka/Cordell/Jay/Tilson, who between them are probably in the 60s. DH has been a mix-and-match combination of the right fielders, Castillo (76), Alonso (54), and Reed (10). All of those players need to go.

Abreu has indeed fallen off a cliff; his OPS+ has gone from 141 to 117 to 112. Leury's .286 average makes it seem like he's doing something, but it's empty. Jimenez has had a disappointing rookie season (to me, anyway; he only hits home runs and weak singles).

So despite an out-of-the-blue All-Star season from McCann, and great leaps forward from Anderson and Moncada, the team has been dragged down by three big holes in the lineup and three mediocrities.
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  #23  
Old 08-16-2019, 10:54 AM
ChiTownTrojan ChiTownTrojan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDog View Post
OPS is vague enough to be meaningless. It may correlate with run scored, but it doesn't mean that a strong OPS will lead to runs scored.
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Originally Posted by voodoochile View Post
On a team wide basis higher OPS will lead to more runs as a general rule. Sure there are instances where it doesn't tell the whole story. That's why we have other stats to look at, but as someone pointed out before if Abreu is actually doing something different with runers in RISP that increases his average (and in turn his OPS) then why isn't he doing that all the time?
Exactly Voodoo. TDog - I was specifically referring to team OPS. Higher team OPS does in fact lead to more runs. I know this because I've actually run the analysis. I looked at a bunch of team offensive statistics for every season from every team since 2000, and the stat that was most predictive of team success (both scoring runs, and also team wins) was team OPS. Other than team RBIs, which are of course nearly identical to team runs.

You say that OPS is vague. I guess that's because it's a composite of two other stats (OBP and SLG?). To me that's not a very hard concept to grasp, that it's summarizing two different aspects of a batter's performance. And they are two aspects of a player's performance that he can directly control, every time he steps to the plate. It's pretty hard to go out and tell a player to go out and get more RBIs every time he goes to the plate. Well, duh, no kidding, coach. OBP and SLG are specific skills that a player can work on and improve, and if they do so, team OPS improves, and more runs will score.

You also say that OPS is meaningless because it doesn't account for sacrifice flies, as well as other aspects of players changing their approach with runners on base. That's true - if these are real skills that a player has, they will not be captured by OPS. But I challenge you to find a single summary statistic that captures every single aspect of scoring runs. I would argue that performance with RISP is more meaningless than OPS, because it doesn't account for the ability to get runners into scoring position to begin with, and it ignores the vast majority of at bats that do not have runners in scoring position. Plus, since it's based on a small subset of plate appearances, it's inherently a more noisy measure.

OPS isn't perfect, and any advanced-stat person knows this. That's why you'll see these people quote other states like wRC+, wOBA, etc. All of these stats emphasize different aspects of a players performance. Most of them are a lot less intuitive than OPS (I couldn't tell you how to calculate wRC+ and wOBA, but we all know how to calculate OPS). And though I haven't looked at all these stats, it does seem like OPS is as predictive or more of scoring runs and team wins than any of them.
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  #24  
Old 08-16-2019, 02:10 PM
Mohoney Mohoney is offline
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Nick Ahmed is the league leader with 10 sac flies. He has a .328 OBP. Removing those 10 plate appearances would raise his OBP to .335.

The league leader in sac flies has been penalized a grand total of 7 OPS points.

Iíll take that .955 correlation (a million thanks to ChiTownTrojan for providing this) as a really, really, really strong endorsement of OPS as a way to judge a playerís value. Iíll group the Halleyís Comet plays (like sac flies and grounders to the right side) in with the remaining .045 missing from the r-value.

Hot take: a ground ball hit with a runner on 3B is a failed at-bat anyway. Lots of runners are held at 3B on such grounders, and some of them result in double plays. Hit the ball in the air deep enough to score the run, or get me someone else who can.
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  #25  
Old 08-16-2019, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Frater Perdurabo View Post
I donít necessarily want the Sox hitters to try to take more walks.

I want them to strike out less.

If a by-product of that is more walks, great. But itís equally great if some of those additional ABs that are not strikeouts result in base hits, and itís even more excellent if they also hit more XBHs.
This. The K/BB ratio can tell us more in addition to raw K and raw BB numbers. In some contexts, a high number of Ks is not necessarily bad, and a low number of Ks is not necessarily good. High totals in both can mean that the guy is ultra-selective at the plate, perhaps even too selective. Low totals in both can mean that the guy just swings at everything he sees, perhaps to the teamís detriment. However, the closer we see a ratio get to 1:1, we can safely assume that weíre dealing with a guy who has excellent plate discipline and excellent pitch recognition.

For reference, the White Sox have the worst K/BB ratio in baseball. We are the only team with a ratio over 4:1.
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  #26  
Old 08-16-2019, 04:09 PM
asindc asindc is offline
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Originally Posted by Mohoney View Post
Nick Ahmed is the league leader with 10 sac flies. He has a .328 OBP. Removing those 10 plate appearances would raise his OBP to .335.

The league leader in sac flies has been penalized a grand total of 7 OPS points.

I’ll take that .955 correlation (a million thanks to ChiTownTrojan for providing this) as a really, really, really strong endorsement of OPS as a way to judge a player’s value. I’ll group the Halley’s Comet plays (like sac flies and grounders to the right side) in with the remaining .045 missing from the r-value.

Hot take: a ground ball hit with a runner on 3B is a failed at-bat anyway. Lots of runners are held at 3B on such grounders, and some of them result in double plays. Hit the ball in the air deep enough to score the run, or get me someone else who can.
You might be surprised that I agree with much of this. I am not anti-OPS (or anti-any advance stats, for that matter). I just bristle against the idea that a player who consistently executes situational hitting to either to get on base, and/or advance runners, and/or drive runners in is not providing a valuable skill. As it stands, Abreu will reach 30 HR/100 RBI yet again this year barring injury. That kind of consistent production (which includes his taking 2-strike pitches to the right side for RBI) is something every MLB team could and would use in their lineup. Even with Abreu’s penchant for expanding the zone in RISP situations and not drawing walks. (By the way, the Sox should make plate discipline a higher priority going forward, as their K/BB ratio is abysmal.)
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  #27  
Old 08-16-2019, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by voodoochile View Post
His SLG is 92 points higher than his regular SLG but his BA is only 79 points higher. If Abreu can post a .925 OPS all the time, then he should do it. Compared to his .766 OPS with no runners on base why not?

He's clearly not giving up a ton of power, just adding a lot of base hits some of which are going for 2B and HR.

And sorry, I misread your post but my point does stand for others claiming that OPS penalizes hitters. Teams only care about runs, OPS is merely a good predictor of what teams are more successful at scoring them.

I think OPS is not at all a predictor for runs. I think it would be more useful if a strikeout percentage was subtracted at the end. Using stats as a predictor is sketchy anyway and requires you to know so much more about the players involved in a matchup. Derek Holland before last night had twice faced Bryce Harper and twice retired Bryce Harper. There's the whole lefty-on-lefty thing, although Harper is hitting a a little bit better (and walking less) against southpaws. (I don't watch a lot of Phillies games, but I get the impression that right handers are more inclined to pitch around him, give him less to hit, hence more walks in situations where the walks aren't really helping the Phillies and more outs swinging at bad pitches.) Even with the apparent percentage advantage, does anyone believe --while Holland is strolling in from the bullpen -- that Holland should be brought in to face Harper in the ninth with the game on the line?

It's interesting that Harper, who is only hitting .253, Harper is hitting .376 with runners in scoring position and (this is after Thursday night's game) .400 with two outs and runners in scoring position. Of course, Harper knows he is going to get something to ht. A walk puts the tying run on third with one out. A sacrifice fly helps the Cubs more than it helps the Phillies. A double play ends the game. Harper, whose batting average suffers a bit because he doesn't get a lot to hit understands Holland doesn't have a big margin for error, which is something Holland, just about any pitcher, needs.

OPS is a number built upon two statistics that are organic to the game. They have overlap, but each only tells you so much. A high on-base percentage means less if it is founded in a high batting average. The three-outcome hitter may have a high on-base percentage, but the team is probably getting little from his walks. If he has a high strikeout rate and walks a lot, his walks are likely coming on the pitcher's terms when it's easier not to give him anything to hit than to risk giving up a home run. Notice how Eloy Jimenez seemed a walking machine when Yonder Alonso was hitting behind him, and how Adam Dunn walked more the deeper in the lineup he hit for the Sox -- or for that matter how Nick Swisher walked much less after he was traded to the Sox and stuck in the leadoff spot.

OPS is a vague, lazy statistical construct that may not tell you what you think it does. A hitter with an OPS of .800, a batting average of .204 with 105 walks and 222 strikeouts is not a hitter a winning team wants in its lineup over many hitters with significant lower OPS, even with the 41 home runs and 96 RBIs. For one thing, this hitter should have had a lot more than 96 RBIs with 41 home runs. You know that before you check and see that he came up with runners in scoring position 166 times, including 18 times with multiple runners in scoring position. Look further and you see tht 30 of the 55 baserunners he drove in scored from first on home runs or doubles. So if you include the walks he took with runners in scoring position, you only get him driving in 25 of the 184 runners he had in scoring position in his plate appearances. His .222 RISP says he drove in 51 runs with RISP, but that include himself in 8 home runs and runners from first when he also drove in runners in scoring position.

It isn't a matter of players not having the focus to succeed when there is no RBI opportunity on base. It's a matter of focusing on driving in the run against a defense that is trying to prevent the run (not talking football here) rather than the defense set up to prevent you from hitting your way on base. Baseball is a situational game. Global statistics may correlate, but they don't predict. Not all .800 OPS hitters are equal. Adam Dunn had a higher career OPS than Harold Baines. Harold Baines was the better hitter.

Every statistic is taken out of context. There are RBIs that mean nothing and take a team out of the game, the conceded run late in the game when the opponent is more concerned with outs than the cosmetic score. But hitters who do what's needed to drive in runs and succeed at a higher rate are more important than hitters with high OPS numbers. It is true that they sometimes overlap, but OPS does not predict run production.
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  #28  
Old 08-16-2019, 05:27 PM
Mohoney Mohoney is offline
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Just factor in K% at the end. Youíre allowed to look at multiple numbers.
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  #29  
Old 08-16-2019, 05:48 PM
Mohoney Mohoney is offline
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And the 2012 Dunn rip is simply incorrect. A team of 9 2012 Dunns would have a .579 winning percentage.

Letís take, say, 2012 Michael Brantley for comparison. His .288/.348/.402 slash and 56:53 K:BB ratio fits right in with the ďstrikeouts and walks and home runs are ickyĒ crowd. A team of 9 2012 Brantleys would have a .545 winning percentage.

Increased contact doesnít mean a thing if most of it is on the ground.
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  #30  
Old 08-16-2019, 05:54 PM
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Statistics and situational reality are two independent things that sometimes overlap. Baseball isn't played on a spreadsheet.

The 2012 Adam Dunn wasn't a rip. It was an extreme example of a player that can be bad, can hurt the team offensively with an .800 OPS. If you don't believe the overall effects of Dunn's 2012 offense were not negative for the White Sox, you weren't paying attention.
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