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Thoughts on a New Stat

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Thoughts on a New Stat

Postby The Loveable Losers » Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:58 pm

I was listening to one of the XM Sirius Fantasy Baseball shows last week. Can't remember which one but the host was (rightly) railing against OPS as a stat due to the fact that the stats being added together have different denominators. That got me thinking - could we create a stat that made sense, conveyed some useful information, and didn't have that different denominator issue. My answer was a resounding yes - and easily!

First, I'm coming at this from a FanDuel perspective. While this stat would be very useful in baseball in general it's invaluable in FanDuel - more on that later. Basically though, with OPS we're trying to look at a player's ability to hit for power and average both (slugging percentage) along with their ability to get on base (on base percentage). There's a ton of overlap, different denominators, etc. in OPS but it does what it sets out to do, however flawed. However, what would be really useful to know is how many bases the batter gets per time at the plate. That's simple and a far more valuable stat than OPS! Simple formula too, though you can't create it on the fly like you can OPS:
BPA (Bases per Plate Appearance) = (HBP + BB + 1B + 2 * 2B + 3 * 3B + 4 * HR) / (HBP + BB + AB). You can obviously fudge some numbers here - leave out the HBP if you don't have it available or lower the multiplier by 1 on every extra base hit if you're adding hits instead of singles, etc, but basically the formula is just a ratio of bases gained either through a walk, hit by pitch, or a hit of some time, to the number of opportunities the batter had to collect those bases.

Putting this into action, let's take a look at Paul Goldschmidt's numbers so far this year:
181 AB, 64 Hits, 12 Doubles, 1 Triple, 15 Home Runs, 37 Walks, .354/.463/.680/1.143 slash
I didn't have his HBP numbers so we'll exclude those. Running the numbers we get a BPA of .734. This tells us that every plate appearance (leaving out sacrifices and HBP in this case) Goldschmidt is producing .734 total bases. Clearly a more valuable stat than OPS which only tells us that he has an OPS of 1.143 which actually tells us nothing more than that he's doing very well this year. Now, coming full circle back to FanDuel, this stat is actually by far the most valuable batter stat for FanDuel. Everything besides stolen bases and runs/rbi's on the hitter's end is completely encapsulated in that single stat. Having a split-stat version of BPA would give you a number that, when multiplied by the batter's expected at bats, gives you how many points you should expect from the batter that day. So from Goldschmidt, who's averaging 3.69 at bats per game, you could expect 2.7 points before adding in steals, runs, and rbi's against a neutral pitching matchup (and you could easily do the same for vs lefties and vs righties with split-stat BPA).
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Re: Thoughts on a New Stat

Postby eatyun » Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:33 pm

Honestly I feel like there are to many stats in baseball already :-b , but I am also not familiar with Fanduel, so maybe it could be helpful there.
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Re: Thoughts on a New Stat

Postby The Loveable Losers » Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:26 pm

eatyun wrote:Honestly I feel like there are to many stats in baseball already :-b , but I am also not familiar with Fanduel, so maybe it could be helpful there.


My goal with this would be twofold - one, to have less stats rather than more. If you wanted to see how well a player did at hitting in a single stat I think this one encapsulates that better than just average, obp, or ops. Second, it meshes very well with FanDuel's valuation of each base gained, regardless of source, as a point.

I did have a minor issue with the formula for FanDuel points I posted earlier though. It correctly gives points expected from successful bases but did not deduct the 0.25 for each out. There's not a way from a single stat to accomplish that part. That said, it gets you closer than any other stat can get you.

That's a down-side I didn't see earlier. You don't know how well the player does at getting on base (or inversely in not making outs) but on the flip-side of that you get a single number that tells you how many bases a player gets you per plate appearance.
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Re: Thoughts on a New Stat

Postby bigh0rt » Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:42 pm

On my phone but will revisit and comment more later, but in short, I like it.
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Re: Thoughts on a New Stat

Postby Tavish » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:48 pm

The Loveable Losers wrote:I did have a minor issue with the formula for FanDuel points I posted earlier though. It correctly gives points expected from successful bases but did not deduct the 0.25 for each out. There's not a way from a single stat to accomplish that part. That said, it gets you closer than any other stat can get you.


Why not just add (AB - H) * .25 to the numerator? I can see the advantage to use it for FanDuels, it's similar to the common suggestion that people give when someone asks for help in a points league. You could add in the R, RBI, and SB value to the numerator as well to find out how many points per PA a player is worth. If you have YTD FanDuel player values the formula would be even easier. :-)

In terms of real baseball I'm not sure how useful it would be. OPS is somewhat of a simplistic baseball card stat, but it does correlate to Runs Created decently for being a quick stat.
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Re: Thoughts on a New Stat

Postby SecretAgentMan » Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:46 pm

Tavish wrote:
The Loveable Losers wrote:
In terms of real baseball I'm not sure how useful it would be. OPS is somewhat of a simplistic baseball card stat, but it does correlate to Runs Created decently for being a quick stat.



I tend to agree. Any stat in the right context (assuming it was logically created in the first place) and with sufficient sample size can be useful. However, slugging percentage\OPS more or less translates to this. So we are just massaging numbers to see if they can be useful for daily fantasy leagues on a quick and dirty approach? Plus they have avg points per game in most of those already which is the bottom line and is a more accurate measure no?

Additionally, I generally have a negative view of things which are used to try to predict performance over a short sample size (like the Fanduel daily games). Applying any stat compiled over a decent period of time to a single day has limited meaning even in the best of circumstances and creating another stat just for this purpose (or largely for it) is not all that helpful imo.
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