Tuesday, May 23, 2006

And this is why I dislike traditional thinking

Jim Leyland (and apparently Tom Gage as well), think on base percentage isn't that important of a stat for an offense. They note that it is something that can be overcome, like how the Tigs have overcome a middle of the road OBP to post a 30-14 record. Leyland loves slugging percentage.

Well no shit. When you have the best pitching in the majors (by far), your team will overcome a lot of offensive shortcomings. That doesn't make the offense good, however. The best measure of a team's offense is how many runs they score. Want to know what one of the absolute best predictors of runs scored is? How about on base percentage. Here are the top 5 and bottom 5 teams in the majors in OBP right now along with number of runs scored:

1) New York Yankees, .371, 244
2) Cleveland Indians, .367, 255
3) Boston Red Sox, .364, 231
4) Los Angeles Dodgers, .357, 242
5) Toronto Blue Jays, .357, 244
......
26) Pittsburgh Pirates, .316, 185
27) Kansas City Royals, .307, 154
28) Tampa Bay Devil Rays, .304, 186
29) Chicago Cubs, .301, 160
30) Los Angeles Angels, .300, 185

Yeah, notice a trend here? Let's try the same thing for slugging percentage.

1) Toronto Blue Jays, .480, 244
2) Milwaukee Brewers, .473, 228
3) Detroit Tigers, .472, 218
4) Chicago White Sox, .471, 248
5) Cleveland Indians, .475, 255
......
26) Minnesota Twins, .396, 211
27) San Diego Padres, .381, 209
28) Los Angeles Angels, .377, 185
29) Kansas City Royals, .375, 154
30) Chicago Cubs, .363, 160

Not quite as strong a predictor as OBP now is it? How about we look at the highest scoring teams in the majors and list their MLB rank in OBP and SLG (as well as OPS) and see what it looks like?

1) Cleveland Indians, #2 OBP, #5 SLG, #2 OPS
2) Chicago White Sox, #6 OBP, #4 SLG, #3 OPS
3) Toronto Blue Jays, #5 OBP, #1 SLG, #1 OPS
4) New York Yankees, #1 OBP, #10 SLG, #5 OPS
5) Los Angeles Dodgers, #4 OBP, #16 SLG, #11
6) Cincinnati Reds, #8 OBP, #8 SLG, #9 OPS
7) Atlanta Braves, #16 OBP, #15 SLG, #15 OPS
8) Arizona Diamondbacks, #7 OBP, #13 SLG, #10 OPS
9) Boston Red Sox, #3 OBP, #7 SLG,. #6 OPS
10) Milwaukee Brewers, #11 OBP, #2 SLG, #4 OPS


As you can see, only 1 team from outside the top 11 of OBP manages to crack the top 10 in runs (Atlanta). The top 5 in runs scored all rank in the top 6 in OBP. The bottom line is that if you want to score runs, you need to have runners on the bases.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Lee Panas said...

When are major league managers going to get this OBP thing? Slugging is nice but isn't a three run homer better than a solo shot? Hopefully, Dombrowski is a little more modern in his thinking on this subject. He is the one who really matters.

You've got a nice blog by the way. I've been blogging about the Tigers for a while now and didn't even know about your site.

Lee

Tue May 23, 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger robert paulson said...

Thanks. My blogging topics vary by season. From March through September (or perhaps October) I'll probably have lots of Tiger stuff. The rest of the year is mostly Michigan football and basketball related.

Tue May 23, 12:46:00 PM  

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