O'Reilly logo

Baseball Hacks by Joseph Adler

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

OBP, SLG, and Scoring Runs

Calculate the relative strengths of how you can use OBP and SLG to estimate runs.

In his 2003 best-selling book, Moneyball (W. W. Norton & Company), Michael Lewis communicated that in the evaluation of players, the Oakland Athletics organization placed a weight on on-base percentage that was worth roughly three times the weight of slugging percentage:

…OPS was the simple addition of on-base and slugging percentages. Crude as it was, it was a much better indicator than any other offensive statistic of the number of runs a team would score. Simply adding the two statistics together, however, implied that they were of equal importance. If the goal was to raise a team’s OPS, an extra percentage point of on-base was as good as an extra percentage point of slugging.
Before his thought experiment Paul [DePodesta] had felt uneasy with this crude assumption; now he saw that the assumption was absurd. An extra point of on-base percentage was clearly more valuable than an extra point of slugging percentage—but by how much? … In his model an extra point of on-base percentage was worth three times an extra point of slugging percentage.

In this hack, we’ll show how to calculate how much more important OBP is than SLG, using a simple linear regression analysis. And we’ll demonstrate that this number is closer to two than it is to three.

The Data and the Code

In this hack, we take a very simple approach to calculating the relative values of OBP and SLG, as they pertain to ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required