wOBA

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In baseball, wOBA (or weighted on-base average) is a statistic, based on linear weights,[1] designed to measure a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. It is formed from taking the observed run values of various offensive events, dividing by a player's plate appearances, and scaling the result to be on the same scale as on-base percentage. Unlike statistics like OPS, wOBA attempts to assign the proper value for each type of hitting event. It was created by Tom Tango and his coauthors for The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball.[2]

Usage

In 2008, sabermetrics website FanGraphs began listing the current and historical wOBA for all players in Major League Baseball.[3] It forms the basis of the offensive component of their Wins above replacement (WAR) metric. Sites such as The Hardball Times have studied wOBA and found it to perform comparably to or better than other similar tools (OPS, Runs created, etc.) used in sabermetrics to estimate runs.[4][5] The Book uses wOBA in numerous studies to test the validity of many aspects of baseball conventional wisdom.

The benefit of wOBA compared to other offensive value statistics is that it values how the runner reached base, not just if they reached base.[6] Events like Home Runs, walks, singles, etc. are given their own weight (or coefficient) within the linear formula. The coefficients change each year[7], and are based on how often the specific event occurs in Major League Baseball over the course of a season.

Current Formula

Per Fangraphs[8], the formula for wOBA in the 2018 season was: [7]

where:

Original Formula

The formula, as it originally appeared in The Book, is

where:

Citations

  1. ^ "Linear Weights - FanGraphs Sabermetrics Library". www.fangraphs.com.
  2. ^ "wOBA - Weighted On Base Average". www.insidethebook.com.
  3. ^ "The Joy of wOBA - FanGraphs Baseball". www.fangraphs.com.
  4. ^ "The great run estimator shootout (part 1) - The Hardball Times". www.fangraphs.com.
  5. ^ "The great run estimator shootout (part 2) - The Hardball Times". www.fangraphs.com.
  6. ^ "What is a Weighted On-base Average (wOBA)? | Glossary". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
  7. ^ a b "Guts! | FanGraphs Baseball". Retrieved 2018-11-09.
  8. ^ "wOBA | FanGraphs Sabermetrics Library". www.fangraphs.com. Retrieved 2018-11-09.

References

  • Tom Tango, Mitchel Lichtman, and Andrew Dolphin. The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, 2007. ISBN 1-59797-129-4.


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