## Saturday, October 11, 2008

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A blog that pretends to undertake serious studies of baseball, provide critical commentary, and rant about when to pitch Mariano Rivera.

## Saturday, October 11, 2008

## Key Stats

## Contributors

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ARP measures the amount of runs that a relief pitcher prevented from scoring above what an average relief pitcher would have prevented. ARP is adjusted for the situation in which the pitcher was used.

ISO is the ratio of extra bases that a player has accumulated to the number of at bats he has received. ISO is essentially a player's SLG minus his batting average. This has the effect of giving a player credit only for extra base hits. ISO is not a useful measure of player value on its own, but is a very effective measure of a player's extra base ability.

OBP is the ratio of the number of times a player reached base safely to the number of opportunities he had to reach base. It effectively measures a player's skill at not making outs. Since outs are a teams most precious commodity, OBP measures perhaps the most valuable and fundamental skill a player can have.

OPS is a crude metric that simply sums a player's on base and slugging percentages. It is probably the most popular non-traditional measure of overall batting performance due to its simplicity. However, it has drawn criticism from performance analysts for its inaccuracy relative to other advanced metrics and because it works by adding two numbers with different denominators together to produce a conceptually meaningless quantity. It is best used as a quick and dirty estimator of batting prowess.

SLG is the ratio of total bases that a player has accumulated to the number of at bats he has received. It is essentially a weighted batting average that gives a player more credit for extra base hits.

UZR is a defensive metric that uses play-by-play data to determine how good a player's defense is. On Fangraphs, it is denominated in runs saved above average.

VORP measures the amount of runs that a player contributed above what a "replacement player" at the same position would produce. VORP considers only offensive contributions.

WARP measures the amount of wins that a player contributed above what a "replacement player" at the same position would produce. WARP considers both offensive and defensive contributions.

WXRL measures the amount of wins that a relief pitcher contributed above what a "replacement player" would produce. WXRL differs from WARP because it is adjusted for both the game situation in which the pitcher was used and the hitters that the pitcher faced.

## 2 comments:

So now the question is: how does MLB get people to watch a Rays-Phillies WS?

I realize that neither market is that small, but I would think that this is about the worst case scenario for MLB, with no Cubs or BoSox, or even Dodgers or ChiSox in the fall classic.

Am I wrong? I know people were excited this spring by a Boston-LA NBA final, having suffered through previous years of the likes of Detroit and San Antonio.

Yes, this is the almost worst case scenario for MLB. The only worse case, given the eight participants in this years postseason, would have been Tampa Bay versus Milwaukee.* At least Philly is a north-east coast city and a fairly large market, if one without large national appeal. Milwaukee is none of those things (and the same goes for Tampa Bay).

In any case,

Ithink that it's a great series. Both teams have some very exciting players (Hamels, Lidge, Howard, Utley, and Rollins for Philly; Upton, Longoria, Crawford, Pena, and Price for TB). I think it should prove to be fairly entertaining. I'll pick the Rays in five or six (leaning toward six) on the basis that they won 97 games in the toughest division and the toughest league in baseball.* Interestingly, "Milwaukee" is an Indian name. In fact, it was originally an Algonquin term meaning "the good land." I think one of the most interesting things about Milwaukee is that it's the only American city to elect three Socialist mayors.**

** My source on this subject may be suspect.

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