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August 15, 2003

Aim For The Head

New Stat Reports

by Keith Woolner

For those of you who haven't noticed, we are debuting several new statistical reports this week that will be updated daily throughout the season. All of these reports are currently available as a free preview at our Statistics page. Some of these reports, however, will be offered as part of Baseball Prospectus Premium in the coming weeks and months.

  • League Averages: Reports the batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging average for each league, for each position in each league (as well as the MLB positional average), and AL/NL/MLB pitching average--including RA, ERA, H/9 IP, BB/9 IP, SO/9 IP, HR/9 IP, percentage of pitches thrown for strikes/balls, and groundball-to-flyball ratio. The percentage of successful relief appearances is included as well, defined as (saves + holds) / (saves + holds + blown saves).

  • Batter's Quality of Pitchers Faced: BQPF reports the aggregate opposing pitcher's AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS allowed for each batter. This is estimated by taking the number of plate apperances the batter has in each game, apportioning those plate appearances to each opposing pitcher according to the number of innings pitched, and using the pitcher's season-to-date AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS allowed to weight each PA-against to determine whether the batter has faced an unusually easy or hard mix of pitchers during the season. Note that this is an approximation, since detailed play by play data is not used in the calculation to determine the exact mix of pitchers faced.

  • Pitcher's Quality of Batters Faced: Similar to (but the reverse of) Batter's Quality of Pitchers Faced, the PQBF report shows the AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS for the aggregate opposing batter faced by each pitcher. Pitchers with high AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS faced an unusually difficult set of batters. Plate appearances are apportionined in a similar way to how the BQPF report as described in that entry.

  • Pitcher's Counterpart Profile: A pitcher's counterpart profile describes the typical opposing starting pitcher he went up against.

    For example, if, on the days a pitcher started, the opposing pitchers were Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and Curt Schilling, his counterpart profile would be very imposing, with a low ERA and high strikeout totals. No matter how well he pitched, it would be tough for his team to win. To determine a pitcher's counterpart profile, we take each game started (relief appearances are not used), look at the starting pitcher for the other team, and use his average start (IP, H, R, ER, BB, SO). Adding up the average start for his counterpart in each start yields his total counterpart profile.

  • Team Records by R/RA and Streaks: This report has been around for a couple of months, but has never gotten a proper introduction. There are actually four sections this report:

    1. Record by Run Differential: You often hear a team's record in one-run games quoted. This section shows you every team's record for every difference in runs. To determine what the Reds record in 4-run games, look across the CIN line and under the "4" column and there is an entry like "X-Y" indicating X wins by four runs, and Y losses by four runs.

    2. Record by Runs Scored: Shows a team's W-L record when they score a certain number of runs. The number of losses in the "0" column, then, indicates the number of times a team was shutout, for example.

    3. Record by Runs Allowed: Shows a team's W-L record when they allow a certain number of runs.

    4. Winning and Losing Streaks: Shows the number of winning and losing streaks of a given length the team has had during the season. Note that only the maximal length of any streak is used--e.g., a three-game winning streak has within it two two-game winning streaks (game1-game2 and game2-game3), but the two-game streaks are not counted.

Keith Woolner is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Keith's other articles. You can contact Keith by clicking here

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