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Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports

An official journal of the American Statistical Association

Editor-in-Chief: Mark Glickman PhD

4 Issues per year


SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.288
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.358
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.250

Online
ISSN
1559-0410
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Why On-Base Percentage is a Better Indicator of Future Performance than Batting Average: An Algebraic Proof

Ben S Baumer
  • CUNY Graduate School and University Center
Published Online: 2008-04-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1559-0410.1101

Batting Average (AVG) and On-Base Percentage (OBP) are two of the most commonly cited statistics in baseball. Existing research has demonstrated that for a team, OBP is more closely correlated to runs scored than is AVG, and secondly, for players, OBP is more closely correlated over time than is AVG. We offer an algebraic explanation for the latter phenomenon. Specifically, we will prove that batting average depends more heavily upon a particularly unpredictable variable, hits per balls in play (HPBP), than does OBP. This result will explain why for both batters and pitchers, on-base percentage is a better indicator of future performance than batting average.

Keywords: baseball; dips; hpbp; proof; batting average; obp; math; algebra; calculus


Published Online: 2008-04-28


Citation Information: Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports. Volume 4, Issue 2, ISSN (Online) 1559-0410, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2202/1559-0410.1101, April 2008

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