Friday, April 22, 2011

Statistical Updates

So a few weeks ago we did a brief introduction to some new stats, focusing on Win Probability Added and the new Shutdowns/Meltdowns. Focusing on how individual Nats are faring in those specific categories, we also went over some additional numbers from the still-young 2011 season. Today we've got a new stat for you as well as some updates on some of those key numbers and trends so far this season.

wOBA - Weighted On-Base Average

Thanks to Biff McGregor over at Biffball for the plain-English explanation of how and why we use wOBA. What you need to know is basically that wOBA places a weighted run value on each type of on-base situation (including reach-on-error and hit-by-pitches). The thing that separates wOBA from something like OPS (which we know is On-Base plus Slugging), is that not all hits are equal. With Slugging Percentage, a single is worth 1, a double 2, a triple 3, and a home run 4 - showing exactly the flaws in the system; is a double really worth twice as much as a single? In one of their latest Blog Posts, Fangraphs explains that each of the "run values" (value to the team) are based on historical data.

In a nutshell, "As you can see from the visual [in said article], wOBA puts more stress on walks, hit by pitches, and singles, while OPS attaches a huge value to homeruns and triples."

wOBA is read at essentially the same range as OBP (On-Base Percentage) or as Biffball places it, "average is somewhere in the .320-.330 range, .380-.390 is superstar, and under .300 is replacement level."

With that in mind, how are the Nats faring with wOBA this year?
- As a team they are tied with the Pirates and Orioles for 21st in MLB, with a .301 wOBA.
- Of the team's regulars (not including Zimmerman), Danny Espinosa leads the team with a .379 wOBA (bordering on Superstar level). Following Espi is Ramos with a .368 and Nix with a .351. After that is gets pretty brutal, dropping down to Werth at .318.
- The worst of everyday starter is Michael Morse, coming in at a paltry .226.

Look for additional usage of wOBA here on Capitol Baseball.

Stat Updates -
- Nats are taking the extra base 50% of the time, much higher than they ever have in the past. Thanks Bo Porter.
- The Nats have only GIDP in 12% of potential chances.
- With RISP, the Nats' average has risen from .175, at the last writing, all the way up to .235. Still not great, but to have such a change in just a week, shows that the offense might finally be coming alive.
- The Nats now have stolen 15 bases, 7 by Desmond (who has yet to be caught).
- With 2 outs and RISP, the Nats are only hitting .123. Gross.
- Starters and Relievers ERA's have balanced out to an almost equal 3.56 and 3.46 respectively.
- Ramos is still catching the pitchers at a much higher level than Pudge. The Nats staff has a 3.01 ERA with Ramos, and a 4.07 ERA with Pudge.
- Nats are 27th in OPS with a .658 - bolstered by "scratching out runs" via Sacrifice hits and stolen bases.
- They are tied for 21st in OBP - tied with Seattle who has had Adam Kennedy and Ryan Langerhans hitting 3 and 4 in their lineup. Gross.
- The Nats 3.53 ERA places them 10th in all of baseball.
- WHIP is 14th with a 1.30.
- The Bullpen's K rate is 7.9/9. Very solid.
- The Nats have 12 errors on the year, placing them 13th worst in MLB - Desmond once again leads the way with 4 errors.

Do any of these stats scare/excite you about the Nats season? Share with us in the comments!


  1. Just a general comment on your work - you have "great stuff" as they say in baseball. I have been reading your blog since spring training and have been really impressed with the quality, depth and insight you provide. Thank you and keep up the great work - Capitol Baseball rocks!
    GO NATS!

  2. The stat that scares me the most is one of the oldest and least- exciting -- individual and team batting averages. Truly horrifying. Yet - I am amazed that as of this moment we sit at .500 - just think if we could add some actual hitting of the baseball to the things we are doing well. Let's hope that Pittsburgh doesn't suddenly decide to play above it's capabilities.

  3. Espinosa with a .379 wOBA? I love small sample sizes.

  4. Thnaks Tedv15 2! Hopefully we can continue to have "great stuff" but get results; IE the opposite of Garrett Mock. Thanks for reading, check in anytime!

  5. Echoing Mac's comments, thanks to Tedv15 for the extremely nice sentiment. We appreciate all of our regular and new commenters here. You're always welcome, so keep it coming.