Skip to Content

What is OPS in Baseball? | Comprehensive Insight

What is OPS in Baseball? | Comprehensive Insight

What is OPS in Baseball? OPS stands for On-Base Plus Slugging Percentage. It is part of the baseball statistics.

What does this mean? How can we interpret OPS and what do its numbers tell us about the player? Let’s explore these questions and more!

What is OPS in Baseball?

The single-number is derived from a player’s on-base percentage and the slugging percentage, known as OPS. It’s designed to evaluate a batter’s OBP and power potential, as well as his ability to get on base. This statistic can also be used to evaluate pitchers; in that case, it’s known as OPS against.

Pete was the official statistician for the American League from 1976 to 1987, working as a consultant at Sports Information Center. In 1979, Pete introduced on-base average as an official statistic for the American League. He also developed on-base plus slugging (OPS), which is now used around the world to assess a player’s batting strength.

The most common on-base percentage (OBP) plus slugging percentage (OPS) calculation is OBP + SLG. It’s extremely simple to use, and it’s what we’re accustomed to seeing. The ability to recognize patterns and trends is very important in the world of data analytics. It’s also essential for a hitter to be able to get on base (whether with walks or singles) and hit the ball far. In addition, OPS does not consider park factors.

On-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS are more closely linked to team runs than batting average is. The OPS comparison between the two systems is a lot more favorable than the BA calculation, but there are some problems.

Singles are credited twice, but only once in SLG and OBP. Since singles are included in both OBP and SLG, they are credited only once. In that they contribute to the advancement of more runners than walks, singles are worth more.

What is the On-Base Percentage (OBS)?

The statistic OBP expresses how often a batter reached base on each at-bat. This statistic is determined by adding hits, hit by pitches and walks, then dividing that total by plate appearances (not just at bats).

On-base percentage is typically valued at 60 points higher than the batting average. A good average in baseball is .300, so a decent OBP in the MLB would be around .360.

Batting average is a statistic that measures the number of hits a batter accumulates in each 100 at-bats. They are effectively the same, with one exception: The difference between batting averages is smaller than one hit per 100 at-bats, so they’re essentially the same. When making the comparison between their on-base percentages, however, a significant gap emerges.

What is the Slugging Percentage (OPS)?

The sum of a player’s on-base percentage plus the slugging percentage, also known as on-base plus slugging (OPS), is a sabermetric baseball statistic that computes the sum of these two values. Two key offensive skills, getting on base and hitting for power, are represented.

The slugging percentage is the sum of all bases amassed by a player per at-bat.

To combine these two measurements, we add on-base percentage as well as the slugging percentage added, to get one figure that combines both. It’s based on how well a player can get on base and hit for average and power.

The traditional statistic is an on-base percentage (OBP) plus slugging percentage (OPS), which is quite simple to compute. Because the two most important skills for a hitter are on base and power, OPS is useful. OPS doesn’t include park variables, either.

Why are OBS and OPS Baseball Statistics Important?

Both OBs and OPS are statistical measures of a player’s batting effectiveness, but while OBs is measured at home plate where the player has an opportunity to hit safely, OPS is calculated from the batter’s perspective after he walks to first.

While it would be more accurate to say that OBs are one-half of OPS, this would not compute as well in terms of figurative speech.

  • Getting both stats to work together in tandem is not easy, but once you get the hang of it, it’s like riding a bike.
  • OBs and OPS are both valuable tools for measuring batting effectiveness, however OBs can be very misleading if taken out of context (like OPS). The “O” in OB stands for on base percentage; this stat can be used to measure where the batter stands in the batter’s box when he makes contact with the ball.
  • The “B” represents batting average, but this stat is computed before taking into account walks and sacrifices made by the offense. And finally, OPS is an acronym for on base percentage plus slugging average.
  • OBP measures how often a batter reaches base without the aid of an error, fielder’s choice, catcher’s interference, or a fielder getting caught stealing; batting average (AVG), not to be confused with OB percentage (OBP) is calculated by dividing total hits into total at bats. Slugging average (SLG) is computed by multiplying total bases by the number of at bats (AB) it took the batter to get them.

There are several reasons to use both OBs and OPS for baseball statistics; however, that doesn’t mean that either measure should be used in isolation without taking into account other stats like strikeouts, walks, and hit by pitches.

OBP: On-Base Percentage

OBP measures how often a batter reaches base without the aid of an error, fielder’s choice, catcher’s interference, or a fielder getting caught stealing.

  • Using OBP as a statistical tool allows for better analysis of how effective a hitter is at reaching first base safely with either a single hit or multiple hits in one trip to the plate.
  • In addition, OBP can be used to calculate a batter’s chances of scoring while on base.
  • While batting average is computed from total hits divided by at bats, OBP takes walks and sacrifices into account, but not the number of strikeouts. Additionally, OBP does not take into account where on the field a player reaches base safely; this means that it does not differentiate a double from a single or a home run, all of which can have an impact on a player’s overall batting effectiveness.
  • OBP is helpful when evaluating the overall effectiveness of batters with different skill sets and at different positions in the field, ensuring that these differences are not taken into account when rating their ability to get on base safely. It is important to note that OBPs can be dramatically affected by the ballpark in which they play and how often their team manages to turn potential walks into outs.

OPS: On-Base Plus Slugging Percentage

OBP plus slugging average (SLG) is another formula used as a measure of batting effectiveness, but unlike OBP it calculates the number of times a batter reaches base safely plus the number of extra-base hits he has.

  • In addition to counting only safe base hits, OPS ignores walks and sacrifices. In fact, it doesn’t even care if a player tagged first safely or not – all that matters is the number of bases gained from each hit.
  • OPS takes into account what kind of hits a batter makes, how often they make it to first base safely, and also how many runs he drives in. All things considered, OPS gives the best idea of just how good a player is offensively.
  • While OBP can be taken into consideration along with AVG (batting average), SLG should only be used when evaluating hitters. This isn’t to say that OBP can’t be compared to SLG, but it is more difficult.

It should be noted that depending on the league and historical context, what is considered an average result for OBP or OPS may vary.

AVG: Batting Average

AVG measures how often a player gets a hit during their at-bat. Batting average does not take into account how many bases are gained per hit, or that walks or sacrifices may be part of the game depending on the league and ballpark.

  • Therefore, AVG is used primarily to compare players who play different fielding positions within a lineup; it does not make sense to compare an outfielder’s batting average with a catcher’s batting average.
  • In other words, AVG is used to compare how often a player gets on base with a hit versus how often they get on the base using any other method.

To be the best possible comparison tool, AVG should take into account all of how a team can get a batter on base and should only be compared to players who play the same defensive positions.

SLG: Slugging Percentage

While AVG measures how often a player gets on base with a hit, SLG measures how many bases are gained per hit, just like OPS does. The difference between AVG and SLG is that SLG only takes singles into account while AVG counts all hits.

Since SLG only counts singles, its value is limited to comparing players who play the same defensive positions; it makes little sense to compare an outfielder’s slugging percentage with a catcher’s or first baseman’s.

It should be noted that AVG and SLG are almost always within 10 percent of each other in any given season if all other conditions are the same.

Why are Knowing Baseball Stats Important?

If you ask 10 people who don’t know anything about sports what the most important stats for a baseball player are, 9 out of the 10 will say batting average or home runs.

Batting average is a very misleading stat, and hitting more home runs doesn’t necessarily make you a better hitter either. Even though these 2 stats seem like the obvious choice to measure a player’s performance, the reality is that batting average and home runs are not very effective at measuring a hitter’s worth to a team.

Batting Average – Batting average measures how often a player gets a hit when they make contact with the ball. It doesn’t measure how hard or far they hit it though, so if one guy hits the ball harder than another guy and gets a hit less often, they will both have the same batting average.

Batting average is not very good at measuring how good of a hitter someone is since it doesn’t take into consideration how hard you hit the ball or what kind of contact you make (line drives vs popups), and that’s why we have more advanced stats that measure those things.

Home Runs – Home runs are overrated as a stat mainly because it’s a very inconsistent stat. If you have one really good game where you’re hitting the ball hard and get lucky, you could hit 3 or 4 home runs in that game, but then if you have another really bad game where you’re not hitting the ball well and get unlucky, you could go 0 for 4 in that game and hit into 4 double plays.

Even though we know that home runs are important to winning games, it’s almost impossible to predict how many a player will have at the end of the season given their stats at any particular time. Only 3 out of the top 10 players in home runs last year actually hit more than they did the year before.

Hits and At Bats – We cannot use these 2 stats to predict a player’s performance over time either because whether you get a hit or not is almost completely out of your control, and at-bats can be very misleading too.

If I play 1 game and go 3 for 4 with 2 home runs, I’ll have 5 at-bats because I had 1 plate appearance (4 at-bats) plus I was walked once, but if I played 5 games and went 0 for 20 with 7 strikeouts, my average would stay the same at .000 even though you can’t possibly be a good hitter if you go 0 for 20 in 5 games.

As you can see, using batting average and home runs as your main stats to measure a player’s value is very misleading because there are a lot of other factors that determine how well a player hits the ball besides just their raw talent at the plate.

To find out how good of a hitter someone is, we need to find stats that measure things like how hard they hit the ball and if they get unlucky it will show up in their numbers. Batting average and home runs don’t do this, so we need more advanced statistics that do.

Thus, if you know these stats, you’ll get to enjoy these benefits:

  • You’ll know which players are better than others
  • You can predict performance over time with more accuracy
  • You can make smarter trades and free-agent signings

Final Thoughts

OPS or “On-base plus Slugging” is a popular statistic to use when measuring the offensive capability of baseball players. It’s important to know that both batting average and slugging percentage are not very good ways to measure how good someone is at hitting, so OPS is more useful than those other stats.

What is OPS in Baseball? | Comprehensive Insight