American sports

Baseball – the game of numbers. What are its most important stats?

As we all know, the start of the Major League Baseball’s 2020 regular season had to be postponed. For all of you who love that amazing sport, and for those who want to learn more about it, we’ve got something special! STATSCORE takes a deep look at the most important baseball stats and numbers!

Have you read a book called Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game? It shows how statistics and analytics changed the game of baseball. A film based on the book, starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, was released in 2011. If you haven’t watched it I strongly recommend it. In this article, I will try to illustrate how some statistics are counted and which players have the best numbers.

  • ERA (Earned Runs Average) – statistic determined by dividing the number of earned runs allowed by the number of innings pitched and multiplying by nine. For example, a pitcher played full 7 innings, in which he gave up 3 runs. His ERA would equal to 3.86 (3*9/7). This means that on average he is allowing 3.86 runs per a full 9-inning game. The lower the ERA, the better. The lowest career ERA 1.82 belongs to Ed Walsh, who played 6 seasons in the MLB (1906-1912). Clayton Kershaw is also worth mentioning here. He has the lowest career ERA among all active pitchers: 2.44.

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  • BA (Batting Average) – statistic defined by the number of hits divided by at bats. A hit is awarded when a player who is at bat hits the ball into fair territory and safely reaches at least the first base without the benefit of an error or a fielder’s choice. Career highest batting average: 0.366 belongs to Ty Cobb, who played 22 seasons in MLB (1905-1928). Hugh Duffy had the highest BA in a single season with 0.440.
  • RBI (Runs Batted In) – a batter is credited with an RBI where the result of his plate appearance is a run being scored. There are a few exceptions, however. A player does not receive an RBI when the run is scored as a result of an error or when batter grounds into a double play. Considered by many to be one of the greatest to have ever played the game, Hank Aaron holds the record for most career RBIs with 2,297. The closest active player to Aaron’s number is Albert Pujols, who has 2,075 RBIs.

  • OBP (On-Base Percentage) – it’s the number of times a batter reaches base by hits, walks or being hit by pitch, divided by his plate appearances (all at bats, walks, times hit by pitch, sacrifice flies). It is sometimes referred to as on-base average/OBA, as it is rarely presented as a true percentage. All-time leader in OBP is Ted Williams, who played for Boston Red Sox (1939-1942, 1946-1960). His career OBP was 0.482. He didn’t play baseball in 1943, because he had to serve three years in the United States Navy and Marine Corps during World War II. Single season leader in OBP is Barry Bonds. As a matter of fact, he had 2 best seasons OBP-wise. In 2004 he had an astonishing 0.609 average. Two years earlier his OBP of 0.582 was the best in history at that moment.

Yeah, those who are closely following baseball know that it has a lot to do with mathematics! The excitement of the game comes not just from the action itself, but also from studying the data and stats! And when it comes to stats, there’s nothing better than STATSCORE!

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If you want to get in touch to find out more, just contact our Customer Success Team at cst@statscore.com or use the LiveChat service on our website. We will be more than happy to schedule a call and discuss how STATSCORE’s services can help your organisation!

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