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What Does OPS Mean In Baseball?

Baseball players can be assessed using various methods. However, many ideologies exist as to which of these methods is the best. Typically, Earned Run Average (ERA) is considered the original stat to determine the efficacy of a pitcher. But, the most common metric to gauge the overall effectiveness of the hitters to be evaluated is “OPS.”

If you have ever wondered what OPS means in Baseball, this write-up is for you. 

Here is the short answer. On-base plus slugging (OPS) is a baseball sabermetric stat computed by adding a player’s on-base percentage and slugging percentage. A player’s capability to get on base and hit for power, which are vital offensive skills, is determined. 

This article provides all you need to know about OPS in Baseball, so keep reading to learn more!

What Does OPS Mean In Baseball?

On-base plus slugging, or OPS combines two figures that indicate how well a hitter is at reaching base and hitting for power. This stat merges on-base percentage and slugging % to determine a hitter’s overall effectiveness.

OPS may also be used to evaluate pitchers and is referred to as OPS against in that case.

How Can I Calculate OPS In Baseball?

From its meaning, we understand that OPS is obtained by combining two different stats: the OBP (On-base percentage) and SLP (Slugging percentage). Therefore it can be calculated as follows.

OPS = On-base percentage (OBP) + Slugging percentage (SLP).

 Where, 

  • OBP = (hits + walks + hits-by-pitch)/(at-bats + walks + hit-by-pitch + sacrifice flies). 
  • SLP = [numSingles + 2*numdoubles + 3*numtriples + 4*numHomeRuns]/AB. 

 In one equation, OPS can be represented as:

Where; H = hits, BB = bases on balls, HBP = times hit by pitch, AB = at bats, SF = sacrifice flies, and TB = total bases, 

What Is a Good OPS Number?

The best possible on-base percentage score a player can have is 1.000, which means he gets on base 100% of the time he comes to the plate for a plate appearance (TB). No one does this anymore; a good OBP in this period is somewhere around .350.

On the other hand, the greatest slugging % a player can have is 4.000, which means he hits a home run every time he comes to the plate and receives credit for an at-bat (AB). Nobody does this; a respectable slugging percentage is around .430 or so.

However, in Major League Baseball, an OPS of .800 or greater places a player in the highest tier of hitters. However, the league leader in OPS will typically score near, if not above, 1.000.

Why Should I Use OPS?

An OPS is a typical metric that is very easy to use. OPS are considered helpful because their calculations are based on a hitter’s two most crucial functions, including getting on bases and power to hit the ball. 

However, irrespective of how good an OPS may seem, things like a league-wide offense that changes all the time are still absent.

An excellent example of an area where OPS fails is that it does not account for the park factors. The OPS has nothing to do with the park factors. It does not consider that barter does well and improves on his stats at home. His performance at the pitcher’s park is far lesser than when he plays on his home field.

Are There More Preferable Stats Than OPS?

Despite its easy computation, OPS is a contentious metric. On-base percentage and slugging percentage are both equally weighted in OPS. On-base %, on the other hand, is more closely related to run-scoring. 

wOBA statistics, for example, improve on this distinction by employing linear weights. Furthermore, the components of OPS are rarely comparable (league-average slugging percentages are frequently 75–100 points higher than league-average on-base percentages). 

Besides, adding the slugging percentage or average with the on-base percentage is unjust to evaluate a hitter’s talent. 

Nonetheless, a huge number of people think it is a suitable method.

Why Is OPS a Good Stat?

On-base Plus Slugging Ops is one of those statistics that has not been considered vital from time immemorial until now.

After going through all the “advanced” metrics used in Baseball, OPS was the easiest stat to calculate and used to add the two numbers resulting from the skills of the two most essential hitters who get on base and hit for power. These two factors have made OPS an easy statistic for supporters to find, calculate, and interpret. 

Moreover, clubs also use OPS to determine players’ ability to get on base and hit for power. 

Like other statistics, OPS can also be affected by different conditions, including a ballpark that approves either hitters or pitchers or league-wide conditions that causes either offense or pitching.

Since On-base plus slugging is open to ballpark measurements and league-wide changes, it’s not an end-all. This gives birth to another stat called the OPS+. The Ops+ is a more complicated normalized stat based on the league and park factor, where the baseline is 100.

Can There Be a Perfect OPS? 

When games are being aired on the Marquee sports network, line-ups of the opening team are usually displayed using statistics. 

OPS is a good statistical method used in most games, and it also gives us more than enough information that other statistical methods can provide, like the average batting statistic. One thing about the Ops is that it cannot produce what the fans crave, which is context. The Ops statistics can only be perfect if it has more context. 

What Are The Shortcomings Of OPS?

One of the reasons people complain that OPS should not be considered is because it is mathematical. We stated that Ops is a statistic and didn’t say it wasn’t mathematically sound.

We also talked about the fact that it can only be calculated by adding the OBP of a ballplayer and his SLP performance. These two statistics are accurate in measuring the skills of a player. Mathematically, these two formulas shouldn’t be used together in that manner.

Conclusion

Generally, combining the on-base average with slugging percentage gives a good knowledge about a player’s attacking performance. But this cannot be easily measured with other sub-metric stats in Baseball that you can’t or do not see.