✪ Math and Baseball Stats | The Career Stats of Chipper Jones

How to Read Baseball Statistics

Two Methods:

Baseball fans and analysts use statistics as the primary way to evaluate players. While conventional statistics still have a major influence, new methods of statistical analysis show great effectiveness in examining records and predicting player performance. By learning how to read baseball statistics, fans can grade players for fantasy leagues or simply expand their understanding and appreciation of the game.


  1. Scan a standard box score.Box scores are statistical representations of how players performed in specific games and you can find them in the Sports section of a newspaper or on a sports website. Standard box scores list, in a table format, 4 offensive statistics and 6 pitching categories.
  2. View the team's lineup.The entire lineup is listed in the offensive, or batting, section of the box score. Players are listed in batting order with the positions they played during the game following their names. Substitutes' names are indented in the box score and are listed under the player they replaced. The 4 categories listed in the offensive table are:
    • AB: at-bats
    • R: runs scored
    • H: base hits
    • RBI: runs batted in
  3. Scan the more-detailed fielding and batting information under the offensive table.Individual accomplishments are singled out in this section. For example, if a player named Smith hit his 6th home run of the season, the box score would read, HR: Smith (6). Other statistical categories in this section of the box score would include:
    • E: errors, LOB: left on base (team statistic), and DP: double plays (team statistic).
    • 2B: doubles, 3B: triples, and HR: home runs (with season total).
    • SB: stolen bases, SF: sacrifice flies, and S: sacrifices.

Pitching Statistics in a Box Score

  1. Browse pitching statistics.Pitchers are listed in the order they appeared in the game. If a pitcher earned a decision in the game--win, loss or save-�it is shown after his name as either W, L or S. The symbol is accompanied by his current win-loss record or the number of saves he has earned to date. The 6 categories listed in the pitching table are:
    • IP: Innings pitched: this can involve a decimal figure of either .1 or .2, representing part of an inning. For example, a starting pitcher completed 6 full innings and retired one batter in the 7th. His IP figure would be 6.1.
    • H: hits allowed
    • R: runs allowed
    • ER: earned runs allowed
    • BB: walks allowed
    • K: strikeouts
  2. Survey in-depth pitching data.Under the pitching table is a list of additional pitching statistics. They can include:
    • WP: wild pitches, BK: balks, HBP: hit batsmen, and PB: passed balls (catcher's statistic).
  3. Examine season statistics.Season statistics include all of the categories listed in box scores, and also other important data. Some of the most notable are:
    • OBP: To find a player's on-base percentage, or OBP, add his hits, walks and hit-by-pitch totals and divide that sum by the combined total of his at-bats, walks, hit-by-pitch and sacrifice flies. (H+BB+HBP/AB+BB+HBP+SF)
    • Slg.: To find a player's slugging percentage, divide his total bases by his at-bats. Total bases are the sum of the player's home runs x 4, triples x 3, doubles x 2, and singles.
    • Avg.: Divide the number of hits by the number of at-bats to compute Avg., which is the player's the batting average.
    • ERA: Earned-run average, or ERA represents a pitcher's overall effectiveness per 9 innings. To find an ERA, divide the pitcher's earned runs by his innings pitched, and multiply the quotient by 9.
  4. Investigate other statistical applications.In recent decades, various methods of statistical analysis in baseball have surfaced. Few have revolutionized the process of evaluating baseball talent like Sabermetrics. While many of Sabermetrics' tenets have gained widespread acceptance among fans and analysts, the two below stand out.
    • OPS: On Base + Slugging. Sabermetrics creator Bill James sought a simple, defining statistic that would gauge a player's ability to produce runs. After compiling OPS figures on hundreds of players over many years, its effectiveness in determining a player's value to his team was continually supported. The Major League average for OPS is 0.728. A superstar has an OPS of 0.900.
    • Pitching analysis: Using a variety of complex computations, Sabermetrics devised ground-breaking methods to examine pitchers. With nomenclatures as unusual as their formulas, BABIP, dERA and DIPS measure pitching effectiveness while removing the effects of luck and defense, and incorporating the effect of the ballpark.

WHIP - Walks and Hits per Inning Pitched

This stat shows how many times in an inning a pitcher is allowed to reach base. A lot of statisticians believe it is a better formula to rate a pitchers performance than ERA.

  1. Add walks and hits given up by the pitcher in his outing.
  2. Divide the above total by the total number of innings pitched.For example:
    • Kershaw walks none and gives up one hit over 7 innings, 1/7 = 0.143 WHIP. If that hit was a home run, his ERA would be 1.28. But it if was just a hit, his ERA would be 0.00 which doesn't fully dictate what happened. To better show the difference, say he scatters 3 walks and 4 hits, but no runs. His ERA is still 0.00, but now his whip has jumped to 1.00. You can take that two ways, either he gets out of trouble, or he's gotten lucky to avoid giving up runs.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    In pitchers stats, what does IBB stand for?
    Top Answerer
    It stands for "intentional base on balls," or an intentional walk.
  • Question
    In fielding stats, what do the "A" and "PO" abbreviations stand for?
    Top Answerer
    "A" stands for "assist," and "PO" means "putout." A putout means retiring ("putting out") a batter or a base runner. There are various ways of making a putout, the most common of which are catching a fly ball, catching a thrown ball while tagging a base, tagging a runner, and catching a pitched ball for a third strike. A player gets an assist when s/he throws a ball to help make a putout (the exception being that a pitcher is not credited with an assist when s/he strikes out a batter).
  • Question
    What does BSA/ATT mean in baseball stats?
    Top Answerer
    This is not a universally-recognized baseball abbreviation, but it probably stands for "base-stealing average per attempt." It's better known as "stolen base percentage" and refers to the amount of success a given player (or team) has in attempting to steal bases (that is, the number of successful steals divided by the total number of attempted steals).
  • Question
    What does a "h" mean after a relief pitcher's name?
    Top Answerer
    It's either a typo or a footnote explained at the bottom of the box score.
  • Question
    What do the small letters "a," "b," "e" and others mean before a player's name in box scores?
    Top Answerer
    They are footnotes, and are explained at the bottom of the box score.
  • Question
    Is there a book that explains how to understand the details of a baseball game, especially the Cubs team?
    Top Answerer
    Yes, there are many such books (not about the Cubs), among them: "Little League's Official How-To-Play Baseball Book" by Peter Kreutzer and Ted Kerley, and "Baseball For Dummies" by Joe Morgan and Richard Lally.
  • Question
    What do the following batting stats mean: 288/.339/.562?
    Top Answerer
    288 could be the number of hits made during a season. .339 looks like a batting average, and .562 might be a slugging percentage (number of total bases, divided by at-bats).
  • Question
    How do I read batting averages?
    Top Answerer
    A batting average of ".256" is referred to as "two-fifty-six." An average of ".000" is called "zero." A batter who gets a hit in every at-bat has an average of "1.000" or "one-thousand."
  • Question
    What are the 3 numbers after a batters name?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Those numbers usually represent his batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage.
  • Question
    How do I determine LOB?
    Top Answerer
    Left On Base is the total number of runners a team still has on the bases at the end of an inning (that is, the number of runners who failed to cross home plate before the inning ended). LOB for a full game is the sum of all a team's runners left on base in all of the innings.
Unanswered Questions
  • What does pitcher's score pertain to?
  • What does a negative sign as a statistic for a batter mean?
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Date: 09.12.2018, 01:55 / Views: 31441