This will be a multi part series that will meander about and try to explain what an OPS is. Like Batting Average (BA) and On Base Percentage (OBP), OPS is a game stat, not a value stat. Can you say a batter hitting 0.300 with 200 AB has the same value to his team than the batter hitting 0.300 with 400 AB? What if each batter was hitting 0.200 instead?
Managers need game stats to manage a game. Value stats provide a representation as to how well this player has helped or not helped his team. The many variations of WAR would be considered value stats. Value stats can be used to rank players. Game stats cannot otherwise the two players in the example above would be considered equal rank.
You can play baseball stats like Magic the Gathering cards. My FIP trumps your ERA. My Babip trumps your BA. I’ll call your dWar and raise you an fWAR. That’s how stats go in the Sabermetric world. There is so much complexity. So much confusion. So many unproven equations. Every derived coefficient introduces error in an estimation. Just because you can add A with B to come up with C does not imply C means anything other than some random number.
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. — Albert Einstein
Keep It Simple Stupid — KISS
What Does Any Of This Have To Do With OPS?!!!
I said this will meander and in Part 2 of many more we’ll present game stat data in all their various forms — so we can see how OPS fits in. Until then….