Is OPS or OPS+ Better?

Much debate is often had between baseball fans, statisticians, and analysts when it comes to analyzing a player’s overall offensive performance. Two of the most popular metrics used to measure a batter’s offensive production are OPS and OPS+. While both metrics are often used in tandem when evaluating a player, there is a long-standing debate as to which metric is superior, and whether it is OPS or OPS+ that should be used as the primary indicator of a player’s offensive performance. This article will aim to provide an in-depth analysis of each of the metrics, a comparison of the two, and an answer to the question – is OPS or OPS+ better?

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What is OPS?

OPS, or On-Base Plus Slugging, is the most widely used metric to measure a batter’s overall offensive performance. It is a combination of two other popular metrics – on-base percentage (OBP) and slugging percentage (SLG). OBP measures the rate at which a batter reaches base safely, while SLG measures the rate at which a batter accumulates bases when they hit the ball. OPS is calculated by adding OBP and SLG and then dividing by two. The higher the OPS, the better the offensive performance.

What is OPS+?

OPS+ is the advanced version of OPS, and is used to measure a batter’s offensive performance relative to the league average. It is a statistic that is adjusted for park effects and the overall offensive environment. OPS+ is calculated by dividing the batter’s OPS by the league average OPS, multiplying it by 100, and then subtracting 100. The higher the OPS+, the better the offensive performance.

Unadjusted vs. Adjusted

The primary difference between OPS and OPS+ is that OPS is an unadjusted statistic, while OPS+ is an adjusted statistic. This means that OPS is simply a measure of a batter’s raw performance, and is not adjusted for the overall offensive environment in which the batter is competing. On the other hand, OPS+ is adjusted for the environment in which the batter is competing and is a more accurate measure of a batter’s performance relative to the league average.

Park Effects

One of the key differences between OPS and OPS+ is the way in which they account for park effects. OPS does not take into account park effects, so a batter’s performance in a hitter-friendly park will not be reflected in their OPS. On the other hand, OPS+ is adjusted for park effects, so a batter’s performance in a hitter-friendly park will be reflected in their OPS+.

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League Average

Another key difference between OPS and OPS+ is the way in which they account for the league average. OPS does not take the league average into account, so a batter’s performance relative to the league average will not be reflected in their OPS. On the other hand, OPS+ is adjusted for the league average, so a batter’s performance relative to the league average will be reflected in their OPS+.

Positional Adjustment

One of the most significant differences between OPS and OPS+ is the way in which they account for positional adjustment. OPS does not take positional adjustment into account, so a batter’s performance at different positions will not be reflected in their OPS. On the other hand, OPS+ is adjusted for positional adjustment, so a batter’s performance at different positions will be reflected in their OPS+.

Ease of Use

Another key distinction between OPS and OPS+ is the ease of use. OPS is much simpler to calculate and understand than OPS+, as it is not adjusted for park effects, league average, or positional adjustment. This makes OPS a much easier metric to use and interpret than OPS+.

Analysis

Given the differences between OPS and OPS+, it can be concluded that OPS+ is the superior metric when evaluating a batter’s offensive performance. OPS+ takes into account park effects, league average, and positional adjustment, making it a more accurate measure of a batter’s performance relative to the league average. Furthermore, OPS+ is adjusted for the overall offensive environment in which the batter is competing, making it a better indicator of a batter’s performance than OPS.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be said that OPS+ is the superior metric when evaluating a batter’s offensive performance. OPS+ takes into account park effects, league average, and positional adjustment, making it a more accurate measure of a batter’s performance relative to the league average. Furthermore, OPS+ is adjusted for the overall offensive environment in which the batter is competing, making it a better indicator of a batter’s performance than OPS.