Saturday, July 23, 2011

MLB Opponent OPS Leaders

Joe Posnanski published an inspired blog post on Friday. If you're into looking at baseball from different point of views, or just wonderful writing, check it out.

In his usual enlightening and entertaining prose, Joe writes a few mini-posts inspired by reader feedback.
In essence, a reader comment of a column inspired by reader comments inspired this post. 'Brilliant Reader' Mark N writes:
"Why isn't Opposing OPS for pitchers more widespread? For starters, it has--EASILY--the greatest acronym in all of sports."
Mark N probably hopes Joe responds with an imaginative and deep column*, but he'll have to settle for this effort in the meantime. At the very least, Mark N, somebody is listening.

*Heck, I hope Joe includes anecdotes for each decade since the liveball era.

I like this idea of looking at Opponents' OPS allowed (OOPS, for short); it relates to some of our other posts this year looking at under-discussed statistics. OPS is a good stat, but it's not great. In fact, I'm afraid OPS is a brutally flawed statistic. It stands for on-base percentage plus slugging. Not to geek out too much, but OBP counts Plate Appearances and SLG counts At Bats. Mathematically speaking, I don't think you're supposed to combine numbers with uncommon denominators.

Still, this should be enlightening and relatively not pointless. At least OPS is a more considerate statistic than just Batting Average.

First, let me say, this is the first time that I didn't find what I needed on Fangraphs or Baseball-Reference, but found it on ESPN. Incredible. I don't think ESPN does multiple years, so we'll just look at MLB leaders for this season, minimum 60 innings pitched.

Opponents OPS
1. Jonny Venters .455
2. Cory Luebke .504
We're pretty excited that we
got on Luebke's bandwagon
at the end of Spring Training.
3. Josh Beckett .508
4. Josh Johnson .509
5. Jered Weaver .531
6. Justin Verlander .532
7. Josh Collmenter .554
8. Johnny Cueto .556
9. Clayton Kershaw .560
10. Cole Hamels .563
11. Alexi Ogando .586
12. Michael Pineda .596
13. CC Sabathia .597
14. Roy Halladay .599
15. Vance Worley .600
16. Carlos Villanueva .606
17. Matt Cain .609
18. Philip Humber .610
19. James Shields .611
20. Tim Hudson .613

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