Graphing Pitchers: LOB% and BABIP

Rich Lederer of The Hardball Times has a fantastic article up this morning that I think will help drive the points home that Tommy Rancel and I discussed in our BHSN video series on LOB% and BABIP.  The image below is the biggest takeaway from the article as it illustrates the lucky from the unlucky.

The red cross-hairs are the league-average so the further a pitcher strays in any direction, the more their fortunes change. Those in the top left quadrant are the most fortunate pitchers as they get both LOB% and BABIP help while those in the right (hi there, James Shields), get slammed with a double dose of bad fortunes.

Please read the rest of Lederer’s article if those metrics still bring you pause as he does a great job of showing how these metrics affect a pitcher’s performance in a given season.


About Jason Collette

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2 Responses to Graphing Pitchers: LOB% and BABIP

  1. raysprof says:

    Could one read BABIP as a function of good fortune, while a high LOB% is a measure of how successful a pitcher is at shutting down scoring chances? Hence Halladay and Hamels were pretty much on par for what one would expect for BABIP and yet they “upped their game” to keep baserunners from scoring. (Yea, I recognize this is a Jack Morris like argument.)

    • A pitcher can control, somewhat. Doc has had 81% 2x in his career but he’s also a 73% career guy and went from 81 to 70 in back to back seasons earlier in his career. His last two seasons he has been at 79 and 81% so he can do it again, but it will be damn tough. Rivera has a LOB% of 90% just one time in his entire career and some around our fanbase thought that because Benoit did it last year, he could do it again. Um, no.

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