How to Calculate OPS in Baseball
Statistics have always been a huge part of baseball. Batting average, runs batted in, hits, runs and more have become commonplace when discussing baseball and its many leagues. But in recent years, the statistics have become incredibly more complicated as baseball has evolved. Statistics like on base percentage (OBP), slugging percentage (SLG) , and wins above replacement (WAR) now rule the conversation, and it can be hard to keep up with the new-age jargon. For experts, the king among these is on base percentage plus slugging(OPS), one of the end-all, be-all stats to a players’ worth. On the surface it looks like a hard statistic to calculate and understand, but it can easily be broken up into a step by step process.
1. Understanding and Calculating On Base Percentage
On Base Percentage, or OBP is a key statistic in baseball and the first major statistic needed to understand OPS. On Base Percentage quite literally measures how many times a player gets on base. To calculate this, you add up a player’s hits, walks, and times hit by a pitch, and then divide it by plate appearances (at bats plus walks plus hit by pitch plus sacrifice flies). This will give you an accurate percentage of how many times a player has gotten on base during a given time span.
2. Understanding and Calculating Slugging Percentage
Slugging percentage, or SLG is the other major statistic needed in calculating OPS. It's a lot like measuring OBP, but instead of measuring a player's quantity of being on base, SLG measures the quality of a player's hits. It does this by measuring what kind of hit a player gets when he hits the ball by assigning each base a number (Single = 1, Double = 2, etc.). To calculate SLG, the formula is Singles + Doubles x 2 + Triples x 3, + Home Runs x 4 divided by at bats.
3. Calculating and Understanding OPS
So now that we understand how to calculate OBP and SLG, it should be noted that OPS is quite literally On Base Percentage plus Slugging, making it much easier to calculate. To calculate OPS, add a player's on-base percentage and their slugging percentage. For example, a player with an OBP of .280 and a SLG of .500 will have an OPS of .780. This represents almost the best of both worlds between the two statistics, as it measures how much a player gets on base and the quality of their hits. OPS is one of many advanced baseball statistics, but it is by far one of the easiest for the average baseball fan to understand.
Blaise is a Freshman at the University of Missouri, studying Journalism at the world-renowned J school. He is the host of the Fast Five Podcast with his Childhood friend Sam Sinclair and interns with the Sports AI platform Pine Sports. He is a huge fan of the Kansas City Chiefs and the St Louis. Cardinals and hopes to cover them professionally in his near future.