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  #1  
Old 07-03-2022, 09:40 AM
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Default Baseball stats

With all the WAR , wRC+, WOBA and other barely discernible stats from today’s modern game, I ask : Do runs scored matter?

Did they ever?

For hitters it used to be all about AVG/HR/RBI.
Now we have have been informed that AVG means nothing and RBI means even less. People like HR still (especially chicks?) but only when they boost your slash ratios💪. And if they are a result of optimal exit velocity and launch angle.

But dang it… you only win a baseball game by scoring more runs than your opponent.
Is there an advanced stat about a player’s propensity to score runs?
Maybe the modern math whiz thinks (like RBI) that the stat is meaningless or simply opportunity-based. So we can disregard runs scored ?!?

Not me. I think it’s an important stat. It’s never been highlighted on a baseball card league leaders (as far as I recall).

Scoring runs means getting on base and then helping a team towards wins.
Prevention of runs by a pitcher still seems relevant as there are a half dozen ERA variations for the modern math crowd.

Where’s the love for crossing home plate?
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  #2  
Old 07-03-2022, 09:56 AM
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There are various projection systems, including Dan Szymborski's ZiPS, that try and predict runs scored. Although not a favored stat these days generally, runs are still much loved in the fantasy baseball community! Mookie Betts scored 135 a few years ago–that might the most in the last few years.
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  #3  
Old 07-03-2022, 10:19 AM
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I think Runs Scored, in a way may have become more prized then it has in the past, compared to other traditional statistics, even if it isn't broadcast as a top statistic.

That's why nowadays you'll see more slow guys and sluggers at the top of the lineup, if they also happen to be OBP machines. Analytics seems to be more concerned with getting them across the plate, rather then waiting for them to get somebody else across the plate.

Gone are the days when a speedster would head the lineup, simply because he was a speedster. Some of those 80's Cardinal teams, if they were around today, would probably have Vince Coleman hitting much further down the lineup. Maybe 6th or 7th, and you might see Willie McGee, Tommy Herr and even Jack Clark, hitting at the top of the lineup on occasion. Depending on what the pitching match-up was.

A guy like Omar Moreno, would never sniff the top of the lineup today.
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Old 07-03-2022, 10:49 AM
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Well projecting runs scored seems like fun, but the actual Runs scored seems more important than a forecast.

Anyways, I’m glad to see the first two replies not discount runs.

Good point about the new breed of lead off hitters. They are OBP guys first, speed isn’t necessary. The *teams* must be (to your point) interested in scoring runs even if the actual stat of RUNS SCORED seems de-emphasized by the math wizards of the day.



Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbyStrawberry View Post
There are various projection systems, including Dan Szymborski's ZiPS, that try and predict runs scored. Although not a favored stat these days generally, runs are still much loved in the fantasy baseball community! Mookie Betts scored 135 a few years ago–that might the most in the last few years.
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  #5  
Old 07-03-2022, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by familytoad View Post
With all the WAR , wRC+, WOBA and other barely discernible stats from today’s modern game, I ask : Do runs scored matter?

Did they ever?

For hitters it used to be all about AVG/HR/RBI.
Now we have have been informed that AVG means nothing and RBI means even less. People like HR still (especially chicks?) but only when they boost your slash ratios��. And if they are a result of optimal exit velocity and launch angle.

But dang it… you only win a baseball game by scoring more runs than your opponent.
Is there an advanced stat about a player’s propensity to score runs?
Maybe the modern math whiz thinks (like RBI) that the stat is meaningless or simply opportunity-based. So we can disregard runs scored ?!?

Not me. I think it’s an important stat. It’s never been highlighted on a baseball card league leaders (as far as I recall).

Scoring runs means getting on base and then helping a team towards wins.
Prevention of runs by a pitcher still seems relevant as there are a half dozen ERA variations for the modern math crowd.

Where’s the love for crossing home plate?
Same goes for starting pitchers and wins. I understand that in today's game it is rare for a starting pitcher to ever complete a game, and how now every manager worries about the number of pitches thrown by their starters, how many innings they're throwing, and to keep them from possibly harming themselves in any way so that when they do perform they can throw at maximum speed and effectiveness. And while pitching, as soon as they start to show the smallest amount of drop-off in their speed and effectiveness during a game, managers tend to get them out of there ASAP.

So now they say Wins as a stat for pitchers are fairly meaningless, and have very little to do with how good they actually are. Yet, isn't Wins the sole, main reason that people actually pay to go to ballgames, or watch/listen to them on TV/radio? Fans follow their respective teams to hopefully see them Win, period! So what if you have a pitcher that can go 3-4 innings every fourth or fifth day, and throw 100 MPH on average during those pitching performances? If after they get pulled early in those games they do start, their team mostly ends up losing because the rest of their pitching staff can't perform at the same level, what use are they really if they keep losing? Sure, some fans will come out just to see that starter perform at a very high level for a few innings every game they're in, but how long will that continue if the team still ends up losing most of those games because that stud starter couldn't go long enough to help insure his team's victory?

It used to be that starting pitchers were expected to pitch an entire game, and get their team the win. As expansion in MLB began, about the same time the use of relievers started becoming more prevalent as well, and the idea and concept of a Closer starter to emerge. In this new, evolving style of pitcher usage, middle and long relievers are actually key to a team's performance and ability to win. Yet, it is the Closer position that seems to get all the attention and adoration from the fans. Why? They only pitch in one inning usually of a nine inning game? Any intelligent, logical person would realize that the Closer likely has much less impact and importance in a game than those that pitched in more innings earlier in the game before him, or that came in during a time in the game when the opposing team was on the verge of scoring and taking control of a game. Yet the supposedly successful Closers seem to get the bulk of the love and attention from the fans. Could it really be because the Closer is the one the fans normally see who actually finishes out the game and is on the mound when their team secures the win, and thus endears themselves to the fans by being the one the fans associate most closely to their teams' victory?

There is an old sports related saying that the best ability, is availability. The fact that old time, successful pitchers would tend to complete games and pitch way more innings than pitchers today, and not suffer injuries and complications from having pitched so much, was likely a big reason why their fans adored them. How anyone in their right mind could ever suggest that someone like Hyun-jin Ryu is a better pitcher than Warren Spahn defies all logic to me. Players are hired and paid to WIN! Fans buy tickets and listen/watch games to see/hear their team WIN! Are the younger generations that seem to have supplanted awards for performance over awards for winning actually changing the overall thinking of the modern fans? I don't think so, and certainly hope not. All the statistics in the world can't always predict who will actually end up winning. It is those unpredictable, intangible traits, that often separate the winners from losers that really excites and endears most sports heroes to their fans. People can create and use all the statistics they want to try and measure, compare, and determine who they think is better than whom, but really, at the end of the day in regards to starting pitchers, isn't the only statistic that truly matters who got the WIN?

Sorry, wasn't trying to hijack the thread. Just seems a lot of people end up forgetting that as the OP said, wins are what ultimately matters. And whoever tends to score the most runs, or prevents the most runs scoring, usually ends up winning.

Last edited by BobC; 07-03-2022 at 11:44 AM.
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  #6  
Old 07-03-2022, 11:56 AM
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The modern stats are an attempt to isolate performance. Runs matter, because they are all generally built around the concept that more runs equals more wins.

Runs scored is not an especially important stat anymore because it is largely reliant on others. In 1961, Tony Kubek scored 84 runs, while being 10% below the league average bat (OPS+). Bobby Richardson scored 80 runs while being 33% below the league average. They did this, as poor offensive players, because they were allowed to hit at the top of the lineup for the 1961 Yankees. Pretty much anyone who hit in front of Ruth would get 100 runs.

Creating runs is the peak of value in the modern stats, but runs scored, since it is not contextual, is not valued much by them.
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  #7  
Old 07-03-2022, 12:31 PM
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Default Ruth RBI

Sorta funny to think any random player hitting in front of Ruth (or Mantle in the Kubek/Richardson example) would score 100 runs since the sluggers would have to get meaningless RBI to knock in the meaningless run scorers :-) :-)

Hope you are doing well Greg!
Happy 4th!
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  #8  
Old 07-03-2022, 04:39 PM
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I think the game has changed so much that runs scored means something a little different now.

It used to be that some guys, hitting at the top of the order especially, could create runs, by drawing a walk or bunting themselves on, stealing a base, taking an extra base on a single to right, distracting the pitcher into making a poor, or wild, pitch. One year, Rod Carew manufactured 7 runs by stealing home. For these guys, scoring runs was probably the biggest value they contributed to their teams.

But since about the beginning of The Steroid Era, it seems like the general idea is to get on base and wait for someone to knock you home. Compare a guy like Ty Cobb, grinding his teeth like he's going to smash the ball, but suddenly catching the defense by surprise with a bunt down the line. He dances off first, distracting the pitcher. Then he goes - and is safe at second. Sam Crawford gets an infield single moving Ty over to third. He takes a daring lead, draws a couple throws, then Crawford breaks for second and on the throw, Ty dashes home and scores. Back in those days, that one run might be all that was needed to win the game.

Then there's John Kruk in 1993, scoring 100 runs on just 6 SB. He gets on base and sits there until Dave Hollins or Darren Daulton drives him in. In this case, runs scored are almost an incidental stat. On base percentage matters, but scoring runs is totally dependent on the guys behind in the order. Just a matter of being on base at the right time.
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  #9  
Old 07-03-2022, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark17 View Post

Then there's John Kruk in 1993, scoring 100 runs on just 6 SB. He gets on base and sits there until Dave Hollins or Darren Daulton drives him in. In this case, runs scored are almost an incidental stat. On base percentage matters, but scoring runs is totally dependent on the guys behind in the order. Just a matter of being on base at the right time.
You tend to be on base at the right time more often, the more times you get on base.
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  #10  
Old 07-03-2022, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D. Bergin View Post
You tend to be on base at the right time more often, the more times you get on base.
Right, that's why on base percentage matters. But once you're on base, nowadays, you don't have to do anything except wait.
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  #11  
Old 07-04-2022, 04:16 AM
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I don't know anyone who thinks batting average means nothing. Its just not a good judge of a players value. Batting average counts all hits the same, singles are the same as home runs. Hank Aaron and Rusty Greer are both .305 career hitters, does anyone think they are similar players?
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  #12  
Old 07-04-2022, 04:38 PM
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I don't think runs scored is a bad thing by any means...but like a lot of stats, like pitchers wins and RBI's, there's a recognition that it's not 100% an individual statistic.

Having more of them is a good thing, having less of them is less good, but there's shades of gray in between.
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Old 07-05-2022, 03:56 PM
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I'm not sure about runs scored, but I do find a lot of value in the runs created formula.

Statistic Description: Runs Created A set of formulas developed by Bill James and others that estimates a player’s total contributions to a team’s runs total. This is computed with the "technical" formula when possible. If SB or CS data is missing, the "basic" formula is used. If HBP, IBB, SH, SF, or GIDP data is missing, the "stolen base" version of the formula is used.

Runs Created was developed by Bill James back in the late 1970's as a method to determine offensive performance.

The basic formula is base hits plus walks, multiplied by total bases; the result is then divided by at bats plus walks. The general format of the formula is times on base, multiplied by bases advanced, divided by opportunities.

James developed several different versions of the formula, the most well-known of these is the Technical version. The formula for this version is:

On Base = Hits + Walks + Hit Batsmen - Caught Stealing - Grounded into Double Plays

Bases Advanced = Total bases + .26 (Walks + Hit Batsmen - Intentional Walks) + .52 (Sac. Hits + Sac. Flies + Stolen Bases)

Opportunities = At bats + Walks + Hit Batsmen + Sac. Hits + Sac. Flies

With this I created a spreadsheet and divided Runs Created by PA and came up with what I refer to as "Density", which should show how potent each batter was in their allotted PA's. No stat is perfect, but I really like this list. I could only fit the first 37 in the screenshot, but you get the idea.
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  #14  
Old 07-07-2022, 11:11 PM
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Default Where’s Rickey?

Interesting list.
Some of the usual suspects and a couple very unusual.
Lance Berkman top 20?
No Rickey in top 37.

Something about that list seems odd..
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Old 07-08-2022, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by familytoad View Post
Interesting list.
Some of the usual suspects and a couple very unusual.
Lance Berkman top 20?
No Rickey in top 37.

Something about that list seems odd..
Agreed, there are a few oddities, but those can be explained in the low amount of PA's for those suspect entries. The formula is solid though and dividing it by PA's gives us a solid stat for runs creation per PA.

Here is the next chunk from 38-75. Rickey clocks in at 72. Lots of Runs Created, but also a ton of PA's so it dilutes it a bit.

If you went purely off of Runs Created and not divide it by PA's, he comes in at #12. (second screenshot of top 37 without dividing it by PA's).

I like the list when it divides by PA's better since it's not a counting stat, but an actual per PA potency stat regardless of how many PA's a player had. So it all depends on if you value longevity or efficiency more.
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File Type: jpg RunsCreatedTotal.JPG (131.4 KB, 41 views)

Last edited by Rad_Hazard; 07-08-2022 at 07:35 AM.
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  #16  
Old 07-08-2022, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rad_Hazard View Post
Agreed, there are a few oddities, but those can be explained in the low amount of PA's for those suspect entries. The formula is solid though and dividing it by PA's gives us a solid stat for runs creation per PA.

Here is the next chunk from 38-75. Rickey clocks in at 72. Lots of Runs Created, but also a ton of PA's so it dilutes it a bit.

If you went purely off of Runs Created and not divide it by PA's, he comes in at #12. (second screenshot of top 37 without dividing it by PA's).

I like the list when it divides by PA's better since it's not a counting stat, but an actual per PA potency stat regardless of how many PA's a player had. So it all depends on if you value longevity or efficiency more.
Overall very very interesting. May need to better the PA's so it does not potentially be weighted as much. But like it alot not sure if it would ever catch on (to complex potentially for the masses and not easily explained by the media or commentators
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Old 07-08-2022, 09:43 AM
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Overall very very interesting. May need to better the PA's so it does not potentially be weighted as much. But like it alot not sure if it would ever catch on (to complex potentially for the masses and not easily explained by the media or commentators
Thanks! I basically just took this list and added the column for "Density" to divide runs created by PA's:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/l...C_career.shtml

I really like showing how potent each PA was for players and that gives us a better look at some unsung guys, or guys who had fewer PA's with a lot of potency like Larry Walker, Johnny Mize, and Lance Berkman (all top 20).

I also love that Brouthers is the best 19th century for potency (Delahanty has more RC, but less potency).

Thinking about it I should have called it Potency not Density, but that was just me being dense...
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Old 07-08-2022, 12:34 PM
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Don't like a stat that has Griffey Jr behind Carlos Delgado and Jason Giambi. One could argur a number of reasons for that happening, some of them not the fault of the statistic itself, but still winds up as a flawed measuring stick.
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Old 07-08-2022, 01:03 PM
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Don't like a stat that has Griffey Jr behind Carlos Delgado and Jason Giambi. One could argur a number of reasons for that happening, some of them not the fault of the statistic itself, but still winds up as a flawed measuring stick.
Right, but again, it depends on whether you go by just Runs Created TOTAL vs. Divided by PA. If you go by total Griffey is 23rd all time.

Last edited by Rad_Hazard; 07-08-2022 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 07-08-2022, 03:18 PM
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thats the beauty and problem with stats.

Depending on what stat you use, depending on the formula of the stat, and the weight of each of the factors the results get seen and viewed differently

and unless the stat being used is accepted by everyone then that is another issue entirely
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