MLB Advanced Stats: What is wOBA?

MLB Advanced Stats: What is wOBA? article feature image

Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images Pictured: Freddie Freeman

wOBA Definition

wOBA (Weighted On-base Average) is similar to on-base percentage, but instead of taking into account whether or not a player gets on base, it accounts for how a player got on base.

The value for each event directly correlates with the projected runs scored from that event. For example, a triple would be worth more than a double when calculating wOBA.

Essentially, the statistic’s goal is to measure the overall offensive value of the batter.

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Differences Between wOBA and Other Stats

While batting average and on-base percentage assume all hits have the same value, wOBA accounts for the fact they don’t.

On-base plus slugging similarly assesses a player’s offensive value through on-base and slugging percentage, but those statistics don’t have a connection to the projected run value of an on-field event.

wOBA serves as a more accurate and complete way to assess a batter’s value in the box.

wOBA in Sports Betting

From a betting perspective, wOBA can be useful in tracking the hot hand in a lineup, or it can be used to figure out whether or not a team has been making the most of its chances at the plate.

In 2020, the wOBA leader was Juan Soto at .478. National League MVP Freddie Freeman was second at .456. An average MLB player can be expected to rack up a wOBA of .320, so keep that in mind when scouring projected lineups.

Our Sean Zerillo uses wOBA in his model and projections for betting MLB games, which you can read about here.

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