Last year’s edition of Moneyball introduced four sabermetric-style statistics and identified the wifflers with the best and worst numbers for each. The SLW’s Office of Wiffle Science has raised the bar yet again this year with 9 new metrics (4 offensive, 3 pitching, and 2 which apply to both). In the words of SLW Commissioner James R. Hixson, who was recently named the 32nd greatest Wiffleball Commissioner by the NWLA, “You can not stop progress. Also, the Chief Scientist is a genius.”
This should settle the “race around the bases” debate for good. Speed Score attempts to measure speed using a combination of doubles, triples and runs scored other than by home runs. The minimum and maximum scores are 0 and 10.
Secondary Average is a natural complement to Batting Average; Batting Average tells you how often a batter gets a hit while SecA tells you how often a batter gains extra bases and walks. A high frequency of walks and/or extra base hits will result in a high SecA.
Weighted On-base Average measures overall offensive value by giving increasing weights to singles, doubles, triples, and home runs. wOBA accounts for the probabilities that each type of hit will eventually result in a run scored.
Others Batted In Percentage is a measure of a hitter’s performance with runners on base; it is the percentage of runners on base that the hitter caused to score. Even with the obvious risk of being punished with an immediate lifetime ban, the Chief Scientist believes this is almost entirely due to luck.
Groundball outs divided by flyball outs. The higher the number, the more often a pitcher/batter induces/hits balls on the ground. For a pitcher, an extreme Go/Fo (in either direction) tends to be a good sign. For a batter, it is a bad sign. The reason for this is that if you induce or hit a lot of line drives (i.e., make solid contact), your Go/Fo would tend to be toward the average.
Percentage of fly balls that end up as home runs. An extreme HR/F, for a pitcher especially, may indicate some amount of luck. A pitcher with a high HR/F was probably unlucky, while a low HR/F probably indicates some amount of good luck. For a batter, it is the opposite.
Left On Base Percentage is the percentage of baserunners allowed by a pitcher that were not allowed to score (i.e., percentage of runners stranded). LOB% is another statistic that may be susceptible to luck, especially over the short-term. Over the long-term however, good pitchers will tend to have high LOB%.
Fielding Independent Pitching measures how well a pitcher pitched independent of his team’s fielding by taking into account home run, walk, and strikeout rates and ignoring balls hit in play (singles, double, triples, groundouts, and flyouts).
This is the best way to evaluate a pitcher’s performance and is an improvement over FIP. Expected Fielding Independent Pitching is the same as FIP except, instead of using raw home run rate, the league-average HR/F is used to estimate how many home runs the pitcher should have allowed. This helps to account for the fact that some part of home runs given up is purely luck.