LSU Baseball vs. McNeese

LSU baseball freshman pitcher Griffin Herring (35) winds up Tuesday, May 16, 2023, during LSU’s 7-4 win against McNeese State University at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

As LSU baseball heads into the SEC tournament this week, new baseball fans may be confused by some of the stats broadcasts flash on screen during the games. 

General baseball stats include at bats (AB), hits (H), runs (R), etc. Deeper into the game, some stats can become perplexing for fans.

Here are some of the other stats that give insight to pitchers and hitters seasons: 

On-Base Percentage (OBP)

This refers to the amount of times a batter reaches base per plate appearance. A player's time on base includes getting on from a hit, being walked and hit-by-pitches. Reaching a base does not include errors, reaching on a fielder’s choice or dropped third strikes. 

On-base percentages will show how well the batters are swinging.

Earned Runs (ER):

Defining earned runs and runs have different factors to them. Earned runs are runs scored on pitchers without the help of errors or passed balls, while runs simply just count for the amount of runners to score. This statistic plays in finding a pitcher's ERA.

Runs Batted In (RBI):

RBI’s are when a run is scored on the hitter's play. The only time they are not counted for is if a player reaches home on an error or ground double-play.

Errors (E):

Fielders are given errors, in judgment to official scorers, when they fail converting an out on a play that the average fielder should be able to make. They are also given errors if they miss play a ball that allows runs to score against the team. 

Slugging Percentage (SLG):

A hitter's slugging percentage counts for the number of bases a batter records per at-bat. This differs from batting percentage as it counts for power.

For slugging, every hit is not equal. A double counts for more than a single and a triple more than a double, with a home run being worth the most.

The formula they use for calculating this is: (1B + 2Bx2 + 3Bx3 + HRx4)/AB. 

Earned Run Average (ERA):

A pitcher’s ERA counts for the amount of runs he’s allowed per nine innings. Runs that are not counted for are runs made on a field error or a pass ball. 

The formula for finding pitchers ERA is: 9 x earned runs/innings pitched. 

Though ERA is a great tool for evaluating the amount of runs pitchers give up, it can vary for a few reasons. It’s not as effective with seeing relief pitchers stats as they sometimes have a fraction of the amount of innings starters get. Defensive play also plays a factor for one of the flaws that ERA has. So a pitcher that has better defensive field players than the other will have a better ERA.

Walks and Hits Per Inning Pitched (WHIP):

This statistic shows how well the pitcher keeps runners off the basepath. WHIP shows some of the best pitchers in the game as they are able to keep baserunners off and from being able to score.

The formula for finding WHIP is: walks and hits / total inning pitched.

Save Percentage (SV%)

This is evaluated in pitchers that are specifically closers. Save percentage counts for the time a pitcher records a save when given the save opportunity. 

Save percentage is found by dividing the total number of saves by the amount of save opportunities given. 

Save Opportunity (SVO):

A pitcher's save opportunity occurs when a pitcher records a save or a blown save in a game. The pitcher is given this when he is the final pitcher for the team, not the winning pitcher. 

He must do all three of the following things:

1. Enter the game with no more than a three run lead and pitch at least full inning

2. Enter the game with the tying run on-deck

3. Pitch at least three innings

Batting Average (AVG):

A batter’s average accounts for the amount of times he has gotten a hit compared to plate appearances. 

Batting average is found by how many hits a batter has to the amount of at-bats. Batting average does not come into account for the amount of times a batter is walked or hit-by-pitches. 

Batting Average Against (BAA):

Measuring a pitcher's batting average against, or known as opposing batting average, is a statistic that helps determine how well the pitcher is able to prevent hits. This stat is good for seeing how well the pitcher throws to players, especially looking at the perspective of throwing against left to right hand batters.

To find batting average against you, divide the number of hits against the given pitcher to the number of at-bats against him. 

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