• Gotta Have [A Good] L-O-B, If You Wanna Be With Me?

    Posted by on September 27th, 2006 · Comments (7)

    One of the stats that they track over at The Hardball Times is LOB% for pitchers. This is the percentage of baserunners allowed that didn’t score a run. Here’s this stat for certain Yankees this season:


    I thought it was interesting that Mussina and Wright have the same LOB% – and their ERAs are not close. (Wright is almost a run higher.)

    This could be something to consider when it comes time to look at bringing Mussina back in 2007.

    Comments on Gotta Have [A Good] L-O-B, If You Wanna Be With Me?

    1. RICH
      September 27th, 2006 | 4:14 pm


      What are you thinking should be considered? That Wright will get as good as Mussina or that Mussina will get as bad as Wright come 2007?

      A pitcher who doesn’t give up homers (this year) will show up much better with this measurement than one who doesn’t.

      Since it’s a rate it doesn’t place a value on innings pitched. It might be valuable for pitchers with the same workload but it will skew things with different innings pitched.

      One of the articles explaining how LOB% is determined writes it’s repeatable yet it also shows a pitcher’s luck. That doesn’t make sense to me. I’ll take his word it’s repeatable.

    2. RICH
      September 27th, 2006 | 4:16 pm

      If I’ve misunderstood or misinterpreted the rates let me know.

    3. September 27th, 2006 | 5:03 pm

      Let me see if I can get some help on this.

    4. September 27th, 2006 | 5:18 pm

      LOB% is very similar to “Strand Rate”, which is tracked by Ron Shandler. In general, a pitcher’s LOB% will tend to regress to a mean of about 70%, so if you see a significant outlier in either direction (beyond, say +- five points), look for a change next year.

      Lidle, for example, probably won’t do as well next year. Randy Johnson, on the other hand, will probably do better. In fact, Johnson’s is the lowest in the majors and much lower than his previous two years.

      It’s not really that useful stat for relievers. By the way, home runs are factored out of the equation.

      Here are a couple of articles about it:



    5. RICH
      September 27th, 2006 | 5:51 pm

      Thanks for the clarification. BTW, I enjoy your articles.

    6. September 27th, 2006 | 11:10 pm

      Ditto. Thanks, as always, Dave.

    7. Raf
      September 29th, 2006 | 4:07 pm

      Gwen Guthrie… You, sir, have eclectic tastes.

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