In baseball, wOBA (or weighted on-base average) is a statistic, based on linear weights, designed to measure a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. It is formed from taking the observed run values of various offensive events, dividing by a player's plate appearances, and scaling the result to be on the same scale as on-base percentage. Unlike statistics like OPS, wOBA attempts to assign the proper value for each type of hitting event. It was created by Tom Tango and his coauthors for The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball.
In 2008, sabermetrics website FanGraphs began listing the current and historical wOBA for all players in Major League Baseball. It forms the basis of the offensive component of their Wins above replacement (WAR) metric. Sites such as The Hardball Times have studied wOBA and found it to perform comparably to or better than other similar tools (OPS, Runs created, etc.) used in sabermetrics to estimate runs. The Book uses wOBA in numerous studies to test the validity of many aspects of baseball conventional wisdom.
The formula, as it originally appeared in The Book, is
- NIBB = Non-intentional bases on balls
- HBP = Hit by pitch
- 1B = Single
- RBOE = Reached base on error
- 2B = Double
- 3B = Triple
- HR = Home run
- PA = Plate appearance
- Tom Tango, Mitchel Lichtman, and Andrew Dolphin. The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, 2007. ISBN 1-59797-129-4.
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