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Men Left On Base

I've always said that I don't care about Men Left On Base.

A few times every season, John Sterling or Michael Kay will go off on a tangent deriding the Yanks for leaving too many men on base.  And it's true that several times a season the Yankees will score 3 runs, leave 10 men on base and lose 3-4, when one hit could have changed the game.

But Poz took the time to run the numbers:

If a team outperforms their opponent by getting more men on base in any way (hits, walks, HBP, errors, K passed ball), that more effective team will post a .827 winning percentage.

A team that leaves fewer men on base than their opponent, that team will win only .418.

Pretty incredible, no?

Interestingly, Total Bases (the basis for SLG%) is an even better indicator of winning than OBP (.847).  Total bases, of course, doesn't just add up homers.  For TB, 2 doubles in 2 ABs are just as valuable as a homer in one AB.  And since TB is a counting stat, the extra ABs inherent in long innings (which result from getting on base and not making outs), are a part of the stat.

The Yanks led the league in OBP (.362) and TB (2703), and the next best team (Boston) wasn't that close (.352 and 2516).  On the other side of the ball, the Yanks' pitching staff was the 3rd best in the AL, meaning the Yanks' opponents had as hard a time reaching base as against any team in the game.

Those are not insurmountable leads (the Yanks posted a .342 OBP in 2008), but man it gets me excited for the season.