Using the OPS numbers for MLB Winners – May 1, 2018
by Joe Gavazzi Winning Sports Advice
Those of you who have followed my MLB articles for the last several years understand that I have proven the OPS numbers provide the most accurate correlation to wins and losses. To refresh your memory, the OPS is a combination of the OBP (on base percentage) and SLG (slugging percentage).
With the month of April behind us, and teams having played 25 to 30 games, we can begin to use the OPS numbers to isolate winning and losing selections in each series that is played.
The methodology I use is unique and very effective. Consider that last weekends’ OPS teams were a combined 17-10 (+9.7 units). To determine the plays, I rank the teams in 2 ways. The first is a ranking of the teams W/L % from 1 to 30. Next, I use the teams OPS batting number and combine it with the teams’ INVERTED OPS pitching number and rank them from 1 to 30. WHEN THERE IS A DIFFERENCE IN THE RANK OF 5 POSITIONS OR MORE it indicates a PLAY ON or PLAY AGAINST position for the current series.
For example, in the series beginning May 1st between Oakland and Seattle, Oakland has a 14-14 (.500) record good for a ranking position of 17-18. Their combined batting plus pitching OPS number, however, finds them with the #7 ranking. That ranking edge of 10 positions makes them a PLAY ON team. Seattle, conversely, has a 16-11 record good for a W/L rank of 8 to 10. Their combined OPS rank, however, is #18. That makes them a PLAY AGAINST team in their series vs. Oakland. Should I find an edge in the pitching matchup and get a fair price, I would consider making Oakland a play.
Taking the handicap a couple of steps further, I do two things. First, if justified, I would consider making Oakland a run line play. Secondly, due to the fact that Oakland has the #26 ranked bullpen and Seattle the #11 ranked bullpen (according to their OPS numbers), I would consider making this a 5 IP play.
Clients of my exclusive Late Phone Service will be receiving these ranked PLAY ON and PLAY AGAINST differences at the beginning of each series. For the games being played beginning Monday, April 30th, the OPS ranked differential PLAY ON teams are Washington, LAD, Oakland and CWS. The PLAY AGAINST teams for the current series are the Mets, Colorado, Toronto, LAA and Seattle.
Remember, these are the OPS differential teams ONLY considering their OPS rank differential. Add any starting pitching advantage, bullpen edge and potential run line edge for the final handicap.