Know Your Stats: OPS/OPS+

An article by posted on July 15, 2013 0 Comments

For the next few days, I will be highlighting some of the best and most popular sabermetric stats available to the public.Today, we begin with OPS+

OPS, or On Base Plus Slugging was the first sabermetric stat to go mainstream. It is On-Base Percentage plus Slugging Percentage. It’s crude and simple, but it’s a decent quick reference tool.

OPS, however, is outdone by it’s counterpart OPS+. OPS+ does something very important: puts the OPS into context. The stat makes it possible to compare players from different eras, different teams, and different ballparks. It tells you that compared to their respective leagues, Babe Ruth was a better hitter than Barry Bonds by 20%.

OPS+ is set on a percentage point scale. Essentially it is the percentage of league OPS. 100 (or 100% of the league average) is the league average, while a 110 mark is ten percent better than league average, and 90 is ten percent worse.

There are many issues with the very crude OPS and OPS+. Are On-Base Percentage and Slugging Percentage worth the same? OPS and OPS+ say they are, but in reality, On-Base Percentage is approximately 1.8 times as valuable as Slugging. The second issue is that neither stat tells you what percentage of the OPS is slugging and OBP, which, when evaluating a player, is something you should know. For example, Jose Reyes has a career .783 OPS, while Mark Trumbo has a very similar .779 career mark. They are completely different players, with Reyes being a leadoff hitter and Trumbo being a slugger (with a slugging percentage 35 points higher than Reyes).

OPS as I mentioned, is crude and the most basic sabermetric stat out there. It has its flaws, but it is a great way to get people to start thinking about sabermetrics. While OPS and OPS+ are both good stats (although you always want to use wOBA when available), they are too basic to make conclusions off of.


OPS= ((H +BB+HBP)/PA) + (TB/AB)

OPS+=100 x (OBP/lgOBP*+SLG/lgSLG*- 1) then park adjusted

In Context

ops chart 3ops chart 1ops chart 2

Further Reading

Check back later for a primer on Weighted On Base Average!

About the Author ()

Connor O'Brien is a first-year student in the Rutgers University Honors College, a lifelong Mets fan, and an editor here at MetsMerized Online. He embraces a sabermetric point of view in his articles, but doesn't believe this conflicts with scouting or player development. Follow him on Twitter @connor_obrien97