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Fielding Effects


All raw data supplied courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.
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Fielding Effects

Through games of Saturday, 26 September 2020.
All results are from true, unadjusted data.

The Table shows two lines for each team. The first is their actual stats to date, from Games through Strikeouts; the stats FEbat and FErun—Fielding Efficiency on batters and Fielding Efficiency on runners—are explained on our page here about Team Fielding. The OR stat on this line is the TPP-projected Runs the team would be expected to have yielded to date (for an explanation of the TPP, see our page here about basic Baseball Analysis). The R stat is the TOP-projected team Runs scored to date. The Δ stats are immaterial for this line.

The second Table line for each team is their calculated stats if their defense were MLB-average. The FEbat and FErun values on this line are their MLB-average values (averaged over the three recent years 2017 - 2019). The OR stat on this line is the TPP-projected Runs the team would be expected to have yielded to date based on the average-fielding stat values. And on this line, the Δ stats show the differences in Wins that having an MLB-average defense would gain or lose (the ΔW stat is for the year to date, while the ΔWyr is for a full 162-game season.

Thus, this table shows us what a given team’s defense is doing to help or hurt it. As you see, the average difference is less than 3 wins a season, and that figure is heavily weighted by a very few very bad defenses. (Without the three exceptionally worst, the average difference is just 2 wins a year, and the widest swings from assuming an MLB-average defense are 5 lost by good-fielding teams and 6 gained by poor-fielding teams, with 2/3 of the teams within a couple of wins of average-fielding results.

We cannot easily disentangle pitching from fielding, because fielding affects pitching results. But, painting with a very broad brush, we can say that at the extremes the fielding-attributable difference in runs allowed is in the range of being equivalent to perhaps a quarter to a third of a run on the team ERA, with the more normal variations amounting to about an eighth of a run. Pretty clearly, on a team level, fielding runs a poor second to pitching in significance for runs allowed, and thus a very poor third to offense. (Recall that offense and defense are each 50% of the game, and defense is part pitching and part fielding.) Since the extremes of team ERA cover about 2.75 runs (in 2020, 3.02 to 5.75) while the extremes of fielding, even including all the outliers, equate to maybe 0.60 on an ERA, their ratio is—and again, this is very, very broad-brush thinking—around 9:2, making fielding perhaps at most around 20% of defense and thus pitching about 80%, meaning that offense is 50% of the game, pitching is 40%, and fielding is at most around 10%. (Just as we said almost 40 years ago.)

— Place your cursor over any column heading to see what it signifies. —

Team G IP BFP AB BB HBP SH SF CI H 2B 3B HR SO FEbat FErun OR R       ΔW ΔWyr
Cardinals,
with actual fielding
57 464.0 1952 1708 199 25 3 14 3 371 69 4 69 454 74.88% 9.24% 212 214 --- ---
Cardinals,
assuming average fielding
57 464.0 1860 1627 190 24 3 13 3 353 66 4 66 433 70.41% 9.18% 228 214 -2 -6
Dodgers,
with actual fielding
59 529.2 2141 1960 142 21 6 12 0 421 69 7 66 509 74.7% 8.91% 203 329 --- ---
Dodgers,
assuming average fielding
59 529.2 2040 1867 135 20 6 11 0 401 66 7 63 485 70.41% 9.18% 218 329 -2 -5
White Sox,
with actual fielding
59 518.0 2192 1945 210 22 5 7 3 440 83 3 68 514 72.95% 8.6% 234 297 --- ---
White Sox,
assuming average fielding
59 518.0 2088 1853 200 21 5 7 3 419 79 3 65 490 70.41% 9.18% 239 297 -1 -2
Cubs,
with actual fielding
59 509.1 2110 1902 176 17 3 11 1 440 89 6 72 509 72.43% 10.05% 225 247 --- ---
Cubs,
assuming average fielding
59 509.1 2010 1812 168 16 3 10 1 419 85 6 69 485 70.41% 9.18% 232 247 -1 -2
Mariners,
with actual fielding
59 508.2 2208 1932 224 36 0 15 1 472 93 10 78 460 72.04% 8.7% 279 230 --- ---
Mariners,
assuming average fielding
59 508.2 2104 1841 213 34 0 14 1 450 89 10 74 438 70.41% 9.18% 283 230 0 -1
Pirates,
with actual fielding
59 505.0 2190 1886 247 35 2 17 3 440 96 3 78 532 72.05% 9.03% 269 195 --- ---
Pirates,
assuming average fielding
59 505.0 2086 1797 235 33 2 16 3 419 91 3 74 507 70.41% 9.18% 271 195 0 -1
Astros,
with actual fielding
59 516.0 2199 1939 212 27 8 13 0 461 96 12 68 515 71.46% 7.66% 249 252 --- ---
Astros,
assuming average fielding
59 516.0 2095 1847 202 26 8 12 0 439 91 11 65 491 70.41% 9.18% 252 252 0 -1
Indians,
with actual fielding
59 527.0 2136 1935 154 26 4 13 4 431 80 9 66 611 71.37% 11.34% 206 230 --- ---
Indians,
assuming average fielding
59 527.0 2035 1843 147 25 4 12 4 411 76 9 63 582 70.41% 9.18% 208 230 0 0
Twins,
with actual fielding
59 503.1 2089 1891 165 21 1 8 3 440 71 5 62 524 71.23% 9.11% 215 261 --- ---
Twins,
assuming average fielding
59 503.1 1990 1802 157 20 1 8 3 419 68 5 59 499 70.41% 9.18% 215 261 0 0
Athletics,
with actual fielding
59 506.1 2129 1932 163 14 4 15 1 467 85 3 69 490 71.41% 7.01% 234 247 --- ---
Athletics,
assuming average fielding
59 506.1 2028 1841 155 13 4 14 1 445 81 3 66 467 70.41% 9.18% 233 247 0 0
Giants,
with actual fielding
59 508.2 2200 1932 207 34 5 18 4 466 93 14 68 474 71.83% 7.8% 269 291 --- ---
Giants,
assuming average fielding
59 508.2 2096 1841 197 32 5 17 4 444 89 13 65 452 70.41% 9.18% 268 291 0 0
Orioles,
with actual fielding
59 509.2 2208 1957 189 34 4 22 2 482 91 10 77 478 71.64% 6.86% 278 267 --- ---
Orioles,
assuming average fielding
59 509.2 2104 1864 180 32 4 21 2 459 87 10 73 455 70.41% 9.18% 273 267 +1 +1
Reds,
with actual fielding
59 494.0 2087 1834 209 29 2 13 0 396 76 10 67 602 72.12% 7.21% 226 239 --- ---
Reds,
assuming average fielding
59 494.0 1988 1747 199 28 2 12 0 377 72 10 64 574 70.41% 9.18% 225 239 0 +1
Yankees,
with actual fielding
59 491.2 2093 1892 164 24 4 5 4 446 94 6 81 521 71.9% 6.36% 248 300 --- ---
Yankees,
assuming average fielding
59 491.2 1994 1802 156 23 4 5 4 425 90 6 77 496 70.41% 9.18% 244 300 0 +1
Padres,
with actual fielding
59 511.1 2123 1920 166 21 4 12 0 450 81 6 67 553 70.9% 8.96% 223 295 --- ---
Padres,
assuming average fielding
59 511.1 2023 1829 158 20 4 11 0 429 77 6 64 527 70.41% 9.18% 222 295 0 +1
Rays,
with actual fielding
59 518.2 2179 1963 167 29 9 10 1 469 82 6 70 547 70.77% 8.52% 238 282 --- ---
Rays,
assuming average fielding
59 518.2 2076 1870 159 28 9 10 1 447 78 6 67 521 70.41% 9.18% 233 282 +1 +1
Rangers,
with actual fielding
59 507.2 2233 1946 231 30 8 17 1 471 83 13 78 482 72.15% 5.84% 286 207 --- ---
Rangers,
assuming average fielding
59 507.2 2127 1854 220 29 8 16 1 449 79 12 74 459 70.41% 9.18% 283 207 0 +1
Braves,
with actual fielding
59 515.1 2229 1958 216 32 6 17 0 479 92 10 65 495 70.87% 7.95% 265 339 --- ---
Braves,
assuming average fielding
59 515.1 2124 1865 206 30 6 16 0 456 88 10 62 472 70.41% 9.18% 259 339 +1 +2
Angels,
with actual fielding
59 517.1 2222 1981 195 21 3 21 1 486 105 10 80 516 71.19% 7.33% 280 293 --- ---
Angels,
assuming average fielding
59 517.1 2117 1887 186 20 3 20 1 463 100 10 76 492 70.41% 9.18% 274 293 0 +2
Diamondbacks,
with actual fielding
59 509.1 2244 1969 235 22 4 13 1 500 115 10 93 514 70.49% 7.97% 307 246 --- ---
Diamondbacks,
assuming average fielding
59 509.1 2138 1876 224 21 4 12 1 476 110 10 89 490 70.41% 9.18% 295 246 +1 +3
Tigers,
with actual fielding
57 484.1 2143 1898 190 34 5 15 1 506 96 7 89 435 70.09% 7.38% 303 227 --- ---
Tigers,
assuming average fielding
57 484.1 2042 1808 181 32 5 14 1 482 91 7 85 414 70.41% 9.18% 290 227 +1 +3
Royals,
with actual fielding
59 508.0 2203 1942 210 29 4 18 0 497 79 5 76 508 69.49% 9.71% 274 249 --- ---
Royals,
assuming average fielding
59 508.0 2099 1850 200 28 4 17 0 473 75 5 72 484 70.41% 9.18% 261 249 +1 +3
Marlins,
with actual fielding
59 495.0 2179 1910 222 26 4 17 0 500 117 7 82 447 70.19% 9.52% 297 246 --- ---
Marlins,
assuming average fielding
59 495.0 2076 1820 211 25 4 16 0 476 111 7 78 426 70.41% 9.18% 285 246 +2 +3
Brewers,
with actual fielding
59 509.1 2154 1919 187 35 2 10 1 439 83 9 66 606 70.37% 7.67% 236 236 --- ---
Brewers,
assuming average fielding
59 509.1 2052 1828 178 33 2 10 1 418 79 9 63 577 70.41% 9.18% 227 236 +1 +3
Rockies,
with actual fielding
59 518.1 2293 2032 200 39 4 18 0 564 114 19 82 389 69.55% 100% 326 260 --- ---
Rockies,
assuming average fielding
59 518.1 2184 1936 191 37 4 17 0 537 109 18 78 371 70.41% 9.18% 311 260 +2 +4
Blue Jays,
with actual fielding
59 515.2 2269 1992 246 14 6 11 0 507 103 7 81 514 69.87% 7.91% 296 288 --- ---
Blue Jays,
assuming average fielding
59 515.2 2162 1898 234 13 6 10 0 483 98 7 77 490 70.41% 9.18% 281 288 +1 +4
Mets,
with actual fielding
59 505.1 2215 1969 208 28 4 6 0 500 110 5 79 564 68.49% 7.05% 286 305 --- ---
Mets,
assuming average fielding
59 505.1 2110 1876 198 27 4 6 0 476 105 5 75 537 70.41% 9.18% 262 305 +3 +6
Nationals,
with actual fielding
59 494.2 2233 1987 214 22 3 7 0 536 98 6 91 498 68.39% 5.9% 322 274 --- ---
Nationals,
assuming average fielding
59 494.2 2127 1893 204 21 3 7 0 460 84 6 87 474 70.41% 9.18% 289 274 +3 +8
Phillies,
with actual fielding
59 489.0 2160 1939 181 27 4 9 0 541 116 7 80 522 65.85% 9.06% 298 298 --- ---
Phillies,
assuming average fielding
59 489.0 2058 1847 172 26 4 9 0 515 111 7 76 497 70.41% 9.18% 259 298 +3 +10
Red Sox,
with actual fielding
59 515.0 2351 2057 248 31 5 10 0 580 117 7 97 528 66.62% 9.34% 363 286 --- ---
Red Sox,
assuming average fielding
59 515.0 2240 1960 236 30 5 10 0 553 111 7 92 503 70.41% 9.18% 316 286 +4 +11




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This page was last modified on Monday, 28 September 2020, at 9:56 pm Pacific Time.