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Fielding Effects


All raw data supplied courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.
They do a wonderful job, and deserve your support.

Fielding Effects

Through games of Saturday, 31 July 2021.
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 6 lost by good-fielding teams and gained by poor-fielding teams, with 2/3 of the teams within a couple of wins of average-fielding results.

(Those interested in the tiresome details of the calculations can follow that link to a full explanation.)

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%, and so of much less importance than either offense or pitching. (Quite 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
Giants,
with actual fielding
104 924.2 3799 3445 273 42 23 14 2 763 136 18 107 909 73.4% 7.66% 364 494 --- ---
Giants,
assuming average fielding
104 924.2 3773 3421 271 42 23 14 2 758 135 18 106 903 70.41% 9.18% 380 494 -2 -3
Astros,
with actual fielding
105 935.0 3914 3486 353 43 11 21 0 782 153 7 126 955 73.08% 7.58% 410 544 --- ---
Astros,
assuming average fielding
105 935.0 3887 3462 351 43 11 21 0 777 152 7 125 948 70.41% 9.18% 427 544 -2 -3
Rays,
with actual fielding
105 946.0 3864 3503 289 36 13 23 0 792 159 14 116 996 72.15% 100% 381 482 --- ---
Rays,
assuming average fielding
105 946.0 3837 3479 287 36 13 23 0 787 158 14 115 989 70.41% 9.18% 391 482 -1 -2
Cardinals,
with actual fielding
104 905.1 3954 3388 441 75 23 27 0 792 164 12 92 805 72.45% 7.13% 437 412 --- ---
Cardinals,
assuming average fielding
104 905.1 3927 3365 438 74 23 27 0 787 163 12 91 799 70.41% 9.18% 446 412 -1 -2
Yankees,
with actual fielding
103 908.2 3775 3390 308 36 11 27 3 764 151 11 116 981 72.2% 7.58% 391 433 --- ---
Yankees,
assuming average fielding
103 908.2 3749 3367 306 36 11 27 3 759 150 11 115 974 70.41% 9.18% 397 433 0 -2
Brewers,
with actual fielding
105 936.0 3891 3435 359 53 23 18 3 732 128 13 107 1053 73.01% 7.99% 378 450 --- ---
Brewers,
assuming average fielding
105 936.0 3864 3411 357 53 23 18 3 727 127 13 106 1046 70.41% 9.18% 390 450 -2 -2
Dodgers,
with actual fielding
106 941.1 3884 3469 325 42 24 20 4 742 140 6 116 1049 73.34% 7.91% 380 522 --- ---
Dodgers,
assuming average fielding
106 941.1 3857 3445 323 42 24 20 4 737 139 6 115 1042 70.41% 9.18% 392 522 -1 -2
Marlins,
with actual fielding
104 912.0 3820 3388 330 55 21 25 1 779 178 17 93 889 72.02% 10.12% 392 399 --- ---
Marlins,
assuming average fielding
104 912.0 3794 3365 328 55 21 25 1 774 177 17 92 883 70.41% 9.18% 392 399 0 0
Mets,
with actual fielding
103 870.1 3630 3250 302 44 14 17 3 750 141 8 111 940 71.35% 8.94% 377 390 --- ---
Mets,
assuming average fielding
103 870.1 3605 3228 300 44 14 17 3 745 140 8 110 934 70.41% 9.18% 377 390 0 0
Athletics,
with actual fielding
106 938.2 3929 3575 282 39 10 21 2 857 156 8 113 892 71.4% 7.17% 412 450 --- ---
Athletics,
assuming average fielding
106 938.2 3902 3550 280 39 10 21 2 851 155 8 112 886 70.41% 9.18% 411 450 0 0
Padres,
with actual fielding
107 946.2 3989 3549 334 62 22 22 0 821 167 14 123 1014 71.58% 8.01% 433 492 --- ---
Padres,
assuming average fielding
107 946.2 3962 3525 332 62 22 22 0 815 166 14 122 1007 70.41% 9.18% 429 492 0 0
Nationals,
with actual fielding
104 891.0 3811 3387 330 42 24 27 1 824 152 7 142 870 71.89% 7.7% 455 460 --- ---
Nationals,
assuming average fielding
104 891.0 3785 3364 328 42 24 27 1 819 151 7 141 864 70.41% 9.18% 452 460 0 0
Cubs,
with actual fielding
106 929.1 4029 3524 399 62 21 21 2 843 174 9 139 921 71.91% 7.39% 486 426 --- ---
Cubs,
assuming average fielding
106 929.1 4001 3500 396 62 21 21 2 837 173 9 138 915 70.41% 9.18% 483 426 0 +1
White Sox,
with actual fielding
105 904.1 3785 3398 311 32 13 25 6 776 130 12 123 1030 71.4% 6.7% 406 486 --- ---
White Sox,
assuming average fielding
105 904.1 3759 3375 309 32 13 25 6 771 129 12 122 1023 70.41% 9.18% 402 486 +1 +1
Indians,
with actual fielding
101 875.0 3746 3324 352 37 8 23 2 799 158 13 139 924 71.2% 7.58% 450 401 --- ---
Indians,
assuming average fielding
101 875.0 3720 3301 350 37 8 23 2 794 157 13 138 918 70.41% 9.18% 445 401 +1 +1
Tigers,
with actual fielding
107 927.0 4028 3559 374 62 12 21 0 886 160 14 139 842 71.39% 7.77% 497 446 --- ---
Tigers,
assuming average fielding
107 927.0 4000 3535 371 62 12 21 0 880 159 14 138 836 70.41% 9.18% 492 446 +1 +1
Mariners,
with actual fielding
105 922.2 3929 3510 330 48 11 28 2 873 190 14 124 865 70.74% 8.94% 464 403 --- ---
Mariners,
assuming average fielding
105 922.2 3902 3486 328 48 11 28 2 867 189 14 123 859 70.41% 9.18% 457 403 0 +1
Rangers,
with actual fielding
104 912.0 3912 3512 323 34 13 27 3 905 154 13 149 821 70.72% 9.12% 490 383 --- ---
Rangers,
assuming average fielding
104 912.0 3885 3488 321 34 13 27 3 899 153 13 148 815 70.41% 9.18% 480 383 +1 +1
Blue Jays,
with actual fielding
101 872.2 3697 3328 311 40 5 13 0 784 162 14 136 916 71.75% 8.01% 432 499 --- ---
Blue Jays,
assuming average fielding
101 872.2 3672 3305 309 40 5 13 0 779 161 14 135 910 70.41% 9.18% 427 499 +1 +1
Braves,
with actual fielding
105 909.0 3898 3446 352 44 28 26 2 840 158 10 118 924 70.63% 6.92% 443 481 --- ---
Braves,
assuming average fielding
105 909.0 3871 3422 350 44 28 26 2 834 157 10 117 918 70.41% 9.18% 431 481 +2 +2
Rockies,
with actual fielding
105 905.0 3905 3452 358 42 24 28 1 879 187 22 128 814 70.69% 9.02% 483 435 --- ---
Rockies,
assuming average fielding
105 905.0 3878 3428 356 42 24 28 1 873 186 22 127 808 70.41% 9.18% 473 435 +1 +2
Pirates,
with actual fielding
104 895.1 3900 3420 382 50 18 30 0 861 178 20 131 854 70.6% 7.89% 494 394 --- ---
Pirates,
assuming average fielding
104 895.1 3873 3397 379 50 18 30 0 855 177 20 130 848 70.41% 9.18% 480 394 +2 +2
Reds,
with actual fielding
105 937.0 4102 3570 435 47 26 24 0 873 170 16 140 1010 70.32% 6.31% 506 492 --- ---
Reds,
assuming average fielding
105 937.0 4074 3546 432 47 26 24 0 867 169 16 139 1003 70.41% 9.18% 487 492 +2 +3
Twins,
with actual fielding
105 916.0 3934 3533 310 37 13 38 3 913 193 18 153 861 70.43% 8.7% 512 487 --- ---
Twins,
assuming average fielding
105 916.0 3907 3509 308 37 13 38 3 907 192 18 152 855 70.41% 9.18% 493 487 +2 +3
Royals,
with actual fielding
103 892.0 3895 3427 390 40 6 32 0 879 169 21 126 878 69.4% 9.1% 497 416 --- ---
Royals,
assuming average fielding
103 892.0 3868 3403 387 40 6 32 0 873 168 21 125 872 70.41% 9.18% 468 416 +3 +4
Diamondbacks,
with actual fielding
105 913.0 4067 3600 348 55 31 31 2 979 210 27 151 819 69.24% 6.08% 569 428 --- ---
Diamondbacks,
assuming average fielding
105 913.0 4039 3575 346 55 31 31 2 972 209 27 150 813 70.41% 9.18% 528 428 +3 +5
Orioles,
with actual fielding
103 891.1 3955 3513 359 45 9 29 0 941 170 13 150 850 68.99% 6.43% 541 409 --- ---
Orioles,
assuming average fielding
103 891.1 3928 3489 357 45 9 29 0 935 169 13 149 844 70.41% 9.18% 502 409 +4 +5
Angels,
with actual fielding
104 914.2 3984 3506 400 44 9 24 1 858 175 9 127 981 69.93% 7.32% 486 456 --- ---
Angels,
assuming average fielding
104 914.2 3957 3482 397 44 9 24 1 852 174 9 126 974 70.41% 9.18% 459 456 +3 +5
Phillies,
with actual fielding
104 905.1 3895 3489 325 47 18 16 0 875 179 21 134 942 69.72% 8.25% 474 450 --- ---
Phillies,
assuming average fielding
104 905.1 3868 3465 323 47 18 16 0 869 178 21 133 936 70.41% 9.18% 446 450 +2 +5
Red Sox,
with actual fielding
106 931.1 4027 3581 360 52 9 25 0 925 204 13 112 983 67.74% 9.8% 490 500 --- ---
Red Sox,
assuming average fielding
106 931.1 3999 3556 358 52 9 25 0 919 203 13 111 976 70.41% 9.18% 444 500 +5 +7




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