Just How Much Can You Change Your Batting Average Now?

Two weeks left in the season. At least a few of you are staring at the batting average category and wondering if you can do anything about it at all. You have 11/12ths of the season in the rear view weighing you down, it’s not likely. But I thought it might be fun to do a thought/math exercise.

If you could get lucky, and get the league-leader in batting average at every position over the last two weeks of the season, how far north could you push your team’s overall batting average?

Obviously the first thing to do is identify the league leaders at every position over the last 14 days:

Player BA H AB
C Mike Napoli 0.424 14 33
1B Michael Cuddyer 0.426 20 47
2B Jose Altuve 0.441 26 59
SS J.J. Hardy 0.380 19 50
3B DJ LeMahieu 0.400 16 40
OF Andrew McCutchen 0.419 18 43
OF Hunter Pence 0.407 22 54
OF Shin-Soo Choo 0.386 17 44
UT Brandon Belt 0.391 18 46
Total 0.409 170 416

In my 15-team league, my batting average right now is 0.26963130 and I’m nominally tied at “.270″. A couple weeks like this would be very useful. It would move my overall batting average to .2812! I’d gain five points in batting average, and would probably still be in second. But that’s a lot of movement for the last two weeks.

Of course, in that league I have five outfielders, two catchers, an MI and a CI. Add Alex Avila, Matt Carpenter, Eric Hosmer, Kole Calhoun and Christian Yelich to the list, and you get a .399 14-day batting average for this mythical team, which would move me into a virtual tie for first with a .2804 batting average.

It might be surprising that you can move your batting average ten points in 14 days, but this is also the pie-in-the-sky version of events. Doubtful your team is going to hit .400 over the next 14 days, even as ‘attainable’ as this team of players looks. Here’s a handy chart of the amount you might reasonably expect your team batting average to move, given a few team batting averages over the final two weeks.

Next 14 days Overall Change
0.129 0.011
0.080 0.007
0.050 0.004
0.030 0.003
0.010 0.001

The first row is the example where my team hits .399 (.129 better than they are currently hitting) for two weeks, and adds .011 in batting average to my overall batting average, bringing it up just over .280 for the year. In order to use this rough guide for your team, you just have to look at how likely it is that your team can hit your current team batting average plus the first column. If they are hitting .270 right now, can they hit .280 for two weeks? Then you can add a single point to your team batting average on the year.

Most likely, this means that you should punt batting average unless you are in a dogfight. You’re more likely to get a steal or homer extra by streaming for them than you are to chase hits and find a team that’ll hit you .399 over the next two weeks.

But for some of you, this can help you set your targets for the stretch run, and see what’s within reach. Good luck!

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Graphs: Baseball, Roto, Beer, brats (OK, no graphs for that...yet), repeat. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris.

10 Responses to “Just How Much Can You Change Your Batting Average Now?”

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  1. Zimmerman says:

    Thanks. This was useful.

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  2. Chcago Mark says:

    Hey Eno, Lazy Chicago Mark here. And tired so not thinking clearly. What are the numbers for slugging? I can gain 3 points if I move from .4557 to .4571. In the last two weeks my team has moved from .4454 to .4557 on the backs of Napoli and Zimmerman with about a .5263 team slugging. That’s HUGE! Don’t expect it to continue. But how much do I have to slug to bring it up another .0014?

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  3. Jabronies says:

    This is useful, but no one is changing an entire roster. If I wanted to know how much changing 1 guy hitting .250 for 1 guy hitting .330 over the last 2 weeks will help, now I have to do the math myself. Im sure the result is 0.0 though

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  4. Zimmerman says:

    The handy chart he used helped me look at my roster and competitor’s roster for batting average and it led me to believe I have an outside chance of catching him if I stay the course instead of no chance which I thought before I read this article.

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  5. gyre says:

    You need to consider how T Williams pulled it up 6 points in the last two games. It was all about At Bats, Williams only had about 450 ABs on that last day. I always thought you needed 500 ABs to be talked about, but that’s another story. Low strikeouts and high walk rates, plus bailing on games can do wonders in the course of a season.

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  6. Bert Ernie says:

    If you’re chasing .2804 and that team hits “only” .285 for 14 days, your mythical team has to do even better than .400 or you’ll still lose by a point. Letting the chips fall where they may is probably a better strategy.

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  7. Dingbat says:

    This explains why I was able to improve my AVG by 0.005 over the past two weeks. I’ve got Altuve, Napoli, and Choo!

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  8. TADontAsk says:

    You also have to consider your opponent’s average. If their average falls over the next 2 weeks, that only increases your chances, which is normally it’s easier to gain/lose in ratio categories. Unfortunately the team I’m chasing has a team that starts the same way as that first chart (Napoli, Cuddyer, Altuve).

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