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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With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here or at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris.

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Thanks. This was useful.