Poll: Do You Play in an OBP League?

For the first time this year, I am participating in a league that counts on base percentage instead of batting average. And it’s a big league — Tout Wars. Eno and I are both competing, so we will have first hand knowledge/experience with this format and how hitter values change. As a result, we will be able to include OBP analysis in our articles if enough of you readers play in such leagues.

So, please tell us whether you play in a league that includes OBP as a category instead of AVG.




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Mike Podhorzer produces player projections using his own forecasting system and is the author of the eBook Projecting X: How to Forecast Baseball Player Performance, which teaches you how to project players yourself. His projections helped him win the inaugural 2013 Tout Wars mixed draft league. He also sells beautiful photos through his online gallery, Pod's Pics. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikePodhorzer and contact him via email.


85 Responses to “Poll: Do You Play in an OBP League?”

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  1. asaw780 says:

    My roto league uses both.

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  2. Demingas says:

    I am in a league that uses OPS, so my answer is kinda.

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  3. Vin says:

    My league has AVG, OBP, and SLG.

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  4. mcbrown says:

    Does Ottoneu (points) count? Either way, all of my leagues other than that one use average, not OBP.

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    • Stephan says:

      OBP and TB

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      • Stephan says:

        Oops, not meant as a reply to this comment in particular

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      • fiji.siv says:

        Are you in my league? That’s what we use.

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      • cass says:

        I’ve only played in one league ever, but I insisted on AVG -> OBP, HR -> TB, and SB -> NSB. The existing players actually liked the change and kept using these stats even after I left at the end of the year.

        The two reasons I don’t do fantasy are 1) it takes too much time to constantly manage a roster and 2) I don’t think the categories very effectively reflect player value. My preference would be for something like a WAR league that included defense as well. I guess discounting fielding completely feels like it’s too far from actual baseball to maintain my interest. I would never play in an AVG/HR league. Walks and doubles must count.

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      • johnnycuff says:

        @cass: play scoresheet

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      • Ty says:

        @Cass some friends and I play a league like that. scoring is entirely based on WAR, with 25 man rosters (bench WAR is worth 1/2). keeper league, with rosters that stay mostly the same from year-to-year. it’s pretty fun.

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  5. Todd says:

    OBP/SLG instead of AVG/HR is just so clearly superior. Not only do they better capture the full spectrum of batting outcomes and their relative values, they also mirror the two pitching rates (ERA/WHIP), such that the tradeoff between accumulation and quality is similar for both pitchers and hitters.

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  6. shibboleth says:

    Used OBP exclusively for a few years, but this year we switched over to OPS. Well it includes OBP so I voted yes.

    Honestly I’d be okay if I never saw another reference of batting average ever again.

    Good luck in Tout Wars, that’s a heck of a trophy to bring home!

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  7. Row says:

    My league for the last 3 years has replaced AVG & HR for OBP & SLG. We also use QS and NSB. We actually got rid of NSV after some complaints, so I’m surprised NSB stuck, but a big fan of QS over W.

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  8. UDownWithOBP says:

    My league uses AVG and walks FWIW. I clicked YES

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  9. Ben says:

    Ours is a little different (OBP,HR,SB,RBI,R,SLG) but I think strikes a good balance between good old 5×5 and something like linear weights

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  10. d_i says:

    yes but it’s 8X6 (ave, OBP, RC, slug, RBI, HR, net steals, R x 2w-L, 2*saves+holds-BS, Ks, ERA, WHIP, QS). Love it. Obviously skewed towards hitting and obp/slug is basically double counted with RC.

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  11. Rags says:

    OBP instead of AVG

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  12. Urban Shocker says:

    One of each-regular 5×5, and then a 6×6 that adds OBP and Holds.

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  13. Wow, good thing I asked this question. I had no idea you guys played in leagues with such non-standard categories! It’s clear that we should start publishing articles that focus on, or at least mention, value as it relates to OBP.

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  14. taprat says:

    We use AVG, OBP and TB, I said yes, but really, we’re just

    As an aside, I think an article, or some crowd-sourcing, on some of the various category and league formats, might be interesting. I’m proud of what my league put together and has used the past 7 or 8 years, and would be interested to see what all else is out there. We are 8 X 8: R, RBI, TB, HR, SB-CS, AVG, OBP, OPS; W, QS, K, S, Hold, ERA, WHIP, OPSA. Turns out to be a very good blend for assigning value to MLB players similar to their real life value (other than defensive chops of course).

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  15. Nick says:

    we use avg/obp/ops

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  16. TK says:

    I’m in a 5×5 that uses OPS instead of AVG and a points league where BB and 1B are equivalent (1 point each).

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  17. Tak says:

    I prefer OBP over AVG any day. Walks should not go unrewarded!

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  18. Jabronies says:

    No. Old School

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  19. maspero71 says:

    OBP over AVG in Rotoguru league (AAA)

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  20. Wait a Second says:

    What about leagues with OPS as a category?

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    • Not the same since player values will once again change. Every new or switched category is going to change values, so I was just referring specifically to OBP instead of AVG.

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  21. Wait a Second says:

    Just looked at the above comments. A lot of OPS leagues out there. My league still uses batting average along with OPS. I think strikeouts might be a decent category for hitting, but in certain leagues, it is dangerous to use too many total type categories for those who stop paying attention.

    I feel like batting average kinda helps hitters who don’t strike out a lot and aren’t necessarily power hitters…such as an ichiro.

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  22. hayden says:

    As many have already said… I play in a league with offensive categories AVG & OPS (+ R, RBI, HR, SB). So OBP is counted, if indirectly.

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  23. gnomez says:

    Is anybody in a league that uses wOBA?

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  24. STEALTH says:

    I think the poll results are going to be skewed in favor of OBP. How many people reading FanGraphs are going to enthusiastically go in and click Batting Average? Basically, I think the OBP crowd will have a higher voter turnout than the standard cats crowd.

    I do not have any OBP leagues this year. Old school batting average only. I’d prefer OBP, but I don’t think the majority of my league-mates want to make that change.

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  25. TheTheory says:

    While I’m not in a specifically OBP league, we do count hits and walks, so it gets the major elements of OBP. Enough so that I’d certainly not mind seeing OBP calculations in articles.

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  26. Wobbles says:

    OBP instead of AVG here. why are all these leagues double-counting stats? if you want 2 categories, avg and walks. if you want one, obp. don’t double-or-triple-count average.

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    • Wait a Second says:

      I agree, but some leagues are harder to change than others. My league uses OPS and Average.

      Although I prefer other categories, Batting Average still provides some interesting wrinkles into the league. Players that mainly have high contact/low strikeout rates whom tend to hit for higher average, but average to below average OPS are still useful. At the same time, batting average punishes low contact/high strikeout rate guys such as Adam Dunn (who still happen to do well in OPS – for the most part). Personally, strikeouts (or strikeout percentage) would make more sense as a category. But people in the league want fantasy baseball to still be fun, and therefore, they don’t care for certain changes.

      We try to avoid total stats (such as hits, total bases, strikeouts) because every year there is always one or 2 guys (we try to boot whomever does this) that doesn’t max out their games played (basically not being active in the league), which we believe would have a more artificial effect on the standings at the end of the season, rather than ratio stats such as Batting Average.

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  27. Michael says:

    My league switched from AVG to OBP last year. I finished 2nd overall the year before, dead last in AVG. With OBP I was 2nd in the category and won the league. Just saying.

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  28. AS says:

    We use OBP instead of BA

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  29. Giovani says:

    OBP and SLG in a 7×7, no AVG

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  30. bjs2025 says:

    I’d actually not only prefer this but more ottoneu specific articles.

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  31. Jordan S says:

    Our long-running keeper league just switched from standard 5×5 to a 6×6 format. The new categories this year are R, HR, RBI, SB, OBP, and SLG for hitting and IP, QS, SV, ERA, WHIP, and K/9 for pitching.

    The season may have just started, but I couldn’t be happier with the change. Our draft was certainly made more interesting as a result. For years I pushed for removing AVG and W. It took some convincing, but knowing everyone in real life certainly helped.

    Neglecting walks feels so horribly outdated, and who really gives a damn about Wins as a category these days?

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  32. MLB Rainmaker says:

    I run a “GM-league” where you get a fixed payroll and sign player to 1-3 year contracts, with a no-drops policy.

    Categories are –
    Hitting:
    RBI
    Runs
    OBP%
    SLG%
    SB minus CS

    Pitching:
    Quality Starts
    Holds+Saves
    K minus BB
    ERA
    SLGA%

    With the exception of ERA, we think its a pretty solid value of players.

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  33. irishjay91 says:

    I’m in one league with OPS instead of average, and another with average, OBP and SLG (which is weird imo but whatever).

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  34. Tom B says:

    OBP and SLG, no AVG

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  35. Schu says:

    My league uses average and walks (needed an extra category to add pitcher losses to prevent streaming)

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  36. Ruki Motomiya says:

    My league uses standard 5×5 statistics. Joined it ’cause one of my friends brought it up, heh. Don’t really mind average used in Fantasy, really.

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  37. Jacob Smith says:

    Technically, I don’t play in an OBP league, but I do play in a wOBA based league. Have played in many OBP leagues in the past, however.

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  38. Mike Ragz says:

    From a statistician’s point of view, you really can’t title the link “Do you Play in an OPS League” and expect a fair poll result–mainly because, people who play in OPS leagues are going to be more inclined to click on that link. Imagine if I posted a link titled “Do You Like Sabermetrics” on a random site. Only those people who know what Sabermetrics are will even look at the link.

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    • I’m not concerned with the percentage of votes that registered “Yes”, just the total numbers of yeses. The more yeses, the higher the chances we’ll include some OBP specific content. And since we already have nearly 600 yeses, that means OBP fun here we come!

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  39. BenFranklin17 says:

    My league made the switch to OBP instead of AVG last year and it has enhanced the league immensely. It feels so great to see your hitters rewarded for being disciplined at the plate and drawing walks.

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  40. David H says:

    My league uses OBP and SLG instead of AVE and RBI. In our 8th year with no complaints.

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  41. Cody says:

    My league uses the categories of BB and AVG.

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  42. Don Pardo says:

    OBP & SLG instead of AVG in a 6×6 league.

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  43. Todd says:

    My league also uses both, and I’m in one league that uses avg, obp and ops.

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  44. Al Skorupa says:

    My home league uses OBP instead of AVG, Mike. We did it a few years back because a) we like to keep the rules simple and things you can root for an understand while they happen and you’re watching them; and b) we felt a “walk” is a positive outcome to a plate appearance and something you should be happy about. Not a non-event.

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  45. Thursday35 says:

    I’m also in the “kind of” camp. Our league has a mix of traditionalist types and fangraphs reader types, so our mix of categories are a bit odd.

    9×9 head-to-head
    Hitting:
    Runs
    RBI
    Hr
    Net SB
    Avg
    Walks
    Ops
    K (neg hitting stat)
    Runs created

    Pitching:
    IP
    K
    Walks(neg pitching stat)
    Wins (did not succeed in changing this to quality starts this year)
    Sv
    Hold
    ERA
    WHIP
    K/9

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  46. Pdiddy31 says:

    Yes – 5×5 using obp and SLG vs avg and HR. two of my 3 leagues use this now

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  47. James in Lincoln says:

    I’m in a league that counts both AVG and OBP. This league also counts Complete Games and Saves as separate categories, and we go 7×7. It sounds ridiculous, and involves some amount of luck, but the parody has been fun. It keeps the league fresh, and this being our 10th season, we have not had a repeat winner of the league. We’ve had these categories for 9 of the 10 years, and we haven’t had many complaints. I’ve brought up switching to QS over Wins in our league meetings, and switching to other offensive categories, but I think we’re locked into our 7 for the long haul.

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  48. Rich Funk says:

    I’m in a 20 team league that uses OBP. With a league that deep, OBP makes a lot more players useful, which is always a good thing.

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  49. murphym45 says:

    I’m in a league that drafted as an OBP league then the manager changed it to OPS after the draft. Not sure if that should count. Luckily, it’s not a league I really care about.

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  50. KY says:

    I second the movement for an poll article on common categories. A resulting vertical bar graph would be great with the most common configuration getting the tallest bar. And include pitching of course. Thanks.

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  51. Say Hey Kid says:

    OBP and AVG

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  52. Jacob says:

    Sixth year in my league and starting this year we replaced AVG/HR/SB with OBP/SLG/netSB and W/K with QS/Kper9

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  53. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo says:

    Indirectly, yes. I play primarily in points leagues. So while “OBP” specifically is not a category, walks count. OBP-centric advice would certainly save me a bit on the amount of extrapolating I am forced to do.

    If you are considering some sort of expansion of coverage, how about throwing a bone to us points-leaguers every so often. To quote Dr. Suess, “We are here! We are here! We are here!”

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  54. trout27 says:

    I play in a points league that includes walks and HBP

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