||NL 2008 Avg.
||AL 2008 Avg.
||On Base Percentage + Slugging Percentage
||Look for outfielders over .900 ideally, over .700 for defensive positions. Interestingly enough, in two years the league average has dropped nearly .10 in each league.
||Walk Rate (bb/(ab+bb)
||Look for hitters over .10. Walk rates are up in both leagues as well.
||Strikeout-to-walk ratio (bb/k)
||Hitters closer to 1-to-1 are ideal, but mostly you're looking for the really poor hitters with worse than 1/2 ratios. These ratios remained the same as in 2006.
||Contact Rate (ab-k)/ab
||Hitters who put balls in play at .90 or above are ideal, .75 or lower could result in poor batting averages. The NL average remained constant, while the AL rate declined by .01.
||Batting average on balls in play or "hit rate" (H-HR)/(AB-K-HR)
||Hitters tend to track to their own career hit rate. If they are far over or under their career rate, then they're due for a correction usually (unless they've changed something). Note how much higher the AL rate is.
||Stolen Base Opportunity (sb+cs)/(singles + bb)
||Baserunners who get the green light usually average .20 or above.
||Walks + Hits / IP
||Look for pitchers under 1.25, look out for those over 1.40. Formula now includes HBP.
||Batting average on balls in play or "hit rate" (H-HR)/((IP*2.8)+H-K-HR)
||Most balls in play result in hits about 30 percent of the time. If a pitcher is far above or below that level, they may be due for a correction to the mean. The 2008 levels are *significantly* higher than the 2006.
||Home runs allowed per nine innings
||In the past, we told you to look for pitchers under 1.00, but with the drop in homers last year, look lower (though April 2009 results suggests homers are on their way back up).
||Walk rate - walks per nine innings
||Look for pitchers who walk less than 3.00 batters per nine innings. Note, the NL is going to have a higher walk rate, simply because the intentional walk is used more frequently.
||Strikeout rate - strikeouts per nine innings
||Look for pitchers who strike out 7 or more hitters per nine innings.
||Strikeout-to-walk ratio (k/bb)
||Look for pitchers who strike out 2.5 or more batters per walk.
||Ground-ball out/fly-ball out ratio (gbo/fbo)
||A strong ground-ball pitcher can overcome a low strikeout rate, while a fly-ball pitcher will often need a deep ballpark to be successful. Look for a rate 1.50 or higher (especially for a non-strikeout pitcher). League average G/F ratios have increased quite a bit in both leagues, which makes sense when seeing the drop in HR rates.
||Strand Rate (h+bb-er)/(h+bb-hr)
||Strand rate is the percentage of batters that reach base but do not score. Pitchers with Strand Rates above .75 are usually successful with a decent ERA. Watch for deviations from a pitchers career strand rate. For example, a pitcher who has a career strand rate of .71 but .85 strand rate this season may be getting a little lucky.
||FIP (HR*13+(BB+HBP)*3-K*2)/IP + 3.2
||Fielding Indpendent Pitching (FIP) is a defense neutral ERA. In general, a pitcher with a FIP higher than his ERA is likely getting lucky with his balls that are put in play. The exception is if the defense behind the pitcher is above average, which would cause more batted balls to be converted into outs.