Improve MLB Picks by Using OPS Index & Buy/Sell Ratings

Joe Gavazzi

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 1:48 PM GMT

This sports handicapper deciphers the OPS index and looks at MLB teams where this index is not directly correlated to the W/L record. He will use this data and apply it to MLB picks.

In the first part of May 2015, I authored two articles which proved a direct correlation between a team’s OPS batting numbers and OPS pitching numbers with their W/L percentage. To review the OPS concept once again, please note that OPS is the combination of OBP (on base percentage) and SLG (slugging average, which is total bases divided by at bats). Every offense, every pitching staff, and every individual hitter and pitcher have an OPS number. 

For the purposes of this article, we will look at teams whose OPS index is not directly correlating with their W/L record.  Once we have proven the correlation, as we did in early May, we can assume the team will return to the norm, and that way we can create “BUY” or “SELL” ratings on teams that we can look to “play on or against” with our MLB picks.

To create the OPS Index, I use a norm of .710 OPS.  This has been the average OPS in recent seasons and is once again the average OPS after approximately 50 games this season.  A team gets a “+” rating for the number of OPS points they are above .710 in their batting OPS and below .710 in their pitching OPS.  A team gets a “-“ rating for each point they are below .710 in their batting OPS and above .710 in their pitching OPS.  Combining the batting and pitching number for each team gives us the combined OPS Index.

The following chart, developed by league, will rank each team in each league by W/L record. It will also include the team’s OPS hitting index, the OPS pitching index, their combined OPS index, their index ranking, and their W/L record.  When the index ranking does not match up with the W/L rank of a team, we have a BUY or SELL rating. 

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National League

Team

OPS

Bat Index

OPS

Pitch Index

OPS

Comb. Index

Index

Rank

W/L

Rank

W/L

Record

St Louis

+27

+49

+76

2

1

33-17

LAD

+66

+61

+127

1

2

29-20

SF

+30

+15

+45

3

3

30-22

Washington

+26

+6

+32

5

4

28-22

NYM

-45

+36

-09

8

5

28-23

Chicago Cubs

-07

+23

+16

6

6

26-22

Pittsburgh

-15

+53

+38

4

7

26-24

Atlanta

-34

-26

-60

12

8

25-25

San Diego

-32

-49

-81

13

9

25-27

Arizona

+22

-25

-03

7

10

23-26

Colorado

+33

-51

-18

10

11

22-26

Cincinnati

-01

-09

-10

9

12

22-27

Miami

-30

+11

-19

11

13

20-31

Philadelphia

-77

-34

-111

14

14

19-33

Milwaukee

-46

-61

-107

15

15

17-34

 

National League Buy Ratings
Pittsburgh … Arizona … Cincinnati

These 3 teams INDEX RANK is 3 or more positions LOWER (better) than their W/L RANK.  This indicates that if these three teams continue to perform the way in which they have for the first 50 games, that there will be an improvement in their W/L record.  

 

National League Sell Ratings
NY Mets … Atlanta Braves… San Diego Padres

These 3 teams INDEX RANK is 3 or more positions HIGHER (worse) than their W/L RANK.  This is an indication that if these 3 teams continue to perform the way in which they have for the first 50 games that their W/L record will decline.  

 

American League

Team

OPS

Bat Index

OPS

Pitch Index

OPS

Comb. Index

Index

Rank

W/L

Rank

W/L

Record

Minnesota

-10

-34

-44

13

1

30-19

Houston

+12

+36

+43

3

2

31-20

Kansas City

+37

+43

+80

1

3

29-19

Detroit

+38

-05

+33

5

4

28-24

LA Angels

-37

+42

+05

9

5

27-24

Tampa Bay

-06

+67

+61

2

6

26-25

NY Yankees

+14

+09

+23

6

7

26-25

Texas

+11

-40

-29

12

8

26-25

Cleveland

+26

-07

+19

7

9

24-26

Seattle

-16

+03

-13

11

10

24-26

Baltimore

+11

-08

+03

10

11

23-26

CWS

-55

-37

-93

15

12

23-26

Toronto

+58

-42

+16

8

13

23-29

Boston

-25

-34

-59

14

14

22-29

Oakland

0

+45

+45

4

15

20-33

 

American League Buy Ratings
Oakland … Toronto … Tampa Bay

These 3 teams INDEX RANK is 3 or more positions LOWER (better) than their W/L RANK.  This indicates that if these 3 teams continue to perform the way in which they have for the first 50 games, that there will be an improvement in their W/L record. Note particularly that Oakland, with an INDEX RANK of 4 but W/L RANK of 15, is due for major improvement (assuming they do not continue to have the worst defense in MLB).

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American League Sell Ratings
Minnesota … LA Angels … Texas … CWS

These 4 teams INDEX RANK is 3 or more positions HIGHER (worse) than their W/L RANK.  This is an indication that if these 4 teams continue to perform the way in which they have for the first 50 games that their W/L record will decline.  Note particularly, the No. 13 INDEX RANK of Minnesota with negatives in both the batting and pitching index, but the best record in the League.  This indicates the recent hot streak in May for the Twins was a mirage and that they will quickly return to predictive form.  Time will tell!    

If we believe that the OPS Rankings are a clear indication of a team’s W/L RECORD, then following the above Buy and Sell recommendations should lead to profits on these 13 teams in the month of June.