Skip to main content

Sabermetrics Glossary: wOBA

Jan 29, 2020

Christian Yelich led the league with a .442 wOBA in 2019.

Weighted On-base Average (wOBA) has become one of the most frequently cited “sabermetrics” in baseball over the recent years. Like most of these advanced metrics, it is not nearly as complicated as it seems.

wOBA is similar to on-base percentage (which is just the percent of the time a player reaches base safely). The difference is that the different ways the player reaches base safely have different weights. A home run is worth more than a double, which is worth more than a single, which is worth more than a walk. This makes intuitive sense because of course, you would rather have a player that hits a bunch of doubles and homers over a guy that walks and hits singles. When you are looking at a statistic like on-base percentage, a home run and a walk are worth the same thing.

Practice fast mock drafts with our fantasy baseball software >>

For full transparency, here is the formula to calculate wOBA (note that the weights do change slightly over time depending on the league environment):

(.7 * BB) + (.7 * HBP) + (.9 * 1B) + (1.3 * 2B) + (1.6 * 3B) + (2.1 * HR)
————————————————————————————
(AB + BB + SF + HBP)

You can see there that walks and hit by pitches are factored into the equation, so you are getting a pretty full picture of a hitter’s performance when looking at this metric.

Last year’s wOBA leader was Christian Yelich (.442), and here is how the stat generally breaks down:

.400 – Excellent
.370 – Great
.340 – Above Average
.320 – Average
.310 – Below Average
.300 – Poor
.290 – Awful

wOBA is most useful at getting a quick idea about how a player has performed in the past. This gives you more information than just looking at his batting average. For example, in 2019 David Fletcher hit for a very strong .290 batting average, but his lack of extra-base hits gave him a below-average .318 wOBA – he really was not helping your fantasy team in anything but batting average last year.

While the best fantasy baseball players survey various statistics when making decisions, if I had to pick just one statistic that best sums everything up, wOBA would be a real contender.

Prepare for your fantasy baseball draft with our Mock Draft Simulator >>

Jon Anderson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Jon, check out his archive and follow him@JonPgh.

What's your take? Leave a comment

1Christian McCaffrey (CAR)RB
2Saquon Barkley (NYG)RB
3Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)RB
4Michael Thomas (NO)WR
5Dalvin Cook (MIN)RB
6Derrick Henry (TEN)RB
7Alvin Kamara (NO)RB
8Tyreek Hill (KC)WR
9DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)WR
10Aaron Jones (GB)RB
 View All Rankings 
11Joe Mixon (CIN)RB
12Nick Chubb (CLE)RB
13Davante Adams (GB)WR
14Julio Jones (ATL)WR
15Chris Godwin (TB)WR
16Mike Evans (TB)WR
17George Kittle (SF)TE
18Travis Kelce (KC)TE
19Leonard Fournette (JAC)RB
20Lamar Jackson (BAL)QB
21Josh Jacobs (OAK)RB
22Kenny Golladay (DET)WR
23Amari Cooper (DAL)WR
24D.J. Moore (CAR)WR
25Odell Beckham Jr. (CLE)WR
26Todd Gurley (LAR)RB
27Chris Carson (SEA)RB
28Allen Robinson (CHI)WR
29Austin Ekeler (LAC)RB
30Miles Sanders (PHI)RB
1Ronald Acuna Jr. (ATL)LF,CF
2Mike Trout (LAA)CF
3Christian Yelich (MIL)LF,RF
4Cody Bellinger (LAD)1B,CF
5Mookie Betts (LAD)CF,RF
6Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
7Trevor Story (COL)SS
8Gerrit Cole (NYY)SP
9Trea Turner (WSH)SS
10Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
 View All Rankings 
11Jacob deGrom (NYM)SP
12Juan Soto (WSH)LF
13Justin Verlander (HOU)SP
14Alex Bregman (HOU)3B,SS
15Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B
16Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
17Jose Ramirez (CLE)3B
18J.D. Martinez (BOS)LF,RF
19Walker Buehler (LAD)SP
20Anthony Rendon (LAA)3B
21Rafael Devers (BOS)3B
22Fernando Tatis Jr. (SD)SS
23Bryce Harper (PHI)RF
24Aaron Judge (NYY)RF
25Xander Bogaerts (BOS)SS
26Stephen Strasburg (WSH)SP
27Starling Marte (ARI)CF
28Jack Flaherty (STL)SP
29Yordan Alvarez (HOU)LF,DH
30Javier Baez (CHC)SS
1Anthony Davis (LAL)PF,C
2James Harden (HOU)PG,SG
3Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)SF,PF
4Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
5Kevin Durant (BKN)SF,PF
6LeBron James (LAL)SF,PF
7Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
8Nikola Jokic (DEN)PF,C
9Damian Lillard (POR)PG
10Russell Westbrook (HOU)PG
 View All Rankings 
11Victor Oladipo (IND)PG,SG
12Paul George (LAC)SF,PF
13Joel Embiid (PHI)PF,C
14Kawhi Leonard (LAC)SG,SF
15Chris Paul (OKC)PG
16Jimmy Butler (MIA)SG,SF
17Kemba Walker (BOS)PG
18Ben Simmons (PHI)PG,SF
19Kyrie Irving (BKN)PG,SG
20Jrue Holiday (NOR)PG,SG
21Rudy Gobert (UTH)C
22Andre Drummond (CLE)PF,C
23John Wall (WAS)PG
24Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG
25Donovan Mitchell (UTH)PG,SG
26Khris Middleton (MIL)SG,SF
27Bradley Beal (WAS)SG
28Kevin Love (CLE)PF,C
29Draymond Green (GSW)PF,C
30LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS)PF,C
Follow the Pros!

Follow us on Twitter @FantasyPros for exclusive advice and contests