Clutch

screen shot 2019-01-16 at 1.06.18 am

BREWMATHsummary

*** NOTE: This is a descriptive stat, as opposed to a predictive stat. When studied, the predictive value of this stat is next to nill. That said, it is a useful way to assess who ‘outperformed themselves’ when in high pressure plate appearances ***

WPA = Win Probability Added

  • When a player comes to the plate, there is a certain game state (innings, outs, runners on base, run environment, and score) that leads to a win expectancy score
    • How much a player increases or decreases their teams chance of winning via their contributions leads to their WPA
      • In other words, a metric that utilizes how a player ‘changes their team’s win expectancy’ to assign value

pLI = Player Leverage Index

  • This number represents how much ‘pressure’ a player faces
    • A player who always pinch hits in late innings when the team needs a run will have a much higher pLI than a player who only hits in blowouts.

LI = Average MLB Leverage Index

WPA / LI = “Context Neutral Wins”

  • Measures how much value a player added to their team when facing average MLB leverage
    • While WAR measures a player’s value as a byproduct of their offense, defense, position, league, etc…
    • WPA/LI Measures a player’s value based on how much win expectancy they generate relative to the pressure they faced at the plate (an offensive stat)
      • Thus, it is a great way to assess true value (aka how much a player really helps their team win).

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER…

The concrete definition of ‘statistical clutch’ = How much better or worse a player does in high pressure situations than he would have done in a ‘context neutral environment’ (i.e. a statistical environment that controls for added external pressure).

The Scale

The vast majority of all players will fall between -1 and 1… zero being neutral.

Above zero scores mean a player is “statistically clutch” while negative scores imply a player “chokes.”

  • It is very important to note that the clutch score compares a player against himself
    • Meaning a career 0.310 hitter who hits 0.300 in pressure situations will not have a good clutch score
      • Clutch scores are very difficult to maintain at a high level since the player would always have to do better than his ‘average self’ in difficult situations.
      • Therefore, clutch is RELATIVE and must be taken with a grain of salt

 

screen shot 2019-01-18 at 9.40.56 am

2018 BREWERS RANKED BY CLUTCH SCORE (150+ PA):

While this win probability chart can seem overwhelming, just focus on the last row…

screen-shot-2019-01-16-at-12.54.44-am.png

The results might surprise many Brewers Fans but now that you know how it calculated, this distribution should be more understandable. Keep in mind, statistical clutch often differs from general expectation as it is relative (i.e. compares a player against himself).

If you would like to see which MLB players top the ACTIVE CLUTCH LEADER LIST just follow the link…