MLB Advanced Analytics: wOBA-xwOBA
Mike Alexander breaks down wOBA vs. xwOBA and how it can be used as a tool to predict regression to the mean.
Each week this season I’ll be taking a look at a specific advanced statistic. The goal is to fill out the strong foundation of information you all in FA Nation already possess. I recently looked at Fly Index to predict some possible power breakouts. On tap this week is wOBA-xwOBA. You’re probably familiar with Weighted On-base Average, a stat that places progressively weighted values on At-Bat results. It’s more indicative of a player's skills than OBP or AVG. We can enhance that even further by examining wOBA compared to xwOBA.
What is xwOBA? Per Statcast, “Expected Weighted On-base Average (xwOBA) is formulated using exit velocity, launch angle and, on certain types of batted balls, Sprint Speed.” In laymen's terms, it removes the luck of where a ball was hit and instead accounts for how well it was hit. If a hitter smokes a ball at the third baseman that would have been a double based on exit velocity his xwOBA will account for it where wOBA will not. We can look at this and...