wOBA, xwOBA and more

Daren from Statcast announced yesterday that there are some exciting new changes to their search interface. They’ve included wOBA all the way back to 2008 and xwOBA back to 2015. We are working to support all the new additions sometime this week and will send out an email when they are live.

Why does it matter?

wOBA is a fantastic catch all stat in DFS and helps us identify a player who provides more value than simply getting on base. We will have the ability to show this metric by pitch type with the rest of the stats.

We already have ISO and now we’ll be able to pair up wOBA with it. If you tinker with the wOBA formula and weight the events that happen based on how a DFS site would score them you get something similar to what wOBA + ISO would show you. It correlates a little higher for FanDuel than it does for DraftKings but the results are that wOBA + ISO is a good way to identify fantasy goodness. To be exact it’s 0.977 for FanDuel and 0.965 for DraftKings.

So now we’ll be able to display by pitch type both metrics to easily allow you to get a wOBA + ISO and compare against the opposing pitcher.

Da fuq is xwOBA?

It stands for Expected wOBA. You can read more about it on MLB but it’s formulated using EV and LA and the corresponding hit probability.

xwOBA can be more helpful in identifying a player’s skill because it removes defense from the equation. Players can impact EV and LA but once the ball is in play it’s no longer in their control.

This is useful because it can show us if there’s a particular batter who is crushing the ball but has been getting extremely unlucky with the result of the play. If the xwOBA is much higher than wOBA, we know that there have been some big hits that have been stolen away from the player that usually would have fallen.

Cool, so what’s next?

We’re working right now to get the wOBA and xwOBA information in the pitch type app as well as some updates to allow you to search by first, last or any part of a player’s name. We hope to have that done this week and are excited about this enhancement and hope it helps all of us in making better DFS decisions.