What is OPS in Baseball? – Baseball Stats Explained


Written by

Michael Rogers



Leo Hagenes

what is ops in baseball

If you’ve been watching baseball for a while now, you probably have a favorite hitter or pitcher you always look forward to at every start of the season.

And because baseball is full of metrics and statistics, it’s not surprising that hitters have their own statistics that measure their performance. For one, baseball statisticians combine on-base percentage and slugging percentage (OPS).

But what is OPS in baseball? Read along to learn what OPS stands for in Major League Baseball and other baseball abbreviations.

OPS Explained: What Does OPS Mean in Baseball?


OPS is the combination of on-base percentage and slugging percentage. When you look for OPS meaning in baseball, it may be a bit tricky to understand at first. Let’s make it simple:

When we talk about what OPS means in baseball terms, it simply is a statistical representation of how well a hitter can reach base and how well he can hit for average and for power.

To better understand the meaning of baseball statistics OPS, let’s first look at the slugging and on-base percentages individually.

1. On-base percentage (OBP)

OBP baseball measures the frequency of a batter reaching the base in each plate appearance. To qualify for a time on base, statisticians use hits and walks. Hit-by-pitches can also contribute to OBP.

On the other hand, OBP does not take into account errors, dropped third strikes, as well as times reached on a fielder’s choice.

2. Slugging percentage (SLG)

A player’s slugging percentage measures how many bases he records per at-bat. A slugging percentage only takes into account a batter’s hits and not his walks or hit-by-pitches.

It’s safe to say that what OPS means in baseball terms determines the batter or hitter’s overall offensive skills.

History of OPS, OBP, and SLG in Baseball

Besides knowing baseball OPS meaning, we should kbe aware of who’s responsible for creating these meters and statistics.

Peter Palmer and John Thorn invented, developed, and popularised OPS, OBP, and SLG. They published a book in 1984 titled “The Hidden Game of Baseball, ” including the definition and formulas for these metrics.

From there, these statistical measurements were implemented in baseball and were used by statisticians and journalists.

How is OPS Calculated?


What about the baseball OPS formula? Simply put, the OPS calculation is OBP + SLG.

But how can you compute it? Of course, you should know how to get the values of the two factors (OBP and SLG) first. Let’s do a little math, shall we?

1. SLG computation

To calculate for slugging percentage, we should use the formula below:

(1B + (2B x 2)+ (3B x 3) + (HR x 4))/AB

For instance, your favorite hitter had the following performance:

  • 3 Home Runs (HR)
  • 5 Triples (3B)
  • 12 Doubles (2B)
  • 20 Singles (1B)
  • 40 Outs

We can simply substitute these values in the formula. To get the at-bat, you should add the number of home runs, triples, singles, doubles, and outs.

(20 + (12 x 2)+ (5 x 3) + (3 x 4))/((3 + 5 + 12 + 20 + 40)) Or 71/80

Our slugging percentage is 0.08875.

2. OBP Computation

Now that you know how to calculate SLG, let us teach you how to compute the OBP. We can use the formula below:

(H + BB + HBP)/(AB + BB + HBP + SF)

Let’s say the batter had the following performance in the same game:

  • 32 Hits (H)
  • 7 Walks (BB)
  • 2 Hit-by-pitch (HBP)
  • 80 at-bats (AB)
  • 3 sacrifice flies (SF)

We can easily compute for the OBP by populating our formula:

(32 + 7 + 2)/(80 + 7 + 2 + 3) or 41/92

Our OBP or on-base percentage is 0.44567.

Now, we just have to add the two values. In this game, the hitter’s OPS is 0.5344!

What is the Average OPS in Baseball?

In finding out the OPS meaning in baseball, it’s best to know what the average OPS is, so you have an idea of how your favorite hitter really performs.

What does OPS stand for in Major League Baseball, and what’s the average OPS?

In Major League Baseball (MLB), the average OPS varies from season to season. However, OPS usually ranges between .720 to .760.

It’s safe to say that the batter in our example above needs a little bit more practice, do you agree?

What Are Better Stats Than OPS?

Aside from OPS stat in baseball and the OPS percentage, let’s consider other stats and metrics. Actually, there are a few metrics that are considered better than OPS. These are Weighted On-base Average (wOBA) and Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+).

1. Weighted On-base Average (wOBA)

Unlike OPS, which only considers if the player reached the base or not, Weighted On-base Average or wOBA accounts how a player reached it.

In terms of its impact on scoring runs, wOBA is better than OPS. When compared to OPS, OBP, or SLG, wOBA assigns value to each method a player can reach base and not just the frequency.

2. Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+)

wRC+ is better than OPS because it measures and normalizes run creation. This way, we are able to compare players’ performance who play in different ballparks and different areas.

What is OPS+?

In OPS+, the player’s on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) is accounted for. While normalizing the number across the entire league, OPS+ accounts for other external factors as well.

When we talked about OPS meaning in baseball, we did not consider the factors that may affect the player’s performance. These may include the ballpark’s dimension or altitude.

This is why OPS+ is important. The use of OPS+ is to adjust the value of these factors to give you a context-neutral number.

What is the Highest OPS in Baseball History?


We’ve already defined OPS in baseball. Now let’s look at the OPS baseball leaders and check OPS baseball stat history!

In this section, we’ll consider MLB standings and MLB scores.

Highest OPS for All Time

Let’s first look at MLB OPS and the highest OPS of all time.

  1. Babe Ruth – There’s no question that Babe Ruth may be the best baseball player that ever lived. There may be no baseball statistical ranking that does not include him in the top five. And for the highest OPS of all time, Ruth ranks number one with an average of 1.164!
  2. Ted Willams – Ted Willams played for the Red Sox from 1939 to 1960. In the span of his career, William was able to put himself in the top 2 of our list, with an OPS average of 1.1155.
  3. Lou Gehrig – Lou Gehrig was a New York Yankees’ first baseman who played an average of 162 games in MLB. He follows Ted Willams in the players with the highest OPS of all time with an average of 1.0798.

Highest OPS in a Single Season

The highest OPS in a season was reached in 1937 by Josh Gibson, where he had an average of 1.4744 OPS.

Frequently Asked Questions


Since you already know everything about the meaning of OPS in baseball, let’s answer some FAQs!

Do sacrifice flies count in OPS?

After we discussed the baseball OPS definition, we now know that OBP is half of the big picture. And because sacrifice flies are needed to compute OBP, we can say that it counts in OPS as well.

What is a good OPS in baseball? Is it a good start?

We’ve discussed the average OPS earlier, and anything higher than that can be considered a good start. In MLB, a batter with an on-base plus slugging percentage of .800 or higher is definitely performing well.

Hitters with an average OPS of .900 or higher are All-Star worthy. And let’s just say a batter with an OPS of 1.00 or higher can be considered an MVP.

Who has the highest OPS+ average of all time?

Since we’ve discussed OPS meaning in baseball and the highest OPS of all time, it’s only appropriate to mention which player has the highest OPS+ average as well.

It’s not surprising that it’s also Babe Ruth who has the highest adjusted OPS+ with an average of 206!


From now on, you don’t have to spend so much time searching for baseball abbreviations OPS, what is OPS in baseball, OPS calculation, and more.

You can find everything you need in this article. Going forward, you’ll have more knowledge and an advantage in choosing a baseball batter and team.

Hopefully, you’ll have more fun measuring player statistics and this will help make your interest in baseball scoring systems even deeper. And like what we always say, the most important thing in watching a game is to enjoy it!

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