Clutch
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Stat of the Week
by Peter Liubicich
Clutch
This post was written by Peter Liubicich on January 28, 2013
Posted Under: Stat of the Week

After learning about the statistics Leverage Index (LI), Win Probability Added (WPA) and WPA/LI, we will now finally delve into the statistic Clutch, which was created by David Appleman of FanGraphs.

To refresh everyone’s memories let’s quickly go over what each of the statistics represents:

LI - swing in the possible change in win probability. If there is a game with one team leading by ten runs, the possible changes in win probability…But, in a late and close game, the change in win probability among the various events will have rather wild swings.

WPA - The change in Win Expectancy of a team after each play i.e. the Rays have a 45% chance of winning before Ben Zobrist comes to the plate. During his at-bat, Zobrist hits a home run, pushing the Rays’ win expectancy jumps to 75%. That difference in win expectancy (in decimal form, +.30) from the beginning of the play to the end is Ben Zobrist’s WPA for that play.

WPA/LI - “With this in mind, if we divide WPA by LI, we see how much value a player provided regardless of the leverage. This number is called Context Neutral Wins (WPA/LI) because it neutralizes leverage while still measuring wins added (remember: 1 WPA = 100% win expectancy).  Again, WPA/LI measures how much value a player added to their team regardless of the leverage. Because of this, it is more a measure of a player’s talent level than WPA.”

And without further ado, here again is the formula to derive “Clutch”:

Clutch = (WPA / pLI) - WPA/LI

What clutch aims to tell us is how a player performs in highly leveraged situations compared to context neutral situations and how much better or worse they hit in those “Clutch” moments.  What clutch does is compare a player to himself, as a player who hits .300 in “Clutch” situations and hits .300 over the course of a season is not as “Clutch” as a player who hits .300 in “Clutch” situations and hits .260 over the course of a season.

When looking at Clutch ratings, here is how to evaluate them according to FanGraphs:

Rating

Clutch

Excellent

2.0

Great

1.0

Above Average

0.5

Average

0.0

Below Average

-0.5

Poor

-1.0

Awful

-2.0

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Reader Comments

And I hope on Thursday we learn if Derek Jeter actually deserves to be called Captain Clutch!

#1 
Written By Johanna Wagner on January 29th, 2013 @ 5:01 pm

We dont need no stinking stats to prove that DJ is clutch. Just count the rings on his fingers!

#2 
Written By DaBronxBomber on January 31st, 2013 @ 1:09 am

Trackbacks

  1. Clutch — Player Analysis  on January 31st, 2013 @ 4:34 pm
  2. Defensive Runs Saved  on February 4th, 2013 @ 4:03 pm

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