MLB Rankings: Baseball’s Greatest Hits of Week-22

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 26: Sean Rodriguez #13 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates with Bryce Harper #3 and Corey Dickerson #31 after hitting a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the eleventh inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citizens Bank Park on August 26, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Pirates 6-5. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 26: Sean Rodriguez #13 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates with Bryce Harper #3 and Corey Dickerson #31 after hitting a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the eleventh inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citizens Bank Park on August 26, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Pirates 6-5. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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MLB Rankings: Baseball's Greatest Hits of Week-22
(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

In week-22 of “MLB Rankings: Greatest Hits,” we rank the top 10 base hits in MLB based on their impact on Weighted Win Probability Added.

In this week’s “MLB Rankings: Baseball’s Greatest Hits,” the game is about winning. That’s shown in the standings, which are based on the percentage of a team’s victories measured against its losses.

At the micro-statistical level, however, winning isn’t always the only thing. Statistical probability measures the impact of each game-related event – such as each hit – outside the context of the broader result. In that world, hits are valued purely for how far they move the needle toward winning…not for the ensuing result

That’s how it’s possible – and actually is the case this week – for so many of the most pivotal hits to have been delivered in losing causes. There were four in fact, including three of the week’s biggest four plays. The impacts of those four hits did not ultimately determine the outcome of the games. But that has more to do with the incompetence of the hitter’s teammates than with the time and moment of the hit itself.

This countdown recognizes the 10 most game-critical base hits of the past week. Our measuring stick is Weighted Win Probability Added, which is the percentage improvement in a team’s chances of victory brought about by the hit in question. Where ties exist, they are broken by Weighted Win Expectancy, which is the probability of a team’s winning the game at the conclusion of the play.

Weighted Win Probability Added is one of those so-called New Stats, but it’s based on data that’s been around a while. Simply put, every at-bat improves or harms a team’s chances of winning, depending on the game situation and the at bat’s outcome. A home run hit in the late stages of a tight game is far more susceptible to move the Weighted Win Probability needle than the same home run hit in the early stages of a blowout.

Here are this week’s “MLB Rankings: Baseball’s Greatest Hits”.