Flex your baseball stats skills

From left:  Connor Whannel, 10, Austin Whannel, 7, and Maddux Mueller, 12, pickup balls during a break from batting prac
From left: Connor Whannel, 10, Austin Whannel, 7, and Maddux Mueller, 12, pickup balls during a break from batting practice at Dugout Sports, 814 Eagleview Dr., in Fairfax Iowa, on Monday, April 6, 2020. The baseball and softball training facility sees athletes of all ages, including many Major League Baseball players. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Do you miss baseball? So do I.

I miss watching the games on TV. I miss tracking my favorite team in the standings (in The Gazette’s sports pages, of course). And I miss tracking the statistics of my favorite players.

While we wait for baseball to start up again, I wrote two questions for you to test your sports math. The answers are at the bottom of the article.

1. Two common statistics are batting average (for hitters) and earned run average (for pitchers).

Batting average can be calculated by dividing the number of hits by the number of at-bats. Let’s say a player has 3 hits in 8 at-bats. That makes the player’s batting average .375.

Last year, the major league batting champion was Tim Anderson of the Chicago White Sox. He had 167 hits in 498 at-bats. Can you compute his batting average? (Yes, you can use a calculator.)

2. Earned run average is a little more tricky. It is computed by taking the number of “earned” runs (not including errors), multiplying it by 9 (there are 9 innings in a game), and dividing that by the number of innings the pitcher was on the mound.

Let’s say a pitcher gave up 3 earned runs in 6 innings. His or her ERA would be 3 times 9, divided by 6, or 4.50.

Last year the major league ERA leader for starting pitchers was Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He pitched 182 2/3 innings and allowed 47 earned runs. Can you compute his ERA? Don’t forget the 9.


Hopefully everybody plays by the rules — stays inside and washes their hands — and we’ll have baseball again soon. I miss it too.

What’s your favorite sport to play? Have an adult help you send an email to

Answers: 1. .335, 2. 2.32

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