Baseball uses statistics to evaluate both player and team performance. However, with the advent of sabermetrics, stats can get confusing, particularly when abbreviated. Among them is the GB baseball stat.
What does GB mean in baseball? While it can mean other things, GB usually refers to a ground ball, a ball that bounces on the ground when batted into the field of play. Ground balls are measured in percentages to assess both pitchers and hitters.
GB Definition Explained
Depending on how it is pitched and hit, a baseball can travel along different trajectories once it makes contact with the bat.
The ground ball baseball statistic is used to distinguish a batted ball that lands and bounces on the ground as opposed to a fly ball, a pop-up, or a line drive.
Ground balls typically have a launch angle below 10 degrees, while fly balls are lobbed at 25 degrees or more. More robust line drives fall in between and produce better hits, while weaker pop-ups stay in the air longer, resulting in more outs.
Ground balls aren’t desirable for hitters but are great for pitchers. It is easier to put out a batter who hits a ground ball compared to a line drive or a fly ball. Ground balls convert to hits less than 25% of the time, with the batter seldom making it past first base.
Pitchers who have the propensity to generate ground balls are aptly called “ground ball pitchers.” Their biggest strength lies in their ability to keep batted balls in the infield, which means fewer extra bases and practically zero home runs.
Ground ball pitchers can also induce double plays more than any other type of pitcher. In addition, it’s much easier to put out multiple base runners when you field a ground ball compared to fly balls or line drives because ground balls typically bounce in the infield.
What is the GB Rate Baseball Stat?
The ground ball or GB rate is a batted ball statistic that indicates the percentage of ground balls a pitcher has delivered as opposed to other pitch types, such as fly balls and line drives.
The figure is derived by dividing the number of ground balls by the total number of balls in play.
GB% = Ground balls / Total Balls in play
The same formula is applied when calculating fly ball or FB percentage and line drive or LD percentage. The sum of GB, FB, and LD percentages add up to 100% and comprise a pitcher’s batted ball profile.
What is a Good GB Percentage?
While batters generally aim for line drives, pitchers strive to induce ground balls from hitters. A GB percentage of at least 50% is considered good; anything over 55% is considered exceptional.
Fastballs and sliders are characteristic of fly ball pitchers, while ground ball pitchers tend to deliver more sinkers, curveballs, and cutters. They also curtail extra-base hits and home runs. Double plays are also more common with ground balls.
What else does GB stand for in baseball?
Besides ground balls, let’s look at another GB meaning in baseball. GB can also stand for “games behind,” a term that denotes the gap between the leading and trailing teams. The top team always maintains a zero GB standing.
The games behind baseball stat is calculated by first subtracting each team’s wins against its losses. Then, the trailing team’s result is deducted from that of the leading team and divided by 2. The final figure is the trailing team’s GB standing.
A separate WCGB baseball stat—short for wild card games behind—denotes standings in the wild card division.
What does L10 mean in baseball?
L10 is a hyphenated figure in MLB standings that shows a team’s win-loss record for the ten most recent games in a season.
What does PCT mean in baseball?
PCT simply stands for percentage and is used in any of five baseball statistics: Winning (WPCT), Fielding (FPCT), On-base (OBP), Slugging (SLG), and Strike PCT.
If anyone asks you, “What does GB mean in baseball?” you can tell them it’s either short for a ground ball or may refer to the games behind statistics in MLB standings.
Baseball is a game of numbers. There are over a hundred baseball stats, and you don’t need to know each one by heart. Instead, just try to understand those that matter so you can take your own sweet time to enjoy America’s favorite pastime better.
A powerful swing and the ball is flying across the field, just one hit, and we might never forget the thrill it brings. I do not know about you, but I never do. Every baseball game is the chance to compete with others and cooperate with your teammate. It is among my biggest passions.