By 90Min
March 28, 2019

"Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks, I don't care if I never get back..."

Imagine Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur fans singing the above lyrics in unison, swaying from side to side with their arms around one another. 

It would never happen. Never in a million years.

Yet, night in night out rivalry is tossed aside to enjoy a sing-song before the bottom of the seventh inning in ballparks across America. 

This is just one of the billion differences between baseball and football. 

Another difference is what and how stats are used. As in 'America's Favourite Pastime', there's a trillion of them, and they're used for absolutely everything. All of the time. 

ERA, BA, OPS, SLG, BB, K, RBI, AB, GPA, OBP. 


You make up an acronym, and chances are it'll mean something in baseball. 

But what if these acronyms made some semblance of sense to a football fan?


What if some of these statistical metrics were used to determine how effective a footballer was? 

What if, say using the same calculations that are used to determine a batters BA (batting average) and SLG (slugging percentage), we could determine just how good a goalscorer really is? 

Well, look no further, because I am here - on the day the 2019 MLB season begins - to answer the aforementioned questions that no one asked. 

Using the following methodology: 

BA/SA (batting average/shooting average) = shots to goals. 


SLG (slugging percentage) = (number of assists + 3 x number of goals)/shots on goal. 

I have worked out just how potent the Premier League's top ten goalscorers have really been this season. 

Note: 'number of assists' has replaced doubles in slugging percentage, while singles and triples have not been equated to any other stat. 


10) Jamie Vardy

Ross Kinnaird/GettyImages

BA/SA: .240

SLG: 1.120

Goals: 12

Assists: 4

Comparable to: Tim Anderson - Chicago White Sox

Solid, if not spectacular, stats for a forward enjoying a solid, if not spectacular, season in front of goal. 

A SA/BA of .240 is slightly below league average - in both the American League and National League - but like Tim Anderson of the Chicago White Sox, Jamie Vardy has exemplified 'home run power' with his 12 Premier League goals. 


9) Raul Jimenez

Matthew Lewis/GettyImages

BA/SA: .167

SLG: 0.833

Goals: 12 

Assists: 6

Comparable to: Chris Davis - Baltimore Orioles

While on the surface, Raul Jimenez's 12 goals and six assists are impressive; by utilising similar metrics to baseball, a harrowing truth about the forward's season can be found - Jimenez is incredibly unreliable in front of goal. 

His SA is not good. 

Not good at all. 

It's horrendous. 

His SLG is also horrendous. 

And there's one simple reason why: Raul Jimenez has converted just 12 of his 72 shots on goal this season. So that essentially means that on 50 occasions this season, the Wolves striker thought he could score...but actually couldn't.


8) Alexandre Lacazette 

Julian Finney/GettyImages

BA/SA: .231

SLG: 1.192

Goals: 12

Assists: 7

Comparable to: Alcides Escobar - Chicago White Sox 

This stat line is much more like it. 

His goals and assists stats are near identical to Raul Jimenez (assisting just one more goal), but Alexandre Lacazette's underlying stats show how much more proficient is in front of goal. 

Scoring the same amount of goals with 20 less shots, it's fair to say that the Arsenal forward has been a much more fearsome foe at the plate than his opposite number. 


7) Eden Hazard

GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

BA/SA: .295

SLG: 1.682

Goals: 13

Assists: 11

Comparable to: Nolan Arenado - Colorado Rockies

The first player to even come close to that highly coveted .300+ BA/SA, and the first player to have stats comparable to a genuine MLB superstar. 

Eden Hazard - like Nolan Arenado - is one of the world's best, and he's proved it this season. 

Although Chelsea have endured a topsy-turvy season, the Belgian superstar has been exceptional; recording a sublime .295 SA and a 1.682 SLG (without 'singles' or 'triples').


6) Raheem Sterling

PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

BA/SA: .357

SLG: 1.857

Goals: 15

Assists: 9

Comparable to: Mookie Betts - Boston Red Sox

Raheem Sterling has broken the scale. 

I repeat: RAHEEM STERLING HAS BROKEN THE SCALE. 

A .357 BA is almost unheard of in baseball - to put it into context, the only MLB star that came close to this number in 2018 was the American League MVP Mookie Betts - but in football, Sterling has somehow managed it.

And on top of that, his SLG is a full .175 higher than anyone else on this list...which is more than it sounds, trust me. 

Goals galore. 

Assists galore. 

EVERYTHING GALORE. 

Like Mookie Betts did in 2018, Sterling should be on course for a MVP award this season. 


5) Sadio Mane

Michael Regan/GettyImages

BA/SA: .293

SLG: 1.207

Goals: 17 

Assists: 1

Comparable to: David Peralta - Arizona Diamondbacks

Last season David Peralta more than doubled his career best home runs tally with 30 balls flying out of the ballpark; this season, Sadio Mane looks set to do the same (only with goals, not HRs, because he's a footballer). 

Sadio Mane is enjoying career highs in 2018/19 scoring a whopping 17 league goals - seven more than last season - and is now one of the most clinical forwards in the England's top flight with a .293 BA/SA. 

Mane is swinging for the fences this season; and it's working. 


4) Harry Kane

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

BA/SA: .236

SLG: 1.056

Goals: 17

Assists: 4

Comparable to: Kyle Schwarber - Chicago Cubs 

Goals have never really been hard to come by for Harry Kane. After all, he has scored 164 goals for Tottenham Hotspur at the age of 25. 

Numbers like the aforementioned scream Mike Trout. They scream Barry Bonds. They scream Willie Mays. 

But his BA/SA this season doesn't.

At a disappointing .236, Harry Kane's BA/SA is more reminiscent of Kyle Schwarber than Mike Trout. And like Kyle Schwarber, Harry Kane scores goals (HRs in big Kyle's case) but he needs more plate appearances than most to do so. 


3) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

IAN KINGTON/GettyImages

BA/SA: .304

SLG: 1.357

Goals: 17

Assists: 4

Comparable to: Jean Segura - Philadelphia Phillies

One of two over .300 hitters/goalscorers on this list. 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's goals and assists stats are identical to Harry Kane's, but he's achieved these numbers in a much more impressive fashion: by converting a whopping 17 of his 56 shots on goal this season. 

Auba has Jean Segura levels of offensive efficiency (which is a really good thing, trust me). 


2) Mohamed Salah

PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

BA/SA: .213

SLG: 1.025

Goals: 17

Assists: 7

Comparable to: Kyle Seager - Seattle Mariners

Mohamed Salah's BA/SA is not pretty. 

It's ugly.

Really, really, really ugly. 

Salah, aka "THE EGYPTIAN KING" has been woefully inefficient in front of goal this season, converting 17 of his 80 (a league high) efforts on goal. 

Granted 17 goals is still good, but how he's got to that figure isn't. 


1) Sergio Aguero

PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

BA/SA: .247

SLG: 1.151

Goals: 18

Assists: 6

Comparable to: Bryce Harper - Philadelphia Phillies

If there was a HR Derby equivalent in football (maybe just a one-on-one off?) Sergio Aguero would probably win it.

With the 'HR power' of Bryce Harper on Alex Rodriguez dosages of PEDs, Aguero has been on fire this season, and his stats prove it.

18 goals, six assists and a .247 BA/SA. Top of the pile for a reason. 

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