You see it at least once a game, a hitter squares up a ball and hits it with an exit velocity over 100 MPH, then somebody is either standing right there to catch it or they make a running and/or diving catch and take away a hit. That is what the fans see as someone being "unlucky", but being "lucky " or "unlucky " can be evaluated more in-depth than just getting robbed of a hit.
So what is luck in baseball? Not everyone believes in it and there isn't a specific stat that says this player is lucky or unlucky. Like with all stats describing a player, they don't show everything, but they show something. According to Teamrankings.com and their "MLB luck rankings" they have the Cardinals as the 5th unluckiest team in the MLB this season, and they have the Padres as the unluckiest team. However they have other last-place teams like the Nationals as one of the luckiest teams, so being unlucky isn't the sole reason why a team would have a bad record, sometimes you just have to work with what you have.
When it comes to determining individual players' "luck" how do you do it? Sometimes a hitter will get hits on broken bats, rolled-over ground balls, or pitches that jammed them, then line out to center on a ball that came off the bat at 105 MPH. There are other factors than just the exit velocity, how fast and rangy is the fielder? How far did they have to go to get the ball? What ballpark was it in? How was the weather? Hot? Cold? Windy? There is just an endless amount of factors that you can look at. But when it comes to seeing how lucky/unlucky a hitter is, the stats I like to use are called xwOBA and wOBA.
xwOBA (Expected weighted on-base average) calculates things like exit velocity and launch angle on batted balls, then they give it an expected batting average using those calculations negating defense from the equation. Then wOBA is the actual weighted on-base average for a player, so a way you can determine how unlucky a hitter is is to subtract their xwOBA from their wOBA and the larger the difference between the two numbers can show how unlucky a hitter is.
Using that formula, who does it say are the most unlucky hitters for the Cardinals in the 2023 season? ( The players that qualify to make this list are hitters who have averaged at least 2.1 plate appearances per team game)