Who is really the best baseball team in the majors? I honestly don't know but I try to figure that out by using basic and advanced statistics. I live for talking about baseball, it's my biggest drive in my life and I will jump on the opportunity to talk baseball with anyone, even with people who I don't really like. For me, Baseball is a piece of art that sits in my mind all day, ready to be painted on at any point of the day.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Brief History on Sabermetrics Part III (Pitching)

By Simon Stracher

Sorry for the long layoff, but here is a Brief History on Sabermetrics Part III: Pitching Edition. If you didn't catch Part I, click here. If you didn't read part II, click here. Enjoy!

1. FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching)- FIP measures what a player's ERA would have looked like if his BABIP were league average. This statistic was created because in the early 2000s, it was discovered that pitchers have little control on their BABIP and there was little to no correlation of BABIP from season to season. A better way to measure a player's true pitching skill was to look at things that a pitcher can control: strikeouts, walks, hit by pitches, and homeruns. FIP also accounts for the differences between walks, strikeouts, hit by pitches, and homeruns. Homeruns are obviously more hurtful than walks, and FIP accounts for these differences and weighs them accordingly. FIP is better at projecting future performance than ERA, and almost all sabermetricians use FIP.

Context (from www.fangraphs.com):

2010 FIP Values

2. xFIP (Expected Fielding Independent Pitching)- xFIP is a regressed version of FIP. xFIP is calculated exactly the same as FIP, exact instead of using a pitchers HR/FB rate, it uses the the league average HR/FB rate (10.6%), because HR/FB has been proven to be very unstable over time. Along with FIP, xFIP is one of the best Pitching metrics used in order to project future performance.

Context (from www.fangraphs.com):

2010 xFIP Values

3. K/9 and BB/9 (Strikeout Rate and Walk Rate)- K/9 and BB/9
are rate statistics that measure how many strikeouts and walks a pitcher averages over nine innings. Most pitchers don't throw nine innings, but this is an easy way of showing how many walks and strikeouts a pitcher has, and it's also easy for fans to understand.

For pitchers, more strikeouts are obviously good, while walks are bad. Good pitchers normally strikeout at least twice as many batters as they walk.

Context (from www.fangraphs.com):

2010 Strikeout and Walk Rates

The rest of the pitching statistics (BABIP, GB%, LD%, FB% and HR/FB) can be found in my first and second Sabermetric posts here and here. Part IV will be on defensive stats, and will hopefully be up quicker than this post. 
Also, tomorrow look for a new 30 Teams post by Mike Moritz on the Atlanta Braves. If you didn't read his first one click here.
(Statistics in courtesy of www.fangraphs.com).

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