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Thread: Why ERA is becoming meaningless to me

  1. #31
    KungFu Fighter AtomicDumpling's Avatar
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    Re: Why ERA is becoming meaningless to me

    The true measures of a pitcher are his peripherals (K%, BB%, GB/FB etc). ERA incorporates too many things that are outside a pitcher's sphere of influence (Strand Rate, BABIP, official scorer's decisions, quality of his team's defense, umpiring).

    If your survival was based on your ability to predict which pitchers will perform best in the future you would be wise to make your picks based on peripherals rather than ERA. You would live much longer that way.

    There are quite a few peripheral-based stats that predict future ERA better than current ERA does.

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  3. #32
    KungFu Fighter AtomicDumpling's Avatar
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    Re: Why ERA is becoming meaningless to me

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    I deliberately chose Bailey and Latos for the similarity of their numbers this year. Now swap Latos with Leake and you really see what I meant with this thread.

    I'm a discussion ninja.
    Leake has seen quite a bit of regression to his peripherals lately.

  4. #33
    Vavasor TRF's Avatar
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    Re: Why ERA is becoming meaningless to me

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    Leake has seen quite a bit of regression to his peripherals lately.
    yup. He's had a fantastic year, and the Reds have won a bunch with him starting, but there was some fluky luck in there.
    Suck it up cupcake.

  5. #34
    Member Ironman92's Avatar
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    Re: Why ERA is becoming meaningless to me

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    The true measures of a pitcher are his peripherals (K%, BB%, GB/FB etc). ERA incorporates too many things that are outside a pitcher's sphere of influence (Strand Rate, BABIP, official scorer's decisions, quality of his team's defense, umpiring).

    If your survival was based on your ability to predict which pitchers will perform best in the future you would be wise to make your picks based on peripherals rather than ERA. You would live much longer that way.

    There are quite a few peripheral-based stats that predict future ERA better than current ERA does.
    K% and walk % also has the umpire as a factor.

    Pretty simple.....Bailey has had about double the number of not great games.

  6. #35
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    Re: Why ERA is becoming meaningless to me

    I am nothing close to an expert, but I have a couple thoughts.

    Perhaps some pitchers are better at adjusting to differences in ballparks, strike zones, defensive inadequacies, etc. If you see a crummy/slumping reliever warming up in the pen and you are able to bow your back and get out of the inning, couldn't that be a skill? Not showing a pitch that you think a particular batter might be vulnerable to until you really need an out/strike really bad (i.e...risp) could be a skill, couldn't it?

    I would be curious to know what pro players think about the "randomness" of results.

  7. #36
    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: Why ERA is becoming meaningless to me

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    Not to belabor the discussion, but I don't see ERA as a team stat nor do I think it represents the "run prevention unit's" effectiveness.
    Hence "rough representation."

    Since it is limited to earned runs, the stat tells us nothing about a major aspect of team defense -- making errors, allowing unearned runs. These factors are completely absent. A team can lead the world in unearned runs allowed and it will have zero effect on ERA.

    ERA is limited to earned runs purposely to focus in on pitching performance.
    And yet, it doesn't do that very well.

    Now, obviously team defense (e.g., range) factors into earned runs allowed. But I think ERA is a pitcher's stat, although certainly not a perfect reflection of performance.

    The problem with ERA is the same problem that OPS, BA, and similar stats have. They are used as proxies for overall performance. But they are mere shortcuts and should be viewed as a starting point only. There are too many available stats that break things down more specifically.
    OPS and BA are far more telling measures of individual performance than ERA.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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  9. #37
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    Re: Why ERA is becoming meaningless to me

    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    Hence "rough representation."



    And yet, it doesn't do that very well.



    OPS and BA are far more telling measures of individual performance than ERA.
    All fair enough. But OPS is the ultimate combo stat, combining two separate and different indices to come up with a very rough measure of hitting prowess. And BA doesn't distinguish between a single and a homer. So these two stats have their own problems.
    Last edited by Kc61; 08-23-2013 at 08:58 PM.

  10. #38
    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: Why ERA is becoming meaningless to me

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    All fair enough. But OPS is the ultimate combo stat, combining two separate and different indices to come up with a very rough measure of hitting prowess. And BA doesn't distinguish between a single and a homer. So these two stats have their own problems.
    I am well aware of the shortcoming of OPS which is why I prefer wOBA. BA is actually a measure that's simultaneously traditional, simple to understand and...well...shall we say...unpretentious.

    However, I didn't indicate either was perfect, just better individual performance measures than ERA.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

  11. #39
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    Re: Why ERA is becoming meaningless to me

    Quote Originally Posted by Kc61 View Post
    All fair enough. But OPS is the ultimate combo stat, combining two separate and different indices to come up with a very rough measure of hitting prowess. And BA doesn't distinguish between a single and a homer. So these two stats have their own problems.
    Very rough, and OBP/OPS have flaws as well. Things like walks and being hit by a pitch are included in them, things that don't relate to a batter's hitting ability. It can be argued that the plate discipline to take a walk does relate to hitting ability though.That's how Votto can have a very high OPS, even if his slugging stats are down a bit this year.

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    Re: Why ERA is becoming meaningless to me

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicDumpling View Post
    Leake has seen quite a bit of regression to his peripherals lately.
    You mean he's pitched lately like Bailey's pitched for most of the season, a roughly 4 runs per 6 innings pitched starter?

    I figured when the temperature began to finally rise this summer and Leake faced some Cards-like offenses his ERA would rise a bit, and that people would pretend that Leake's season was a fluke (with an ERA more than a half run better than über arm Bailey).

    The only flukes are Bailey's no hitters.
    Last edited by Falls City Beer; 08-23-2013 at 09:16 PM.

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    REDREAD (08-24-2013)

  14. #41
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    Re: Why ERA is becoming meaningless to me

    That lead-surrendering HR to Khris Davis was the defense's fault.

  15. #42
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Why ERA is becoming meaningless to me

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    That lead-surrendering HR to Khris Davis was the defense's fault.
    What is false, Alex?

  16. #43
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Why ERA is becoming meaningless to me

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    What is false, Alex?
    I'll take "strawmen" for $800.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

  17. #44
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    Re: Why ERA is becoming meaningless to me

    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    I am well aware of the shortcoming of OPS which is why I prefer wOBA. BA is actually a measure that's simultaneously traditional, simple to understand and...well...shall we say...unpretentious.

    However, I didn't indicate either was perfect, just better individual performance measures than ERA.
    One can argue that ERA is a very helpful stat because there it's such a "direct" stat. Preventing runs is the bottom line job of pitchers. ERA tells us if a pitcher has allowed (or prevented) earned runs. What could be more on point?

    But to me all composite stats or very general stats serve merely as starting points, whether on offense or defense. To understand any player you have to drill down. I feel the same way about lifetime stats. They may or may not reflect a player's current ability.

    ERA, WAR, OPS, BA, Fielding PCT, these give you a starting point. Even wOBA which is more sophisticated than OPS but again lumps together a number of skills/indices.
    Last edited by Kc61; 08-24-2013 at 12:10 AM.

  18. #45
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    Re: Why ERA is becoming meaningless to me

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    You mean he's pitched lately like Bailey's pitched for most of the season, a roughly 4 runs per 6 innings pitched starter?

    I figured when the temperature began to finally rise this summer and Leake faced some Cards-like offenses his ERA would rise a bit, and that people would pretend that Leake's season was a fluke (with an ERA more than a half run better than über arm Bailey).

    The only flukes are Bailey's no hitters.
    have to disagree old Buddy- I was at Homer's no hitter last year, not a fluke. But i agree with everything else you said. Folks have a bias against guys who don't throw heat. Look how long its taken Bronson to get respect around here. Homer is just so inconsistent.


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