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Thread: FIP vs. ERA

  1. #1
    High five! nate's Avatar
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    FIP vs. ERA

    To prevent thread drift, a new topic!

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeThierry View Post
    Look, I understand saberstats. I just don't agree with some of the premises of those stats. Now when it comes to defense, I will take saberstats over traditional stats every day of the week and twice on Sunday. The Dewan +/- system, UZR, etc just tell give you a better outlook on defense than some random scorekeeper does. Even with such advanced stats like wOBA and BABIP I don't have much of a problem. The two stats in which I feel are a bit questionable though are FIP and WAR.
    FIP is more or less wOBA for pitchers. WAR isn't really a "stat" as much as a valuation, however it's core components are UZR and wOBA.

    Both stats I feel don't accurately measure the worth of a given player. I feel they can be useful tools just like batting average or OBP can be a useful tool but shouldn't be the end all in a conversation. Just because a pitcher has a high FIP and a low ERA doesn't mean he is a worthless pitcher or will regress to some sort of mean.
    It means his future ERA is likely to trend towards his current FIP (moreso than his current ERA.) FIP correlates higher to future ERA than ERA does.

    Further, how does "worthless" enter into the conversation? FIP, xFIP and other DIPS try to measure pitching performance more accurately than ERA. A pitcher can still be good with a higher FIP than ERA. Lo and verily, many are.

    There are plenty of examples where the FIP and ERA do not match up
    Well there's going out on a limb.

    It's expected that current FIP and ERA don't match.

    Last year among qualified SP, the range of differences between FIP and ERA was -1.28 to +1.16. 2010 Jason Hammel (for example) finished thusly:

    FIP: 3.70
    ERA: 4.81

    This year:

    FIP: 4.31
    ERA: 4.02

    2010 Clay Bucholz (at the other end of the spectrum):

    FIP: 3.61
    ERA: 2.33

    This year:

    FIP: 4.25
    ERA: 3.48

    As you see, their 2010 FIPs are closer to their 2011 ERA than their 2010 ERA. FIP is a more accurate representation of pitching performance than ERA which is a measure of pitching (both yours and sometimes someone else's), defense and luck/nature/kismet.

    but at the end of the year a pitcher will have an excellent year. It just isn't or shouldn't be a rule, like many here are making it out to be, that if a pitcher has a low ERA and a higher FIP that he will somehow not have a great year in the end.
    How is "great year" being measured? By ERA? That's a non-starter. By FIP? If a pitcher has a "great year" with FIP and his FIP is higher than his ERA, please believe he's really had a "great year."

    The point I'm making is that FIP more accurately measures pitching performance than ERA because it takes away the majority of elements outside the pitcher's control.

    The other point I'm making is that current FIP more accurately predicts future ERA than current ERA.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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  3. #2
    High five! nate's Avatar
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    Re: FIP vs. ERA

    Another timely article on Greinke:

    His 2.63 FIP and 2.12 xFIP suggest that the newly-minted Brewers starter has been one of the best in the league. But Greinke’s actual 5.63 ERA is closer to the bottom than the top, and is three runs higher than his adjusted marks. One of the more popular stats here is E-F, a sortable number that measures the gap between ERA and FIP. Pitchers with a large separation are expected to regress in some fashion, because it is incredibly rare for anyone to finish with a huge disagreement between those two data points.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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    Moderator Plus Plus's Avatar
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    Re: FIP vs. ERA

    Does that article imply that it's possible for FIP to regress to the level of ERA in a player like Grienke's case? I found it interesting that all of the pitchers cited as having large gaps in previous seasons between xFIP and ERA are not very good, with the obvious exception of Shields.

    I think it would be logical that a player can be pitching over their heads (so to speak) and have an insane FIP with a poor ERA and for people to expect the FIP to rise rather than the ERA to go down (maybe not in equal fashion, but in some fashion).
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    Re: FIP vs. ERA

    Quick stat question here, are people using wOBA in place of OBP or OPS?

    320
    I'd rather listen to Kelch read the phone book than suffer through Thom Brennaman's attempt to make every instance on the field the most important event since the discovery of manned space flight. -westofyou

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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: FIP vs. ERA

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsfan320 View Post
    Quick stat question here, are people using wOBA in place of OBP or OPS?

    320
    I try to, but too often it just leads to more confusion. Fangraphs had a good discussion on this the other day. If you want to just compare total production at the plate, wOBA is the way to go. If it's important to know how that production is being created, the slash stats AVG/OBP/SLG are more helpful.
    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.

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    Mr. Underhill signalhome's Avatar
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    Re: FIP vs. ERA

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsfan320 View Post
    Quick stat question here, are people using wOBA in place of OBP or OPS?

    320
    I generally use wOBA, but I look at OBP and SLG too, if only to get a feel for how the player generates his offense. For example, Bobby Abreu and Ryan Howard both have a .361 wOBA at this point of the year, but they've arrived there very differently, as Abreu's on-base skills are driving his production (.404 OBP) while Howard's power is driving his (.488 SLG). Their OPS is very different, with Howard at .849 and Abreu at .786, but since not making outs is more important than hitting for power, it's not entirely fair to say that Howard has been better. To me, wOBA just seems to balance out power vs. on-base better than OPS does, since OPS treats them as being equally important.

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    Mr. Underhill signalhome's Avatar
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    Re: FIP vs. ERA

    Quote Originally Posted by Plus Plus View Post
    Does that article imply that it's possible for FIP to regress to the level of ERA in a player like Grienke's case? I found it interesting that all of the pitchers cited as having large gaps in previous seasons between xFIP and ERA are not very good, with the obvious exception of Shields.

    I think it would be logical that a player can be pitching over their heads (so to speak) and have an insane FIP with a poor ERA and for people to expect the FIP to rise rather than the ERA to go down (maybe not in equal fashion, but in some fashion).
    Greinke is an elite pitcher, but I highly doubt he'll be able to sustain a K/BB rate of 6.67, considering that is almost double his career average. However, his HR/FB% is way out of line, and that is skewing his FIP by a reasonable amount (his xFIP, which negates HR/FB% to league average, is 2.12, which is more in line with what you'd expect from that K/BB rate). His true talent level is much, much closer to his FIP than his ERA, so I'd expect the ERA to drop a lot more than his FIP would rise. His LOB% is a mere 55.2%, which is amazing for someone that is striking out 11.55 batters per nine innings, as more strikeouts means fewer balls in play and fewer possibilities for hits with runners on.

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    Re: FIP vs. ERA

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsfan320 View Post
    Quick stat question here, are people using wOBA in place of OBP or OPS?

    320
    I prefer it to OPS because OPS measures two "things" that aren't on the same scale whereas wOBA puts those "things" on the same scale. However, sometimes it's easier to get to OPS (from BR.com) so one just rolls with it.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"

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    Re: FIP vs. ERA

    Quote Originally Posted by Plus Plus View Post
    Does that article imply that it's possible for FIP to regress to the level of ERA in a player like Grienke's case? I found it interesting that all of the pitchers cited as having large gaps in previous seasons between xFIP and ERA are not very good, with the obvious exception of Shields.

    I think it would be logical that a player can be pitching over their heads (so to speak) and have an insane FIP with a poor ERA and for people to expect the FIP to rise rather than the ERA to go down (maybe not in equal fashion, but in some fashion).
    The two can converge but I typically see the previous season's FIP closer to the current season's ERA than the previous season's ERA.
    "Bring on Rod Stupid!"


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