FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. Thanks for the thorough analysis. Please CC this report to about 90% of the sports writers in America as why ERA is useless.

    Comment by Joe — May 22, 2009 @ 12:57 pm

  2. Useless is too harsh a word for ERA its not like we are talking about win loss record here. ERA has some value, but is generally overrated.

    Comment by LD — May 22, 2009 @ 1:42 pm

  3. I agree that over a couple of months, FIP is undoubtedly better than ERA. However, over a longer period (several seasons +) ERA is more useful than FIP or the like. I don’t remember where I saw it or what the exact reasoning is, but there is a reason that some pitchers (like Johan Santana) continually outperform their FIP.

    Comment by Andrew — May 22, 2009 @ 2:06 pm

  4. Unfortunately, his ZIPS update also says he’ll only pitch 44 more innings this year!

    Comment by Paul — May 22, 2009 @ 2:09 pm

  5. I think if you look at his ERA outside his first start (9 runs in 1 inning) you get a fairly reasonable estimation of his ability ~ 4.50 ERA.

    Comment by Chip — May 22, 2009 @ 2:41 pm

  6. “…but a smart team may get a bargain at the deadline when they call Mark Shapiro and make a deal to bolster their pitching staff.”

    I would presume that Mark Shapiro would know Pavano’s full value at the trading deadline, as his team did the analysis to sign Pavano in the first place. That said, I doubt Shapiro would provide another team with a bargain. Rather, I think a smart team may get fair value through a trade at the deadline.

    Comment by Sean — May 22, 2009 @ 3:07 pm

  7. Some pitchers have the ability to control their BABIP, or they become “better” in tight situations. However, their are very few pitchers like that. Most of the time, I would go with FIP, unless you can pinpoint a specific reason, and give some kind of evidence for that.

    Comment by vivaelpujols — May 22, 2009 @ 4:28 pm

  8. Do you suppose there’s some kind of a “new pitcher effect” that would lead to a large gap between FIP and ERA in a pitcher’s first several starts with a team? Pavano has never pitched for the Indians before. Dave is suggesting that the .370 BABIP will drop because it’s unsustainably high; I’m suggesting, based only on the idea that popped into my after reading this, that the team’s defense may make adjustments specific to Pavano that will also help lower that number.

    Comment by rfs1962 — May 22, 2009 @ 4:28 pm

  9. If a player has been on the same team for several years, ERA is more useful than FIP; it takes into account the defense behind it, which then has a constant value.

    Taking out fielding stats doesn’t necessarily improve the value of the statistics, it depends what you are looking to predict.

    Comment by Ezra — May 22, 2009 @ 6:00 pm

  10. Defense is rarely a constant value.

    Comment by Curtis — May 23, 2009 @ 11:16 am

  11. Thought you might like to see this:;_ylt=Ap4b9n3ZLtiuA.BAP3gOXPK5bZ8u?urn=fantasy,165457

    Comment by Dylan — May 24, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

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