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Poll: Which Group of Pitchers Performs Better?

Posted By Mike Podhorzer On July 16, 2013 @ 8:15 am In Featured,Starting Pitchers | 33 Comments

If you are familiar with my feelings on pitchers, you know that I put little stock in ERA over smaller samples. Instead, I choose to largely ignore perhaps the most accepted metric to describe a pitcher’s performance by focusing on his peripherals and ERA estimators, my favorite of which is SIERA. Sure, over a long career, ERA is most certainly the better of the two to judge a player’s performance, but at the all-star break of a season, give me SIERA. With most starting pitchers having thrown only about 120 innings, the sample size remains far too small for ERA to provide significant predictive value over the remainder of the season.

Of course, it’s hard to ignore ERA. Do you think a Matt Cain owner wants to hear that his pitcher has simply suffered from some poor fortune? Of course not. It’s human nature to place a greater emphasis on the most recent past (recency bias) and since ultimately it’s the earned runs that count, not the imaginary expected runs SIERA believes a pitcher should have allowed, then ERA is the statistic that is focused on.

So as we sit here and wonder how Jeff Locke and Travis Wood parlayed fantastic defensive support into an All-Star appearance, I decided that it would be fun to play a little game. Below are two groups of pitchers. Group A is composed of the 10 pitchers whose ERA sits most below their SIERA marks. Group B, on the other hand, features the 10 pitchers whose ERA exceed their SIERA marks by the largest amount. The game is simple: vote for which group of pitchers posts a better ERA after the All-Star break through the remainder of the season. Don’t forget to also vote for which range each group’s ERA will fall into through the rest of the season.

I will be closing the polls right before the first pitch when games resume on Friday. At the end of the season, I will revisit this post and publish the results of the voting, as well as the performances of the pitcher groups. For the record, I vote for group B.

Group A – The SIERA Outperformers

Name IP K% BB% BABIP LOB% HR/FB ERA SIERA Diff
Jeff Locke 109.0 16.7% 10.8% 0.228 83.3% 6.7% 2.15 4.56 -2.41
Travis Wood 122.2 17.6% 7.8% 0.227 76.5% 5.8% 2.79 4.45 -1.66
Bartolo Colon 126.2 14.0% 3.0% 0.287 80.2% 6.0% 2.70 4.19 -1.49
Mike Leake 117.0 15.0% 5.5% 0.260 79.6% 10.0% 2.69 4.11 -1.42
Jason Marquis 112.1 14.7% 13.2% 0.256 79.7% 19.6% 3.77 5.11 -1.34
Clayton Kershaw 145.1 24.8% 6.3% 0.238 78.7% 5.4% 1.98 3.24 -1.26
Patrick Corbin 130.1 21.2% 6.4% 0.246 81.9% 7.8% 2.35 3.61 -1.26
Hiroki Kuroda 118.2 17.7% 5.1% 0.252 82.6% 9.8% 2.65 3.88 -1.23
Jorge de la Rosa 109.1 16.6% 8.5% 0.294 76.4% 6.7% 3.21 4.32 -1.11
Bronson Arroyo 123.2 13.7% 4.6% 0.254 78.9% 11.6% 3.42 4.41 -0.99
Average 121.2 17.4% 7.0% 0.253 79.6% 8.8% 2.74 4.15 -1.40

Group B – The SIERA Underperformers

Name IP K% BB% BABIP LOB% HR/FB ERA SIERA Diff
Joe Blanton 112.1 18.2% 5.1% 0.343 70.6% 18.1% 5.53 3.85 1.68
Wade Davis 94.2 19.9% 9.4% 0.381 66.3% 13.5% 5.89 4.21 1.68
Rick Porcello 99.1 19.4% 4.6% 0.317 65.4% 15.7% 4.80 3.15 1.65
Edinson Volquez 109.2 18.8% 10.2% 0.342 63.3% 8.8% 5.74 4.31 1.43
Edwin Jackson 100.1 19.5% 8.1% 0.320 62.3% 10.6% 5.11 3.83 1.28
Roberto Hernandez 108.1 18.2% 5.4% 0.304 69.7% 21.2% 4.90 3.63 1.27
Matt Cain 112.0 22.1% 7.9% 0.257 63.4% 12.7% 5.06 3.84 1.22
Ian Kennedy 108.0 19.1% 8.4% 0.298 67.1% 12.6% 5.42 4.26 1.16
Jeremy Hellickson 117.2 20.3% 5.5% 0.296 66.9% 10.8% 4.67 3.74 0.93
Yovani Gallardo 113.2 18.3% 8.7% 0.310 65.7% 12.5% 4.83 4.10 0.73
Average 107.2 19.3% 7.3% 0.315 65.9% 13.6% 5.17 3.88 1.29

 


 


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