Pitchers: Who’s for real?

At this point in the season, there are always a number of pitchers who, seemingly out of nowhere, are dominating in the ERA column. What many people don’t realize is that past ERA is not the best predictor of future ERA. There are other stats that tend to be better indicators of a pitcher’s ability to prevent runs, so let’s see who’s really got it going.

Pitchers tend to have control over three very important things: strikeout, walk, and groundball rates. However there are three primary, measurable stats that pitchers don’t seem to be able to control very much, yet still strongly influence their ERAs: BABIP, LOB%, and home runs per fly ball (HR/FB). During short periods of time, these three “uncontrollable” statistics sometimes bend either in favor or against a pitcher, making his ERA a poor representation of his true ability. Using a statistic called xFIP, Fangraphs attempts to accurately stabilize the luck stats and make a better prediction of what a pitcher is likely to do.

Fangraphs has ranked the top 10 luckiest pitchers this season, pitchers whose ERAs are likely to see a spike in the coming months. Their xFIPs are likely better predictors of we can expect…

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One Response to Pitchers: Who’s for real?

  1. […] is another stat influenced by factors outside the pitchers control. A pitcher’s home ballpark, team defense, BABIP, […]

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