Monday, January 10, 2011

Cubs Stats Video Masterpiece: FIP vs. ERA

If you know what Fielding Independent Pitching is, you'll enjoy this video. If you don't know what Fielding Independent Pitching is, you'll enjoy and learn from this video. If you don't enjoy this video, I honestly don't know how I can possibly help you.

No matter the group into which you fall, I recommend you devote your time and attention to checking out Cubs Stats. It is a place of peace and enlightenment, and the genius behind that blog is also the visionary responsible for the aforeplayed video.


  1. Wow! Thanks for such a stellar recommendation for Cubs Stats. In all honesty, it's not that great. :)

  2. There are about 20 different formulae for Fielding or Defense Independent Pitching. I tried to do a little research last night and I'm still in a bit of a daze because I hadn't gone too much beyond ERA+ and WHIP as far as pitching stats go. But from what I've read so far, it appears that Randy Wells is a better pitcher than Matt Garza. Some folks are trying to claim that Garza is one of the top ten pitchers in baseball, but according to ESPN and DIPS, Matt Garza was the 78th best pitcher in baseball last year.

    Then you go to and check his similarity scores. For his career, he is most like Francisco Cordova of the Pirates. In comparing age 26 seasons, he compared closely to Kip Wells, Steve Trachsel and Jason Marquis. Would you consider any of those guys top flight pitchers? I don't think so.

    Another thing to worry about is that Garza's strike rate fell by a large percentage last year, although his high in the 2009 may well be outlier statistically for his entire career. The 6.6 k/9 is close to his performance for 2006 through 2008. He's good, but I don't think he's great. He's probably a solid #3 starter.

  3. I stand behind my review. Awesome job on the video.

  4. Another stat to check out, Frank, is xFIP, which takes it a step further and tries to normalize home-run rate. It's basically the FIP you'd expect the pitcher to have based on his flyball rate. The idea behind it is that for pitchers, homerun rate is typically just a pretty-much constant factor of how many flyballs given up.

    Also, you can check out tERA (formerly tRA), which also adjusts according to batted-ball type.

    None of the stats are perfect, but they're generally more reliable at predicting a pitcher's performance than ERA is.

  5. Oh, and I pretty much agree to the letter on your evaluation of Garza. Good, not great. But that doesn't mean he can't have a great season or a lackluster one. He's got the Cubs playing behind him and the friendly Wrigley power alleys as well. Sometimes it's just a matter of which way the wind is blowing and who Lady Luck happens to shack up with this year.


Spill it.

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