ERA vs. WHIP

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bd3521 wrote:For the mathmatically (and statistically) challenged:

RJ last year
221 hits+BB (aka WHIP) vs 71 ER's (aka ERA)

Pitchers obviously give up more hits and walks then they do earned runs. Hence ERA is a small "sample size" stat.

I would figure that somebody who was "mathematically" adept would not only know how to spell "mathematically" but would also know that innings pitched is the sample size and that an ERA value of 4.50 tells the analyst that .5 runs were scored per inning.

baseballnewb wrote:Next look at hits with runners in scoring position, that is the stat that results in more ER than anything and is almost completly luck based, again a very small sample size stat.

Wouldn't in be a pretty reasonable assumption that a better pitcher would have fewer baserunners, thus allowing fewer opportunities for batters to hit with RISP. Having a low BAA, regardless as to whether or not runners are in scoring position, is not luck. ERA stands for Earned Run AVERAGE. "Average" being the key word. Yes, luck is a factor in determining ERA over a one game period. Fortunately, baseball statistics are not so shortsided. The more innings pitched, the more accurate the ERA statistic becomes at judging a pitcher's ability. Why do you think when pitchers are ranked pre-season that they are ranked based on their yearly and career ERA and not just the last month of the previous season? If this was an argument stating Wins and Saves were largely determined by luck, then I would be aboard, but to say that the cardinal pitching statistic is a luck stat is heresy.
josebach
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bd3521 wrote: Hence ERA is a small "sample size" stat.

what?

do you even know what "small sample size" in statistics means?
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matmat
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Its quite simple, ERA compares ER to IP, WHIP compares H+BB vs IP. The IP is a constant. ER is generally less than half of H+BB. ER covers a much smaller number of events. A small change to ER has a much larger impact than a small change to H+BB.

Furthermore ER's only come form two sources, HR's and hits with runners on base. H+BB covers every single AB on the year. Again there is a much smaller sample of events to judge a players ERA on vs his WHIP.

Nobody has been able to conclusively prove that clutch really exists. When you look at players their numbers in clutch situations vary greatly from year to year, this is because clutch statistics cover such a small sample of your actual AB's on the year.
baseballnewb
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baseballnewb wrote:Its quite simple, ERA compares ER to IP, WHIP compares H+BB vs IP. The IP is a constant. ER is generally less than half of H+BB. ER covers a much smaller number of events. A small change to ER has a much larger impact than a small change to H+BB.

Furthermore ER's only come form two sources, HR's and hits with runners on base. H+BB covers every single AB on the year. Again there is a much smaller sample of events to judge a players ERA on vs his WHIP.

Nobody has been able to conclusively prove that clutch really exists. When you look at players their numbers in clutch situations vary greatly from year to year, this is because clutch statistics cover such a small sample of your actual AB's on the year.

You have an appropriate name.
josebach
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Petty insults aside, if you can't understand that the numbers behind ERA are much more important than ERA itself for judging a pitcher, you are most likely doomed to playing in newbie leagues or placing middle of the pack.
baseballnewb
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baseballnewb wrote:Petty insults aside, if you can't understand that the numbers behind ERA are much more important than ERA itself for judging a pitcher, you are most likely doomed to playing in newbie leagues or placing middle of the pack.

josebach
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I believe those saying ERA is a "small sample size stat" intended to say that the signal to noise ratio of ERA is much lower than with WHIP or other stats. For the self-proclaimed mathematicians in the room
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I'm in a 14 team league and for most of the year I've been Top 3 in ERA but dead last in WHIP. I always thought that was weird. But just in the last week or so I've dropped to more in the middle of the pack in ERA now and still dead last in WHIP.
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klvrdude wrote:Cookman, I was just giving an example of how R/RBI's aren't as strongly correlated to HR like ERA seems to be linked to WHIP.

I agree with most the posts that say WHIP is a better measure of a pitchers success rather than ERA, although I'm surprised no one has brought up the 'runners left of base scenario' when a starting pitcher is yanked and how that will effect his ERA (i.e a pitcher's ERA can be dicated by his successor's effectiveness).

Maybe a better question is if ERA is so "luck" based, why is it such a staple in fantasy leagues?

It's a silly question to begin with, obviously from someone who does not understand.

Naturally, all hitting stats have a link to one another as do all pitching stats. That does not mean, however, that one category always necessarily causes a related category to change. Yes, a HR will of course increase R and RBI, but a big HR guy will not necessarily have more RBI or R than another who has fewer HR but more extra base hits on a team with more baserunners (see luck below). Just like a pitcher with a high WHIP does not necessarily have a higher ERA, and vice versa. When Pedro gives up runs, for example, it's usually a single, walk, HR. 3 runs. If he goes 6 innings, comes out for a pinch hitter and allowed no other baserunners, his WHIP is an excellent .5, but ERA is a terrible 4.50. Likewise, Livan Hernandez can give up 9 singles in 6 innings but allow only 1 to score. WHIP is a terrible 1.50, but so is the ERA. Yes, a high WHIP is a bad ERA waiting to happen, but it is not necessarily going to. And a high ERA is by no means an indication of a high WHIP.

Which brings us to luck (really occurrences out of a player's control). This affects not only inherited baserunners for pitchers but also wins (his team needs to score). And what about the category of runs and RBI? You need guys who will knock your guys in and you need guys on base in front of your RBI men. Only HRs, Avg and SBs are the direct result of a player's actions. For pitchers, Ks, WHIP and to some extent saves and ERA (except inherited runners), are directly resultant on one player's performance. It's all obvious, but the question begged for obvious answers.

You can't just relegate luck to one category or try to make the argument that 2 categories are so similar or dependent on one another that they are redundant. Related, yes...redundant, absolutely not!
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