All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > MLB > DICKEY- NL ALL-STAR STARTER!!!!!!!!!1
6/21/2012 12:08 PM
1. I don't think FIP is gods gift, it's just another way to evaluate pitchers.  No one (even the biggest advocates dip stats) think the batted ball in your example has the same chance of being a hit.  The point of FIP is to try to take as much defense and luck out of the equation.  Yes, it takes away some things that the pitcher is responsible for also, but ERA leaves in all the luck and all the defense, making it an even less exact measurement of skill.

2. Dickey has been awesome.  I think he has been a little lucky (his strand rate this year is 7-8% higher than it was over the last two years and currently the highest in baseball), but he's still pitched exceedingly well and would not be a bad choice for the all start starter.  I'd take Strasburg over him.  Slightly higher ERA but better K rate and a strand rate that is sustainable.

3. Absolutely.  There's a difference between giving an award and choosing a pitcher to use going forward.  But in the same way that we know pitcher wins are useless and don't tell us what we need to know about a pitcher, ERA is also inexact, and incorporates a ton of defense and luck into the measurement.  Has Dickey been successful because he's pitched better than everyone else or has he had a ton of defensive help and some luck to go with it?
6/21/2012 2:00 PM
FIP takes away things I will argue the pitcher does - set up a hitter to be early on a changeup and get a weak ground ball, scouting players and pitching accordingly, having great movement on your pitches, etc.  There are several pitchers who have significantly lower ERAs than FIPs year-to-year on average, and there's a reason for that.  Whether it's a more exact measurement for skill as you argue, is besides the point.  ERA actually measures how successful you are in what you are trying to do, while FIP is a stat that many argue what your ERA SHOULD be.  The number that should be celebrated is the number that actually happened, just like we don't look at your expected win/loss percentage and use that.  Dickey has a 2.00 ERA, so he's been more successful in limiting runs than every other starter in baseball, by far.
6/21/2012 2:23 PM
FIP is not what your ERA should be. It's scaled to ERA to make it easier to know good and bad.

It's a measurement of only the things we know a pitcher can control.  It is more exact that ERA while also excluding things that we know the pitcher probably does have some control over.  It's not perfect.

Yes, we know Dickey has an ERA of 2.00.  What we don't know is how much of that low ERA is attributable to Dickey's pitching skill and how much of it is attributable to a good defense behind him and how much of it is attributable to luck.  DIP stats try to shed some light on those factors.  Again, not perfectly. 
6/21/2012 2:34 PM
And phythagorean win/loss record tries to figure out what your win-loss record should be, based on runs scored.  But it doesn't tell you what your win-loss record is.  Your goal is to have the best win-loss record, not to have the best expected win-loss record.  The team with the best actual record is the one that moves on to the playoffs and competes for the championship; it's the team that's rewarded.  Dickey has accomplished the goal, this far, of allowing the least amount of runs possible per inning than anyone else in the league.  The goal isn't to have the lowest ERA possible without luck involved, it's to have the lowest ERA.  He has been the most successful pitcher in baseball this year.  If luck is involved, it's irrelevant.
6/21/2012 2:37 PM
The way I think of ERA, and pitcher wins, is that they are just more of a team stat than is typically recognized.  The pitcher bears a large part of the responsibility for the end results, but not all of the responsibility, even though he gets assigned all the credit/blame.  The DIPS stats are just a way to try to figure out how much credit or blame the pitcher should get vs. other factors for the results. 
6/21/2012 2:40 PM
Who has had a better year this year:

A) Barry Zito - 4.35 ERA, 5.09 FIP
B) Tim Lincecum - 6.19 ERA, 3.89 FIP
6/21/2012 2:42 PM
Posted by burnsy483 on 6/21/2012 2:34:00 PM (view original):
And phythagorean win/loss record tries to figure out what your win-loss record should be, based on runs scored.  But it doesn't tell you what your win-loss record is.  Your goal is to have the best win-loss record, not to have the best expected win-loss record.  The team with the best actual record is the one that moves on to the playoffs and competes for the championship; it's the team that's rewarded.  Dickey has accomplished the goal, this far, of allowing the least amount of runs possible per inning than anyone else in the league.  The goal isn't to have the lowest ERA possible without luck involved, it's to have the lowest ERA.  He has been the most successful pitcher in baseball this year.  If luck is involved, it's irrelevant.
But don't you want to know who is actually better?

If Pitcher A has 7 Ozzie Smith's playing defense behind him and Pitcher B has 7 Mo Vaughan's, does A's lower ERA really tell the whole story?  Would you be confident saying Pitcher A is better than Pitcher B?  Or would some context be necessary?
6/21/2012 2:47 PM
Without looking at any peripherals, what that tells me is that Zito has given up less earned runs per 9 innings to date but if they both continue to pitch exactly as they have been, on average, Lincecum is the better bet to post better numbers going forward.  In the end I want the good results but if you were going to kick one of them out of the rotation for the rest of the year, which one would you kick out?
6/21/2012 2:54 PM
Posted by jrd_x on 6/21/2012 2:42:00 PM (view original):
Posted by burnsy483 on 6/21/2012 2:34:00 PM (view original):
And phythagorean win/loss record tries to figure out what your win-loss record should be, based on runs scored.  But it doesn't tell you what your win-loss record is.  Your goal is to have the best win-loss record, not to have the best expected win-loss record.  The team with the best actual record is the one that moves on to the playoffs and competes for the championship; it's the team that's rewarded.  Dickey has accomplished the goal, this far, of allowing the least amount of runs possible per inning than anyone else in the league.  The goal isn't to have the lowest ERA possible without luck involved, it's to have the lowest ERA.  He has been the most successful pitcher in baseball this year.  If luck is involved, it's irrelevant.
But don't you want to know who is actually better?

If Pitcher A has 7 Ozzie Smith's playing defense behind him and Pitcher B has 7 Mo Vaughan's, does A's lower ERA really tell the whole story?  Would you be confident saying Pitcher A is better than Pitcher B?  Or would some context be necessary?
I'm not arguing who is the more talented pitcher, who is the more deserving of better results when it comes to allowing runs.  The all-star game starting pitcher should go to the most successful starting pitcher this year, who is Dickey.

I'm in sales, so I'll use this anology:

I am hired by a company as a "widget" salesman.  I go to networking events often, I work 10 hours a day, work weekends, am passionate about my job, and my bosses and colleagues like me.  I am great at my job.  I sell $50,000 worth of widgets.

My colleague was also hired by the same company the same day as me as a "widget" salesman.  He is just as old as I, and has the same education.  He is less passionate about his job.  He works the minimum amount of hours possible, is not liked by many, is not as talented a salesman as me.  But his neighbor knows a guy who wants a large order of widgets.  He bumps into a guy on the street who wants another large order.  This guy also knows 5 other people who want large orders.  He sells $100,000 worth of widgets.

Who had the better year? Would I be justified in asking my boss for the same commission as my collegaue? Would I be justified in telling my boss my colleague shouldnt be "salesman of the month?"

I'm not arguing Dickey is as good a pitcher as Strasburg.  I'm arguing he has been more successful in accomplishing his goals this year.
6/21/2012 2:55 PM
Posted by trsnoke on 6/21/2012 2:47:00 PM (view original):
Without looking at any peripherals, what that tells me is that Zito has given up less earned runs per 9 innings to date but if they both continue to pitch exactly as they have been, on average, Lincecum is the better bet to post better numbers going forward.  In the end I want the good results but if you were going to kick one of them out of the rotation for the rest of the year, which one would you kick out?
Not answering my question.  Who has had the better year this year?
6/21/2012 3:16 PM
I had a feeling you were going to say that but you didn't answer my question, either.  Again, just looking at those numbers you presented, I think Lincecum probably pitched better but less earned runs scored while Zito was on the mound (or just after he left).  I don't know why - have Lincecum's HR come with men on base while Zito has given up more solo shots?  I'm not going to attribute that to any skill Zito has over Lincecum.  Have relief pitchers allowed more of Lincecum's runners to score than Zito's?  I guess I can't answer your question directly - I'd rather have the earned run results attributed to Zito to date but I think I want my staff to pitch more like Lincecum has and less like Zito has going forward.  To me, that's more important - what's done is done and congrats to Zito on his lower ERA but I don't think that means he is (or has been) the better pitcher.

6/21/2012 3:28 PM
You question has nothing to do with my question.  But the answer is Zito, as his FIP suggest his future results will be worse than Lincecum's.  His actual results thus far are better than Lincecum's.  Hes been more successful, he's been better at not allowing runs, which is what you're trying to do as a pitcher. 
6/21/2012 4:23 PM
Posted by burnsy483 on 6/21/2012 2:54:00 PM (view original):
Posted by jrd_x on 6/21/2012 2:42:00 PM (view original):
Posted by burnsy483 on 6/21/2012 2:34:00 PM (view original):
And phythagorean win/loss record tries to figure out what your win-loss record should be, based on runs scored.  But it doesn't tell you what your win-loss record is.  Your goal is to have the best win-loss record, not to have the best expected win-loss record.  The team with the best actual record is the one that moves on to the playoffs and competes for the championship; it's the team that's rewarded.  Dickey has accomplished the goal, this far, of allowing the least amount of runs possible per inning than anyone else in the league.  The goal isn't to have the lowest ERA possible without luck involved, it's to have the lowest ERA.  He has been the most successful pitcher in baseball this year.  If luck is involved, it's irrelevant.
But don't you want to know who is actually better?

If Pitcher A has 7 Ozzie Smith's playing defense behind him and Pitcher B has 7 Mo Vaughan's, does A's lower ERA really tell the whole story?  Would you be confident saying Pitcher A is better than Pitcher B?  Or would some context be necessary?
I'm not arguing who is the more talented pitcher, who is the more deserving of better results when it comes to allowing runs.  The all-star game starting pitcher should go to the most successful starting pitcher this year, who is Dickey.

I'm in sales, so I'll use this anology:

I am hired by a company as a "widget" salesman.  I go to networking events often, I work 10 hours a day, work weekends, am passionate about my job, and my bosses and colleagues like me.  I am great at my job.  I sell $50,000 worth of widgets.

My colleague was also hired by the same company the same day as me as a "widget" salesman.  He is just as old as I, and has the same education.  He is less passionate about his job.  He works the minimum amount of hours possible, is not liked by many, is not as talented a salesman as me.  But his neighbor knows a guy who wants a large order of widgets.  He bumps into a guy on the street who wants another large order.  This guy also knows 5 other people who want large orders.  He sells $100,000 worth of widgets.

Who had the better year? Would I be justified in asking my boss for the same commission as my collegaue? Would I be justified in telling my boss my colleague shouldnt be "salesman of the month?"

I'm not arguing Dickey is as good a pitcher as Strasburg.  I'm arguing he has been more successful in accomplishing his goals this year.
Expanding on your analogy, if you both had a team of support staff helping you make your sales, and your staff was rude and didn't know anything about the widget you were selling, and his staff were all experts in widgets and friendly to the client, wouldn't that impact an evaluation of your performance?

Dickey's goal is to prevent runs, but there is a huge part of run prevention that is completely out of his hands.  We can pretend that his ERA is a reflection of his performance alone or we can try to use stats that more closely measure what he did.
6/21/2012 4:54 PM
It would impact his performance if the staff around him was better.

Who had a more successful year?
6/21/2012 5:02 PM
His individual performance is his success.  It's the same reason we don't evaluate pitchers using Pitcher Win/Loss anymore.  The goal is to win the game, but that doesn't mean the best pitcher got the win.

ERA measures the amount of earned runs that scored while that pitcher was on the mound.  It doesn't necessarily tell you which pitcher was better at preventing runs because some of the run prevention credit goes to the defense.
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