FIP: A Simple, Predictive Stat.

I love seeing people combine things we already understand into something new. Baseball fans know that ERA (Earned Run Average) is a pretty good way to evaluate a pitcher’s performance. While most of us can’t recite the formula to calculate ERA, we do know that lower is better. We also know that there is lots of randomness (luck) related to ERA. I’m not sure if I’m ready to sign on to FIP as the next big thing in baseball statistics, but I am intrigued!

Mozeliak for MVP

Many different, complex statistics have been created over the past couple decades that tend to overwhelm the average fan. It’s impossible to memorize all of them, and they all speak at so many different levels that the average fan often doesn’t know which one to listen to. The result: all the stats just get thrown out the window. However, the Fielding Independent Pitching statistic (a pitching statistic abbreviated as FIP) does a fantastic job of capturing the essentials of pitching in one stat, while keeping it in layman’s terms. FIP essentially asks this question: what would a pitcher’s ERA look like based on the stats he directly controls, like walks, strikeouts, hit by pitch, home runs, etc? FIP attempts to take defense completely out of the equation, while adjusting the stat to make it look like an ERA. However, with the above definition in mind, FIP should do an even…

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