# PITCHING STATISTICS, ERA, FIP, WHIP, ERA+ – Baseball Basics

Hey guys, welcome back to 90 Feet From

Home. I’m your host Ashley, and today we are going to get into the nitty-gritty

of what all of the basic pitching statistics mean. Oh. you’ve been waiting.

Innings pitched, FIP, ERA, WHIP. I’ve got you covered in this episode. So if you’re

looking for the companion piece to batting average, OBP, OPS, SLG, OPS+, all of that

nonsense you’re in the right place. We’re going to talk pitching statistics. We’re

going to start off really basic, and I’m just going to explain what innings pitched

means. In a box score it’s represented by IP: innings pitched. And it is very

literal, it just means the number of innings a pitcher played into the game.

Now the one confusing part of innings pitched is that you may see it represented

as a 6.1 or a 6.2, and what those point one and point two

mean can be a little bit confusing if you’re new to baseball. All it means is

if you see a pitcher who has a 6.2 next to their innings pitched, what

that indicates is that they went a complete six innings — a six — and then the

point two tells you that they got two batters out. So in order for an inning to

be complete, a team must get three outs. So if they have one out it’s a point one,

if they get two it’s a point two. and if you get to that point three mark it’s

not going to be represented because the inning will then be complete and they

would go up to say inning seven. So if you see a player who has a 6.0

it means they pitched six complete innings and then we’re traded out for a

reliever. If the pitcher has a 6.1, it

means they got one batter in the seventh inning out and then they were replaced

by a reliever. Which is exactly how you’ll read the

innings pitched when it comes up. Now stuff like hits, runs, and earned runs are

very similar to what we talked about that very first episode where we talked

hits, strikes, and all of that. I’ll link that down below, so if you’re not sure

what qualifies as a hit you can kind of get a primer on that. So hits and walks

all count against a pitcher the same way they count for a batter. ER, or earned

runs, indicates that if a run passed over home plate it was a result of something

that the batter did intentionally — I mean it was

run or an RBI — but not something scored on an error. If a runner scores on an

error that does not count against to the pitcher, because it’s not the pitchers

fault. Basically earned runs basically indicate

that the pitcher is responsible for that run in some fashion, by allowing that

base runner to get on base and to be able to be in a scoring position. So both

earned runs and unearned runs count against a pitcher, but only earned runs

count towards their ERA, which we’ll discuss in a little bit. Base on balls — BB —

strikes, or home runs are all the exact same as they would be for a batter. In

this case they count against a pitchers average. Something else you’re Going to see

in a box score next to the pitcher stats are your pitch count — PC — or your strike

count — ST. These aren’t in every single box score, but what they indicate is

pretty simple. Your pitch count is literally how many pitches that pitcher

threw during the game, and the strike count is how many of those pitches were

for strikes. Basically a strike is more valuable to a pitcher than a ball, so

they count strikes rather than counting the balls, because they typically

indicate that the pitcher was locating those pitches where he wanted them as

opposed to a ball which is kind of outside that strike zone. So wins and

losses is another thing that comes up when you’re looking at a baseball score,

and we talked about this a little bit in the saves video which I’ll also link

down below. But a pitcher gets the win when they are the pitcher who was last

on the mound when their team takes the lead in that game. So it doesn’t

necessarily indicate that they did anything to help their team win that

game, but if they were the one who was in charge of the ball the last time up when

their team gets the lead they’re considered the winning pitcher. In the

exact same way if they were the last one on the mound when the team gave up the

lead they are considered that game’s losing pitcher. So you’ll see wins and

losses represented by W and L in a pitcher stats. Take those with a bit of a

grain of salt, though, because wins and losses don’t necessarily indicate a

pitcher’s overall quality. A lot of that has to do with how well the rest of the

team is playing, and not necessarily just how well the pitcher does in those games.

Now let’s talk about the more official stats that kind of tell us a bit more

about whether or not a pitcher is actually any good.

There’s earned run average, which is the most basic of the pitching statistics.

And earned run average is often referred to as ERA. When you’re looking at ERA at a

glance it’s best to remember that the lower that number is, the better the

pitcher is considered to be. It’s usually represented as a number dot number

number. IE 1.48 or 3.56 or a 7.89

anything in that 1 column of course would be considered incredible,

while anything over a four or five is considered to be not so great.

ERA is actually pretty simple to calculate. It’s the number of a player’s

earned runs — so those unearned runs we talked about

earlier would not count towards this total — and you divide that by the total

number of innings pitched, and then multiply that by nine, which is the

average number of innings in a regular game. So in order for this to more

realistically reflect a pitcher’s ability, we don’t count those unearned runs,

because the pitcher was not directly at fault for creating those runs. So

counting them towards their ERA wouldn’t give you the best picture of a

pitcher’s actual ability. ERA is probably one of the most common statistics used

to refer to a pitcher’s ability, but it is by no means the most complete picture of

what they’re capable of doing. We’re going to discuss two other stats that kind

of give a more full picture of what a pitcher is able to do specifically. So

the next statistic we’re going to talk about is FIP which stands for field

independent pitching and literally speaking this just means that the

statistic removes all of the other defense. and just focuses on the pitching.

The idea being here is that you get a truer number that represents what the

pitcher actually did on their own, without factoring in maybe a subpar

defensive lineup, or a really, really good defensive lineup that maybe helped save

a lot more runs than another team might have done. FIP looks almost identical to

ERA in the way it’s presented. It’s a number dot number number. But what it

does, is it takes into account some very specific things that a pitcher is in

control of. So it looks at strikes, walks, hits by pitch, and home runs. Say for

example somebody had a 3.56 ERA which is pretty good. But that

maybe he has a 3.97 FIP. This tells us that his ERA was definitely impacted

by some defensive factors, and he was helped by his team’s defense quite a bit

to get that er a number a little bit lower than his FIP. Now his fit number is

getting quite close to a four, which isn’t quite as good. I’m going to throw up

the formula for calculating FIP, because I’m not gonna read it out. It’s bonkers,

and it like weights things like hits by pitch, and

strikes, and all of that. So I’m going to throw that up on the screen while I have a calculus

flashback to high school, and you guys can kind of get a sense for what goes

into that number. FIP is not a perfect statistic for measuring a pitcher’s

ability either, but because it does remove those defensive numbers, and

focuses solely on what the pitcher is doing themselves, it is a little bit more

of a true representation of what they’ve accomplished. Now when we talked about

batting statistics, we talked about something called OPS+ which looks

at park factors as well, and is represented in a nice 100 number that is

really easy to understand. So if you don’t want to go back and watch that video, I’m

going to, like, TLDR it for you. And when you get a number out of a hundred, the number

over the hundred mark is what percentage better that player is then the league

average, which is what a hundred is. So say it’s a hundred and thirty-four for an OPS+ that means that batter was 34% better than every other batter in

the league. For pitching there is a similar statistic called ERA+, and

it’s also represented in a number out of 100. So if that’s something that

you find is easier for you to understand then ERA+ might be a valuable

statistic for you to be aware of. So what ERA+ does, is it tries to factor in

pitcher’s home park into the equation and kind of give a fuller picture of what

they’ve been able to accomplish. So for example Jacob deGrom was a Cy Young

Award winning pitcher in 2018 and played for a team where he didn’t collect a lot

of wins, because that year’s Mets team was pretty dismal. So I’m gonna look at

his 2018 numbers to give you an idea of what a good ERA+ number is. So Jacob

deGrom last season only had ten wins which by most pitcher standards isn’t

that great and isn’t something that would typically win a Cy Young Award,

but if you looked at his ERA+ he had a 216. Which meant that he was literally a

116% better than league average, which is monstrous and

was the highest ERA+ in 2018. So you can kind of see based on a number like that

why it is he was able to win that Cy Young, though the Mets weren’t very good. So

like with FIP, I’m just going to throw the number… So like with FIP I’m just going to

throw the calculation up on the screen so you can get a sense of

it, and so that I don’t have to repeat it out, because it’s just an enormous

calculation. And if math is your thing maybe you’ll get into it, but that’s what

it looks like. Last but not least we’re gonna talk about WHIP which is W-H-I-P and

stands for walks and hits per inning pitched. Now you’ve really gotta love a

statistic that is just right out there literal with what it’s calculating. At

its most basic form what WHIP calculates is the number of baserunners a pitcher

has allowed during innings of work. The lower a pitcher’s WHIP the fewer number of

baserunners that they’ve allowed. Now this one’s pretty easy to calculate. It

is literally just combining walks and hits, and dividing them by number of

innings pitched. This one kind of looks a bit like batting average but a little

bit higher, in that a 1000 or a 1.000 would be considered actually very good

and anything below that 1000 number would be considered exceptional. So going

back to Jacob deGrom, in 2018 he had an 0.912. Justin Verlander who’s also

a Cy Young winner had a 0.902 WHIP, which is the lowest of his career and just

truly exceptional. WHIP really isn’t a great all-encompassing stat to represent

everything a pitcher is capable of. It is a really great stat to see how well

they’ve been able to keep baserunners to a minimum for their team, because it

tends to represent just how well they do against batters, because the lower the

WHIP the less likely a batter is to become a base runner against that

particular pitcher. In that sense WHIP is basically the opposite of OBP or on-base

percentage, because a high OBP means that batter is getting on a lot, whereas a

low WHIP means that pitcher isn’t allowing very many baserunners to get on

the base paths. So that’s a basic breakdown of some really simple

pitching statistics. So next time you’re looking at a box score you see ERA,

strike count, if you’re looking at something like baseball reference and

you see stats like ERA+ or WHIP, now you kind of understand how those are

calculated. I hope you enjoyed this episode. If you did, leave a comment down

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to the subscribe button. Thank you so much for coming out, I love all of you

guys for watching these. I really appreciate every one of you so much and

I hope you have a wonderful day. Thanks so much. Bye!

Great video Ashley. I wasn't sure what ERA+ was so i did a quick search and found your video. Thanks for the info.

Thanks so much for your videos. I came across this one and I can’t wait to see the rest. I’ve liked basketball for so long but honestly never really learned to much but this is the year.👍🏼😎

I really love your confidence

Awesome thank you!

This was wonderful Ashley! You made this extremely simple and understandable! Thank you!