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
below give a thumbs up. Remember to follow me, I’m online @90feetfromhome
at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And if you don’t mind hit that subscribe
button down below. And if you want to be notified every
Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday when a new episode goes up hit that little bell next
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!

5 thoughts on “PITCHING STATISTICS, ERA, FIP, WHIP, ERA+ – Baseball Basics

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

  2. 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.👍🏼😎

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *