THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – Friday, April 12, 2019 Page 7 More Stats By The Old Sachem, Bill Stewart L ast week we looked at the premier batting statistics. Few of these are used by Fantasy Baseball players. The best stat used is OPS, which I listed last week but could use being defined again because fantasy players use it all the time. To refresh your memory – OPS stands for the amount of times a batter gets on base combined with the slugging percentage. A value of 100 is the league average for a player so a valuable player will be well over 100. Mookie Betts finished 2018 with an OPS of 1.078 to lead MLB and was closely followed by J.D. Martinez with a value of 1.031. One of the most notable stats for teams is WAR, or Wins Above Replacement. This stat is used to calculate how many more wins a player is worth over another possible player at the same position. As you can see it tells how valuable a player is or who should be traded for. The calculation for position is as follows: the number of runs above average a player is worth in batting, baserunning and fielding with adjustments for position, league, number of runs provided by a replacement player, divided by runs per win. The goal is to win games, and WAR gives the value of each player on a roster. A WAR of zero player should be replaced, and a value of 8 is about where an MVP would place. Because it includes defense for emphasis it strongly values players. Obviously, it is not so useful for designated hitters. Pitchers are evaluated differently. The computations use either RA9 or FIP. The numbers are adjusted for league and ballpark. Using league averages determines how many wins a pitcher is worth based on those numbers and the innings pitched. FIP is similar to ERA, but it focuses solely on the events a pitcher has the most control over – strikeouts, unintentional walks, hit-by-pitches and home runs. It entirely removes results on balls hit into the field of play. For example: If a pitcher has surrendered a high average on balls in play, his FIP will likely be lower than his ERA. Balls in play are not part of the FIP equation because a pitcher is believed to have limited control over their outcome. Where the “FIP constant” puts FIP onto the same scale as the entire league’s ERA: ((HR x 13) + (3 x (BB + HBP)) - (2 x K)) / IP + FIP constant. Because FIP is limited to the events a pitcher has the most control over, it’s arguably a better tool than ERA for evaluating a pitcher’s effectiveness. It’s also useful for predicting a pitcher’s future results because a pitcher has little control over what happens once the ball is put in play behind him. A pitcher with a low FIP but a high ERA has most likely seen a string of bad luck on balls in play. He could be a buy-low candidate, assuming he eventually gets leagueaverage results on balls in play. RA9 is different: runs allowed per nine innings pitched, which is Earned Run Average per nine innings (ERA) after removing the E. In other words, how many runs did the pitcher allow – forgetting about bad defensive play behind him? A relevant pitching statistic is Quality Starts. A starting pitcher has a quality start if he completes at least six innings and permits less than four runs. Baserunners per nine innings pitched is another pitching stat as is the Fly Ball Rate and Home Runs per nine innings. All of these are adjusted to each nine innings pitched, although today pitchers infrequently pitch more than six innings. The last pitching stat for today is Home Runs to Fly Ball rate HR/FB. This tells us whether or not the pitcher is able to keep the hitters from solid swings. This stat, like many others, has to be adjusted for the park; Fenway’s right field line is close to the batter, but a batter evaluated for the old New York Giants field faced a five hundred drive to center field to hit one out, nearly impossible. Now we look at the Ballpark Factor referred to in many other statistics. Ballpark factor takes the runs scored by Team X and its competitors in Team X’s home ballpark and divides the figure by the runs scored by Team X and its competitors in Team X’s road contests. In 2018, 849 runs were scored at Coors Field, and 676 runs were scored in Rockies games away from Coors Field. Coors Field had a park factor of 1.271, when looking at runs scored. Park factor is a great way of determining the extent to which a stadium favors hitters or pitchers. It isn’t affected by the teams or players involved, because those teams and players are also playing games in ATM on site Bill Stewart The Old Sachem other stadiums. It simply compares how easy it is to score, from one ballpark to another. It’s important to know where your players’ games will be played and how that might affect their performance. Park factors can also be determined for singular statistics, such as home runs. So a player who plays his games in a park with a high home run factor is likely to hit for more power than usual. Knowing the effects of a ballpark can be useful for streamlining players – especially pitchers – whose results tend to vary depending on the stadium they’re pitching in. Now you have enough knowledge of the game to tackle Fantasy Baseball. Good Luck. Friday, April 12 at 8 PM The Musical Styling of... VINYL GROOVE Saturday, April 13 at 8 PM DJ LOGIK Dance to all the Hits of Yesterday and Today! MONDAY'S SHUCK! $1.00 Oysters Book Your Special Events With Us! 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