17 March 2012

NL Central FIP and Pitching xWARs by Slot

There is a series of articles by Jack Sackman that you can find here.  It is an idea I found interesting an often use when I describe pitchers as a certain type of slot pitcher.  I think in common use a person referring to a guy as a one slot pitcher is more or less actually saying that the guy is a one slot pitcher on a first division team.  In other words, an ace on one of the ten best teams in baseball.  In this series of posts, I am going through each division and describing what each slot means and how that relates to teams.
AL East | Central | West
NL East | Central | West
For each team, slots were broken down in 32 starts per slot (for a total of 160 games).  Pitchers were ordered by FIP, lowest to highest.  They were then broken up into slots.  Their FIPs were weighted by inning allotment and a weighted average was calculated for each slot.

An example:
Chris Tillman had an FIP of 3.99 over 11 starts, Zach Britton had an FIP of 4.00 over 28 starts, and Jeremy Guthrie had an FIP of 4.51 over 32 starts.  For the purpose of this study, Tillman's 11 starts all counted for the Orioles slot 1 along with 21 of Britton's 28 starts.  The remaining 7 starts were put into the slot 2 position with 25 of Jeremy Guthrie's starts.  When a pitcher's starts are split between multiple slots, it is assumed that their FIP is equal for every inning thrown and that their IP are equal for every start.

NL Central


The two things that strike me here is that (1) there are basically three very good pitchers in this division and there are on three separate teams: Matt Garza, Zack Greinke, and Chris Carpenter; and (2) that the Astros front end is as underwhelming as the Orioles and that the Reds backend is as catastrophic as the Orioles.  The backend of the Reds' rotation certainly did not help matters, but it alone was not responsible for them missing out of the playoffs.

Below is the NL Central FIP by Slot Table.

1 2 3 4 5
Brewers 3.06 3.60 3.74 4.05 4.28
Cards 3.06 3.22 3.64 4.14 4.41
Cubs 2.97 3.89 4.23 4.77 5.44
Astros 3.99 4.15 4.24 4.55 4.79
Pirates 3.77 3.81 4.36 4.72 5.38
Reds 3.58 4.09 4.18 4.95 5.82


The following graph is simply a predicted fWAR value using only FIP and IP as described in this post.  It serves as an approximation of fWAR worth.

The NL Central five slot pitchers have as much trouble as the AL East pitchers.  However, it differs from the AL East in that there is not much talent here.

Below is the NL Central xWAR by Slot Table.

1 2 3 4 5
Brewers 4.39 3.18 2.72 1.71 1.68
Cards 5.01 4.00 3.09 1.60 0.97
Cubs 4.75 2.05 1.05 0.24 -1.76
Astros 1.99 1.96 1.84 0.50 -0.28
Pirates 2.55 2.45 1.09 0.03 -1.81
Reds 3.22 1.74 1.66 -0.50 -2.11

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