All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > MLB > 2015 Orioles Thread - DEAD & BURIED
4/10/2014 4:17 PM
Posted by dahsdebater on 4/10/2014 12:41:00 PM (view original):
Posted by Jtpsops on 4/10/2014 12:35:00 PM (view original):
When did I say I wasn't impressed with Tanaka? I'm pretty sure I said he looks good. If you can read - and I know that's a stretch - I said he hasn't looked ace-like so far. He's not as untouchable as his reputation might suggest. I hate to burst your Skankee-loving bubble, but he's not going to be anywhere near a Kershaw, Hernandez or Fernandez. I'll wager he won't even be as good as Darvish.
"Even" be as good as Darvish?  You do realize that Darvish was one of the top 10 pitchers in baseball last year, and at least arguably in the top 4-5, right?

14 innings, 1 walk, 18 strikeouts and 13 hits.   Seems like he has a WHIP of 1.00 and an ERA of 3.21.   That's an awful small sample size but I think pretty much anyone would take what he's done so far.   If he's not quite as good as Darvish, I don't think Yankee fans will complain too much.

4/10/2014 5:18 PM
OVAHRATED HACK!!
4/10/2014 5:24 PM
Posted by bad_luck on 4/10/2014 3:55:00 PM (view original):
I don't think it's ridiculous. Who is this "everyone" that you know personally?
A) It's obviously ridicuous.  WAR is a statistic that defines what happens on the field - ie, how many "wins" did a player contribute to his team.  Not "how many wins would he have contributed if luck were not involved."  That's an absurd level of speculative, really.  In general, jumping to FIP or xFIP or ERC (or, for hitters, RC, defensive runs saved, etc.) involves some degree of speculation, specifically invoking a number of assumptions about various results having "average" probabilities that may or may not have been reflected in one season's worth of sampling.  Jumping from stats to WAR suggests that there is a simple mathematical relationship between production and wins, which again involves assumption of some averaged results which don't always correspond to what happens in a limited sample size.  Which of course is why teams with lower aggregate WAR regularly win more games than teams with better aggregate WAR.  The 162-game schedule may be the most grueling in American professional sports, but it's still fairly small, and statistical anomalies will happen.
FanGraphs WAR compounds the uncertainty involved in normalizing simple outcome-based statistics into cumulative value-based or predictive statistics with the uncertainty in converting player performance to team wins.  That's too damn much uncertainty to make sense.  And the fWAR results for Tillman and Kazmir bear that out in spades.  Tillman threw more innings, in a tougher division, in a much more hitter-friendly ballpark, and has a lower WAR?  How can you throw more innings, allow fewer runs per inning in a substantially more favorable run-scoring environment, and somehow provide your team with fewer wins?  That doesn't make sense.  At best fWAR is telling you how many wins somebody SHOULD have provided, outside the influence of luck, assuming all the assumptions are right.

B) You're setting up a ridiculous and unnecessary standard.  Why should I have to know these people personally?  In general, people who write/appear for the national sports news media - IE ESPN, MLB Network, MLB.com, NBC Sports, FOX Sports, Yahoo Sports, etc. - refer to bWAR when discussing WAR the overwhelming majority of the time.  I don't have to know them to be aware of that.  I just have to watch, listen to, or read their work.  Sure, if you get your baseball writing on FanGraphs.com - which I sometimes do - people will tend to use fWAR.  But outside of that, you see bWAR virtually everywhere.  And if writers or on-air personalities just refer to WAR, and you look it up - which I used to do, out of interest, when I had too much free time - the number is ALWAYS a bWAR.  So yeah, I don't know Buster Olney or Ken Rosenthal or Jon Heyman or Brian Kenney personally.  But I know that when they talk about WAR, they talk about bWAR.  And you can verify that in about 5 minutes.
4/10/2014 5:47 PM
a) fWAR removes the speculation, it doesn't add it. bWAR looks at runs allowed and then speculates how much influence the defense had in the results. I'd rather use the calculation that says, "there isn't a reliable way to remove pitcher performance from defensive performance, so lets only focus on the things we know the pitcher controls."

b) I've seen plenty of writers refer to fWAR when talking about pitching. Keith Law, in particular, does it often. I've also seen Rob Neyer, Dave Schoenfield,  and Joe Sheehan do it.  No need to appeal to authority. If you don't think fWAR is useful, feel free to argue the merits. I give no ***** what Jon Heyman thinks about baseball. The guy's a ******* moron.
4/10/2014 5:52 PM
a) fWAR removes the speculation, it doesn't add it. bWAR looks at runs allowed and then speculates how much influence the defense had in the results. I'd rather use the calculation that says, "there isn't a reliable way to remove pitcher performance from defensive performance, so lets only focus on the things we know the pitcher controls."
That is one of the stupidest things I have ever read.  Any time you're trying to look at only part of the big picture, you're adding speculation.  bWAR takes into account exactly how well a pitcher performed.  fWAR has to figure out how good they think the pitcher SHOULD have been.  If the world were fair.  Effectively, FIP only takes into account some of the plate appearances in a game.  It chooses to ignore others.  I think that's fine.  But to then try to tell me how many wins a guy contributed to the team, based on what he did in SOME of the plate appearances he was involved in, is absurd.
4/10/2014 6:00 PM
Posted by dahsdebater on 4/10/2014 5:52:00 PM (view original):
a) fWAR removes the speculation, it doesn't add it. bWAR looks at runs allowed and then speculates how much influence the defense had in the results. I'd rather use the calculation that says, "there isn't a reliable way to remove pitcher performance from defensive performance, so lets only focus on the things we know the pitcher controls."
That is one of the stupidest things I have ever read.  Any time you're trying to look at only part of the big picture, you're adding speculation.  bWAR takes into account exactly how well a pitcher performed.  fWAR has to figure out how good they think the pitcher SHOULD have been.  If the world were fair.  Effectively, FIP only takes into account some of the plate appearances in a game.  It chooses to ignore others.  I think that's fine.  But to then try to tell me how many wins a guy contributed to the team, based on what he did in SOME of the plate appearances he was involved in, is absurd.
Nope. 

bWAR guesses at how much credit a pitcher deserves for hits and outs in play. fWAR ignores balls in play.

WAR doesn't tell you how many wins a guy contributed to the team. It tells you how many wins he added above a replacement level player at the same position. If all pitchers are evaluated by the same standard (ignore balls in play because we can't reliably separate credit), there's no problem.
4/10/2014 6:04 PM
"Nope" is referring to this:
bWAR takes into account exactly how well a pitcher performed
4/10/2014 6:10 PM
WAR doesn't tell you how many wins a guy contributed to the team. It tells you how many wins he added above a replacement level player at the same position.
That sounds like exactly the same thing from my perspective...

FIP ignores the fact that some guys have a talent for inducing weak contact, while some guys get hit harder when contact is made.  This is a very real and significant phenomenon.  I'm going to do an experiment.  I'm gonna look up the WAR numbers for Mark Buehrle and Randy Johnson on BBR and FanGraphs.  Buehrle is a guy who has consistently, for years, been able to consistently induce weak contact but does not strike out a lot of guys, so he doesn't look like a stud in terms of 3 true outcomes analysis.  Johnson struck out a ton of guys but gave up far too much hard contact on his fastball, especially early in his career.  Here's betting Buehrle is close to 10 wins better on BBR, and Johnson is close to 10 wins better on FanGraphs.
4/10/2014 6:15 PM
Ok, I overestimated it by a little bit.  Buehrle gets about 6 more wins on BBR, Johnson gets about 7 more on Fangraphs.  Those are still substantial differences, and they are basically produced exclusively by the errors involved in FIP calculation.

Incidentally, in 11 of the 14 consecutive seasons in which Buehrle has thrown 200+ innings, his FIP is worse than his ERA.  That shows me pretty comfortably that my natural instinct - this is a guy who can consistently produce a BABIP below league average, and in particular a SLGOBIP below league average - is probably right.
4/10/2014 6:19 PM
Nolan Ryan gets over 22 more wins on FanGraphs than BBR.
4/10/2014 6:22 PM
OTOH, an almost exact contemporary with that penchant for inducing weak contact - in this case by using a knuckleball - Phil Niekro, has over 16 more wins on BBR.
4/10/2014 6:23 PM
Great....this thread will be at 100 pages by the weekend....
4/10/2014 6:25 PM
Niekro had FIP worse than true ERA 5 times in his 24-year career, and two of them were his first and last seasons.  He had a career 115 ERA+.  Ryan had a career 112 ERA+.  BBR thinks Niekro was a little bit better.  FanGraphs thinks Ryan was MUCH better.  Which of those seems more reasonable to you?
4/10/2014 6:40 PM
Posted by dahsdebater on 4/10/2014 6:10:00 PM (view original):
WAR doesn't tell you how many wins a guy contributed to the team. It tells you how many wins he added above a replacement level player at the same position.
That sounds like exactly the same thing from my perspective...

FIP ignores the fact that some guys have a talent for inducing weak contact, while some guys get hit harder when contact is made.  This is a very real and significant phenomenon.  I'm going to do an experiment.  I'm gonna look up the WAR numbers for Mark Buehrle and Randy Johnson on BBR and FanGraphs.  Buehrle is a guy who has consistently, for years, been able to consistently induce weak contact but does not strike out a lot of guys, so he doesn't look like a stud in terms of 3 true outcomes analysis.  Johnson struck out a ton of guys but gave up far too much hard contact on his fastball, especially early in his career.  Here's betting Buehrle is close to 10 wins better on BBR, and Johnson is close to 10 wins better on FanGraphs.
some guys have a talent for inducing weak contact, 

Do some guys actually have this talent though? I know there are a few guys who constantly beat the BABIP average, but even the best pitchers in baseball vary dramatically from year to year. It doesn't seem like something that can be controlled.
FIP ignores

Assuming it is a talent, how do you reliably separate it? bWAR guesses. fWAR ignores. Neither is perfect but I'd rather use the fWAR and combine it with batted ball results on my own than rely on someone else's guess.
Buehrle is a guy who has consistently, for years, been able to consistently induce weak contact

Really? Because his career BABIP is .291. Easily within one standard deviation from league average.


Here's betting Buehrle is close to 10 wins better on BBR, and Johnson is close to 10 wins better on FanGraphs.
 
Um...it's exactly 6 for each. 104/111 and 54/48. What does that show...other than the sites calculate the stat differently?



 
4/10/2014 6:42 PM (edited)
Posted by dahsdebater on 4/10/2014 6:15:00 PM (view original):
Ok, I overestimated it by a little bit.  Buehrle gets about 6 more wins on BBR, Johnson gets about 7 more on Fangraphs.  Those are still substantial differences, and they are basically produced exclusively by the errors involved in FIP calculation.

Incidentally, in 11 of the 14 consecutive seasons in which Buehrle has thrown 200+ innings, his FIP is worse than his ERA.  That shows me pretty comfortably that my natural instinct - this is a guy who can consistently produce a BABIP below league average, and in particular a SLGOBIP below league average - is probably right.
Or...errors in the bWAR guesses?

Why assume that bWAR is right and fWAR is wrong?
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