Baseball Opinions: xSIERA, Chris Davis, and Wheeler/Harvey
Busy Monday to have an opinion, and that’s not even just around baseball. As usual, there’s a lot going on in the world, and there’s plenty to talk about. On the baseball side of things, a few items have caught my attention.
Even though the SIERA metric doesn’t seem to be as widespread as something like FIP and wOBA (much less fWAR or rWAR), that’s not going to stop people from trying to predict the game better. If someone can better predict what will happen, our opinions should be better informed on a particular player, in this case, pitchers. Here is the much anticipated formula you were hoping for when calculating xSIERA:
SIERA = constant – 15.518*(SO/PA) + 9.146*((SO/PA)^2) + 8.648*(BB/PA) + 27.252*((BB/PA)^2) – 2.298*(netGB/PA) –/+4.920*((netGB/PA)^2) – 4.036*(SO/PA)*(BB/PA) + 5.155*(SO/PA)*(netGB/PA) + 4.546*(BB/PA)*(netGB/PA) + .367*(IP as SP)/(IP total)
*netGB = GB – FB
**The -/+ term is determined based on whether or not GB >= FB. If it is, you would use the minus sign, otherwise if FB > GB, use the plus sign.
You can read more about xSIERA here.
Just because I don’t use SIERA doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its uses. Looking at xSIERA, I do like how it focuses on walks, strikeouts, groundouts, and innings pitched, so there’s got to be some value to it. This will probably motivate me to look at SIERA more, maybe by the end of the day I’ll like what I see. I shouldn’t have to rely on the public to determine what’s best, but I should also work understand the pros and cons of a stat before I toss it out.
Chris Davis and PEDs
A player starts hitting homers, he’s on the juice. Melky Cabrera started doing well? The pitchforks won. Jose Bautista makes an adjustment? Steroids. Edwin Encarnacion starts going nuts? He’s on the juice. Mike Trout? Gotta be PEDs. Miguel Cabrera? Well, he won the Triple Crown so he’s good. Chris Davis though, the guy who’s always had power, and it being just a matter of him putting it together. Well, he’s putting it together, and at age 27 he’s doing alright for himself. At 31 homers, he could do some exciting things in 2013.
Maybe the pitchforks are right this time. However, I like to imagine they’re not, because well, how much do you like the Debbie Downer every time something great happens it’s because there’s a malicious backstory to it? Opinions are welcome, but the same opinion put on repeat of “CHEATING” is like using that Jobs, Hope, Cash, Bacon joke over and over again.
Matt Harvey is a great pitcher for the New York Mets. People are in awe of his skill every time he pitches. Zack Wheeler was a very highly hyped pitcher who is new to the big leagues. I told my friend to stock him on his reserve list in his dynasty league because I was like “WHEELER!” But apparently that dream has died:
verdict is in, & wheeler is no harvey. at the very least, it’s time to stop the comparisons. http://t.co/3nbfj1c5H1
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) June 30, 2013
This is saying “After three starts in the big leagues, we have decided the careers of these two pitchers,” and gosh dang that is ridiculous. Maybe it’s easy when you’re comparing someone who looks like a fifth outfielder versus an All Star, but comparing two pitchers that have high ceilings and saying it’s over? Lazy work. An interesting quote about Wheeler though:
But when [the Giants] traded him, not everyone in the smart Giants hierarchy was convinced Wheeler would be a starter. Some thought so, but others weren’t so sure. A few envisioned him as a reliever. That’s why they dealt him. That, and Alderson wouldn’t take anyone else.
I think this is the first we’ve heard about it and so that makes it interesting to hear that Wheeler’s future was in the pen for some of the front office. Either way, it’s probably still a little early to pour down on Wheeler and call it a game. Three starts, for crying out loud.