Taking a Look at Pitch Efficiency

Last time we looked at runs scored, hitting categories, and managerial efficiency. Today, we are doing the same with runs scored, pitching categories, and managerial efficiency. Naturally, we are first looking to see how teams did in the various categories. Instead of boring you with numbers, we will go with their rankings in the different categories with the distance between that category and their overall ranking.

Most would point to ERA, but that is too easy and ERA isn’t predictable from season to season. The whole idea is to see if you can find individual statistics that may be reproducible and see how they correlate with runs scored. The first categories are simple. We include DER (defense efficiency rating) and FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) to see whether fielders or pitchers have a stronger effect on runs scored. Those two should have stronger correlations than the others because they are all encompassing statistics. The final two categories break down pitching numbers into the types of balls in play (groundball/fly ball rate) and the other DIPS (strikeout to walk ratio). Since 2011 isn’t even half way through, we will look at 2010.

Runs DER FIP K/BB GB/FB COMP
Padres 1 7/6 2/1 3/2 5/4 4.25
Giants 2 6/4 3/1 9/7 28/26 11.50
Athletics 3 1/2 20/17 20/17 7/4 12.00
Braves 4 11/7 1/3 5/1 1/3 4.50
Phillies 5 10/5 11/6 1/4 5/0 6.75
Cardinals 6 12/6 7/1 10/4 2/4 7.75
Rays 7 2/5 15/8 4/3 30/23 12.75
Mets 8 16/8 12/4 23/15 9/1 15.00
Twins 9 23/14 9/0 2/7 12/3 11.50
Reds 10 9/1 18/8 13/3 21/11 15.25
Rangers 11 4/7 22/11 16/5 28/17 17.50
Dodgers 12 8/4 4/8 6/6 15/3 8.25
Yankees 13 5/8 25/12 16/3 19/6 16.25
Mariners 14 3/11 22/8 15/1 21/7 14.00
Angels 15 12/3 16/1 24/9 23/8 18.75
White Sox 16 27/11 5/11 8/8 11/5 12.75
Marlins 17 24/7 10/7 18/1 16/1 17.00
Rockies 18 25/7 6/12 7/11 4/14 10.50
Blue Jays 19 19/0 13/6 12/7 8/11 13.00
Astros 20 27/7 8/12 11/9 13/7 14.75
Nationals 21 19/2 18/3 20/1 9/12 16.50
Tigers 22 16/6 21/1 25/3 16/6 19.50
Red Sox 23 12/11 14/9 22/1 19/4 16.75
Indians 24 19/5 26/2 30/6 3/21 19.50
Cubs 25 22/3 16/9 19/6 16/9 18.25
Orioles 26 15/11 29/3 27/1 27/1 24.50
Brewers 27 29/2 24/3 13/14 25/2 22.75
Dbacks 28 16/12 30/2 25/3 26/2 24.25
Royals 29 26/3 28/1 29/0 23/6 26.50
Pirates 30 30/0 27/3 28/2 13/17 24.50
Difference 181 174 157 228 —-

 

For those of you that read the last piece, you know these correlations are pretty weak. For what it’s worth, the strikeout to walk ratio is the strongest. One of the things we do notice is that teams that tend to be strong in one area (say DER) are weak in FIP and vice versa. So, put them together and maybe you get something stronger. Still, in order to truly test correlations we need to keep digging. For now, we can use the offensive and defensive scores to rate managers. Like with Pythagoras, it’s a bit weak.

Hitting Pitching Total Pythag
Arizona -4.40 -3.75 -8.15 -4
Atlanta -1.20 0.50 -0.70 -2
Baltimore -5.90 -1.50 -7.40 +3
Boston 2.80 -6.25 -3.45 +1
Chicago AL 2.10 -3.25 -1.15 +2
Chicago NL 0.40 -6.75 -6.35 +2
Cincinnati 2.40 5.25 7.65 -1
Cleveland -6.20 -4.50 -10.70 -1
Colorado -0.70 -7.50 -8.20 -3
Detroit 1.10 -2.50 -1.40 -1
Florida 1.60 0.00 1.60 -1
Houston -0.20 -5.25 -5.45 +8
Kansas City -6.90 -2.50 -9.40 +2
Las Angeles A 3.60 3.75 7.35 +1
Las Angeles N -0.70 -3.75 -4.45 +2
Milwaukee -2.50 -4.25 -6.75 +1
Minnesota 1.80 2.50 4.30 +2
New York A 5.00 3.25 8.25 -2
New York N -4.70 7.00 3.30 -2
Oakland -5.70 9.00 3.30 -4
Philadelphia 5.10 1.75 6.85 +2
Pittsburgh -1.70 -5.50 -7.20 +4
San Diego 1.50 3.25 4.75 -1
San Francisco -1.20 9.50 8.30 -2
Seattle -2.60 0.00 -2.60 +2
St. Louis 0.10 1.75 1.85 -5
Tampa Bay 9.30 5.75 15.05 0
Texas 4.80 6.50 11.30 -1
Toronto 4.60 -6.00 -1.40 +1
Washington -4.00 -5.50 -9.50 -3

 

It’s funny how we perceive things. Look at the following data and you would swear that Tony La Russa was overrated. Oops. I think we can agree Joe Maddon is one of the best managers in baseball if not the best. I think we can also agree that Manny Acta is definitely saving his job this year. Still, I would say those rankings are more descriptive than the Pythagorean records.

 

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