Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Best Fielding Independent ERA Seasons Relative To The League Average And Adjusted For Park Effects

Using Baseball Reference's Play Index, I found the best 200 seasons in ERA, ERA+ and FIP ERA. BR does not have this adjusted list that I want, but I figure the best 25 or so seasons probably came from at least one of these lists of 200.

Here is how I made the adjustments: Take Pedro Martinez in 1999. His ERA+ was 243. That was calculated by comparing it to the league average and adjusting for the run environment of his park.

His ERA that year was 2.07 while the league average was 4.86. 2.07/4.86 = .426. Then we have 1/.426 = 2.3478. The park factor for Fenway that year was 103, meaning pitchers gave up 3% more runs than average there. So 1.03*2.3478 = 2.42. That gets multiplied by 100 (Baseball Reference has him with 243, probably due to rounding differences).

Then I converted that into an ERA in a league whose average is 4.00. I call that ERA* in the table. Martinez would have 1.65. But, that needs to be adjusted based on his FIP ERA (which is an estimate based only on walks, strikeouts and HRs). His FIP ERA that year was 1.39 or .68 lower than his actual ERA of 2.07.

Then I lower his ERA* by .68. That leaves us with 1.65 - .68 = 0.97. And that is the FIPERA* which is the FIPERA relative to the league average and adjusted for park effects.

 Pitcher Year ERA+ ERA FIP ERA* FIPERA* Pedro Martinez 1999 243 2.07 1.39 1.65 0.97 Randy Johnson 1995 193 2.48 2.08 2.07 1.67 Randy Johnson 2001 188 2.49 2.13 2.13 1.77 Pedro Martinez 2000 291 1.74 2.17 1.37 1.80 Pedro Martinez 2003 211 2.22 2.21 1.90 1.89 Pedro Martinez 2002 202 2.26 2.24 1.98 1.96 Clayton Kershaw 2014 201 1.76 1.74 1.99 1.97 Randy Johnson 2004 176 2.60 2.30 2.27 1.97 Roger Clemens 1997 222 2.05 2.25 1.80 2.00 Dwight Gooden 1984 137 2.60 1.69 2.92 2.01 Roger Clemens 1988 141 2.93 2.17 2.84 2.08 Randy Johnson 2000 181 2.64 2.53 2.21 2.10 Zack Greinke 2009 205 2.16 2.33 1.95 2.12 Hal Newhouser 1946 190 1.94 1.97 2.11 2.14 Roger Clemens 1990 211 1.93 2.18 1.90 2.15 Greg Maddux 1995 260 1.63 2.26 1.54 2.17 Tim Lincecum 2009 171 2.48 2.34 2.34 2.20 Bob Gibson 1968 258 1.12 1.77 1.55 2.20 Walter Johnson 1910 183 1.36 1.39 2.19 2.22 Tom Seaver 1971 194 1.76 1.93 2.06 2.23 Felix Hernandez 2014 184 2.01 2.07 2.17 2.23 Steve Carlton 1972 182 1.97 2.01 2.20 2.24 Christy Mathewson 1908 168 1.43 1.29 2.38 2.24 Mark Prior 2003 179 2.43 2.47 2.23 2.27 Christy Mathewson 1909 222 1.14 1.62 1.80 2.28 Matt Harvey 2013 157 2.27 2.01 2.55 2.29 Roger Clemens 1998 174 2.65 2.65 2.30 2.30

I listed the top 27 instead of the top 25 because there are two pitchers from this year, Kershaw and Hernandez.

Martinez has 4 of the top 6 seasons, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003. In 2001 he was hurt an only pitched 116 innings but his FIPERA* is 1.35. He also managed to finish 6th in WAR for pitchers that year.

17 of these seasons have come since 1995. There was only 1 season between 1911 and 1967, Newhouser in 1946. But this is a high strikeout era and FIP ERA takes that into account. Maybe there is a way to first find HRs, walks and strikeouts relative to the league average and then adjust for park affects. Things might come out differently.

Missing from the leaders above are Alexander, Grove, Vance, Hubbell, Feller, Koufax, among others. Here the best FIPERA*s for each of them

Bob Feller 2.63
Dazzy Vance 2.78
Carl Hubbell 2.94
Lefty Grove 2.71
Sandy Koufax 2.45
Pete Alexander 2.38

Alexander's season ranks 41st.

I also did something similar for career FIPERA