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Wednesday 29th Mar 2017

Another month has passed so it is time to continue our look at the pitching peripherals.  Obviously, offense remains down, but some suggested as the weather warms, the runs will pick up.  Check local listings, but suffice it to say the weather was certainly warm in July.

With respect to fantasy analysis, not much can be done now to game the results.   The off season is the time to investigate if there are trends that can be applied to projection theory.  But, this does serve as an avenue to remind everyone of something I have been preaching since the spring.  In fantasy terms, value is relative.  The 50th best pitcher may have superior stats than in the past, but he still impacts your team as much as the 50th best pitcher of previous seasons.  His ERA and WHIP may be lower, but so are the totals at each point in the standings.  The leaders in ERA and WHIP have lower numbers than in past seasons.   Okay, I think there is ample text to get us below the pictured advertisement; here is the monthly 2011 data to date in tabular form along with the same numbers since 2007.

2011

ERA

WHIP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

BAbip

April/March

3.903

1.311

7.09

3.28

0.91

0.290

May

3.801

1.316

6.92

3.23

0.87

0.292

June

3.780

1.293

6.91

3.01

0.88

0.291

July

4.002

1.322

7.23

3.03

0.91

0.299

2010

ERA

WHIP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

BAbip

April/March

4.199

1.379

7.13

3.66

0.95

0.296

May

4.174

1.365

7.00

3.40

0.94

0.298

June

4.137

1.362

6.97

3.17

0.93

0.303

July

4.100

1.343

7.03

3.12

1.03

0.297

August

4.012

1.327

7.21

3.10

0.97

0.297

Sept/Oct

3.894

1.314

7.40

3.27

0.95

0.291

2009

ERA

WHIP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

BAbip

April/March

4.583

1.440

6.96

3.87

1.07

0.299

May

4.354

1.395

6.88

3.47

1.01

0.300

June

4.045

1.342

6.81

3.35

1.05

0.289

July

4.265

1.373

6.98

3.35

1.04

0.299

August

4.532

1.406

7.12

3.29

1.17

0.306

Sept/Oct

4.205

1.391

7.14

3.49

0.97

0.302

2008

ERA

WHIP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

BAbip

April/March

4.165

1.388

6.41

3.64

0.90

0.291

May

4.135

1.370

6.82

3.32

0.97

0.298

June

4.179

1.380

6.81

3.32

1.07

0.297

July

4.583

1.395

6.93

3.23

1.09

0.304

August

4.407

1.403

6.92

3.34

1.05

0.305

Sept/Oct

4.511

1.412

7.10

3.48

1.00

0.306

2007

ERA

WHIP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

BAbip

April/March

4.123

1.369

6.60

3.52

0.92

0.291

May

4.375

1.378

6.39

3.25

0.99

0.297

June

4.512

1.405

6.70

3.24

1.05

0.304

July

4.497

1.415

6.50

3.31

0.99

0.305

August

4.596

1.419

6.78

3.26

1.11

0.307

Sept/Oct

4.699

1.445

7.05

3.44

1.10

0.313

 

Even though the overall ERA is highest in July, in terms of skills, pitching actually improved this past month.  The increase in runs is due to a higher BABIP, resulting in more hits.  Hurlers in fact fanned more and walked fewer batters that earlier in the season.  Note that homers also remained consistent.  There have been some recent instances of a power spike in July.

As alluded to, it is too early to determine why pitching remains improved, but at least in terms of the root skills (K/9, BB/9, HR/9), the Year of the Pitcher continues.  Could it be that it is poorer hitting as opposed to better pitching?  Sure, especially since there can be a cause and effect dynamic happening.  Teams feel they need better defense and they better defenders are weaker hitters.  Obviously, PEDs cannot be ruled out.  But again, this is a chore for the off season to help hone projection accuracy.

For now, the take home message is the top power hitters are even more valuable than before as they can really impact the delta in the standings since the hitting categories are so tightly bunched.  That is, as we have discussed previously, depressed offense results in compressed categorical distribution, meaning the top players can really move the needle, depending of course on the gaps in your unique league.

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