Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Should we ever use a complex ERA estimator?

KISS.

There’s a chance that the more complex estimators work better for special circumstances, like pitchers who change teams, throw a ton of groundballs, or are remarkably adept at keeping the ball in the yard. Also, they could add descriptive value over simply using the combination of FIP and batting average on balls in play, but I have yet to hear a really great argument explaining that fact.

What I can tell you though is that when a predictor is made more complex, it must add more predictive value, by a significant amount. If it does not, then my only response can be just two words:

Occam’s Razor.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 25, 2012 at 09:51 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: October 25, 2012 at 09:58 AM (#4282854)
Why isn't the response, "Scrap it"?
   2. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 25, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4282896)
What I can tell you though is that when a predictor is made more complex, it must add more predictive value, by a significant amount. If it does not, then my only response can be just two words:

Occam’s Razor.


Or maybe it's an indication that the underlying behavior is more complex that your simple model of the relationship.

-- MWE

   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 25, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4282902)
What I can tell you though is that when a predictor is made more complex, it must add more predictive value, by a significant amount. If it does not, then my only response can be just two words:

Occam’s Razor.


I don't necessarily agree with this. All these FIP/xFIP etc are already way past the point that the avg. fans (even stat inclined) can calculate them himself. With modern computing power, who cares how complex it is?

If a full projection system like ZiPs/Oliver/Cairo is necessary to get the best estimate, why do I care if it's complex?
   4. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: October 25, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4282917)

If a full projection system like ZiPs/Oliver/Cairo is necessary to get the best estimate, why do I care if it's complex?


Yeah, it's not like I make you guys run ZiPS! Whether you like or don't like the projections, for the end-user, the only complexity is looking at a website.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 25, 2012 at 11:36 AM (#4282942)

Yeah, it's not like I make you guys run ZiPS! Whether you like or don't like the projections, for the end-user, the only complexity is looking at a website.


Question, Dan. Is ZiPs a full blown regression/forecasting model?
   6. cardsfanboy Posted: October 25, 2012 at 12:49 PM (#4283007)
What I can tell you though is that when a predictor is made more complex, it must add more predictive value, by a significant amount. If it does not, then my only response can be just two words:


Is Fip better than component era by a significant amount? I thought it was barely noticeable difference.
   7. TomH Posted: October 25, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4283102)
Tom's postulate:
differences in pitching projections are not primarily driven by differences in ERA estimator systems
differences in pitching projections are primarily driven by differences in change-over-time, park-and-defense effect adjustments, and possibly minor-league weighting of estimator systems

(edited)
   8. Tricky Dick Posted: October 25, 2012 at 02:19 PM (#4283117)
I like having all of the estimators available. I think the mistake is to fall in love with one particular estimator as the be all, end all method. My philosophy: look at all of the results and use your judgement in how to weight them. If one method produces an outlier result for a pitcher, think about why that may be the case, and either reject the outlier or use the outlier to temper your view of the other methods (depending on the circumstances).

Generally, FIP and x-FIP are pretty good (and produce similar results to SIERA or tERA), but I think there are occasions when factors like groundball tendency are important, and the more complex estimator may provide additional useful information.
   9. birdlives is one crazy ninja Posted: October 25, 2012 at 07:02 PM (#4283432)
Question, Dan. Is ZiPs a full blown regression/forecasting model?

I've heard Dan say that ZiPs relies on Monto Carlo simulations, which I believe doesn't rely upon any linear or non-linear regression models.
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 25, 2012 at 09:35 PM (#4283667)
I've heard Dan say that ZiPs relies on Monto Carlo simulations, which I believe doesn't rely upon any linear or non-linear regression models.

How does he get the means and distributions for the simulations? i.e. how do you translate past stats into future probabilities w/o regression?

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
BDC
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-22-2017
(4 - 12:38pm, Feb 22)
Last: There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie)

NewsblogMike Piazza Learns How to Be an Owner. Of a Soccer Team. In Italy.
(33 - 12:38pm, Feb 22)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogOTP 20 Feb. 2017: Baseball in a Time of Politics
(876 - 12:36pm, Feb 22)
Last: ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick

NewsblogSources: MLB, union agree to use dugout signal for intentional walk
(52 - 12:30pm, Feb 22)
Last: SoSH U at work

NewsblogDave Stieb on Hall of Fame: 'I surely did not deserve to be just wiped off the map' | MLB | Sporting News
(40 - 12:17pm, Feb 22)
Last: JohnQ

NewsblogMLB commissioner Rob Manfred angry union won't agree to proposesd rule changes
(73 - 12:16pm, Feb 22)
Last: Eddo

NewsblogOT - December 2016 NBA thread
(2347 - 12:14pm, Feb 22)
Last: jmurph

NewsblogRestricted Free Agency, Anyone? | FanGraphs Baseball
(2 - 12:00pm, Feb 22)
Last: Khrushin it bro

NewsblogOT: January 2016 Soccer Thread
(240 - 11:57am, Feb 22)
Last: jmurph

NewsblogBaseball Reference has a New Look
(18 - 11:42am, Feb 22)
Last: danup

NewsblogSammy Sosa compares himself to Jesus Christ, denies PED use
(35 - 11:30am, Feb 22)
Last: bookbook

NewsblogHow baseball players are trying stem cells to avoid Tommy John
(9 - 11:16am, Feb 22)
Last: jacksone (AKA It's OK...)

NewsblogNY POST Puma, M - Terry Collins weighs 3 imperfect non-Reyes leadoff options
(3 - 11:15am, Feb 22)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogIchiro collides with Brandon Barnes during outfield drill, visits trainer's room for first time - Sun Sentinel
(1 - 10:11am, Feb 22)
Last: Scott Ross

NewsblogAstros hope Yuli Gurriel can bring stability to first base - Houston Chronicle
(28 - 9:53am, Feb 22)
Last: Jose is El Absurd Pollo

Page rendered in 0.2355 seconds
47 querie(s) executed