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The Saber's Edge: Predicting ERA

Jeff Zimmerman

Jeff Zimmerman

Jeff Zimmerman writes about all things Baseball for RotoWire. He also handles scouting and reporting for PrepBaseballReport.com. Jeff also contributes to RoyalsReview.com, FanGraphs.com and BaseballHeatMaps.com.

Any early-season implosion can ruin a pitcher's ERA for what seems like an entire season. It could be a starter who gave up four 30-mph wind-aided home runs, or a reliever that allowed a three-run bomb in his first inning pitched of the season. Owners will see the 6.00+ ERA and may be ready to move a pitcher who has put them in an early hole. Be the owner who helps them out of their desperate situation by knowing when to buy low. One way to do this is by using an strikeout and walk-based ERA estimator called kwERA.

ERA estimators (FIP, xFIP, SIERA) exist to help put an unexpected ERA into perspective. These estimators can help to find pitchers who should regress to a more normal ERA as the season progresses.

This early in the season, I stay away from the most common ones because of some small sample issues. Instead, I like to use kwERA, which only uses a pitcher's strikeout (K%) and walk p

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