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The Saber's Edge: ERA Estimators

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.

Fantasy owners should know better than to focus on ERA as pitchers don't always have control over the runs they allow. Defenses can let them down. Bullpens can allow inherited runners to score. But some owners let their emotions take over. They may now be at or past the point of thinking that a pitcher is unlucky, and are ready to sell low on a talented pitcher who has an inflated ERA. This week, I will look at a few high ERA pitchers that you should consider as targets in trade and on the waiver wire.

To get an idea of which pitchers to target, I am going to compare their current ERA to an average of three different ERA estimators, FIP, xFIP and SIERA. FIP looks at the strikeouts, walks and home runs a pitcher gives up. It basically takes the fielders out of the equation. xFIP uses strikeouts and walks also. Instead of home runs, it uses the pitcher's flyball rate and then estimates the pitcher's home runs allowed by adjusting to the league average HR/FB rate. Finally, SI

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