SBNation.com User Blog: Trickman
http://www.sbnation.com/users/Trickman
Posts made by Trickman on SBNation.comTo Seth, from Phil: World Series Game 3
http://www.lonestarball.com/2011/10/22/2507848/to-seth-from-phil-world-series-game-3
TrickmanSun, 23 Oct 2011 00:53:20 -0400
<p>Thank you for the ticket and I wish Conor and I had found you after the end of the game. Next time you come to Arlington, connect with me here on LSB and I'll get you more beer.</p>
<p>By the way, beer is good and I wish the <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/mlb/teams/texas-rangers" class="sbn-auto-link">Rangers</a> had won, but it was awesome to meet you anyways.</p>
<p>This is likely too short for a "FanPost", but I figured it was the best way to reach out to you.</p>
Feldman and Kinsler
http://www.lonestarball.com/2011/10/17/2495810/feldman-and-kinsler
TrickmanMon, 17 Oct 2011 11:47:34 -0400
<h3 class="link-title"><a href="http://www.jewishbaseballnews.com/tag/scott-feldman/" rel="nofollow">Feldman and&nbsp;Kinsler</a></h3>
<div class="description"><p><p>This is a few days old, but an article on Feldman from www.jewishbaseballnews.com.</p>
<p>My favorite quote?</p>
<p>"Feldman, a 6-foot-6″ right-hander sporting a positively rabbinic red beard, pitched one inning of no-hit relief in the 10th to earn the win. "</p>
<p>My wife found this searching for "Feldman beard".</p>
<p>/csb</p></p></div>
Variance of the FIP Estimate
http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2011/3/31/2080011/variance-of-the-fip-estimate
TrickmanTue, 29 Mar 2011 22:54:47 -0400
<p>This is my first foray into anything resembling a significant amount of baseball data, so the following is a little messy and hard to read. The formatting for exponents did not come through right. Plus, to save some of you some time, the math here is rusty and I've likely made some mistakes, not to mention that at the end of it all I ended up finding nothing (which was alright with me) but might not be of any interest to the rest of you. </p>
<p>I'm curious as to the range around estimates and, in particular, what can effect that range. In the baseball world, I'm particularly interested in the range around the FIP estimate for a pitcher and how it might vary with changes in K, BB, and HR rates.. So I toyed with some data.</p>
<p>First, my data:</p>
<p>I pulled seasonal pitching data from between 1974 and 2005 for all pitchers that threw more than 20 innings. This results in ~11,000 data points. I pulled Earned Runs, Strikeouts, BBs + HBPs, HRs, Batters Faced, and Innings Pitched. </p>
<p>Second, my theory:</p>
<p>FIP's coefficients derive from the base-out run expectancy states plus a constant to bring it to the league average ERA. The run expectancy tables themselves are derived by linear weights of events, but I'm going to take a slightly different route..</p>
<p>The formula that everyone is pretty comfortable with is:</p>
<p align="center">FIP (pred_ERA) = -2 * K/IP + 3 * BB/IP + 13 * HR/IP + 3.2 * IP/IP</p>
<p>This is the linear-equasion of the form Y = XB.</p>
<p align="center">ER/IP = A * K/IP + B * BB/IP + C * HR/IP + D</p>
<p>If I fit this equation to a generalized least-squares regression, using batters faced to pick my variance weights, then I can determine a covariance matrix for the four factors. I know variance will decrease with innings pitched, but what about for the other components? I would expect variance to increase as a pitcher gives up homeruns, since the runs allowed will vary heavily based on how many men are on base ahead of the homeruns. I'd expect the same as walks increase, and I'd expect the opposite as strikeouts increase.</p>
<p>Third, my approach:</p>
<p>If I distribute the innings pitched then I can rewrite this as:</p>
<p align="center">ER = A * K + B * BB + C * HR + D * IP</p>
<p>Now, since I'm not normalizing my components, I know that I'll have different variances around the error term for each of my observations. A pitcher that pitches 200 innings will be much closer to his mean expectation, on average, than a pitcher that pitches 20 innings. Instead of innings, I've used batters faced (BF) for this weighting. To do this, I have calculated a weighting vector as simply:</p>
<p align="center">wi = SQRT(BFi / Max(BF))</p>
<p>That is to say, give 100% weight to the pitcher that faced the most batters, and weight each observation from a pitcher who faced fewer batters at a decreasing rate. I will use this as my variance weighting matrix instead of the identity matrix. Note that this is judgementally selected as I'm effectively assuming that the variance around the number of runs allowed (as a function of HR, BB, and Ks) grows as the number of batters faced grows but not at a 1-1 scale. Example: A pitcher that has faced 20 batters would probably have a standard deviation of 1-2 runs while a pitcher that has faced 2000 batters might have something closer to 50, with all else held equal.</p>
<p>My assumption for the error term around my predicted ER (ER-hat) is thus:</p>
<p align="center">ei ~ N(0, σ2Ω)</p>
<p>Now, I'm ready to fit my least squares regression:</p>
<p align="center">β = (X'ΩX)-1(X'ΩY)</p>
<p>Given that I'm approaching this differently, I did not expect to get the same weights as based on the more detailed approach for each individual event. In particular, the coefficients I got were:</p>
<table cellspacing="0" border="1" cellpadding="0">
<tbody>
<tr>
<td valign="top" width="117">
<p align="center"><b> </b></p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="126">
<p align="center"><b>K</b></p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="128">
<p align="center"><b>BB</b></p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="130">
<p align="center"><b>HR</b></p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="138">
<p align="center"><b>IP (Constant)</b></p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td valign="top" width="117">
<p align="center"><b>β * 9</b></p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="126">
<p align="center">-1.25</p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="128">
<p align="center">+3.08</p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="130">
<p align="center">+15.18</p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="138">
<p align="center">+2.13</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td valign="top" width="117">
<p align="center"><b>SE (β) * 9</b></p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="126">
<p align="center">.03</p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="128">
<p align="center">.05</p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="130">
<p align="center">.15</p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="138">
<p align="center">.03</p>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td valign="top" width="117">
<p align="center"><b>Student T</b></p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="126">
<p align="center">-40.9</p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="128">
<p align="center">56.3</p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="130">
<p align="center">100.05</p>
</td>
<td valign="top" width="138">
<p align="center">75.4</p>
</td>
</tr>
</tbody>
</table>
<p>These are quite a bit different. The resulting ERA predictor would be:</p>
<p align="center">pERA = (-1.25 * K + 3.08 * BB + 15.18 * HR) / IP + 2.13</p>
<p align="center">FIP = (-2 * K + 3 * BB + 13 * HR) / IP + 3.20</p>
<p>My fit suggests that pitchers get less benefit from strikeouts than the FIP equation, about the same damage from a walk, and far more damage from a home-run. The resulting constant is also significantly lower at a rate of +2 runs per nine innings instead of +3.2 runs per nine innings.</p>
<p>I'd have liked my coefficients to be closer to the FIP numbers, but I'm more interested in the covariance matrix. While my coefficients do come out quite a bit different, the unweighted standard deviation of my error term around my estimated ERA is .973 compared to the unweighted standard deviation of the error term around FIP of .982.</p>
<p>A weighted variance based on innings pitched changes these standard deviations to .595 and .684 respectively - this makes common sense as we expect the variance around our estimate to decrease as our underlying sample size increases and it gives me a baseline error variance for comparison.</p>
<p>The variance around a predicted variable is as follows:</p>
<p align="center">σ2i = (σ2 * (1 + xi * (XΩX') * xi') * Wi)</p>
<p>I've generated a dataset of K/9, BB/9, and HR/9 values using 150 innings as my basis and a BABIP of exactly .300 to determine the number of batters faced for each scenario. Using my covariance matrix from my fitted model, using a modified Wi that averages out to 1 (rather than one with a non-unity average), and using each one of my scenarios (example: 150 IP, 1 K/9, 1 BB/9, 0 HR/9) to calculate the individual variances. This gives me a range of reasonability around each FIP estimate with an overall standard deviation (on the ERA scale) of .615 when applied against my observed dataset.</p>
<p>And finally, onto some results..</p>
<p>With these ERA-scaled variances, I have plotted a 95% confidence range around various FIP estimates by K/9, BB/9, and HR/9 buckets to see how the range changes as one increases each of these variables.</p>
<p>Let's start with innings pitched where we'll find an obvious result.. Note that, for innings, I have used all of the observed data and calculated the total FIP for the group within that bucket of innings. You can see that it hovers at league-average until dipping a bit around 200 innings, where we would expect the more elite pitchers to be sitting anyhow.</p>
<p><b> <a href="http://cdn2.sbnation.com/imported_assets/687237/fiprangebyip.png"><img class="photo" src="http://cdn0.sbnation.com/imported_assets/687237/fiprangebyip_medium.png" alt="Fiprangebyip_medium"></a> </b></p>
<p><b> via <a href="http://i1120.photobucket.com/albums/l486/philtrick2003/FIPRangebyIP.png">i1120.photobucket.com</a> </b></p>
<p>As the number of innings a pitcher throws increases, the variance around his FIP decreases rather quickly up to about 100 innings. Afterwards, the variance continues to decrease but at a slower and slower rate. This makes intuitive sense as the sample size of batters faced is increasing, so BABIP and LOB% should both normalize with higher inning counts.</p>
<p>This is the only graph based on actual observed data from 1974 through 2005. For each of the following graphs I have fixed the innings pitched at 150, the K/9 at 6.6, the BB/9 at 3.0, and the HR/9 at 1.0. Only one variable is allowed to change at a time.</p>
<p>Now let's look at K/9</p>
<p><b> <a href="http://cdn0.sbnation.com/imported_assets/687240/fiprangebyk.png"><img class="photo" src="http://cdn1.sbnation.com/imported_assets/687240/fiprangebyk_medium.png" alt="Fiprangebyk_medium"></a> </b></p>
<p><b> via <a href="http://i1120.photobucket.com/albums/l486/philtrick2003/FIPRangebyK.png">i1120.photobucket.com</a> </b></p>
<p>Indistinguishable in this graph is a very minutely decreasing standard deviation at the rate of ~.001 runs per nine for every additional strikeout per nine innings. Although I had guessed that a higher strikeout rate might reduce variance, this isn't particularly surprising. A strikeout is simply a nearly-guaranteed out, while a ball-in-play is only frequently an out. Replacing the some balls in play with strikeouts doesn't do a lot to change the results range and while there is a decrease in the variance around that estimate, it's really not significant.</p>
<p><b> <a href="http://cdn2.sbnation.com/imported_assets/687243/fiprangebybb.png"><img class="photo" src="http://cdn0.sbnation.com/imported_assets/687243/fiprangebybb_medium.png" alt="Fiprangebybb_medium"></a> </b></p>
<p><b> via <a href="http://i1120.photobucket.com/albums/l486/philtrick2003/FIPRangebyBB.png">i1120.photobucket.com</a></b></p>
<p>For BB rate, I expected more variance around the predicted ERA as a pitcher walked more batters. My logic went that if a pitcher had more walks (which are 100% non-outs) and everything else held stable, that the error range around the estimated ERA would increase since there are now more potential scorers than there would have been. As seen here, there is no significant change. For every 1 BB/9 increase, the error range around the estimated ERA increases by .002 runs per nine. Despite the additional runners, it seems that the LOB% is stable enough at this point to maintain a similar error range.</p>
<p> For HR rate, I expected a similarly increasing range as I had expected for walks. Simply put, if a pitcher is more likely to give up a home-run, then he's also more likely to give up a home-run with men on-base. The variance does increase at an alarming rate of .005 per additional home-run every nine innings. Since pitchers don't regularly jump by .5 HR/9 over a season, that's .0005 runs every nine innings of deviation for every .1 HR/9.</p>
<p>For each of these graphs, I've specifically targeted a pretty stable group of pitchers. Those pitchers that allow 3 BB/9, 1 HR/9, and 6.6 K/9 are pretty close to middle-of-the-pack guys, which is where most of my projection points are. Given that, I'm graphing the areas where the variance should be minimized as a result of the regression. While this demonstrates that any one of K/9, BB/9, or HR/9 does not have a significant impact on variance for the typical pitcher, I continue to wonder about the potential covariance among the terms -- I would think a pitcher with high K, low BB, and low HR rates would have a much tighter range around his FIP than a pitcher with low K, high BB, and high HR -- but those are questions for a different day.</p>
<p>I've dropped the ERA of 35 pitcher-seasons from 1974 through 2005 that falls near my range - BB/9 between 2.8 and 3.2, HR/9 between .9 and 1.1, with only a variable K-rate over my K-rate graph from above.</p>
<p><a href="http://cdn1.sbnation.com/imported_assets/687249/fiprangebykoverlay.png"><img class="photo" src="http://cdn3.sbnation.com/imported_assets/687249/fiprangebykoverlay_medium.png" alt="Fiprangebykoverlay_medium"></a></p>
<p>via <a href="http://i1120.photobucket.com/albums/l486/philtrick2003/FIPRangebyKOverlay.png">i1120.photobucket.com</a></p>
<p>If you made it this far, kudos and thanks. When (if) I try this again, I hope to have something a bit cleaner with an actual outcome at the end. </p>
Is Feldman even worse than FIP suggested? // Is FIP Not Really Defense Indendant?
http://www.lonestarball.com/2010/5/17/1475766/is-feldman-even-worse-than-fip
TrickmanMon, 17 May 2010 14:41:23 -0400
<p>Before going further, I'd like to point out that Feldman is one of my favorite pitchers to watch in a long time, although this year has been painful because he clearly hasn't had the same movement, command, or velocity on his pitches. But going on...</p>
<p>FIP was estimated as:</p>
<p>ERA = A * K/9 + B * BB/9 + C * HR/9 + D</p>
<p>Resulting in A = -2, B = 3, C = 13, D = 3.2</p>
<p><br>But why were rate stats used to fit ERA (another rate stat) to predict a rate stat? Why not fit to the underlying numbers? Innings Pitched is defense dependant, so lets abuse Feldman as an example of what I'm getting at.</p>
<p>Applicable stats from last year were (From Fangraphs):<br>IP: 189 2/3<br>K: 113<br>BB+HBP: 74<br>HR: 18 (HR/FB ~ 9.5%)<br>H – HR: 160<br>FIP: 4.41 (calculated as [-2*K + 3 * (BB+HBP) + 13 *HR ] / IP + 3.2)<br>TBF: 791</p>
<p>Now, Feldman’s BABIP as calculated on Fangraphs was .275. I recalculated it as (H-HR / (TBF – IP*3 – BB+HBP – HR) = .273.<br>Calculating his TBF as H + IP*3 + BB + HBP, he should have faced 821 batters:<br>178 hits + 74 walks + 569 outs (3*IP) = 821, suggesting he got 30 of his 569 outs from CS, GIDP, other defense related outs. Should Feldman really get credit for stuff like an outfield assist, or every GIDP since it's technically the defense turning it?</p>
<p>Using these rates, I recalculated what would have happened indifferent to defense behind him by assuming no extra outs (CS/GIDP/other defense) with a .300 BABIP (average was .303). He allowed 604 balls to be put in play, so the projected number of hits would be 175.8 (ignoring the 18 HRs he allowed).</p>
<p>This results in the following line:<br>IP: 175.8<br>K: 113<br>BB+HBP: 74<br>HR: 18<br>H – HR: 175.8<br>FIP: 4.52<br>TBF: 791</p>
<p>As you can see, I’ve had him face the same number of batters (791), and ignored any outs due to defensive-plays (DP, Assist, CS), and calculated an FIP that is .10 higher. Also note that this resulted in him throwing almost 13 fewer innings, which would have been picked up by someone in the bullpen.</p>
<p><br>The xFIP is also bumped up similarly since he’s penalized for having the 10 fewer innings pitched due to defensive plays resulting in extra outs, and 1.2 extra HRs given an average HR/FB rate of 10%.</p>
<p>Am I missing something? It seems to me that FIP should be calculated with respect to batters faced, and backing into the implied ERA given a league-average BABIP — which leads me back to my original question posted at BTB:</p>
<p>How close would the calculated Runs Allowed / 9 * IP come if you fit the following regression (with an additional variable from the BTB version)<br>Runs Allowed = A * HR + B * K + C * BB + D * (TBF-TTO)</p>
<p>Would this potentially be a better evaluation of pitcher performance than FIP, given that FIP can be impacted by plays made by the defense?</p>
<p>I would theorize that A would equal the run expectancy of a HR, B would equal the run expectancy of a strikeout, C would equal the run expectancy of a walk, and D would equal the run expectancy of the average ball in play.</p>
<p>Anyone have thoughts on this? Reasons why I'm wrong?</p>
FIP Regression Question
http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2010/5/11/1468386/fip-regression-question
TrickmanTue, 11 May 2010 22:43:18 -0400
<p><br>If you postulate a linear model of:</p>
<p>Earned Runs Allowed = A * HR + B * BB + C * K</p>
<p>And fit an ordinary least-squares regression to that model using historical data from ~1965 to present (pick any years, really)...</p>
<p>How close do the estimated Earned Runs Allowed (ERA hat?) multiplied by 9 and then divided by Innings Pitched come to FIP?</p>
<p>Are there heteroskedasticity issues? I would think there would be in this model since I'd expect RA to vary more with higher HR and BB amounts with the idea that higher HR and BB amounts would imply higher chances for multi-run HRs while lower HR/BB amounts would imply fewer multi-run HRs, thus resulting in higher variances with more HRs/BBs allowed. Alternatively, I would think Ks would have a decreasing effect on variance as a high-K pitcher would reduce balls in play resulting in fewer base hits and potentially fewer "normal" runs as well as fewer potential base-runners for HRs.</p>
<p>What about differences among eras?</p>
<p>Sorry for the rambling, but I'm curious about the estimation procedure for FIP and, particularly, whether stuff like heteroskedasticity has been addressed in the linear weights and what kind of variance assumptions were used to adjust for it.</p>
Time to get excited!
http://www.lonestarball.com/2010/4/24/1442280/time-to-get-excited
TrickmanSat, 24 Apr 2010 18:09:44 -0400
<h3 class="link-title"><a href="http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2010/4/23/1438955/a-1b-prospect-gets-called-up-thats" rel="nofollow">Time to get&nbsp;excited!</a></h3>
<div class="description"><p><p>We're not the only ones excited to see Smoak as a Ranger..</p></p></div>
Feldman Projection Discussion
http://www.lonestarball.com/2010/3/25/1390244/feldman-projection-discussion
TrickmanThu, 25 Mar 2010 15:15:19 -0400
<p><br><br>Feldman is my favorite pitcher -- I was psyched when he started starting in 2008, felt slighted when he was put in the bullpen to start '09, and was joyous upon him taking a starting role and locking it down when the Benson experiement crashed and burned. I don't really know WHY he's my favorite, I just got locked in on him sometime in '07 for what seems like no reason whatsoever -- but perhaps it's because my wife says I look like him, who knows.</p>
<p>I'm optimistic for him going forward. I still feel that he has room for improvement, particularly if he starts harnessing his curveball more. I think he could tip his K rate up a bit (as we started seeing in August and September last year) and maintain his walk and home run rates.</p>
<p>As a result -- I'm projecting Feldman at 185 IP with right around a 4 ERA on the backs of a 5.45 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, and .8 HR/9. I think I've been optimistic on the HR end as I think he'll continue to keep balls on the ground, pretty even on the walk rate, and somewhat optimistic on the K/9.</p>
<p>As a comparison, last year Feldy put up a 189.2 / 5.36 / 3.08 / .85.</p>
<p>Your turn.<br></p>
Hamilton Day-to-Day with Groin Injury
http://www.lonestarball.com/2009/5/18/879203/hamilton-day-to-day-with-groin
TrickmanMon, 18 May 2009 16:42:54 -0400
<h3 class="link-title"><a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=4173142" rel="nofollow">Hamilton Day-to-Day with Groin&nbsp;Injury</a></h3>
<div class="description"><p><p>That amazing leap into the wall? Well, he's day to day after that. Hopefully this isn't as bad as after the wall run-in at Toronto.</p></p></div>