WAR

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  • #125603
    Avatarbccran
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    On the outfield dilemma thread, there was some discussion of WAR, and a poster listed the WAR of each one of our position players and pitchers for 2019. Some fan are strong proponents of WAR, and others aren’t so sure it’s a “be all/end all” stat.

    For instance, Tyler Webb in 2019 had a WAR of 0.1. Let’s look at his raw statistics –

    Innings pitched – 55
    Hits given – 33
    Strike outs – 48
    BAA for Left handed hitters – .157
    BAA of right handed hitters – .189
    WHIP – 1.018

    What was working against him? His ERA of 3.76? His 23 walks? The 7 home runs he gave up?

    Most fans looking at his raw stats would say that he did a far above average job. Wouldn’t they?

    How about Ryan Helsley. Has hit 100 on the gun in the minors and threw in the mid to high 90s at the MLB level in 2019. In 36 2/3 innings, he gave up 34 hits. Struck out 32 and walked 12. Had an ERA of 2.95 and a WHIP of 1.255. Again, did the home runs affect his WAR? The walks?
    He had a WAR of 0.2. Seems to me he looked a lot better than that.

    Have always wondered if these analytics like WAR are in a way bending common sense. In a ways too sophisticated for their own good?

    #125606
    stlcard25stlcard25
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    The simple answer is that you are using Fangraphs, which deals in fictional outcomes for pitchers that make it relatively useless in comparing the actual results for pitchers. So the higher FIP (which heavily penalizes homers allowed and moderately penalizes ground ball pitchers while incentivizing strikeouts) and xFIP (which attempts to normalize for average HR/FB rates) for those guys plays into the lower WAR.

    Fangraphs is better for hitter than pitchers, to be sure. I prefer to use something of a hybrid between FG and Baseball Reference for pitcher values. Bref uses runs allowed based stats for calculating WAR. For your examples, Webb and Helsley were both at 0.6 WAR there.

    #125613
    Avatarbccran
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    What about Gallegos?

    Innings pitched – 77
    Hits given – 44
    Strike outs – 93
    Walks – 16
    ERA – 2.31
    WHIP – 0.811
    BAA (right handed hitters) – .186
    BAA (left handed hitters) – .149

    Fangraphs gives him a WAR of 1.6.

    Really?

    #125615
    AvatarGameCard
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    I never pay any attention to Fangraphs. It is worthless.

    #125617
    jj-cf-stljj-cf-stl
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    bcc, Gallegos had a overall calming effect on the game from when he entered, until exiting. His entry LI was much higher than Webb and Helsey. Gallegos was used to put out fires, and Fangraphs gives LI credit to that role.

    The leverage index actually increased while Webb and Helsey were pitching, on the season, which helps bring their fWAR down. Many other factors to be considered but of those three you mentioned I’d point at leverage index difference, roles when entering and IP leading to their WAR totals differences. Along with what stl25 mentioned above, and he was spot on, imo.

    I found the glossary at fangraphs as must read material to answer many of my own questions.

    #125624
    Avatarbccran
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    Good advice. Thank you. Now the fork in the road. Stay with what’s been comfortable for a long time (and has worked well in one’s humble opinion), or charge into a complicated area of newness.

    #125627
    jj-cf-stljj-cf-stl
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    Charging may be overwhelming, and enough reason to abandon your open mindedness towards sabre stats. I prefer consistent, positive small steps, and before you know it …. You’ll find a comfortable pace. My guess is it varies for everyone.

    #125628
    Avatarbccran
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    More good advice. Thank you.

    #125630
    bicyclemikebicyclemike
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    No one mentioned this, and I am certainly no expert on WAR, in any sense of the word/acronym, but isn’t one factor of low WAR numbers for relievers due to their low innings pitched? No matter how impressive a pitchers stats are, when you only throw say 60 innings out of a season of some 1700 total innings, how much impact do you really have on total wins?

    Now some guys are pitching in high leverage situations, but that is largely due to events created by guys during the bulk of the game that got it to that point.

    #125635
    Avatar858booyah
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    WAR is not perfect.

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