Washington Nationals: ERA+

In coupling with Ryan Ritchey’s recent articles, I will be providing a breakdown of arguably one of the most important sabermetric tools out there for pitchers today. Sabermetrics have changed the game of baseball and provided a completely new way for general managers and teams to look at their players and/or free agents on a different level from the generic statistics like ERA, Win-Loss record, and WHIP. The new sabermetric pitching statistic is known as ERA+, and it essentially neutralizes the potentially misleading ERA figures while allowing front office members to properly compare pitchers around the league or even from different times in history.

ERA+ eliminates the problem teams have when trying to figure out if a pitcher was only successful because of the league he was in or the ballpark he pitched in. What the statistic does is set an average score of 100, and then subtracts points for pitchers whose home park is pitcher-friendly and adds points to those who pitch in hitters’ parks. Say the average ERA for a season is 4.00. Any pitcher below that number would receive points over 100 and vice versa.

Here is a breakdown of the 2013 ERA+ numbers for the projected 2014 Washington Nationals pitching staff:

SP Jordan Zimmerman: 116

SP Stephen Strasburg: 126

SP Gio Gonzalez: 113

SP Doug Fister: 115

SP Ross Detwiler: 94

CL Rafael Soriano: 122

RP Craig Stammen: 138

RP Tyler Clippard: 158

RP Drew Storen: 84

RP Jerry Blevins: 119

RP Ryan Mattheus: 60

RP Christian Garcia: 193 (2012 statistics, DNP in 2013)

SP/RP Taylor Jordan: 104

SP/RP Ross Ohlendorf: 116

SP/RP Tanner Roark: 252

Washington Nationals Park is actually right in the middle of the pack when it comes to MLB Park Factors, ranking 13th out of 30. Due to the fact that it slightly favors the hitter, our pitchers would receive a slight boost over 100 in their ERA+ measurement. Looking at these numbers, it is very easy to see why the Washington Nationals are such a viable World Series consideration. Those with overwhelming high or low ERA+ numbers will resort back to normal levels. You cannot expect Tanner Roark to post a 252 ERA+ in 2014, and the same thing applies to Ryan Mattheus on the other end of the spectrum.

Topics: ERA+, Sabermetrics, Washington Nationals

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