Member the last time we looked at FIP? You were younger, you! Still looking good. Love the touch with the bitten down fingernails. You’re like the Krueger brother who had to open jars for Freddy. Billy, could you open these pickles for me? These stupid nails. Okay, so I usually look at which pitchers are being lucky or unlucky monthly during the season, but let’s do a recap of who was lucky last year. It might help with your drafting, but I do go over all of this in individual blurbs in the 2010 fantasy baseball rankings, where it’s applicable. But thinking gives you the Mondays, so here I am. On Friday. xFIP — stands for Expected Fielding Independent Pitching. It’s basically ERA without those pesky fielders helping or hurting you. It’s a pure ERA. It’s like when you go to the Supercuts and then you don’t want to shower for like 2 weeks because you’ll never get your hair styled again like Jeffrey does it. It’s your hair right after Jeffrey styles it and before you wash it. That’s xFIP. Okay, so let’s take a Exhibit A pitcher, who has an ERA of 2.75, but his xFIP is a 6.75. A -4.00 difference. That means he’s been very lucky and there’s a good chance his ERA is going to go way up. So here’s a list of pitchers with the biggest difference between their actual ERAs and their xFIPs for all of last year. (If your guy’s on the list, it’s not a great sign.)
Jair Jurrjens – -1.74 difference. And that was before he went for an MRI on his shoulder. P.W. Botha isn’t the only one getting The Gas Face.
J.A. Happ – -1.59. Can Happ avoid the sophomore slump? Sure, if Ryan Howard gives up cheesesteaks, learns to fly and knocks every ball down that is hit off of Happ.
Matt Cain – -1.32. He should’ve regressed the entire year last year, but he Keyser Soze’d his way through it. Unlike the above two names, Cain’s above a 7 K/9, so I have some love for him.
Randy Wells – -1.19. Okay, Wells was also lucky last year. Not great, but he does keep his walks down. Kinda like my overweight aunt.
Bronson Arroyo – -1.16. Eh, he shouldn’t be owned until July anyway.
Johan Santana – -1.00. But he was injured. But what if he’s not fully healed? And the falling K-rate? I don’t know… Damn, random italicized voice, you’re supposed to be for comic relief, not for making actual points. My bad.
Randy Wolf – -0.93. I don’t think anyone, including Wolf, really thought he was for real last year.
Edwin Jackson – -0.78. Don’t you just love it when pitchers I’m not excited about end up on the list of pitchers to avoid? Yeah, don’t wanna blow your mind right here, but it was kinda planned that way.
John Danks – -0.77. Last year, I liked Danks and disliked Floyd. This year, the opposite. Danks for the memories. Danks, but no Danks. Danks for nothing. You pick the bad wordplay.