Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wins vs. ERA/WHIP

Last Friday, it was reported that the Mariners had traded Michael Pineda (along with Jose Campos) to the Yankees for Jesus Montero (along with Hector Noesi). 

There has already been a great deal of well done analysis on what may happen to Pineda and Montero's numbers on their new teams and (perhaps more importantly) in their new venues. One common thread in the Pineda analysis is that he is likely to win more games with the Yankees but his ERA is likely to rise as well.

Whether this will or will not actually happen I'll leave to the prognosticators. My focus is on what would happen to Pineda's Rotisserie value assuming more wins and a worse ERA/WHIP. 

Below are what Pineda's numbers were in 2011 and a hypothetical possibility - based on the assumption that Pineda will improve in his second full season but suffer due to the move from Safeco Field to Yankee Stadium - of what Pineda could do in 2012.

2011: 9 W, 171 IP, 3.74 ERA, 1.099 WHIP,173 K
2012: 14 W 190 IP, 4.12 ERA, 1.258 WHIP, 192 K

Before I calculate what each of these seasons is worth, would you guess that Pineda's value will go up or go down?

2011: W $5, ERA $1, WHIP $4, K $9 Total $19
2012: W $7, ERA ($1), WHIP $0, K $10 Total $17

Even with five additional projected wins and 19 additional strikeouts, Pineda loses $2 in value in 2012 using these numbers. 

That's not a big drop. However, the point of this exercise wasn't to malign Pineda but rather display how difficult it is for a pitcher to gain value in wins. Take all of Pineda's other stats from 2011, plug in five wins, and you have a $21 pitcher. For all of the talk of Pineda gaining value from his wins with the move to Yankee Stadium, even a five-win bump would only have a marginal impact.

In Rotisserie baseball, it has been said time and time again that you shouldn't chase wins. This adage holds up even under the lens of valuation analysis.

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