True Runs Allowed (tERA) — Player Analysis
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Stat of the Week
by Peter Liubicich
True Runs Allowed (tERA) — Player Analysis
This post was written by Peter Liubicich on December 27, 2012
Posted Under: Stat of the Week

This week we’re looking at the Defensive Independent Pitching Statistic (DIPS) True Runs Allowed (tERA).  tERA offers us a better idea of what only a pitcher controls, much like Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) and xFIP, but it also takes into account different types of batted balls, Line Drives, Fly Balls and Ground Balls, which each account for a different amount of runs allowed when hit much like SIERA.

This week we’ll look at this year’s Cy Young Award winners, David Price from the American League and R.A. Dickey from the National League.  First let’s set a frame of reference for what constitutes a good tERA and a bad tERA:

Rating

Tera

Excellent

3.20

Great

3.50

Above Average

4.00

Average

4.20

Below Average

4.50

Poor

5.00

Awful

5.50

Now let’s get into the data and see what we can tell about these pitchers through our 4 different DIPS.

David Price

Year

tERA

FIP

xFIP

SIERA

2010

3.20

3.32

3.83

3.85

2011

3.39

3.32

3.32

3.27

2012

3.23

3.05

3.12

3.16

From these numbers we see that Price put up his best numbers this year in FIP, xFIP and SIERA while nearly matching his best tERA from 2010 which was excellent.  With his tERA being lower than last year is interesting though as this year he induced the most ground balls of his career with a GB/FB of 1.97 while in 2011 it was 1.20 and 1.10 in 2010.  With this information, Price’s tERA was higher than it was in 2010 because his Line Drive Percentage was 19.9% compared to 16.7%.  Through this, we see that tERA punishes pitchers for high line drive percentages, even more so than SIERA.

R.A. Dickey

Year

tERA

FIP

xFIP

SIERA

2010

3.61

3.65

3.75

3.91

2011

3.67

3.77

3.95

4.01

2012

3.39

3.27

3.27

3.18

Dickey’s numbers are even more interesting because his GB/FB was its lowest in this three year span and he had the highest LD% as well.  The reason why his tERA was lower this year, though, was because he increased his strikeout total from 104 in 2010 to 134 in 2011 to an NL leading 230 last year.  Although his batted ball numbers were their worst in the past three years, Dickey was able to post his best tERA because of his high strikeout total.

While through these numbers we see that both Price and Dickey had excellent seasons looking at all 4 of our DIPS, FanGraphs prefers FIP, xFIP and SIERA TO tERA as they have access to the equations and we can see the math behind it.

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