9 5~A'Tf~ Octo6er 1992
Prognosticating SOM Pitching
By Bruce Bundy
I don't believe in ghosts, but when you work on these formulas for so long, some things just haunt you until you want to scream.
It's so easy to assume that if hitters get half, and pitchers get hall, that everything should be in half. Ohhh, not to be.
There's a certain amount of fear when you enter the dark, mirrored side of pitching. The pitcher' sand batter's formulas are similar and interact. For instance, if you subtract 9.1 from the batter's walk, you would also subtract 9.1 from the pitcher's walk in the same league.
The formulas you will see beginning with this issue for pitchers' WALKS, Ds, Ts, HRs, and Ks are reliable. But looming heavily over the pitcher's card are the X-Chart chances.
Those chances, which are affected by the team's fielding quality, add to or subtract from a pitcher's hits, doubles and triples. And that variable makes the formula for pitchers' HIT the scariest of all.
We will deal with the X-Chart next month.
First, pitching statistics must be translated from innings pitched (IP) into plate appearances (PAs), or, commonly known as Total Batters Faced (TBF). This eliminates the erratic behavior of IPs, such as counting a double play as two outs.
The statistic TBF is available to you through the USA Today Baseball Weekly (for the first
time this year), or maybe through your local paper. If no source is available to you, here are some suggestions for estimating TBF:
FORMULA #14: Total Batters Faced (TBF)
TBF = ( IP * 2.95) + Hits + (walks minus intentional walks)
TBF = ( hits I pitcher's batting average) + hits + (walks minus intentional walks)
Use either of these, depending upon the statistics available to you.
TBF is the equivalent to plate appearances for hitters. Now equipped with a pitcher's baseline, let's pursue the pitcher's formula for Walks.
FORMULA #15: Pitcher's Walk
PWalk = (( W - 1W) * 216 ) I ( TBF)) - 9
Pitcher's walk = (( walks minus intentional walks ) times 216) divided by (total batters faced )) minus 9
How it works: Intentional walks are deducted from the walk total. Then multiplied by the overall card chances (216). This figure is then divided by the Total Batters Faced. Finally, subtract the walk on the average hitter's card (9).
Intentional walks are as important to pitchers as they are to hitters. If you can't find this difficult-to-locate statistic, try using the 10-percent rule as suggested with hitters (walks minus ~0 percent). Or, maybe 5 percent for starting pitchers and 15 percent for relievers. Along with that, you may want to research pitchers' prior seasons to determine their ratio of walks-to-intentional walks. This is usually reliable.
Advanced: Replace the average hitter's walk (9) with the same number formulated for the advanced hitter; that is, 9.1 for the 1991 AL and 8.7 for the 1991 NL (see the January 1992 STRAT FAN).
Hit By Pitch does not appear on the pitcher's card, soit doesn't enter into the formulas here.
The 93 percent accuracy rate of this formula depends on accurate intentional walk data. The better your source, the better the result. Find a good final stats publication and you'll be in good shape.
Easy, huh? Fearlessly, our next step is into the abyss known as the Pitcher's Hit.