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Last week, I touched upon the hitters in baseball who were benefiting and the hitters who were suffering as a result of Batting Average on Balls In Play (BABIP). As a matter of fact, click right here to read all about it. It’s ok, I will wait a few minutes. You done? Great!
Now it is time to examine pitchers. If a pitcher’s BABIP is way above average, then you can expect their season to turn around and have the balls stop falling in for hits. If a pitcher has a BABIP in the .290-.300 range and a really good batting average against, then you can expect them to maintain that batting average against.
Now if a pitcher has a normal BABIP and a high batting average against, then they will continue to be a bad pitcher.
Is this getting confusing? Here are some examples to show you what I mean. These numbers are coming into Thursday’s games.
Roy Halladay (.245 avg, .305 BABIP, 2.56 ERA): Halladay’s avg is not a result of luck. He is just that damn good.
Felix Hernandez (.237 avg, .306 BABIP, 2.54 ERA): Again, his low BAA stems from skill and not luck.
Javier Vazquez (.230 avg, .313 BABIP, 3.04 ERA): The BABIP is slightly above the norm, but still, you get my point by now.
Jamie Moyer (.305 avg, .312 BABIP, 6.05 ERA): The slightly above normal BABIP and terrible .305 avg means that hitters will be hitting well off Moyer for the rest of the season.
Armando Galaragga (.284 avg, .299 BABIP, 5.34 ERA): Why was Galaragga so promising last season with a 13-7 record and 3.77 ERA? Ask the incredibly lucky .247 BABIP.
Jon Garland (.288 avg, .297 BABIP, 4.81 ERA): Just like the rest, if your BABIP is normal and your BAA is that bad, then it will stay that bad.
Cole Hamels (.309 avg, .371 BABIP, 4.98 ERA): The incredibly high BABIP is inflating the BAA and the ERA. So once the BABIP regresses to the norm, everything else will drop as well.
Kevin Slowey (.304 avg, .348 BABIP, 4.41 ERA): Same story as Hamels. He has just been unlucky. Plus, Slowey’s other numbers (7.29 K/9 and 4.73 K:B) point to a better pitcher than his ERA suggests.
Jon Lester (.263 avg, .344 BABIP, 4.35 ERA): His bad start to the season was a result of a very high BABIP. Hitters are getting this lucky off of him and his BAA is still below the norm. Throw in a 10.33 K/9 and you have an ace. It may be too late to buy low, but hey, it doesn’t hurt to try.