X
Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

X

Receive free daily analysis

NFL
NBA
NHL
NASCAR
CFB
MLB
MMA
PGA
ESPORTS
BETTING

Already have an account? Log In

X

Forgot Password


POPULAR FANTASY TOOLS

Expert Advice
Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Player Comparisons
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts

FIP/xFIP: Using Sabermetrics for 2024 Fantasy Baseball

While we've only examined how to evaluate hitters using advanced stats thus far, sabermetrics are just as useful for pitchers. The first advanced pitching stat most fantasy managers encounter is Fielding Independent Pitching or FIP. FIP measures a pitcher's actual skill instead of the effects of luck or his supporting cast. According to DIPS (Defense Independent Pitching Statistics) theory, pitchers control only Ks, BBs, and home runs allowed. Therefore, Ks, walks, and dingers are the only inputs to determine FIP.

Sometimes xFIP is cited instead of FIP. The "x" stands for expected and acknowledges that HR/FB is just as variable for pitchers as hitters. While FIP uses a player's actual homers allowed, xFIP charges him with a league-average amount of homers based on his fly balls allowed. Some pitchers are consistently more or less homer-prone than average, but studies show xFIP is a more reliable predictor of future ERA than regular FIP.

For fantasy purposes, it's sufficient to understand the three primary inputs listed above and that both stats are on the ERA scale. That means that if a FIP or xFIP would be a good ERA, it is a strong number. The math is perfect, meaning that the league average FIP, xFIP, and ERA are identical (4.33 last year). FIP and xFIP are displayed on the right-hand side of the first table for pitcher pages on FanGraphs, so they're very accessible. Let's get started!

Featured Promo: Get any MLB Premium Pass FREE ($119 value) AND up to a $200 deposit match when you sign up with Rival Fantasy. Rival offers 6 and 12-team Best Ball, weekly and daily contests, for as little as $3 per entry. No roster management, just draft and Rival sets your best lineup automatically. Playing fantasy baseball has never been easier! Sign Up Today!

 

How to Use FIP and xFIP

This predictive nature of FIP and xFIP is the reason fantasy managers should care about them. Both metrics predict future ERA more reliably than ERA itself, making them a good go-to stat to determine if an early breakout may be for real or if a struggling superstar is likely to rebound. All things being equal, it is generally expected that a pitcher's ERA will regress toward his current FIP and xFIP over a season or across seasons.

For example, Blake Snell earned the NL Cy Young Award by posting a 2.25 ERA over 180 IP in 2023, but his 3.44 FIP and 3.62 xFIP suggest his ERA should have been more than a full run higher. The shiny ERA masked career worsts in BB% (13.3) and Zone% (32.6), and fantasy managers who draft him expecting a straight repeat are likely to be disappointed. Julio Urias was last year's example, and his ERA ballooned to 4.60 before domestic violence allegations ended his season early.

Certain types of pitchers may consistently defy FIP. The first is knuckleball guys, who have challenged DIPS theory since its introduction. Matt Waldron was the only knuckleballer in 2023, and his 4.35 ERA was better than his 5.46 FIP and 4.79 xFIP. The explanation for this is that effective knuckleballers induce weak contact as a sustainable skill like Julio Rodriguez's legs or Luis Arraez's liner prowess.

The other type is simply called a "FIP-beater" that manages to control contact against him to the point that he outperforms his peripheral stats. Kyle Hendricks had an amazing stretch of doing this from 2016-2020. In 2016, his 2.13 ERA was backed by just a 3.20 FIP and 3.59 xFIP. In 2017, his 3.03 ERA was backed by a 3.88 FIP and 3.76 xFIP.  In 2018, a 3.44 ERA was backed by a 3.78 FIP and 3.87 xFIP. 2019 saw a 3.46 ERA with a 3.61 FIP and 4.26 xFIP, and the shortened 2020 season saw a 2.88 ERA with a 3.55 FIP and 3.78 xFIP.

Using sabermetrics, you would have expected significant regression in each of these years only to be proven wrong. However, his ERA was consistently trending upward outside of the COVID season. The house of cards came crashing down in 2021 when Hendricks posted a 4.77 ERA against uninspiring FIP (4.89) and xFIP (4.61) marks. Those banking on a return to form were disappointed in 2022 as Hendricks posted a 4.80 ERA backed by a 4.82 FIP and 4.46 xFIP.

Hendricks recovered somewhat last year with a 3.74 ERA, 3.81 FIP, and 4.13 xFIP, but why roll the dice? Pitchers like this rarely make good fantasy investments. Strikeouts are a key component of FIP, so pitchers who defy it are often lacking in a common fantasy category even if they post strong ratios. There is an ongoing debate though, so this author's word isn't gospel on the subject.

 

What Are SIERA and xERA?

SIERA stands for Skill-Interactive ERA and attempts to measure a pitcher's true talent more accurately than FIP or xFIP. It's marginally more accurate than xFIP, but its increased complexity may not be worth it. The stat assumes that ground ball pitchers will have a lower BABIP on grounders than other pitchers, while fly ball pitchers will have lower HR/FB marks. It's also adjusted for the overall run-scoring environment and a pitcher's home park.

That may sound good, but remember that those adjustments won't affect your fantasy team's bottom line. Hunter Greene posted a 4.82 ERA for the Reds last year, but his SIERA was 3.74 partly to "correct" for Great American. Pitching in Cincinnati will not improve your ERA, so you can't count on Greene regressing to his SIERA given his home park. SIERA isn't on the ERA scale either, with a league average of 4.24 last season.

A Statcast metric called xERA (Expected ERA) is SIERA but better, incorporating Statcast contact quality metrics such as average launch angle instead of SIERA's broad assumptions. It's also on the ERA scale. Using xERA, Snell fares even worse with a 3.77 mark, Waldron gets credit for the weak contact he induced with a 4.42, Hendricks has a 4.18 figure that splits the difference between his FIP and xFIP, and Greene's goes up to 3.82 to acknowledge the realities of pitching for the Reds.

 

Conclusion

To conclude, FIP and xFIP are metrics that try to determine the ERA a given pitcher deserves based only on the outcomes he controls: Ks, BBs, and home runs allowed. While FIP uses the pitcher's actual homers allowed, xFIP regresses it to the league average. Both metrics are on the ERA scale and may be used to predict future ERA with more accuracy than ERA alone. Meanwhile, xERA is a useful metric for the Statcast-inclined. Stay tuned to learn more about how analytics can help you prepare for 2024 fantasy baseball drafts.



Download Our Free News & Alerts Mobile App

Like what you see? Download our updated fantasy baseball app for iPhone and Android with 24x7 player news, injury alerts, sleepers, prospects & more. All free!






POPULAR FANTASY TOOLS

Expert Advice
Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Daily Stats & Leaders
All Pitcher Matchups
Compare Any Players
Player Comparisons
Rookies & Call-Ups
24x7 News and Alerts

REAL-TIME FANTASY NEWS

Trea Turner3 hours ago

Extends Hitting Streak To Seven Games
Mike Trout3 hours ago

Hits American League-High Eighth Homer
Tanner Houck3 hours ago

Makes Quick Work Of Guardians
Cristopher Sánchez3 hours ago

Cristopher Sanchez Cruises Past Rockies
Bryce Miller3 hours ago

Dazzles Against Reds
Kyle Schwarber4 hours ago

Raps Two Home Runs
Robert Stephenson4 hours ago

To Miss Rest Of 2024
Dougie Hamilton5 hours ago

Could Have Returned For Playoffs
Nikita Kucherov5 hours ago

Reaches 100 Assists
Donovan Mitchell5 hours ago

"100 Percent" For Postseason
Auston Matthews5 hours ago

Fails To Score Goal No. 70 Wednesday
Tyler Herro6 hours ago

Leads All Scorers In Loss
Jimmy Butler6 hours ago

Has A Big Night On Wednesday
Joel Embiid6 hours ago

Logs 38 Minutes In Win
Daulton Varsho6 hours ago

Two Homers Not Enough In Loss
Esteury Ruiz6 hours ago

Goes Yard In Lineup Return
Juan Soto6 hours ago

Totals Seven Bases In Comeback Win
Ronald Acuña Jr.7 hours ago

Ronald Acuna Jr. Finally Homers Wednesday
Kodai Senga7 hours ago

Throws First Bullpen Session
Gerrit Cole7 hours ago

Plays Catch On Back-To-Back Days
J.K. Dobbins8 hours ago

Planning To Sign With Chargers
Tyler O'Neill9 hours ago

Unlikely To Return Thursday
Duncan Robinson9 hours ago

Active On Wednesday
Joel Embiid9 hours ago

Will Play On Wednesday
Shohei Ohtani9 hours ago

Collects Three Hits
Cedric Mullins10 hours ago

Blasts Walkoff Homer
Michael King10 hours ago

Strikes Out 10 Batters
Rafael Devers11 hours ago

Serving As DH On Wednesday
Garrett Whitlock11 hours ago

Going On Injured List
Calvin Pickard11 hours ago

Getting The Start Wednesday
Matt Tomkins11 hours ago

Starting Regular Season Finale Wednesday
Luke Hughes12 hours ago

To Play For USA At World Championships
Rafael Devers12 hours ago

Could Play Wednesday
NYI12 hours ago

Ruslan Iskhakov Could Make NHL Debut Wednesday
Timo Meier12 hours ago

Dealt With MCL, Oblique Injuries In 2023-24
MON13 hours ago

Canadiens Exercise Two-Year Option On Martin St. Louis
Jontay Porter13 hours ago

Banned For Violating Gambling Policy
Ayo Dosunmu13 hours ago

Gets Shots Up Wednesday
Evgenii Dadonov13 hours ago

To Return Wednesday
Zion Williamson13 hours ago

Out For Two Weeks
Marc-Andre Fleury13 hours ago

Signs One-Year Extension With Wild
Gabriel Moreno13 hours ago

Scratched From Lineup
De'Von Achane14 hours ago

Looking Shredded
Brock Bowers14 hours ago

Visiting With Chargers
Spencer Rattler14 hours ago

Giants Visit With Bo Nix, Spencer Rattler
Adam Hadwin17 hours ago

Too Volatile To Touch At RBC Heritage
Kurt Kitayama17 hours ago

A Boring Play At RBC Heritage
Tom Kim17 hours ago

Heads To Hilton Head Looking For Consistency
Emiliano Grillo17 hours ago

Looking To Bounce Back At RBC Heritage
Chris Kirk17 hours ago

A Safe Option For RBC Heritage
Adam Schenk17 hours ago

Trending Up Ahead of RBC Heritage
Lucas Glover17 hours ago

Looks To Reverse Fortune At Harbour Town
Taylor Moore17 hours ago

Should Contend At Harbour Town
Max Homa17 hours ago

Be Wary Of Max Homas At RBC Heritage
Rickie Fowler18 hours ago

In Poor Form Heading To Harbour Town
Eric Cole18 hours ago

Out Of Form Heading To RBC Heritage
Chris Paul18 hours ago

Steve Kerr Hopes Chris Paul Remains With The Warriors
Sepp Straka18 hours ago

Continues Maddening Run Of Inconsistent Play
Klay Thompson18 hours ago

Warriors Want Klay Thompson Back Next Season
Malik Monk18 hours ago

Unsure If He Can Return In First Round Of Playoffs
Onuralp Bitim18 hours ago

Ruled Out For Postseason
Keegan Bradley18 hours ago

Looking To Get Over The Hump At Harbour Town
KJ Martin18 hours ago

Kenyon Martin Jr. Questionable Wednesday
Tony Finau18 hours ago

Looking To Find Putting Stroke At RBC Heritage
Kevin Love18 hours ago

Available For Wednesday's Game
Duncan Robinson19 hours ago

On Track To Return Wednesday
Will Zalatoris19 hours ago

Makes Return To Harbour Town
PGA19 hours ago

J.T. Poston A Decent Leverage Play With Upside At RBC Heritage
Patrick Cantlay19 hours ago

Brings Near-Perfect Course History To Harbour Town
Akshay Bhatia1 day ago

A Perfect Fit For Harbour Town, But Take Caution
Jake Knapp1 day ago

In Solid Form Heading To Harbour Town
Nick Taylor1 day ago

In Bounce-Back Spot At Harbour Town
Justin Rose1 day ago

Searching For Form Heading To RBC Heritage
Terry Rozier1 day ago

Ruled Out Versus Philly
De'Anthony Melton1 day ago

Ruled Out For Play-In Matchup
Joel Embiid1 day ago

Officially Questionable For Wednesday Night
Lane Hutson1 day ago

Records First NHL Point Tuesday
Zion Williamson1 day ago

To Get Imaging On Wednesday
ANA1 day ago

Cutter Gauthier To Make NHL Debut Thursday
WPG1 day ago

Jets Clinch Second Place In Central Tuesday
WAS1 day ago

Capitals Clinch Final Postseason Spot In The East
FLA1 day ago

Panthers Clinch Atlantic Division, Will Face Tampa Bay In Round 1
NHL1 day ago

Bruins, Maple Leafs To Meet In First Round
Zion Williamson1 day ago

Heads To The Locker Room
Royce Freeman1 day ago

Cowboys Sign Royce Freeman To One-Year Deal
Nick Chubb1 day ago

No Timetable For Nick Chubb's Return
Jet Greaves1 day ago

Making Fourth Straight Start Tuesday
Trevor Lawrence1 day ago

Feeling 100% Healthy
Spencer Martin1 day ago

Starting Regular-Season Finale
Anthony Stolarz1 day ago

Between The Pipes Tuesday
James Reimer1 day ago

Starting Must-Win Game Tuesday
Deshaun Watson2 days ago

Says He's "Throwing Full Speed"
Odell Beckham Jr.2 days ago

"Nothing Imminent" Between Dolphins, Odell Beckham Jr.
Jaylen Waddle2 days ago

Dolphins To Pick Up Jaylen Waddle's Fifth-Year Option
Detroit Lions2 days ago

Taylor Decker Had Offseason Surgery
Courtland Sutton2 days ago

Doesn't Report For Voluntary Workouts
Michael Penix Jr.2 days ago

Visiting With Patriots
Las Vegas Raiders2 days ago

Maxx Crosby Back To 100 Percent
Brock Bowers3 days ago

Visiting With Jets
J.J. McCarthy3 days ago

Patriots Visiting With J.J. McCarthy On Monday
Daniel Jones3 days ago

Plan Is For Daniel Jones To Be Fully Cleared For Training Camp
Aaron Rodgers3 days ago

Reports For Voluntary Workouts
Indianapolis Colts3 days ago

Colts, DeForest Buckner Agree To Two-Year Extension
Rashee Rice3 days ago

To Be Virtual To Start Offseason Program
CeeDee Lamb3 days ago

Not Expected To Attend Start Of Voluntary Program
Alex Pereira3 days ago

Defends Light-Heavyweight Title At UFC 300
Jamahal Hill3 days ago

Knocked Out At UFC 300
Yan Xiaonan3 days ago

Unsuccessful In Bid To Capture UFC Title
Arman Tsarukyan3 days ago

Edges Out Competitive Decision At UFC 300
Charles Oliveira3 days ago

Drops Decision Matchup
NASCAR3 days ago

Bubba Wallace Finishes Seventh At Texas Motor Speedway
Kyle Busch3 days ago

Earns Top 10 Finish In Backup Car At Texas Motor Speedway
Chase Elliott3 days ago

Emerges Victorious in Texas Race Riddled with Cautions
William Byron3 days ago

Finishes Third at Texas After Wrecking Ross Chastain
Ross Chastain3 days ago

Gets Wrecked on Final Lap at Texas While Battling for the Lead
Kyle Larson3 days ago

Sees Dominant Day Slip Away at Texas Due To Loose Wheel
NASCAR3 days ago

Daniel Suárez the Luckiest Driver at Texas, Scores Top Five
Denny Hamlin3 days ago

Late Spinout Costs Denny Hamlin Likely Second-Place Finish
Ty Gibbs3 days ago

Had Speed at Texas, But Burnt by Pit Crew
Ryan Blaney3 days ago

Was Best Ford Driver Until Wreck With Ryan Preece
Tyler Reddick3 days ago

Earns Hard-Fought Fourth Place Finish At Texas
Austin Dillon3 days ago

Gains His Best Finish Of The Year At Texas
Carson Hocevar3 days ago

Rounds Out Top Ten At Texas
Chase Briscoe3 days ago

Ends Up Sixth At Texas
Christopher Bell4 days ago

Is A Great Tournament Option At Texas
Kyle Busch4 days ago

Starts From the Rear After Texas Practice Crash
Chase Elliott4 days ago

Should Chase Elliott Be Rostered In DFS For Texas?
Ty Gibbs4 days ago

Can Ty Gibbs Score His First Win At Texas?
Cody Brundage4 days ago

Gets Submitted At UFC 300
Todd Gilliland4 days ago

Is A Quality Value Play For Texas
Bo Nickal4 days ago

Remains Undefeated At UFC 300
Denny Hamlin4 days ago

Will Start 11th At Texas On Sunday
Ryan Preece4 days ago

Brings Continued Upside To Texas
Justin Gaethje4 days ago

Gets KO'd At UFC 300
Max Holloway4 days ago

Scores Highlight-Reel KO At UFC 300
Zhang Weili4 days ago

Retains Strawweight Title At UFC 300
Alex Pereira6 days ago

Set For First Light Heavyweight Title Defense
Jamahal Hill6 days ago

Faces Alex Pereira In The Main Event Of UFC 300
Yan Xiaonan6 days ago

Set For A Title Shot At UFC 300
Charles Oliveira6 days ago

Returns To Action On UFC 300 Main Card
Arman Tsarukyan6 days ago

Has A Tough Test In Front Of Him
RANKINGS
C
1B
2B
3B
SS
OF
SP
RP

RANKINGS

QB
RB
WR
TE
K
DEF

MORE RECENT ARTICLES

 
Ja'Marr Chase fantasy football rankings NFL DFS lineup picks

Who is the Top Wide Receiver in 2024 Fantasy Football?

It feels like just yesterday we watched Patrick Mahomes get showered in confetti, lifting the Lombardi Trophy for the third time. The NFL Draft is nearly upon us, though, and the fantasy football offseason is beginning to pick up steam. It's never too early to predict which players will sit atop the leaderboards at the... Read More


Rome Odunze - College Football Rankings, NCAA CFB DFS Lineup Picks

Blockbuster Trade Ideas for the 2024 NFL Draft

The 2024 NFL Draft is three weeks away, and the rumor mill is heating up. While the NFL Draft is full of chaos and excitement without trade action, everyone loves to see a blockbuster deal made. A few expected blockbuster deals are getting thrown around on social media, headlined by the Minnesota Vikings trading into... Read More


Michael Penix Jr. - CFB DFS Picks, Daily College Fantasy Football, NFL Draft Rookies

Quarterback 2024 NFL Mock Draft - Projected Landing Spots and NFL Draft Analysis

Believe it or not, the 2024 NFL Draft is less than two weeks away. While we can never make a perfect prediction of which teams will select which players, we do have a strong sense of major areas of weakness for individual teams. With that in mind, we can explore some of the teams that... Read More


Malik Nabers - Fantasy Football Rankings, College FB, WR, NFL Draft Sleepers

Florio's NFL/Fantasy Football Scouting Report: Malik Nabers, Marvin Harrison Jr., Rome Odunze

Back in the day, there was a narrative about the “third-year breakout” for wide receivers. But in the last decade, we have seen more and more rookies make an immediate impact both in the NFL and in fantasy football. Two of the three-highest-scoring PPR seasons by a rookie WR have happened in the last three... Read More


DeVonta Smith - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Eagles Clash - A.J. Brown vs. DeVonta Smith for 2024 Fantasy Football

A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith have now played together in Philadelphia for two full seasons. The only major difference was at offensive coordinator. In 2022, it was Shane Steichen, while in 2023, it was Brian Johnson. In 2024, it’ll be Kellen Moore.  Brown was a second-round pick back in 2019, while Smith was a first-rounder... Read More


Drake Maye - Fantasy Football Rankings, College FB, QB, NFL Draft Sleepers

2024 NFL Draft – Predicting First-Round Picks for the AFC East

The 2024 NFL Draft is less than 10 days away. Unfortunately, the next several days will feel like a year for NFL Draft fans. Caleb Williams will be the top pick in the draft this year. However, what will happen after the Chicago Bears select the USC superstar? Many believe at least two more quarterbacks... Read More


Michael Penix Jr. - CFB DFS Picks, Daily College Fantasy Football, NFL Draft Rookies

2024 NFL Draft – Predicting First-Round Picks for the AFC West

The 2024 NFL Draft is nearly here. Fans only need to wait nine more days until the big event. Everyone knows the Chicago Bears will take Caleb Williams with the first overall pick. While many expect the Washington Commanders and New England Patriots to draft a quarterback with the second and third pick, no one... Read More


Anthony Richardson - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL News

Offseason Injury Updates for NFL Quarterbacks: Kirk Cousins, Aaron Rodgers, Anthony Richardson, Deshaun Watson, Joe Burrow, and Daniel Jones

Although the 2024 NFL season is roughly five months away, there's never a wrong time to keep up with the latest injury news, especially regarding key quarterbacks. The 2023 season was not kind to the quarterback position, so hopefully, the six players on this list can stay healthy after dealing with long-term ailments. We have... Read More


Patrick Mahomes - Fantasy Football Rankings, DFS Lineup Picks, NFL Injury News

Re-Drafting The 2017 NFL Draft: Entire First Round Do-Over

With just over a week until the start of the NFL Draft, the buzz has become palpable. It's a time when football fans look to the future, pining over incoming rookies and crossing their fingers in hopes that their team will select its next cornerstone piece. While first-round picks are prized possessions, let us not... Read More


Is Ryan Tannehill a Free Agent? Top Landing Spots for Tannehill This Offseason

In 2019, the Miami Dolphins traded starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill to the Tennessee Titans. As part of the trade, Tannehill signed a one-year, $7 million deal with Tennessee to back up then-starter Marcus Mariota. The latter was eventually benched, and Tannehill took the opportunity and ran with it. After his stellar play, he was rewarded... Read More


Justin Herbert - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

Justin Herbert - 2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Outlook

At times, the dynasty football marketplace can feel like the Wild West. Player values move up and down based on any significant (or insignificant) transactions, news items, or social media posts. With that said, we must always think about how certain players should be valued. What’s a player’s current value? Are they overvalued or undervalued... Read More


Early 2024 Best Ball - Overvalued and Undervalued Tight Ends

For some, fantasy football is a year-round event. The best way to get in the action early is through best ball drafts to draft real teams against real competitors for real money. Not only can you prove that the evaluations made well before the preseason were better than most others, but it’s also a great... Read More


Brian Thomas Jr. - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

2024 NFL Mock Draft: Rounds 1, 2, 3 Predictions (Post Stefon Diggs Trade)

The better part of free agency is done. While we continue to watch the depth pieces trickle through on smaller deals, the lion’s share of noteworthy moves are behind us. That is usually a sign that another mock draft is needed. In this mock, I will dive three rounds deep. I will factor in A... Read More