Introducing A Simple and Accurate Pitching Projection System, FRIAS

Projection system releases have become a staple of baseball’s preseason period and there are several excellent offerings available. Some are more complicated than others. All involve weighing past seasons and some (notably PECOTA) incorporate comparisons to past player career paths. However, they tend to perform very similarly, a reminder that baseball is at its core highly variable.

Brett Oberholtzer

Photo taken by Keith Allison ( The FRIAS method came close to predicting Brett Oberholtzer’s exact strikeout and walk rates in 2014. It projects him for a serviceable 4.20 FIP in 2015.

The indicators I look at most often when analyzing a pitcher’s season (or often a partial season) are plate discipline stats. When a pitcher delivers the ball to the plate, there are three basic outcomes: strike, ball, and ball in play. Plate discipline stats expand those outcomes to capture the batter-pitcher dynamic. Fangraphs provides nine such metrics, which are derived both directly from Pitch F/X and from Baseball Info Solutions (BIS).

O-Swing%, Z-Swing% and Swing% describe how often the pitcher induces a swing on pitches outside the strike zone, inside the strike zone, and in general. O-Contact%, Z-Contact% and Contact% do the same for the batter making contact.

Zone% is the percentage of pitches in the strike zone and F-Strike% is the percentage of plate appearances that start with strikes. The two stats should intuitively measure a pitcher’s ability to limit walks, but that does not necessarily hold up. Zone% barely correlates with BB% (I found an R-squared of .03537 in 90+ inning seasons from 2007-2014). Throwing the ball in the strike zone may be an essential trait to pitching but knowing that a Major League pitcher has a certain Zone% doesn’t tell us much about limiting walks, except at the extremes. F-Strike% fares much better. One reason is likely that a pitcher almost always tries to throw a strike on the first pitch, while there are many situations in a game when a pitcher tries to throw the ball outside of the strike zone. Hiroki Kuroda and Zack Greinke in particular have consistently maintained excellent walk rates with below-average Zone%.

Three fundamental plate discipline stats can also be referenced using Baseball Prospectus’s Pitch F/X leaderboards (and can be calculated on your own with the raw Pitch F/X data): Swing Rate, Whiffs/Swing and Fouls/Swing. Sorts and filters of that data can be done here.

True-talent indicators have already been created to estimate K% and BB% (including ones from Mike Podhorzer at Fangraphs and here last year by Chris Carruthers) and regressions that I’ve run are very similar in correlation and structure. We could keep adding explanatory variables but the utility of highly accurate xK% and xBB% numbers is questionable. Variables that are directly part of the outcomes, such as F-Strike% and SwStr%, would be increasingly present which reduces the metric’s ability to describe true-talent. A first-pitch strike tells us the pitcher threw a strike when he wanted to, but it also leads the pitcher closer away from a walk in that plate appearance. If we supposed that first-pitch strikes and swinging strikes occurred at random and were not a skill, then pitchers who generated swinging strikes and first-pitch strikes would still perform well at K% and BB%, and xK% and xBB%, but we wouldn’t have that the latter two describe true-talent.

A useful metric to have would express the following season’s FIP as a function of present year plate discipline stats. This would give us a clear idea of how meaningful a pitcher’s season is in terms of his outlook going forward, considering only that season. Carlos Carrasco was perhaps the great breakout pitcher story of 2014 (among a notably diverse cast of breakout pitchers) and many question whether he can continue pitching as he did in those ten starts down the stretch. The projection systems like him: Fangraphs Depth Charts (which aggregates Steamer and ZiPS) assigns a 3.61 ERA and 3.30 FIP. Steamer and ZiPS have very similar attitudes on Carrasco, as they do for most pitchers. Taking into account all of a player’s history is advantageous in modelling the future of players and Steamer and ZiPS do well in minimizes the error of their projections, and they don’t systematically undervalue breakout players. But it would be interesting to see what individual seasons have to say about succeeding seasons on their own.

To do this I came up with expected next-year strikeout, walk and home run rates and plugged those into FIP. My sample for this analysis is all seasons with 20+ innings pitched from 2007-2014. Later, I will remove the 2013-14 part of the sample to see how accurate my process was in projecting 2014.


The expected next-season strikeout rate:

xnyK% = -0.1777 + 0.0888*IFFB + 0.5631*K% + 0.1119*WPS + 0.00254*Velo – 0.00126*Hmov

WPS: Whiffs/Swing

FPS: Fouls/Swing

Velo: Average velocity of fastest pitch thrown (likely a fastball)

Hmov: Average horizontal movement of pitch in inches, positive being towards left-handed batters from view of catcher.

Below is a residuals vs. fitted plot for xnyK%. The x-axis shows the predicted strikeout rate of each season in the sample (2007-2013 with at least 20 IP). The regression returned an adjusted R-squared of 0.5197 and a residual standard error of 0.367.



The expected next-season walk rate:

xnyBB% = 0.1145 + 0.4474*BB% + 0.0850*WPS – 0.1117*FStrike – 0.07451*OSwing

Below is the residuals vs. fitted plot for xnyBB%. The x-axis shows the predicted walk rate of each season in the sample (2007-2013 with at least 20 IP). The regression returned an adjusted R-squared of 0.3658 and a residual standard error of 0.2147.


The point labelled 1066 is Dontrelle Willis’ 2007 season. Despite posting a fairly average xnyBB% in 2007, his command profile collapsed in 2008, his first season with the Tigers, leading to a 28.7% rate in just 24 innings. The other major outliers were pitchers experiencing similarly mystifying downfalls. Outliers generated by small samples (20 innings pitched is a low standard) exist for all three of my peripheral predictors; however the predictors were derived using a weighting for innings pitched which should increase their accuracy.

Home Runs

It seems like every season a few pitchers give up a large number of home runs on huge HR/FB rates, are labelled as big gopher-ball risks and the sentiment sticks for subsequent seasons. Teams are sometimes influenced by this thinking too. Despite a fairly neutral 44.3% GB%, Joe Blanton gave up 29 home runs in 132.2 innings in 2013, leading the Angels to release Blanton in March 2014, eating $7.5MM. It was surprising that the Angels were able to trade Ervin Santana (to the Royals) following a season in which he allowed 39 home runs in 178 innings, but Kansas City wasn’t too concerned about that. Santana’s HR/FB regressed in the next two seasons to a normal rate as he posted very productive seasons with the Royals and Braves.

Photo taken by Eric Enfermero, via Wikimedia Commons. Joe Blanton’s 2013 season is one of baseball’s great mysteries.

xFIP regresses every pitcher’s HR/FB to league-average and is demonstrably more predictive than FIP. Derek Carty of Baseball Prospectus in 2011 showed that it takes nearly ten seasons for HR/FB to stabilize. That is much, much more time than is needed for strikeout or walk rates.

With the fact that any xnyHR% will likely be heavily regressed in mind, here is the predictor I came up with (predicts home runs per hitter faced):

xnyHR% = 0.097 – 0.02749*WPS – 0.0005535*Velo – 0.03531*GB%

GB%: Ground balls per ball in play (using Pitch F/X numbers, different from what you’ll find on Fangraphs)

Below is a predicted vs. actual plot for xnyHR%. I used this instead of residuals vs. fitted since most people aren’t accustomed to the range of HR/TBF (HR/9 is much more common). My plots have revealed generally normal errors, with the more pronounced outliers representing poor performance. This is likely due to teams not continuing to use pitchers with very bad peripherals. The pitchers aren’t as bad as their peripherals represent and their seasonal stats should smooth out with more playing time but they are not given that opportunity. The outlier at the top of this chart is 2012 Brett Myers. He posted a below-average xnyHR% that was fueled by a 51.2% GB%. The next year, his first in Cleveland, Myers allowed a whopping 10 home runs in 97 batters faced and hasn’t been heard from since. A 10+% HR% was obviously not his true-talent reality.



So we now have predictors for the three components of FIP. This can be easily converted into per-9 measures and what I’ll call FRIAS (Future Regression of Ideal Analytic Statistics, a backronym to honour Carlos Frias, who came out of nowhere to post fantastic peripherals in 2014 that were recognized by the system; he’s projected 59th at a 3.22 FIP). Below is a table showing what 2014 results predict for 2015.

2014 IP
Aroldis Chapman5414.423.910.461.9
Dellin Betances9011.462.570.612.32
Ken Giles45.211.092.430.62.34
Andrew Miller62.
Wade Davis7211.
Jose Fernandez51.210.732.450.652.49
Greg Holland62.111.473.350.572.52
Clayton Kershaw198.19.611.790.662.54
Brad Boxberger64.211.62.860.722.55
Sean Doolittle62.210.921.560.962.61
Kenley Jansen65.111.812.740.862.66
Craig Kimbrel61.
Mark Melancon718.481.730.592.68
Jake McGee71.19.952.340.782.82
Carlos Carrasco1348.712.380.612.88
Felix Hernandez2368.452.190.622.88
David Robertson64.110.973.290.762.89
Zach Duke58.29.742.930.662.9
Corey Kluber235.29.342.320.752.92
Tony Watson77.18.652.120.692.92
Joaquin Benoit54.19.62.670.722.92
Stephen Strasburg2159.092.160.762.94
Chris Sale1749.382.260.792.94
Brett Cecil53.111.284.450.62.97
Cody Allen69.210.563.140.82.99
Pedro Strop619.713.580.583
Evan Marshall49.18.892.910.613.01
Kevin Jepsen659.432.970.683.01
Zach Britton76.
Hector Rondon63.18.62.370.73.03
Koji Uehara64.19.542.030.933.03
Carter Capps20.110.182.850.843.03
Chad Qualls51.17.361.590.73.04
Masahiro Tanaka136.18.552.120.773.05
Jake Arrieta156.28.892.630.723.07
Jeff Samardzija219.
Adam Ottavino659.252.650.783.09
David Price248.18.611.80.883.09
Dominic Leone66.19.323.50.613.11
Chris Hatcher568.592.310.773.11
Zack Greinke202.18.652.280.793.12
Jake Diekman7111.364.260.763.12
Jordan Zimmermann199.28.11.550.883.13
Nick Hagadone23.19.922.730.893.13
Steve Cishek65.19.912.730.93.15
Madison Bumgarner217.18.362.020.833.15
Josh Edgin27.18.282.660.683.16
Garrett Richards168.28.723.060.663.17
David Carpenter619.
Charlie Furbush42.19.692.510.943.17
Joakim Soria44.18.982.170.913.18
Aaron Sanchez336.972.630.53.18
Yusmeiro Petit1178.981.990.973.2
Brandon McCarthy2007.521.730.813.2
Brooks Brown267.612.850.563.21
Tyler Clippard70.19.622.850.883.21
Gerrit Cole1388.622.790.743.22
Carlos Frias32.17.862.060.793.22
Glen Perkins61.29.041.9613.22
Tyson Ross195.28.693.390.613.22
Josh Fields54.210.543.050.983.23
Danny Farquhar719.362.930.833.23
Carlos Martinez89.19.063.530.653.23
Pat Neshek67.18.191.790.923.24
Michael Pineda76.17.171.520.833.25
Dana Eveland27.18.682.820.763.25
Boone Logan2510.374.090.733.25
Bryan Morris64.17.623.040.563.25
Tony Sipp50.
Drew Storen56.17.322.070.743.26
Santiago Casilla58.17.242.530.623.26
Jordan Walden5010.
Johnny Cueto243.28.242.410.813.28
Oliver Perez58.
Jacob deGrom140.18.62.820.783.29
Joe Smith74.27.041.990.743.29
Phil Hughes209.27.561.071.033.29
Sergio Romo588.422.010.953.3
Tommy Hunter60.
Kelvin Herrera708.233.290.623.3
Jumbo Diaz34.29.523.50.783.31
Sam Dyson427.312.930.573.31
Shae Simmons21.29.033.890.623.31
Yu Darvish144.
Jeremy Jeffress327.862.760.73.32
Jaime Garcia43.27.512.240.773.32
Fernando Rodney66.19.423.50.773.33
Jeurys Familia77.18.493.750.583.33
Shawn Kelley51.210.53.450.963.33
Jon Lester219.28.352.370.893.35
Hisashi Iwakuma1796.91.570.853.35
Jonathan Papelbon66.17.932.190.873.35
Mike Dunn5710.23.420.933.35
CC Sabathia468.512.20.963.36
Marc Rzepczynski468.623.870.63.37
Justin Grimm698.923.340.773.37
Marcus Stroman130.27.552.530.743.37
Gavin Floyd54.17.672.340.813.37
Will Smith65.210.554.250.813.37
Nick Vincent558.792.320.983.37
Scott Atchison726.452.240.643.37
Max Scherzer220.19.032.780.923.37
Cole Hamels204.28.122.760.783.38
Alex Cobb166.17.612.720.713.38
Tom Wilhelmsen79.18.453.660.633.38
Al Alburquerque57.19.253.710.743.38
Anthony Varvaro54.27.532.260.823.4
Cory Rasmus568.732.860.873.4
Adam Warren78.28.623.130.793.4
Jean Machi66.16.942.720.633.4
Aaron Poreda21.18.782.830.893.4
Jeff Beliveau248.912.351.023.41
Luke Gregerson72.17.432.470.773.41
Homer Bailey145.27.872.840.753.41
Joel Peralta63.19.312.431.073.42
Dallas Keuchel2006.542.280.683.42
Francisco Rodriguez688.52.930.833.42
Aaron Barrett40.
Collin McHugh154.28.522.860.863.43
Jeremy Affeldt55.16.682.790.63.44
Darren O'Day68.28.472.710.893.44
Justin Wilson608.93.610.753.44
Justin De Fratus52.
Yoervis Medina579.134.020.693.45
Francisco Liriano162.
Kyle Crockett307.722.550.823.45
Shane Greene78.28.873.280.833.46
Zack Wheeler185.18.83.820.73.46
Hyun-Jin Ryu1527.562.290.863.46
Neil Ramirez43.210.13.590.963.46
John Lackey1987.582.120.913.47
Matt Thornton367.22.650.733.47
Jerry Blevins57.19.122.930.963.47
Will Harris299.473.180.963.47
Dale Thayer65.17.972.310.933.47
Junichi Tazawa638.582.750.933.48
Fernando Abad57.17.622.460.853.48
Addison Reed59.19.462.61.113.49
Joba Chamberlain638.273.540.713.49
Danny Salazar1109.343.10.973.5
T.J. House1026.612.390.723.5
Sonny Gray2197.553.080.713.5
Craig Stammen72.
Wily Peralta198.27.492.970.733.51
Zach Putnam54.
Carlos Torres978.543.30.813.51
James Shields2277.32.210.873.51
Trevor Rosenthal70.110.664.580.853.51
Huston Street59.17.712.310.923.51
Matt Shoemaker1367.512.230.913.52
Evan Reed32.
Seth Maness80.
Yordano Ventura1838.123.220.773.52
Mike Fiers71.28.362.510.983.53
Ervin Santana1968.122.930.853.54
Casey Fien63.17.681.931.023.54
Jared Hughes64.15.762.490.63.55
Jenrry Mejia93.
Pedro Baez247.272.150.913.55
Cliff Lee81.17.331.980.963.55
Mike Morin598.032.870.863.55
Blaine Boyer40.16.691.950.873.55
Rob Wooten34.17.242.350.873.56
Manny Parra36.28.933.920.773.56
Alex Wood171.27.742.630.883.57
Josh Tomlin1047.771.721.13.57
Jose Quintana200.17.552.410.913.57
Andrew Cashner123.16.782.270.823.57
Jonathan Broxton58.
Gio Gonzalez158.28.333.210.853.58
Buddy Carlyle316.941.740.983.58
Anibal Sanchez1267.222.440.863.59
Michael Wacha1077.852.760.893.59
Ernesto Frieri41.
Blake Parker219.332.861.13.6
Ian Kennedy2018.442.980.943.6
Nathan Eovaldi199.27.012.360.873.61
Tyler Skaggs1136.962.40.853.61
Hiroki Kuroda1996.862.250.873.61
Fernando Salas58.28.432.591.033.61
Jimmy Nelson69.
Kevin Quackenbush54.18.342.820.973.62
Chris Archer194.28.183.330.823.62
Ryan Cook508.383.650.793.62
Alex Wilson28.16.5320.883.62
Derek Holland376.121.640.93.62
Steven Wright217.552.650.893.62
Josh Beckett115.
John Axford54.29.834.950.723.64
Jake Petricka736.953.410.633.64
Taijuan Walker388.283.560.83.64
Henderson Alvarez1875.912.090.783.65
Brett Anderson43.16.322.680.723.66
Jason Grilli549.333.41.023.66
Zeke Spruill22.26.511.90.933.66
Adam Wainwright2276.82.340.883.66
Tim Stauffer64.18.32.990.963.66
James Paxton747.263.430.73.67
Ryan Webb49.16.812.340.883.67
Jesse Hahn73.18.193.490.833.67
Sam Freeman388.24.350.643.68
Jason Hammel176.17.72.750.933.68
Mike Leake214.16.692.420.853.69
Bryan Shaw76.17.312.890.843.69
Edward Mujica606.7720.973.69
Randy Choate367.483.30.783.69
Chad Jenkins31.25.511.540.893.71
Jason Frasor47.
Scott Kazmir190.17.212.520.933.71
Logan Ondrusek418.993.770.923.71
Matt Garza163.17.172.530.923.71
Neal Cotts66.28.442.81.063.72
Drew Hutchison184.28.362.971.013.72
Wade Miley201.17.593.110.863.72
Dan Otero86.24.991.530.823.72
Carlos Villanueva77.
Aaron Loup68.27.593.610.753.73
Tom Gorzelanny218.673.330.983.73
Ronald Belisario66.16.572.90.763.73
Alfredo Simon196.16.512.530.833.73
Kirby Yates369.363.391.073.73
Blake Treinen50.25.92.540.743.73
Brandon Maurer69.27.582.710.963.74
Lance Lynn203.27.793.090.93.74
Bud Norris165.17.452.80.923.74
Phil Coke586.933.140.763.74
Mike Bolsinger52.18.362.020.833.74
Drew Smyly1537.522.590.983.74
Jamey Wright70.
Chase Whitley75.27.372.630.953.74
Randall Delgado77.29.5240.963.74
Stolmy Pimentel32.210.343.821.133.74
Charlie Morton157.
Anthony DeSclafani336.971.921.063.75
Jesse Chavez1467.892.920.973.76
Rick Porcello204.26.021.990.93.76
J.J. Hoover62.210.173.721.143.76
Julio Teheran2217.332.50.993.76
Vic Black34.294.570.773.76
Brad Brach62.17.943.340.893.77
Tyler Lyons36.
A.J. Ramos649.494.710.823.78
T.J. McFarland58.25.632.450.763.79
Tommy Kahnle68.28.1540.793.79
Tanner Roark198.26.452.10.973.79
Rafael Soriano628.1131.023.8
Tim Hudson189.15.922.140.883.8
Antonio Bastardo6410.114.361.013.8
Vance Worley110.
Roenis Elias163.27.763.350.883.8
LaTroy Hawkins54.15.911.960.923.81
Chase Anderson114.17.822.950.993.81
Clay Buchholz170.
Yovani Gallardo192.16.92.890.873.81
Drew Pomeranz697.743.440.873.82
Esmil Rogers45.28.523.413.82
George Kontos32.17.42.940.933.82
Edinson Volquez192.26.893.180.83.82
Dan Jennings40.18.43.960.863.82
Brad Ziegler676.530.793.83
Wei-Yin Chen185.26.662.213.83
Josh Lueke30.16.492.130.993.83
Christian Friedrich24.19.363.851.043.84
Brian Matusz51.28.753.151.113.84
Nick Greenwood364.61.740.83.84
Jorge de la Rosa184.16.983.340.83.85
Kevin Gausman113.
Kyle Hendricks80.15.711.930.933.85
Shawn Tolleson71.28.333.560.963.85
Kevin Siegrist30.110.183.981.153.85
Tyler Matzek117.
Juan Gutierrez63.272.461.013.86
Josh Zeid20.28.493.351.043.86
Chris Withrow21.110.776.250.733.87
Zach McAllister867.542.871.013.88
Liam Hendriks32.26.641.971.083.88
Joe Thatcher30.17.411.821.243.89
Kyle Gibson179.
Trevor Bauer1538.273.341.033.89
Yohan Flande595.432.450.83.89
Matt Cain90.17.032.970.923.89
Matt Belisle64.26.512.420.973.89
Tyler Chatwood247.383.450.873.9
Doug Fister1645.241.60.973.9
J.A. Happ1587.192.711.013.9
Jake Odorizzi1688.422.961.153.91
Mat Latos102.16.942.431.043.91
Brandon League636.13.710.623.91
Kyle Lohse198.16.432.181.033.92
Dan Haren1866.672.131.083.92
Gonzalez Germen30.18.724.030.963.92
Odrisamer Despaigne96.16.442.890.873.93
Brandon Kintzler58.15.152.420.793.93
Tom Koehler191.
Joe Kelly96.16.853.670.763.93
A.J. Burnett213.27.723.860.853.94
J.P. Howell497.714.150.793.94
Justin Verlander2067.232.821.023.94
Jeff Locke131.16.292.970.843.94
Jose Veras469.284.70.913.95
Robbie Erlin61.16.762.471.033.95
Jerome Williams1156.522.670.953.95
Jon Niese187.26.292.410.983.95
Jarred Cosart180.16.483.290.813.95
Josh Outman28.18.094.420.83.96
Jake Peavy202.26.92.621.033.96
Dustin McGowan827.523.360.963.96
Trevor May45.29.083.751.113.96
Vidal Nuno161.26.912.341.13.96
Bartolo Colon202.16.161.761.123.97
Matt Stites337.833.920.883.97
Daniel Webb67.28.24.810.743.98
Brian Schlitter56.15.7330.783.98
Nick Masset457.894.060.873.98
Tanner Scheppers237.723.750.913.98
Hector Noesi172.16.832.830.993.99
C.C. Lee288.23.581.033.99
Juan Nicasio93.26.823.120.933.99
Andrew Heaney29.16.322.60.974
Ryan Pressly28.15.952.730.884
Brandon Cumpton706.32.421.014
Casey Janssen45.26.21.911.124.01
Ryan Vogelsong184.
David Buchanan117.26.162.870.894.01
Jeremy Guthrie202.26.122.410.994.01
Jordan Lyles126.
Danny Duffy149.17.032.951.014.01
Jared Burton647.233.250.974.01
Mario Hollands476.763.660.84.01
Martin Perez51.16.032.950.864.01
Ricky Nolasco1596.762.671.034.01
Joe Nathan588.193.7914.01
Neftali Feliz31.26.762.621.054.01
Marco Estrada150.27.432.881.094.01
Tim Lincecum155.27.553.660.934.02
Jeremy Hellickson63.27.422.891.094.02
Kevin Slowey37.16.221.831.154.02
Taylor Jordan25.26.882.891.014.03
Wesley Wright48.16.753.550.844.03
Sergio Santos2111.646.460.924.03
Rubby de la Rosa101.27.023.410.924.04
Samuel Deduno100.27.313.810.874.04
Trevor Cahill110.
Bronson Arroyo865.211.970.984.04
Jacob Turner1136.292.970.914.04
Brandon Morrow33.
Kevin Chapman21.17.733.690.974.04
Brandon Gomes346.752.771.044.05
Tsuyoshi Wada69.16.982.781.074.05
Mike Minor145.16.972.781.074.05
Jake Buchanan35.15.843.190.84.06
Javy Guerra46.17.623.730.954.06
Alex Torres548.334.760.824.06
Justin Masterson128.27.874.360.854.06
Maikel Cleto29.110.366.090.844.07
Burke Badenhop70.25.152.470.874.07
Miles Mikolas57.16.762.771.054.08
Jim Johnson53.17.574.240.844.08
Lisalverto Bonilla20.28.074.580.844.08
Robbie Ross78.16.32.810.984.09
Edwin Jackson140.28.083.9314.09
Ross Detwiler636.142.770.974.09
Miguel Gonzalez1596.722.791.054.09
Brian Wilson48.19.444.41.14.09
Chris Capuano97.
Shelby Miller1836.83.20.984.1
Jose Valverde20.29.424.141.174.1
Jason Motte256.762.951.034.1
C.J. Wilson175.27.473.90.924.1
Rafael Montero44.18.443.851.094.11
Logan Darnell247.73.641.024.11
Blaine Hardy397.323.980.894.11
Eury De la Rosa36.27.663.621.034.12
Brad Hand1115.812.990.894.12
Wade LeBlanc29.26.232.711.024.12
Francisley Bueno32.15.852.491.024.14
James Russell57.26.322.641.064.14
Jeanmar Gomez625.982.870.964.14
David Huff596.333.020.984.14
Yohan Pino60.
Dillon Gee137.16.192.741.024.14
Jason Vargas1876.
Alex Colome23.
Scott Feldman180.15.822.571.014.15
Kyle Kendrick1996.
Chris Tillman207.16.6431.044.16
Brandon Workman877.283.371.064.17
Brian Duensing54.
Todd Redmond756.872.91.114.18
Allen Webster596.613.720.894.18
Josh Collmenter179.15.772.321.094.19
Brett Oberholtzer143.26.052.311.134.2
Aaron Harang204.
Scott Baker80.26.372.131.234.2
Brad Peacock131.
Roman Mendez336.944.130.864.21
Colby Lewis170.16.932.451.254.21
Joe Beimel455.122.510.964.22
Eric Stults1765.82.471.084.22
Darin Downs34.
Ivan Nova20.25.992.61.084.23
David Phelps1137.
Erasmo Ramirez75.17.263.681.054.26
Matt Lindstrom345.843.40.94.27
Luis Avilan43.163.940.84.27
Kyle Lobstein39.16.173.2614.29
Chris Perez46.17.624.370.964.29
Anthony Bass274.522.580.94.29
Cesar Ramos82.26.823.51.044.29
R.A. Dickey215.26.663.021.134.29
Daisuke Matsuzaka83.18.034.461.014.3
Grant Balfour62.18.324.90.964.3
Anthony Swarzak865.72.911.024.31
Scott Carroll129.15.342.960.954.31
David Hale87.15.833.820.834.31
Preston Claiborne217.373.971.044.31
Chris Bassitt29.27.273.351.174.32
Roberto Hernandez164.26.143.560.954.32
Ian Krol32.27.73.831.134.33
Randy Wolf25.26.622.721.224.33
Marco Gonzales34.28.284.341.14.33
Donn Roach30.15.613.640.864.34
Wandy Rodriguez26.26.832.911.214.34
Franklin Morales142.17.033.821.044.34
Jered Weaver213.16.873.171.174.35
Evan Meek23.16.863.960.984.35
Javier Lopez37.25.193.460.854.36
Christian Bergman54.25.691.91.294.36
Tony Cingrani63.18.34.451.114.37
Tyler Thornburg29.28.715.091.024.37
Sam LeCure56.27.163.881.074.38
Louis Coleman346.643.791.024.39
Kevin Correia1545.442.581.124.39
Jeff Manship237.364.550.964.4
Rex Brothers56.18.765.111.044.4
Hector Santiago127.17.213.561.174.4
Scott Downs385.663.90.854.4
Aaron Crow595.713.480.964.4
John Danks193.
Juan Oviedo31.27.584.031.124.41
Jhoulys Chacin63.16.223.351.074.42
Ubaldo Jimenez125.17.844.471.064.42
Dan Straily528.084.441.124.43
Tim Collins216.543.731.054.44
Michael Mariot257.
Tommy Milone1185.882.721.194.45
Kyle Farnsworth28.
Erik Bedard75.
Andre Rienzo64.27.514.461.054.47
Alexi Ogando258.
Mark Buehrle2025.232.421.184.48
Travis Wood173.27.273.561.244.49
Caleb Thielbar47.26.463.141.244.54
Eric Surkamp24.17.234.341.094.55
Nick Tepesch1265.112.971.094.56
Michael Kohn23.29.676.271.074.62
Felix Doubront79.26.443.71.184.64
Paul Maholm70.24.753.430.994.66
Robbie Ray28.26.533.721.24.66
Brad Penny265.073.551.044.68
Steve Delabar25.27.935.211.094.68
Chad Bettis24.
Nick Martinez140.15.813.531.164.69
Matt Guerrier285.133.431.114.74
Erik Johnson23.27.74.991.164.77
Chris Young1655.972.981.374.77
Bruce Chen48.16.112.811.444.79
Paul Clemens24.26.414.111.24.8
Anthony Ranaudo39.
Brad Mills20.27.654.621.284.82
Joe Saunders435.644.061.194.95
David Holmberg305.84.341.174.97
Craig Breslow54.
Mike Pelfrey23.25.465.811.235.63

How Accurate was the FRIAS method in 2014?

These projections for 2015 seem to be in the right ballpark at first glance. The pitchers we all expect to be great have their skills validated, and the metric expects more of the same from 2014’s breakout pitchers (Carrasco, deGrom, Keuchel, etc). FRIAS takes some interesting stances and I’ll likely write about some of these cases in the future.

But how good was the method in predicting 2014? To check this, I removed 2014 from the sample my models draw from and created new predictors. So this running of FRIAS is unaware of any 2014 statistics. It draws on the 2007-2013 sample to predict from 2013 what will happen in 2014.

Then I compared these 2014 projections to the eventual real-life values of FIP, and to compare I also downloaded the Steamer and ZiPS pitching projections for 2014 from, which is managed by Will Larson.

The comparison was done using R^2, Mean Absolute Error (MAE, the average difference between predicted and actual) and Root Mean Square Error (the square root of the squares of the differences). The sample was pitchers who accumulated 20+ innings in 2013 (necessary to get an FRIAS reading) and 50+ innings in 2014 (to get a relatively stable FIP) Smaller values are better for the latter two, as they measure error. The 2014 projections for FRIAS, Steamer and ZiPS, and the 2013 xFIPs of the pitchers are below with the Absolute Error of each system for each player.

2014 IP
2013 xFIP
S'mer AE
2013 xFIP AE
A.J. Burnett213.
A.J. Ramos643.693.63.583.243.210.480.390.370.03
Aaron Crow593.653.443.664.345.41.751.961.741.06
Aaron Harang204.14.174.894.614.793.570.61.321.041.22
Aaron Loup68.23.473.613.613.323.830.360.220.220.51
Adam Ottavino653.513.843.623.153.10.410.740.520.05
Adam Wainwright2273.243.052.882.552.880.360.1700.33
Adam Warren78.23.734.474.584.322.890.841.581.691.43
Addison Reed59.13.463.472.963.174.030.570.561.070.86
Al Alburquerque57.13.393.323.883.723.780.390.460.10.06
Alex Cobb166.13.413.393.473.363.
Alex Torres543.393.333.912.323.720.330.390.191.4
Alex Wood171.23.533.453.262.653.
Alfredo Simon196.13.694.323.953.964.330.640.010.380.37
Allen Webster594.14.74.546.514.350.250.350.192.16
Andre Rienzo64.24.4755.075.855.731.260.730.660.12
Andrew Cashner123.13.593.653.323.353.090.50.560.230.26
Andrew Miller62.12.783.263.453.051.511.271.751.941.54
Anibal Sanchez1263.153.513.192.392.710.440.80.480.32
Anthony Swarzak863.813.983.683.283.770.
Anthony Varvaro54.23.974.084.023.473.210.760.870.810.26
Antonio Bastardo643.653.763.2533.10.550.660.150.1
Aroldis Chapman542.472.222.442.470.891.581.331.551.58
Bartolo Colon202.13.963.83.453.233.570.390.230.120.34
Brad Boxberger64.23.673.563.594.412.840.830.720.751.57
Brad Brach62.14.234.564.624.143.90.330.660.720.24
Brad Hand1114.14.314.914.
Brad Peacock131.24.054.694.954.984.990.940.30.040.01
Brad Ziegler673.643.433.593.
Brandon Cumpton703.594.164.312.623.220.370.941.090.6
Brandon Kintzler58.13.353.483.722.544.681.331.20.962.14
Brandon League633.943.623.844.933.40.540.220.441.53
Brandon Maurer69.23.854.424.644.93.490.360.931.151.41
Brandon McCarthy2003.794.013.713.753.550.240.460.160.2
Brandon Workman873.533.754.373.434.440.910.690.071.01
Brett Cecil53.13.193.673.292.882.340.851.330.950.54
Brett Oberholtzer143.244.675.173.653.560.441.111.610.09
Brian Duensing54.13.693.653.633.244.510.820.860.881.27
Brian Matusz51.23.594.083.572.9140.410.080.431.09
Bronson Arroyo863.994.544.334.494.320.330.220.010.17
Bryan Morris64.13.763.744.364.894.10.340.360.260.79
Bryan Shaw76.13.73.713.393.073.420.
Bud Norris165.13.894.534.093.864.220.330.310.130.36
Burke Badenhop70.23.83.943.693.533.080.720.860.610.45
C.J. Wilson175.23.893.93.553.514.310.420.410.760.8
Carlos Carrasco1343.874.044.514.12.441.431.62.071.66
Carlos Martinez89.13.373.783.763.
Carlos Torres973.483.914.274.33.860.380.050.410.44
Carlos Villanueva77.
Casey Fien63.133.583.813.163.430.430.150.380.27
Cesar Ramos82.23.93.894.443.74.250.350.360.190.55
Chad Qualls51.13.143.774.073.323.130.010.640.940.19
Charlie Morton157.13.493.794.063.63.720.230.070.340.12
Chris Archer194.23.584.233.994.073.390.190.840.60.68
Chris Capuano97.13.924.153.853.553.910.
Chris Sale1743.173.313.143.172.570.60.740.570.6
Chris Tillman207.13.854.564.264.424.010.160.550.250.41
Clay Buchholz170.13.494.013.792.784.010.5200.221.23
Clayton Kershaw198.
Cliff Lee81.
Cody Allen69.23.413.343.212.992.990.420.350.220
Cole Hamels204.23.43.523.
Collin McHugh154.24.564.084.715.783.111.450.971.62.67
Corey Kluber235.23.353.793.483.32.3511.441.130.95
Cory Rasmus564.514.385.
Craig Breslow54.
Craig Kimbrel61.22.461.841.581.931.830.630.010.250.1
Craig Stammen72.23.173.363.272.823.
Daisuke Matsuzaka83.14.274.775.094.324.210.060.560.880.11
Dale Thayer65.13.743.673.473.793.850.110.180.380.06
Dallas Keuchel2003.724.024.434.253.210.510.811.221.04
Dan Haren1863.733.813.594.094.090.360.280.50
Dan Otero86.23.653.633.372.123.280.370.350.091.16
Dan Straily523.954.414.044.055.321.370.911.281.27
Danny Duffy149.
Danny Farquhar713.013.192.811.862.860.150.330.051
Danny Salazar1102.873.323.423.163.520.650.20.10.36
Darren O'Day68.23.684.063.453.583.320.360.740.130.26
David Carpenter613.123.363.582.832.940.180.420.640.11
David Huff593.53.844.64.614.130.630.290.470.48
David Phelps1134.14.514.33.814.410.310.10.110.6
David Price248.13.373.313.093.032.780.590.530.310.25
David Robertson64.
Dillon Gee137.13.914.224.0744.520.610.30.450.52
Doug Fister1643.683.313.183.263.930.250.620.750.67
Drew Pomeranz694.544.074.486.463.770.770.30.712.69
Drew Smyly1533.374.023.712.313.770.
Drew Storen56.13.683.383.523.622.710.970.670.810.91
Dustin McGowan823.433.724.423.675.021.591.30.61.35
Edinson Volquez192.
Edward Mujica603.283.923.953.713.70.420.220.250.01
Edwin Jackson140.23.793.93.73.794.450.660.550.750.66
Erasmo Ramirez75.13.974.354.354.835.381.411.031.030.55
Eric Stults1764.154.383.653.534.630.480.250.981.1
Erik Bedard75.24.214.434.114.384.390.
Ervin Santana1963.553.714.363.933.390.160.320.970.54
Felix Doubront79.
Felix Hernandez2363.123.032.742.612.560.560.470.180.05
Fernando Abad57.13.613.894.
Fernando Rodney66.13.182.983.222.842.830.350.150.390.01
Fernando Salas58.23.954.323.523.622.931.021.390.590.69
Francisco Liriano162.13.383.413.122.923.590.210.180.470.67
Francisco Rodriguez683.453.523.643.654.51.050.980.860.85
Franklin Morales142.
Garrett Richards168.23.574.124.243.662.60.971.521.641.06
Gavin Floyd54.13.433.663.854.613.790.360.130.060.82
Gerrit Cole1383.293.623.532.913.230.060.390.30.32
Gio Gonzalez158.23.653.533.33.413.030.620.50.270.38
Glen Perkins61.22.912.92.842.493.
Grant Balfour62.13.563.583.333.493.950.390.370.620.46
Greg Holland62.12.492.482.231.361.830.660.650.40.47
Hector Noesi172.14.394.215.194.364.830.440.620.360.47
Hector Rondon63.13.963.884.
Hector Santiago127.14.114.354.154.444.
Henderson Alvarez1873.823.7743.183.580.240.190.420.4
Hiroki Kuroda1993.624.023.863.563.60.020.420.260.04
Hisashi Iwakuma1793.453.623.443.443.250.20.370.190.19
Homer Bailey145.
Huston Street59.13.833.883.374.922.
Hyun-Jin Ryu1523.653.543.933.242.621.030.921.310.62
Ian Kennedy2014.014.213.674.593.210.810.461.38
J.A. Happ1584.234.664.424.314.270.040.390.150.04
J.J. Hoover62.23.683.963.563.474.971.291.011.411.5
Jacob Turner1134.244.474.544.434.160.080.310.380.27
Jake Arrieta156.
Jake Diekman713.243.534.342.52.650.590.881.690.15
Jake McGee71.
Jake Odorizzi1684.124.524.773.893.750.370.771.020.14
Jake Peavy202.23.854.213.563.964.
James Paxton743.34.244.493.
James Russell57.24.114.3944.453.440.670.950.561.01
James Shields2273.733.693.513.473.590.
Jamey Wright70.13.643.363.523.133.470.
Jared Burton643.373.783.693.614.230.860.450.540.62
Jared Hughes64.13.923.744.113.990.
Jarred Cosart180.14.254.764.424.353.770.480.990.650.58
Jason Grilli542.762.822.611.973.370.610.550.761.4
Jason Hammel176.
Jason Vargas1874.164.584.844.093.840.320.7410.25
Jean Machi66.13.233.333.32.293.430.
Jeanmar Gomez623.823.764.143.854.370.550.610.230.52
Jeff Locke131.14.033.994.294.034.370.340.380.080.34
Jeff Samardzija219.23.373.643.453.773.20.170.440.250.57
Jenrry Mejia93.22.93.754.132.463.730.830.020.41.27
Jered Weaver213.14.124.453.583.824.
Jeremy Affeldt55.14.263.543.784.442.861.40.680.921.58
Jeremy Guthrie202.24.24.844.614.794.320.120.520.290.47
Jeremy Hellickson63.23.934.454.
Jerome Williams1153.974.414.694.
Jerry Blevins57.13.953.943.733.882.771.181.170.961.11
Jesse Chavez1463.624.
Jhoulys Chacin63.13.994.4443.474.820.830.380.821.35
Jim Johnson53.13.413.363.423.455.081.671.721.661.63
Joaquin Benoit54.13.152.982.632.872.320.830.660.310.55
Joba Chamberlain633.913.94.295.643.160.750.741.132.48
Joe Kelly96.13.933.993.954.014.370.440.380.420.36
Joe Nathan583.363.432.692.263.940.580.511.251.68
Joe Smith74.
Joel Peralta63.
John Axford54.23.593.563.614.344.340.750.780.730
John Danks193.24.024.734.925.064.760.740.030.160.3
John Lackey1983.393.943.983.863.780.390.160.20.08
Johnny Cueto243.23.423.793.523.813.30.120.490.220.51
Jon Lester219.23.733.883.663.592.80.931.080.860.79
Jon Niese187.23.93.783.663.583.670.
Jonathan Broxton58.23.843.654.074.683.370.470.280.71.31
Jonathan Papelbon66.13.423.42.863.052.530.890.870.330.52
Jordan Lyles126.
Jordan Zimmermann199.23.43.773.413.362.680.721.090.730.68
Jorge de la Rosa184.14.034.424.263.764.340.310.080.080.58
Jose Fernandez51.
Jose Quintana200.13.634.273.93.822.810.821.461.091.01
Josh Beckett115.23.763.983.834.664.330.570.350.50.33
Josh Collmenter179.13.994.033.463.473.870.120.160.410.4
Josh Fields54.23.724.034.395.12.091.631.942.33.01
Juan Gutierrez63.23.753.763.863.734.
Juan Nicasio93.24.124.394.024.255.451.331.061.431.2
Julio Teheran2213.544.123.533.693.490.050.630.040.2
Junichi Tazawa633.323.353.333.222.940.380.410.390.28
Justin De Fratus52.23.883.93.854.013.110.770.790.740.9
Justin Grimm694.043.513.974.593.20.840.310.771.39
Justin Masterson128.23.43.593.533.354.51.10.910.971.15
Justin Verlander2063.53.6833.283.740.240.060.740.46
Justin Wilson603.453.493.993.413.620.170.130.370.21
Kelvin Herrera702.
Kenley Jansen65.12.742.512.111.991.910.830.60.20.08
Kevin Correia1544.194.594.754.44.670.480.080.080.27
Kevin Gausman113.13.333.953.73.993.410.080.540.290.58
Kevin Jepsen653.763.74.173.382.780.980.921.390.6
Koji Uehara64.12.512.692.031.613.090.580.41.061.48
Kyle Gibson179.14.294.324.
Kyle Kendrick1994.044.454.154.014.570.530.120.420.56
Kyle Lohse198.13.94.494.094.083.950.050.540.140.13
Lance Lynn203.23.613.623.343.283.350.
LaTroy Hawkins54.13.283.583.883.063.390.110.190.490.33
Luke Gregerson72.13.453.843.412.
Madison Bumgarner217.13.393.
Marco Estrada150.23.674.113.753.864.881.210.771.131.02
Mark Buehrle2024.254.484.34.13.660.590.820.640.44
Mark Melancon712.662.742.641.642.090.570.650.550.45
Martin Perez51.13.814.564.564.
Mat Latos102.13.413.863.363.13.650.
Matt Belisle64.23.433.583.33.033.740.310.160.440.71
Matt Cain90.13.783.853.473.934.580.80.731.110.65
Matt Garza163.13.613.823.653.883.540.
Max Scherzer220.13.233.453.062.742.850.380.60.210.11
Michael Wacha1073.383.583.532.923.170.210.410.360.25
Miguel Gonzalez1593.984.674.34.454.890.910.220.590.44
Mike Dunn573.443.543.433.123.060.380.480.370.06
Mike Fiers71.
Mike Leake214.13.964.
Mike Minor145.13.693.923.533.374.390.70.470.861.02
Nathan Eovaldi199.23.874.114.083.593.370.50.740.710.22
Neal Cotts66.
Nick Tepesch1263.744.484.474.
Nick Vincent553.373.643.522.062.770.60.870.750.71
Oliver Perez58.23.53.613.763.
Pat Neshek67.14.394.223.884.662.372.021.851.512.29
Paul Maholm70.24.083.954.124.244.960.881.010.840.72
Pedro Strop613.313.193.673.552.660.650.531.010.89
Phil Coke584.13.883.894.143.980.
Phil Hughes209.23.894.474.154.52.651.241.821.51.85
R.A. Dickey215.24.254.354.174.584.320.
Rafael Soriano623.984.013.633.653.080.90.930.550.57
Randall Delgado77.23.794.384.94.993.390.40.991.511.6
Rex Brothers56.13.43.373.193.364.981.581.611.791.62
Rick Porcello204.23.563.673.73.533.670.1100.030.14
Ricky Nolasco1593.714.183.743.344.30.590.120.560.96
Robbie Erlin61.
Robbie Ross78.13.453.473.623.184.741.
Roberto Hernandez164.23.633.754.774.634.851.
Ronald Belisario66.13.543.94.23.643.5400.360.660.1
Ross Detwiler634.113.643.943.664.160.050.520.220.5
Ryan Vogelsong184.24.464.254.084.913.850.610.40.231.06
Sam LeCure56.23.683.653.42.974.240.560.590.841.27
Samuel Deduno100.24.094.314.914.044.310.2200.60.27
Santiago Casilla58.13.863.753.893.673.180.680.570.710.49
Scott Atchison724.063.863.523.753.080.980.780.440.67
Scott Feldman180.13.914.
Scott Kazmir190.13.583.663.773.513.350.230.310.420.16
Sean Doolittle62.23.373.42.72.711.711.661.690.991
Sergio Romo583.293.162.522.853.940.650.781.421.09
Seth Maness80.13.493.173.923.433.380.110.210.540.05
Shawn Kelley51.23.343.883.543.633.020.320.860.520.61
Shelby Miller1833.553.773.463.674.540.990.771.080.87
Sonny Gray2193.333.963.522.73.460.
Stephen Strasburg2153.1532.953.212.940.
Steve Cishek65.
T.J. McFarland58.23.893.984.73.843.290.60.691.410.55
Tanner Roark198.23.383.994.322.413.470.090.520.851.06
Tim Hudson189.13.653.753.253.463.540.
Tim Lincecum155.23.693.613.583.744.310.620.70.730.57
Tim Stauffer64.13.513.363.913.553.020.490.340.890.53
Todd Redmond753.834.725.394.43.560.271.161.830.84
Tom Koehler191.144.384.744.273.840.160.540.90.43
Tom Wilhelmsen79.14.023.853.913.693.740.
Tommy Hunter60.23.323.863.973.683.150.170.710.820.53
Tommy Milone1184.074.043.684.34.690.620.651.010.39
Tony Cingrani63.13.633.753.843.785.371.741.621.531.59
Tony Sipp50.
Tony Watson77.13.473.63.463.22.690.780.910.770.51
Travis Wood173.24.194.784.183.894.380.
Trevor Cahill110.24.123.954.114.263.890.
Trevor Rosenthal70.12.472.682.371.912.990.520.310.621.08
Tyler Clippard70.13.543.973.333.822.750.791.220.581.07
Tyler Skaggs1133.844.343.794.863.550.290.790.241.31
Tyson Ross195.23.323.883.823.
Ubaldo Jimenez125.13.734.333.663.434.670.940.341.011.24
Vance Worley110.24.514.64.335.533.441.071.160.892.09
Vidal Nuno161.24.474.74.944.54.510.040.190.430.01
Wade Davis724.023.784.
Wade Miley201.13.873.913.763.983.980.110.070.220
Wei-Yin Chen185.24.054.564.084.043.890.160.670.190.15
Will Smith65.22.833.414.13.533.250.420.160.850.28
Wily Peralta198.23.824.294.364.
Yoervis Medina573.553.734.523.863.450.
Yovani Gallardo192.13.943.93.753.893.9400.040.190.05
Yu Darvish144.
Yusmeiro Petit1173.623.433.842.862.780.840.651.060.08
Zach Britton76.14.44.554.824.
Zach Duke58.24.2144.964.
Zach McAllister864.194.443.654.033.450.740.990.20.58
Zack Greinke202.13.553.4133.232.970.580.440.030.26
Zack Wheeler185.13.894.193.744.173.550.340.640.190.62

And then here are the R^2, MAE and RMSE values for the systems:

2013 xFIP0.1060.70660.9665

Steamer is superior in R^2, while FRIAS in superior in MAE and RMSE. It appears that the FRIAS method performed admirably for the 2014 season. ZiPS and Steamer have their advantages and project far more players (as they’re not limited to 20+ innings pitched in the previous season).

The top ten pitchers which FRIAS outperformed ZiPS and Steamer at projecting (in terms of the average AE of ZiPS and Steamer subtracted by the AE of FRIAS) were Brett Oberholtzer, Garrett Richards, Tanner Roark, Aaron Harang, Tom Koehler, Jason Vargas, Tyson Ross, Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi and Dallas Keuchel. These pitchers showed something in 2013 that led to them producing better stats in 2014 than the larger sample of their career would indicate. ZiPS and Steamer believed Brett Oberholtzer to be replacement-level or worse, while my system foresaw an even 4.00 FIP. Oberholtzer bested us all with a 3.56 mark, which was entirely build on homer suppression (FRIAS nailed the K/BB marks with 5.89/1.90).

John Danks

Photo taken by Keith Allison ( FRIAS was much more optimistic than other projection systems when it came to John Danks’ 2014. He fell apart in 2014 and was FRIAS’s third-worst miss.

The top ten pitchers the system missed relative to the other systems were Brad Peacock, Nick Tepesch, John Danks, Roberto Hernandez, Miguel Gonzalez, Danny Salazar, Kevin Correia, Homer Bailey, Alfredo Simon and Clay Buchholz. FRIAS didn’t love any of these guys other than Salazar, it just expected them to be decent-to-good and they weren’t. The top five guys and Correia totally imploded. The 2014 numbers foresee a similar line for the top miss, Peacock, with a 4.21 projected FIP.

So that is FRIAS. There are clear limitations to it, lack of ballpark and aging adjustments among them, but I believe its conciseness and transparency will make it a useful tool. I would like to write more about the quirks of its 2014 results as well as interesting things about its 2015 outputs.

FRIAS Case Study: Ervin Santana
Wrapping Up the Regular Season

Author: Spencer Estey

Spencer has been a baseball fan since a young age and, being from Toronto, he has always been partial to the Blue Jays. He is a statistics major at the University of Waterloo and is intensely interested in the analytic aspect of the game. Spencer follows baseball by watching countless games each season, reading various advanced analysis sites, playing in deep dynasty fantasy leagues and discussing the game with fellow fans.

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