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Fantasy Baseball: 2009 xFIP Leaders and Some 2010 Sleepers

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Recently, Fangraphs has teamed up with The Hardball Times to include the THT pitching stat called Expected Fielding Independent Pitching, or xFIP.
xFIP is Expected Fielding Independent Pitching. This is an experimental stat that adjusts and "normalizes" the home run component. Research has shown that home runs allowed are pretty much a function of flyballs allowed and home park, so xFIP is based on the average number of home runs allowed per outfield fly. <strong>Theoretically, this should be a better predicter of a pitcher's future ERA</strong>


With that said, here are the 2009 xFIP leaders:



Name K/9 BB/9 K/BB HR/9 WHIP BABIP LOB% ERA FIP xFIP E-X
Javier Vazquez 9.77 1.81 5.41 0.82 1.03 0.297 76.60% 2.87 2.77 2.82 0.05
Tim Lincecum 10.42 2.72 3.84 0.4 1.05 0.297 75.90% 2.48 2.34 2.87 -0.39
Roy Halladay 7.83 1.32 5.94 0.83 1.13 0.313 79.00% 2.79 3.06 3.05 -0.26
Dan Haren 8.75 1.49 5.87 1.06 1 0.28 77.00% 3.14 3.23 3.08 0.06
Jon Lester 9.96 2.83 3.52 0.89 1.23 0.323 76.90% 3.41 3.15 3.13 0.28
Zack Greinke 9.5 2 4.75 0.43 1.07 0.313 79.30% 2.16 2.33 3.15 -0.99
Justin Verlander 10.09 2.36 4.27 0.75 1.18 0.328 72.70% 3.45 2.8 3.26 0.19
Ricky Nolasco 9.49 2.14 4.43 1.12 1.25 0.336 61.00% 5.06 3.35 3.28 1.78
Josh Beckett 8.43 2.33 3.62 1.06 1.19 0.302 71.60% 3.86 3.63 3.35 0.51
Adam Wainwright 8.19 2.55 3.21 0.66 1.21 0.309 80.40% 2.63 3.11 3.36 -0.73

Here are some sleepers for 2010 based on the difference between their 2009 ERA and xFIP:

Name K/9 BB/9 K/BB HR/9 WHIP BABIP LOB% ERA FIP xFIP E-X
Ricky Nolasco 9.49 2.14 4.43 1.12 1.25 0.336 61.00% 5.06 3.35 3.28 1.78
Carl Pavano 6.64 1.76 3.77 1.17 1.37 0.335 66.10% 5.1 4 3.96 1.14
Livan Hernandez 5 3.28 1.52 0.93 1.56 0.326 67.30% 5.44 4.44 4.78 0.66
Cole Hamels 7.81 2 3.91 1.12 1.29 0.325 72.10% 4.32 3.72 3.69 0.63
Jorge de la Rosa 9.39 4.04 2.33 0.97 1.38 0.316 71.60% 4.38 3.91 3.76 0.62
Jason Hammel 6.78 2.14 3.17 0.87 1.39 0.337 69.50% 4.33 3.71 3.81 0.52
Mike Pelfrey 5.22 3.22 1.62 0.88 1.51 0.321 66.70% 5.03 4.39 4.52 0.51
Josh Beckett 8.43 2.33 3.62 1.06 1.19 0.302 71.60% 3.86 3.63 3.35 0.51
Derek Lowe 5.13 2.91 1.76 0.74 1.52 0.33 68.70% 4.67 4.06 4.19 0.48
Brett Anderson 7.7 2.31 3.33 1.03 1.28 0.317 67.00% 4.06 3.69 3.61 0.45

You can see there is a correlation between high BABIP, low LOB% and the E-X column. The E-X column takes the difference between the putcher's ERA and his xFIP. I have written about previously, how Ricky Nolasco could be a very undervalued pitcher come draft day 2010. I have him in the UBA league at $10, but risk losing him if I don't give him a raise. This table screams to give him a raise, but I am not so sure.