I have decided this season to try to get into the advanced stats used often here. I have no problem with math and I understand enough about it and statistics to not be overwhelmed by it. I think part of my problem is that my brain can be stubborn so that when I see that a pitcher has an ERA over 5 but a FIP of under 4 my first thought is what matters is how many runs he allowed, not what it was the equivalent of, or how ever you would word that. I understand that there is more to it than that, but this seems to be my main problem. In the post game discussion of the game where the Royals beat the Yankees with Paulino starting there was some talk about advanced stats and how they relate to him. I was looking at fan graphs for him and Bruce Chen. This is an example of how I get confused my these stats.
Looking at last seasons totals for each, using Paulino's totals for both teams, I see that Chen had a better ERA (3.77-4.46), WHIP (1.30-1.44), AVG (.255-.272). BABIP (.278-.341) and LOB% (75.1-70.8). To my eye this means that Chen allowed fewer earned per 9 innings, fewer base runners per inning, was more likely to strand those runners and that batters were less likely to get a hit both overall and on balls in play. Yet Paulino had better FIP (3.69-4.39) and WAR (2.5-1.7). After the discussion in the previously mentioned post game thread I understand FIP. I guess I just don't know how much more weight I should give the newer stats opposed to the older ones.
Maybe it comes down to the old saying that you can use stats to prove just about anything. You can get one set of them to show that Chen was better in 2011 and another set to say that Paulino was better that season. It also seems that those that use the new stats defend their position more strongly than those that rely on the older stats and this can come across as rude or arrogant. Some of the reply's the a question about why there is such optimism to Paulino even with a high ERA appeared, to me at least, as saying the poster was an idiot for using ERA. I'm not saying that's what was meant by those relying to him, I have no idea what others are thinking, but that's how it appeared to me. I've seen that in other places as well so maybe that factors into my reluctance of them.
So where are good sites? What are the meaning behind these? I can look up what they mean and see the formula for them, but that doesn't always tell me the true meaning of them. I'm not asking for any in particular, feel free to educate me on ones you think I should be familiar with. Thanks for any assistance.