Mar 16, 2012

Classic - The Expected Quality Starts Formula




This is a post that originally appeared prior to the 2011 baseball season about how Quality Starts were added into the fantasy baseball cheatsheets here.

While it isn't a necessary part of every fantasy league, many points-based leagues and some roto leagues embrace the power of the Quality Start as opposed to the generic Win statistic. Last year, I debuted a formula that David Gassko shared with me to help predict quality starts based on projections. I decided to tinker with it a bit this year and develop an improved version of the Expected Quality Starts (xQS) statistic. Two things have a direct impact on quality starts: earned runs and innings pitched. In the old statistic, only earned runs were accounted for. In the new version, I try to also identify pitchers who have a tendency to pitch deeper into games as well.

As you can see above, the new formula (which is used in the cheatsheets for any league projection system you choose) accounts for average innings per game as well as ERA to give a number of quality starts expected. When looking at last year's season totals, this generated a correlation coefficient of .908 to actual results (improved from .900 from the old system) for anyone with 10 QS or more and an improvement to .882 from .864 for the top 100 finishers in QS.

As we get more projections at our fingertips this preseason, keep checking out the cheatsheets here to take advantage of the xQS statistic and use it to help dominate your league. In the meantime, you can simply use the chart above as a handy guide to have with you to remember who to target for those mysterious quality starts.

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