SIERA by definition stands for Skills Interactive ERA. It is considered the best ERA predictive statistic that exists (slightly more predictive than xFIP). In season K-BB% is king but usually, SIERA beats it out when it comes to predicting ERA in the off-season.
With that said I’m sure many have heard of SIERA and many likely know what it means. What people forget or don’t realize is that in fantasy baseball there are always exceptions to the rule. That rings true to SIERA as there are some pitchers out there who consistently outproduce their underlying metrics. Why? No one knows. Some questions just aren’t meant to be answered like why do I hate pancakes? Actually, I can answer that they are mushy with a grotesque texture.
Below will be some pitchers who seem to beat out their SIERA year after year, thus hopefully teaching us to always dive in and never take a number for what it is.
2019 SIERA: 5.19
2020 ERA: 4.33
2020 SIERA: 4.95
2021 ERA: 4.33
I’ll start off by saying this, SIERA does not like low strikeout pitchers which is a pattern you will notice here. For his career, Kyle Freeland has averaged a 18.6 K% while the league average is about 23%. His SIERA consistently calls for a high four ERA but Freeland has averaged a 4.20 ERA for his career.
Freeland is who he is. He is stuck with Coors Field and will consistently be inconsistent. He will likely continue his low four ERA trend with a middling strikeout rate. The one positive about Freeland is that if you are playing in deep leagues or draft and hold leagues he is a solid innings eater.
2019 SIERA: 4.47
2020 ERA: 2.29
2020 SIERA: 4.46
2021 ERA: 3.15
As you can see Bassitt continues to significantly outperform his SIERA indicators. In the previous three seasons, he has accumulated 364.1 innings with a 3.26 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. Yet his SIERA’s for the last three seasons were 4.47, 4.46, and 3.86.
Bassitt has been one of the most consistent pitchers and still seems to be undervalued. Steamer projections have him pegged for a 4.02 ERA even though he has only had an ERA over four just once – back in 2016 where he only started five games.
2019 SIERA: 4.70
2020 ERA: 3.15
2020 SIERA: 4.39
2021 ERA: 3.05
At age 40 I’m curious if Wainwright can continue this amazing stretch he’s had in the last two seasons putting together a 3.08 ERA. Wainwright much like Freeland is a low strikeout pitcher and that’s likely the reason for the SIERA hate.
Wainwright has always been extraordinarily good at inducing weak contact throughout his entire career. This is typically why pitchers who don’t need to rely on high-velocity age well. He knows how to paint the corners and has never had to rely on overpowering the opposing hitter.
Look for his high ground ball rate to stick with that stellar curveball sinker combination he loves to throw. Having the best defense in the league behind him doesn’t hurt either.
2019 SIERA: 4.28
2020 ERA: 4.00
2020 SIERA: 4.39
2021 ERA: 3.52
I’m not sure Jose Berrios has another level and I’m not sure he will ever be considered one of the best pitchers in baseball. What I am sure of is his consistency as well as his knack for staying on the mound.
In the last three seasons, Berrios has the third most innings pitched (455.1) and in those innings, he has produced a 3.66 ERA. With a solid 26.1% strikeout rate last season it looks like SIERA is finally catching up to him, projecting a 3.65 ERA next season. A note, his 26.1 K% last year was the highest of his career.
Perhaps he will finally take that step.
2019 SIERA: 3.83
2020 ERA: 3.32
2020 SIERA: 4.08
2021 ERA: 2.69
Bad boy Lance! It should be a sin for a metric not to love Lance Lynn. The fact that he technically throws a fastball 92.4% of the time and has the success he has is insanity. But I am totally here for it.
I don’t think SIERA really dislikes Lance Lynn, I think he just seems to always pitch well. His 2021 SIERA calls for a 3.72 ERA, a mark that his ERA hasn’t reached since 2018. Lynn certainly is an enigma with his pitch mix and at age 34 you wonder how long his success will continue.
As for me, I will continue to draft him until we see his regression happen and I will continue to enjoy the ride. Also if you haven’t watched him pitch make sure you do because he is a lot of fun to watch. There is only one Lance Lynn.
2018 SIERA: 4.03
2019 ERA: 3.46
2019 SIERA: 4.38
2020 ERA: 2.88
2020 SIERA: 4.00
2021 ERA: 4.77
As you can see Kyle Hendricks is (was?) the king of outperforming his SIERA. He did it for years but in 2021 it suddenly came to an end. Hendricks has typically outperformed all of his metrics, again unsurprising for a pitcher with such a low strikeout rate. So what do we do?
That’s a great question and one that I have yet to see an answer for. Can he over-perform once again like he always has? Of course. Or could this be the end of Kyle Hendricks? I could see that too.
It’s really hard to tell with these players but in my opinion, I think if a player has done it many times before it means it can always happen again.