These three pitchers aren’t exactly sleepers but they are three guys I expect to own in a lot of leagues next year. All three have an elite K rate, an average to poor BB rate and an HR problem. Sounds like three guys to really get on board with right? However, if we look at year to year correlations for these stats it might start to make sense.
What this chart shows is that in terms of year to year correlation, K rate is strong, BB rate and HR rate are moderate and HR/FB has no correlation. Based on that we can reasonably assume that these players will maintain their elite K rates and will potentially see fluctuations in their BB and HR rates (with HR rate having the highest chance at fluctuation). FIP and xFIP are the best metrics we have that combine these three stats. Given that these are the three stats that the pitcher controls the most, FIP and xFIP should always take precedence over ERA. The main difference between FIP and xFIP is that xFIP takes the league average for HR rate because it assumes (as mentioned above) that HR rate tends to fluctuate and typically regresses back to the mean. What we have are three pitchers who should continue to strike out batters, and might see some positive regression in the HR and BB department. The three pitchers I’m talking about are Jon Gray, Robbie Ray and the SP I can’t quit Michael Pineda.