ERA in baseball stands for Earned Run Average. This is one of the most important stats a coach, player or fans can use to evaluate how well a pitcher is performing during the season. While it is not the end-all-be-all of pitching effectiveness, it does paint a solid picture.
ERA is one of the three main stats when calculating for the pitching triple crown in Major League Baseball, with the other two being wins and strikeouts. This tells you that it is one of the most important pitching stats to calculate.
The number one goal for any pitcher is to prevent runs from scoring, as this enhances your team’s ability to win as many ballgames as possible.
How Do You Calculate ERA?
Calculating ERA in baseball is simple. Take the number of innings (9 in professional baseball, 7 in youth and amateur ball) times the amount of earned runs the pitcher gives up, divided by the number of innings he pitched during the game.
For example, if an MLB pitcher goes 7 innings and gives up 2 earned runs, his ERA will be 2.57 for that game. Use this simple ERA calculator to find a pitcher’s earned run average.
Can Anything Affect ERA?
The reason I stated that ERA can’t be trusted as the end-all-be-all of pitching stats is that there are so many different things that can affect its calculation.
ERA specifically calculates the earned runs of a pitcher, but as baseball fans know, pitchers also give up unearned runs that don’t go into this calculation. Runs scored because of defensive errors will not count towards the pitcher’s final ERA.
The prowess of defense is a huge factor in what a pitcher’s final earned run average will be. A team with a great defense will get more outs, turn more double plays, and get to balls hit into the gaps. This means that there will be less inherited base runners to score.
Teams with poor defense won’t to get to the same hard-hit balls or produce as many defensive runs saved, which will balloon your pitcher’s ERA, even if he can’t help that his defense isn’t as good as another team’s.
Who Invented ERA?
The invention of ERA can be credited to statistician and writer Henry Chadwick in the mid-to-late 19th century, according to mlb.com.
“His thinking was that win-loss record simply didn’t go far enough in determining the mark of a good pitcher. The statistic caught on in the 20th century, when relief pitchers became more prevalent.”
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