BABIP: Batting Average of Balls In Play. Grants a hitter or pitcher (technically, BABIP allowed for pitchers) a batting average based on all batted balls, not including HRs. A grossly high number can indicate an unlucky pitcher/lucky hitter, and a low number can indicate a lucky pitcher/unlucky hitter. Line Drive Percentage, Ballpark Factor, and Team Defense can all be variables to explain a given BABIP outside of the luck factor.
Barrel: a batted ball at least over 98 MPH, roughly between 10 and 50 degrees depending on the exit velocity. Read more here. Often calculated as either a percentage of plate appearances or batted ball events. For more information on barrel rates, Read Colin Charles and Scott Chu’s article on advanced statistics.
BB%: Walk percentage. The ratio of walks per plate appearances for batters, the ratio of walks allowed per batters faced for pitchers.
BB/9: Walks per nine innings. Also known as BB per 9. An elite rate is 2.25 or lower, a poor rate is 3 or higher.
Chase Rate: How often a batter swings a pitch that wasn’t located inside the strike zone. Also known as O-Swing.
CSW: Called Strikes + Whiffs. A good determination of how dominant a pitcher performed. ~30% is good, anything hinting 35-40% is excellent. 20-25% often comes with bad results.
FIP: Fielding Independent Pitching. An Earned Run metric that grants an expected run total over 9 innings given league average batted balls. In other words, it removes the luck factor of batted balls and attributes them equally to determine a pitcher’s expected ERA.
HR/FB: Home Runs allowed per Fly Ball for pitchers, Home Runs hit per Fly Ball for hitters.
ISO: Isolated Power. ISO is calculated by subtracting a batter’s slugging percentage from their batting average (SLG – AVG). ISO indicates the percentage of extra bases (2B, 3B, HRs) per hit. The greater the ISO, the greater the total bases per batter’s hit.
K%: Strikeout percentage. The ratio of strikeouts per plate appearances for batters, the ratio of strikeouts per batters faced for pitchers.
K/9: Strikeouts per nine innings. Also known as K per 9. An elite rate is 9 per 9, a sub-par is 7 or lower.
LOB%: Left On Base percentage. Calculates the how often a pitcher prevents base-runners from scoring a run. Often considered a luck stat in which the pitcher has little effect on its number. High LOB% = lucky pitcher, low LOB% = unlucky pitcher. League average normally sits around 71.0%.
Runs Above Average: An accumulative stat that dictates how effective a pitch is based on how frequently it is used and its outcome. The effectiveness is compared to the league average, creating a +/- difference. Given its accumulative nature, many pitchers can have a large + number for high-quality pitches, while others may have a large – number for frequently ineffective pitches.
SNIP: Called Strikes + Whiffs + Fouls. Stands for Strikes Not In Play, and shows when a pitcher can use a pitch to get ahead in counts.
Swinging Strike %: How often a pitcher’s pitch induces a swing and a miss on that specific pitch. Also known as Whiff Rate.
Streamer: Pitchers who are added just for a single start based on a good matchup and are quickly dropped thereafter.
OBP: On-base percentage. Adds batting average plus walk percentage plus hit-by-pitch percentage. (AVG + BB% + HBP%)
OPS: On-base percentage + slugging percentage. (OBP + SLG)
O-Swing rate: How often a batter swings a pitch that wasn’t located inside the strikezone. Also known as Chase Rate.
pVal: A metric used by Pitchf/x to define a pitch’s effectiveness. See Runs Above Average.
Thrown %: The percentage of which a pitcher throws a specific pitch.
Volatility %: How often a pitcher performs in the extremes of either ERA or Strikeouts/WHIP (VPR or VPRs). Also known as V-rate.
VPR: Volatility Performance Ratio. A metric unique to Pitcher List that analyzes how often a starting pitcher throws a game with either an excellent ERA, average ERA, or poor ERA. Explained in depth here – with leaderboards here.
VPRs: Volatility Performance Ratio strikeouts. Just like VPR but measures Strikeouts and WHIP instead of ERA.
wOBA: Weighted On-Base Average. It is an attempt, like wRC+ (below) to boil offensive production down to a single number.
wRC+: Weighted Runs Created Plus. This stat calculates Runs Created and places it on a scale where 100 is league average. The higher the number the better.
WAR: Wins Above Replacement. An accumulative metric that takes variables from offensive ability, speed, and defensive ability, and deduces how many Wins that player earns for their team above the league’s average player at that position.
Whiff Rate: How often a pitch induces a swinging strike from a batter. Also known as Swinging Strike %
xFIP: The same as FIP, but changes their HR/FB% number to league average (~10%). Pitchers with a lower xFIP than FIP had an above average HR/FB%, while pitchers with a higher xFIP than FIP had a below average HR/FB%.
xBACON: Expected batting average on contact. BACON takes BABIP and adds HRs back into the equation
xStats: Refers to Baseball Savant’s expected stats. Read more about it in Colin Charles and Scott Chu’s article on advanced stats. Includes, among others: xAVG, xSLG, xwOBA, xBABIP, and xBACON.
Zone Rate: How often a pitcher’s pitch is located inside the strikezone.
Aces Gonna Ace: When an elite pitcher does really well in a start and surprises nobody. One of the more exciting times of a season is when a pitcher gets their first ever Aces Gonna Ace label as they move up my personal rankings.
Anti-List: Considering that The List ranks the best starting pitchers, the Anti-List is Nick’s joke list of the worst possible starters to roll with in fantasy.
Birthday Party: When a pitcher who is rarely any good has a great start, it’s a fun day that happens about once a year.
Blame it on the ____: When a pitcher does better than they normally should because they were pitching against a horrible offense, such as the Padres, Reds, or Marlins.
Blegh: When a guy is below average but not horrendous. Pitching lines that make you feel uncomfortable looking at them.
Boyd Watching: Nick’s way of saying that he doesn’t want to go after Matt Boyd. Pulled from this Gary Larsen cartoon.
BSB: Blake Snell Blueprint. The approach for a pitcher to be North-South instead of East-West with their pitches. Think four-seamers elevated with sliders, curveballs, and changeups low and out of the zone. It’s what drove Snell’s 2018 success, coining the term. Nick has a poster of this strike zone plot on his wall.
Call Boy: The pitcher Nick picked as that day’s streamer. “Secondary Call Boy” refers to a worthwhile choice but not the first option for the stream. “Reluctant Call Boy” was the Call Boy of the day, but only due to a lack of options and was not recommend to actually stream in normal circumstances.
Cardinal Sin: An off-shoot of Dodgeritis for the St. Louis Cardinals who are known to ease their young arms in. Often means that arms like Wacha, Wainwright, and Weaver all had to go through the bullpen at some point prior to starting.
Careful, Icarus: When a pitcher is putting up a great line and pitches just too long into a game, ruining it all. Often after seven frames where it goes south quickly in the eighth. Derived from the obvious Greek myth denouncing greed and this Craig Ferguson bit.
Cherry Bomb: A term given to a pitcher who could give an excellent performance or a complete dud. In other words, be really sweet (cherry) or blow up in your face (bomb).
CHIPS: Stands for Career High Ignoring Prospect Status. It’s for the cases where players have a wonky rookie season (or 4 game “first” year) that we don’t want to include when talking about career marks. Created on Twitter by reader @mgsimmons98.
CLIPS: Stands for Career Low Ignoring Prospect Status. Same thing as CHIPS, but career low instead of high.
CSWS: Stands for Can’t Start, Won’t Start. It tracks the lowest CSW rate of the season for any start of at least 90+ pitches. The current leader is Yonny Chirinos with a 9/93 mark on May 3rd.
Cup of Schmo: A fantasy irrelevant rookie pitcher who comes up for a spot start and will quickly be sent down to the minors thereafter. Can also refer to a rookie pitcher who has a spot in a big league rotation, but isn’t a household name because he isn’t good enough to be on a fantasy roster.
DANG: Stands for Day game After Night Game. Catchers normally sit either the day or the night game because the physical toll is a lot to play both- a fact that is relevant for streaming catchers.
Discount Hotel: Trent Thornton‘s nickname. His initials are TT = Double-Tee = DoubleTree is a popular hotel chain. Yep, welcome to Nick Pollack.
DLH: Stands for Disabled List Hangover. Nick has a theory that you shouldn’t start pitchers for their first start back from a DL stint, especially an extended one.
Dodgeritis: Expressing how the Dodgers rarely have a core set of starters that pitch every five days. Young pitchers get tossed back in the bullpen, the DL is manipulated, etc. You just don’t know what they are going to do with their arms each week.
Doing the Dougie: When a pitcher has a solid WHIP and allows 0 ER but strikes out one or fewer batters (in honor of Doug Fister).
Don’t Trust A Knuckleballer: Nick’s way of saying that Knuckleballers are unpredictable and can’t be depended on to be a productive member of your roster.
Double Bubble: When a pitcher does well for one start making you add him to your team, but then you quickly dropping him thereafter as you question why you still owned him. Just like how a Double Bubble is sweet for like 5 seconds, then you chew for 10 minutes without realizing you don’t need this in your life.
Dusty Donut: When a pitcher has an excellent strikeout total and great WHIP or ERA, but it comes with either a poor ERA or poor WHIP. You want to enjoy the sweet K total and ERA or WHIP, but you feel dirty for liking it.
Dutch Invasion: A term for Derek Holland‘s collapse from being a decent streamer to a poor fantasy option.
Easy A: Nickname for Aaron Nola. Comes from New Orleans (NOLA) being the “Big Easy” and Aaron deserving an “A Grade”.
Ego Starters:An Ego Starter is a pitcher Nick believes would yell at their manager if they pulled them from a game too early if they were dominating. Think Max Scherzer yelling as he’s cruising through seven innings or Madison Bumgarner refusing to get pulled after just 78 pitches.
False Start: What we’re calling the Openers of the Rays as they aren’t true starters and it’s throwing everything off.
Frank: A term for those that we don’t expect to have any fantasy relevancy over the course of a season. Derived from Frank Reynolds becoming the Trashman in Always Sunny. If they actually become fantasy relevant during the course of the season, they would be known as a Frankenstein.
Fratty Pirate: Nick’s nickname for Ryan Yarbrough – “Yaaaar Brah”.
FunYun: It squishes “Fun” and “Young” to detail a young arm that we love to chase for their future potential to kill it this season + they are super cheap to purchase. Think prospect arms coming up that we get excited about who we quickly fall for. Very similar to a Spice Girl. These guys often have ace upside.
Golden Goal:The award given to a pitcher if they earn both a Gallows Pole (most whiffs on the night) and a King Cole (highest CSW across at least 5.0 IP) on a given night.
Gosse Egg: When Daniel Gossett performs badly. A play on “Goose Egg”, which is often reserved for a 0 ER game.
Grave Mistake: When you start a pitcher who doesn’t help in strikeouts and you’re banking on getting help in the W/ERA/WHIP and it doesn’t pan out. Based on Kendall Graveman‘s continuous disappointments.
HAISTFMFWT?: Stands for How Am I Supposed To Feed My Family With This? Nick says it any time a starter doesn’t earn a single strikeout. It was late one night back in 2014 and for whatever reason he keeps saying it.
HOTEL: Stands for HOly Trinity Equating Luck. BABIP + LOB + HR/FB are the three elements that help us determine if a pitcher is getting lucky or not. For the most part, it’s the holy trinity, after all.
King Cole: The daily award given to the starting pitcher with the highest CSW rate of the evening, minimum 5.0 innings. Named after Gerrit Cole, who held the #1 CSW across the 2019 season.
Loose Lips: Jeff Samardzija‘s nickname. Derived from his actual nickname of “Shark”. Shark –> Jaws –> Samardzija is ineffective and sink ships –> Loose Lips.
Minimalist Score: The sum of ER + Hits + Walks + Strkeouts across a start of at least eight frames. One point is subtracted if they go the full nine frames. The 2015 winner was Alfredo Simon, who on April 15th had a line of 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks, earning a MS of 4. The winner of 2016 was Jeff Locke who earned an MS Score of 3 on May 30th in a CGSHO. The 2018 winner was Ryan Borucki with 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks on August 4th. The current 2019 leader is Kyle Hendricks with an MS Score of 6 with his CGSHO on May 3rd.
MFRSDPSPA: Most Fantasy Relevant San Diego Starting Pitcher Award. Because Ervin Santana made the Twins finally have some fantasy relevance, the Padres are now the clear team that make us shrug.
MFRMSPA: Most Fantasy Relevant Miami Starting Pitcher Award. Formally the Twins and Padres, the Marlins are now the team that have no clear fantasy relevancy in their starting rotation.
Money Pitch: Nick’s term for a pitch inside a pitcher’s arsenal that meets three thresholds: O-Swing 40%+, Zone rate 40%+, and whiff rate 15%+. In other words, it’s a pitch that can do it all – miss bats, get chases off the plate as a putaway offering, and get strikes inside the zone.
NL Easy: Another way of saying NL East, emphasizing the division’s poor offensive teams.
One Night Bland: When a normally solid pitcher performs terribly and we shouldn’t read into it.
Panda: A pitcher who is Waiver Wire Fodder –> WWF –> Panda. Also makes the joke that the player is like Pablo Sandoval who used to be rosterable but is now worthless to your team.
Paul Funyun: Bartolo Colon‘s nickname as part of the Minnesota Twins. Combines legendary Paul Bunyan of lumberjack lore and the popular Funyuns snack.
PEAS: Stands for Poor Execution, Awesome Stuff. It’s given to a few players who are incredibly tantalizing, but ultimately rarely express their upside and are more headaches than guys you actually want to roster. Prime example is Carlos Rodon. Similar to a Cherry Bomb, but these players have more obvious upside despite not expressing it less often.
Philly: When a starter goes exactly 5.2 IP with 3 ER or fewer, pulled just one out away from a Quality Start. Derived from Phillies manager Gabe Kapler quickly getting a reputation for a premature hook and “close but no cigar”, i.e. a Philly.
Plague of the 19: Nick’s way of referring to how pretty much everyone inside the “Definitive Top 19” tier of the 2016 pre-season was a disappointment one way or another.
POLLYWOGS: Stands for Pretty Overly Luscious Launching of, Yessir, a Walk-Off Grand Slam.
PQS: A Poor Quality Start. It’s when a pitcher goes exactly 6 innings and 3 ER as a 4.50 ERA hurts your team but is technically a “Quality Start”. Formally “Pity Quality Start” but this just makes so much more sense.
Raggedy Anne: The nickname for Ben Lively. Derived from Anne Lively of Minority Report fame and the fact that Ben is not a polished player. Mash that together and you get a children’s doll. VOILA!
Ratio Focused: Pitchers on The List that get their value for being above average in ERA and WHIP. Generally not strikeout focused.
Rockie Road: The Colorado Rockies are much worse on the road and are a sweet team to stream pitchers against.
Rocky Mountain Way:The rule to start Colorado Rockies pitchers on the road against average or weak teams and only at home against well below average teams. Guys like Chad Bettis, German Marquez, Kyle Freeland, and Tyler Anderson all fit this.
Singled Out: When a pitcher gives a lot of runs due to a really high BABIP as opposed to giving up the longball.
Sir W. : Williams Perez‘s nickname. Instead of a first name and a last name, Perez has two last names i.e. double surnames –> Sir W.
Spare Tires: As a follow up to the Power Quads these are five other young pitchers that he liked to outperform their 2017 ADP but aren’t in as much favor as the aforementioned group of four: Dylan Bundy, Sean Manaea, Garrett Richards, Jharel Cotton, and Robert Gsellman.
Spice Girls: A term given to the vast array of pitchers that were off-the-radar in the preseason that are now becoming intriguing adds but might not stick around, let it be from the minors or relievers turned starters. Examples from 2018 include Jordan Montgomery, Joe Biagini, Randall Delgado, Zack Godley, Amir Garrett, Brad Peacock. Derived from the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe”, as well as the idea that some of them stay in the limelight for a long time, while others fade into irrelevance.
Spider-Man: The nickname given to the best Toby performing at the time, since Maguire is the most prolific of all Tobys, despite the slight change of spelling.
SPOIL’D: Stands for Starting Pitchers On Injury List…Dang. Other variant is The SPITS (Starting Pitcher Injuries of Twenty Seventeen), but this one makes a lot more sense in the flow of sentences. Man, 2017 was the worst for injuries.
Still ILL: With the DL now turning into the IL (Injured List), Still ILL takes the place of DLH. Stands for Injured List Layover.
Stop Jeroming!: A term given to pitchers who are constantly performing poorly. Created in honor of Jerome Williams.
TATIAGA: The Ace That Is Always Gonna Ace, i.e. Clayton Kershaw.
The Bear: Jordan Montgomery‘s nickname. Comes from JorMont, which alludes to the Game of Thrones character Jorah Mormont of Bear Island.
The Big Apple: Bartolo Colon‘s former nickname while pitching in New York.
The Giant Peach: Bartolo Colon‘s new nickname while pitching in Atlanta.
The Cardinal Rule: The rule that you should start any pitcher against the 2021 St. Louis Cardinals. Their offense is as poor as it gets.
The Deuce of Chicago: Dan Haren‘s nickname. Formerly the Ace of Miami before getting traded at the 2015 deadline.
The Dirty Cheerleader: Drew Pomeranz‘s nickname. He’s pitching great = Dirty, Pom Pom = Cheerleader.
TPT: Stands for The Playoff Tax. Often pitchers who perform well or terribly during the playoffs have their ADP wildly affected despite the much larger sample of the regular season.
The Vargas Rule: It’s a rule that’s applied when a pitcher who is historically not so great is performing at a high level we didn’t expect. You keep starting him until he gives us a reason not to, inspired by Jason Vargas‘ ridiculous start to the 2017 season.
TEEs: Stands for The End of an ERA – plural since it’s a group of them. It represents pitchers who are giving owners a low ERA despite every indication that they should be holding a 4.00 ERA+. They are big teases and shouldn’t be depended on to produce in the immediate future and beyond. Colby Lewis is the poster child, with guys like Zach Davies, and Martin Perez also leading the way in 2016.
TIARA: Stands for Turn It Around Right Away. It’s for pitchers who are going through tough stretches but you have to give them the benefit of the doubt that they will figure it out at some point, after which you’ll have confidence starting them the rest of the way. 2017 examples include Corey Kluber, Masahiro Tanaka, and Justin Verlander.
Toby: A middling pitcher who has little upside but a steady enough floor that may earn a spot on your roster just for some stability, but is to be avoided against tougher matchups. That guy who goes to work every day and gets the job done but he’s super boring and you don’t want to talk to him, like ever. You don’t even want to acknowledge that he works for the same company as everyone else. Named after The Office character of the same name.
Tobey Maguire: The nickname given to the best Toby performing at the time, since Maguire is the most prolific of all Tobys, despite the slight change of spelling. Also referred to as Spiderman.
VPQS: It’s a PQS that has both a 4.50 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. It’s the golden standard of having a bad outing that somehow gets rewarded.
Werewolf: A pitcher who has a good start once in a full moon. Don’t own these guys.
WHERST: The opposite of the Minimalist Score as it tracks the start with the highest total of ER, Walks, and Hits. (Walks, Hits, ER, Start = WHERST). The 2017 champions were Christian Bergman and Jeff Locke with marks of 26 – Bregman allowed 10 ER, 14 Hits, and 2 Walks in his May 23rd outing, while Locke allowed 11 ER, 11 Hits, and 4 Walks in his July 3rd outing. 2018’s leader is Matt Moore with a score of 23 on May 2nd.
Young Gun: A young pitcher who may make a strong fantasy impact in future seasons, but doesn’t know how to wield his weapons just yet and will shoot himself in the foot often in the short term.
We made a table for everyone confused about positional eligibility across leagues:
|ESPN & Fantrax||Yahoo||CBS|
|Pre-season||20 games||5 starts or 10 games||20 games|
|In Season||10 games||5 starts or 10 games||5 games|