For better, for worse: Skill wins out over luck in long run of season
Most have heard the expression "It's better to be lucky than good", but an analysis of baseball statistics tells us that opposite is actually true. As a matter of fact, a few forward-thinking baseball minds are beginning to literally measure luck and the impact that it has on the game.
A number of complicated mathematical formulas can be used to illustrate a fairly simple notion -- that even though pitchers' "stuff" can dominate hitters, those pitchers actually have very little control over what happens to balls put into play. This notion is known as fielding independent pitching or "FIP". In part, FIP helps us to understand which pitchers were good and which ones were just getting lucky.
Skill as a commodity is far less fleeting than luck and is a vastly superior predictor of success. FIP attempts to weigh the difference between what has happened and what in essence "should" happen. Over a long enough period of time, luck will eventually run out and the cream of the crop -- in terms of talent -- should rise to the top. Recognizing which statistics to rely on is essential in separating luck from skill and hope from knowledge. FIP allows us to do just that.
After all, to excel at fantasy baseball, all you need are two essential components -- a little bit of luck, and the ability to predict the future. All in all, that's not really asking for too much, is it?
For this exercise, players that are more good than lucky are For Better; those that are more lucky than good are For Worse.