This article is part of our The Saber's Edge series.
Pineda isn't the only pitcher who struggled to keep his ERA near is ERA estimators. NFBC owners are picking Robbie Ray right after Pineda. Ray (11th highest K-BB%) posted a 4.90 ERA last year while his ERA estimators were all less than 3.80. Historically, some pitchers have a higher ERA than FIP.
This week, I will determine which traits indicate which pitchers will struggle with an ERA greater than their ERA estimators.
One issue that must be immediately addressed is a survivor bias. If a pitcher has a 4.00 FIP talent level but a 4.50 ERA talent level, he will work himself out of the league quickly. On the other hand, if a pitcher has the same 4.00 FIP talent level but a 3.50 ERA talent level, he will hang around longer. Or at least until he tears up his shoulder. Teams aren't