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Advanced MLB DFS: SIERA

We continue our breakdown of the basics for MLB DFS. In this section, we look at SIERA, with definitions and some basic strategy.

Shane Bieber #57 of the Cleveland Indians poses during MLB Photo Day on February 19, 2020 in Goodyear, Arizona. Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

If you have reached this level, you’ve likely been playing some form of fantasy baseball for a while now. We might think about fundamentals as applicable to beginners, but there are fundamentals even an expert level player can learn — or at least brush up on. For DFS, that means understanding how the SIERA statistic can help you build your lineups.

SIERA

Definition

SIERA, or Skill-Interactive ERA, tries to factor in luck and ability to formulate a more accurate ERA. It is like xFIP, but wants to understand as thoroughly as possible how good a pitcher is by factoring in the complexity of actual pitching.

Strategy

SIERA shows us that the ability to get strikeouts is immensely important to the overall ability of a pitcher. It shows that high strikeout pitchers, when not getting a strikeout, still are able to use that ability to induce weak contact compared to non-strikeout pitchers. SIERA factors in that skill more than FIP and XFIP, which in turn makes SIERA a strong, if not the best, pitching statistic for DFS.

GPP vs. Cash

I use SIERA across the board when choosing pitchers, as it has shown to be the most predictive statistic of future numbers and elevates strikeouts, the most important DFS stat for pitchers. I use SIERA to help me pick pitchers to use and for pitchers to target with my hitters, narrowing both down as much as I can with split stats.

Splits

We can’t be assured that a pitcher will face a certain number of lefties or righties in any matchup, but we can see how many lefties vs. righties each team sends out in their average lineup. Some teams are going to be stronger against one side of the plate than the other and if your pitcher matches up well against a lineup based on splits, especially SIERA, you are in business.