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mlb-starting-pitching-leaders-16-way-mark-2 | May | 2005 Articles

2005 Archives

MLB Starting Pitching Leaders (1/6-way mark!)

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Below are the top 10 starting pitchers in a four categories that you don't see every day. In fact, you never see the first three, since I'm the one that defined and named them. See the notes below for a description of these statistics. Hats off to Pedro Martinez, Jon Garland, Dontrelle Willis, Roger Clemens, Johan Santana, John Patterson, and Brett Myers for being in the top 10 in all four categories. No one else even makes the top 17 on all four lists. In fact, only one more pitcher -- last year's ERA leader Jake Peavy -- makes the top 25 in all four, and he's in the top 18 for each. Garland, Martinez, and Willis are completely dominant though, holding down the top three on all four lists. No one's bias against any of those pitchers can change the fact that they have dominated their opponents so far this season. Willis and Garland are both 5-0 for first-place teams and have allowed no stolen bases and thrown no wild pitches with ERAs in the 1.30s. Martinez is 3-1 for the fourth-place Mets and has allowed three steals and thrown four wild pitches with a 2.51 ERA. But Martinez has held betters to a .148 average, about 40 points lower than Willis or Garland, and Martinez blows them away in OPS Against. In short, maybe Martinez is slightly wilder and plays for a slightly worse team, but he's tougher to hit and was probably equally deserving of Pitcher of the Month honors as Willis and Garland. So while those two were April's award winners in the real world, I pick Pedro. Rookie Watch: Toronto's Gustavo Chacin and Arizona's Brad Halsey, both 24, are without doubt the rookie starters of each league for the first sixth of the season. Chacin is 4-1 with a 2.48 ERA (12th in MLB), and Halsey is 2-0 with a 2.90 ERA and (gasp!) only three walks in 31 innings! I'll be keeping those two on my rookie watch list. (Note: Halsey's ERA is actually 3.07, because he pitched four more walkless innings in a relief appearance.) To qualify to make these lists, a pitcher must have started four or more games and faced 100 or more batters before today's games. Effectiveness .824 -- Jon Garland .816 -- Pedro Martinez .808 -- Dontrelle Willis .790 -- Jake Peavy .778 -- Johan Santana .773 -- Roger Clemens .772 -- Mark Mulder .766 -- Brett Myers .765 -- John Patterson .763 -- AJ Burnett Adjusted WHIP 1.05 -- Jon Garland 1.14 -- Pedro Martinez 1.14 -- Dontrelle Willis 1.28 -- John Patterson 1.33 -- Roger Clemens 1.49 -- Erik Bedard 1.49 -- Mark Mulder 1.50 -- Rich Harden 1.51 -- Johan Santana 1.54 -- Brett Myers Free Base Number 1.66 -- Jon Garland 1.75 -- Dontrelle Willis 1.82 -- Pedro Martinez 1.91 -- Roger Clemens 1.91 -- Johan Santana 1.95 -- Bartolo Colon 1.96 -- Brett Myers 1.98 -- Mark Buehrle 2.05 -- Josh Towers 2.06 -- John Patterson OPS Against .411 -- Pedro Martinez .470 -- Jon Garland .485 -- Dontrelle Willis .507 -- John Patterson .516 -- Roger Clemens .562 -- Johan Santana .569 -- Brett Myers .570 -- Derek Lowe .583 -- Denny Bautista .589 -- Erik Bedard What the above stats mean: Effectiveness is a measure of a pitcher's effectiveness dependent on both the defense behind him and the ballparks he has played in. It is simply the ratio of outs per batter. It is also very similar to DIPP (which I am thinking about renaming "Independent Effectiveness"), which I have discussed at length before. Ef% = 3*IP/TBF Adjusted WHIP adds several statistics to the numerator of the traditional WHIP statistic. In addition to walks and hits, I have added hit-by-pitches, wild pitches, balks, stolen bases against, sacrifice flies, and sacrifice hits to account for a pitcher's wildness and tendency to allow baserunners to advance. aWHIP = (H+BB+HBP+WP+BK+SB+SF+SH) / IP The Free Base number is similar to Adjusted WHIP, except I remove hits from the numerator and add baserunners allowed (H+BB+HBP) to the denominator to make it a ratio of free bases allowed per opportunity. I haven't come up with a better name for this yet. FB = (BB+HBP+WP+BK+SF+SH+SB) / (TBF+H+BB+HBP) OPS Against should be self-explanatory, but inexplicably no one uses it. I think it should be used as often as OPS is used to exploit good hitters.

I'll take another look at these same leaderboards after approximately 54 games have been played, around June 5.

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