Monday, December 20, 2010

Best Starting Pitchers in MLB

The older I get the more I enjoy listening to baseball talk shows. Recently the topic of many conversations/debates is the worth of Cliff Lee and whether he's the best pitcher in baseball. I decided to rummage through every teams' roster and comprise a list of pitchers that have been consistently great/good over the past 3 years like Lee has been.

Criteria- Must have a 3 year track record of a sub 4.00 ERA and a minimum of 75 games started.

Reasoning- 3 years is a solid sample size, so it disqualifies any flash-in-the-pans or injury prone types. Real "aces" should average at least 25 games started a season and have a reputation built upon more than 1 or 2 good years.

Stats-Win/Loss Record, Games Started, Complete Games, Innings Pitched, Walk to Strikeout Ratio, ERA/WHIP, AVG Against/Opponents OPS, WAR (Wins Above Replacement).

1. Roy Halladay 58-31, 98 GS, 27 CG, 735.2 IP, 104:633, 2.67/1.07, .246/.644, 21.5 WAR.

2. Felix Hernandez 41-28, 99 GS, 10 CG, 689 IP, 221:624, 2.69/1.18, .232/.634, 16.8 WAR.

3. Adam Wainwright 50-22, 87 GS, 7 CG, 595.1 IP, 156:516, 2.68/1.14, .237/.640, 14.1 WAR.

4. Tim Lincecum 49-22, 98 GS, 7 CG, 664.2 IP, 228:757, 2.83/1.15, .223/.615, 20.8 WAR.

5. CC Sabathia 57-25, 103 GS, 14 CG, 720.2 IP, 200:645, 3.07/1.15, .236/.644, 19.1 WAR.

6. Cliff Lee 48-25, 93 CG, 17 CG, 667.1 IP, 95:536, 2.98/1.12, .255/.651, 20.9 WAR.

7. Johan Santana 40-25, 88 GS, 7 CG, 600 IP, 164:496, 2.85/1.18, .238/.660, 11.0 WAR.

8. Josh Johnson 33-12, 75 GS, 4 CG, 480 IP, 133:454, 2.94/1.17, .241/.638, 14.0 WAR.

9. Jon Lester 50-23, 97 GS, 6 CG, 621.2 IP, 213:613, 3.29/1.24, .240/.661, 17.1 WAR.

10. Zack Greinke 39-32, 98 GS, 10 CG, 651.2 IP, 162:602, 3.25/1.19, .249/.673, 19.6 WAR.

11. Matt Cain 35-33, 100 GS, 9 CG, 658.2 IP, 225:534, 3.27/1.21, .235/.682, 11.2 WAR.

12. Clayton Kershaw 26-23, 83 GS, 1 CG, 483 IP, 224:497, 3.17/1.27, .221/.639, 9.8 WAR.

13. Ubaldo Jimenez 46-32, 100 GS, 6 CG, 638.1 IP, 280:584, 3.43/1.27, .227/.644, 16.3 WAR.

14. Dan Haren 42-30, 101 GS, 6 CG, 680.1 IP, 132:645, 3.47/1.14, .247/.681, 17.0 WAR.

15. Justin Verlander 48-35, 101 GS, 8 CG, 665.1 IP, 221:651, 3.84/1.24, .214/.669, 18.1 WAR.

16. Ryan Dempster 43-27, 98 GS, 3 CG, 622 IP, 227:567, 3.49/1.28, .244/.695, 12.4 WAR.

17. Cole Hamels 36-32, 98 GS, 5 CG, 629.2 IP, 157:575, 3.46/1.18, .245/.700, 11.9 WAR.

18. Roy Oswalt 38-29, 94 GS, 8 CG, 601.2 IP, 144:496, 3.52/1.14, .243/.673, 11.2 WAR.

19. Chad Billingsley 40-32, 95 GS, 2 CG, 588.2 IP, 235:551, 3.58/1.31, .245/.686, 12.2 WAR.

20. Wandy Rodriguez 34-31, 90 GS, 1 CG, 538 IP, 175:502, 3.36/1.28, .251/.703, 10.2 WAR.

21. Jair Jurrjens 34-26, 85 GS, 519.2 IP, 187:377, 3.45/1.31, .253/.709, 8.8 WAR.

22. Jered Weaver 40-30, 97 GS, 4 CG, 612 IP, 174:559, 3.65/1.19, .239/.689, 13.1 WAR.

23. Ted Lilly 39-30, 91 GS, 1 CG, 575.1 IP, 144:501, 3.63/1.12, .233/.701, 8.8 WAR.

24. John Danks 40-31, 97 GS, 2 CG, 608.1 IP, 200:470, 3.61/1.24, .243/.685, 12.5 WAR.

25. Carlos Zambrano 34-19, 78 GS, 2 CG, 487.2 IP, 219:399, 3.71/1.36, .244/.684, 9.0 WAR.

26. Derek Lowe 45-33, 101 GS, 1 CG, 599.1 IP, 169:394, 3.95/1.33, .273/.721, 10.3 WAR.

27. Hiroki Kuroda 28-30, 82 GS, 2 CG, 497 IP, 114:362, 3.60/1.18, .247/.656, 10.0 WAR.

28. Mark Buehrle 41-35, 100 GS, 5 CG, 642.1 IP, 146:344, 3.97/1.33, .284/.751, 11.8 WAR.

29. Matt Garza 34-31, 94 GS, 6 CG, 592.1 IP, 201:567, 3.86/1.25, .242/.702, 7.9 WAR.

30. Randy Wolf 36-31, 101 GS, 2 CG, 620.1 IP, 216:464, 3.89/1.29, .249/.724, 5.8 WAR.

31. Gavin Floyd 38-32, 94 GS, 3 CG, 586.2 IP, 187:459, 3.99/1.29, .253/.713, 11.4 WAR.

Honorable Metions:
Andy Pettitte, Jonathan Sanchez, Erwin Sanatana, Joe Saunders, John Lackey, Bronson Arroyo, Joel Pineiro, Scott Baker, Edwin Jackson, Mike Pelfrey, Jon Garland, Yovani Gallardo, Chris Carpenter, Tim Hudson, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Shaun Marcum, David Price, Tommy Hanson, Mat Latos, Clay Buchholz, Ricky Romero, and Trevor Cahill.

Observations:
*Clearly Roy Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball.
*Good ERA doesn't always mean good win/loss record (see Kuroda, Cain, Kershaw, Hamels, and Wandy Rodriguez).
*There are only 31 pitchers in all of baseball who fit the listed criteria.
*When ranking I weighted ERA/WHIP and IP more heavily than win/loss record, although wins are important.
*The Phillies have 4 of the Top 31 starting pitchers in their rotation based on this criteria.
*Playoff stats were not included, because not every pitcher has that opportunity.
*This is my arbitrary system of ranking the starting pitchers in baseball. Therefore, I know it's open to scrutiny and debate.

7 comments:

ripjgarcia said...

I'll give it a little scrutiny..

Ted Lilly > Andy Petitte?

ripjgarcia said...

Oh.. and Greinke is way to high up there. One season does not a pitcher make. If you look at his stats the rest of his years have been that of a 2-3.

GM-Carson said...

I based it off the past 3 years. Pettitte didn't make it because of ERA. I went solely on the criteria I set forth when I began this endeavor.

Oh, and for what it's worth, I think Lilly is vastly underrated.

Andrew said...

Interesting how shitty pitchers pop up with that criteria:

Wandy Rod (too inconsistent), Greinke (headcase with one good season), Kershaw (too young), Dempster (too weird), Billingsly (too inconsistent), Lilly (too over the hill), Wolf (come on!), Floyd (1 good season)

Andrew said...

ok, I'll give you Lilly. He's pretty consistent. But still old!

Bob D said...

Doesn't matter on age - it matters how they have produced. Interesting Halladay - Lee 1 & 2 in least amount of walks and CG. CC edged out Lee only by being on better team and having more wins. Lee was slightly better in pitching though.

ripjgarcia said...

I could do without Adrian Peterson in my life right at this moment.