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Justin Verlander's Insane Season


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15 replies to this topic

#1 Brett

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 05:28 PM

When I look at Verlander's season line so far - 2.38 ERA, 215.2 IP, 0.904 WHIP, 218 Ks - it strikes me as an insanely good line. As in, historically good.

So, considering all of that, why is his ERA+ just 167? Is Comerica Park really pitcher friendly or something?

#2 Lokanna

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 06:13 PM

Not being a huge Tiger's fan, I'm not really sure about the Park. I've been watching Verlander for a few seasons and along with Doc, he's one of my favorite pitchers in the Bigs. I saw a statistic on ESPN's crawl one evening where it said the Tigers are something like 2-18 in games prior to Verlander's rotation spot and his record following a loss was something like 12-4 (not exact numbers, but close). That line really stood out as what an "Ace" means to a team. He goes out and wins after losses, consistently, and his team can count on him for that. The Cubs need an Ace. (No pun intended Brett)

#3 King Jeff

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 06:36 PM

I've heard him mentioned a few times as an MVP candidate. If not for Adrian Gonzalez, Jose Batista, and Curtis Granderson, he might have a chance. It is the best season by a pitcher in a long time.

#4 MichiganGoat

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 07:11 PM

Is Comerica Park really pitcher friendly or something?

Yes, I've heard that before, but V is just insane this year

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#5 Sweet James Jones

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 08:42 PM

Dude. He is killing for my fantasy team. So was Josh Johnson...sigh. For real though, Verlander is killing.
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#6 MichiganGoat

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 09:08 PM

Dude. He is killing for my fantasy team. So was Josh Johnson...sigh. For real though, Verlander is killing.

I was lucky enough to get both Weaver and Haren in my draft. Weaver actually fell to the third round so I've been alright, but Posey going down really killed me.

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#7 EndlessBacklash

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 04:46 AM

According to Baseball-Reference, Comerica looks to be rated as a park with no particular advantage to either hitter or pitcher. With 100 being completely neutral (over 100 favors hitters, under 100 favors pitchers), Comerica scores a 99.

Here is the details behind the aforementioned Park Factor. Be prepared to get PTSD-style flashbacks to your high school math classes. :)
www.baseball-reference.com/about/parkadjust.shtml

With the AL league-average ERA being 4.01 and Verlander sporting a 2.38, it looks like that results in a 167 ERA+. I'm with you, as I fully believed his ERA+ to be much higher. Maybe there is something else being factored in that we aren't aware of. . .

The MVP discussion should be an interesting one indeed. Sabremetricians will point to Bautista leading MLB in so many standard categories (HR, walks, OBP, SLG, OPS), advanced categories (Runs Created, Batting Wins Created, WAR, Win Proability Added), and other cool categories (best soul patch, best at a staring contest). Granderson is having an outstanding season and fits into the more old-school "best player on arguably the best team in the AL" mold. Boston has Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury all playing at MVP levels in many respects (even though they are probably hurting their own causes by being on the same team).

Verlander definitely makes things interesting. He has the most wins, innings pitched, and strikeouts in ALL of MLB. That WHIP is scary good. As Brett pointed out, his season is bordering on historic. So what happens if he wins 24 or 25? What if Jered Weaver has another rough start or two and Verlander snatches the league ERA title? His Baseball-Reference WAR ranks him second in the league only to Bautista. It will really be exciting to see what happens down the stretch.

He is the reason that the Detroit Tigers win that division. Take him out of the rotation and they are a .500 team at best.

#8 MichiganGoat

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 07:10 AM

Another great analysis Kyle

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#9 CUB5

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 12:27 PM

Always hear pitchers shouldn't get MVP from people, but he's having a monster year and I would argue as long as he's his team's MVP, then he's worthy of the discussion - even if he doesn't play every day. Pitching to baseball is like quarterback to football. I'm surprised there haven't been more of them.
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#10 EndlessBacklash

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 02:35 PM

Looks we beat Bill Simmons to the punch. :)

His latest Grantland mailbag:

http://www.grantland...20/passing-buck

I think MVP races are going to be affected more and more by advanced statistics, regardless of position, especially as more forward-thinking and youthful writers get votes.

Makes you look at Pedro Martinez in 1999 and think, "How the he'll did he not win the MVP that year?"

#11 Dave

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 03:52 PM

When Comerica opened, it was huge, I think they've moved the walls in.

That said, Verlander is having an epic season, its insane.

#12 King Jeff

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 04:00 PM

The only problem I have with starters winning most valuable player is that they only affect the outcome of one out of every 5 games. I do think it's possible for a starter to have an MVP season, but with the way Adrian Gonzalez, Curtis Granderson, and Jose Bautista are playing, I don't think it will happen this year. Gonzalez has been better than adverised, Granderson has carried the Yankees offensively and defensively at times this year, and Jose Bautista is just ridiculous(probably the only reason I think LaHair should get a good look). If Verlander was in the NL, I think he would have a legitimate shot, but in the AL, I think he's toast.

#13 Brett

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 05:15 PM

The only problem I have with starters winning most valuable player is that they only affect the outcome of one out of every 5 games. I do think it's possible for a starter to have an MVP season, but with the way Adrian Gonzalez, Curtis Granderson, and Jose Bautista are playing, I don't think it will happen this year. Gonzalez has been better than adverised, Granderson has carried the Yankees offensively and defensively at times this year, and Jose Bautista is just ridiculous(probably the only reason I think LaHair should get a good look). If Verlander was in the NL, I think he would have a legitimate shot, but in the AL, I think he's toast.


Yeah, but they affect some 50% of the plays in those 1 in 5 games. That puts them (well, at least pitchers who, like Verlander, consistently throw 7, 8, 9 innings) at impacting as many as 1 in every 10 plays. And that's not just fielding a grounder or catching a pop fly.

What would that ratio be for a position player? It's 1 in 18 at the dish, and, depending on his position, another 1 in 20 in the field (remember, you have to count both teams)?

I think the "only plays 1 in 5 games" argument can be blown up this way.

#14 Dave

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 07:21 PM

Pitchers do deserve more MVP love.

In 2003 Eric Gagne had an ERA+ of 337, but couldn't get higher than 6th in MVP voting.

Or, pick a season for Pedro, almost any season. In '97 (his last with the Expos) he pitched 241.1 innings (13 CG) with a 1.90 era. He did win the Cy Young, but somehow finished 16th in MVP voting, Maddux and Schilling both finished higher in the MVP. He also came in behind the immortal Edgardo Alfonzo and his incredible .823 OPS. Everyone knows he was boned in '99 and (to a lesser extent) 2000.

I think the only way to get the voters to look past the "1 in 5" problem with starting pitchers is to return to a 4-man rotation. If a guy like Verlander goes out there every 4 days, makes 41 starts and pitches something like 280 innings, MVP voters will have to give some respect.

#15 hardtop

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 12:38 AM

It is very clear: play the game once every 5 games and you don't touch a bat: cannot be considered for MVP.




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