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Quality Start Thought Experiment
Posted 23 January 2012 - 02:36 PM
What I got thinking about is whether a guy who gives you the bare minimum for a quality start is better or worse than a guy who alternates dominant starts and terrible ones.
So, for example, which pitcher would you rather have:
Pitcher A has 30 starts, 180 innings, has given up 90 earned runs, and, thus, has a 4.50 ERA. In every single start, he's gone six innings, giving up exactly three runs in each start. Thus, he's a perfect 30 for 30 in quality starts.
Pitcher B also has 30 starts, 180 innings, has given up 90 earned runs, and, thus, also has a 4.50 ERA. In 15 of his starts, he's thrown a shutout - 9 innings, 0 earned runs (which guarantees that his team won, except maybe once or twice when the team lost in extras (thanks, Carlos)). In the other 15 starts, he went just three innings, giving up six earned runs in each start. He's just 15 of 30 in quality starts, but his good starts were dominant, and his bad starts were terrible.
So, who are you picking?
Posted 23 January 2012 - 02:45 PM
Posted 23 January 2012 - 03:45 PM
Posted 23 January 2012 - 05:46 PM
With Pitcher A, you need to make sure you have an offense that will score 4+ runs and a bullpen that will hold on for the last 3 innings. But that kind of predictability would be nice.
With Pitcher B, you'd need to have a deep bullpen, because having to get 6 innings out of it (plus whatever the rest of the rotation leaves it) is going to be a killer. But you're also getting 15 guaranteed wins a year.
If I had to make a choice, I'd go with B, likely a higher WAR, therefore (statistically) likely more valuable to the team.
Posted 24 January 2012 - 07:14 AM
Posted 24 January 2012 - 11:59 AM
"We won a game yesterday. If we win one today, that’s two in a row. We win one tomorrow, that’s called a winning streak. It HAS happened before." - Lou Brown
Posted 24 January 2012 - 03:43 PM
Posted 25 January 2012 - 01:43 PM
(I bet these "thought experiments" are what chess masters do while waiting in line at the grocery store instead of reading The Enquirer)
My first thought is: don't say anything bad about the Quality Start stat because Brett likes it. My second thought is: I'm going to find out why.
Now, third thought, I take pitcher B an pencil in my .500 win rate for his spot on the staff. There are so few iterations for a pitcher that I could come up on the short end on many more of pitcher A's games. It doesn't seem just. It just seems right.
Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:42 AM
Brett, are you sort of abstractly comparing Demptster (A) and Wells (B ) from last year? Now obviously it is not a perfect comparison but from generalities it is close. Dempster was Mr. Minimum quality start last year and it seemed that Wells either got completely shelled early or was great until Quade left him in an inning too long. I think almost everybody would pick Dempster. I have always liked Wells and don't think he should be scrapped just yet. He did have a great spring training last year and I don't think he was ever really healthy until the end.
It's interesting to put players' faces on it, but no, I hadn't been thinking of anyone in particular when I brought this up. Dempster is very interesting, though, because yeah - he was all about the 6 inning, 3 ER starts last year.
Posted 27 January 2012 - 11:47 AM
So the expected wins for each player would be:
.483 WP X 30 G = 14.49 Wins for Player A
.984 X 15 G + .175 X 15 G = 17.3 Wins for Player B
Wins for player B are likely underestimated as well, because the .175 winning percentage was based on games where the pitcher pitched 3 innings and allowed 6 earned runs or more. So, based on this analysis, pitcher B is probably good for 3 more wins that season. However, to investigate this more thoroughly, the effects of these starts on the following games should be addressed. I think it would be interesting to look at the winning percentage of the teams in the games immediately following a start (say, the next 1-4 games?) in which their starting pitcher pitched 3, 6, or 9 innings, to see the effect of having to use your bullpen for 6 innings, 3, or not at all.
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