Friday, August 12, 2011

One Rank of Contenders' Starting Pitching

Cherry picking statistics is hazardous to your health (and reputation). But this writer wanted a quick and dirty overview of how contending teams have stacked up according to their starting pitching. One stat consulted is Game Score or Average Game Score. Developed by Bill James, the formula goes like this:
  1. Start with 50 points.
  2. Add 1 point for each out recorded, so 3 points for every complete inning pitched.
  3. Add 2 points for each inning completed after the 4th.
  4. Add 1 point for each strikeout.
  5. Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed.
  6. Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed.
  7. Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed.
  8. Subtract 1 point for each walk.
Again, lots of different statistics should be looked at before making judgments. But the Average Game Score is a good place to start for a quick look at starting pitching. Here's how the current contenders rank in the Average Game Score of its starters:

If you have trouble seeing the list, just click on it to make it bigger. Some conclusions based on the list:
  • There is no surprise in the two leaders. The Phillies and Angels' have had great starting pitching. The Angels' rotation is the only thing keeping them in the race.
  • That said, the Rangers' score is surprising. Their staff seems uneven at times, but overall, it's been a good rotation.
  • The Indians rate the lowest here, but eliminating their weakest link and replacing him in the rotation with Ubaldo Jimenez was a great move. 
  • The Red Sox scored surprisingly well considering their injuries. And Erik Bedard should be more help than hindrance.
  • The Yankees rotation was supposed to be crap when the season started, but they have held their own. Tweaks must be made though as they sort through whether Burnett or Hughes should get the bulk of the starts and whether they can come to grips with Ivan Nova being as successful as he's been.
  • The Braves have to worry about Tommy Hanson's health but they've been strong all year.
  • The White Sox hang in a lot of games because of their pitching. Peavy has been a help.
  • There is a lot of worry about the Tigers' rotation in this corner. Furbush was a nice pick up along with Doug Fister but inconsistency from Porcello and Scherzer are disconcerting.
  • The Brewers' rotation has been a strength as can be seen easily from the list.

That's a quick view from here. Nothing profound. Just a peek and what we have to look forward to down the stretch.

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