All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > MLB > Wins and Losses
12/5/2012 2:16 PM
Posted by bad_luck on 12/5/2012 12:41:00 PM (view original):
Posted by MikeT23 on 12/5/2012 12:31:00 PM (view original):
Posted by MikeT23 on 12/5/2012 8:39:00 AM (view original):
Posted by bad_luck on 12/4/2012 10:16:00 PM (view original):
If someone has a great ERA, we know they pitched well. They may have been lucky or had great defense behind them, but we know that they were effective in limiting the other teams runs. A win doesn't tell us that. It tells us that they pitched at least five innings, had the lead when they left, and the lead held up. Maybe they were great and pitched 9 shutout innings. Maybe they sucked and gave up 9 runs in 5 innings. We don't know. The stat is useless.
If someone has a great W/L record, we know they pitched well.  Unless, of course, you can find someone with a great W/L record that really stunk it up.

I'll wait here while you find him.

Are you even trying to find this mystery pitcher?

You mean like the 85 pitchers since 1975 who have won at least 15 games and lost no more than 10 and still had an ERA over 4.00??? 

Barry Zito's 2012? Kevin Tapani's 1998? Storm Davis' 1989? Shawn Estes 2004?

Yikes. W/L record is worthless.

Here's where you're really missing the boat.  I would argue that, of the front page stats, W-L record tells us the MOST about Barry Zito in 2012.  Yeah, he still had a couple of total meltdowns early in the year.  But ultimately he rebounded and helped drag his team into and through the playoffs later in the season.  He was 5-0 in his last 6 starts of the regular season and 2-0 in the playoffs.  That's all you  need to know about that.  Do I need to give ERA or WHIP-based context for that, or any more-advanced metrics?  No.  That's all you need to know to know that he helped his team when they needed it most.  7-0 from the start of September on, including the playoffs.  Would you be at all surprised to see that stat mentioned alone in an article somewhere?  You shouldn't be, it already has been more than twice.  Why?  Because it's #@$!/$* meaningful, that's why.
12/5/2012 7:00 PM
W-L record tells us the MOST about Barry Zito in 2012
Does it? He went 15-8. That doesn't tell me anything. His 4+ ERA and 84 ERA+ tell me a lot.

Zito was good in his last 5 regular season starts. But he wasn't the second coming of 2000 Pedro and you need more than just his w/l record to see that.
12/5/2012 7:29 PM (edited)
Posted by mfahie on 12/5/2012 1:43:00 PM (view original):
I looked for a clear example from last year, to try to help you understand what I take from W/L. For an individual player/season, it's subtle, but it's definitely there. I found a nice pair:

Cole Hamels: 17-6, 3.05 ERA, 215 IP, 1.12 WHIP

Jordan Zimmerman: 12-8, 2.94 ERA, 195 IP, 1.17 WHIP

These are the most available, easy to find & read stats.

Now at this point, I say... these pitchers are really close in terms of effectiveness. I'd take the extra 20 IP from Cole, despite his ERA being a tenth of a run higher.
But now I'll look a little deeper into the stats. Adjusted for park, Zimmerman still has a lead, 134 ERA+ to 131. Also, Hamels gives up less hits & walks but more HR's, accounting for the difference in ERA. But why is their record so different? Probably run support, let me check it. (remembering at this point that it's a little harder to find - there's also a worthwhile shorthand in W/L that hasn't even been mentioned in the thread).

Cole Hamels 4.86 runs/game, Jordan Zimmerman 4.75 runs/game.

Hmm, the difference in run support is almost exactly the converse of the difference in their ERA's. So statistically they should have had pretty much the same record, but they didn't.

Now, you could conclude that it was just dumb luck. Or you could think about what we already know about baseball, that some pitchers know how to bear down when needed and when to pace themselves. Cole Hamels is a veteran in his prime with over 1000 IPs. Zimmerman coming into the season had less than 300. I contend that Cole Hamels was the superior pitcher in 2012, by a significant, if not massive, margin.

And I also contend that I could have at least guessed that from their W/L without doing all the work (although I would have been less certain than I am now).
In Hamels' 2012 starts the Phillies went 21-10. In Zimmermann's 2012 starts the Nationals went 21-11.

I'd say that the 5 pitcher win difference is more a result of a lack of run support in the games where Zimmermann didn't get a decision. Hamels had 8 no decisions. Zimmerman had 12.

In those 12, Zimmermann threw at least 6 innings 8 times and allowed 3 runs or less 9 times (2 runs or less 6 of those 9 times).

Hamels was probably the better pitcher in 2012, but not because the Phillies offense scored their runs while he was still in the game while the Nationals offense waited until Zimmermann was no longer the pitcher of record to score their runs.

12/5/2012 7:59 PM
After fully understanding my scenario (which you've stated is realistic and fair), did you change your mind on which pitcher was better?

Is Games Started a statistic that better reflects how well a pitcher pitched than Win-Loss record?
12/5/2012 8:04 PM
Posted by burnsy483 on 12/5/2012 7:59:00 PM (view original):
After fully understanding my scenario (which you've stated is realistic and fair), did you change your mind on which pitcher was better?

Is Games Started a statistic that better reflects how well a pitcher pitched than Win-Loss record?
Let's list the tools you gave us to evaluate the two pitcher's seasons:

IP (roughly, since you said one guy pitched 2/3 of the year and the other we assume pitched the entire season)
ERA
W/L record

If you had to take one stat away and still make the decision, which would it be?
12/5/2012 8:19 PM (edited)
Probably IP. The amount of decisions in each of the players win-loss records will probably give me an idea of how many innings he threw.

Are you going to answer my questions?

EDIT: On second thought, honestly, I don't know. There are guys who get unlucky with no-decisions. I'm not sure the point of limiting the amount of information we have, though.
12/6/2012 11:16 AM
I'd still take the second pitcher because throwing 200 innings with a 3.25 ERA is better than throwing 120 innings with a 3.00 ERA.

Kershaw went 14-9 last year and I would have taken him over just about any other NL pitcher. The W/L record is meaningless.


12/6/2012 11:48 AM
Repeating the same thing endlessly doesn't make it any more true.

I'll say this for a last time and you can continue on.    Noting the pitcher of record in every game tells a piece of the story.   It is worthy of a paragraph in the book of the game

Now continue on with COMPLETELY WORTHLESS!!! and MEANINGLESS!!!! or NEANDERTHALS!!!!!!
 
Any further discussion is ABSOLUTELY POINTLESS!!!!!
12/6/2012 11:52 AM
Posted by bad_luck on 12/6/2012 11:16:00 AM (view original):
I'd still take the second pitcher because throwing 200 innings with a 3.25 ERA is better than throwing 120 innings with a 3.00 ERA.

Kershaw went 14-9 last year and I would have taken him over just about any other NL pitcher. The W/L record is meaningless.


Fine, assume the 14-9 player didn't get hurt, he pitched through the season.  He finishes 17-12 with a 3.00 ERA, throwing the exact same amount of innings, pitching 95 all the time, compared to the 20-10 pitcher with a 3.25 ERA who has the exact same skillset, but manages games and wins a few more.  Who do you choose?  Remember that you agreed that the scenario was fair.

You also didn't answer whether or not you thought games started or win-loss record was a more useful stat.

12/6/2012 12:13 PM
Posted by burnsy483 on 12/6/2012 11:54:00 AM (view original):
Posted by bad_luck on 12/6/2012 11:16:00 AM (view original):
I'd still take the second pitcher because throwing 200 innings with a 3.25 ERA is better than throwing 120 innings with a 3.00 ERA.

Kershaw went 14-9 last year and I would have taken him over just about any other NL pitcher. The W/L record is meaningless.


Fine, assume the 14-9 player didn't get hurt, he pitched through the season.  He finishes 17-12 with a 3.00 ERA, throwing the exact same amount of innings, pitching 95 all the time, compared to the 20-10 pitcher with a 3.25 ERA who has the exact same skillset, but manages games and wins a few more.  Who do you choose?  Remember that you agreed that the scenario was fair.

You also didn't answer whether or not you thought games started or win-loss record was a more useful stat.

Then I'd take the guy that threw the 200 innings at a 3.00 ERA over the guy that threw 200 innings at a 3.25 ERA.

He's the better pitcher regardless of the W/L record.
12/6/2012 12:41 PM
Alright, what I got out of this is that it's more impotant for you to have a team with a better ERA than more wins. But I'm the "completely retarded" and "braindead" one.

Is games started or win-loss record a more useful stat?
12/6/2012 12:45 PM
Posted by burnsy483 on 12/6/2012 12:42:00 PM (view original):
Alright, what I got out of this is that it's more impotant for you to have a team with a better ERA than more wins. But I'm the "completely retarded" and "braindead" one.

Is games started or win-loss record a more useful stat?
Team wins and pitcher wins are not the same thing. Did you not see the other guy's example of Hamels and Zimmermann? The Phillies and the Nationals each won 21 games in their starts. Hamels had 17 wins and Zimmermann had 12.

I'd rather have the better pitcher because he gives me a better chance of winning more games.
12/6/2012 12:46 PM
Regarding W/L and GS, neither is useful on its own.

With other info, IP(nobody uses GS for anything other than establishing that a guy was a starter) is more important.
12/6/2012 12:48 PM
You asked me what pitching to the score, managing games, etc has to do with w-l record. I gave you a scenario, which you understood and accepted. It's an example that shows how you can have a better w-l record, getting your team more wins, and having a higher ERA.

Is games started or w-l record a more useful statistic?
12/6/2012 12:52 PM
Posted by bad_luck on 12/6/2012 12:46:00 PM (view original):
Regarding W/L and GS, neither is useful on its own.

With other info, IP(nobody uses GS for anything other than establishing that a guy was a starter) is more important.
Ok. So you value IP as a useful statistic.

What's more likely - the 220 IP pitcher being better than the 180 IP pitcher, or, the 20-8 pitcher being better than the 16-12 pitcher?
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