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Friday, October 27, 2017

Jordan: The New (Old) Meaning of 20 Wins

Our own djordan exclaims: #MPWGA.

Since 2006, there have been exactly two dozen 20-game winners in the major leagues. All pitched to an ERA+ of over 130.

Although it’s a statistic that has gained awareness and respect over the years, ERA+ is not every baseball analyst’s primary measurement of dominance on the rubber. So why use it here? And why 130?

Do you know how many eligible starters possess a career ERA+ higher than 130 and are not in the Baseball Hall of Fame? Seven, and one of them is Roger Clemens, and one of them is Clayton Kershaw. Two are Roy Halladay and Johan Santana. Doc should make it to Cooperstown at some point and the former Minnesota Twins southpaw/two-time Cy Young Award winner is beginning to get some induction rumblings of his own (particularly from guys like Baseball-Reference founder Sean Forman, whose site provided the data for this piece.) I’m not going to comment on folks who don’t see much value in statistical “finish lines,” but to me, 130 is a strong benchmark of greatness for starters (the threshold being higher for relievers).

So here’s the thing – 19 starters have won 20 games in this decade and all of them possessed an ERA+ of 130 or higher. This has never happened before. So what, right? I believe that with the specialization of big league pitching staffs in today’s game, you will not see 20-win seasons without exceptional stats behind those totals ever again.


 

 

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