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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Astros’ Justin Verlander named ALCS MVP after two dominant starts vs. Yankees

The Astros are the American League pennant winner, thanks in part to a 4-0 (box score) Game 7 ALCS win over the Yankees on Saturday night. Among the post-game housekeeping items is naming an MVP and MLB has done so, with starting pitcher Justin Verlander taking the honors.

In two starts in the series, Verlander was 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA, 0.75 WHIP and 21 strikeouts in 16 innings.

LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 22, 2017 at 12:55 AM | 72 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: alcs mvp, astros, justin verlander, maybe 5% better than the guys the astros already have

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   1. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 22, 2017 at 01:46 AM (#5560039)
Pretty much the exact dream scenario contending teams who make that big deadline deal envision.

As a Michigan guy, I know a ton of people who were devastated to see Verlander moved. A close friend who is a major Tigers fan could barely bring himself to watch any of the Astros playoff games that JV pitched in. He felt torn between his love of JV and utter disappointment that Verlander might finally get that ring, albeit with a team other than the Tigers.

I don't have nearly the emotional stake in it, so it's been enjoyable just to watch Verlander be everything and more the Astros could have wanted. The walks seemed to be the main thing dragging down his numbers this year, and it certainly looked like he got that figured out. Best of luck to him in the World Series.
   2. Lars6788 Posted: October 22, 2017 at 06:16 AM (#5560045)
For some reason, I remember this thread - looks like the Astros did good on adding another pitcher for their playoff run and some of the overthinking 'fans' tend to do mean absolutely bupkis.
   3. Chris Fluit Posted: October 22, 2017 at 07:34 AM (#5560048)
Justin Verlander just isn't that good anymore. He increases Houston's chances of winning a game by 5% at best compared to anyone already on the roster. /snark
   4. bfan Posted: October 22, 2017 at 08:36 AM (#5560050)
I was one of the skeptics. I was totally wrong.

Did anyone else notice that the final 4 teams in the play-offs were the 4 teams that added stud starters to their rosters at the deadline (Verlander; Darvish; Gray; Quintana)? Whether coincidence or not, I am sure that will not be lost of contending teams, next trade deadline.
   5. Satan Says Posted: October 22, 2017 at 08:43 AM (#5560051)
Verlander has been lights out since the trade. He wins a couple more games and the Astros are halfway there.

   6. shoewizard Posted: October 22, 2017 at 09:20 AM (#5560056)
A bit off topic, sorry, but this is the active Astros discussion at the moment.

How did Charlie Morton go from 92 MPH avg to 96 MPH avg four seam FB, and 91-92 MPH on the Sinker to 95 MPH ?

Brooksbaseball

I see from Googling stories about him he missed almost all of 2016 with Hamstring issues after making 4 starts in April for Philly. The Velocity increase actually started in those 4 starts in 2016 though. He basically jumped almost 2.5 MPH overnight at age 32 in 2016, and then after missing 5 months with injury, added another tick on top of that in 2017. He says in one article I found that he doesn't know where the added velo came from, athough he felt he was throwing harder after TJ surgery. But that was 2013, 2.5 seasons before the velo increase in 2016

Climbing Tal's hill in Spring Training

Beyond the Box Scored from yesterday.




   7. Renegade (((JE))) Posted: October 22, 2017 at 09:21 AM (#5560057)
For some reason, I remember this thread - looks like the Astros did good on adding another pitcher for their playoff run and some of the overthinking 'fans' tend to do mean absolutely bupkis.
By trading for Verlander on the 31st of August as opposed to one month earlier, may we assume that the haul the Tigers received in return was a bit less meaty?

And in retrospect, it seems pretty wild that this deal went through.
   8. Scott Lange Posted: October 22, 2017 at 10:02 AM (#5560064)
And in retrospect, it seems pretty wild that this deal went through.

The Yankees could've scotched it by putting in a no-risk waiver claim, right?
   9. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 22, 2017 at 10:22 AM (#5560070)
6 - earlier in the year there was some discussion about the new measurement methods adding 1-2 MPH to all pitchers so that’s part of it but not all of it. I haven’t seen anything lately about that change so I’d be curious to see what the effect was.

Beyond that I wonder if the measurement methods are simply more effective and consistent. Looking at FanGraphs he’s had years where he averaged >94 in his Pittsburgh years so the difference between that and where he is now are not that crazy.
   10. shoewizard Posted: October 22, 2017 at 10:32 AM (#5560071)
Thanks for feedback. Aware of the measurement issues early in the season, (Making Zack Greinke's velo loss this year even more worrisome despite his good regular season results, swing and miss rate utterly collapsed late in the year).

Other than that, Morton just not at the age where you would expect this kind of gain. Remember the gain was there even before this year.

Oh well......wish him luck. I assume he is game 4 starter. Go Astros !

(I want to be able to continue to chant "1988!" at Dodger fans that get out of line at Chase Field.
   11. BDC Posted: October 22, 2017 at 10:36 AM (#5560072)
Verlander would seem to be one of two players who could crucially add to his HOF case in this World Series. The other is Carlos Beltran – if the Astros win, and if either of them does something heroic in the process.

By contrast on the other side, Kershaw is a HOFer no matter what happens; this pennant is already another overqualification for him. Meanwhile Chase Utley has a ring from a team he contributed much more to, and I can't see a Dodger victory helping his case much; unless he's the Series MVP or close to it. Which, like potential Beltran heroics, seems a long shot at their age and current form.
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: October 22, 2017 at 10:39 AM (#5560073)
By trading for Verlander on the 31st of August as opposed to one month earlier, may we assume that the haul the Tigers received in return was a bit less meaty?
Possibly, but on the other hand in mid/late July his ERA was still in the mid to upper 4's and McCullers was still pitching (albeit poorly).
And in retrospect, it seems pretty wild that this deal went through.
It really is. They had many things to navigate, including the no-trade rights, the waiver claim process, and the actual negotiation of trading a big contract player.
   13. PreservedFish Posted: October 22, 2017 at 11:16 AM (#5560080)
Verlander would seem to be one of two players who could crucially add to his HOF case in this World Series. The other is Carlos Beltran – if the Astros win, and if either of them does something heroic in the process.


I think it's more relevant for Altuve than for Beltran. He's established himself at a HOF level, but a heroic WS could really boost him. Yes, we need to assume many more years of production for it to become relevant. But he's the best player and heart of his team. He'll never get a better chance to gild his plaque than this one.
   14. Crosseyed and Painless Posted: October 22, 2017 at 11:22 AM (#5560083)
Verlander isn't already a HOFer? I just sort of figured he was.

I do want him to win this thing, but knowing the Tigers had a long run with 0 parades to show for it is sort of a bummer.
   15. shoewizard Posted: October 22, 2017 at 11:24 AM (#5560086)
I don't think there is much that Beltran can do this post season that would boost his HOF chances. First of all just how likely is it he has a monster World Series in the first place ? He's coming off second worst season of his career and is 3 for 17 with 2 double so far in 2017 post season.

secondly, if his career resume and post season performances prior to this season didn't convince a voter he is HOF worthy, it's simply too late now.

I guess if he suddenly went off and hit 3 or 4 homers in crucial situations, then maybe it would really help, but going back to first point, that is highly unlikely anyway.

   16. shoewizard Posted: October 22, 2017 at 11:32 AM (#5560092)
Verlander isn't already a HOFer? I just sort of figured he was.


Only if there is some massive adjustment to the HOf voter's standards for starting pitchers.

JAWS

Not in HOF WAR list


WAR    ERA+   G  GS   W   L W-L%     IP    H    R   ER  BB   SO  ERA  FIP    K%  BB%
80.8    127 569 436 216 146 .597 3261.0 2998 1318 1253 711 3116 3.46 3.23 23.55.4%
56.9    123 385 385 188 114 .623 2545.0 2242 1061  979 771 2416 3.46 3.47 23.07.3


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/22/2017.



   17. Mefisto Posted: October 22, 2017 at 12:07 PM (#5560101)
Obviously the Yankees should have signed Pablo Sandoval for the ALCS.
   18. bachslunch Posted: October 22, 2017 at 12:29 PM (#5560108)
Justin Verlander’s stats currently look a lot like those of Urban Shocker, Dave Steib, and Kevin Appier, none of whom are in the HoF:

Verlander: 56.9 WAR, 123 ERA+, 2545.0 IP, 188-114 W-L
Steib: 57.0 WAR, 122 ERA+, 2895.1 IP, 176-137 W-L
Appier: 55.0 WAR, 121 ERA+, 2595.1 IP, 169-137 W-L
Shocker: 54.8 WAR, 124 ERA+, 2681.2 IP, 187-117 W-L

I don’t think he gets in unless he has a major career surge in future.
   19. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: October 22, 2017 at 12:33 PM (#5560110)
In retrospect, I wish the Dodgers had put a waiver claim on Verlander. With Ethier and Crawford's contracts expiring, they could have handled $28m/yr and it solves a spot in the rotation anyway. But c'est la vie. I don't know what the hell was up with Verlander the first three months of the season but he's certainly back in ace form now.
   20. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: October 22, 2017 at 12:40 PM (#5560114)
Btw, the Astros-Dodgers WS is a pretty rare matchup in terms of how great both teams have been. The following are all the seasons in which both WS teams won at least 100 games:
1910, 1912, 1931, 1941, 1942, 1969, 1970, 2017

That's just 8 times in history and the last time was 47 years ago.
   21. Baldrick Posted: October 22, 2017 at 12:42 PM (#5560116)
I don’t think he gets in unless he has a major career surge in future.

He's only 34, already had a creditable (though by no means a slam dunk) HOM case, won an MVP award, and has plenty of black ink. If he pitches well in the Series, he'll have an absolutely ridiculous postseason to add to his record as well.

I don't think he's in bus territory, by any means, but I also don't think he needs a particularly impressive back end to his career in order to make it.
   22. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: October 22, 2017 at 12:50 PM (#5560120)
He's on the trajectory of a lot of excellent pitchers, statistically, but few of them get in the HOF at the point he is at through age 34. His stats look a lot like Mike Mussina at the same age, but there are two caveats:

1) Mussina won another 71 games at a .623 WP% clip after age 34. His rate stats weren't amazing, but he won a lot of games, including going 20-9 in his final (age 39) season. If Verlander wins another 70+ games from 2018 on, I think he'll get in the HOF...but Mussina's finishing kick will be the reason he gets in the HOF, if he does.

2) Unlike Mussina, Verlander is a more attractive candidate on other factors. He has a CYA and an MVP. He had a lot more black ink than Mussina. He has an aura of greatness to him that Mussina didn't really have (Mussina was more like Don Sutton). If Houston wins the WS this year, Verlander will generally get a ton of the credit for it, as he should. Simply put, if Verlander isn't in Beast Mode like he is right now, the Astros are not playing the World Series, period. His significant other is Kate Upton, and the TV is showing her reaction to the team's success the way Tom Brady/Gisele Bundchen plays out on TV. Shouldn't matter, but stuff like that all adds to The Legend.

Perhaps the biggest factor, though, is how future HOF voters will look at the way pitchers are used in this era relative to the past, and adjust their counting stats interpretation accordingly. It is really tough to win 20 games now, or win 300 games in a career. There were 32 complete games pitched in the entire American League in 2017, and only four pitchers threw more than one (and only two threw more than two!). Nolan Ryan thew 52 complete games himself over 1973-1974. But you don't have to go to the extreme that was Nolan Ryan. Dave Stieb threw 19 CGs in 1982. Rick Friggin' Langford threw 28 himself in 1980. Tommy John had, well, Tommy John surgery, and then in 1980 threw 16 complete games at age 37. And so on.

If we expect this generation's best pitchers to win 250+ games to even get 5% of the HOF vote, my kids are not going to see a lot of Hall of Fame pitchers from their childhood!
   23. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 22, 2017 at 01:39 PM (#5560130)
Btw, the Astros-Dodgers WS is a pretty rare matchup in terms of how great both teams have been. The following are all the seasons in which both WS teams won at least 100 games:
1910, 1912, 1931, 1941, 1942, 1969, 1970, 2017

That's just 8 times in history and the last time was 47 years ago.


The other thing that came up in the chatter last night was the number of 7 game series in which the home team won every game, and by my count it is 5, and the Yankees were on the losing end of 2 of them:

2017 ALCS, 2004 NLCS (Cardinals over Astros), 2001 WS, 1991 WS, 1987 WS.
   24. esseff Posted: October 22, 2017 at 01:42 PM (#5560131)
The Yankees could've scotched it by putting in a no-risk waiver claim, right?


The risk would have been being handed responsibility for his contract: $56 million over the next two seasons, plus a $22 million vesting option in 2020. That's no doubt what kept any team from putting in a claim.
   25. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: October 22, 2017 at 02:48 PM (#5560146)
Verlander is 7th all-time in wins by Tigers pitchers with 183...and tied for 153rd in wins by Astros pitchers with five.
   26. bunyon Posted: October 22, 2017 at 03:10 PM (#5560147)
Verlander is better than every reliever in the HOF.
   27. John DiFool2 Posted: October 22, 2017 at 03:27 PM (#5560149)
By contrast on the other side, Kershaw is a HOFer no matter what happens; this pennant is already another overqualification for him. Meanwhile Chase Utley has a ring from a team he contributed much more to, and I can't see a Dodger victory helping his case much; unless he's the Series MVP or close to it. Which, like potential Beltran heroics, seems a long shot at their age and current form.


Meanhoo CC didn't help himself at all. Yeah, +50 wins on Verlander, but peak ain't nearly as good of course. He probably needs to last long enough to get close to 300 now to have a chance.
   28. Ray (RDP) Posted: October 22, 2017 at 04:06 PM (#5560152)
Verlander: 56.9 WAR, 123 ERA+, 2545.0 IP, 188-114 W-L
Steib: 57.0 WAR, 122 ERA+, 2895.1 IP, 176-137 W-L
Appier: 55.0 WAR, 121 ERA+, 2595.1 IP, 169-137 W-L
Shocker: 54.8 WAR, 124 ERA+, 2681.2 IP, 187-117 W-L


Do we have to adjust -- in Verlander's favor -- for present day starters pitching fewer innings than starters of even 5-10 years ago?

Or is that a non-factor?

I grant that this is not a new issue by any means.
   29. Barnaby Jones Posted: October 22, 2017 at 04:17 PM (#5560155)
Justin Verlander’s stats currently look a lot like those of Urban Shocker, Dave Steib, and Kevin Appier, none of whom are in the HoF:

Verlander: 56.9 WAR, 123 ERA+, 2545.0 IP, 188-114 W-L
Steib: 57.0 WAR, 122 ERA+, 2895.1 IP, 176-137 W-L
Appier: 55.0 WAR, 121 ERA+, 2595.1 IP, 169-137 W-L
Shocker: 54.8 WAR, 124 ERA+, 2681.2 IP, 187-117 W-L

I don’t think he gets in unless he has a major career surge in future.


I mean, Verlander is only 34 and has put up 13 WAR in the past two years. He doesn't need a "surge." He just needs a steady decline, instead of falling apart like Steib. If he has couple more decent seasons he's in Smoltz/Halladay territory, rather than with these guys.
   30. The Honorable Ardo Posted: October 22, 2017 at 04:42 PM (#5560160)
The Hall of Merit's take:

Stieb is in, Appier and Shocker are out but in the group of 30 or so players that maintain their support year-by-year. Stieb's extra season's worth of innings pitched and his peak (the best pitcher in baseball from 1982-85 inclusive) nudged him just over the line.

Verlander should finish well ahead of his current peer group.
   31. shoewizard Posted: October 22, 2017 at 04:53 PM (#5560163)
I'd think Schilling is a better comp than Mussina, (Thats why I posted Schilling and Verlanders numbers in 16)

Yeah, Schilling didn't win a CY Young, but his 2001-2002 seasons were both as good as anything Verlander has ever done, he just happened to be on the same team with RJ who was also at his peak.

And his post season resume speaks for itself.

I have no idea how Verlander closes out his career. Maybe he goes on to pitch another 800 really great innings and catches up to Schilling.

My point was to address the question about whether Verlander is already there. He's not even close, at the moment. But he might get there. Not ruling that out.
   32. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 22, 2017 at 04:56 PM (#5560165)
The other thing that came up in the chatter last night was the number of 7 game series in which the home team won every game, and by my count it is 5, and the Yankees were on the losing end of 2 of them:

2017 ALCS, 2004 NLCS (Cardinals over Astros), 2001 WS, 1991 WS, 1987 WS.


Which until last night was matched by the four times the home team has won the first six games but lost the seventh: 1955, 1956, 1965 and 1971, all in the World Series.

Of course the pattern that'll likely never be repeated was the one from the 1937 Junior World Series, when the road team won all seven games. The IL Columbus Red Birds won the first three games in Newark, but then when the series moved to Columbus the AA Newark Bears beat them four straight. I don't think this has ever happened before or since in any sport on any level.
   33. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 22, 2017 at 05:04 PM (#5560169)
FWIW Verlander's had a very good postseason overall record (11-5, 3.00 ERA), but it's wildly split among the three levels. In 6 ALDS he's 6-0 with a 2.29 ERA, in 5 LCS he's 5-2 / 2.57, but in 2 World Series he's 0-3 / 7.20. He had 2 starts against the Cardinals in 2006 and 1 start against the Giants in 2010, and in all 3 of them he pretty much stunk up the joint.

But if he can put up a pair of games against the Dodgers like he did against the Yankees, it's going to make an immense contribution to his HoF credentials in the eyes of narrative voters.
   34. Howie Menckel Posted: October 22, 2017 at 05:07 PM (#5560170)

"I don’t think he gets in unless he has a major career surge in future."

like THIS career surge?

"The Christmas card came from Justin Verlander's parents a few years back. It wasn't like anything you could buy in a store. It wouldn't have been fit for anyone but Verlander, anyway.

But for him, it was perfect. The best Christmas card ever.

And it was also a challenge.

One side of the card listed Verlander's career numbers. The other had the career numbers of Nolan Ryan, the Hall of Fame pitcher Verlander idolized as a kid growing up in Virginia.

"My parents got [Ryan] to sign it," Verlander said this week. "I always loved that card, because I looked at it like, 'Hey kid, you've got a long way to go.'"

He still does. But as Verlander prepares to pitch Game 6 of the American League Championship Series on Friday night at Minute Maid Park, his idol is right there in front of him. Right there, sitting in the front row, as Verlander pitches for Ryan's team, the Houston Astros.

"That's pretty cool," Verlander said.

So is this: The winter Ryan turned 35 years old, in January 1982, he had 189 career wins. Verlander turns 35 in February. He has 188."
   35. Howie Menckel Posted: October 22, 2017 at 05:12 PM (#5560172)
also, two days without baseball.

anyone want to take me up on a reality check regarding that great Judge catch?

every angle tells me it was headed for the seats - except for the one from basically CF warning track. the network only showed it once, in the middle of the sequence. you'd probably have to run it back a few times. notice where the ball is going and where catches it compared to the fence.

this is not a knock on the catch all - more like being fascinated that we've never seen a 6-foot-7 gazelle chase down a baseball before. you could be watching for 40 years, and not be able to adjust for that wing span, speed, and focus to determine where the ball was headed without that lone replay.

would love to hear multiple responses, but again it's only that lone replay that is relevant. the rest, to me, all look like a HR.
   36. shoewizard Posted: October 22, 2017 at 05:19 PM (#5560174)
I find this interesting.

Greinke had his debut in 2004, Verlander and Felix in 2005, and Hamels in 2006. Pretty close in terms of career production.

Greinke the most hittable of these 3, but also walked the fewest in this group, & by far the best fielder, and completely shut down the running game.

Also FWIW, career FIP- and xFIP-

Felix 81/81
Greinke 82/82
Verlander 82/82
Hamels 86/86

Thats pretty cool.

Player              WAR ERA+  ERA  FIP    K%  BB%   Age   G   W   L W-L%     IP BAbip  HR HBP OPSGDP  SB CS PO
Zack Greinke       57.1  123 3.40 3.37 22.2
5.920-33 422 172 107 .616 2455.2  .300 243  59   85 191  77 71 18
Justin Verlander   56.9  123 3.46 3.47 23.0
7.322-34 385 188 114 .623 2545.0  .287 244  84   77 149 124 66 28
Cole Hamels        52.8  124 3.37 3.60 23.0
6.722-33 363 147 102 .590 2362.1  .288 264  74   83 177 211 73 33
Felix Hernandez    52.2  125 3.20 3.35 22.8
7.019-31 375 160 114 .584 2502.1  .295 220  87   82 246 197 64 13 


Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/22/2017.
   37. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: October 22, 2017 at 05:36 PM (#5560178)
[36] Wow, I never would have guessed that Hanels was that close to those other three.
   38. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 22, 2017 at 05:47 PM (#5560181)
anyone want to take me up on a reality check regarding that great Judge catch?

every angle tells me it was headed for the seats - except for the one from basically CF warning track. the network only showed it once, in the middle of the sequence. you'd probably have to run it back a few times. notice where the ball is going and where catches it compared to the fence.


I'm not sure. I just watched it 7-8 times from that angle that you reference and it would have been close. It's not as "obvious" a home run as it looked from the other angles but I think it was getting out. The ball was hit hard enough that I think it was going to have enough carry to get out. What that CF angle shows that the others don't is how far away Judge is from the wall when he jumps which calls it into question but that was more of a line drive than a fly ball so I think it would have just cleared the fence. I agree it's not as certain a homer as I had thought it was though.
   39. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 22, 2017 at 06:03 PM (#5560187)
What that CF angle shows that the others don't is how far away Judge is from the wall when he jumps which calls it into question but that was more of a line drive than a fly ball so I think it would have just cleared the fence. I agree it's not as certain a homer as I had thought it was though.

The CF angle is as much downward as to the side, and that has a distorting effect, too. A lower angle would be more definitive, but I think it was hit hard enough to be a HR. Judge was on the last third of the warning track, leaped well above the height of the wall, and was reaching backward when he made the catch. His own momentum took him over the wall, and the ball appeared to have more. Either way, it was a heck of a catch. Judge had to really motor to get to the ball and snag it at full extension. It wasn't just trotting to the wall and leaping.
   40. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 22, 2017 at 06:04 PM (#5560188)
35 - I didn't think it would have gone out when I saw it during the game, and the CF camera replay seems to confirm that impression. Looks like it would have hit the wall a foot or two below the line. What I think made it an optical illusion is that Judge is so tall and he was still on the way up in his leap when he caught it. Combine that with his backward trajectory and he basically carried it over the fence. Good thing for him that it stayed in his glove. Still an excellent catch, of course.
   41. Walt Davis Posted: October 22, 2017 at 06:16 PM (#5560192)
Do we have to adjust -- in Verlander's favor -- for present day starters pitching fewer innings than starters of even 5-10 years ago?

Certainly not in the comparison you quoted as all of those pitchers had about the same number of innings pitched. Further, Appier had just 115 innings after age 34 and Stieb was essentially done at 32 so those two are also age-based comparisons. Stieb's career was more concentrated into a few seasons with innings counts we don't see today but Verlander has actually had more seasons with 230+ innings than Appier.

The more recent reduction in SP innings has (for the most part) only been applied to the top starters for the last few years. For sillyball, you could count on about 45 starters topping 200 innings a year. By the early part of Verlander's career (2007) that was more likely in the upper 30s. 2015 was the first non-strike season to come in below 30 while in the last two seasons that's already been cut nearly in half. Main point being that Appier's career from 1989-2004 did not feature a dramatically different SP usage (esp for #1 starters) pattern than the bulk of Verlander's career.

Further, given fewer innings per start/season, one would expect better rate stats in-season and presumably longer careers in terms of number of seasons. That necessarily means lower counting stats in-season but not necessarily lower counting stats over a career, depending on how many seasons might be added. But at current usage, it's becoming clear that unless guys are pitching until 50, they'll never catch up to the counting stats of olden times. Verlander is in the transition so it may take him 4 full seasons to catch up to Schilling's 3261 with probably reasonably similar rates but probably at least 15 wins ahead.

I suspect that will be enough to get him in pretty easily with his CYA/MVP. He might get in even without that. The first big test case of how the BBWAA is going to handle the changing SP usage is Halladay. He has two CYA and a 6-year run as the best pitcher in baseball but only 2750 IP, just over 200 wins and a 131 career ERA+. Strangely, he never led the league in ERA and only once in ERA+ but he did lead twice in wins and has a 3rd 20-win season. I think he's going to make it. If he retired now, Verlander would be a bit short of that resume although maybe the MVP counts double ... but of course he's not going to retire now and will likely add enough bulk (and maybe much better than bulk) to be a less borderline candidate than Halladay.

On the trade ... the primary topic of discussion was the early reports that Detroit was demanding a top 10 prospect, etc. without eating money. Us naysayers pooh-poohed that idea and we were correct. The very young pitcher has stud potential, he's very young, was Houston's #3-4 prospect and is ranked #40 at mlb.com. The Tigers had to pick up $17 M of the roughly $60 M still owed and Verlander agreed to waive the 2020 vesting option (a little surprised the Union agreed to that). Nearly everybody agreed that Verlander was a nice add for 2017 and was still a good pitcher, we simply didn't think he was a $28 M per year plus giving up top prospects pitcher. The Tigers received a package roughly similar to what the White Sox got for Frazier, Robertson and Kahnle (Blake Rutherford #39 at mlb.com) .. which also worked out very well for the Yanks down the stretch ... and probably better than what the A's got for Gray (Dustin Fowler #66).

As to what Verlander adds to their chances in any single game. The probability of winning any single game of baseball really can't possibly be higher than 70%. Against another good team, it's probably never higher than 60%. Verlander has obviously pitched outstandingly for the Astros so all of you who predicted 60 innings of an ERA around 1.20 raise your hands.

Verlander's postseason record is solid but, like lots of even the best pitchers, spotty. In 2006, it was 4 bad starts. In 2011, it was 20 innings, 12 runs. In 2012, he was huge getting the Tigers to the series then one terrible start in the series. In 2013 he was huge but the Tigers washed out in the ALCS anyway. In 2014, he was not good and the Tigers were out early. Heck, his 2017 ALDS was nothing special (6 innings, 2 runs, 6 hits, 2 BB, only 3 Ks followed by a relief of 2.2 innings, 1 run, 1 hit, 2 BB, 0 K). Are we now supposed to believe that Verlander is an unhittable postseason pitcher based on two outstanding starts? And as random luck would have it, the Astros scored 7 runs in that game 6 so his performance was unnecessary to winning that game. (Yes, things might have gone differently if the Yanks were up 2-0 after 4.)

Verlander is still a very good pitcher, he is not god. At (give or take) 2/$42, he should be a solid value for the Astros in 2018-19. The Astros may come to regret giving up the players they did but that too will be basically good luck for the Tigers if the 19-year-old pitcher survives. And of course if they win the series, they won't care what they gave up.
   42. Howie Menckel Posted: October 22, 2017 at 06:29 PM (#5560195)
thanks, 38 39 40.
all food for thought.
it is a cool replay.
   43. Buck Coats Posted: October 22, 2017 at 09:07 PM (#5560218)
The Tigers received a package roughly similar to what the White Sox got for Frazier, Robertson and Kahnle (Blake Rutherford #39 at mlb.com) .. which also worked out very well for the Yanks down the stretch ... and probably better than what the A's got for Gray (Dustin Fowler #66).


A's also got Jorge Mateo #97 in that trade
   44. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: October 23, 2017 at 08:26 AM (#5560252)
I've got JV slotted for ~230 wins and 75 WAR; that, and the CYA/MVP (and maybe a ring or two?) should be more than enough.

But, of course, the man already has his reward, doesn't he?
   45. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: October 23, 2017 at 09:26 AM (#5560275)
But, of course, the man already has his reward, doesn't he?


I don't care what she looks like, I dump her if she shows up with that hat.
   46. kwarren Posted: October 23, 2017 at 10:47 AM (#5560318)
#26 - Verlander is better than every reliever in the HOF.


He's also better than Mariano Rivera, who for some reason, is considered a slam dunk. Me thinks that "relief pitchers" as a group have Boras representing them on Hall of Fame ballots.
   47. Booey Posted: October 23, 2017 at 11:53 AM (#5560347)
If JV stays healthy next year, he passes 200 wins (for the traditionalists) and 60 WAR (for the SABR voters). I think he's in.

My guess for how voters will start evaluating starting pitchers once the last of the 90's guys (Clemens, Schilling, Moose) are off the ballot: anyone with 200+ wins, an ERA below 4.00, and at least a few dominant seasons as one of the clear best pitchers in baseball (black ink, high CYA finishes) will be in the conversation.

Kershaw is a lock, obviously. I think CC is pretty much already there too; he'll have 250 wins and 3000 k's plus a CYA and a few other top 5 finishes. Halladay should also make it under these criteria. Pettitte is a little short on dominant seasons, but his 256 wins and 19 more in the postseason eventually get him in, IMO. Hudson and Buehrle fall short due to the "dominance" qualifier (and I think this may hurt Hamels and maybe Lester too). None of them have much black ink or got enough CYA love. Colon's ERA is too high and despite the (undeserved) CYA I don't think he ever had a stretch where he was considered truly elite.

So with their peak seasons, these are rest of the guys that I think will have a good shot as long as they last long enough to hit 200 wins (obviously not all of them will)- Verlander, Greinke, King Felix, Price, Scherzer, Kluber (long ways to go, of course), Bumgarner (doesn't actually have any super dominant seasons yet, but I think the postseason numbers will give him a huge bump if his career numbers end up in the borderline range). probably some others I'm forgetting...

   48. SoSH U at work Posted: October 23, 2017 at 11:55 AM (#5560350)

He's also better than Mariano Rivera, who for some reason, is considered a slam dunk.


C'mon, it's not a mystery, even for those of us who see Sutter, Fingers and Goose for the horrible mistake selections they are.



   49. fra paolo Posted: October 23, 2017 at 12:09 PM (#5560367)
My guess for how voters will start evaluating starting pitchers once the last of the 90's guys (Clemens, Schilling, Moose) are off the ballot: anyone with 200+ wins, an ERA below 4.00, and at least a few dominant seasons as one of the clear best pitchers in baseball (black ink, high CYA finishes) will be in the conversation.

I would have to say that the dominant characteristics of a HoF case are a combination of playing time and awards. Basically, the voters are demanding a thirteen-year career instead of the prescribed ten (the 9000 PA requirement for postion players), and they are very reluctant to induct people who don't win post-season awards.

So for pitchers, although the absolute benchmark appears to be around 400 GS (Pedro, Smoltz), but with so few starts you'd better have got a lot of Cy Young attention. Kevin Brown and Mike Mussina are victims of the Cy Young criterion, never having got one. (Mussina might yet get in, though, on account of the 270 wins.)

Only after those benchmarks are met can one start looking at wins and ERAs.
   50. bunyon Posted: October 23, 2017 at 12:16 PM (#5560369)
48 and 49 get to what I think about JV. He's been an elite pitcher for quite a while with some monster seasons. The HOF has to elect players or it goes out of business. I'd rather see dominant starters elected than a whole raft of relievers. Yes, relievers are more important today and starters less than in yesteryear. But starters are still MORE important.

Basically, if JV (or Mussina) can't get elected, the bar is too high.
   51. Booey Posted: October 23, 2017 at 12:21 PM (#5560377)
I would have to say that the dominant characteristics of a HoF case are a combination of playing time and awards.

(clip)
Only after those benchmarks are met can one start looking at wins and ERAs.


I would say those characteristics largely go hand in hand. Wins are a function of playing time; awards are given in large part due to stats like wins and ERA's. But yeah, the awards (or lack thereof) are the primary reason why I don't think someone like Hamels will get as much consideration as similar pitchers Verlander, Felix, and Greinke (from post #36).
   52. Booey Posted: October 23, 2017 at 12:40 PM (#5560387)
To add to #51, it's a domino effect, and it all seems to start with black ink (clear dominance in peak seasons). How often does someone win a CYA without leading the league in a key category (wins, ERA, k's, etc)? Black ink leads to CY votes. CY votes leads to HOF consideration (as long as you have the career bulk/playing time, of course). Mussina - and I suspect Hamels future - HOF struggles all begin with the fact that they rarely led the league in anything significant.
   53. fra paolo Posted: October 23, 2017 at 12:53 PM (#5560394)
I would say those characteristics largely go hand in hand.

Well, yes, But I was interested in bringing up the playing time element, because that's something that I don't think gets enough emphasis in these HoF discussions.

Great players get more playing time, but not all great players get enough playing time.

I feel like they were obliged to cut Pedro a break because he had won the Cy Young three times.
   54. DanG Posted: October 23, 2017 at 01:08 PM (#5560412)
Great players get more playing time, but not all great players get enough playing time.
This is true, which is why Johan Santana is one and done in the next BBWAA voting.
   55. Booey Posted: October 23, 2017 at 01:13 PM (#5560420)
I feel like they were obliged to cut Pedro a break because he had won the Cy Young three times.


Cuz he had a bunch of black ink in those years. ;-)
   56. No longer interested in this website Posted: October 24, 2017 at 01:55 AM (#5560753)
Justin Verlander’s stats currently look a lot like those of Urban Shocker, Dave Steib, and Kevin Appier, none of whom are in the HoF:


Four more seasons of 4 WAR and he's over 70 WAR. I think that's conservative. Only Clemens, Mussina, and Schilling have 70 WAR and are not in the HOF (among pitchers who pitched primarily after 1900).

I feel like he's a Nolan Ryan/Randy Johnson type as far as durability. He'll be adding some value until he's 40. Another thing to think about: given the increase in K's in baseball, JV has a great chance to finish his career in the top ten in strikeouts.

He's 34 and coming off two excellent seasons. I'm not sure what the guy has to do to convince people who think he's Kevin Appier. All you have to do is open your eyes.

If he gets to 70 WAR (he had over 6 in 2017), he'll have plenty of awards and postseason accomplishments to waltz him into the plaque gallery: MVP, Cy Young, ROY, LCS MVP (only pitcher with all those honors), two no-hitters, triple crown, ace of (at least) three teams that got to a World Series, and his performance in big postseason games.


   57. fra paolo Posted: October 24, 2017 at 10:04 AM (#5560811)
Justin Verlander’s stats currently look a lot like those of Urban Shocker, Dave Steib, and Kevin Appier

Only Clemens, Mussina, and Schilling...


If you ask me which of these two groups of three names looks more like Verlander from the point-of-view of people who have elected baseball players to the HoF, I'm going with the second list.

Verlander could use another Cy Young award, but assuming he sees out his current contract at the standard he's averaged over the past three years, I'm certain he'll draw enough votes on the first ballot to give him a good chance at election. If he goes on for longer, he'll only increase his chances.

Only Schilling has led the league in wins as many times as Verlander. Only Stieb and Appier have led the league in ERA as many times as Verlander. None of them have led the league in strike outs as many times as Verlander. Verlander is just better than any individual pitcher in these six not named Clemens.

Having said all that, I don't think Verlander is a slam-dunk HoFer yet (unless standards for voting change yet again). Only in that sense is the comparison to Stieb et al apt. He's a little light on career 'bulk'. And being a pitcher, we need to be realistic about the higher level of risk compared to a position player like Miguel Cabrera (a slam-dunk HoFer, barring some kind of scandal).

If we get two more seasons of 2015 Justin Verlander, then I think he'll greatly weaken his case, and probably wound it mortally.
   58. No longer interested in this website Posted: October 24, 2017 at 12:50 PM (#5560944)
My player rankings (top 50 at every position) are going to be published very soon. I have Verlander 36th all-time among starting pitchers. Just one notch ahead of Kershaw (I place a higher factor on peak, and JV's peak is as good or better, and he still stands ahead of Kershaw in non-statistical factors). The top 28 pitchers are pretty much all in the HOF. (Won't spoil who is that high and not in until the rankings come out.) A few of the pitchers he ranks above include John Smoltz, Whitey Ford, C.C. Sabathia, and Hal Newhouser.

Stieb is a decent comp statistically speaking right now. Verlander and Stieb have almost the exact same career WAR and WAR7 (Verlander leads 6.2 to 6.0 in WAR7 season average however, which is about 1.4 WAR more in his peak years despite pitching less). But JV has a better WAR3 (I factor the best three seasons in my rankings) and his off-field and post-season narrative are far superior to Stieb. Also, as mentioned by others here, a usage adjustment must be made. Stieb had four seasons of 35-38 starts, while JV has one. I DID NOT make an adjustment (probably should have) because my system sees Stieb and JV as being from the same modern era, but you have to be aware of that. Even though I did not adjust for difference in usage, JV comes out ahead. I did adjust starting pitchers from other "generations". I can share these formulas if anyone is interested. You HAVE to, otherwise 60 percent of the greatest pitchers are from before 1930.
   59. No longer interested in this website Posted: October 24, 2017 at 01:06 PM (#5560960)
On Kershaw vs. Verlander, remember The Claw is five years younger, so the fact that he's tied with Verlander (almost virtually) at this point is a big factor in his favor. Assuming he stays healthy, he has the chance to be a top 15 starting pitcher. I don't think he will, because I don't think he'll pitch enough innings to get the big seasons. But he'll probably be in the top 20-25.

I give pitchers a tad bit of credit for PS performance. As an example, so far, Verlander has started 19 PS games and Kershaw has started 17. Kershaw has struggled, he's posted only four games with a game score of 70+ (and 78 is his highest). Verlander has eight postseason games of 70+ and three over 80. He's been dominant in several starts in very big situations. Kershaw has started five elimination games and is 2-3 in those games, only pitching really well once, and only going as deep as 7 innings once. He did earn a save in an elimination game. But, clearly Verlander has been an important postseason performer. That (and being a key factor on three pennant winners, as opposed to Kershaw's one) are what tip JV ahead of Kershaw for now. It's too bad we can't see these two face each other in the World Series.
   60. Rally Posted: October 24, 2017 at 01:56 PM (#5560990)
I feel like he's a Nolan Ryan/Randy Johnson type as far as durability. He'll be adding some value until he's 40. Another thing to think about: given the increase in K's in baseball, JV has a great chance to finish his career in the top ten in strikeouts.


Probably not though. Those guys (and Clemens) were freaks. I felt the exact same way about Roy Halladay when he was 34, I thought 300 wins for him was a matter of when, not if. Didn't work out too well after that.
   61. shoewizard Posted: October 24, 2017 at 02:02 PM (#5560994)
If you ran a “k+” analysis I think you would find Verlander lags behind guys like Schilling and Johnson by a pretty big margin

k% since 1984

   62. shoewizard Posted: October 24, 2017 at 03:11 PM (#5561048)
league K% since 1984

From 14% to 21.6%, more than 50% increase

And over a 25% increase since Clemens, Pedro, RJ, and Schilling were in their primes.

Think about that when reviewing k% of individual players in previous link
   63. No longer interested in this website Posted: October 24, 2017 at 06:07 PM (#5561205)
Probably not though. Those guys (and Clemens) were freaks.


I agree, I'm not saying Verlander is as good as Big Unit or the Ryan Express, I'm saying I think he has that gene that will allow him to still be pumping 95+ MPH when he's in his late 30s and possibly early 40s. If he can even put up a few 3-4 WAR seasons after 37, he'll be well on his way to an easy ride into HOF.

Voters will be tricked by win totals for a short while, and we'll probably see some guys (like Greinke perhaps) miss out on the HOF. But Verlander and Kershaw have all the black ink, no-hitters and extra stuff to make them "seem like" HOFers to the BBWAA dopes who are unimpressed by their 225-245 wins.
   64. shoewizard Posted: October 24, 2017 at 06:30 PM (#5561212)
Re ran the report I linked in 61 lowering the IP minimum from 2000 to 1900 to bring in Kershaw.

K% 1984 thru 2017 min 1900 IP



   65. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 24, 2017 at 09:13 PM (#5561353)
Re ran the report I linked in 61 lowering the IP minimum from 2000 to 1900 to bring in Kershaw.

K% 1984 thru 2017 min 1900 IP


There needs to be a way of adjusting K% numbers to the yearly overall league strikeout rates, assuming nobody's done that already. Because just to take this limited time span, the K/9 rate's gone up from 5.4 in 1984 to 8.3 in 2017, which is a 54% increase. That makes the K/9 rates of Johnson / Pedro / Schilling a lot more impressive than Kershaw's, and in fact it brings Kershaw's adjusted rate down to about the level of John Smoltz. Still damn good, but not as high as those raw numbers would make it seem.
   66. shoewizard Posted: October 25, 2017 at 11:08 AM (#5561766)
That was exactly my point in posting those links. I can spit ball it mentally just by eyeing the two lists (in post 62 I gave you the league averages since 1984). Too lazy to do the actual work, but it's not that hard really. Hence my call for "K+".

Any takers ? :)
   67. Booey Posted: October 25, 2017 at 11:18 AM (#5561779)
Voters will be tricked by win totals for a short while, and we'll probably see some guys (like Greinke perhaps) miss out on the HOF. But Verlander and Kershaw have all the black ink, no-hitters and extra stuff to make them "seem like" HOFers to the BBWAA dopes who are unimpressed by their 225-245 wins.


By the time Verlander hits the ballot, I don't think 225-245 wins will appear unimpressive anymore. He's not likely to have many direct contemporaries with significantly more (the Mussina/Blyleven dilemma).
   68. No longer interested in this website Posted: October 25, 2017 at 11:19 AM (#5561781)
That makes the K/9 rates of Johnson / Pedro / Schilling a lot more impressive than Kershaw's, and in fact it brings Kershaw's adjusted rate down to about the level of John Smoltz.


Of course, WAR accounts for this difference, correct?

Seeing those numbers (thanks for sharing the chart) helps me understand why we've seen an increase in no-hitters in recent years. If you can record 25 percent of your outs by keeping the ball out of play (and suppose you're on that night and get 12 K's), that leaves only 15 outs to record in the field. Given the increase in defensive efficiency, you'd expect to see more low-hit games by starting pitchers. Of course, many starters are only going 6-7 innings even on their "lights out" nights. Anecdotally at least, it seems like the number of 1-hit and 2-hit games by SP have soared in the last 5 years, even if they were 5-8 innings and not near no-hitters.
   69. shoewizard Posted: October 25, 2017 at 01:46 PM (#5561935)
yeah, it's just tough to use WAR to compare across decades because of the decrease in SP IP.

10 WAR seasons by ERA

1901-1919: 20 (Deadball, huge IP totals by starters)
1920-1960: 9 (lively ball, 154 game schedules)
1961-1980: 15 (Expansion, 162 game schedules)
1981-2002: 7 (Slow Steady expansion of reliever usage)
2003-2017: 1 (Greinke in 2009 only one in 15 years, collapse of SP IP)

table link

Only 1 pitcher with 270 IP in a season since 1992 (Randy Johnson in 1999)
   70. shoewizard Posted: October 25, 2017 at 01:58 PM (#5561943)
Anecdotally at least, it seems like the number of 1-hit and 2-hit games by SP have soared in the last 5 years, even if they were 5-8 innings and not near no-hitters.


This is really interesting.

On an Individual basis the number of games that a pitcher threw 6 IP or more and allowed 2 hits or less has ballooned.

BUT For team basis, Not really seeing increase of 2 hits or less per game.

So while the starters are going harder for shorter stints and allowing fewer hits, the relievers must be giving up more ?

   71. Khrushin it bro Posted: October 25, 2017 at 03:41 PM (#5562045)
Starters are getting pulled before they have a chance to give up that 3rd hit.
   72. Rally Posted: October 25, 2017 at 04:02 PM (#5562074)
I agree, I'm not saying Verlander is as good as Big Unit or the Ryan Express, I'm saying I think he has that gene that will allow him to still be pumping 95+ MPH when he's in his late 30s and possibly early 40s.


I hope so because the ageless freaks are fun to watch. For what it's worth I think Verlander has been better than Ryan was through his age 34 season. Same with Roy Halladay. You just can't tell if a pitcher actually has that gene until they actually pitch into their late 30s and early 40s. Halladay had all the signs of a durable pitcher who would keep on rolling all the way to 300 wins. Then bam, he got hurt and couldn't recover.

Just saying the number of pitchers who look like they can last but don't, like Roy, is probably a lot longer than the ones who actually do last.

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