Can we use Wins to evaluate a pitcher over the course of one season? Maybe. We are talking about 28-33 starts. That is still a somewhat small sample size considering the number of factors that are involved. But we can be relatively certain that an 18-game winner is better than a 5-game winner (with similar number of starts). The other variables should be less of a factor in that case. However, when comparing two pitchers with a similar number of wins, those other factors (team defense, scoring, ballpark, etc.) become much more important.
The problem with this post, is that taking a pro-Wins stance leads some to believe that we are anti-other stats. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Stats like ERA+, FIP and tRA are still better measures of how good a pitcher is (although we have minor quibbles with each). However, that does not mean Wins is a useless category. Nor does it mean there are 95 better ways to evaluate a pitcher.
In fact, in the absence of other stats, Wins is a very good, if not great, indicator of a pitcher’s value. So next time you hear somebody say Wins is a crappy way to evaluate a pitcher, throw a drink in their face and then make them read this post.
Posted: September 29, 2009 at 03:36 AM | 60 comment(s)
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