2019 All Star Picks — Pitchers

Due to the strange voting for All Stars this season position players will probably be skipped and since starting pitchers are still being decided somehow let’s look at top  starters and relievers who could/should be in the All Star game this year according to both this data model and WAR.

There are quite a few major discrepancies between this model and WAR, so much so, I don’t feel like rehashing all of this again and again.  This model keeps track of WAR and will highlight the WAR value wherever WAA is displayed only because the discrepencies clearly demonstrate which value system is more accurate.

All Star games in all sports are meaningless exercises in fandom.  Fans vote for starters, managers pick the reserve and usually know the players who have contributed the most to helping their teams win — which in turn will align with this model.   A subsequent part to this series may be forthcoming when the entirety of each team fills out.

In the meantime let’s look at the top ten MLB starters according to this model and WAR.

2019 Top Ten Starters WAR

Rank WAR Name_TeamID
+002+ 5.2 Mike_Minor_TEX PITCH
+005+ 4.3 Max_Scherzer_WAS PITCH
+007+ 3.8 Justin_Verlander_HOU PITCH
+009+ 3.7 Hyun-Jin_Ryu_LAN PITCH
+014+ 3.2 Cole_Hamels_CHN PITCH
+017+ 3.1 Charlie_Morton_TBA PITCH
+017+ 3.1 Lucas_Giolito_CHA PITCH
+017+ 3.1 German_Marquez_COL PITCH
+025+ 3.0 Matthew_Boyd_DET PITCH
+025+ 3.0 Luis_Castillo_CIN PITCH

Ranks in all these tables everywhere in this model combine batters and pitchers as the value system is equal.  Pitchers are based upon Runs Against, batters on Runs Scored.  In every game the number of runs against always equals  runs scored for obvious reasons.

WAR is somewhat different in that hitters make up 60% of value, pitchers 40%.  This was explained briefly in this post but perhaps we need to do another post with more detail.  It was assumed that 20% gets added to hitters because WAR folds very dubious fielding stats into the mix which causes most of its error.

For simplicity purposes we do rankings for WAR the same for this data model; ranking hitters and pitchers together.  Since these tables only show pitchers rankings will skip.  They also skip when players are tied.

The above are the top ten Pitchers according to WAR with top two AL highlighted in tan, NL in blue.  Let’s look at the results from this data model.

2019 Top Ten Starters WAA

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+001+ 6.07 Hyun-Jin_Ryu_LAN PITCH
+002+ 5.40 Max_Scherzer_WAS PITCH
+004+ 5.35 Mike_Minor_TEX PITCH
+005+ 4.98 Luis_Castillo_CIN PITCH
+009+ 4.49 Charlie_Morton_TBA PITCH
+010+ 4.41 Mike_Soroka_ATL PITCH
+014+ 4.16 Justin_Verlander_HOU PITCH
+015+ 4.03 Lucas_Giolito_CHA PITCH
+016+ 4.01 Jose_Berrios_MIN PITCH
+022+ 3.65 Zack_Greinke_ARI PITCH

The difference between the WAR model and this model are negligible this season for starting pitchers.   This model shows Verlander below Morton but it’s so close either pitcher would be worthy of second starter.  Both systems favor Mike Minor.

2019 Top Ten Relievers WAR

Rank WAR Name_TeamID
+072+ 2.1 Josh_Hader_MIL PITCH
+087+ 1.9 Scott_Oberg_COL PITCH
+087+ 1.9 Brad_Hand_CLE PITCH
+108+ 1.7 Liam_Hendriks_OAK PITCH
+118+ 1.6 Adam_Ottavino_NYA PITCH
+130+ 1.5 Jesse_Chavez_TEX PITCH
+130+ 1.5 Ty_Buttrey_ANA PITCH
+130+ 1.5 Ryan_Pressly_HOU PITCH
+130+ 1.5 Amir_Garrett_CIN PITCH
+130+ 1.5 Kirby_Yates_SDN PITCH

WAR typically shuns relief with only 3 pitchers in the top 100.  Below are reliever rankings according to this data model.

2019 Top Ten Relievers WAA

Rank WAA Name_TeamID Pos
+038+ 3.09 Liam_Hendriks_OAK PITCH
+044+ 2.77 Shane_Greene_DET PITCH
+051+ 2.60 Adam_Ottavino_NYA PITCH
+055+ 2.56 Kirby_Yates_SDN PITCH
+059+ 2.48 Josh_Hader_MIL PITCH
+063+ 2.42 Ryan_Pressly_HOU PITCH
+065+ 2.37 Yoan_Lopez_ARI PITCH
+069+ 2.35 Amir_Garrett_CIN PITCH
+070+ 2.35 Aroldis_Chapman_NYA PITCH
+074+ 2.29 Brandon_Workman_BOS PITCH

All top ten relievers in this data model are ranked in the top 100. WAR and WAA kind of agree on Hader and Hendriks.   This model has Hand ranked #122, WAR has Greene ranked #151 which are the two disagreements in top two relief picks.  Both Greene and Hand have sub 1.0 WHIPs and each has 22 saves which WAR counts but this model does not.  Hand has 50 strikeouts compared to Greene’s 32 which WAR also values.  This model treats all outs equally because the MLB commissioner does not award wins to the team who pitches the most strikeouts or has the lowest WHIP.   Wins are awarded to the team that scores the most runs which is the foundation of this data model and its ranking.

That is all for now.  A Cubs status coming next.  Another All Star pick post might be written when we get the final team rosters.  Not sure though.  A minor league update might  be coming soon.  Until then ….