Today is the last installment of this series and the only position not covered is pitching. Apparently fans do not vote on this and it’s decided by the team managers and the commissioner of baseball. We’re going to split pitchers into starters and relievers. Starters pitch a lot of innings so the good ones can build up enough value to contend for top of the league status. A relief pitcher has to pitch lights out, very low ERA because they don’t accrue nearly as many innings pitched. A team needs relievers with very very low ERA because they need zeros put up on the board in the later innings, no matter which inning that is.
That said, the number one most valuable player in the history of MLB playoffs is Mariano Rivera. He beats out Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, everyone. We’ll discuss playoff rankings sometime later. Relievers do top the league sometime. For example, on this day in 1977 this guy was ranked #6.
Plop plop fizz fizz oh what a relief it is. At 5.27 he’s the same value as our top pick for AL starter this season.
Here are the top ten starters in MLB as of all games up to and including yesterday.
Ervin Santana topped the league at the end of May and now he’s #17. It’s hard staying on top and few pitchers can do it consistently. One of them is Clayton Kershaw. The blue and tan highlights show our top pick and then secondary starter. All these pitchers are good enough to be considered All Stars. Now let’s look at relief.
Cubs faced Andrew Miller in the World Series and he’s top reliever for AL. Since Cleveland’s Terry Francona might be making this pick what will he do? If none of these players cared about the All Star Game then he would be better off letting Miller rest his arm and take an ASG vacation. That would only make sense if his team might go to the World Series again which they are poised to do. Let’s check CLE out.
Very good pitching, very good UR (i.e. fielding), and they’re +6. Cleveland is in the hunt again for a World Series trophy. Here are the Indians in the top 100.
CLE has the top relief staff in MLB now and all season long. Their relief WAA=+10 and, like the Cubs, they are carrying this team. If that staff played at a WAA=0, or completely average, they would be 4 games under instead of 6 games up. We’ll see how this plays out in the second half of the season.
That is all for All Stars this year. We’ll do Iowa Cubs sometime next week to see what Kyle Schwarber is up to. Until then….