Friday, July 10, 2009

All-Stars Inside the Numbers

Nobody said that statistics constitute the sole criteria for determining either value or selection to the All-Star team. Consider the following table:

WHIP (walks and hits per inning pitched) reflects the pitcher's ability to prevent baserunners from reaching. K/BB (strikeout to walk ratio) tends to predict future ERA even better than current ERA. More dominant pitchers tend to have low WHIP ratios and higher K/BB ratios.

Two of the above pitchers achieved All-Star selections on the 2009 American League squad. Which two? Pitcher A ties for the most innings, has the best K/BB ratio and an ERA sub 4. He doesn't make the team. Pitcher D with a K/BB ratio well under 2 and an ERA almost half a run higher does.

Pitcher A, Jon Lester.
Pitcher B, Josh Beckett.
Pitcher C, Brad Penny.
Pitcher D, Tim Wakefield.

There are three kinds of lies - lies, damned lies, and statistics. - Mark Twain.

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