Friday, November 28, 2008

Who's The Better Pitcher - Part 2

The other day I listed the respective stats for 2 unnamed pitchers, asking the question who people thought was the better one based on their stats. The stats were based on their career stats and were for a 162 game average. I took them from their respective pages at baseball-reference.com. Here again are the stats. Their identities are listed below.

Pitcher A:
W-L = 15-10
GS = 34
CG = 2
SHO = 1
IP = 220
H = 214
HR = 17
BB = 74
K = 129
ERA = 3.54 (.62 below the league average for his career)
WHIP = 1.314

Pitcher B:
W-L = 17-9
GS = 33
CG = 3
SHO = 1
IP = 225.7
H = 219
BB = 49
K = 178
ERA = 3.68 (.83 below the league average for his career)
WHIP = 1.192

Pitcher B has Pitcher A beat in pretty much every statistical category when you look at it. Pitcher A is Tom Glavine, who is a virtual lock for the HOF. Pitcher B is Mike Mussina, who many people feel isn't worthy of being inducted into the Hall. Surprised?

I'm sure if I were to have asked the question who's the better pitcher, Tom Glavine or Mike Mussina, most people, if not all, would have answered Glavine. Yet if you look at their career stats, Moose has the better numbers and in my estimation is the better pitcher, especially when you consider Moose pitched in the AL his whole career while Glavine pitched in the NL. Yet the road to Cooperstown for Mike could be a bumpy ride. He's 30 wins shy of 300. Glavine by the way was 38 wins shy after his first 18 seasons and had also started 34 more games than Mike up to that point in his career. Moose never won a ring, but very well could have had the greatest closer of all time not blown a save in game 7 of the 2001 World Series. Glavine won 1 ring in 5 trips to series. The two have identical postseason ERAs. Glavine though did win 2 Cy Young Awards to Moose's zero, which to me is more of a by-product of who pitched in your league. If you go back and look at the voting records, the AL had more guys you would consider top-of-the-line compared to the NL. At least that's how I see it.

Now that I've broken it down a little bit more, I'll ask the question again, who's the better pitcher? Tom Glavine or Mike Mussina? I'm curious to know what people would say now.

It's things like this that I'll be blogging about from time to time at my 2nd blog, Elect Mike Mussina. Please feel free to check it out.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

J-Boogie

7 comments:

Joe said...

Pedro, thats who! :) Also, try using ERA+ rather than base ERA, it makes adjustments based on league average on its own, and also adjusts for ballpark.


http://statisticianmagician.mlblogs.com/

J-Boogie said...

Thanks for the tip on using ERA+. I'd seen it listed and kind of had an idea what it was, but wasn't 100%. For those readingt he comments, Moose's ERA+ was 123. Glavine's was only 118.

And yeah, Pedro definitely has 'em both beat.

"The Expert" said...

You have convinced me.

Larry Wayne Jones said...

Oh no,no,no....I see the statistical average over the 162 games, but we both know that is not what gets players into the HOF. The writers take into account things like CY's...of which Glavine has 2, Mussina zero...also, even though it should not count, a World Series ring somehow matters to the writers. You can't just take the 162 game averages of guys and simply state that because of these averages one pitcher is better than the other. Remember, Glavine's first 2 years he was 9-21 pitching for what may have been the worst teams ever to see a major league diamond. BUT, Glavine made 10 all star teams, and has a respectible 13 post season wins!!

J-Boogie said...

LWJ-

How can you say Moose wasn't a better pitcher when he beats Glavine in EVERY stat category based on a CAREER average. It would be one thing if we were comparing 5 years to 22, but we're comparing 18 to 22, so both have a pretty good base to draw from.

If you're basing your argument that Glavine was better on his career win total, his 2 Cys and his 1 ring, than you're just being foolish.

Glavine's win total is a by product of playing 22 seasons. He should have more wins than Moose. He does after all have 146 more starts under his belt. And a lot of chumps have won WS rings and Cy Young awards. There's more to it than that. Look at the SPs that Glavine beat in 1991: John Smiley, Jose Rijo, Dennis Martinez, Steve Avery and Andy Benes. His 98 win was a little more legit as he beat out Kevin Brown, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, and AL Leiter. But if you ask me, the award should have gone to Brown.

Glavine received CY votes 6 times in his 22 year career. Moose rec'd votes 9 times in 18 seasons. Moose was among the best more often the Glavine. Glavine must have had some pretty mediocre seasons considering Moose's #s are better. Getting into the HOF should be based on their entire career, not a smattering of good/great seasons.

And I do think Glavine is a 1st ballot HOFer. Just as I do Moose.

Larry Wayne Jones said...

Ok, Jboogie, so you are making the argument that Glavine won Cy's against a bunch of "chumps" like Steve Avery, Jose Rijo, John Smiley, et al...but Mussina LOST Cy's to guys like Pat Hentgen ('96)and lost to David Cone in '94 with nearly identical #'s...he even finished behind Jimmy Key in the voting that year...so what does that tell us? That the writers who vote obviously don't think that much of Mussina. You can't keep throwing up the argument about the competition between pitchers in any given year...my main point here is that 300 wins is automatic, because after Randy Johnson, there really aren't many guys out there who will pitch well enough for long enough to get there again. I'm not being "foolish" basing my argument on Cy's and rings, I'm basing my argument on how I believe the BBWA seems to vote! Your boy's in some trouble there is all I'm saying. If Mussina does get in he'll probably be wearing an Orioles cap anyway since he won 147 games with the O's and 123 with the Yanks..Oh, did I also mention that he has never, ever won any major awards and only led his league in wins, shutouts, winning %, and lowest walks once each, while Glavine led the NL in wins 5 times (all 20 win seasons mind you) to go along with his 2 Cy's, 1 ring, and the WS MVP in 2005. Face!!

Larry Wayne Jones said...

Ok, Jboogie, so you are making the argument that Glavine won Cy's against a bunch of "chumps" like Steve Avery, Jose Rijo, John Smiley, et al...but Mussina LOST Cy's to guys like Pat Hentgen ('96)and lost to David Cone in '94 with nearly identical #'s...he even finished behind Jimmy Key in the voting that year...so what does that tell us? That the writers who vote obviously don't think that much of Mussina. You can't keep throwing up the argument about the competition between pitchers in any given year...my main point here is that 300 wins is automatic, because after Randy Johnson, there really aren't many guys out there who will pitch well enough for long enough to get there again. I'm not being "foolish" basing my argument on Cy's and rings, I'm basing my argument on how I believe the BBWA seems to vote! Your boy's in some trouble there is all I'm saying. If Mussina does get in he'll probably be wearing an Orioles cap anyway since he won 147 games with the O's and 123 with the Yanks..Oh, did I also mention that he has never, ever won any major awards and only led his league in wins, shutouts, winning %, and lowest walks once each, while Glavine led the NL in wins 5 times (all 20 win seasons mind you) to go along with his 2 Cy's, 1 ring, and the WS MVP in 2005. Face!!