Pitching, pitching, pitching. It’s hard to get far in your MLB season if you don’t have a good pitching staff. We are talking about top 5 starting pitchers here, and not pitching staff overall.
FiveThirtyEight uses ELO points to determine a starting pitcher’s positive (or negative) effect on a team’s chance of winning. From FiveThirtyEight:
After each game, the starting pitcher’s game score is calculated as:
47.4 + 1.5*outs + strikeouts – 2*walks – 2*hits – 3*runs – 4*homeruns
We maintain a running average of these game scores for each pitcher to produce his overall pitcher score.
Current rotation scores (source: FiveThirtyEight):
At the end of last season, Nolasco had a +12.9, Skaggs was at +1.4, Chacin at -1.8, Meyer at -1.9, Weaver at -15.2, and Wright was at -20.1.
Just go ahead and look at that list of pitchers and their scores for a minute and you will see how far we’ve come since last September.
FiveThirtyEight posted an awesome graphic of all 30 teams and their pitching rankings by division which you should definitely go check out. I have an excerpt for that graphic below.
Yep. The Athletics sit on top led by Sean Manea (+20), who has a higher score than any Angels starter and the Mariners only have one pitcher in positive territory - James Paxton. The Rangers barely squeak past the Angels here, on the backs of Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels.
What do you think of this list? Angels have the 4th best staff? Athletics on top?