Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Max Scherzer Dominates NL Run Prevention Leader Boards

Earlier, I posted the American League run prevention leaders.  Now, for the National League. 

There is no surefire way to determine the best pitchers in the league, but a pitcher's job is to prevent runs.  So, it's useful to estimate how many runs pitchers saved their teams compared to an average pitcher.  In the past, I have explored four different ways to do this:    
  • Pitching Runs -  Runs Saved Above Average based on innings and runs allowed. 
  • Base Runs -  Runs Saved Above Average based on batters faced and hits, walks, total bases and home runs allowed.
  • FIP Runs - Runs Saved Above Average based on innings, bases on balls, hit batsmen and home runs allowed and strikeouts.
These measures are discussed in more detail in an earlier post.  After computing them, you can aggregate them using weights depending on which measures you trust the most. I chose to take a simple average.

The 2015 National League leaders as of June 22 are listed in Table 1 below.  Former Tigers right hander, now of the Nationals, Max Scherzer leads the league in all the above categories - Pitching Runs (24), Adjusted Pitching Runs (26), Base Runs (24) and FIP Runs (25).  That gives him an aggregate of 25 runs prevented compared to an average pitcher.  Zach Greinke of the Dodgers is second with 18 runs prevented.  

Table 1: NL Run Prevention Leaders, 2014
Pitcher
Team
IP
Pitching Runs
Adjusted Pitching Runs
Base Runs
FIP Runs
Average
Max Scherzer
WSN
102.1
24
26
24
25
25
Zack Greinke
LAD
94.2
23
21
17
11
18
Gerrit Cole
PIT
91
18
17
16
15
16
A.J. Burnett
PIT
92.1
18
18
11
14
15
Jacob deGrom
NYM
92.1
15
15
18
13
15
Shelby Miller
ATL
90.1
17
17
15
8
15
Chase Anderson
ARI
79.1
11
12
9
10
10
Cole Hamels*
PHI
94.1
11
15
9
6
10
Francisco Liriano
PIT
88.1
8
7
15
11
10
Michael Wacha
STL
88.1
11
9
11
9
10
Johnny Cueto
CIN
90.2
10
9
11
9
10
Jake Arrieta
CHC
91
7
9
10
13
10
Matt Harvey
NYM
93.1
10
9
9
6
9
Jason Hammel
CHC
84
6
7
11
10
9
Clayton Kershaw*
LAD
100
5
3
12
14
8
Madison Bumgarner
SFG
93.1
11
7
9
6
8
Carlos Martinez
STL
80.1
11
10
5
4
7
Mike Bolsinger
LAD
53.1
7
6
6
5
6
Lance Lynn
STL
73.1
7
6
2
10
6
Dan Haren
MIA
87.1
9
9
6
-3
6
John Lackey
STL
89.2
5
4
5
6
5
Aaron Harang
PHI
95
3
7
6
2
5
Brett Anderson*
LAD
82
7
5
4
3
4
Tyson Ross
SDP
89.2
2
2
1
10
4








Data source: Baseball-Reference.com

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