Thursday, July 03, 2014

Adam Wainwright is NL Run Prevention Leader

Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals is the NL leader in runs prevented
(Photo credit: HardballTalk.NBCSports.com)

Earlier today, I posted the American League run prevention leaders through July 2.  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 measured are discussed in more detail in an earlier post.  After computing each measure, I then take the average of the four. 

The current National League leaders are listed in Table 1 below.  Cardinals right hander Adam Wainwright leads the league in Pitching Runs (29), Adjusted Pitching Runs (24), and Base Runs (27) and is second with 20 FIP Runs.  That gives him an aggregate of 25 runs prevented compared to an average pitcher.  

Johnny Cueto of the Reds is second with 21 runs prevented.  He is tied for first in Base Runs (27), second in Pitching Runs (22) and Adjusted Pitching Runs (19) and third in FIP Runs (17).

Table 1: NL Run Prevention Leaders as of July 2, 2014
Pitcher
Team
IP
Pitching Runs
Adjusted Pitching Runs
Base Runs
FIP Runs
Average
Adam Wainwright
STL
124.0
29
24
27
20
25
Johnny Cueto
CIN
131.1
22
19
27
17
21
Julio Teheran
ATL
126.0
19
18
20
11
17
Clayton Kershaw*
LAD
79.1
17
15
13
22
17
Jake Arrieta
CHC
64.2
14
16
14
15
15
Jason Hammel
CHC
102.2
11
13
12
11
12
Henderson Alvarez
MIA
108.0
12
12
6
11
10
Tim Hudson
SFG
107.2
12
9
9
9
10
Jordan Zimmermann
WSN
103.2
8
7
6
14
9
Michael Wacha
STL
90.1
10
6
10
9
9
Josh Beckett
LAD
98.2
14
11
9
0
8
Tanner Roark
WSN
99.2
10
9
7
7
8
Cole Hamels*
PHI
93.2
8
10
4
8
8
Andrew Cashner
SDP
76.1
9
5
8
8
7
Madison Bumgarner*
SFG
108.2
6
4
6
13
7
Zack Greinke
LAD
103.2
10
7
2
9
7
Alfredo Simon
CIN
102.2
12
9
8
-2
7
Jeff Samardzija
CHC
108.0
4
6
6
12
7
Jon Niese*
NYM
103.0
9
7
7
4
7
Kyle Lohse
MIL
114.0
6
4
11
5
7
Data source: Baseball-Reference.com

Felix Hernandez Heads AL Run Prevention Leaders

Mariners right hander Felix Hernandez is good at preventing runs by any measure
(Photo Credit: Marinersblog.MLBblogscom)

With the season now about half complete, it's a good time to update the Tiger Tales sabermetric pitching Leaders. 

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 measured are discussed in more detail in an earlier post.  After computing each measure, I then take the average of the four. 

The current American League leaders are listed in Table 1 below.  Mariners ace right hander Felix Hernandez leads the league in Base Runs (31) and FIP Runs (31), is second in FIP Runs and fifth in Adjusted Pitching Runs.  That gives him an average of 26 runs prevented compared to an average pitcher. 

The leading Tiger is Anibal Sanchez with an average of 14, good for seventh in the league.  He is tied for fourth in Base Runs (17). but only 15th in Pitching Runs.  Other Tigers in the top 20 are Rick Porcello (11 runs prevented) and Max Scherzer (10).  Drew Smyly checks in at +3 and Justin Verlander is a disappointing -7 worse than league average.  

Table 1: AL Run Prevention Leaders as of July 2, 2014
Pitcher
Team
IP
Pitching Runs
Adjusted Pitching Runs
Base Runs
FIP Runs
Average
Felix Hernandez
SEA
128.1
24
19
31
31
26
Masahiro Tanaka
NYY
115.2
25
29
17
18
22
Garrett Richards
LAA
109.0
18
18
23
17
19
Yu Darvish
TEX
104.1
17
23
13
21
18
Chris Sale*
CHW
78.1
16
20
18
15
17
Dallas Keuchel*
HOU
103.2
15
18
15
15
16
Anibal Sanchez
DET
82.0
10
14
17
15
14
Scott Kazmir*
OAK
103.1
17
14
15
9
14
Mark Buehrle*
TOR
115.1
19
21
7
8
14
Corey Kluber
CLE
117.1
11
14
8
20
13
Jon Lester*
BOS
114.0
7
10
9
20
11
Rick Porcello
DET
106.2
11
17
10
7
11
Phil Hughes
MIN
103.0
7
10
7
19
11
Sonny Gray
OAK
104.0
10
8
12
10
10
Max Scherzer
DET
111.1
8
13
3
17
10
David Price*
TBR
131.0
4
4
9
18
9
Chris Archer
TBR
100.0
5
6
11
13
9
Danny Duffy*
KCR
72.2
11
9
12
2
9
Jose Quintana*
CHW
104.2
1
7
6
16
8
Data source: Baseball-Reference.com

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