Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Kershaw Dominates Run Prevention Leader Boards in NL

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was the NL run prevention leader in 2014
(Photo credit: Joe Skipper, Reuters)

Over the weekend, 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 2014 National League leaders are listed in Table 1 below.  Dodgers left hander Clayton Kershaw led the league in all the above categories - Pitching Runs (46), Adjusted Pitching Runs (42), Base Runs (42) and FIP Runs (46).  That gives him an aggregate of 44 runs prevented compared to an average pitcher.  Johnny Cueto of the Reds was second with 33 runs prevented.  

Table 1: NL Run Prevention Leaders, 2014
Pitcher
Team
IP
Pitching Runs
Adjusted Pitching Runs
Base Runs
FIP Runs
Average
Clayton Kershaw*
LAD
198.1
46
42
42
46
44
Johnny Cueto
CIN
243.2
39
36
36
20
33
Adam Wainwright
STL
227
37
31
35
27
32
Jake Arrieta
CHC
156.2
23
25
30
31
27
Cole Hamels*
PHI
204.2
31
33
18
21
26
Jordan Zimmermann
WSN
199.2
21
21
20
29
23
Tanner Roark
WSN
198.2
24
23
18
12
19
Zack Greinke
LAD
202.1
21
17
11
20
17
Julio Teheran
ATL
221
16
15
19
12
15
Alex Wood*
ATL
171.2
18
17
13
14
15
Madison Bumgarner*
SFG
217.1
15
8
16
17
14
Stephen Strasburg
WSN
215
9
9
11
25
14
Doug Fister
WSN
164
21
20
12
1
13
Henderson Alvarez
MIA
187
18
20
6
9
13
Lance Lynn
STL
203.2
18
13
7
13
13
Tyson Ross
SDP
195.2
12
6
17
12
12
Hyun-jin Ryu*
LAD
152
7
4
9
21
10
Gio Gonzalez*
WSN
158.2
4
4
11
17
9
Josh Collmenter
ARI
179.1
5
8
10
5
7
Edinson Volquez
PIT
192.2
10
7
9
-6
5
Francisco Liriano*
PIT
162.1
4
1
8
5
5
Data source: Baseball-Reference.com

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