Tuesday, June 23, 2015

David Price Ranks High Among AL Run Prevention Leaders

As we approach the half-way point of the season, it's a good time to present the 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 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 usually just take a simple average.

The 2015 American League leaders as of June 22 are listed in Table 1 below.  Athletics ace right hander Sonny Gray leads the league in Pitching Runs (22), Adjusted Pitching Runs (21) and Base Runs (23) and was third in FIP Runs (16).  That gave him an average of 20 runs prevented compared to an average pitcher.  

Astros southpaw Dallas Keuchel and Rays right hander Chris Archer are tied for second in Average Runs Prevented with 18.

The leading Tiger is ace David Price with an average of 11 tying him for fifth in the league with , Jesses Chavez of the Athletics.  His run prevention numbers are pretty consistent across the board - 7th in Pitching Runs (11), 5th in Adjusted Pitching Runs (10), 7th in Base Runs (10) and 5th in FIP Runs (14).  The only other Tiger with a positive average is Alfredo Simon with +2.  Other Tigers with 50+ innings have cost the team runs - Anibal Sanchez (-3) and Shane Greene (-11) compared to an an average pitcher.  

Table 1: AL 2015 Run Prevention Leaders
Pitcher
Team
IP
Pitching Runs
Adjusted Pitching Runs
Base Runs
FIP Runs
Average
Sonny Gray
OAK
101.2
22
21
23
16
20
Dallas Keuchel*
HOU
107.1
20
19
22
11
18
Chris Archer
TBR
95
18
14
19
20
18
Chris Sale*
CHW
88.2
12
17
16
20
16
Jesse Chavez
OAK
78.2
11
10
12
11
11
David Price*
DET
97.1
11
10
10
14
11
Jake Odorizzi
TBR
76.2
13
10
9
8
10
Felix Hernandez
SEA
97.1
10
10
12
5
9
Corey Kluber
CLE
103.2
2
4
8
16
8
Yovani Gallardo
TEX
87.2
5
8
7
8
7
Scott Kazmir*
OAK
83.1
8
8
7
5
7
C.J. Wilson*
LAA
93
6
4
10
4
6
Mike Pelfrey
MIN
78.2
8
10
4
0
6
Chris Young
KCR
63.2
8
7
7
0
5
Hector Santiago*
LAA
87.1
12
10
4
-5
5
Wandy Rodriguez*
TEX
64.2
6
8
3
4
5
Wei-Yin Chen*
BAL
81
6
7
3
3
5
Ubaldo Jimenez
BAL
74.1
4
5
3
6
4
Edinson Volquez
KCR
83.2
3
1
7
5
4
Nick Martinez
TEX
84.1
7
9
-1
1
4
Clay Buchholz
BOS
86
-2
1
3
14
4
Jesse Hahn
OAK
84.2
-1
-2
12
6
4
Adam Warren
NYY
77
2
6
5
0
4
Data source: Baseball-Reference.com

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