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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

HOF Starting Pitchers and OPS allowed

The HOF is exclusive, but how exclusive should it be? Here, the blog attempts to find the best way to evaluate Starting Pitchers.

OPS Allowed

Many believe that OPS allowed is the best way to evaluate a pitcher in WIS.

HOF'r Rob Branson allowed an OPS of .632 over his 15 seasons in the majors. The league average for this same period was .786, so he was .154 better than an average pitcher for the same time period.

Karl Greenberg might have been the closest pitcher to join this season. His career OPS allowed is .700, and the league average for "his" period was .791, which makes him .091 better than average.

Jay Burnitz, who should be a shoo-in for the HOF based on career wins, has a career OPS allowed of .711, while playing during an avg. OPS allowed of .778, so is .067 better than the average.

J.R. Beckett , another shoo-in, has a career OPS allowed of .612, during an average OPS allowed period of .775, so is .163 to the good.

So what does it all mean? I think that everyone would agree that if a pitcher won the Cy Young every season then he would be an easy choice for the HOF. Let's take the Cy Young winners from the last 4 years from both the NL and AL.


Season 18

AL Cy Young Philip Colin had an OBP allowed of .303 and a SLG allowed of .340 for a total OPS allowed of .643. In Season 18, the average AL pitcher had an OBP allowed of .336 and a SLG allowed of .440, for an average OPS allowed of .776. Accordingly, Colin was .133 better than the average pitcher in the AL in Season 18.

NL Cy Young Dave Darr had an OBP allowed of .284 and a SLG allowed of .341 for a total OPS allowed of .625. In Season 18, the average pitcher in the NL had an OBPa of .334 and a SLGa of .428 for a total OPS allowed of .762. Accordingly, Darr was .137 better than the average pitcher in the NL in Season 18.

Season 17

AL Cy Young J.R. Beckett had an OBPa of .276 and a SLGa of .342 for an OPS allowed of .618. In Season 17, the average AL OBPa was .328 and the average SLGa was .425, for an average OPS allowed of .753. Accordingly, Beckett was .135 better than average.

NL Cy Young Wilfredo Veras had an OBPa of .284 and a SLGa of .351 for an OPS allowed of .635. In Season 17, the average NL OBPa was .333 and the average SLGa was .424 for an average OPS allowed of .757. Accordingly, Veras was .122 better than average.

Season 16

AL Cy Young Victor Sierra had an OBPa of .278 and a SLGa of .332 for an OPS allowed of .610. In Season 16, the average pitcher had an OBPa of .337 and a SLGa of .436 for an average OPS allowed of .773. Accordingly, Sierra was .163 better than average.

NL Cy Young Jay Burnitz had an OBPa of .274 and a SLGa of .315 for an OPS allowed of .589. In Season 16 in the NL, the average pitcher had an OBPa of .332 and a SLGa of .423 for an average OPS allowed of .755. Accordingly, Burnitz was .166 better than average.

Season 15

AL Cy Young Heinie Conigliaro had an OBPa of .291 and a SLGa of .340 for an OPS allowed of .631. In Season 15, the average pitcher in the AL had an OBPa of .348 and a SLGa .446 of for an average OPS allowed of .794. Accordingly, Heinie was .163 better than average.

NL Cy Young Wilfredo Veras had an OBPa of .263 and a SLGa of .288 for an OPS allowed of .551. In Season 15, the average pitcher in the NL had an OPSa of .333 and and a SLGa of .416 for an average OPS allowed of .749. Accordingly, Veras was .198 better than average.

Analysis

In the AL over the past four seasons, the average OPS allowed is .774. In the NL, it is .756. Over the past two years, the AL is at .765 and the NL at .760. Total average over the past 4 seasons is .765, and over the past two is .762.

In the AL, the average Cy Young winner is .149 better than the average pitcher during any given season. In the NL, the average Cy Young winner is .156 better than the average pitcher during any given season. Over the past two seasons, that number is .130 in the AL and .135 in the NL.

Conclusion

Any starting pitcher that has an OPS allowed over the span of his career that is .150 points better than the average pitcher over that same period should enter the HOF with no debate, assuming a win total that is reasonably good. Any SP that is 130 points better should aslo be a first ballot HOFr. What about others?

I looked at all-star starting pitchers from season 18 and found the following:

AL
Ramon Chen - OPS allowed of .713
Phil Pride - OPS allowed of .672
Heinie Conigliaro - OPS allowed of .638
Fritz Lynch - OPS allowed of .700
Jeff Woods - OPS allowed of .659
Brian Williams - OPS allowed of .615

Average All-Star AL Starter had an OPS allowed of .657

NL
Chad Clarke - OPS allowed of .692
Derrek Peters - OPS allowed of .663
Cory Clark - OPS allowed of .627
Adrian Reed - OPS allowed of .674
Eric Ross - OPS allowed of .684

Average All-Star Starter had an OPS allowed of .668

So, in the AL, the average all-star SP was .119 better than the average pitcher. In the NL, the average all-star SP was .094 better than the average. this averages to .107. A pitcher with a career OPS allowed that is .100 better than the average pitcher during that same span, will have been an all-star his entire career. This, in my opinion, is a Hall of Fame SP. Greenberg is close to this level, so he should get in the Hall. Burnitz is not, but his win total would be awful difficult to justify hkeeping him out.

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