Like last year, I’ve got the opening day ratings for both starting rotations and bullpens as way to kind of develop the preseason power rankings, if you will.
The first picture is the starting rotation rankings for season 23. It goes: Team Acronym; Total WAR projection; # of Pitchers; Average WAR Rating for Staff; Average Overall Rating for Staff.
The average overall rating is essentially out of 100. I have a fairly reliable rating weight system. I take each rating, multiply it by the weight, and then divide by the maximum score to get a number out of 100. The WAR rating is similar, but made up of aggregate projections for innings pitched, strikeouts, homeruns and walks, and as such isn’t as reliable in my opinion than the straight up overall.
I have five “tiers” of pitchers based on the overall number:
- 100-78 I would consider an “elite” starter, of which there are 11 in the league right now.
- 77-75 are solid, borderline elites, of which there are 14. These guys would be #2’s on playoff teams, or aces on non-competing teams.
- 74-71 are your 2-3 starters. I see 38 total.
- 71-68 are your 3-4 guys. There are 34.
- 67 and under are back of the rotation pitchers/AAA guys. Playoff teams won’t have these guys typically. 63 total.
Yes, by my rating scheme there aren’t enough pitchers 65 and higher for every team to fill out a five man rotation. How I came up with these is I dumped something like 2000 starting pitchers from a number of different worlds into a spreadsheet, applied the formula to them and took the four quartiles to what came out (or something like that, it’s been like two years since I did this, so the memory is a little fuzzy. I believe the top two tiers were split up at one point, which is why there are five total tiers).
For what it’s worth, there is one ace at AA, one tier two pitcher at AAA, three tier three pitchers at AAA, and 19 tier three/four pitchers at AAA. As far as free agents go, they are pretty well picked over at this point, but anyone looking to say, I don’t know, not tank, there are three tier four guys out there.
The relief rankings follow pretty much the same formula as the starters.
The WAR numbers are going to be a off just because it’s based on the number of innings pitched, and with relievers it’s a crapshoot for how other managers handle their bullpen settings.
So draw your own conclusions from this data. I already know what I’m thinking.
So in my downtime I’ve been slowly compiling historical stats for the world. I’ve got all 22 seasons of offensive and fielding data, and the first seven seasons for pitching data.
For the batters, the season count is how many times the player appears in the spreadsheet. If a player played on two teams in a given season, he’ll appear twice, so it’s not an exact representation of how many seasons they appeared in the majors.
The positional columns are the fielding statistic developed, including positional adjustments based on games played. If two fielders were close in a given season on the raw data, but one played more game, that guy will have a higher run data based on the adjustments. So just take that into account.
FRAA is just a sum of all the positional columns.
wRAA is exactly what is, weight runs above average based on wOBA.
wSB is just a gauge for how much a player contributes by stealing bases.
FRAA, wRAA and wSB is all expressed in runs.
Total WAR is expressed in wins.
The pitcher sheet is pretty self-explanatory.
I’ll update the pitcher sheet once I get more time.
I’m not going to bother writing up something short on what the third quarter pitching WAR numbers are, as I basically laid it all out in the little chat message. McCartin is the clear favorite in the NL, with Lawrie, Oliva and Bourchard fighting it out in the AL. If I had to bet, I’d bet on Bourchard was his BABIP is near .300, and the other two are well under .300. I’d expect them to fall back a little, but hey, who knows.
As far as batter WAR figures, in the AL it’s a close race between
Giovanni Boyd, and
Ewell Torrealba. Interesting enough, neither are playing on a team that looks like they’re going to make it to the playoffs.
To find that player, you’d have to go down to
Dennis Park with Little Rock, who is definitely overplaying his ratings offensively.
In the NL, clearly
Sid O'Keefe is the favorite for NL MVP in my opinion.
So this will be the inaugural “Power Rankings” based off of first quarter WAR for each team based on fielding, hitting, and pitching.
1. Hartford – 12.91
2. Seattle – 11.39
3. Salem – 11.18
4. Richmond – 10.66
5. Austin – 9.97
6. Jacksonville – 9.25
7. Colorado – 8.87
8. Little Rock – 8.72
9. Minnesota – 8.15
10. Washington D.C. – 8.02
11. New Orleans – 7.88
12. Trenton – 7.21
13. Tacoma – 7.03
14. Florida – 6.47
15. Oklahoma City – 6.05
16. Louisville – 5.86
17. New York – 5.81
18. Honolulu – 5.74
19. Anaheim – 5.59
20. Chicago – 5.24
21. Atlanta – 4.97
22. Cleveland – 4.40
23. Detroit – 4.38
24. Toronto – 4.37
25. Tucson – 3.65
26. Scottsdale – 2.93
27. New Britain – 2.57
28. San Francisco – 2.35
29. Memphis – 1.37
30. Los Angeles – 1.05
31. Dover – 0.53
32. Buffalo – -0.12
To see a breakdown of the total based on the individual components, click here.
When trying to determine the best overall starting pitchers for this season, I had to decide on using the rating system I developed based on a player’s projected WHIP, or the WAR projection I developed over the off-season. Both projections are fairly similar, but there are the occasional outliers.
Whereas my WHIP projection consists of just one formula, the WAR projection is based on FIP, which is a composite based on my formulas for walks, strikeout, innings pitched, and home runs allowed. Further complicating matters is home runs allowed is dependent on the number of innings pitched. So if I’m off on that projection, it could throw off the HR’s projection, thus seriously negating the whole WAR.
Glenn Swift is a top 10 pitcher on my WHIP rating, my FIP/WAR calculation highly dislikes him due to his perceived lack of ability to strike batters out based on his low 30 velocity rating, which is the biggest factor in determining a pitchers strikeout rate. This is despite his 6.2 and 6.6 WAR he’s posted the last two seasons, respectively.
But since I’ve decided to post end of year statistics trying to determine wins added by pitchers, I’ve decided to go the WAR route anyway in an attempt to be consistent. I’ll probably have to further refine my formula for future use though.
Top 5 AL Pitchers*
Mike Lawrie – NY1 – 6.03
Midre Hernandez – SEA – 5.60
Edgardo Carrasco – LR – 5.52
Willie Rooney – NY1 – 5.42
Olmedo Oliva – DET – 5.37
Top 5 NL Pitchers*
Malcolm McCartin – COL – 6.59
Emmanuel Estrada – TAC – 5.05
Harry Perez – TAC – 4.82
Rocky Mercedes – HON – 4.76
Pep Zimmerman – LOU – 4.71
*Based on my projections for WAR if a pitcher starts exactly 32 games
For what it’s worth, Swift was 7th in the NL at 4.51.
It would appear that the AL is at a distinct advantage when it comes to pitching, even with McCartin’s move.
Wrapping up Season 20 stats is pitching WAR. One thing I learned from this season is that FIP absolutely loves
Olmedo Oliva , mainly because his number of strikeouts he gets. He lost half of Season 21 due to a shoulder surgery, and his velocity is down six points. So we’ll see how much of an affect that has on his K rate. I’m still not happy he came to the AL North, but hey, we’ll deal with it.
Top Five AL Pitchers
Olmedo Oliva – FLA – 8.8
Malcolm McCartin – LR – 7.5
Darrell May – NY1 – 6.6
Ossie Borchard – SAL – 5.8
Stewart Dixon– NB – 5.5
Top Five NL Pitchers
Glenn Swift – COL – 6.6
Harry Perez – TAC – 6.4
Midre Hernandez – BUF – 6.2
Bernie Melendez – BUF – 6.0
Rafael Franco – SF – 5.7
As with everything, these aren’t park adjusted. So take it with a little grain of salt.
You can debate FIP all you want as to whether it’s a reliable indicator of pitcher success. Is Oliva a better pitcher than McCartin? Hard to argue that case, but FIP loves his Ks, which puts less pressure on defenses.
Here is the pitching spreadsheet measuring WAR for starters in both AL and NL, along with all relievers together.