- Dumb Luck Wins
- Tough Luck Losses
- Out Prevention Percentage
- Infield Outs Prevented
Inside-The-Park Homers And Triples The Heaviest Pitcher-Batter Matchups In MLB History
Last season, there were 11 matchups between OD “rookies” and “veterans.” In those games, the veterans pitched better in 7 and their teams won 6, so they had a slight edge over the rookies. Counting all games, the 17 veterans pitched a bit better than the 13 rookies overall, though the rookies had slightly better strikeout and walk rates.
This year, 19 OD veterans toed the rubber for their teams, while 11 rookies got the call. Because of the weird 1-game series that the Cardinals played in Miami to open the Marlins’ stadium, two of the pitchers (the Brewers’ Yovani GallardoJohnny Cueto
That leaves 14 matchups between OD starters. Of those, just 1 was a matchup of Opening Day rookies: the Rangers’ Colby LewisJohn Danks
* I used WPA for this, but you could also use Game Scores. The results are the same in this case.
|Tm1||Starter||OD GS#||Tm2||Starter||OD GS#|
|PHI||Roy Halladay||10th||PIT||Erik Bedard||3rd|
|NYY||CC Sabathia||9th||TBR||James Shields||4th|
|SFG||Tim Lincecum||8th||ARI||Ian Kennedy||4th|
|MIA||Josh Johnson||3rd||STL||Kyle Lohse||2nd|
|LAD||Clayton Kershaw||2nd||SDP||Edinson Volquez||2nd|
All of these were fairly close games, but the team whose pitcher had fewer OD starts won 3 of the 4 matchups with unequal OD start totals. The one exception was Roy Halladay, who edged Erik Bedard and the Pirates 1-0. Of course, while the Rays won, Shields actually pitched a bit worse than Sabathia (though both got shelled).
There were also 8 matchups between vets and rookies, of which the veterans’ teams won 6. The veteran starters also had the higher WPA in 6 of the 8 games.
|NYM||Johan Santana||6th||ATL||Tommy Hanson||1st|
|DET||Justin Verlander||5th||BOS||Jon Lester||1st|
|SEA||Felix Hernandez||5th||OAK||Brandon McCarthy||1st|
|LAA||Jered Weaver||4th||KCR||Bruce Chen||1st|
|CHC||Ryan Dempster||4th||WSN||Stephen Strasburg||1st|
|COL||Jeremy Guthrie||4th||HOU||Wandy Rodriguez||1st|
|MIN||Carl Pavano||3rd||BAL||Jake Arrieta||1st|
|TOR||Ricky Romero||2nd||CLE||Justin Masterson||1st|
That table makes it seem like the OD veterans pitched better on the whole than the OD rookies, but that’s actually not the case when you look at the whole sample. For one thing, many of the losing rookies actually pitched very well (Lester, McCarthy, Chen, and Strasburg in particular, as well as Johnny Cueto, who isn’t on the list above). For another, the worst performances of the various Opening Days were all by veterans; Sabathia, Shields, Lincecum, Romero, Johnson, Volquez, and Yovani Gallardo all had worse WPA marks than any rookie. The worst WPA by an OD rookie was John Danks’ -0.086 against the Rangers, and Danks actually pitched pretty well, with 6 strikeouts vs. no walks, though he gave up 3 runs in 6 IP.
Overall, the rookies’ average pitching line was fantastic, though the veterans didn’t do too badly, either. Here are the averages for each group (this is per start, not per 9 innings):
The peripherals are pretty similar, though the rookies had slightly better walk and HR rates. While the OD veterans had more success in the head-to-head matchups, I think it’s fair to say that this year, the OD rookies actually pitched a bit better.
Tagged with: Brandon McCarthy Bruce Chen Carl Pavano CC Sabathia Clayton Kershaw Colby Lewis Edinson Volquez Erik Bedard Felix Hernandez Ian Kennedy Jake Arrieta James Shields Jered Weaver Jeremy Guthrie Johan Santana John Danks Johnny Cueto Jon Lester Josh Johnson Justin Masterson Justin Verlander Kyle Lohse opening day opening day starts Ricky Romero Roy Halladay Ryan Dempster Stephen Strasburg Tim Lincecum Tommy Hanson veterans Wandy Rodriguez Yovani Gallardo
This blog is devoted to the invention and use of unusual baseball statistics. These Junk Stats are designed to reveal the not-so-meaningful quirks that make baseball so fascinating.
JunkStats is written by Jacob Peterson, who also writes for the Braves blog Talking ChopBeyond the Boxscore
For more about the site or the author, read the About page
What I’ve Done For You Lately
- The Braves Won 2 Straight Games With No RBIs
- The All-Time Labor Day Team
- Jason Vargas Could Make Home Run History
- The Most Runs Scored On A Small Number Of Hits
- Most Team Games Scoring Exactly __ Runs In A Season
- The 2012 Astros And The Longest Extra-Inning Loss Streaks
- The 2012 Orioles And The Longest Extra-Inning Win Streaks
- Most Doubles Allowed By A Pitcher In A Game
- Most RBIs While Driving In All Of A Team’s Runs
- Player Hits Three Homers, Team Scores Three Runs
GraffitiA's Albert Pujols bad pitching Billy Wagner Brad Lidge Braves Carlos Zambrano CC Sabathia Craig Kimbrel Diamondbacks Dodgers dumb luck wins Giants good bad games Greg Maddux Hank Aaron home runs Indians Kelly Johnson Kenny Rogers Livan Hernandez Mark Reynolds Mets names Phillies Pirates Prince Fielder Randy Johnson Rangers rare feats Reds relief pitching Roberto Clemente Roy Halladay Ryan Howard Sammy Sosa streaks strikeouts Theme Teams tough luck losses Twins walks week in JunkStats Willie Mays Yankees