March 30, 2017

How Many 20-Game Winners will there be in 2016?

June 5, 2016 by · 2 Comments 

Much has been said in recent weeks about Clayton Kershaw’s impressive start in 2016. And deservedly so, as he has an 8-1 record, 1.46 ERA, 0.65 WHIP, and 109 strikeouts and only 6 walks in 92.7 IP. But beyond Kershaw, there seem to be a lot of pitchers having outstanding seasons so far.

As we are just past the one-third mark in the season, I’m seeing a lot of candidates for 20-win seasons for instance. Consider these guys:

  • Kershaw 8-1, 1.46, 0.65 WHIP, 109 K, 6 BB, 92.7IP
  • Jake Arrieta 9-0, 1.56, 0.89 WHIP, 75 K, 25 BB, 75 IP
  • Madison Bumgarner 7-2, 1.91, 1.09 WHIP, 94 K, 24 BB, 80 IP
  • Chris Sale 9-2, 2.54, 0.94 WHIP, 78 K, 18 BB, 85 IP
  • Johnny Cueto 9-1, 2.16, 1.05 WHIP, 73 K, 19 BB, 87.7 IP
  • Jose Fernandez 8-2, 2.53, 1.11 WHIP, 96 K, 25 BB, 67.7 IP
  • Stephen Stasburg 9-0, 2.85, 1.09 WHIP, 100 K, 22 BB, 79.00 IP
  • Rich Hill 8-3, 2.25, 1.12 WHIP, 74 K, 24 BB, 64.0 IP
  • Jason Hammel 7-1, 2.14, 1.08 WHIP, 56 K, 24 BB, 63 IP
  • Noah Syndergaard 6-2, 1.91, 0.96 WHIP, 90 K, 10 BB, 60.7 IP
  • Jon Lester 6-3, 2.29 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 69 K, 17 BB, 70.7 IP
  • Danny Salazar 6-3, 2.24, 1.13 WHIP, 81 K, 33 BB, 68.3 IP

Interestingly, of these 12, only 3 are in the AL — Sale, Hill, and Salazar.

Max Scherzer has also had some great games this year, leading to a 1.07 WHIP, 101 K and 24 BB in 81.3 IP. He has been giving up a lot of home runs though, so that is why he has only a 6-4 record and 3.87 ERA.

And of course there are more pitchers in both leagues having a good start to the year, including: Steven Wright, Aaron Nola, Jeff Samardzija, John Lackey,  Aaron Sanchez, Chris Tillman, Jose Quintana, Steven Matz, Cole Hamels, Masahiro Tanaka, Marco Estrada, Jordan Zimmerman, Tanner Roark, Kyle Hendricks, Drew Pomeranz, Jacob DeGrom, Felix Hernandez, Joe Ross, Gerrit Cole, Tyler Chatwood, David Price, and more.

Any of these guys, if they put together a string of outstanding games, could find themselves winning 18-20+ games this year.

With all of these strong starting pitching performances so far, I wondered if the overall MLB pitching stats were better so far this year than in recent years. Interestingly, the answer is mostly no. See here for the run down: http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/pitch.shtml

As you can see, overall ERA is 4.11, up somewhat from 3.96 last year, and the highest since 4.32 in 2009. Home runs allowed per game are also up, at 1.11 the highest since 2006. WHIP is up slightly from last year, at 1.313 compared to 1.294, again the highest sine 2011.

On the flip side, strikeouts rates have been increasingly steadily for decades, and this year have reached an all-time high! From 1970 – 1993, the strikeout rate per 9 IP was between 4.8 and 6.0. Then in 1994 it was 6.2, and hasn’t dropped below 6 since. It first hit 7.0 in 2009, and then leaped to 7.6 in 2012. So far this year, in 2016, it is at 8.0. So in addition to some potentially high Win totals this year, I guess we will see some solid strikeout totals too.

Comments

2 Responses to “How Many 20-Game Winners will there be in 2016?”
  1. Believe it or not, I was looking into this very question myself this morning. Great job! I would add names to those listed here: 8-game winner Josh Tomlin, plus some 7-game winners Rick Porcello and Zack Greinke.

  2. Tony Cowen says:

    You just jinxed the best pitchers in the majors…Arrieta lost today!

    But seriously, thanks. I enjoyed the article.

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