You Are Here > Baseball-Reference.com > Blog >

SITE NEWS: We are moving all of our site and company news into a single blog for Sports-Reference.com. We'll tag all B-R content, so you can quickly and easily find the content you want.

Also, our existing B-R blog rss feed will be redirected to the new site's feed.

Baseball-Reference.com » Sports Reference

For more from Andy and the gang, check out their new site High Heat Stats.

Does Verlander’s ’11 Match Guidry’s ’78?

Posted by Steve Lombardi on September 19, 2011

A case can be made on that. Below are pitcher seasons in the A.L. since 1973 where the pitcher had a WAR of 8.5 or better:

Rk Player WAR Year Age Tm Lg G GS CG SHO GF W L W-L% SV IP H R ER BB SO ERA ERA+ HR BF AB 2B 3B IBB HBP SH SF GDP SB CS PO BK WP BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ Pit Str
1 Roger Clemens 10.3 1997 34 TOR AL 34 34 9 3 0 21 7 .750 0 264.0 204 65 60 68 292 2.05 222 9 1044 957 41 3 1 12 5 2 27 10 9 3 0 4 .213 .273 .290 .564      
2 Pedro Martinez 10.1 2000 28 BOS AL 29 29 7 4 0 18 6 .750 0 217.0 128 44 42 32 284 1.74 291 17 817 768 18 1 0 14 2 1 11 10 3 2 0 1 .167 .213 .259 .473   3164 2136
3 Roger Clemens 9.5 1990 27 BOS AL 31 31 7 4 0 21 6 .778 0 228.1 193 59 49 54 209 1.93 213 7 920 847 35 5 3 7 7 5 11 14 14 2 0 8 .228 .278 .306 .584      
4 Bert Blyleven 9.2 1973 22 MIN AL 40 40 25 9 0 20 17 .541 0 325.0 296 109 91 67 258 2.52 158 16 1321 1221 42 11 4 9 11 13 15 18 11 1 2 7 .242 .284 .334 .618      
5 Zack Greinke 9.0 2009 25 KCR AL 33 33 6 3 0 16 8 .667 0 229.1 195 64 55 51 242 2.16 205 11 915 849 47 5 0 4 8 3 17 5 9 1 0 5 .230 .276 .336 .611   3477 2206
6 Bret Saberhagen 8.6 1989 25 KCR AL 36 35 12 4 0 23 6 .793 0 262.1 209 74 63 43 193 2.16 180 13 1021 961 45 6 6 2 9 6 13 5 9 3 1 8 .217 .251 .317 .568      
7 Justin Verlander 8.5 2011 28 DET AL 33 33 4 2 0 24 5 .828 0 244.0 166 68 62 56 244 2.29 176 22 938 874 31 3 0 3 2 3 12 10 5 1 2 7 .190 .240 .308 .548 50 3821 2514
8 Ron Guidry 8.5 1978 27 NYY AL 35 35 16 9 0 25 3 .893 0 273.2 187 61 53 72 248 1.74 208 13 1057 969 34 5 1 1 13 2 15 9 14 2 1 7 .193 .249 .279 .528      
9 Mark Fidrych 8.5 1976 21 DET AL 31 29 24 4 2 19 9 .679 0 250.1 217 76 65 53 97 2.34 159 12 996 923 21 2 3 3 12 5 25 13 16 0 0 6 .235 .277 .301 .579      
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/19/2011.

.

So, Verlander this season is not up there with Pedro in 2000 or Clemens in 1997. But, look at his WAR this season, his wins/losses and his strikeout totals. Those are right in line with what Guidry did in 1978 - although Gator's ERA+ was better.

Now, I wonder if Verlander will not get the MVP this season, like Guidry did not in '78?

This entry was posted on Monday, September 19th, 2011 at 2:56 pm and is filed under Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

104 Responses to “Does Verlander’s ’11 Match Guidry’s ’78?”

  1. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I much to prefer to look at what actually happened as opposed to their interpretation of what they think should have happened.

    Oh, I agree. I think the FIP stats are better for projecting forward than determining what actually happened. The problem is in determining what did happen which the pitcher was responsible for. I'm just not sure how much credit to give Verlander for his low BABIP. But, I guess it's a choice between crediting him, or his fielders, or both. I do agree the players on the field should be credited for what actually happens, even if it's an anomalous result, rather than waving that stuff away to the luck fairy.

  2. @100 It's fuzzy how much "better" is the same a "more valuable". 99's point is that the year was more valuable, which is a matter of definition about which reasonable people will disagree.

  3. @102

    My opinion is that Guidry had a "better" year and I make that decision independently of the team record, because I see ERA and HRs allowed as the significant difference between the two.

    I choose not to agree or disagree with a statement that Guidry had a "more valuable" year, based on his impact on a close race.

    I will not judge Verlander's potential for an MVP award in 2011, based on the fact that Guidry had a "better" year or "more valuable" year in 1978 and did not receive one.

  4. It is very good that now we are looking at other net Performance evaluations, Fangraphs, & arguing which system might be more accurate, rather than assume one system is the only one one or better with no consideration of anything else/why.

    How much BBIP play vary due to pitcher performance is a big open question. Many think only FIP are meaningful, & only knuckleballs effect BBIP averages. This seems extreme, but I don't know how much is chance.

    The quality of competition must also be considered. I agree with Charles' reasoning, Guidry was at least a little better. Verlander could get & deserve the MVP, as could Bautista. Fangraphs loves Elsbury, & he should be considered.