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WAR Data: Best Starting Pitchers Not In the Hall of Fame

Posted by Neil Paine on May 20, 2010

Yesterday, I looked at the best eligible position players not in the Hall of Fame by WAR, and you responded with your votes by choosing Tim Raines as the non-HoFer you felt was most deserving of the honor. Today, I'm going to do the same thing, but for starting pitchers who haven't been enshrined in Cooperstown yet. Here are the top non-HoF pitchers by WAR who started at least 60% of their career games:

Rk Player WAR From To G GS CG SHO W L W-L% IP H R ER BB SO ERA ERA+ HR BF Tm
1 Roger Clemens 128.4 1984 2007 709 707 118 46 354 184 .658 4916.2 4185 1885 1707 1580 4672 3.12 143 363 20240 BOS-TOR-NYY-HOU
2 Greg Maddux 94.2 1986 2008 744 740 109 35 355 227 .610 5008.1 4726 1981 1756 999 3371 3.16 132 353 20421 CHC-ATL-TOT-SDP
3 Randy Johnson 87.3 1988 2009 618 603 100 37 303 166 .646 4135.1 3346 1703 1513 1497 4875 3.29 136 411 17067 MON-TOT-SEA-ARI-NYY-SFG
4 Bert Blyleven 77.4 1970 1992 692 685 242 60 287 250 .534 4970.0 4632 2029 1830 1322 3701 3.31 118 430 20491 MIN-TOT-TEX-PIT-CLE-CAL
5 Pedro Martinez 75.9 1992 2009 476 409 46 17 219 100 .687 2827.1 2221 1006 919 760 3154 2.93 154 239 11394 LAD-MON-BOS-NYM-PHI
6 Mike Mussina 74.8 1991 2008 537 536 57 23 270 153 .638 3562.2 3460 1559 1458 785 2813 3.68 123 376 14593 BAL-NYY
7 Tom Glavine 67.0 1987 2008 682 682 56 25 305 203 .600 4413.1 4298 1900 1734 1500 2607 3.54 118 356 18604 ATL-NYM
8 Curt Schilling 65.2 1988 2007 569 436 83 20 216 146 .597 3261.0 2998 1318 1253 711 3116 3.46 128 347 13284 BAL-HOU-PHI-TOT-ARI-BOS
9 Kevin Brown 64.8 1986 2005 486 476 72 17 211 144 .594 3256.1 3079 1357 1185 901 2397 3.28 127 208 13542 TEX-BAL-FLA-SDP-LAD-NYY
10 John Smoltz 64.6 1988 2009 723 481 53 16 213 155 .579 3473.0 3074 1391 1284 1010 3084 3.33 125 288 14271 ATL-TOT
11 Luis Tiant 60.1 1964 1982 573 484 187 49 229 172 .571 3486.1 3075 1400 1280 1104 2416 3.30 115 346 14365 CLE-MIN-BOS-NYY-PIT-CAL
12 Rick Reuschel 59.6 1972 1991 557 529 102 26 214 191 .528 3548.1 3588 1494 1330 935 2015 3.37 114 221 14888 CHC-TOT-PIT-SFG
13 Jerry Koosman 57.6 1967 1985 612 527 140 33 222 209 .515 3839.1 3635 1608 1433 1198 2556 3.36 110 290 15996 NYM-MIN-TOT-CHW-PHI
14 Tommy John 56.4 1963 1989 760 700 162 46 288 231 .555 4710.1 4783 2017 1749 1259 2245 3.34 111 302 19692 CLE-CHW-LAD-NYY-TOT-CAL
15 Billy Pierce 53.5 1945 1964 585 432 193 38 211 169 .555 3306.2 2989 1325 1201 1178 1999 3.27 119 284 13853 DET-CHW-SFG
16 Chuck Finley 53.4 1986 2002 524 467 63 15 200 173 .536 3197.1 3069 1517 1366 1332 2610 3.85 115 304 13638 CAL-ANA-CLE-TOT
17 Dave Stieb 53.0 1979 1998 443 412 103 30 176 137 .562 2895.1 2572 1225 1106 1034 1669 3.44 123 225 12072 TOR-CHW
18 Bret Saberhagen 52.6 1984 2001 399 371 76 16 167 117 .588 2562.2 2452 1036 952 471 1715 3.34 126 218 10421 KCR-NYM-TOT-BOS
19 Frank Tanana 52.1 1973 1993 638 616 143 34 240 236 .504 4188.1 4063 1910 1704 1255 2773 3.66 106 448 17641 CAL-BOS-TEX-TOT-DET
20 Larry Jackson 51.8 1955 1968 558 429 149 37 194 183 .515 3262.2 3206 1405 1233 824 1709 3.40 113 259 13593 STL-CHC-TOT-PHI
21 Orel Hershiser 51.5 1983 2000 510 466 68 25 204 150 .576 3130.1 2939 1366 1211 1007 2014 3.48 112 235 13150 LAD-CLE-SFG-NYM
22 Tommy Bridges 50.7 1930 1946 424 362 200 33 194 138 .584 2826.1 2675 1321 1122 1192 1674 3.57 126 181 12165 DET
23 Bob Friend 49.9 1951 1966 602 497 163 36 197 230 .461 3611.0 3772 1652 1438 894 1734 3.58 107 286 15214 PIT-TOT
24 Kevin Appier 49.9 1989 2004 414 402 34 12 169 137 .552 2595.1 2425 1168 1078 933 1994 3.74 121 232 10958 KCR-TOT-OAK-NYM-ANA
25 Eddie Cicotte 48.2 1905 1920 502 361 249 35 209 148 .585 3226.0 2897 1161 853 827 1374 2.38 123 32 12731 DET-BOS-TOT-CHW
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/20/2010.

Not all of those players are eligible, of course. Dropping active players or those who retired before the 2005 season, you get this list (we'll leave pre-1900 players to the Veteran's Committee):

Rk Player WAR From To G GS CG SHO W L W-L% IP H R ER BB SO ERA ERA+ HR BF
4 Bert Blyleven 77.4 1970 1992 692 685 242 60 287 250 .534 4970.0 4632 2029 1830 1322 3701 3.31 118 430 20491
11 Luis Tiant 60.1 1964 1982 573 484 187 49 229 172 .571 3486.1 3075 1400 1280 1104 2416 3.30 115 346 14365
12 Rick Reuschel 59.6 1972 1991 557 529 102 26 214 191 .528 3548.1 3588 1494 1330 935 2015 3.37 114 221 14888
13 Jerry Koosman 57.6 1967 1985 612 527 140 33 222 209 .515 3839.1 3635 1608 1433 1198 2556 3.36 110 290 15996
14 Tommy John 56.4 1963 1989 760 700 162 46 288 231 .555 4710.1 4783 2017 1749 1259 2245 3.34 111 302 19692
15 Billy Pierce 53.5 1945 1964 585 432 193 38 211 169 .555 3306.2 2989 1325 1201 1178 1999 3.27 119 284 13853
16 Chuck Finley 53.4 1986 2002 524 467 63 15 200 173 .536 3197.1 3069 1517 1366 1332 2610 3.85 115 304 13638
17 Dave Stieb 53.0 1979 1998 443 412 103 30 176 137 .562 2895.1 2572 1225 1106 1034 1669 3.44 123 225 12072
18 Bret Saberhagen 52.6 1984 2001 399 371 76 16 167 117 .588 2562.2 2452 1036 952 471 1715 3.34 126 218 10421
19 Frank Tanana 52.1 1973 1993 638 616 143 34 240 236 .504 4188.1 4063 1910 1704 1255 2773 3.66 106 448 17641
20 Larry Jackson 51.8 1955 1968 558 429 149 37 194 183 .515 3262.2 3206 1405 1233 824 1709 3.40 113 259 13593
21 Orel Hershiser 51.5 1983 2000 510 466 68 25 204 150 .576 3130.1 2939 1366 1211 1007 2014 3.48 112 235 13150
22 Tommy Bridges 50.7 1930 1946 424 362 200 33 194 138 .584 2826.1 2675 1321 1122 1192 1674 3.57 126 181 12165
23 Bob Friend 49.9 1951 1966 602 497 163 36 197 230 .461 3611.0 3772 1652 1438 894 1734 3.58 107 286 15214
24 Kevin Appier 49.9 1989 2004 414 402 34 12 169 137 .552 2595.1 2425 1168 1078 933 1994 3.74 121 232 10958
25 Eddie Cicotte 48.2 1905 1920 502 361 249 35 209 148 .585 3226.0 2897 1161 853 827 1374 2.38 123 32 12731
26 Urban Shocker 47.0 1916 1928 412 317 200 28 187 117 .615 2681.2 2709 1131 945 657 983 3.17 124 127 11137
27 Dwight Gooden 46.9 1984 2000 430 410 68 24 194 112 .634 2800.2 2564 1198 1091 954 2293 3.51 111 210 11705
28 Dennis Martinez 46.5 1976 1998 692 562 122 30 245 193 .559 3999.2 3897 1835 1643 1165 2149 3.70 106 372 16754
29 David Cone 46.4 1986 2003 450 419 56 22 194 126 .606 2898.2 2504 1222 1115 1137 2668 3.46 121 258 12184
31 Steve Rogers 45.8 1973 1985 399 393 129 37 158 152 .510 2837.2 2619 1122 1001 876 1621 3.17 116 151 11702
32 Jimmy Key 45.7 1984 1998 470 389 34 13 186 117 .614 2591.2 2518 1104 1010 668 1538 3.51 122 254 10719
33 Mickey Lolich 45.6 1963 1979 586 496 195 41 217 191 .532 3638.1 3366 1537 1390 1099 2832 3.44 105 347 15140
34 Babe Adams 45.2 1906 1926 482 354 206 44 194 140 .581 2995.1 2841 1133 917 430 1036 2.76 118 67 11947
35 Wilbur Cooper 44.7 1912 1926 517 406 279 35 216 178 .548 3480.0 3415 1406 1119 853 1252 2.89 116 103 14377
36 Ron Guidry 44.4 1975 1988 368 323 95 26 170 91 .651 2392.0 2198 953 874 633 1778 3.29 119 226 9794
37 Vida Blue 43.8 1969 1986 502 473 143 37 209 161 .565 3343.1 2939 1357 1213 1185 2175 3.27 108 263 13837
39 Wes Ferrell 42.6 1927 1941 374 323 227 17 193 128 .601 2623.0 2845 1382 1177 1040 985 4.04 117 132 11568
40 Mel Harder 42.5 1928 1947 582 433 181 25 223 186 .545 3426.1 3706 1714 1447 1118 1161 3.80 113 161 14861
41 Dizzy Trout 42.0 1939 1957 521 322 158 28 170 161 .514 2725.2 2641 1166 979 1046 1256 3.23 124 112 11615
42 Bob Welch 41.9 1978 1994 506 462 61 28 211 146 .591 3092.0 2894 1310 1191 1034 1969 3.47 107 267 12956
43 Nap Rucker 41.7 1907 1916 336 274 186 38 134 134 .500 2375.1 2089 823 639 701 1217 2.42 119 41 9441
45 Larry French 41.2 1929 1942 570 383 198 40 197 171 .535 3152.0 3375 1440 1206 819 1187 3.44 114 164 13465
46 Mark Langston 41.0 1984 1999 457 428 81 18 179 158 .531 2962.2 2723 1438 1306 1289 2464 3.97 108 311 12562
48 Sam McDowell 40.6 1961 1975 425 346 103 23 141 134 .513 2492.1 1948 999 879 1312 2453 3.17 112 164 10587
49 Bob Shawkey 40.3 1913 1927 488 333 197 33 195 150 .565 2937.0 2722 1200 1008 1018 1360 3.09 114 114 12019
50 Frank Viola 40.3 1982 1996 421 420 74 16 176 150 .540 2836.1 2827 1303 1175 864 1844 3.73 112 294 11933
51 Dolf Luque 40.2 1914 1935 550 367 206 26 194 179 .520 3220.1 3231 1412 1161 918 1130 3.24 118 113 13470
52 Milt Pappas 40.0 1957 1973 520 465 129 43 209 164 .560 3186.0 3046 1331 1203 858 1728 3.40 110 298 13198
53 Claude Osteen 39.8 1957 1975 541 488 140 40 196 195 .501 3460.2 3471 1435 1268 940 1612 3.30 104 249 14433
54 Jim Kaat 39.6 1959 1983 898 625 180 31 283 237 .544 4530.1 4620 2038 1738 1083 2461 3.45 108 395 19023
55 Jack Morris 39.3 1977 1994 549 527 175 28 254 186 .577 3824.0 3567 1815 1657 1390 2478 3.90 105 389 16120
56 Curt Simmons 39.2 1947 1967 569 462 163 36 193 183 .513 3348.1 3313 1551 1318 1063 1697 3.54 111 255 14144
57 Fernando Valenzuela 38.9 1980 1997 453 424 113 31 173 153 .531 2930.0 2718 1303 1154 1151 2074 3.54 104 226 12398
58 Harry Brecheen 38.8 1940 1953 318 240 125 25 133 92 .591 1907.2 1731 701 618 536 901 2.92 134 117 7821
59 Jon Matlack 38.7 1971 1983 361 318 97 30 125 126 .498 2363.0 2276 970 835 638 1516 3.18 114 161 9789
60 Larry Dierker 38.1 1964 1977 356 329 106 25 139 123 .531 2333.2 2130 948 857 711 1493 3.31 103 184 9661
61 Lon Warneke 38.1 1930 1945 445 343 192 30 192 121 .613 2782.1 2726 1164 984 739 1140 3.18 119 175 11608
62 Mel Stottlemyre 37.9 1964 1974 360 356 152 40 164 139 .541 2661.1 2435 1003 878 809 1257 2.97 112 171 10972
63 Ed Reulbach 37.8 1905 1917 399 300 201 40 182 106 .632 2632.1 2117 887 668 892 1137 2.28 123 33 10521
64 Bucky Walters 37.6 1934 1950 428 398 242 42 198 160 .553 3104.2 2990 1343 1139 1121 1107 3.30 115 154 13140
65 Hippo Vaughn 37.3 1908 1921 390 332 214 41 178 137 .565 2730.0 2461 1039 754 817 1416 2.49 120 39 11225
66 Bill Donovan 36.6 1900 1918 356 318 281 35 183 131 .583 2851.2 2508 1116 832 977 1505 2.63 107 30 11640
67 Bob Rush 36.6 1948 1960 417 321 118 16 127 152 .455 2410.2 2327 1128 977 789 1244 3.65 109 176 10219
68 George Uhle 36.0 1919 1936 513 368 232 21 200 166 .546 3119.2 3417 1635 1384 966 1135 3.99 106 119 13597
69 Jerry Reuss 35.8 1969 1990 628 547 127 39 220 191 .535 3669.2 3734 1700 1483 1127 1907 3.64 100 245 15582
70 Doc White 35.7 1901 1913 427 363 262 45 189 156 .548 3041.0 2738 1118 808 670 1384 2.39 113 33 12093
71 Virgil Trucks 35.6 1941 1958 517 328 124 33 177 135 .567 2682.1 2416 1124 1009 1088 1534 3.39 117 188 11378
72 Andy Messersmith 35.6 1968 1979 344 295 98 27 130 99 .568 2230.1 1719 812 709 831 1625 2.86 121 174 9120
73 Tom Candiotti 35.5 1983 1999 451 410 68 11 151 164 .479 2725.0 2662 1299 1130 883 1735 3.73 108 250 11568
74 Chris Short 35.5 1959 1973 501 308 88 24 135 132 .506 2325.0 2215 991 886 806 1629 3.43 104 183 9801
75 Camilo Pascual 35.4 1954 1971 529 404 132 36 174 170 .506 2930.2 2703 1334 1183 1069 2167 3.63 104 256 12415
76 Carl Mays 35.4 1915 1929 490 324 231 29 208 126 .623 3021.1 2912 1211 979 734 862 2.92 120 73 12352
77 Rick Wise 35.1 1964 1982 506 455 138 30 188 181 .509 3127.1 3227 1455 1281 804 1647 3.69 101 261 13157
78 Jim Perry 34.8 1959 1975 630 447 109 32 215 174 .553 3285.2 3127 1407 1258 998 1576 3.45 106 308 13732
79 Mark Gubicza 34.8 1984 1997 384 329 42 16 132 136 .493 2223.1 2239 1063 978 786 1371 3.96 109 155 9487
80 Jim Maloney 34.7 1960 1971 302 262 74 30 134 84 .615 1849.0 1518 729 655 810 1605 3.19 116 138 7745
81 Jeff Pfeffer 34.3 1911 1924 347 279 194 28 158 112 .585 2407.1 2320 921 742 592 836 2.77 113 67 9968
82 Burt Hooton 34.3 1971 1985 480 377 86 29 151 136 .526 2652.0 2497 1112 996 799 1491 3.38 108 193 11025
83 Paul Derringer 34.2 1931 1945 579 445 251 32 223 212 .513 3645.0 3912 1652 1401 761 1507 3.46 108 158 15391
84 Mike Garcia 34.1 1948 1961 428 281 111 27 142 97 .594 2174.2 2148 888 789 719 1117 3.27 118 122 9237
85 Sam Leever 33.9 1900 1910 332 257 204 35 172 77 .691 2248.2 2070 822 588 460 711 2.35 124 22 8971
86 Johnny Antonelli 33.9 1948 1961 377 268 102 25 126 110 .534 1992.1 1870 860 739 687 1162 3.34 116 186 8424
87 Ned Garver 33.4 1948 1961 402 330 153 18 129 157 .451 2477.1 2471 1184 1027 881 881 3.73 112 213 10584
88 Bruce Hurst 33.0 1980 1994 379 359 83 23 145 113 .562 2417.1 2463 1143 1052 740 1689 3.92 104 258 10204
89 Noodles Hahn 32.4 1900 1906 205 197 180 21 107 86 .554 1720.1 1636 693 482 313 772 2.52 129 24 6889
90 Schoolboy Rowe 32.1 1933 1949 382 278 137 22 158 101 .610 2219.1 2332 1075 955 558 913 3.87 110 132 9398
91 Preacher Roe 31.8 1938 1954 333 261 101 17 127 84 .602 1914.1 1907 799 730 504 956 3.43 116 199 7904
92 Eddie Lopat 31.8 1944 1955 340 318 164 27 166 112 .597 2439.1 2464 1008 869 650 859 3.21 116 179 10197
93 Charlie Leibrandt 31.7 1979 1993 394 346 52 18 140 119 .541 2308.0 2390 1068 952 656 1121 3.71 109 172 9774
94 Thornton Lee 31.5 1933 1948 374 272 155 14 117 124 .485 2331.1 2327 1105 921 838 937 3.56 119 121 9999
95 Freddie Fitzsimmons 31.5 1925 1943 513 425 186 30 217 146 .598 3223.2 3335 1505 1257 846 870 3.51 112 186 13570
96 Dean Chance 31.4 1961 1971 406 294 83 33 128 115 .527 2147.1 1864 832 697 739 1534 2.92 119 122 8906
97 Pat Hentgen 31.4 1991 2004 344 306 34 10 131 112 .539 2075.1 2111 1076 996 775 1290 4.32 108 269 8925
98 Jose Rijo 31.0 1984 2002 376 269 22 4 116 91 .560 1880.0 1710 772 676 663 1606 3.24 121 147 7867
99 Dutch Leonard 30.9 1913 1925 331 272 152 33 139 113 .552 2192.0 2022 851 672 664 1160 2.76 115 54 8907
100 Bill Hands 30.4 1965 1975 374 260 72 17 111 110 .502 1951.0 1895 834 727 492 1128 3.35 115 167 8116
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/20/2010.

Here are all of the starting pitchers (as defined by GS/G>60%) in the Hall of Fame:

Player WAR IP From To G GS CG SHO W L W-L% H R ER BB SO ERA ERA+ HR BF
Monte Ward 25.4 2469.2 1878 1884 293 262 245 24 164 103 .614 2324 1185 576 253 920 2.10 119 26 10164
Rube Marquard 30.7 3306.2 1908 1925 536 407 197 30 201 177 .532 3233 1443 1130 858 1593 3.08 103 107 13641
Catfish Hunter 32.5 3449.1 1965 1979 500 476 181 42 224 166 .574 2958 1380 1248 954 2012 3.26 105 374 14032
Jesse Haines 33.8 3208.2 1918 1937 555 386 208 24 210 158 .571 3460 1556 1298 871 981 3.64 109 165 13644
Burleigh Grimes 35.4 4180.0 1916 1934 616 497 314 35 270 212 .560 4412 2050 1638 1295 1512 3.53 108 148 17974
Jack Chesbro 36.8 2896.2 1899 1909 392 332 260 35 198 132 .600 2647 1206 864 690 1265 2.68 111 39 11632
Chief Bender 38.5 3017.0 1903 1925 459 334 255 40 212 127 .625 2645 1108 823 712 1711 2.46 112 40 11895
Herb Pennock 39.2 3571.2 1912 1934 617 419 247 35 241 162 .598 3900 1699 1428 916 1227 3.60 106 128 15096
Dizzy Dean 39.6 1967.1 1930 1947 317 230 154 26 150 83 .644 1919 774 661 453 1163 3.02 131 95 8171
Addie Joss 40.9 2327.0 1902 1910 286 260 234 45 160 97 .623 1888 730 488 364 920 1.89 142 19 8891
Bob Lemon 42.4 2850.0 1946 1958 460 350 188 31 207 128 .618 2559 1185 1024 1251 1277 3.23 119 180 12099
Waite Hoyt 42.9 3762.1 1918 1938 674 425 226 26 237 182 .566 4037 1780 1500 1003 1206 3.59 112 154 16010
Lefty Gomez 43.0 2503.0 1930 1943 368 320 173 28 189 102 .649 2290 1091 930 1095 1468 3.34 125 138 10729
Clark Griffith 46.6 3385.2 1891 1914 453 372 337 22 237 146 .619 3670 1852 1246 774 955 3.31 122 76 14335
Joe McGinnity 47.1 3441.1 1899 1908 465 381 314 32 246 142 .634 3276 1436 1016 812 1068 2.66 120 52 14132
Rube Waddell 49.2 2961.1 1897 1910 407 340 261 50 193 143 .574 2460 1063 711 803 2316 2.16 135 37 11717
Eppa Rixey 51.2 4494.2 1912 1933 692 554 290 37 266 251 .515 4633 1986 1572 1082 1350 3.15 115 92 18754
Red Ruffing 51.4 4344.0 1924 1947 624 538 335 45 273 225 .548 4284 2115 1833 1541 1987 3.80 109 254 18546
Early Wynn 52.0 4564.0 1939 1963 691 612 290 49 300 244 .551 4291 2037 1796 1775 2334 3.54 107 338 19408
Mordecai Brown 53.2 3172.1 1903 1916 481 332 271 55 239 130 .648 2708 1044 725 673 1375 2.06 139 43 12422
Stan Coveleski 54.0 3082.0 1912 1928 450 385 224 38 215 142 .602 3055 1227 990 802 981 2.89 128 66 12729
Sandy Koufax 54.5 2324.1 1955 1966 397 314 137 40 165 87 .655 1754 806 713 817 2396 2.76 131 204 9497
Ed Walsh 54.8 2964.1 1904 1917 430 315 250 57 195 126 .607 2346 873 598 617 1736 1.82 146 23 11413
Red Faber 55.2 4086.2 1914 1933 669 483 273 29 254 213 .544 4106 1813 1430 1213 1471 3.15 119 111 17104
Whitey Ford 55.3 3170.1 1950 1967 498 438 156 45 236 106 .690 2766 1107 967 1086 1956 2.75 133 228 13036
Hal Newhouser 56.3 2993.0 1939 1955 488 374 212 33 207 150 .580 2674 1197 1016 1249 1796 3.06 130 136 12648
Mickey Welch 56.5 4802.0 1880 1892 565 549 525 41 307 210 .594 4588 2556 1447 1297 1850 2.71 114 106 20308
Dazzy Vance 56.5 2966.2 1915 1935 442 349 216 29 197 140 .585 2809 1246 1068 840 2045 3.24 125 132 12366
Vic Willis 57.2 3996.0 1898 1910 513 471 388 50 249 205 .548 3621 1620 1167 1212 1651 2.63 118 66 16263
TEd Lyons 58.8 4161.0 1923 1946 594 484 356 27 260 230 .531 4489 2056 1696 1121 1073 3.67 118 223 17797
Jim Bunning 58.8 3760.1 1955 1971 591 519 151 40 224 184 .549 3433 1527 1366 1000 2855 3.27 114 372 15618
Amos Rusie 60.6 3778.2 1889 1901 463 427 393 30 246 174 .586 3389 2068 1288 1707 1950 3.07 129 75 16313
Jim Palmer 63.5 3948.0 1965 1984 558 521 211 53 268 152 .638 3349 1395 1253 1311 2212 2.86 126 303 16114
Juan Marichal 64.0 3507.0 1960 1975 471 457 244 52 243 142 .631 3153 1329 1126 709 2303 2.89 123 320 14236
Don Sutton 64.2 5282.1 1966 1988 774 756 178 58 324 256 .559 4692 2104 1914 1343 3574 3.26 108 472 21631
Carl Hubbell 64.4 3590.1 1928 1943 535 433 260 36 253 154 .622 3461 1380 1188 725 1677 2.98 130 227 14805
Don Drysdale 65.7 3432.0 1956 1969 518 465 167 49 209 166 .557 3084 1292 1124 855 2486 2.95 121 280 14097
Bob Feller 66.0 3827.0 1936 1956 570 484 279 44 266 162 .621 3271 1557 1384 1764 2581 3.25 122 224 16180
Pud Galvin 68.1 6003.1 1875 1892 705 688 646 57 365 310 .541 6405 3352 1903 745 1807 2.85 108 121 25415
Old Hoss Radbourn 71.6 4527.1 1881 1891 527 502 488 35 309 194 .614 4328 2273 1347 875 1830 2.68 120 117 18918
Eddie Plank 76.3 4495.2 1901 1917 623 529 410 69 326 194 .627 3958 1566 1174 1072 2246 2.35 122 42 17803
John Clarkson 76.6 4536.1 1882 1894 531 518 485 37 328 178 .648 4295 2384 1417 1191 1978 2.81 134 159 19146
Fergie Jenkins 78.0 4500.2 1965 1983 664 594 267 49 284 226 .557 4142 1853 1669 997 3192 3.34 115 484 18400
Robin Roberts 78.2 4688.2 1948 1966 676 609 305 45 286 245 .539 4582 1962 1774 902 2357 3.41 113 505 19174
Tim Keefe 84.3 5049.2 1880 1893 600 594 554 39 342 225 .603 4438 2470 1474 1233 2564 2.63 127 75 20941
Nolan Ryan 84.8 5386.0 1966 1993 807 773 222 61 324 292 .526 3923 2178 1911 2795 5714 3.19 112 321 22575
Bob Gibson 85.6 3884.1 1959 1975 528 482 255 56 251 174 .591 3279 1420 1258 1336 3117 2.91 128 257 16068
Steve Carlton 87.2 5217.2 1965 1988 741 709 254 55 329 244 .574 4672 2130 1864 1833 4136 3.22 115 414 21683
Gaylord Perry 87.7 5350.0 1962 1983 777 690 303 53 314 265 .542 4938 2128 1846 1379 3534 3.11 117 399 21953
Christy Mathewson 88.3 4788.2 1900 1916 636 552 435 79 373 188 .665 4219 1620 1135 848 2507 2.13 136 89 18913
Warren Spahn 92.7 5243.2 1942 1965 750 665 382 63 363 245 .597 4830 2016 1798 1434 2583 3.09 119 434 21547
Tom Seaver 95.3 4783.0 1967 1986 656 647 231 61 311 205 .603 3971 1674 1521 1390 3640 2.86 128 380 19369
Phil Niekro 97.2 5404.0 1964 1987 864 716 245 45 318 274 .537 5044 2337 2012 1809 3342 3.35 115 482 22677
Lefty Grove 98.3 3940.2 1925 1941 616 457 298 35 300 141 .680 3849 1594 1339 1187 2266 3.06 148 162 16622
Kid Nichols 101.8 5067.1 1890 1906 621 562 532 48 361 208 .634 4929 2480 1664 1272 1881 2.96 140 156 21082
Pete Alexander 101.9 5190.0 1911 1930 696 600 437 90 373 208 .642 4868 1852 1476 951 2198 2.56 135 164 20893
Walter Johnson 127.7 5914.1 1907 1927 802 666 531 110 417 279 .599 4913 1902 1424 1363 3509 2.17 147 97 23405
Cy Young 145.4 7356.0 1890 1911 906 815 749 76 511 316 .618 7092 3167 2147 1217 2803 2.63 138 138 29565
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/20/2010.

A brief look at the top 10 non-HoFers by WAR:

10. Frank Tanana, 52.1 WAR - Behind Three Finger Brown on the career WAR list; more career value than Early Wynn, Red Ruffing, Eppa Rixey, Rube Waddell, & Lefty Gomez, among others. Led the league in pitching WAR in 1975, and finished in the top 5 2 other times ('76 & '77). Compiled numbers over 20 years and nearly 4200 IP. Career ERA+ of 106 not HoF-caliber. 52 WAR would be in the bottom 1/3 of all HoF starters.

9. Bret Saberhagen, 52.6 WAR - In same group as Tanana. Led league in WAR in both Cy Young seasons, finished top 5 2 other times. 8.6 WAR in 1989 was the 10th best pitching season of the past 30 years. Career ERA+ of 126 in top half of HoF starters, tied with Jim Palmer. Didn't have longevity of most HoF starters.

8. Dave Stieb, 53.0 WAR - Career peers by WAR same as Tanana & Saberhagen. 3-time league leader in pitching WAR (1982, '83, '84), top 5 3 other times. Best starting pitcher of the 1980s, by a wide margin. Same career ERA+ as Juan Marichal.

7. Chuck Finley, 53.4 WAR - More career value than Mordecai Brown. Same ERA+ as Ferguson Jenkins, Steve Carlton, & Phil Niekro, but in about 2,000 fewer innings. Low peak by HoF standards; never led pitchers in WAR, only 3 top 5s, only one season of >7 WAR. The 7th-best pitcher of the 1990s. Did not particularly stand out from his peers.

6. Billy Pierce, 53.5 WAR - 2-time league leader in WAR (1953, '55). Quietly the 3rd-best starter of the 1950s (though a distant 3rd behind Robin Roberts & Warren Spahn). Didn't have an eye-popping peak, but spread value over a lot of good seasons. Same career ERA+ as Spahn, but in significantly fewer innings.

5. Tommy John, 56.4 WAR - More career value than Hal Newhouser & Whitey Ford. Never led the league in WAR; best finish was 3rd in 1970. Peak very low by HoF standards, but made up for it by pitching more than 4,700 IP over 26 seasons. Often criticized as a "compiler".

4. Jerry Koosman, 57.6 WAR - Workhorse averaged 229 IP per season in 19 years. Never led league in WAR; top 5 three times, 11 years apart (1968, '73, '79). 12th-best starter of the 1970s. 110 ERA+ low compared to other HoF starters.

3. Rick Reuschel, 59.6 WAR - Brilliant 1977 season (8.7 WAR) one of the seventies' best. Four other top-5 finishes by WAR. Probably a better pitcher than Mickey Welch or Jim Bunning, which would rank him in the middle of the pack for HoF starters.

2. Luis Tiant, 60.1 WAR - Led 1968 AL in pitching WAR, top 5 two other times. One of the 10 best pitchers of his era, but not one of the 5 best. Same ERA+ as Jenkins, Carlton, & Niekro, but not as durable. The last starting pitcher to retire with fewer than 63 career WAR and make the Hall of Fame was Catfish Hunter (32.5), a Tiant contemporary (and a pitcher Tiant was significantly better than), but Hunter is the exception, not the rule -- every other Hall of Fame SP to retire since 1975 had at least 63 WAR.

1. Bert Blyleven, 77.4 WAR - The best eligible non-HoF starter, and by a significant margin. Only 16 HoF pitchers had more career value. Probably a better pitcher over his entire career (11 more WAR, ERA+ of only 4 points less) than Bob Feller, a 1st-ballot selection. Second only to Phil Niekro in total WAR during the 70s and 80s combined. Best pitcher in baseball in 1973 and '81; top 5 seven other times. Impressive combination of durability and peak performance. Career year (9.2 WAR in 1973) was the 11th-best season by a starter in the last 40 years.

Your Turn!


This entry was posted on Thursday, May 20th, 2010 at 3:37 pm and is filed under Hall of Fame, Play Index, Sabermetrics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

39 Responses to “WAR Data: Best Starting Pitchers Not In the Hall of Fame”

  1. My vote for John was based more on his effect on the game in general. Just call him the Candy Cummings of the Twentieth Century.

  2. The Jack Morris fans just wrote of WAR as the stupidest thing ever.

  3. Charles Saeger Says:

    Blyleven is at 100% right now, which isn't surprising, given the crowd, the sales pitch and his own great career. It would be better to ask who other than Blyleven warrants being in the Hall of Fame. Two other notes:

    * The other guy who is always brought up with Blyleven and is getting votes (and he'll make it in in the end), Jack Morris, has a career IP and ER that is Dave Stieb's ... with Todd Van Poppel's. And Stieb is pretty darn short of Hall-worthiness.

    * The sum for clear picking is about 70 WAR. The only guys who have been out of baseball long enough to get in the Hall, who have 70 WAR and are not in the Hall of Fame are Blyleven (87.6), Bill Dahlen (75.9), Pete Rose (75.3) and Bob Caruthers (71.4). Dahlen played a hundred years ago and might have been unlikeable, given his nickname of "Bad Bill;" Pete had a little gambling problem and Caruthers pitched in the American Association.

    * The list of career WAR above is missing something. Blyleven's page has a higher number.

  4. My, my my. How people forget that Blyleven was never in his day considered a number 1 starter (even for the championship teams he was a part of), but yet is considered a legitimate HOF candidate? I don't get it. There's too many better pitchers in his era you'd give the ball to first.

  5. Never mind that he performed like one, if people didn't think Rik Aalbert Blyleven sounded like a number 1 starter, he must not have been. What do we need numbers for, then?

  6. I think the thing that gets Blyleven criticized is that he wasn't a flamethrower. He got his strikeouts due to his amazing curveball. Also, Blyleven pitched for some truly horrible teams, which is also not his fault.

  7. bigoldcat Says:

    This is a peculiar stat. Allie Reynolds was considered one of the best pitchers of his era and yet his WAR was only 29.0.

  8. After Bly - and c'mon, we all know it's Bly - I'm torn between Sabes and Tommy John. TJ, of course, gets bonus points for the surgery and for pitching for a million years. I think Cooperstown needs to acknowledge his impact in some way, shape, or form, and a plaque is as good a way as any. Sabes collected two Cy Youngs, both thoroughly legit, and might have won another one if not for Greg Maddux and the strike. He was very, very successful when he could take the hill, and I think you have to respect that. If he hadn't had injury problems, I think he'd already be in. Don't forget that he pitched very well in Boston at the end of his career, so that isn't a crazy thing to say. He clearly had it in him, since you could see it every time he pitched. I also think Sabes deserves credit for winning a World Series MVP by pitching two great complete games during the '85 World Series - giving up just one run when the Royals were down 2-0 and shutting the Cardinals out in Game 7. That's not enough by itself, but I think it helps. I'd take Sabes over any number of guys in the Hall of Fame.

    Besides, I love calling him "Sabes".

  9. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Bigoldcat, WAR does not give Reynolds any postseason or "big game" credit, which he would should surely deserve (and need) if you were making a HOF case for him. He also had a short career; there's only a couple HOF starters with fewer IP than him. So it shouldn't be surprising he doesn't tally highly in a counting stat like this. He only had 182 wins, which might also seem incommensurate with his being one of the best pitchers of his era, but there it is.

    But I have to say, looking at Reynolds's page, I am confused by his RAR and WAR totals. In '46, for example, he is rated 5 runs ABOVE replacement, and yet this is somehow coverted to 0.1 wins BELOW replacement. How does that work? And in '53, he was 21 RAR, but only 1.2 WAR -- a conversion of about 17.5 runs per win, which would seem to require teams scoring about 10 runs per game.

  10. One other comment; for the Veterans Committee, it's long about time we honored the Count, Tony Mullane. Sure, he was not a model citizen {like Babe Ruth or Ty Cobb got tons of Valentines}; but both his wins total and his unique talent as the most prolific ambidextrous pither in history make his exclusion a travesty. But then, I always voice my support for amnesty for Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jakson. And, while we're at it, why is the original Louisville Slugger almost ignored, if not forgotten, in these discussions?
    How ignored is he? I would be willing to bet that when I mentioned that moniker, the name Pete Browning didn't immediately come to mind.

  11. masternachos Says:

    There are actually MANY old, OLD school players who are being ignored. Not just Tony Mullane and Pete Browning, but what about Bobby Mathews? Is 297 career wins competely unimpressive because it doesn't end in '00'?

  12. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Mathews had zero success in the NL. His best years were in the AA and the NA, which MLB doesn't even recognize as a major league.

  13. I was surprised to see an old fave, Jerry Koosman, rank so high. I always loved Kooz, and felt he got snubbed/overlooked a few times because of Seaver.

  14. groundball Says:

    Well, yet more proof that Blyleven is getting crapped on ever HOF election. Though if Blyleven was never the #1 on his staff I'd like to know who was. Like with mid-70s Twins for instance was it Dave Goltz or Ray Corbin who was the ace?

  15. Though this thread is clearly for retired pitchers, just wanted to get people's thoughts on Roy Halladay's early case. Granted, he may still have 5 years as a premier pitcher to add to his resumee. I have a feeling when Roy retires, he will be one of the first non-300 game winners of the 2000's to make the Hall (Pedro is a lock and Schilling / Mussina are borderline to do so in the 90's). I just have a feeling that the HOF voter of the future will be more made of sabremetric guys vs. old school writers that will focus on success within an era and not gaudy totals acquired by pitching past your prime. I brought this up because people are remembering Blyleven as a no. 2 starter on his own team and certainly not a premier pitcher of his era. Roy will be a certified no. 1 (on any team) for a decade and a top-5 pitcher in the league for nearly as long. Shouldn't this be worth more than Blyleven getting a lot of strikeouts over 20 years of pitching?

  16. I thought dropping the ones who aren't yet eligible dropped out something interesting about Blyleven - which is that he is right in the middle of a group of guys who will almost certainly go to the Hall - RJ and Glavine are locks, Pedro and Mussina are both strong contenders. Schilling and Brown are contenders, as well.

    Question - how does Blyleven's peak, I dunno, 10-15 years compare to these guys?

  17. Really great to see my favorite player, Jerry Koosman rated so high. As for this list, with Bly so high on the all time shutout list, I think he is due to get in the Hall. Maybe you should have had a vote for second most deserving. I like Allie Reynolds, even though he doesn't do well on the WAR.

  18. [...] something for Baseball In-Depth, examining a Baseball-Reference blog post that ranked the best pitchers and position players not in the Hall of Fame based on their WAR [...]

  19. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Paul, I think Halladay is well-positioned to make the HOF eventually. He's probably not there yet, but if he just adds a bit more bulk to his career, I believe he would make it. Considering he's probably still as good as he's ever been, he should be able to add more than just "bulk." His peak has not been so impressive that he would make it with just over 150 wins and 2000 IP (the Koufax/Dean area), but getting to 200 wins probably makes voters feel comfortable picking him.

    Incidentally, Halladay is in good position to reach at least 10 CG this year (he has 4). No one's reached double digits since Randy Johnson had 12 in '99. This would be the 6th time Halladay has led the league in CG and only Spahn did that more (9).

  20. "I thought dropping the ones who aren't yet eligible dropped out something interesting about Blyleven - which is that he is right in the middle of a group of guys who will almost certainly go to the Hall - RJ and Glavine are locks, Pedro and Mussina are both strong contenders. Schilling and Brown are contenders, as well.

    Question - how does Blyleven's peak, I dunno, 10-15 years compare to these guys?"

    Blyleven would be stuck carrying Pedro's briefcase in their best years. That's how they compare.

  21. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Since Pedro at his best was quite possibly the best pitcher ever, that's not especially news.

    But he didn't have 15 good years, and Blyleven did.

  22. Johnny, thanks for proving my point. Blyleven had good years. HOF pitchers tend to have great ones, and when you compare him to others of his era, Carlton, Seaver, Palmer, Niekro, Sutton, just to name plenty, he falls short. Blyleven had too many good years and very few great ones. Reminds me a lot of Dwight Evans.

  23. Actually, the Evans analogy is really apples and oranging it, but my point is the HOF should be really selective. HOFs really should have some very memorable dominant seasons in their career somewhere, and a lot of the problem is that many look at compiling stats as opposed to the dominating seasons.

  24. Blyleven had 10 seasons of 15+ wins, but Pedro's seven years of 15+ were undeniably of better quality.

    Had he not missed so much of 2001, Pedro might have also run off a string of five straight ERA titles. As it was, his 2.39 (in 116.2 innings) was .66 better than the league leader (Freddy Garcia, 3.05).

    Five in a row is Koufax territory.

    Bert was durable, won some big games in the postseason, but was never the best pitcher in the league. Injuries aside, Pedro may have been the best pitcher of his generation.

    Interesting note about Blyleven: for a pitcher known so well for his career strikeout totals, he only led the league once.

    Then again, Gaylord Perry (8th) and Greg Maddux (10th) never did.

  25. Why is Catfish Hunter in and Bert out? Why is Jim Rice in and...well, I think that says it all.

  26. Let's not forget that Hunter did win 20+ games five straight seasons, and 146 games in just seven years. He twice posted seasonal WHIPS under 1.000, won five Series rings, and had four straight top-four Cy Young finishes (one win).

    He also made eight All-Star teams.

    Not exactly chopped liver. Good enough in my book for admittance to the Hall as a no-brainer.

  27. I don't mind him getting in as much as I think that Bert deserves to be in more than he does. A lot more.

  28. Exactly, JeffW. I can't disagree with anything you've stated. I was going to mention Catfish in the previous post, but I figured I'd stop with 5 pitchers. Blyleven was also only a 2 time All Star, which would be a pretty sorry case for induction for a career spanning 20+ years when you consider the managers select the staff every year.

  29. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I'm not going to lead the Blyleven brigade, there's many other people who feel more passionate about him than I. I will just point out that there are many players already in the HOF who did just amass a lot of good seasons, not necessarily many great ones. As you can see above, there are about 60 SP in the HOF, and obviously not all of them were dominant or considered the best pitcher in baseball.

  30. Sometimes, it's just tough to get noticed.

    Maybe we don't really appreciate the pitching impact of the '70's-'80's era. There were so many great pitchers that guys who posted 280+ victories -- cream of the crop in the annuls of the game -- aren't getting the props of their previous generations.

    I've posted in another blog thread that maybe there was just a overabundance of great pitchers. Seaver, Carlton, Hunter, Blyleven, John, Sutton, Niekro, Morris (top winner for an entire decade, let's remember), Ryan, Palmer, Saberhagen, Dennis Martinez (when he was sober), Jenkins.

    This class is so good, that we ignore flameouts like Gooden, and never give a second look to guys like Key, Steib, Tanana, Vida Blue, even short-burst studs like Dennis Leonard, Wilbur Wood (138 wins, 52 saves, '68-'75), or J.R. Richard. Valenzuela? For all his short-term impact, he's largely forgotten, as is Hershiser.

    Frankie V? 126 wins in six years. Ron Guidry, anyone? Dave Stewart? Got his life straightened out and became the terror of the American League for four magnificent seasons. Of course, he couldn't even get the props when he was doing it (Cy Who?).

    These guys were better than we give them credit for, when Dave Stewart couldn't cop a Cy Young in any of his four 20-win seasons.

    Take it back the other way, and look at guys like Stottlemyre, Mickey Lolich, Mike Cuellar, Ken Holtzman (134 wins in eight seasons).

    Now, I'm not promoting Smoke for the Hall. But let's consider that many of these short-burst guys -- even the ones who couldn't win the Cy -- took (and still take) the attention away from some of the guys who performed year-in and year-out over an extended period (Blyleven, John) and compiled the appropriate numbers.

    Many of the borderline cases may not be the Babe Ruth or Willie Mays of the pitching pool, but they are very much comparable to the Tony Perez or Billy Williams types.

  31. Jeff James Says:

    Blyleven was probably the best pitcher in his league in 1973, and had 6 years of 134 ERA+ or better, not sure what more you want. He pitched mostly for small market teams and was overlooked for All-Star.

    Hunter's accomplishments are mainly TEAM ones (see how he stacks up with Blyleven in INDEPENDENT stats).

    And why no love for Jim McCormick?

  32. WAR is an interesting way to track players not in Cooperstown who perhaps should be. I wrote a post for my blog this evening about another way to do it, a stat I named Hall of Fame +/-. It measures how many future Hall of Famers a ballplayer finished in front of in Cooperstown voting compared to how many non-members beat them out. I would love to see this stat added to Baseball-Reference if possible.

  33. [...] the heels of a pair of great Baseball-Reference blog posts this week ranking the best pitchers and position players not in the Hall of Fame based on their Wins Above Replacement data, I may have [...]

  34. "Question - how does Blyleven's peak, I dunno, 10-15 years compare to these guys?"

    "Blyleven would be stuck carrying Pedro's briefcase in their best years. That's how they compare."

    Well, the yearly WAR data is available on their pages, so I decided to do just that.

    Here's their ten best years, by WAR:

    http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/5337/peak10.png

    And their fifteen best:

    http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/1153/peak15.png

    Looks to me like Blyleven holds his own okay.

  35. Since they aren't labelled, the vertical axis is WAR, and the horizontal is season, with 1 being that players best season, 2 his second-best, and so on.

  36. steven register Says:

    where's jim kaat in all of this?..283 wins and 16 gold gloves..he should be right up there with blyleven in terms of who earned his way to the hall of fame and has been kept out the the longest

  37. Zeff is really showing his knowledge of the game with things like "who would you hand the ball to?" and naming how many all-star games he's been in.

  38. Kerry Malakosky Says:

    This is a good list, but I would add Allie Reynolds to it, too. When Allie was with the Yankees he won SIX World Series rings and had a 7 - 2 World Series record. He was a consistent pitcher who was also great in the clutch. Compare to Whitey Ford who was 6 - 5 in World Series play. Whitey was 10 - 8 as a WS pitcer.

  39. It may be worth mentioning that Eddie Cicotte is technically not eligible for the HOF, as he was banned from baseball following the Black Sox scandal.