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By: Shirin Fri, 09 Sep 2011 23:35:47 +0000 Can I only state exactly what a comfort to come across somebody that truly is aware of exactly what theyre talking about on the web. More people must examine as well as understand why. I find it difficult to feel youre not popular when you undoubtedly have the surprise.

By: CHARLES Thu, 08 Sep 2011 14:28:04 +0000 The 1970 Cubs were 62-63 vs teams starting RHP, 22-15 vs teams starting LHP. They hit 0.252 in games started by RHP and 0.283 in games started by LHP. So, opposing teams would try to avoid using LH starting pitchers vs the Cubs. That was tied for the lowest number of starts vs LHP's in the League. The Pirates were 68-42 vs RHP, 21-31 vs LHP.

By: Charles Thu, 08 Sep 2011 10:19:40 +0000 Gary Gentry of the 1969 Mets was a rookie, but he had the third best WAR in the National League at 3.1 for the "third best WAR pitcher". The Mets played 5 games in the WS with Seaver and Koosman pitching games 1,2,4,5. Gentry was the winner in Game 3, pitching 6.2 innings of a 5-0 victory over Jim Palmer of the Orioles. The #3 best WAR starting pitcher for the Orioles was 20 game winner Dave McNally at 2.0.

1966 was the only season Bolin was a regular starter. He had the ninth lowest WAR at 4.6 in the NL with Marichal at 9.0 and Perry at 5.8. They finished 1.5 games behind the Dodgers. He had a 5.1 in 1968 as a part-time starter with Marichal at 6.1 and Perry at 6.2. The Giants finished second, 9 games behind the Cards.

It was not the offense who kept the Cubs from winning a Division title.

In 1969, the Cubs were 3rd in offense and 4th in pitching in terms of R/G with the largest league differential. In 1970 they 2nd in offense and 3rd in pitching with the largest differential. In 1972 they were 4th in offense and 4th in pitching with the 3rd differential, finishing 2nd in the division each year.
Why did they not win the division vs the Pirates in 1970. In terms of R/G, the Cubs were comparable to the Reds in both hitting and pitching and the Reds won 102 games vs the Cubs 84.

The Cubs had a 4.98 to 4.50 R/G scored edge over the Pirates.
The Pirates had a 4.10 to 4.19 edge in runs allowed.
Cubs were +0.79 to +0.40 for the Pirates.

Pittsburgh's starters were 64-58 with a 3.70 ERA
Chicago's starters were 71-59 with a 3.55 ERA.
Cincinnati's starters were 57-24 with a 3.44 ERA
This gives Chicago a +7 over the Pirates

Pirate's relievers were 25-15 with a 3.71 ERA
Chicago's relievers were 13-19 with an ERA of 4.63
Cincinnati's relievers were 45-36 with a 3.99 ERA
The Pirate's relievers made up the difference to win the division.

The Cubs starters had strong support, 47-3 in 66 games where the offense score 6 or more runs.
The Pirates starters were 28-6 in 56 games where the offense score 6 or more runs.

The Mets had Koosman, Seaver, and Matlack reaching WARs of 4 in 1973, 1974 and 1976
The won the division in 1973 and were miserable in 1974.
In 1976 they were 86-76 with the 3 finishing 21 games over 0.500 with ERA+'s between 112 and 127. That means the rest of the team was minus 11.
The Phillies finished 101-61 with their top 3 game winners going 26 over 0.500 with ERA+'s from 97 to 116, but the rest of the team was 14.

In 1973, they won their division with the 4th best record in the NL with the #2 defense and #11 offense. They lost in 7 games to Oakland in the WS, with the Mets getting 5 Quality Starts to Oakland's 2. They even outscored the A's 24-21.

By: Jack Cooper Thu, 08 Sep 2011 00:45:13 +0000 I think the impression one could get from looking at WS winners, particularly in the expansion era, is that outstanding starting pitching can carry an otherwise mediocre team.

There are at least five examples that come to mind: The '65 Dodgers, '69 Mets, '85 Royals, '88 Dodgers and '05 White Sox. Oh, and the '95 Braves. It's true that none of these teams (except the Braves) were characterized by a singularly dominant trio; but these teams all were associated with outstanding starting pitching.

I can't think of any examples, except maybe the '76 Reds, where an outstanding offence carried mediocre pitching. I think it's mostly an unusual quirk to have more than two outstanding pitchers who are also healthy enough to be really dominant.

When I compiled my list of dominant starting trios, there were only a few that made repeat appearances; The recent Braves trio cracked the list a few times (before Maddux, Glavine/Smoltz/Avery had an outstanding season), the early 70's Mets trio popped up a couple of times, the late 60's /early 70's Cubs, led by Jenkins, made the list a few times, and the 60's Giants combo featuring Marichal, Perry and Bolin made the list a couple of times.

While the Mets and Braves each one a title (although the '69 Mets lacked a third outstanding starter), the Giants never won a pennant with Marichal and Perry and the Cubs were pretty awful outside of their starting pitching (which seems strange considering Billy Williams and Ron Santo were still active and playing well).

By: CHARLES Wed, 07 Sep 2011 22:17:58 +0000 So, in the last 5 World Series, if you compare the WARs of the 2 starting pitchers and if the difference is 0.6 or more, the odds are better than 80% that the favored pitcher's team will win, unless that pitcher already lost a duel or pitched in a loss or the unfavored pitcher already won a duel or pitched in a winning game.

By: CHARLES Wed, 07 Sep 2011 21:45:23 +0000 I looked at the last 5 WS. I looked at each game and the WAR and compared it to which pitcher was winning when the first pitcher was relieved. The favored pitcher was ahead 16/25 times, but his team did not necessarily win. If you only count the games were the difference was greater than 0.5, the expected pitcher won the duel, 15-4, but, again, his team did not necessarily win. The last 4 WS went as expected with the favored team based on head to head WAR winning each year. The WAR favored team in 2006, the Tigers lost to the Cards. The WAR favored pitcher was 3-2 in head to head duels in that Series.

By: CHARLES Wed, 07 Sep 2011 16:36:13 +0000 @47

Yes, Ted Turner is listed as a manager in with an 0-1 record. After firing his manager, he sat on the bench while an assistant manager ran the team. The League commissioner "fired" him after 1 game.

By: John Autin Wed, 07 Sep 2011 15:08:35 +0000 @55, JT: "I'd never want to see, say, an outfield consisting of Ruth '21 or Bonds '01, plus two stiffs, listed among the best outfields ever, even if their combined WAR (or whatever) put them there."

Agreed -- and that's what I like about Jack's method @45. Setting a minimum threshold insures that everyone in the discussion had a "good year," without overly rewarding perfect balance.

If I want to test the theory that "3 good starters is a great formula for postseason success," I think a 3-man crew with 6, 6 and 4 WAR is a better test than a group that all have 5 WAR, even though the latter group scores better in the James method.

By: Charles Wed, 07 Sep 2011 12:29:07 +0000 @53

There's a typo. I meant 2001 to 2010.

There's no advantage in the playoffs, when one of the 28 teams met up with one of the 52 teams, they advanced 7/15 times and took 2/5 WS.