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So, when will people stop caring about Ws?

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Postby cordscords » Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:36 am

Xtreemes wrote:
NikkiSixx wrote:wins are the most unpredictable category in my opinion.


Saves are much more unpredictable. If your on a good team most likely your wins will go up, bad team they will go down. Saves chances arent dependent on how good a team is.


If a closer keeps their job for a full year, you can pretty much expect 30 saves. If a starter keeps their job for a full year, who knows.

I'd say wins are much tougher to project.
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Postby mak1277 » Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:56 am

I'm not sure I understand what the problem is here. Are wins dependent on luck? Yeah, sure they are. No doubt about it and there are tons of examples supporting that position. But this is not a new phenomenon. The rules for earning a win haven't changed. So what if the stat doesn't always accurately show who the "best" pitcher was? If you want to use QS as a fantasy stat, then go for it. But I don't see an inherent problem with "wins" as a stat.

Besides, any award that is decided by voters is probably tainted in 5 different ways, so the fact that wins is used to decide the Cy Young (while somewhat unfair) also doesn't inherently bother me.
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Postby Philliebuster » Tue Apr 11, 2006 8:59 am

Enter the Quality Start!

Yeah, I have zero wins to date, starting five (4SPs and 1R):

Johan
Myers
Clement
Garland
Lidge

GET ME A WIN!
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Postby ukrneal » Tue Apr 11, 2006 9:02 am

Wins are like the blond, bimbo stereotype we occassionally meet in life. Fun to look at and sexy as hell.

Ok, so I was reaching. But I thnk we can rail all we want at the stat, it isn't going away. That's because we are so focused on allocating the win. Which pitcher 'won' the game? Sometimes the right guy gets it, sometimes not. But I think you would find some general corellation between a pitcher's wins and overall success. It may not be as strong as others, but there will be some.

My favorite season to use as an example is Phil Niekro's 1979 season when he was 21-20. Was he good that season? 22 starts with 2 earned runs or less. 9 starts with more than 4. Over 200 K's and over 100 BB. ERA of 3.39 and 1.24 WHIP. 3rd in Wild pitches. 6 of his losses occurred when he let up 2 or less runs. 10 Occurred when he let up 4 or more runs. He let up 24 HR in his losses and 18 in his wins and no decisions combined. League ERA was 4.08 that year.

What do his stats tell you? A pretty mixed picture, which was reflected in his wins-loss record. Should he have done better? Probably. But he still deserved a minimum of about 12-16 losses that season. Even if his record had been 26-15, I don't see this as being hugely more successful, though I wonder how others might look at it.
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Postby Third Day » Tue Apr 11, 2006 9:23 am

NikkiSixx wrote:wins are the most unpredictable category in my opinion.
What about RBIs on the offensive side. If your teammates don't get on base, even a super star won't get many.
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Postby slomo007 » Tue Apr 11, 2006 9:27 am

Third Day wrote:
NikkiSixx wrote:wins are the most unpredictable category in my opinion.
What about RBIs on the offensive side. If your teammates don't get on base, even a super star won't get many.


True, but you can generally predict OBPs of those teammates before the season begins. This should give you approximate RBI numbers.

Ws are almost completely random, but you do have some idea about run support. I read that Millwood, despite playing on Cleveland, got among the least run support in the league last year, which surprised me. Goes to show that when it comes to drafting SP, I like to draft based solely on Strikeouts/WHIP/ERA because Wins are a crapshoot.
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Postby great gretzky » Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:00 am

I don't know why luck is so derided sometimes, as it is a fact of life in sports. Obviosuly skill is more important than luck in determining outcomes. But in any sport, the absoloute best player doesn't win all the time.

I agree with the idea of if you don't like wins, don't use it, but I don't think it wholesale sucks as a stat. Its just not perfect. Obviosuly great pitchers get saddled with bad teams. And of all the sports baseball players as individuals have less ability to win games, than say a basketball player. Bonds could hit 162 home runs a season, and the team could still fail to make the playoffs. A pitcher could win 30 and the team could still stink. I think wins are one piece of the puzzle, but most reasonable fans know at this point that on base percentage is better than batting avg, and that era/whip are better indicators of good pitching.

But the win isn't going anywhere, and it gives a rough estimate of realtive worth of pitchers, if not against other teams, at least internally within a staff.
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Postby EugeneStyles » Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:05 am

I think there are two sides to the Wins debate. On one hand are the casual fans and most sports announcers/talk show hosts. "This guy won 20 games, that guy hasn't wont more than 14 games in a year..." yada, yada, yada. They'll compare a guy with 17 wins and a 4.3 ERA, and say he's a better pitcher than a guy with 12 wins and a 2.5 ERA.

On the other hand, wins aren't completely worthless as a stat. On the one hand, you have to pitch long enough to get the win, holding the other team to a low run total increases your chances, etc... As one of 5 stats that you look for in fantasy players, Wins makes sense. It's also one of 2 stats that is team dependent (and much more so than Saves - an elite closer on a weak team tends to get just as many saves as the cloers for the best teams). As the "most important" way of judging a pitcher... well, it's ridiculous.
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Postby George_Foreman » Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:30 am

A couple of things:

First off, I'm not even talking about them relative to fantasy (at least not necessarily). I'm just saying that Ws have become a near-worthless stat when it comes to assessing the value of a starting pitcher, which is pretty much what they were designed to do. Right now there's a MR with an okay ERA/WHIP leading the league in Ws with 3, and I don't think it will be too long before you see a MR win 15 or eventually 20 games in a season. Is that what it's going to take before the ESPN-types realize that Ws is a very poor way to measure pitcher performance? Will it have to be something as rediculous as a MR leading the league in Ws one year? (Very unlikley, but not completely out of the question...)

Because of the way they're defined, wins just don't do what they are supposed to do. Ws are often awarded to relievers who fail to do their job just as often as to those who do manage to do it. I mentioned that Villareal got his 3rd W last night because he gave up the tying run, only to see the Braves score another one in the bottom half of the inning AFTER Villy had been pinch hit for. I mean, he screwed up and was already removed from the game, but he gets the win because the hitters and the pitchers after him actually did do their jobs. It's just a rediculous system.
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Postby ukrneal » Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:46 am

George_Foreman wrote:A couple of things:

First off, I'm not even talking about them relative to fantasy (at least not necessarily). I'm just saying that Ws have become a near-worthless stat when it comes to assessing the value of a starting pitcher, which is pretty much what they were designed to do.


This is what I disagree with. I think they are reasonably decent inidcator in most cases, even on their own (although I would never look at this one number to determine a picher's worth).

I agree you cannot go too far with this. I'm sure you could find pitchers in history that are outside the norm. But my guess is that wins will allow you to loosely group pitcher who did great, pretty good, fair, pretty poor, and awful.

I don't know the history of the 'win' stat, but I never considered it to be designed to assess the value of a starting pitcher. In any case, it's one of many stats that should be looked at when evaluating a pitcher.
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