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the official "I hate wins as a category" thread

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Re: the official "I hate wins as a category" thread

Postby auclairkeithbc » Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:01 pm

sure. quality starts is a really primitive stat. but unless you barely miss a QS, like those two examples below, it usually indicates that you "got the job done" even if in an ugly fashion, and that if you miss a QS, you basically didn't get the job done.

Like 8 IP, 5ER isn't THAT different from 6IP, 3ER, but different enough. And 4IP, 3ER isn't THAT different from 6IP, 3ER, but it is different enough.

As soon as you get significantly far away from the 6IP goal or the 3ER goal, the start becomes disappointing. Around the margins, the QS certainly fails, but generally it is sensible.

Having said that, Wins are a lot more fun and a lot more interesting, and the current standard 5th category in 5X5, which is now the standard league format, so it isn't worth switching. In a points league, adding QS with substantially less value than Ws is a pretty good idea. Or in a 8X8 league, it isn't a bad idea either. But don't mess with 5X5 just to get some marginal increase in correlation to good pitching or preseason projections.
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Re: the official "I hate wins as a category" thread

Postby Maris09 » Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:05 pm

auclairkeithbc wrote:Kept the Yanks in the game long enough to give them a shot to win the game right? Isn't that the point of a quality start.

Uhhhh right....that IS the point of the Quality Start "stat".....and kinda the reason we're talking about it as lame.
How did you not get that part yet?
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Re: the official "I hate wins as a category" thread

Postby auclairkeithbc » Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:15 pm

Maris09 wrote:
auclairkeithbc wrote:Kept the Yanks in the game long enough to give them a shot to win the game right? Isn't that the point of a quality start.

Uhhhh right....that IS the point of the Quality Start "stat".....and kinda the reason we're talking about it as lame.
How did you not get that part yet?


Well, I am not one of the people who thinks leagues should switch from wins to quality starts. But the QS "stat" makes sense. It could be better, but it is sensible. Pitch long enough into the game so the bullpen doesn't get overused. Limit runs so the offense has a chance to win the game. A simple system, but if IP and ER allowed are going to be static (to keep it simple), I think 6IP and 3ER are right on! Doesn't mean fantasy leagues should be using the stat though.
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Re: the official "I hate wins as a category" thread

Postby walkoffblast » Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:31 am

Ender wrote:
auclairkeithbc wrote:
Ender wrote:Burnett 6.1 IP, 3 H, 3R, 3 ER, 7 BB, 2 K, 2 HR.

Quality start, only gave up 7 walks and 2 HR.


Kept the Yanks in the game long enough to give them a shot to win the game right? Isn't that the point of a quality start. Don't leave too much of the game for the relievers and don't leave the game with too many runs on the board. (He did leave the game with the bases juiced though, which he was bailed out of).


If that were true 9 IP with 4 ER would be one and so would 5.2 IP with 0 ER :)

From the basis of this discussion though which is that QS is a better indicator of a well pitched game than wins I'd say that Burnett pitched extremely poorly today and got lucky to only give up 3 ER.


Yes burnett was lucky to only give up 3 runs but the fact is he did only give up three runs. His whip will suffer for it and if he continues down this path he will not be getting many QS in the future. Nunez for the marlins today threw one inning, allowed a hit and walked two, giving up one run and got a win. Pavano clearly outpitched burnett but he did not get the win. You can find one example of almost anything in a baseball season. There is a reason we usually look at an entire season. Once you even expand things a little bit you start to see a clearer picture. Take the entire day for example (and note I am not claiming such a small sample is in any way relevant to the larger picture before some ignore person chooses to focus on that) there were 18 QS by my quick not double checked count. Only two were the "cheap" 6 innings 3 runs type, three if you want to count burnett who threw 6.1. In fact only four pitchers who had a QS even gave up 3 runs. The era of QS for the day was 1.81. So if the exception makes the rule then sure QS is bad.

Saying stick with wins because it is the status quo is like a front office saying maybe this obp thing is a fad lets stick with avg. There are plenty of viable reasons to use wins but doing something just because that is the way it has always been is a terrible reason to do anything IMO.
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Re: the official "I hate wins as a category" thread

Postby walkoffblast » Mon Apr 20, 2009 1:17 am

Matthias wrote:
walkoffblast wrote:I am confused why you think QS correlates with other stats but wins does not? Wins is clearly related to era and whip as well it is just not as high because it allows you to pitch worse and still get a win. That is the main reason it would be less correlated.

It's not that; it's the things that make Quality Starts a biased statistic (league, park, weather conditions) all affect the pitcher in question vis-a-vis everyone else pitching in the major leagues that day on his statistics but does not affect the pitcher in question vis-a-vis his opposing pitcher that day which is how he gets a Win. You could be playing in a beer-league field with 200 foot fences and have it be 98 degrees in Denver and you still have to outpitch the other guy on the mound.

As far as your continued kvetching on small sample sizes, here.... it was definitely more common to get a QS in the NL than it was in the AL from 1984 to 1991 (the period which this guy looked at it). 49.3% of the starts in the AL went for a QS; 54.9% of the starts in the NL did.


First off your main argument is flawed for the same reason wins is: the offenses of the two teams are not equal, so run support will not be equal and since the complete game is a thing of the past you have to hope the bullpen does not blow it for you as well. Just because you outpitch the other guy you are far from guaranteed a win.

Thats a good link. If you go back to one of the first things I said about the league effect it was simply that your data did not show it even though I thought it made sense it could exist. To put it in context though by my count because of interleague( AL had a 46 win advantage) a pitcher in the AL had about 2.3 percent better chance of getting a win last year. Now I think interleague is usually closer than it was last year so its not the best example of course. It is also worth noting that the NL ERA has conservatively gone up at least .50 since that span compared to recent times ( in 91 it was 3.69, in 2009 4.57).

Attempting to apply it to a single game is as meaningless as calculating a single game batting average or a single game ERA. Taking this longer term view into account and discarding the notion of predicting the outcome of a single game, we can see that there is a significant value to the quality start related to a starting pitcher's season-long durability and consistency. These features will benefit the team by keeping them close in a larger number of games and in allowing the manager to regulate his bullpen usage with more freedom.


This section from your article basically sums up how I feel about QS. Now since most H2H leagues already engage in the "pointless" single game era etc; is QS really that much or any worse?
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Re: the official "I hate wins as a category" thread

Postby Matthias » Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:29 am

walkoffblast wrote:
Matthias wrote:
walkoffblast wrote:I am confused why you think QS correlates with other stats but wins does not? Wins is clearly related to era and whip as well it is just not as high because it allows you to pitch worse and still get a win. That is the main reason it would be less correlated.

It's not that; it's the things that make Quality Starts a biased statistic (league, park, weather conditions) all affect the pitcher in question vis-a-vis everyone else pitching in the major leagues that day on his statistics but does not affect the pitcher in question vis-a-vis his opposing pitcher that day which is how he gets a Win. You could be playing in a beer-league field with 200 foot fences and have it be 98 degrees in Denver and you still have to outpitch the other guy on the mound.

First off your main argument is flawed for the same reason wins is: the offenses of the two teams are not equal, so run support will not be equal and since the complete game is a thing of the past you have to hope the bullpen does not blow it for you as well. Just because you outpitch the other guy you are far from guaranteed a win.

First, I know Wins are flawed. You know Wins are flawed. Anyone who has ever read a posting in a thread entitled anything like, "the official 'i hate wins as a category' thread" knows that Wins are flawed. The two primary flaws in Wins are the pitcher's own offense (predominantly) and the pitcher's own bullpen (also significant, but not as much). I've never said that Wins are perfect. Rather, I've just been trying to push the idea that Quality Starts are also not perfect and have their own inherent biases beyond the 6 IP, 3 ER = 4.5 ERA argument (which is more of a chimera than anything).

Second, if you ask me why QS correlates with other stats but Wins don't, I tell you the factors that affect both QS and other stats but don't go into Wins. A pitcher's own offense is not correlated to his ERA and WHIP. His own run support is not correlated to his ERA and WHIP. The strength of his own bullpen is not correlated to his WHIP and only marginally correlated to his ERA (if they let in some runners he had on base). Now, the defense behind him is correlated to those things, but that's not anything anyone really ever focuses on and probably only affects things really at the margins.

Now, can he be a crappy pitcher with a 1.75 WHIP, 5.85 ERA, and get the Win if he has Murderers' Row supporting him and the 2001 Yankees bullpen closing the door for him? Absolutely. You bet. And can he be Zack Greinke of last year where he posted a more-than-respectable 3.47 ERA (123 ERA+), 1.275 WHIP, finished 6th in QS, but only a mediocre 13 Wins? Absolutely. You bet. If I only wanted to look at one statistic to say, "who is the better pitcher" would it be Wins or Quality Starts? It would be Quality Starts. But if I wanted one category to add to ERA and WHIP and maybe a couple others for fantasy purposes, then I think it's a more complicated question. And, really all I'm trying to say, is Quality Starts is not a pure measure. It's a good one, sure, but it's not perfect, it's not clean, it's not everything that Wins isn't. That's all.
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Re: the official "I hate wins as a category" thread

Postby kab21 » Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:53 pm

If you want to do quality starts could you also find a way to equalize all of the defenses, opponents offense ranking and ballpark factors? That is what you're after isn't it. Why does Peavy get such a big advantage because of Petco? Why does Shields have to pitch in the AL East?
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Re: the official "I hate wins as a category" thread

Postby walkoffblast » Mon Apr 20, 2009 6:28 pm

A pitcher's own offense is not correlated to his ERA and WHIP. His own run support is not correlated to his ERA and WHIP. The strength of his own bullpen is not correlated to his WHIP and only marginally correlated to his ERA (if they let in some runners he had on base).


Yes, those things are not correlated to ERA or WHIP. My point is they also have no bearing on how good a pitcher pitches either. It is like saying HR correlates to RBI so we should count a stat that is related to pitching in its place as a measure of hitting ability. I am not sure why it is a bonus that a stat correlates to factors out of the control of the player we are attributing them to.

If I only wanted to look at one statistic to say, "who is the better pitcher" would it be Wins or Quality Starts? It would be Quality Starts.


This is really all I have been saying. I agree if you like to try and predict wins that is fine for your fantasy league setup but it is clear that QS has less flaws and is a better predictor of pitching ability than wins. All I ever wanted people to understand is that they are not equally flawed as relates to pitching ability.
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Re: the official "I hate wins as a category" thread

Postby auclairkeithbc » Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:17 pm

walkoffblast wrote:
If I only wanted to look at one statistic to say, "who is the better pitcher" would it be Wins or Quality Starts? It would be Quality Starts.


This is really all I have been saying. I agree if you like to try and predict wins that is fine for your fantasy league setup but it is clear that QS has less flaws and is a better predictor of pitching ability than wins. All I ever wanted people to understand is that they are not equally flawed as relates to pitching ability.


Nope. If you really care about your pitchers' roto rankings correlating heavily with their true MLB value, then you shouldn't use either. If both are "flawed" then eliminate both.
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Re: the official "I hate wins as a category" thread

Postby hscsoph » Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:42 pm

My opponent last week hates wins as well because going into Sunday I was down 5-6, picked up a win with Romero and then he had Davies who the Royals D and pitching blew his chance to win the category and I have Francisco who got the win, giving me the category. Gotta love it!
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