Monday, July 30, 2012

Royals Starters WPA Records

In celebration of me re-subscribing to the magical Baseball Reference play index, below are a couple of tables related to Royals starters and win probability added. WPA "records" is sort of a pet junk stat of mine. I keep track of 2012 Royals starters in the right sidebar, with the first number being a start with a positive WPA and the second number starts without a positive WPA. As you can see, Felipe Paulino (4-3) is the only Royals pitcher this year with a winning WPA record. It is not a terribly meaningful measure, but I enjoy seeing numbers that look like the silly, traditional record but with a little more sabermetric oomph behind them. I also like that there aren't no decisions. Does Greinke's 16-8 W-L in 2009 actually represent what kind of season he had? Of course not. His WPA record of 25-8 doesn't completely either, but it certainly tells more of the story. WPA also rewards pitchers who have a good game but don't get run support. Greinke had nine starts in 2009 in which he gave up exactly one run. According to W-L, he was a 5-2 pitcher in those games. According to WPA, 9-0.

Here are the seasons with the most starts with a positive WPA in Royals history:

Rk Player Year
1 Bret Saberhagen 1989 26
2 Kevin Appier 1993 26
3 Zack Greinke 2009 25
4 Dennis Leonard 1977 24
5 Larry Gura 1980 24
6 Steve Busby 1975 24
7 Kevin Appier 1992 24
8 Dennis Leonard 1978 23
9 David Cone 1993 23
10 Mark Gubicza 1988 22
11 Dick Drago 1971 22
12 Steve Busby 1974 22
Generated 7/30/2012.

And here is the all-time Royals positive WPA starts leaderboard:

Rk Player
1 Paul Splittorff 200
2 Kevin Appier 178
3 Mark Gubicza 174
4 Dennis Leonard 165
5 Bret Saberhagen 129
6 Larry Gura 115
7 Charlie Leibrandt 102
8 Zack Greinke 97
9 Steve Busby 85
10 Dick Drago 79
Generated 7/30/2012.

And on the flip side, here are the seasons with the most non-positive WPA starts:

And the all-time most non-positive WPA starts:

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