The 10 Most Valuable Starting Pitchers of 2013

DSC_0163_Matt_Harvey

== Yes, there’s been a Mariner in each group ==

After ranking the hitters  here and here, and relief pitchers here, we’ll wrap up our lists of the top players of 2013 with the starters.

And, once again, you can find all of the underlying philosophy here and here.  As usual, it’s just one camera angle, and not the sum total of the whole universe.

Interestingly, eight of the 10 are under age 30 — indicating a very exciting generation of young starters has been emerging.

===

10. Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers

Year Age Tm Lg W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2013 26 TEX AL 13 9 2.83 32 32 0 0 0 0 209.2 145 68 66 26 80 277 145 1.073 6.2 1.1 3.4 11.9 3.46
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/11/2014.
***

Obtaining non-random outs (PSA+): 139

Denying non-random offense (Conv+): 137

Composite: 176

Thumbnail Commentary: You can see from the points that there’s very little difference between No. 10 and No. 3 (and Darvish just edged out No. 11 Stephen Strasburg for a spot on this list).  All these guys had brilliant seasons.

===

9. Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers

Year Age Tm Lg W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2013 28 DET AL 21 3 2.90 32 32 0 0 0 0 214.1 152 73 69 18 56 240 145 0.970 6.4 0.8 2.4 10.1 4.29
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/11/2014.
***

Obtaining non-random outs (PSA+): 148

Denying non-random offense (Conv+): 128

Composite: 176

Thumbnail Commentary: This ranking shows a bunch of guys all in a tangle, but Scherzer won 28 of 30 first-place votes for the AL Cy Young.  It was the 21-3 W-L record that does that.

===

8. Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies

Year Age Tm Lg W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2013 34 PHI NL 14 8 2.87 31 31 0 2 1 0 222.2 193 77 71 22 32 222 133 1.010 7.8 0.9 1.3 9.0 6.94
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/11/2014.
***

Obtaining non-random outs (PSA+): 156

Denying non-random offense (Conv+): 121

Composite: 177

Thumbnail Commentary: The old man!  He’s all of 34.  And still doing what he’s been doing since he became king of the sub-2.0 BB/9 crowd in 2008.

===

7. Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox

Year Age Tm Lg W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2013 24 CHW AL 11 14 3.07 30 30 0 4 1 0 214.1 184 81 73 23 46 226 140 1.073 7.7 1.0 1.9 9.5 4.91
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/11/2014.
***

Obtaining non-random outs (PSA+): 150

Denying non-random offense (Conv+): 129

Composite: 179

Thumbnail Commentary:  This new generation can come in bombs-away and still walk fewer than 2.0 per 9.  Not sure how they do it.  Sale’s teammates owe him some Cy votes (11-14 record).

===

6. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners

Year Age Tm Lg W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2013 27 SEA AL 12 10 3.04 31 31 0 0 0 0 204.1 185 74 69 15 46 216 121 1.131 8.1 0.7 2.0 9.5 4.70
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/11/2014.
***

Obtaining non-random outs (PSA+): 151

Denying non-random offense (Conv+): 128

Composite: 179

Thumbnail Commentary: We’ve got Felix ahead of Hisashi Iwakuma even though Cy voters had it the other way.  Why?  Our approach says Iwakuma’s numbers were boosted by an unusually few number of singles compared to XBH (20 fewer singles than Felix, but 14 more XBH).  That doesn’t mean ‘Kuma wasn’t good, only that his K-rate (7.6 K/9) isn’t going to lift him up into this class unless he gets to the tippy-top of preventing solid contact (and he wasn’t — ISO-against .151).  Iwakuma was the No. 26 starter in our list.

===

5. Anibal Sanchez, Detroit Tigers

Year Age Tm Lg W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2013 29 DET AL 14 8 2.57 29 29 0 1 1 0 182.0 156 56 52 9 54 202 163 1.154 7.7 0.4 2.7 10.0 3.74
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/11/2014.
***

Obtaining non-random outs (PSA+): 147

Denying non-random offense (Conv+): 133

Composite: 180

Thumbnail Commentary: The Tigers have four of the top 25 starters (Doug Fister ranked No. 16 and Justin Verlander‘s “off” year put him at No. 25).  Or, you could view it as the Marlins could have had two of the top five.

===

4. Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals

Year Age Tm Lg W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2013 31 STL NL 19 9 2.94 34 34 0 5 2 0 241.2 223 83 79 15 35 219 123 1.068 8.3 0.6 1.3 8.2 6.26
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/11/2014.
***

Obtaining non-random outs (PSA+): 155

Denying non-random offense (Conv+): 125

Composite: 180

Thumbnail Commentary: The other “old” guy — at 31.  His last three full seasons, he hasn’t given up more than 15 HR or more than 56 walks in any of them.

===

3. Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins

Year Age Tm Lg W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2013 20 MIA NL 12 6 2.19 28 28 0 0 0 0 172.2 111 47 42 10 58 187 176 0.979 5.8 0.5 3.0 9.7 3.22
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/11/2014.
***

Obtaining non-random outs (PSA+): 141

Denying non-random offense (Conv+): 141

Composite: 182

Thumbnail Commentary: The breakout star of 2013.  At 20, the young Cuban laid waste to hitters while not giving anything up.

===

2. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers

Year Age Tm Lg W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2013 25 LAD NL 16 9 1.83 33 33 0 3 2 0 236.0 164 55 48 11 52 232 194 0.915 6.3 0.4 2.0 8.8 4.46
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/11/2014.
***

Obtaining non-random outs (PSA+): 155

Denying non-random offense (Conv+): 138

Composite: 193

Thumbnail Commentary:  Obviously you can’t say he didn’t deserve the Cy, but a September stretch run with Harvey would have been cool.  Didn’t happen, of course.

===

1. Matt Harvey, New York Mets

Year Age Tm Lg W L ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2013 24 NYM NL 9 5 2.27 26 26 0 1 1 0 178.1 135 46 45 7 31 191 157 0.931 6.8 0.4 1.6 9.6 6.16
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/11/2014.
***

Obtaining non-random outs (PSA+): 172

Denying non-random offense (Conv+): 147

Composite: 219

Thumbnail Commentary: Cy Young or Tommy John?  Unfortunately for Mets fans, a little of both.  August 24 was his last appearance of the year, and he’s not expected back in 2014.  Until then, he was as good if not better than anyone, including Kershaw.

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One thought on “The 10 Most Valuable Starting Pitchers of 2013

  1. Until then, he was as good if not better than anyone, including Kershaw.
    _____

    Quite the understatement using your metric, I must say! 😉

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