Following up from previous article on Magnum Start Value, what revisions can be made to ensure a better outlook on the effectiveness of starting pitcher’s outing?
For those who got a chance to read Introduction to Magnum Start Value, you might remember that the formula is fluid in regards to baseball sabermetrics. After doing some research, it makes sense to adjust some of the equation that composes MSV, as it should help calculate a better result. How substantial will the changes be? Let’s take a look.
As mentioned in the initial article, the purpose of MSV was to replace the term “Quality Start.” While QS is accepted around the game, there is a major flaw wrapped inside the term. That being too many pitchers qualify for one, with their team ending up on the wrong end of the scoreboard. In other words, leading the league in the statistic is only so valuable.
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Now, let me give you a simple example of how that might happen. Starter goes six innings. He allows three earned runs, however those are the runs counted against his line, not any extra poor defense may have erased from his total (two more for as an example). But, there is one problem. Even if the hurler qualifies, and ends up allowing five altogether, chances are he loses.
Given there are countless Quality Start scenarios, however with MSV it would be much harder to qualify and lose at the same time. Two reasons: First, only allowing two earned runs is not easy. Second, if a pitcher has unearned runs against him, it increases his pitch total (more batters faced, etc). That would make it very hard to go seven innings or more. So, in order to go seven innings, one must limit his pitches and retire hitters on a minimum of pitches. Not easy to do when the defense is playing poorly behind you.
When a pitcher has an outing of only allowing two runs (maybe three including poor defense every once and a while), he is going to give his team an excellent shot to win almost each and every time. That is what a team wants, to find hurlers who can dominate the opponent consistently. Only one problem, they are not easy to find in the draft, or very expensive to sign via free agency.
So, why would anyone use Magnum Start Value? If these pitchers are so rare to begin with, what is the point? Simple, teams should look for the hurlers that dominate, not pitch well. A handful of number three starters are unlikely to carry a club to October, therefore why pay through the nose for one? With these sabermetrics, teams could better evaluate top pitchers.
Well, what are the changes? This is something you probably have been wondering since the beginning of the article, which I will now disclose. For the most part, everything is staying the same, except for two key differences. First, there was a major component that was well off kilter, considering that variables ‘x’ through ‘z’ did not meet the proper criteria to deserve any rewards.
In order for variables ‘x’ through ‘z’ to be added into MSV a pitcher had a walk and hit threshold he was required to stay at or below. When added together, they could not exceed eleven in some instances, which is far too high to deserve any bonuses. What you read below will be the formula with a few modifications.
*(1) 7 to 7.2 IP: 2.5
(x) Add 0.5 if pitcher gives up five or less BB+H
Multiply (a) into total if (x) occurs in 7.2 IP
*(2) 8 to 8.2 IP: 4.75
(y) Add 0.75 if pitcher gives up five or less BB+H
Multiply (a) into total if (y) occurs in 8.2 IP
*(3) Complete Game: 6.5
(z) Add 1.5 if pitcher gives up five or less BB+H
Multiply (a) into total if (z) occurs.
E: 1.345 (this aspect of the formula is calculated irregardless)
*These are designated as outcomes, which combine the distance a pitcher goes in a start along with allowing two earned runs. No hurler can throw less than the allotted innings and qualify for a Magnum Start.
As you can see, basically all of MSV sabermetrics remains intact, however part of variables ‘x’ through ‘z’ has changed (in bold). What I did was slash the original formula in half, making it much more difficult to earn this aspect of the stat. In doing this, other parts of MSV change as well, due to the level of dominance a starter must achieve in order to activate them.
The second change is the suspension of Magnum to Quality Start Ratio. It is simply meaningless in its current form, and would need additional work on the QS side in order to become valuable for sabermetrics. This may never reestablished, therefore don’t look for results involving this anytime soon.
Overall, MSV stays the same outside of a couple minor adjustments. Readers should expect a study in the near future, with a significant amount of sabermetrics data inside. While there are no specific pitchers in mind yet, you should enjoy the results, as they will convey a different aspect of pitching. Stay tuned, much more to come.