White Sox: Pitting Magnum Start Value Against Itself

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 03: Lucas Giolito
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 03: Lucas Giolito /

Many White Sox pitchers and other MLB pitchers have been analyzed through Magnum Start Value. How does MSV hold up against itself?

Over the last several months, many of you have been reading combimetrics articles of mine involving Magnum Start Value (MSV). With that said, does it make sense to pit the statistic against itself in a different format? I say yes, however, the question is how to execute this without accumulating too many elements to the MSV umbrella. How should this be done? Let’s take a look!

Before we delve into this, it makes sense to decide what to label this new stat. While it will be separate from MSV, some will find its’ name a bit perplexing, which is Magnum Start Theory (MST). The purpose is to see how pitchers perform against each other in different situations, mostly based on their scores under the umbrella.

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Here is an example: I broke down a pair of seasons of Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez several months ago. Now, while his YMT/YMA scores were stronger in 2010 than 2014, Hernandez’s record was anything but. He was 13-12 in ’10, meanwhile went 15-6 four years later. You might wonder why that is important, however, Seattle’s won 26 more games in 2014 (87 wins). Given a dominant pitcher can succeed on any team, but how much of a difference is his supporting cast?

Another aspect of a pitchers’ performance to scrutinize would be his opponent. Anytime he faces a hurler who is better, what happens? Or even more important, at his level in MSV terms. Given there are countless ways to analyze the aforementioned stat, but should I dissect his mound opponent as well?

I say yes because whom he is facing may be the most vital part of the game. Even in a situation when a dominant pitcher is on a terrible team, there is no reason to think he can’t pull out a win if the opposing pitcher is awful. Given more studies would have to be performed, but this is a critical part of MST’s value.

Staying on this topic, another vital element is the offense a pitcher is facing. If you want to give a bad hurler a way to beat a good one, score a lot of runs for him. However, even a good pitcher may struggle against teams that will touch home plate a lot for any reason- his defense. Anytime poor fielding is added to the equation, it will add to his pitch count and wear him down. All of this leads to fatigue, and more runs allowed as the game progresses that in otherwise wouldn’t have been.

Before we wrap up, it needs to be stated that this is going to be very hard to employ MST at the moment. With that being the case, this will be revisited at the later time. However, I am going to continue to evaluate pitchers using MSV over the next several months, which will aid me in using MST.

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All in all, MST should be an intriguing complement to MSV. Even though it is unlikely to be under the MSV umbrella, don’t think that it cannot be of value to combimetrics. While that is still in its infancy there is worth in the concept, as it is realistic to blend mathematical topics together, which will have the potential to help baseball teams across the world. Stick around, there is much more of this to come!