Sabermetrics: Updating Magnum Start Value to Include Teams

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 27: Starting pitcher Lucas Giolito
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 27: Starting pitcher Lucas Giolito /

Sabermetric analyzation method of Magnum Start Theory getting an upgrade to include teams instead of just individual seasons of starting pitchers.

As many of you have been following over the past few years, I have been introducing a series of sabermetric formulas to online readers. These concepts may fall under the term “combimetrics”, which is exactly what this article will discuss. For those who remember the term Magnum Start Theory (MST), it is time to divulge the actual formula.

This will be a bit tricky to create without leaving massive flaws, due to the entire purpose of MST. While I may have evaluated individual pitchers in prior articles, there is a significant change needed regarding MST. In order to use this statistic properly it needs to measure the performance of teams, not players.

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Now, many of you may remember the introductory article involving MST a while back. It mentioned that pitchers should be evaluated not only via their performance, but involving the quality of their team play. That is why I integrated the three categories I did, as they analyze team performance against league average.

Given it will not always be perfect to evaluate a pitcher solely by looking at his teams’ MST score. However, if you also view him through lens of Magnum Start Value (MSV), it could shed light on how valuable he really is.

Here is a look at the entire formula:

a or c(-81+)+ b or d(-avg league err+)+ e or f(-avg league runs+)=x

a= 1.1/4

b= 1.2/4

c= 1.1/4

d= 1.2/4

e= 1.0001/14

f= 1.0001/14

*All of the variables must then be multiplied by the negative number, then divided by the positive number.

Speaking of the above sentence, each portion of MST must be calculated before more can be done with it. For example, the “a or c” part of this is required (including dividing the outcome by four) prior to moving forward. This can be complex, due to the fact that differing outcomes may be added (positive and negative numbers), meaning you could be subtracting when there is an addition sign.

Moving forward, it is time to evaluate two teams MST over a one-year span. They will be the Seattle Mariners (2010) and the New York Yankees (2016). There is a simple reason that I am analyzing these clubs, and it is due to the fact that in the C.C. Sabathia articleFelix Hernandez was mentioned.

Here is the MST scores for each team.

2010 Seattle Mariners: 23.06
2016 New York Yankees: 1.31

By looking at this, you can see there is a significant disparity between the two ball clubs. In further studies, you will see teams that have negative scores, which is similar to WAR. The most important aspect of this statistic is not W-L record or defense but runs scored. A pitcher needs to have runs scored by his team in order to relax, stay in the game longer and potentially record a Magnum Start.

Speaking of the W-L record it will influence MST more than the other two combined in many instances. However, keep in mind this is an end of season statistic, not something that evaluates teams during a campaign. Just to make clear: the higher a team scores, the worse they are and better a pitcher needs to be in order to win. Somewhat backward, but what is needed in order to get the point across as to what I am trying to do.

Before we wrap up a few things need to be mentioned. First of all, in order for this to work you need to take a pitcher and evaluate him against his team for that season. If the club has a high MST score it makes sense to view him as better than how he performed in some cases. On top of that, it is key to evaluate a pitcher not only by these two stats but through in-depth analysis of MSV and traditional statistics.

All in all, this could help the analysis of MSV in many ways, but mostly through aiding evaluators see that poor team play and elite pitching rarely go hand-in-hand. By looking at high scores of pitchers such as Hernandez, you can see that his type of dominance can be had anywhere and should be valued much higher than it usually is.

Next: Beer Getting Big Boost at White Sox Games This Season

Others who are elite may struggle in similar situations, however, it will be crucial to discover who can be elite regardless of who they play for. If so, finding building blocks could become easier to identify. Also, it may become simpler to figure out who to stay away from for the aforementioned reason. I will give you plenty of data on MST so stick around, more to come.