I don't think you have use too many advanced stats or new formulas to make a case. Steve Kornacki comes up with a new metric to support Verlander. See Making case for Verlander. (Hat Tip: Baseball Think Factory) But I don't think that is really necessary.
Verlander led the league in IP and strikeouts and was 2nd in ERA to Price (2.56 vs. 2.64). Verlander had 238 IP while Price had 211.
He was 2nd to Weaver in WHIP (1.018 vs. 1.057).
He was 2nd to Weaver in hits per 9 IP (7.012 vs. 7.25). Price was 4th, Sabathia was not in the top 10.
He was 2nd to Sabathia strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.477 vs. 3.983). Price is not in the top 10. Weaver is not in the top 10.
He was 5th in HRs per 9 IP. Price is 4th. Sabathia is not in the top 10. Weaver is not in the top 10.
He was 3rd in strikeouts per 9 IP. Sabathia was 6th and Price was Price was 8th. Weaver is not in the top 10.
A reasonable objection to Verlander is that he might have been helped by his fielders. But look at how well he did in HR per 9 IP, strikeouts per 9 IP, and strikeout-to-walk ratio. So he did very well in "fielding independent" stats.
Now Verlander did not make the top 10 in walks per 9 IP (he had 2.3). Sabathia (4th, 1.98) and Weaver (7th, 2.147) did. But he beats both of them by a wide margin in IP. Weaver had 188 and Sabathia had 200.
His park could have helped him. But here is where one of the simpler sabermetric stats comes in handy. ERA+, which takes into account park effects and the league average. Verlaner led the league with 160 (meaning he was 60% better than the league average). Price was 2nd with 149. So a very solid lead for Verlander. Weaver had 134 and Sabathia had 124.
His teammate Scherzer led the league in strikeouts per 9 IP. But Scherzer did not make the top 10 in IP, HR per 9 IP, or ERA+ and was just 5th in strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Darvish finished 2nd in strikeouts per 9 IP, ahed of Verlander (who was 3rd, recall). But he only pitched 191 innings and did not make the top 10 in ERA+ or strikeout-to-walk ratio.
I have not mentioned Peavy, Sale, Harrison or Kuroda. But I think Verlander would also compare very well to those guys. Verlander seems to more consistently rank high in meaningful stats than all the rest. So he would be a great choice.
Sunday, November 4, 2012
As of August 1st, Barney had 3.3 defensive WAR (in 99 games) and Ryan had 3.2 (in 95 games). But Barney finished with a defensive WAR of 3.6, meaning he only got .3 in his last 57 games. Ryan also finished with 3.6, meaning he got .3 in his last 46 games. Does anyone know what happened? Did they make more errors? Did they get to fewer balls? Their pace sure fell off quite a bit. But they both finished tied for the 38th best fielding season ever with 13 other players.