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The 20/30 Game Winner: An Endangered/Extinct Species

By John E. Daniels and Steve Kuehl

This article was published in the Fall 2013 Baseball Research Journal.

INTRODUCTION This paper has two parts. Part I: The Demise of the 20-Game Winner is a statistical analysis on the history of 20-game winners and possible factors contributing to their decline. Part II: A Tale of Two Pitchers is a qualitative analysis comparing two historic pitching seasons—Denny McLain’s 31 wins in 1968 and Justin Verlander’s 24 wins in 2011—in an attempt to better understand pitching success from two different baseball periods. PART I (THE DEMISE OF THE 20-GAME WINNER) In the so-called modern baseball era (1901–2012), becoming a 20-game winner . . .

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