Jaffe: Which pitchers have the whammy on NL teams?

From SABR member Chris Jaffe at The Hardball Times on April 8, 2013:

Every team has that one pitcher, that one damn pitcher that has the whammy on it. They just can’t beat the SOB. As a Cubs fan growing up in the 1980s, that pitcher was Dwight Gooden. Try and try as they might, it seemed like the Cubs could never top him. At one point he won 22 out of 23 against the Cubs. Now that’s having the whamee on a team.

It’s time to find out which pitcher has the biggest whammy on each team. Let’s not restrict it just to current pitchers or hurlers from recent memory. Baseball-Reference.com has pitcher splits going back to 1916, and I’ve got pitcher vs. team splits for everyone with at least 100 wins in that time.

How do you define a pitcher that has a whammy? At the risk of disgracing myself before the classic standards of sabermetrics, I’ll use win-loss records as the main guide. No, it’s not the most advanced or precise metric for looking at a pitcher’s talent.

But think for a second, what does it mean to have a whammy on a team? It means the team just can’t beat him. Obviously, if the pitcher has a great ERA, that’ll get taken into account, but the starting point will be win-loss record. (Also, win-loss records are more consistent over the decades than ERA, a notable fact given that we’re looking at nearly a century of pitchers.)

Read the full article here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/content/article/got-the-whamee-nl-teams/

Originally published: April 8, 2013. Last Updated: April 8, 2013.