Lindholm: A useful replacement for the win stat

From SABR member Scott Lindholm at Beyond the Box Score on January 15, 2015:

My last post discussed how the win has ceased to be a meaningful statistic with which to evaluate pitchers simply because pitchers don’t have the opportunity to accumulate them like they did in the past. The cumulative effects of fewer starts per year and fewer innings pitched per start combine to reduce the chance a pitcher can get a decision, let alone a win. Pitchers receive no-decisions in almost thirty percent of their starts, and when a stat isn’t used to that extent, it’s time to replace it with something else.

Luckily there are two baseball geniuses who have created alternatives. The Bill James Game Score has been around for some time and looks like this.


The Game Score is scaled in such a manner that 50 means pitchers win around fifty percent of games and so on. I’ve always liked the Game Score because it breaks down the elements a pitcher can control and eliminates those he can’t. In addition, he’s evaluated in every start, not just those in which he’s lucky enough to have received enough offensive support to record a win or threw poorly enough for a loss.

Tom Tango added not one, but five additional Game Score methods, the latest of which he derived last December and can be found at his blog in three parts (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3).

Read the full article here:

Originally published: January 15, 2015. Last Updated: January 15, 2015.