This is a new update to the Kwindex Leaderboard which tries to provide a look at which are the top SPs for the rest of the season.
You will find for every pitcher in the charts his updated rank, their Kwindex, the Ranking Change for the past few weeks changes for them, and a “Movement from the last leaderboard” column (Mov).
We are going to review them by tiers, so let’s start right away with the upper echelon:
- No surprises on the top SP as Bieber is just the best now, and there is no doubt that he will continue his reign of terror over his opponents. More interestingly is that he is in a tier of his own, as the difference between him and the second place pitcher is almost as large as the one from second to the tenth place.
- Jacob deGrom and Yu Darvish complete the podium and have been trading places for the last couple of weeks; I kinda like Yu’s higher domination of the strike zone but at these guys levels that’s just a matter of choosing between great and fantastic.
- I’m happy to see veterans like Kershaw and Scherzer dominating, especially the former as he has endured father time and although not pitching as fast as his prime years, he has shown a small increase in his 4-seamer for this season and is doing what he knows to do best: attacking the strike zone since the first pitch, and his F-Strike% (First pitch Strike percentage) of 70.50% shows it.
If you want to know something amazing about Kershaw, just look at this graph:
This is the career ERA after every one of the 352 games Kershaw has participated in. The highlighted area shows the period of time from the end of the 2015 season until his last game pitched the current one, and we can see that his ERA has not been higher than 2.50 during that span; actually the trend is to continue lowering. I know how imperfect ERA is but this is something you won’t see very often.
- Tyler Gasnow is solidifying himself as a top 5 pitcher, and with his elite striking out ability that doesn’t surprise us.
- Gerrit Cole continues to have his long ball problem, allowing HRs by the dozen; we already had him out of the top 10 for a while but feels safer to keep him in the lower end of the 10 best hurlers as he is, undoubtedly, still an ace.
- Kevin Gausman keeps rolling and is one of the nicest pitching stories so far: as the beginning of the season, we are confident he is still going to succeed the rest of the way.
- Closing the group, No-No Giolito gets his spot at the big boys table.
- Should we still believe in Luis Castillo? Yes, we should. He’s peripherals are still good and sound, just look at how red this chart is:
His command is the part out of this equation and is the key to his successful performance.
- Trevor Bauer and Dylan Bundy dropped out of the top 10 and they are now in the tier that fits them right, still in great company and place.
- I can’t get enough of Framber Valdéz’s pitching; he’s been able to surmount a non-elite striking out ability with control and deception, most notably using his curveball which has kept opposing batters to a .177 wOBA.
- Blake Snell gets on the board after reaching the minimum qualifying innings (28)
- Please pay attention to Danny Duffy. If you want the long story, go to this link, but he is going places this year.
- Corbin Burns keeps going up, this is the moment where his stuff is getting straight and will help the Brewers in the stretch.
Rest of the top 50:
- This is the “Why?” tier: Why, even when his underlying stats point in one direction, Matt Boyd has sunk so much? I now think that the worst has passed so, Mr. Boyd, just stop fooling around.
- Why is Max Fried placed so low? Short answer, his (k-bb)/ip and K%-BB% are just too low and that makes me a disbeliever. The same applies to Frankie Montas, Logan Webb and Lance McCullers.
Next week we’ll update the leaderboard and check on how things look for the rest of the way.
Here is the complete table with complementary information: (k-bb)/ip, CSW, K%-BB%, ERA, Zone%, F-Strike%, Kwindex.
All data used was taken from https://www.fangraphs.com/, https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/, and/or https://www.baseball-reference.com/, unless otherwise stated different. pCRA data was taken from this spreadsheet, maintained by its creator Connor Kurcon.
EE, Data geek, Baseball fan. Twitter: @camarcano