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Article
Pitching Statistics, Talent and Luck, and the Best Strikeout Seasons of All-Time
Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports (2011)
  • James Albert
Abstract
Many count statistics are used to evaluate pitchers such as the number of wins and losses, the number of strikeouts, the number of walks, and the number of runs allowed. For a given measure such as strikeouts, this paper focuses on the estimation of pitchers’ probabilities of striking out a batter. The variation in the season strikeout rates among a group of pitchers is due to differences in the pitchers’ probabilities and also due to chance binomial variation. Among all the various rates, we find that a strikeout rate is one of the most accurate estimates of the corresponding probability of a pitcher performing the associated task. We examine the distribution of strikeout, walk and runs-prevented “true” rates of pitchers across the years. By use of our model, we are able to judge the magnitude of a great strikeout season. A z-score statistic is used to rank the greatest strikeout seasons of baseball history and this ranking is contrasted with other traditional ways of ranking pitchers.
Keywords
  • random effects model,
  • strikeout rates,
  • outliers
Publication Date
September 5, 2011
Citation Information
James Albert. "Pitching Statistics, Talent and Luck, and the Best Strikeout Seasons of All-Time" Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports Vol. 2 Iss. 1 (2011)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jim_albert/1/