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There are plenty of pitchers having fine seasons in the National League. But with the calendar nearing Memorial Day — the traditional one-third mark on the baseball season — the question is: Who is the best pitcher in the NL?

To weed through the very strong field to determine the answer, we'll use three Baseball Prospectus metrics that measure starters, counting only those who have pitched at least 50 innings, and awarding points in the same manner of the new Cy Young voting system that will be unveiled in November by the Baseball Writers Association of America — 10 points for first place, seven for second, five for third, three for fourth and one for fifth.

First, let's look at SNLVAR (support-neutral league value above replacement),which gauges how many more wins a starting pitcher provides throughout the course of the season than would a replacement-level player, which represents someone who could be claimed off waivers or purchased off a Triple-A roster:

Pitchers Ranked By SNLVAR

This means Jimenez provides 3.4 more wins than someone who can be claimed off waivers.

Pitcher

SNLVAR

Ubaldo Jimenez

3.4

Roy Halladay

2.6

Tim Hudson

2.5

Adam Wainwright

2.5

Tim Lincecum

2.5

Next, we will look at FRA (fair run average). This is a simple statistic: It measures how many runs per nine innings a pitcher allows while also including the number of baserunners a starter bequeaths to his bullpen when pulled in the middle of an inning.

Pitchers Ranked By Fair Run Average

This ranking considers runs allowed per nine innings, plus the runner the pitchers leaves on base when taken out of a game.

Pitcher

FRA

Ubaldo Jimenez

1.06

Roy Halladay

2.03

Tim Lincecum

2.24

Livan Hernandez

2.38

Josh Johnson

2.47

Finally, we'll take into account BP's newest pitching metric, SIERA (skill-interactive earned run average). This stat estimates ERA through walk rate, strikeout rate and ground ball rate while eliminating the effects of park, defense and luck.

Pitchers Ranked By SIERA

This metric does not consider the effects of the park, defense and luck.

Pitcher

SIERA

Tim Lincecum

2.58

Tommy Hanson

2.97

Dan Haren

3.07

Adam Wainwright

3.09

Roy Halladay

3.14

Tally the three metrics up with the scoring system and the top three are: Jimenez (20 points), Lincecum (16) and Halladay (15). In case you're wondering, Jimenez is ninth in SIERA with a 3.35 mark.

Jimenez would certainly be the pick of the BBWAA if voting were held today because he is putting up eye-popping numbers in the traditional statistical categories. The Colorado Rockies right-hander shut out the Arizona Diamondbacks for eight innings on Wednesday night to raise his record to 9-1 and lower his earned run average to 0.88 through 10 starts. The 26-year-old has allowed just 42 hits in 63 1/3 innings to go with 61 strikeouts and 24 walks.

So whether you look at it through the prism of the new statistics or the old ones, Jimenez has clearly been the NL's best pitcher through the first third of 2010 season.

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hessshaun
5/27
Is SIERRA really biased when it comes to walks?
OTSgamer
5/27
Am I the only one who thinks it a bit of a bad sign moving forward that Jimenez's strikeout rate has really nosedived the past two or three outings?
FLeghorn
5/28
I'm not concerned about it at all. I've seen all of Ubaldo's starts, and the fact is, he's getting guys out with a minimal amount of pitches, as his groundball ratio is outstanding, and the Rox have a pretty good infield defense. His velocity is still 96-98 by the 8th inning. He's not 'trying' for strikeouts, it's just that teams are swinging early, and grounding/popping out.
mbodell
5/28
I think it is the same reason Halladay gets dinged by SIERA. He pitches to contact to trade strikeouts for groundouts. It results in slightly less impressive SIERA type numbers, but more efficient pitching letting him pitch more IP.
benharris
5/27
How far down is Jimenez in Siera?
buddha
5/28
First paragraph after the last chart.
Oleoay
5/28
Times like this I wonder why I have to go to ESPN.com to find out in-season groundball rate...