Sunday Confessional: Pitcher Wins Are Still A Valuable Stat


Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday Confessional: A series where Editor Collin Kottke confesses something on Sundays. Seems simplistic enough. We’ll see.

As a young baseball blogger, it feels like I should be in analytics up to my eyeballs. Analytics are fun and I enjoy looking at them from time to time, but I’m not a huge ‘stat geek’. From my readings, I have noticed that one stat has gotten a bad rap: pitcher’s wins.

I will admit that the wins column is definitely not an almighty statistic. A lot of other stats can give a more direct insight to how a pitcher is performing, but wins should still hold some sort of value.

I don’t really care for relief pitchers wins, because those are very situational and much more flukey. Wins for a pitcher though does show a certain amount of effectiveness. That certain amount only means five innings pitched and your team winning when you leave the game, but it is a benchmark.

It is true that a pitcher that goes five innings and gives up seven runs could be a credited with a win, but these kinds of games will shake themselves out over the course of the season. If the pitcher is giving up seven runs a game, he’ll often not be the winner.

I believe that wins can be referenced as a good pitching metric if the pitcher has reached double-digit wins. It can and should be mentioned without ridicule. Wins are a valuable stat.

Sure, wins can be diminished by the ineptitude of the pitcher’s offense, but not everyone can get a ribbon. Life is tough sometimes, get through it by being a winner.