Baseball Handicapping – Rating Pitchers

Baseball Handicapping Rating Pitchers
by Jerald of

There are many ways to evaluate starting pitching. The easiest way is to look at their earned run average but this can be a very misleading statistic. With the advent of Sabremetrics and the findings that have been discovered, there are many other ways to determine a pitchers value. This value then can be used to determine if a baseball wager on a pitchers team is of good value.

The stats that I use are derived from some of the pitchers peripheral numbers. The stats needed to come up with the calculations I use are strikeouts, walks, home runs allowed and innings pitched. These are the stats that the pitcher controls. We need to come up with ratios that will help us to determine our ranking.

Here are the ratios I use:

Strike outs per 9 innings Strikeouts/Innings pitched *9 (Dominance)
Strikeout to Walk ratio Strikeouts/walks (Control)
Home Runs allowed per 9 innings Home runs allowed/Innings pitched *9 (Home run factor.)

After we get these numbers then we assign a value to determine how they will affect the ranking. The value that I use comes from the book Baseball Forecaster by Ron Shandler. The calculation for the pitcher ranking is as follows:

Strikeouts/9 innings (Dominance) *6


Strikeout/walk Ratio (Control) * 21

Home Runs allowed/9 innings * 30


Pitcher ranking

Lets look at an example:
Arizona (Brandon Webb) -115
San Diego (Justin Germano) +105

Brandon Webb 134 ks, 53 walks, 9 home runs, 150.67 IP.
Justin Germano 41 ks, 20 walks, 9 home runs, 81.33 IP.

Brandon Webb
Strikeouts per 9 innings 134/150.67 *9 = 8.00
Strikeout to walk ratio 134/53 = 2.53
Home runs per 9 innings 9/150.67 *9 = .54
Dominance 8.00 * 6 = 48.0
Control 2.53 * 21 = 53.1
HR factor 0.54 * 30 = 16.1
Total Score - 48+ 53.1 - 16.1 = 85.0

Justin Germano
Strikeouts per 9 innings 41/81.33 *9 = 4.54
Strikeout to walk ratio 41/20 = 2.05
Home runs per 9 innings 9/81.33 *9 = 1.00
Dominance 4.54 * 6 = 27.2
Control 2.05 * 21 = 43.1
HR factor 1.00 * 30 = 30.0
Total Score 27.2 + 43.1 - 30.0 = 40.3

Comparing the scores of each pitcher you will see that Webb is much more dominant then Germano despite the fact that their ERAs are not that much different. Since the line on this game is only Arizona -115 this would indicate that there may be value on the side of Arizona. Of course there are many other factors to consider before placing a wager like bullpen, offense, how the teams have been playing, etc. but this can be a good place to start.

Click here to bet MLB Dimelines!