Player Won-Lost Records in Baseball

Measuring Performance in Context

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About the Book

Baseball analysts often criticize pitcher win-loss records as a poor measure of pitcher performance, as wins are the product of team performance. Fans criticize WAR (Wins Above Replacement) because it takes in theoretical rather than actual wins.
Player won-lost records bridge the gap between these two schools of thought, giving credit to all players for what they do—without credit or blame for teammates’ performance—and measuring contributions to actual team wins and losses. The result is a statistic of player value that quantifies all aspects of individual performance, allowing for robust comparisons between players across different positions and different seasons. Using play-by-play data, this book examines players’ won-lost records in Major League Baseball from 1930 through 2015.

About the Author(s)

Economist Tom Thress, has been a SABR member since 2003 and has had research published in By the Numbers and the Baseball Research Journal. He lives in Chicago.

Bibliographic Details

Tom Thress
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 304
Bibliographic Info: glossary, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7024-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2923-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preface 1

Introduction 3

 1. Player ­Won-Lost Records—The Basics 13

 2. Impact of Context on Player ­Won-Lost Records 30

 3. Using Player ­Won-Lost Records to Compare Players 53

 4. Components of Player ­Won-Lost Records 75

 5. Offensive Player ­Won-Lost Records 145

 6. Pitching Player ­Won-Lost Records 158

 7. Fielding Player ­Won-Lost Records 178

 8. Baseball Player ­Won-Lost Records vs. WAR 215

 9. Win Probabilities 245

10. Ballpark Adjustments to Player ­Won-Lost Records 255

Glossary 281

Bibliography 287

Index 289