Danny Duffy Leads AL Starters In Multiple Statistical Categories
As of August 12, Danny Duffy leads all qualified AL starters with a 2.82 ERA. He’s also no. 1 in adjusted ERA (+157, 57% better than a league average pitcher), WHIP (1.005), and K/W ratio (5.52).
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That’s a pretty impressive set of statistical rankings. WHIP is Walks and Hits Per Inning Pitched. The idea behind measuring this stat is that runs scored should be a function how many base-runners a pitcher allows. While good (or bad) luck in opponent hit sequencing can lead to ERA distortions, the WHIP should tell how well a pitcher is preventing scoring opportunities.
The strikeouts per walk (K/W) ratio is a key indicator that tells you about positive versus negative outcomes completely under a pitcher’s control. Duffy whiffs more than 5.5 batters for every one he walks. Strikeouts are more valuable than other outs in that they don’t depend on fielders to make a play and can only end up with a negative outcome for the offense. Meanwhile, walks are particularly damaging because they soak up pitches and extend innings.
Adjusted ERA is simply ERA normalized for opponent quality and park factors. Duffy’s lead in this metric shows that he’s doing better at run prevention than any qualified starter in the American League.
Leading in one category is great. But leading the league in multiple key categories shows that Danny Duffy’s results aren’t a fluke. He’s dominating hitters and standing out among his peers. That’s exactly the kind of thing that Cy Young voters are looking for.
Statistical dominance is particularly important for Danny Duffy because he’s not a big name player. Prior to this season, he was an anonymous, bottom-of-the-rotation pitcher that was largely unknown outside fantasy baseball players and KC Royals fans. To win the award ahead of recognized aces like Chris Sale, Cole Hamels, and Corey Kluber, he needs to stand out. If your name is on top of multiple pitching categories, you’re hard to miss.
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