We are all looking for a way to evaluate players, but don’t always have time to crunch all the numbers. Luckily, some smart people out there have done a lot of work for you. All you have to do is to find it.
ESPN uses a stat that I can’t find anywhere else. I’m not sure Average Game Score is their baby (unlikely, knowing ESPN’s history), but it is there for you to use. AGS is a great tool for comparing pitchers’ starts. The formula is very complicated:
Start with 50 points. Add 1 point for each out recorded, (3 points per inning). Add 2 points for each inning completed after the 4th. Add 1 point for each strikeout. Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed. Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed. Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed. Subtract 1 point for each walk.
Like I said, it is rather complicated, but it is a much better measure than the Quality Start (6 or more innings pitched with 3 or fewer runs allowed). A QS is simple, but I don’t think a 4.50 ERA is “quality”. The AGS is a better way to look at each start and it even quanitfies how good it was.
The way I use it is to compare pitchers with a high AGS (58+) to their won-loss records. If a pitcher has a crummy record but a high AGS, I attempt to trade for him. I can usually get a bargain from an owner who only considers won-loss records as the indicators of how well a pitcher is performing.