Thursday, September 24, 2015

Melancon-Watson, Watson-Melancon. Can You Tell Them Apart?

About a month ago I wrote about the similar seasons of Pirates' relievers Mark Melancon and Tony Watson. Noting that there was nothing similar about them physically or in their pitching styles, it was amazing how the set-up man and the closer had nearly identical stats. I challenged readers to tell one from the other by comparing the numbers. With just over a week to go in the season, last revisit the two as their seasons have actually become even more similar.

Let's start with appearances and records:

                        Games    Innings   W-L Record

Pitcher A           73           71.2          3-1

Pitcher B           73           71.1          4-1

Ok, nothing to be gleaned from that. Some more data:

                         Hits     Runs   ER    HR  UIBB  HBP   SO      WP     WHIP    BABip

Pitcher A           52        18      15      3      12        2      53        3       0.921     .245

Pitcher B           50        17      16      3      15        4      59        1       0.925     .242

Still nothing here to differentiate the two. How about opponents' triple slash line?

Pitcher A          .204/.250/.271  .521 OPS    Batters Faced 273

Pitcher B          .198/.255/.262  .516 OPS    Batters Faced 276

I'm not sure Ray Searage can tell them apart at this point. ERA, FIP & xFIP ought to clear it up, right?

                        ERA     FIP     xFIP  

Pitcher A          1.88    2.88     3.22  

Pitcher B          2.02    2.88     3.59

Blown Saves?

Pitcher A            2

Pitcher B            2

Here is your big clue. Time to guess:


Pitcher A         59.7    

Pitcher B         47.4    

Yep, I figured that might do it. If it didn't, pitcher A has 49 saves, pitcher B has 1. But you tell me who is better.

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