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
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.