I know this list is going to cause some controversy due to dedicated fan bases along with certain lack of statistical knowledge, but let’s have some fun. Here are my three most overrated “good” pitchers in baseball due to their performances this season:
I know what you’re thinking: “Madison Bumgarner is the best hitting pitcher in baseball, he had the best postseason ever in 2014, he’s a 3 time world series champion, 3 time all star, 2 time silver slugger, a World Series MVP!” All of these things are true, and by no stretch of the imagination is Bumgarner a bad pitcher, he’s a great pitcher, but he is often over hyped throughout the baseball community.
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) May 23, 2016
Because of his October heroics, and his ability to be a “pitcher who rakes” most casual baseball fans look at Bumgarner as an elite pitcher hanging around the likes of Kershaw, Arrieta, Sale, and so on. While Madison certainty is an ace on all but a hand full of teams, he should not be considered “elite”. Although Bumgarner ranks 5th in ERA at 2.12, he ranks lower in important statistics such as: 11th in WAR, 14th in FIP, and tenth in SIERA. Madbum’s SIERA of 3.34, according to FanGrpahs, is considered to be good not excellent. Although Bumgarner is a fantastic pitcher, his advanced numbers show he should not yet be considered an elite pitcher. If you’re new to some of these advanced pitching sabermetrics, to put it simply, Bumgarner benefits from good defense, and a good ball park. Stats like xFIP and SIERA try to strip it down to just pitching, with defense and ball park ruled out.
Mr Scherzer, or for simplicity Max, has awed baseball fans around the nation with his two no hitters in one season (2015) and his record tying game with twenty strikeouts. Personally, I am a big fan of Max because when he is hot there are very few arms I would take before him, however these flashes of greatness only cover up his inconsistencies. Like MadBum, Max is a great pitcher, he has won a Cy Young along with other personal acheivements, however, baseball fans tend to get caught up on his great performances disregarding his average ones.
Max is a great strikeout pitcher, there is no argument about that. His 90 strike outs and 30.6% strike out rate rank only fourth out of starting pitchers this season. Scherzer has had a very succesful past when it comes to his ERA, however, this season has been quite shocking for Max’s terms. Scherzer ranks 60th within starting pitchers, holding an ERA of 4.05. Add that to a 59th best WAR (0.7) and a 67th best FIP (4.30) and one can conclude that Max isn’t pitching like the superstar most interpret him to be.
Say what you want about David Price, to me he has never been the guy that baseball fans makes him out to be. Yes, he has a history of success and can hurl some nasty pitches when all of his mechanics click. Yes, he currently hold a 7-1 record and is piloting a turned around Red Sox team. However, Price is often regarded as a top ten pitcher in baseball, and his 2016 stats correlate with my argument that he isn’t THAT good.
— NY Daily News Sports (@NYDNSports) May 7, 2016
Despite holding a 7-1 record, David Price holds a WAR of 1.5, and while that is good, and he is helping his team win, that ranks 15th among starting pitchers, missing that top ten frame by 5 spots. As the season goes on he may move into that top ten, however his 5.11 ERA (87th), .322 BABIP (84th), and 3.09 FIP (17th) show that he may not reach that top ten status, especially with the emergence of young arms like Aaron Nola and Noah Syndergaard, who are just getting the hang of things.
Feel free to sound off in the comments with your most overrated pitchers of 2016.
All numbers are courtesy of Fangraphs