Monday, July 02, 2018

2018 Giants: May PQS, newPQS, ogcPQS

This post has the Giants Pure Quality Start scores for the month of May 2018, PQS as defined in Ron Shandler's Baseball Forecaster annual book and they published the details here (unfortunately, they removed the article; this link gets you at least to the PQS definition, read down to middle for details). I wrote on this first in 2006 (wow, 13th year of this!) and have compiled their stats on a regular basis, so I'm continuing it this season for continuity and historical comparison (there is the "PQS" label that you can click to see the old posts on this). Regular readers can skip to the next section.

This is the Quality Start with a sabermetric DIPS twist, and it gets really easy to calculate once you get used to it. I don't think it's the end all or be all, but then nothing really is that. It is, as I like to say, another piece of the puzzle. A dominating start is scored a 4 or 5 and a disaster start is scored a 0 or 1. DOM% is the percentage of starts that are dominating, DIS% is the percentage of starts that are disasters.

What's New

As you might have seen, I've written a few posts about how PQS has been modified (newPQS) and how I'm unhappy about it and created ogcPQS.  I think I'm a little biased though, because in newPQS, Bumgarner is not that great a pitcher, his DOM% is in the 30's for the most part over his career, and perhaps it's a matter of acclimating myself to the new standards for the new metric.  But as I wrote in my post about my unhappiness, there were changes that I thought were made for the sake of making every category 50/50-ish, instead of focusing on identifying a good pitcher.  I'm not sure how I'm going to proceed going forward, but for now, I thought I would compare for each pitcher, their PQS, newPQS, and ogcPQS.

What's Good and What's Not

From my observations of PQS (now old PQS; not sure what the ranges are for newPQS or especially ogcPQS, which is my hybrid), a DOM at or above the 40% mark is indicative of good pitching; above 50% is great; above 70% is elite. A low DIS is also indicative of good pitching, just look at the table in the link above showing DOM% and DIS% on the axes.

Basically, you want to see a pitcher's DOM% to be over 40% and ideally over 50%, and you want their DIS to be under 20% and ideally under 10%. For example, Johan Santana has a 76% DOM and 3% DIS in 2006 (2.77 ERA), whereas Orlando Hernandez had a 52% DOM and 28% DIS (4.66 ERA), and Adam Eaton had a 31% DOM and 31% DIS (5.12 ERA). Read the link (unfortunately, they removed the article and thus the table is no longer available, sorry), as I noted, there's a nice chart there showing the combination of high DOM% and low DIS%, and there you can see particularly how a low DIS% is so important to a low ERA.  Plus, I have not figured out what is the levels of okay and bad are for the newPQS, and I may never know for ogcPQS (probably a good reason for me not to keep that going), since I don't have league wide stats on that.

If you had to chose a high DOM% or a low DIS%, pitchers tend to have a lower ERA when you have a low DIS% vs. a high DOM% (obviously if you combine both, you have a much better chance of having an elite pitcher).  But I think when the DOM% is high enough, you win more by choosing a high DOM% over a low DIS%, as there are more high quality games pitched overall.

Part of the new terminology is DEC or Decent, which covered all the starts that aren't DOM or DIS (what I used to call MID; love this term better).  What I had found previously was that DEC starts were actually decent, and would help a pitcher keep his ERA decent, whereas a particularly bad DIS are the ones that would kill the pitcher's ERA.  In fact, pitchers could have a decent ERA even if they do not have many DOM starts, as long as they can limit DIS starts.

The new methodology of no more automatic DIS starts for under 5 IP, will help to bump up DEC ERA, for my experience dealing with the automatic DIS starts was that a good number of them were decent (and sometimes DOM) but hurt badly because of too many hits and/or walks.

I wholeheartedly recommend buying Baseball Forecaster and learning more about their methods of analyzing baseball. It has been greatly illuminating for me, and if you want to get a taste for it without paying full price, they used to sell their old editions of their annuals on their website for half price or less (plus shipping); but that was before he sold the company off, and I haven't checked recently.  I've started buying the e-book version to save money on it, as the main value is related to the fantasy baseball content, which I don't use at all now.  So going forward, I might be waiting a season to buy the books, it will depend.

Giants Starters' PQS for 2018 Season

Tyler Beede -
PQS: 0, 0/ /  (0% DOM, 100% DIS; 0:2/2)
newPQS:  2, 2/ /  (0% DOM, 0% DIS; 0:0/2)
ogcPQS:  2, 2/ /  (0% DOM, 0% DIS; 0:0/2)

Ty Blach -
PQS:  3, 0, 3, 3, 4, 3, 5/4, 0, 0, 0, 0/   (25% DOM, 42% DIS; 3:5/12)
newPQS:  2, 1, 2, 2, 0, 1, 2/3, 1, 0, 1, 1/  (0% DOM, 58% DIS; 0:7/12)
ogcPQS:  2, 1, 3, 2, 1, 1, 2/3, 1, 0, 1, 1/   (0% DOM, 58% DIS; 0:7/12)

Madison Bumgarner -
PQS:  / /    (0% DOM, 0% DIS; 0:0/0)
newPQS:  / /  (0% DOM, 0% DIS; 0:0/0)
ogcPQS:  / /   (0% DOM, 0% DIS; 0:0/0)

Johnny Cueto -
PQS:  5, 2, 5, 5, 3/ /    (60% DOM, 0% DIS; 3:0/5)
newPQS:  4, 1, 5, 4, 1/ /  (60% DOM, 40% DIS; 3:2/5)
ogcPQS:  4, 2, 5, 5, 2/ /   (60% DOM, 0% DIS; 3:0/5)

Derek Holland -
PQS:  3, 5, 0, 4, 0/4, 1, 4, 4, 5, 1/    (55% DOM, 36% DIS; 6:4/11)
newPQS:  2, 4, 0, 3, 1/2, 0, 4, 1, 4, 0/  (27% DOM, 45% DIS; 3:5/11)
ogcPQS:  2, 5, 0, 4, 1/2, 0, 4, 2, 5, 0/   (36% DOM, 36% DIS; 4:4/11)

Jeff Samardzija -
PQS:  3, 0, 3/ /     (0% DOM, 33% DIS; 0:1/3)
newPQS:  2, 0, 2/ /  (0% DOM, 33% DIS; 0:1/3)
ogcPQS:  2, 0, 2/ /   (0% DOM, 33% DIS; 0:1/3)

Chris Stratton -
PQS:  4, 3, 3, 5, 4, 0/4, 0, 0, 1, 3/    (36% DOM, 36% DIS; 4:4/11)
newPQS:  3, 2, 3, 5, 4, 0/2, 1, 0, 1, 2/  (18% DOM, 36% DIS; 2:4/11)
ogcPQS:  3, 2, 3, 5, 4, 0/2, 1, 0, 1, 2/   (18% DOM, 36% DIS; 2:4/11)

Andy Suarez -
PQS:  3/5, 3, 0, 4, 0, 4/    (43% DOM, 29% DIS; 3:2/7)
newPQS:  3/4, 3, 1, 2, 1, 2/  (14% DOM, 29% DIS; 1:2/7)
ogcPQS:  3/4, 3, 2, 3, 1, 2/   (14% DOM, 29% DIS; 1:2/7)

Giants Season overall -
PQS:  34% DOM, 29% DEC, 38% DIS out of 56 games counted (19:21/56)
newPQS:  16% DOM, 39% DEC, 45% DIS out of 56 games counted (9:25/56)
ogcPQS:  18% DOM, 46% DEC, 38% DIS out of 56 games counted (10:21/56)

Giants Month of April -
PQS:  34% DOM, 42% DEC, 24% DIS out of 29 games counted (10:7/29)
newPQS:  21% DOM, 48% DEC, 31% DIS out of 29 games counted (6:9/29)
ogcPQS:  24% DOM, 52% DEC, 24% DIS out of 29 games counted (7:7/29)

Giants Month of May -
PQS:  33% DOM, 15% DEC, 52% DIS out of 27 games counted (9:14/27)
newPQS:  11% DOM, 30% DEC, 59% DIS out of 27 games counted (3:16/27)
ogcPQS:  11% DOM, 37% DEC, 52% DIS out of 27 games counted (3:14/27)

The month of May for PQS was horrible across the board, much unlike the results for the month.

Without Cueto and Bumgarner, plus Samardzija was pitching even though he was not 100%, plus Stratton struggling after taking paternity leave, the rotation was totally messed up.

Holland led the way, leading in DOM starts in all the methodologies, 4 DOM in PQS, 2 DOM in newPQS and ogcPQS.  He had 2, 3, 2 DIS starts.  Andy Suarez was the only other good starter, with 3 DOM in PQS, 1 DOM in newPQS and ogcPQS, with 2, 2, 1 DIS starts.

The others, frankly, stunk, it was just the varying degrees.  Blach and Stratton had 1 DOM in PQS, 0 DOM for the others, with Blach having 4 DIS and Stratton having 3 DIS, in the three methodologies.  Samardzija, ever the good soldier, tried to deliver even though he was not 100%, but had 0 DOM with 3, 4, 4 DIS starts.

As a result, even for PQS, the 33% DOM/52% DIS was probably one of the worse, if not the worse, I've ever recorded for the Giants with my PQS analysis.  The numbers were even worse for newPQS and ogcPQS, though I have no idea what's exactly good or bad, I am pretty sure this was very bad.

The results were equally bad.  Holland had the best ERA with 4.32, where I think the average starter is around a little above 4.00 in the NL.    Here's the sad stats for May, with some advanced stats glimmers of a better June to come:
  • Holland:  4.32 ERA, 6.2 K/9, 1.77 K/BB;  4.97 FIP; 4.05 kwERA
  • Suarez:  5.46 ERA, 8.6 K/9, 3.75 K/BB; 4.15 FIP; 3.44 kwERA
  • Blach:  6.29 ERA, 4.1 K/9, 1.38 K/BB; 4.41 FIP; 5.09 kwERA
  • Stratton:  6.31 ERA, 7.4 K/9, 1.62 K/BB; 6.57 FIP; 4.57 kwERA
  • Samardzija:  7.36 ERA, 5.7 K/9, 1.08 K/BB; 6.73 FIP; 5.28 kwERA

Looking at FIP, and especially kwERA, the rotation looked like it just took a beating of bad BABIP luck in May, with the advanced metric, kwERA shining a light on better days for the rotation, along with the return of Bumgarner at the start of June.

May PQS Comparison Thoughts

As with April's report, the newer methodologies really puts the hammer on DOM starts, pushing down the number of them greatly.  No matter the view, the DOM percentages were bad across the board.  It will be an interesting season as we learn what makes sense in the new methodologies.  I probably should have a post looking into newPQS and figuring out what the new ranges of goodness and eliteness are, like I originally did with PQS.

There does not appear to be any effect on DIS starts, which I found surprising because the rule of automatic DIS starts for under 5 innings pitched was removed.  That was supposed to push some DIS starts into the DEC category.  Yet, DIS actually went up for newPQS, again, just like in April.  This will be interesting to track this season.

However, I wonder if I should bother continuing ogcPQS, as the difference is minimal so far, from newPQS.  I've been wondering if I should change back some of the parameters, as well, for ogcPQS, maybe return to giving a point for having the same number of hits as innings, maybe return to giving a point for only giving up one home run.  Then the main change would be switching to K>= 5 and raising K/BB to 2.5, from 2.0 previously.   I'm not going to do that now, I'll continue this for the full season, but then might redo the whole season using these returned parameters to see what the numbers yield.

One thing I want from PQS is the ability to see when a pitcher is doing well vs. when he's doing poorly.   With bad months from Blach, Samardzija, and Stratton, their data yielded nothing interesting.

Holland's PQS's captured his peripherals better with the newer methodologies.  He had a 4.32 ERA, 4.97 FIP, and 4.05 kwERA, which was about average.  His newPQS was 33% DOM/50% DIS, while his ogcPQS was 33% DOM/33% DIS, which was probably the closest to noting his performance.  His PQS was too high, at 67% DOM/33% DIS, relative to his peripherals.

Suarez, however, suggests that I should continue using PQS.  He had a bad ERA in May, 5.46, but really nice peripherals, suggesting bad luck led to the ERA, and that if he continued those peripherals, his June would be better.   And his FIP of 4.15 and kwERA of 3.44 suggested that his peripherals indicated.  Only PQS noted his superiority with 50% DOM and 33% DIS, while newPQS was 17% DOM and 33% DIS, and ogcPQS was 17% DOM and 17% DIS.

May 2018 Comments

Nothing much to say, really, about May, it's already July, so all I'll say is that both the pitching and hitting went bad, leading to a 11-16 month.  With a 5.74 runs allowed average in May, the month could have been worse, had the offense not muscled up with a 4.59 runs scored average in May (average runs scored in the NL in 2018 is 4.38 runs scored, so the Giants were above average in May).

Among the hitters, Crawford, Hanson, Gorkys, Belt, Posey, and Jackson, andled the way, with McCutchen and Longoria providing a nice boost, along with Williamson and Hundley.  Sandoval, Blanco, and Tomlinson (the latter two under .600 OPS) did not contribute much offense, and hence why two of the three were dropped from the 25-man roster. 

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