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MLB Early Season Starting Pitcher Power Ratings

By Steve Makinen  () 

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of bullpens in Major League Baseball, and my affection for giving them their due in handicapping games. Naturally I got a few questions and comments about both that strategy, and the method I used to determine the value of the other part of the pitching equation-- the starters. As such, I thought I would take the time this week, after about a month or so of the 2019 season, to reveal my own personal Starting Pitcher Power Ratings.

Below, you will find a chart detailing the five current starting pitchers for each team in Power Rating order, or essentially a ranking of the current starters from 1 to 150. A couple of notes on the data: 1) Each point in my power rating scale represents a betting cent in terms of money lines. In other words, currently I judge Justin Verlander about 7 points better on money lines than I do Clayton Kershaw. The ratings are built with a heavy emphasis on betting perception. 2) The list is sorted from best to worst, so Verlander is currently the most effective pitcher in baseball by my scale, followed by Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Blake Snell and Jacob DeGrom. The worst pitcher right now is Baltimore’s David Hess, followed by Shelby Miller of Texas. 3) The ExpIP column in the chart represents the Expected Innings Pitched this starter is supposed to give per game. 4) You’ll see that over 2/3 of the starting pitchers currently being used boast positive power ratings. Naturally, those that go negative tend to work their way out of rotations, thus the more positive lean.

Below you fill find another chart detailing the collective power ratings of each team’s group of five starters. They are also listed from best to last. None of the rankings will probably surprise you if you have been handicapping baseball in the first month of the season.

Each day throughout the course of the season I update these rankings based upon performance and betting perception. I combine these Starting Pitcher Ratings with my Bullpen, Lineup, and Bench/Defense Ratings to produce the game simulations you see on the VSiN Exclusive Info section on the website. Use these estimates to aid your handicapping process. 

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