With the Major League Baseball All-Star Game finally coming to Citi Field for 2013, it would obviously be very exciting for the Mets to have some of their players starting. It looks like that will definitely happen with David Wright recently overcoming Pablo Sandoval as the leading vote getter at third base. Does Matt Harvey deserve to join him as the starting pitcher for the National League in the All-Star Game? Let's take a look.
I have created a custom spreadsheet on Fangraphs with a few of the pitching stats that I deem most important in evaluating who deserves to start the All-Star Game. Feel free to sort it however you wish and use it to make your own evaluations, however, I will use the rest of this FanPost to highlight a few key points.
The first thing to do is take the top 10 highest WAR pitchers in the National League.
Looking at this list, it becomes pretty clear who the top options are.
We can eliminate Bailey, Chacin, and Samardzija out of contention because they all have ERA over 3.
Next, I eliminated Shelby Miller. He has pitched pretty well, but he has pitched a good 15-20 innings less than some of the other contenders, so its just not as impressive that he has maintained such a low ERA and WHIP over this time span.
After that, I chose to knock out Patrick Corbin based on his relatively high FIP and xFIP, indicating that he has gotten a bit lucky this year, in addition to his relatively low WAR. By this same logic, Zimmermann becomes the next pitcher to get eliminated.
This leaves the top 4 WAR pitchers as the top 4 choices. We still have Wainwright, Harvey, Lee, and Kershaw. Of this group, Matt Harvey has:
- The lowest ERA
- The lowest WHIP
- The most strikeouts
- The least hits allowed
- The lowest batting average against
- The lowest FIP and second lowest xFIP
- The highest WPA
- The lowest ERA-
- The lowest FIP-
- The lowest xFIP-
- The lowest tERA
- The lowest SIERA
- The lowest TBF/IP (total batters faced per inning)
In comparison to the rest of the league, here is where Matt Harvey currently ranks on the leaderboard for the following statistics among qualified National League starting pitchers:
- 2nd in ERA
- 1st in strikeouts
- 1st in WHIP
- 1st in K%
- 1st in batting average against
- 3rd in ERA-
- 1st in FIP-
- 2nd in xFIP-
- 1st in FIP
- 2nd in xFIP
- 1st in tERA
- 1st in SIERA
- 1st in WPA
- 2nd in WAR
Simply put, it is quite obvious at this point in time that Matt Harvey is the most deserving pitcher to start the All-Star Game for the National League. He is deserving enough just based on his statistical performance, but if a tiebreaker was necessary, the fact that the game is being held at Citi Field and he is the hometown player should certainly help his case.
Make the right decision, Bruce Bochy.