In the last Nerds on Sports University, I gave you a very technical and involved statistic. This time, I’m going for something a little more light hearted. Today, I will tell you about the pitching stat LUCK. LUCK isn’t an acronym for anything it’s just luck.

Before I get into LUCK itself, let’s look at pitchers Expected Win-Loss [E(W) & E(L)]. We all know that Wins and Losses are very dependent on how the rest of the pitchers team and your bullpen, especially if you’ve been watching Bronson Arroyo this year (Luck -6.31). To calculate E(W) and E(L) we look at the pitchers innings pitched and runs allowed for each game and compare that to the same pitching line’s wins and losses historically. So if a pitcher went 6 innings and gave up 5 runs you would expect them to get a win 30% of the time. So the E(W) is .3 and the E(L) is .7.

To get LUCK we compare the expected numbers to the actual numbers. Taking the difference between the expected numbers and the actual numbers and adding that together (W-E(W)) + (E(L)-L) is LUCK. So a pitcher with a high LUCK is lucky and their team is helping them out. I hope you enjoy LUCK, and I will end this class with some current LUCK stats.

Top 5 NL Pitchers by LUCK

NAME W L E(W) E(L) LUCK
Aaron Harang 13 3 12.2 8.6 6.38
Claudio Vargas 10 4 7.3 7.5 6.23
Cole Hamels 14 5 10.6 7.5 5.84
Adam Eaton 9 8 7.2 11.5 5.34
Noah Lowry 14 7 9.4 7.1 4.73
           

Top 5 AL Pitchers by LUCK

NAME W L E(W) E(L) LUCK
Paul Byrd 13 5 9.2 9.4 8.18
Horacio Ramirez 8 4 3.9 7.8 7.91
Josh Beckett 16 5 11 6.2 6.17
Chien-Ming Wang 15 6 10.8 8 6.16
Justin Verlander 14 5 11 7.8 5.8
           

Bottom 5 NL Pitchers by LUCK

NAME W L E(W) E(L) LUCK
Matt Cain 7 13 11.5 8.2 -9.34
Anthony Reyes 2 13 5 7.3 -8.71
Bronson Arroyo 7 13 10.7 10.5 -6.21
Kyle Lohse 6 12 7.6 9.2 -4.45
Jason Jennings 2 9 4.9 7.7 -4.24
           

Bottom 5 AL Pitchers by LUCK

NAME W L E(W) E(L) LUCK
Joe Kennedy 3 9 6 4.8 -6.12
Edwin Jackson 4 12 7.3 9.8 -5.44
Gil Meche 7 11 10.4 9.6 -4.74
Carlos Silva 10 13 10.8 9.6 -4.16
John Danks 6 12 6.4 8.6 -3.45
           

Stats from Baseball Prospectus, based on >15 games started.

(Note: If you really look into expected wins and loses you’ll know that BP has differing was of calculating it. The way i didn’t mention involves magic, dragons, theoretical baseballs, and guessing.)

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