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2014 opponent-adjusted leaderboards

We adjust with park factors, now I pull some old formulas to adjust for opponent.

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
If you are strong and fighting the weak, then if you kill your opponent then you are a scoundrel... if you let him kill you, then you are an idiot.
Martin van Creveld

While van Creveld was discussing a more serious topic (The Israeli-Palestine crises) than baseball, the quote still brings up an illustrative point about baseball: Pitchers will be judged at least in part on the quality their opponents. Dominate a team full of AAAA players and you will not necessarily reap the respect of others. Get beat down by the '27 Yankees, you'll leave people saying that you didn't do bad considering the opposing lineup.

What does this mean? It means we need to account for opponent in pitching statistics. A year ago, I went this route by creating a couple of statistics: opponent adjusted run average (oaRA, an RA9-type stat), and opponent adjusted FIP (oaFIP). From the oaFIP, I was able to calculate an oa-fWAR, allowing comparisons with the regular FIP and fWAR.

With the 2014 regular season having come to a close, now seems as good of a time to output the leaderboards for these statistics. I will not go through the entire derivation oaFIP and oaRA as they are covered in the two articles linked above. Added to the leaderboard this year is oaRA-WAR, which is the WAR version of OARA, similar to RA9-WAR. Also included is FIP, fWAR, RA9, and RA9-WAR, or the statistics that are essentially being opponent adjusted.

Before giving the leaderboard for qualified pitchers, I want to explain one item. Just because a pitcher's opponents have appeared to be easier than a different pitcher's does not mean that they'll receive the benefit of opponent adjustment. A major component is how you perform against these opponents. For example, look at the two pitcher lines below.

Pitcher A Pitcher B
Opp R/G RA Opp R/G RA
4.5 4 4.5 5
3.5 2 4.5 5
4.5 4 2.5 3
1.5 6 2.5 3
3.5 (AVG) 16 3.5 (AVG) 16

Two pitchers, identical opponent R/G, identical runs allowed, and assume identical innings pitched. However, Pitcher A will have a higher oaRA than Pitcher B. Why? Because against a team that struggles scoring (At 1.5 R/G) he allowed a big runs total. And while he performs better than expected against another team to make up for it (Against the 2.5 R/G team), it won't be enough in the oaRA adjustment.

2014 Opponent Adjusted Leaderboards

But enough of explanations. On to the leaderboards. To be included on the leaderboard, the pitchers must meet the FanGraphs level of IP for qualification.

Name IP oaRA oaRA9-WAR RA9 RA9-WAR oaFIP oa-fWAR FIP fWAR
Clayton Kershaw 198.33 1.86 7.9 1.91 7.9 2.12 6.5 1.81 7.2
Corey Kluber 235.67 2.60 7.0 2.75 7.0 2.66 5.9 2.35 7.3
David Price 248.33 4.43 1.3 3.62 4.3 2.87 5.4 2.78 6.1
Felix Hernandez 236.00 2.46 7.5 2.59 7.5 3.00 4.7 2.56 6.2
Max Scherzer 220.33 2.94 5.6 3.27 5.3 3.00 4.6 2.85 5.6
Stephen Strasburg 215.00 4.20 1.5 3.60 3.5 2.89 4.6 2.94 4.3
Phil Hughes 209.67 3.82 2.8 3.78 3.6 2.93 4.5 2.65 6.1
Chris Sale 174.00 2.44 5.8 2.48 6.2 2.81 4.3 2.57 5.4
Jon Lester 219.67 2.94 5.6 3.11 5.8 3.15 4.1 2.8 6.1
Jordan Zimmermann 199.67 3.19 4.0 3.02 4.8 2.99 4.0 2.68 5.2
Jose Quintana 200.33 3.92 2.6 3.91 3.4 3.10 4.0 2.81 5.3
Zack Greinke 202.33 3.24 3.7 3.07 4.4 2.91 4.0 2.97 3.8
Jeff Samardzija 219.67 4.18 1.7 3.52 4.1 3.14 3.9 3.2 4.1
Garrett Richards 168.67 3.42 3.2 2.72 4.9 3.04 3.4 2.6 4.3
Johnny Cueto 243.67 2.44 7.6 2.55 7.7 3.43 3.4 3.3 4.1
Madison Bumgarner 217.33 3.32 3.6 3.35 3.5 3.20 3.3 3.05 3.6
Brandon McCarthy 200.00 4.70 0.5 4.50 1.7 3.40 3.0 3.55 3.0
Adam Wainwright 227.00 1.99 8.6 2.54 6.9 3.44 2.9 2.88 4.5
Cole Hamels 204.67 2.84 5.1 2.64 6.0 3.39 2.9 3.07 3.8
Alex Wood 171.67 3.06 3.7 3.04 3.9 3.27 2.7 3.25 2.5
Scott Kazmir 190.33 5.02 -0.3 3.83 2.8 3.39 2.7 3.35 3.3
Ian Kennedy 201.00 3.86 1.9 3.81 2.1 3.38 2.6 3.21 2.9
Hisashi Iwakuma 179.00 3.75 2.4 3.52 3.3 3.40 2.5 3.25 3.2
Tyson Ross 195.67 3.49 2.8 3.45 3.0 3.37 2.5 3.24 2.6
Dallas Keuchel 200.00 3.26 4.2 3.20 4.9 3.59 2.4 3.21 3.9
James Shields 227.00 3.56 3.8 3.77 3.9 3.69 2.4 3.59 3.7
Alex Cobb 166.33 2.60 4.8 3.03 4.0 3.43 2.2 3.23 2.7
Bartolo Colon 202.33 5.08 -1.0 4.31 0.9 3.54 2.2 3.57 2.1
Christopher Archer 194.67 4.55 0.6 3.93 2.4 3.48 2.1 3.39 3.1
Tanner Roark 198.67 2.99 4.5 2.90 5.1 3.64 2.1 3.47 3.0
Drew Hutchison 184.67 5.28 -0.6 4.48 1.8 3.73 2.0 3.85 2.6
Ervin Santana 196.00 4.28 1.1 4.13 1.8 3.65 2.0 3.39 2.8
Lance Lynn 203.67 3.52 3.1 3.18 4.3 3.66 2.0 3.35 3.1
Hiroki Kuroda 199.00 4.10 2.1 4.12 2.8 3.81 1.9 3.6 3.5
John Lackey 198.00 5.00 -0.1 4.27 2.2 3.79 1.9 3.78 2.8
Julio Teheran 221.00 3.32 4.0 3.34 4.3 3.76 1.9 3.49 3.2
Rick Porcello 204.67 5.00 0.0 3.91 3.3 3.81 1.9 3.67 3.1
Jake Odorizzi 168.00 5.30 -0.9 4.23 1.4 3.61 1.8 3.75 2.0
Nathan Eovaldi 199.67 5.12 -1.0 4.82 0.3 3.67 1.8 3.37 3.0
Sonny Gray 219.00 3.58 3.4 3.45 4.3 3.80 1.8 3.46 3.3
Justin Verlander 206.00 4.75 0.6 4.98 0.8 3.92 1.7 3.74 3.3
Yordano Ventura 183.00 3.54 3.1 3.44 3.9 3.80 1.7 3.6 2.8
Wade Miley 201.33 5.00 -0.3 4.60 1.2 3.91 1.6 3.98 1.7
Clay Buchholz 170.33 5.76 -1.3 5.71 -0.5 3.92 1.5 4.01 2.2
Francisco Liriano 162.33 4.33 0.7 3.77 2.0 3.69 1.5 3.59 1.6
Matt Garza 163.33 4.38 0.9 4.24 1.6 3.80 1.5 3.54 2.5
Jason Vargas 187.00 4.15 1.7 3.95 2.8 3.91 1.4 3.84 2.6
Dan Haren 186.00 5.03 -0.8 4.89 -0.3 3.80 1.3 4.09 1.0
Jorge De La Rosa 184.33 4.50 1.4 4.39 2.6 4.25 1.3 4.34 2.1
Aaron Harang 204.33 4.78 -0.1 3.88 2.5 3.97 1.2 3.57 2.5
Josh Collmenter 179.33 4.08 1.7 3.76 2.8 4.00 1.2 3.87 2.0
Mark Buehrle 202.00 3.98 2.4 3.70 3.9 4.10 1.2 3.66 3.5
Roenis Elias 163.67 4.53 0.6 4.23 1.6 3.86 1.2 4.03 1.4
Jason Hammel 176.33 4.29 1.1 3.57 3.1 3.98 1.1 3.92 1.7
Eric Stults 176.00 4.91 -0.6 4.76 -0.2 4.80 1.0 4.63 -0.6
Hector Noesi 172.33 4.47 1.1 5.12 0.5 5.06 1.0 4.83 0.5
Wei-Yin Chen 185.67 3.93 2.3 3.73 3.4 4.12 1.0 3.89 2.6
Wily Peralta 198.67 4.88 -0.1 3.99 2.5 4.12 1.0 4.11 1.5
Yovani Gallardo 192.33 4.93 -0.2 4.02 2.3 4.11 1.0 3.94 1.7
Zach Wheeler 185.33 4.76 -0.2 4.08 1.4 3.95 1.0 3.55 1.8
Henderson Alvarez 187.00 2.97 4.2 3.13 4.2 3.99 0.9 3.58 2.2
Kyle Gibson 179.33 5.54 -1.1 4.57 1.4 4.13 0.9 3.8 2.5
Kyle Kendrick 199.00 4.93 -0.3 4.88 0.1 4.83 0.9 4.57 0.4
Roberto Hernandez 164.67 4.62 0.2 4.59 0.6 4.88 0.9 4.85 -0.5
Tim Hudson 189.33 4.76 -0.3 4.09 1.2 3.95 0.9 3.54 1.7
Jonathon Niese 187.67 4.09 1.3 3.84 2.0 4.04 0.8 3.67 1.6
Scott Feldman 180.33 5.16 -0.4 4.29 1.9 4.16 0.8 4.11 1.6
Douglas Fister 164.00 2.84 4.1 2.85 4.3 4.14 0.7 3.93 1.3
Jake Peavy 202.67 4.08 1.9 4.04 2.7 4.23 0.7 4.11 1.9
John Danks 193.67 5.44 -0.8 4.93 1.0 4.92 0.7 4.76 0.8
Kyle Lohse 198.33 4.90 -0.1 3.95 2.6 4.26 0.7 3.95 2.0
Mike Leake 214.33 4.09 1.8 3.91 2.8 4.21 0.7 3.88 1.8
Ryan Vogelsong 184.67 4.51 0.2 4.19 0.9 4.00 0.7 3.85 1.0
R.A. Dickey 215.67 4.20 2.0 4.21 2.8 4.37 0.6 4.32 2.1
Bud Norris 165.33 3.78 2.4 3.70 3.1 4.31 0.5 4.22 1.5
Jarred Cosart 180.33 4.41 1.0 3.99 2.5 4.25 0.5 3.77 2.1
Tom Koehler 191.33 4.35 0.8 3.95 2.3 4.16 0.5 3.84 1.8
Chris Tillman 207.33 4.59 0.9 3.60 4.1 4.40 0.4 4.01 2.4
Chris Young 165.00 4.62 0.5 3.82 2.4 4.66 0.3 5.02 0.2
Shelby Miller 183.00 3.82 2.0 3.84 2.2 4.55 0.3 4.54 0.2
A.J. Burnett 213.67 5.47 -1.6 5.14 -0.5 4.40 0.2 4.14 1.0
Colby Lewis 170.33 5.20 -0.2 5.65 -0.2 4.74 0.2 4.46 1.6
Jered Weaver 213.33 3.72 3.2 3.67 3.3 4.44 0.2 4.19 1.5
Travis Wood 173.67 5.71 -1.7 5.70 -1.2 4.40 0.2 4.38 1.0
Alfredo Simon 196.33 3.94 2.0 3.67 3.1 4.48 0.0 4.33 0.9
C.J. Wilson 175.67 4.88 0.1 4.87 0.2 4.52 0.0 4.31 0.6
Edinson Volquez 192.67 4.20 1.2 3.50 3.0 4.39 0.0 4.15 0.7
Jeremy Guthrie 202.67 5.09 -0.3 4.44 1.9 4.51 0.0 4.32 1.5

There's little surprise that Clayton Kershaw still dominates the discussion. He leads in both oaRA and oaFIP by large margins. I could keep talking about him, by that would be purely superfluous.

. . .

Data courtesy of FanGraphs and MLB Advanced Media.

Stephen Loftus is an editor at Beyond The Box Score. You can follow him on Twitter at @stephen__loftus.