So excited to be back! Wild horses couldn’t keep me, Mr. Moving Averages away from what I have in store for you here, in Part 9 of The Eighteenth Out. I’m burning the midnight oil to get all of this information out before drafts take place, and if I lock up a Newcomer of the Year award in the meantime, then so be it. There’s so much custom content to provide today I’ll cut the jokes short and get right to work. Ok, maybe one because if you can’t tell by now I am a sucker for the pop culture of my childhood. Hold on to your giant dark helmets ladies and gentlemen; This series is now officially moving at LUDICROUS SPEED, and we’re at serious risk of going plaid.

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Part 7 of The Eighteenth Out laid the statistical groundwork for a need to break the Quality Start into tiers based on rarity, and relationship to Quality Start Win Conversion Percentage. We’re back in Part 9 for that spinning plate, and to plant our flag with a goal of achieving a paradigm shift in point pitcher valuations. All of the data for our set of Starting Pitchers with a minimum of 5 QS in 2018 is mined and sorted. There were a few different directions I could have gone as far as separating this stat, so I understand that there is an arbitrary element here. When it was all said and done, I decided I wanted these new custom stats to add something to fantasy research that no one else has accomplished in this manner to date. In my first go-round of table analysis, I had planned to include a Distance/Run Outcome (D/RO) of 6+/0 based on its rarity (10.57%) and its relationship to QSWC% (75.29%) in 2018. However given the weight towards point leagues in our work, I wanted our new gold standard to include distance as well; Something greatly rewarded when considering the percentage return per inning. I settled on three different tiers; In order of worst to first they are Quality Start (QS), Quality Start Plus (QS+) & the Money Quality Start (QS$). Keep in mind Complete Games with less than 3 ER surrendered, automatically achieve Money status. For reference, in 2018 a starter went 9 IP 39 times (a less than 1% occurrence), none allowing more than 3 ER, 36 resulting in Wins (92.3% QSWC%) and none ending in a Loss.

  • A QS maintains its original parameters. It will remain the description of the whole, or be used to describe any QS qualifying D/RO that does not meet our new guidelines.

Quality Start Plus (QS+)

6+ IP 0 ER T 6+ IP 0 ER T% 6+ IP 0 ER W 6+ IP 0 ER W%
514 10.57% 387 75.29%
6+ IP 1 ER T 6+ IP 1 ER T% 6+ IP 1 ER W 6+ IP 1 ER W%
1186 24.39% 753 63.49%
7+ IP 2 ER T 7+ IP 2 ER T% 7+ IP 2 ER W 7+ IP 2 ER W%
736 15.14% 478 64.95%
8+ IP 3 ER T 8+ IP 3 ER T% 8+ IP 3 ER W 8+ IP 3 ER W%
166 3.41% 114 68.67%


  • Every D/RO that classifies as QS+ averages a minimum 8% bump from the mean to QSWC%, and happens no more on average than seven to eight times a season for any given starter.
  • You can see the case for a 6+/0 D/RO as a Money Quality Start here, but in my opinion it was important for a QS$ to also be a metric for distance. I think it will prove helpful to know immediately that the highest level of QS accomplishment implies seven full innings of work.

Money Quality Start (QS$)

7+ IP 0 ER T 7+ IP 0 ER T% 7+ IP 0 ER W 7+ IP 0 ER W%
274 5.64% 211 77.01%
7+ IP 1 ER T 7+ IP 1 ER T% 7+ IP 1 ER W 7+ IP 1 ER W%
561 11.54% 390 69.52%
8+ IP 0 ER T 8+ IP 0 ER T 8+ IP 0 ER W 8+ IP 0 ER W%
71 1.46% 54 76.06%
8+ IP 1 ER T 8+ IP 1 ER T% 8+ IP 1 ER W 8+ IP 1 ER W%
120 2.47% 88 73.33%
8+ IP 2 ER T 8+ IP 2 ER T% 8+ IP 2 ER W 8+ IP 2 ER W%
151 3.11% 107 70.86%
  • Every D/RO rounds up to at least a +70% QSWC%, 15% above average and happens no more than three to four times a season for any given starter. These starts deserved their own category, and now they have it.
  • In 2018 a QS$ had a total QSWC% of 72.21%. They occurred in just under 25% of total starts, which in my humble opinion is a far better standard for excellence than the 41% of starts currently being grouped and graded together.

The terms are defined, but it’s too much info to give proper attention to right here and now.  Off the top of my head I’m thinking I’ll present the leaders two ways; By total, and by percentage.  We’ll do a minimum of two articles on the new database; One for each end of the leaderboard to start. Having just dipped my toe into the analysis, I can already tell you the next two pieces are cannot miss.  The upcoming QS$% list will include a couple of pitchers going outside the top 240 with elite money start rates. Apologies for the teaser, but if you’ve been with us from the beginning I’m sorry to say once again I’ll be leaving you ‘like a young man in for quickie, feeling so unsatisfied’.


Related image

To help everyone remember, or screenshot for reference our new Quality Start tiers without the swath of numbers looks like this:

  • QS$ = 9 IP 0-3 ER  //  8 IP 0-2 ER  //  7 IP 0-1 ER
  • QS+ = 8 IP 3 ER // 7 IP 2 ER
  • QS = 7 IP 3 ER // 6 IP 0-3 ER

I hope this new development has the loyal and informed Razzball readership as excited as I am.  As soon as I’m done with my little outro here, I’ll begin my analysis and hopefully bang out these next two pieces which may (sadly enough for me) end the Eighteenth Out, and my first experience in baseball writing. This has been an absolute blast, to tackle problems in real time with the readers and maybe even leave our mark on an industry we so dearly love. That should do it for part 9. Do not miss part 10, when our work is finally cultivated and bears the golden fruit (if that’s a thing). If you play in leagues that value or utilize Quality Starts, please toss these ideas out there. Talk to your league about the work we’re doing here. Most every serious fantasy player Ive ever encountered in any format is generally disgusted with the QS as constituted, and it doesn’t have to be that way.  In my dreams, this is the beginning of the end for that line of thinking.

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Follow us @RAZZBALL and @MLBMovingAvg for new info daily. Please feel free to comb through the media section of my Twitter feed for custom stats, graphs, charts, and comps. Opening Day is almost here. It’s time to make our decisions count. Remember my friends, life is a fantasy draft.


    Coolness Park.

    Is the next installment before Wednesday? My draft is Tuesday night.

  2. johnnyhobbes says:

    Ive been hear for the ride, though I will be curious if you are tracking on predictive stats for QS$ Or at the the very least where is the difference between QS$ players and the consensus top 30 pitchers. Looking forward to the finish line

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