Originally Posted by TheNext44
Then let's bet.
I have seen both pitch this season (on TV) and looked over both of their stats. I know who I want to put my money on.
And while .229 might be an unsustainable BABIP, there have been many pitchers who have had dominant seasons who have had exceptionally low BABIP for that season, very close to .229. And speaking of unsustainable, Lee is going to have to sustain a walk rate that is one fifth of his careee rate.
Now we are going to have to define "better", especially considering that one pitches in one of the most, if not the most pitcher fiendly parks, and one pitches in one of, if not the most hitter friendly parks. Any suggestions?
And I'm fine with just being able to say in a post that I was right or wrong as being the end result of the bet.
What do you say? This could be fun.
My argument doesn't require either player to sustain anything out of character but rather it is anticipating regression to their true talent (and yes there are assumptions here that I'm assuming most understand are being made and frankly might be wrong)...
For instance Zips regresses both back to it's estimate of their true talent and suggests that going forward Lee would post an ERA of 3.16 and a FIP of 3.10 during the remainder of the season while Jimenez would post an ERA of 3.79 and a FIP of 3.55.
That's not to suggest that Zips is destiny or those numbers are so absolute that they need chiseled into stone. The point is the projections get at differences in true talent however. Those Zips numbers also jive with the last three seasons for each player.
So really the question is how much of Jimenez is real and the result of increased development as a pitcher (i.e. a shift in his true talent) and how much might he regress? Maybe Jimenez will see his BABIP regress (this is almost a certainty) but his walk rate is actually a real improvement (which isn't captured in the projection meaning the projection would underestimate his true talent). That kind of remains to be seen.
At this point however, i'm arguing that its more likely Lee's performance is closer to a sustainable level than Jimenez's.
BTW, I don't bet but for what its worth, the argument is pretty clearly and strongly stated for posterity's sake. Even if it's wrong, I'm comfortable with the process. And really, the difference between the two isn't like a "do I take Peyton Manning or Ryan Leaf" moment...