A very long article on (you guessed it) groundballs and strike outs. Here.
Some of this information is "well no kidding" but I thought there were some interesting tidbits.
The basic premis of the piece is to group together pitchers with simular GB and K rates.
Not surprisingly, pitchers with the highest strikeout and groundball rates had the lowest average ERA (3.94), while those with the lowest K and GB rates had the highest average ERA (5.01). In the hybrid categories, pitchers with above-average strikeout and below-average groundball rates (4.27) beat those with below-average K and above-average GB rates (4.53).
1) The listing of pitchers with above average groundball and strike out rates contained no Reds pitchers. Carpenter, Sabathia, Zambrano, Liriano inhabit this list. Group average 3.94 ERA.
2) BELOW-AVG GB AND ABOVE-AVG K RATES - Group average 4.27 ERAThat's an elite group of pitchers. The best of the bunch are those with strikeout rates above 20% and/or groundball rates over 50%.
This list also contained names like Zito, Verlander, Lilly, Cabrerra, Martiniz.Code:Name GB% K/BF Aaron Harang 38.69% 21.75% Bronson Arroyo 38.15% 18.55% Kyle Lohse 42.89% 17.11%
NOTE: AH was in the top 1/2 of the list. BA and KL were in the lower 1/2 of the list.There are a couple of dozen outstanding pitchers in this group, most notably those listed in the top half (or with K rates over 20%).
3) BELOW-AVG GB AND K RATES - Group average 5.01 ERA
This list also contained names like Ortiz, Lieber, Blanton, Williams (Woody).Code:Name GB% K/BF Victor Santos 43.64% 15.52% Eric Milton 30.80% 13.60%
4) ABOVE-AVG GB AND BELOW-AVG K RATES - Group average 4.53 ERAThis is the quadrant (below average GB and K rates) that you want to avoid. It is inhabited by some of the worst starters in the game. If you fail to miss bats and don't keep the ball on the ground when it is put into play, you are going to run into trouble. There is basically only one way to survive in this quadrant: throwing strikes and maintaining a low walk rate.
Code:Name GB% K/BF Elizardo Ramirez 44.00% 14.84%
The authors thoughts on pitchers with above average GB rates and below averge K rates....This is an interesting group of pitchers. As a whole, they rank well behind those in the NE quadrant and well ahead of those in the SW quadrant. Although they are the opposite of the pitchers in the SE quadrant, their results (in terms of ERA) are the most similar. The two groups just get there in drastically different ways. The NW pitchers succeed by inducing grounders and keeping the ball in the park, whereas the SE hurlers thrive on strikeouts.