Top Ten Stat Of The Week: (Active Pitchers Winning Pctg-Min 100 Decisions)

Sunday July.15/2012

Lester had started his career 61-26 (.709) before he has pitched to a 20-15 record the last two seasons (.571). Lester still leads the active pitchers in Winning Percentage. Photo courtesy of

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-Piching wins are given less importance  all of the time by the sabermetric community.  I am here to refute these findings.  A won-loss category is still very important in a pitchers career.  Yes there are definite exceptions.  Nolan Ryan played for a lot of mediocre teams and that is why he is 324-292 all time.  I would definitely say the modern pitchers Matt Cain 78-76 and Felix Hernandez have valid arguments why their won-loss percentages are way lower than they should be.  Recent Cy Young winners were voted on more for other periphery stats such as: ERA, WHIP, OBA and WAR.

I often think of Jack Morris when I hear this.  He had the situational pitching down perfect between 1983-1993.  The man won 4 World Series with 3 different teams.  Morris posted a 254-186 record (.577) and he has an ERA for his career at 3.90.  At first glance you may scoff at the notion of a near 4.00 ERA before the steroid era.  You had to watch his games to see where he was coming from.  He was on great offensive teams and would have large run support from time to time.  Jack Morris would challenge hitters by pitching to contact.  Sometimes the hitters would get the better of him in these lopsided games.  If you were a hitter, you were going to get no free pass from Big Jack.  His 175 complete games were a testament to his duration.  Morris also led the 1980’s in pitching wins.  He was just as capable of pitching in a low scoring, close game as evidence by his 1-0 World Series 10 innings pitched win in-game #7 of the 1991 World Series versus the Braves.  The gentlemen on this list all can throw complete games like Jack Morris did.  All of these pitchers have logged huge innings at parts of their careers. 

Roy Halladay highlight reel

Player, Won-Loss Record,  Career ERA, Winning Percentage, All-Time Rank

1.  Jon Lester 81-40 3.63 ERA (.669)  (10)

Jon Lester has overcome cancer in the early part of his career to throw a no-hitter, win a World Series in 2007, win 15 games in a row for the last 4 consecutive years and become a 2 time ALL-Star.  Lester’s best year was in 2010 when he was 19-9 with a 3.25 ERA and he finished 4th in CY Young voting.

2.  Roy Halladay 192-97 3.25 ERA (.664) (16)

Halladay has 2 CY Young wins and has 7 top 5 finishes of the award in his career so far.  He is the active leader in complete games with 66 and shutouts with 20.  4 times Halladay has led the league in innings pitched and 3 times he has won 20 games while leading the league in wins twice.  Please come back to the lineup quickly Halladay. This year will be the first year in 7 that ‘Doc’ will fail to pitch 220 innings.

3.  Jered Weaver 92-47 3.20 ERA (.657) (20)

Weaver leads in several categories this year and is on pace to have his greatest season ever.  Weaver just finished his 3rd straight ALL-Star Game Appearance and he has finished in the top 5 of CY Young voting the last few years.  Weaver led the AL in strikeouts in 2010.  With this team looking promising for years to come, Weaver may climb up to the top of this category.

4.  Johan Santana 139-74 3.11 ERA (.653) (23)

Johan Santana was a 2 time CY Young winner, a 3 time Strikeout King and 2 time ERA champ as a Minnesota Twin.  Santana also won the Triple Crown of Pitching in 2006.  In his first year with the Mets, Santana won the ERA title before batting injuries the last few years.  This June, Santana threw the Mets first perfect game.  It was the 1st time in New York’s 50 years that the opposition failed to get a hit.

5.  Justin Verlander 116-62 3.45 ERA (.652) (24)

Verlander has a Rookie Of the Year Award, A CY Young, 5 ALL-Star Appearances and 2 times he had led the league in wins 2 times so far in his career.  Verlander has already thrown 5 complete games which is the most by an AL pitcher at the ALL-Star Break since 2000.  Verlander has also led in Strikeouts and Innings Pitched 2 separate times and is on way to a 3rd time for each.

6.  CC Sabathia 185-99 3.51 ERA (.651) (25)

Sabathia may be the last pitcher to challenge 300 wins.  He has a 68-26 record so far with the Yankees which is a .723 win percentage.  Sabathia is a one time CY Young winner, 4 other top 5 CY Young voting finishes and has led the league in wins twice for the Yankees.  Sabathia is also a 6 time ALL-Star and won the World Series with the 2009 Yankees.

7.  Tim Hudson  188-101 3.41 ERA (.651) (27)

Hudson began his career with the Oakland A’s sporting a 92-39 record (.702), including 31-8 in his first two seasons.  Hudson also has a 96-62 record for the Braves (.608).  He is a 3 time ALL-Star and a 4 time top 5 Cy Young vote getter.  Hudson has had a winning record for 14 straight seasons.

8.   Andy Pettitte 243-141 3.87 ERA (.633) (44)

Pettitte is an MLB best 102 games over .500 for his career.  He is working on 17 years of .500 or better as he has never had a losing season.  I was surprised to see him only selected for 3 ALL-Star Games and only 4 Top 5 Cy Young Vote Campaigns.  Pettitte has been to 8 World Series and won 5 of them.  He is 19-10 for his postseas0n career.  The 19 wins is tops all-time.

9.   Roy Oswalt 161-94 3.25 ERA (.631) (47)

Oswalt has had a 20 win season and led the ERA on one occasion as well.  Oswalt has 3 ALL-Star Selections and 5 top 5 CY Young voting finishes.  Oswalt left the Astros only one win behind Joe Niekro with 143 wins for 1st ALL-Time on the club.

10. Adam Wainwright 73-43 3.14 ERA (.629) (52)

Wainwright went from the 2006 World Series winning closer on the club into the starting rotation in 2007.  Wainwright won 19 games in 2009 an 20 games in 2010.  He also had an ALL-Star appearance and two back to back top 5 voting finishes in the CY Young race.  Wainwright has battled injuries the last few years. 

So despite the call for looks to all numbers, I believe it is important to keep up with the winning percentage stat.

Ivan Nova has started his career 27-9 (.750) and should have a chance to crack this list once he is eligible with 100 decisions. He may even challenge Juan Guzman‘s 39-11 record to start a career at a .780 winning percentage after 50 starts.


 ***Thank you to our Baseball Writer- Douglas “Chuck” Booth for preparing today’s feature on MLB reports.  To learn more about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames” and Chuck Booth, you can follow Chuck on Twitter (@ChuckBooth3024) and you can also follow Chuck’s website for his Guinness Book of World Record Bid to see all 30 MLB Park in 23 days click here  or on the 30 MLB Parks in 23 days GWR tracker at the Reports click here. To Purchase or read about “The Fastest 30 Ballgames Book, ” please click here ***

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the . In 2015, I watched 224 MLB Games, spanning all 30 MLB Parks in 183 Days. Read about that World Record Journey at

Posted on July 15, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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