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Who has more value, Harden or Lee?


Hello everyone.  I have really enjoyed reading this blog over the past several years, though I have only contributed a handful of comments.  One of the things I have learned from the posters here is that baseball statisticians have developed some very sophisticated stats that go well beyond the capabilities of the traditional and overused ones like ERA, BA, etc.  The other thing I have learned is that I should probably ask for help here if I ever try to use them to prove a point.  That brings me to the purpose of this post…

 

I have a good friend that is a native of Seattle, but went to college in Dallas with me and currently lives in the Metroplex with his family.  He is a die hard Mariner’s fan, and I am, of course, a loyal Newbergian/Morrisian Ranger supporter (that is, I try to strike a balance between optimism and skepticism ;) ).  As you all can imagine, the last week or so has afforded my friend and I some great fuel for debate over the prospects for division supremacy in 2010.  I rubbed it in when we made the Harden acquisition, but now that they look to be getting Cliff Lee he has a little more firepower.  The obvious question that has materialized here is, “Who is the more valuable pitcher?”

 

As I understand it, Bill James would probably argue that K/9 and maybe GB/FB Ratio are the most potent indicators of a pitcher’s raw value to his team, but then there is the issue of health history that must be considered.  WAR seems to be an attempt to quantify this, and I think there may be an adjusted WAR that adjusts for park and such.  I know I have seen a few posts already that compared Millwood’s value to Lee’s, so some of the research for this question has likely already been completed.  While I’m not seasoned enough to make a long drawn out point arguing for Harden or Lee, I know that this kind of comparison is second nature to some of you.  So, is this a question that is obviously one-sided, or is there a strong argument to be made both ways?

 

My brief take on the comparison is that Lee is more likely to turn in a 200 inning season with very solid peripherals, but that Harden is likely going to give you 140 or so innings of dominant peripherals.  Assuming that does happen, I’m curious what the consensus of this community would be on who the more valuable commodity is for 2010, and what stats most adequately support this?

 

Thanks in advance for any contribution you might have…I’m still learning here.


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