WAR haters have a point

SDS

I’m in the waiting room for a doctors appointment and have nothing to do but idly stroll through Baseball Reference. I’ve been looking through MVP voting and 2007 immediately jumped out at me.

In 07 Ryan Howard hit 268/392/584. 47 HR 136 RBI 94 R 1 SB. All while playing 1B and had a 2.9 WAR.

Same year, Pujols it 327/429/568. 32 HR 103 RBI 99 R 2 SB. All while playing 1B and had and 8.7 WAR.

The difference in their OPS was 21 points.

Does anyone really believe Pujols’s defense and base running was 6 wins better than Howard’s? He only scored 5 more runs than Howard, so where does the base running contribute more wins?

I’m having trouble pulling up defensive stats on my phone, but there’s no way you can convince me Pujols’s defense contributes a full 6 wins to the Cardinals that’s year above what Howard did solely with his bat.

For the record I am fully on board with advanced stats, but like most things think they don’t always tell the whole story and need to be taken with a grain of salt.

SDS

The biggest difference I can see is that Howard struck out 199 times while Pujols only K'd 58 times.

In Howard's favor is that he put up his numbers on a 900K/yr contract wile Pujols took in 13M. Despite the WAR discrepancy, Howard still put up a better performance per dollar.

SDS

It depends on which site you're using but by fangraphs fWAR there is a big difference in their fielding stats. The amount of strikeouts hurts him as well. Pujols had almost as many walks but stuck it a third less. He hit less HR but had more 2B.

WAR is a holistic approach to comparing players. Offensively they are pretty close, but defensively they were not.

SDS

I am by no means an expert when it comes to knowing all the variables that go into calculating WAR but I didn't think strikeouts were a factor?

SDS

What if Howard struck out more but in return, Pujols hit into more double plays?

SDS

I've always found that there is no better defense of "wtf is WAR" when you have two very respectable baseball statistic sites that come up with different WAR numbers for the exact same player in the same year.

It feels like some advanced statisticians went down a rabbit hole and aren't sure how to get out so stick by it.

SDS

Defense is definitely a big part of it. According to UZR Pujols was worth +24.5 runs, where Howard was worth -3 runs in 2007.

You also need to look at the park factor adjustment. Howard played in a much more hitter friendly park compared with the pitcher friendly park that Pujols played in. This made it much easier for Howard to put up his numbers. According to the advanced stats /park factor adjustments Pujols putting up the numbers he did in his home park is more impressive.

SDS

@Dino-might_not said in WAR haters have a point:

I’m in the waiting room for a doctors appointment and have nothing to do but idly stroll through Baseball Reference. I’ve been looking through MVP voting and 2007 immediately jumped out at me.

In 07 Ryan Howard hit 268/392/584. 47 HR 136 RBI 94 R 1 SB. All while playing 1B and had a 2.9 WAR.

Same year, Pujols it 327/429/568. 32 HR 103 RBI 99 R 2 SB. All while playing 1B and had and 8.7 WAR.

The difference in their OPS was 21 points.

Does anyone really believe Pujols’s defense and base running was 6 wins better than Howard’s? He only scored 5 more runs than Howard, so where does the base running contribute more wins?

I’m having trouble pulling up defensive stats on my phone, but there’s no way you can convince me Pujols’s defense contributes a full 6 wins to the Cardinals that’s year above what Howard did solely with his bat.

For the record I am fully on board with advanced stats, but like most things think they don’t always tell the whole story and need to be taken with a grain of salt.

Looks like defense is night and day difference. Pujols saves runs with his range, while howard can not.

SDS

@Dino-might_not said in WAR haters have a point:

I’m in the waiting room for a doctors appointment and have nothing to do but idly stroll through Baseball Reference. I’ve been looking through MVP voting and 2007 immediately jumped out at me.

In 07 Ryan Howard hit 268/392/584. 47 HR 136 RBI 94 R 1 SB. All while playing 1B and had a 2.9 WAR.

Same year, Pujols it 327/429/568. 32 HR 103 RBI 99 R 2 SB. All while playing 1B and had and 8.7 WAR.

The difference in their OPS was 21 points.

Does anyone really believe Pujols’s defense and base running was 6 wins better than Howard’s? He only scored 5 more runs than Howard, so where does the base running contribute more wins?

I’m having trouble pulling up defensive stats on my phone, but there’s no way you can convince me Pujols’s defense contributes a full 6 wins to the Cardinals that’s year above what Howard did solely with his bat.

For the record I am fully on board with advanced stats, but like most things think they don’t always tell the whole story and need to be taken with a grain of salt.

I do find it hard to believe that Pujols’s defense compared to Howard’s resulted in 6 more wins for Pujols. I've always said in general I do like WAR and I think it should be the beginning of the discussion when comparing players, but not necessarily the end of the discussion.

SDS

El Hombre hit 49 points higher on his average. That’s a lot. Pujols hit to all fields. Was an excellent base runner at that time in his career. Much better defensively. Albert was the best right handed hitter in the game for 10 years. But I hear ya, if you dig hard enough and depending on websites, that stuff can get confusing.

SDS

@mjfc_363 said in WAR haters have a point:

El Hombre hit 49 points higher on his average. That’s a lot. Pujols hit to all fields. Was an excellent base runner at that time in his career. Much better defensively. Albert was the best right handed hitter in the game for 10 years. But I hear ya, if you dig hard enough and depending on websites, that stuff can get confusing.

Yeah Albert's in my top 5 faves of all-time. That run from '01 to '11 was unlike anything I've ever seen, outside of Bonds. Great stuff.

SDS

@CRGDVD said in WAR haters have a point:

I am by no means an expert when it comes to knowing all the variables that go into calculating WAR but I didn't think strikeouts were a factor?

I am almost positive that advanced stats consider striking out as just another out. The difference has to be in the sabermetrics fielding stats. And like someone else said adjusting for ballpark. That would make a huge difference.

SDS

War is based on subjective numbers and values and what the people creating the values deem to be the highest importance. An example is according to baseball reference tris speaker is the 6th greatest player in baseball history, yet he isn’t well known and is never talked about in people’s top ten all time players. It’s an attempt to place a value on players across generations but in reality it’s not really possible.

Ex: if you were to take babe Ruth and transplant him right in the mlb right now, he probably doesn’t make a major league roster. The pitch speeds are more consistently higher, breaking balls are faster and sharper, and defense is more important. He would be in over his head.

Yet if you were to take baby babe Ruth and have him grow up with this generation, he could still be a great player, yet I don’t think he would be able to become as iconic as babe Ruth currently is. He grew up in an area of segregation and baseball didn’t have international players. Meaning he was a great talent, but grew up in a time period where talent was limited so great talent stood out and performed more. War tries to address this, yet really can’t because their are so many unquantifiable values to truly quantify a players overall value to the history of the game.

SDS

This is some of what makes baseball so great; it's tough to measure and creates some great arguments across the board about players and the stats alike. Some love WAR, some think it's garbage; some say gimme OPS, I say wOBA is better; ERA vs FIP; is there any truly accurate defensive measure? Should Wins and RBIs be thrown out completely or are they indicative of baseball's most important stats (Wins and Runs)? What are the most important stats? This is a huge part of baseball's legacy, and why open-minded conversations of players in relation to them are the most fun and help it endure.

SDS

@Freddy_Sez said in WAR haters have a point:

This is some of what makes baseball so great; it's tough to measure and creates some great arguments across the board about players and the stats alike. Some love WAR, some think it's garbage; some say gimme OPS, I say wOBA is better; ERA vs FIP; is there any truly accurate defensive measure? Should Wins and RBIs be thrown out completely or are they indicative of baseball's most important stats (Wins and Runs)? What are the most important stats? This is a huge part of baseball's legacy, and why open-minded conversations of players in relation to them are the most fun and help it endure.

I stand by this, #1 show me OPS and say that is only grading a hitters offensive production and #2 you can not compare players of different era's. I dont care what you say about era adjusted formulas, way too many variables that would have to be taken into account.

SDS

Guess it’s only my opinion but a typical Albert Pujols prime season dwarfs anything Ryan Howard has ever done

SDS

@sersimpleton said in WAR haters have a point:

Guess it’s only my opinion but a typical Albert Pujols prime season dwarfs anything Ryan Howard has ever done

To be fair, the season in question(2007) was one of Pujols worst seasons during his prime. That os just how good he was

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