A Brief wOBA Allowed Leaderboard

In the research for the piece I just posted on Johnny Cueto, I ended up with a treasure trove of data on pitch type outcomes during the PITCHF/x era. It is really fun information, and so I figured I’d share a few tidbits here that don’t necessarily lend themselves to an entire post. This post is basically just a list of interesting numbers without any commentary. Enjoy!

First, here are the 10 lowest wOBAs allowed for all pitch types for starting pitchers in 2014, setting a minimum of 100 pitches thrown for each pitch type.

Pitcher Pitch wOBA
Julio Teheran Change-Up 0.059
Collin McHugh Curveball 0.093
Julio Teheran Curveball 0.099
Chris Sale Slider 0.100
Gio Gonzalez Curveball 0.123
Josh Beckett Curveball 0.128
Hisashi Iwakuma Splitter 0.131
Corey Kluber Curveball 0.131
Masahiro Tanaka Slider 0.133
Masahiro Tanaka Splitter 0.140

Keep in mind that there’s a huge selection bias here, in that breaking balls and off-speed pitches get thrown primarily in pitcher’s counts, when the expected wOBA is much lower. So, you don’t want to say that Colin McHugh’s curveball is the second best pitch in baseball. It’s not. But it’s been a pretty fantastic out-pitch so far this year.

And now, the laggards, though we’ll only do bottom five in order to limit our the amount of public shaming.

Pitcher Pitch wOBA
Sergio Santos Four-Seam 0.639
Edward Mujica Four-Seam 0.617
Sean Marshall Slider 0.602
Jhoulys Chacin Four-Seam 0.596
Eric Stults Curveball 0.592

Maybe time to mix it up or just try something else entirely, boys.

Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
8 years ago


Love these articles. Love the saber-metric dissection you frequently do. Along those lines, a friend of mine and I were having an argument over who was the best pitcher in the MLB. He said either Wainwright/Kershaw. I said King Felix. My reasoning was the often cited “he pitches against someone like David Ortiz every 9 batters rather than a pitcher. While i understand FIP and Sierra etc helps removed defense and luck from the equation, is there a stat that can adjust era to reflect the average production difference between DH’s in an AL lineup and pitcher/pinch-hitter that would be found in an NL line-up. I contended that on an adjusted ERA basis, the AL starters would look significant more competitive against their NL brethren. What are your thoughts?



8 years ago
Reply to  sberman7

I believe you’re looking for ERA- and FIP- which are both on the Advanced section. They adjust for park and league.

8 years ago
Reply to  Matt

ah yes i have looked at those as well as the other adjusted era metrics. I just didn’t realize they adjusted for league as well as park and independent of fielding. Very cool.