Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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The 1970 Season as seen through the Prism of Player Won-Lost Records



Next in my continuing series of looking at individual seasons through the prism of Player won-lost records is the 1970 season. I was born in Baltimore in 1968. In the year I was born, my hometown Orioles finished second to the World Champion Detroit Tigers. My sister was born two years before me and my first brother was born two years after me, both also in Baltimore, and the Orioles won the World Series in both of those seasons. This article looks at the season the year my brother was born.

The Best of 1970

I calculate Player won-lost records two ways: pWins, which tie to team wins and eWins, which control for context and the ability of one's teammates. For players with more pWins than eWins, their Player wins contributed to more team wins than one might expect; for players with more eWins than pWins, just the opposite is true: their Player wins translated into fewer team wins than expected. Or more briefly: a player with more pWins than eWins was better in context, a player with more eWins than pWins was worse in context.

The top 10 players in pWins above Positional Average and Replacement Level were as follows.

pWins over Positional Average
Top 10 Players
          pWins over Replacement Level
Top 10 Players
Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL           Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL
1Bob Gibson22.113.95.1
6.5
1Bob Gibson22.113.95.1
6.5
2Fergie Jenkins22.217.23.4
5.0
2Tony Oliva26.218.33.2
5.2
3Jim Perry19.814.73.4
4.7
3Fergie Jenkins22.217.23.4
5.0
4Tom Seaver20.715.63.3
4.8
4Sam McDowell22.817.93.2
4.9
5Jim Palmer20.815.73.3
4.8
5Johnny Bench22.015.43.2
4.9
6Tony Oliva26.218.33.2
5.2
6Jim Palmer20.815.73.3
4.8
7Sam McDowell22.817.93.2
4.9
7Tom Seaver20.715.63.3
4.8
8Johnny Bench22.015.43.2
4.9
8Jim Perry19.814.73.4
4.7
9Denis Menke21.316.53.0
4.7
9Denis Menke21.316.53.0
4.7
10Willie McCovey21.613.33.0
4.5
10Roy White26.618.82.6
4.6


The top 10 players in eWins above Positional Average and Replacement Level were as follows.

eWins over Positional Average
Top 10 Players
          eWins over Replacement Level
Top 10 Players
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL           Player eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
1Bob Gibson20.914.94.0
5.4
1Bob Gibson20.914.94.0
5.4
2Tom Seaver19.914.83.4
4.8
2Carl Yastrzemski25.316.33.3
5.1
3Carl Yastrzemski25.316.33.3
5.1
3Tom Seaver19.914.83.4
4.8
4Tony Perez22.215.32.8
4.4
4Tony Perez22.215.32.8
4.4
5Fergie Jenkins20.817.22.6
4.2
5Fergie Jenkins20.817.22.6
4.2
6Jim Fregosi21.117.62.5
4.2
6Jim Fregosi21.117.62.5
4.2
7Denis Menke20.817.22.5
4.1
7Denis Menke20.817.22.5
4.1
8Gaylord Perry21.318.22.4
4.0
8Billy Williams25.218.52.1
4.1
9Jim Perry18.415.22.4
3.8
9Gaylord Perry21.318.22.4
4.0
10Fritz Peterson17.113.72.4
3.6
10Rico Petrocelli21.218.12.2
3.9


The "Year of the Pitcher" was two years earlier, in 1968. Run scoring was a full run per game higher in 1970 than in 1968. But looking at the above tables, 1970 looks like it was certainly a good year for a lot pitchers: 6 of the top 10 players in pWOPA were starting pitchers (same as in 1968).

Bob Gibson
The best player in MLB in 1970, on all four tables, is Bob Gibson. The 1970 season was arguably the best in Bob Gibson's career. Considering he had a 1.12 ERA two years earlier, that's a pretty remarkable statement. Comparing Gibson's 1968 and 1970 seasons is an interesting lesson in context.

Here's how Gibson's Player won-lost records line up those two years. The first table shows total Player wins and losses, in and out of context. The second table looks at (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) eWins by factor.

Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1968
35
22.314.50.6054.8
6.2
19.913.40.5984.15.4
1970
40
22.113.90.6155.1
6.5
20.914.90.5844.05.4


Batting Baserunning Pitching Fielding
eWins eLosses eWOPA eWins eLosses eWOPA eWins eLosses eWOPA eWins eLosses eWOPA
19681.41.9
0.3
0.30.2
0.1
16.111.1
2.7
0.30.3
0.0
19702.32.3
0.7
0.20.3
0.0
16.212.2
2.1
0.30.3
-0.0


The context numbers are conveniently simple in this case. Bob Gibson's ERA in 1968 was 1.12; in 1970, it was exactly two runs higher, 3.12. In 1968, major-league teams scored 3.60 runs per 27 outs. In 1970, major-league teams scored exactly one run more per 27 outs, 4.60. So, one can somewhat simplify the case and say that half of Gibson's higher ERA - and, hence, apparently poorer performance - in 1970 is because of the run-scoring context in which it took place (run-scoring actually increased by slightly more than one run per game in the National League from 1968 to 1970).

Looking at the above tables, most of the rest is Gibson's batting. In 1968, he batted .170/.233/.223 in 110 plate appearances with no home runs, 3 runs scored, and 6 RBI. In 1970, he batted .303/.347/.404 in 124 PAs with 2 home runs, 14 runs scored, and 19 RBI. Even adjusting for context, the latter numbers are a lot stronger than the former.

Tony Oliva
The 1970 American League MVP award was won by Boog Powell, who had a solid year but, as you can see, didn't make the top 10 in any of the four tables above. The top American League player in pWins over replacement level in 1970 was Tony Oliva.

The 1970 season was Oliva's seventh straight solidly above-average season. Unfortunately, it was also his last such season. The next table shows the top 6 players in (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) eWins over positional average in right field from 1964 through 1970.

eWins over Positional Average, Right Field
(1964 - 1970)
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA
Hank Aaron159.7122.512.2
Frank Robinson121.691.210.1
Tony Oliva153.6121.29.9
Roberto Clemente151.5120.19.7
Al Kaline92.873.06.0
Reggie Jackson58.144.54.5


That's mighty fine company that Tony Oliva is keeping there: five Hall-of-Famers, all of them elected in their first year of eligibility. Unfortunately for Oliva, the other five players brought more to the table either before 1964, after 1970, or both.

The Perry Brothers: Gaylord and Jim
One noteworthy pairing in the above tables is numbers 8 and 9 on the eWOPA list: brothers Jim and Gaylord Perry. The next table compares their careers, as measured by (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) eWins, for the fourteen seasons when they were both in the major leagues, 1962 - 1975.

Gaylord Perry Jim Perry
Season Games eWins eLoss Win Pct. eWOPA eWORL Games eWins eLoss Win Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1962132.42.70.476-0.0
0.2
3511.612.60.480-0.01.1
1963323.74.80.433-0.6
-0.1
4011.012.20.475-0.11.0
19644611.810.90.5200.7
2.0
423.33.30.494-0.10.4
19654911.713.40.467-0.4
0.8
369.810.40.4850.11.1
19663615.912.90.5542.0
3.3
3311.910.80.5251.02.0
19674219.415.60.5552.5
4.1
397.67.50.5050.31.0
19683917.114.70.5381.9
3.2
328.87.90.5280.81.5
19694020.919.00.5231.8
3.6
4717.015.30.5271.73.1
19704121.318.20.5392.4
4.0
4018.415.20.5482.43.8
19713817.317.00.5051.0
2.5
4016.921.10.444-1.20.5
19724122.617.50.5653.5
5.3
3513.314.00.4880.21.4
19734121.119.10.5251.3
3.1
3511.812.30.490-0.11.0
19743719.414.40.5732.7
4.2
3614.411.70.5501.52.7
19753718.614.90.5562.0
3.6
235.77.00.448-0.6-0.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS532223.3194.90.53421.0
40.0
513161.6161.30.5005.820.6


Little brother (Gaylord)) established himself as the better brother pretty early on - at age 25 in 1964 - with only hiccup in 1965. Outside of that, this season, 1970, was the only one where Jim was able to keep pace with his little brother.

1970 Postseason

The star of the 1970 postseason was Brooks Robinson who had one of the greatest World Series performances ever in 1970. In fact, the top ten World Series performances by non-pitchers since 1947, as measured by pWins over replacement level are shown in the table at the end of this section.

1970 Postseason: Total
pWins pLosses pWORL
Brooks RobinsonBAL1.70.50.7
Jim PalmerBAL1.91.30.5
Dave McNallyBAL1.40.70.5


Top postseason players by round were as follows.

1970 Postseason: World Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Brooks RobinsonBAL1.30.30.5

1970 Postseason: League Championship Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Gary NolanCIN0.90.20.4


Best World Series Performances: Non-Pitchers
(since 1947, ranked by pWORL)
Player Team Season pWins pLosses pWORL
Eddie MathewsMLN19571.70.50.7
Tim McCarverSLN19681.50.40.7
Edgar RenteriaSFN20101.40.30.6
Hideki MatsuiNYA20091.20.20.6
Yogi BerraNYA19561.50.60.6
Gene TenaceOAK19721.40.50.6
Gil McDougaldNYA19511.40.50.6
Paul MolitorTOR19931.20.30.5
Brooks RobinsonBAL19701.30.30.5
Alan TrammellDET19841.20.40.5


Best of 1970 by Factor and Position

Next, let's look at the top players in (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) eWins over Positional Average in various aspects of the game.
Best by Factor: Batting, Baserunning, Pitching, Fielding
There are four basic factors for which players earn Player won-lost records: Batting, Baserunning, Pitching, and Fielding. The top players in 1970 in eWOPA by factor were as follows.

Batting
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Carl Yastrzemski18.510.53.7

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



The 1970 season is the third time in four years that Carl Yastrzemski led the major leagues in net Batting wins. To be honest, I knew that Carl Yastrzemski was a deserving Hall-of-Famer and, of course, I knew about his Triple Crown 1967 season, but I really didn't realize that Yastrzemski's peak was this good for this long.

Baserunning
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Roy White2.31.00.6

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Pitching
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Bob Gibson16.212.24.0
Tom Seaver16.212.43.8
Fergie Jenkins17.213.73.5
Gaylord Perry17.814.73.0


Fielding, P
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Al Fitzmorris1.40.21.2


Fielding, C
eWins eLosses Net Wins
George Mitterwald1.61.10.5
Paul Casanova1.30.80.5
Johnny Edwards2.01.60.5


Fielding, 1B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Wes Parker2.61.90.7


Fielding, 2B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Sandy Alomar Sr.4.94.10.7
Tim Cullen2.82.10.7


Fielding, 3B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Aurelio Rodriguez5.03.71.3


Fielding, SS
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Mark Belanger4.73.90.9


Fielding, LF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Willie Stargell5.64.61.1


Fielding, CF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Bobby Murcer7.15.81.4


Fielding, RF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Tony Conigliaro6.14.81.3


Best by Position
Next, we look at 1970 Major-League leaders in eWOPA by position. The figures shown here only include Player decisions earned while playing this particular position, and include no contextual adjustments (expected or actual).



Catcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Dick Dietz16.112.41.9


First Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Willie McCovey18.812.72.0


Second Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Dick McAuliffe14.813.81.2
Joe L. Morgan19.018.41.2


Third Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Tony Perez21.615.12.6


Shortstop
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Rico Petrocelli19.116.02.2
Jim Fregosi20.217.42.2


Left Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Billy Williams23.917.62.0


Center Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Willie Mays18.213.61.9


Right Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Tony Oliva23.519.11.5
Hank Aaron19.115.01.5


Starting Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Tom Seaver16.612.42.3
Bob Gibson16.412.62.1


Relief Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Ken Sanders5.13.10.9


For relief pitchers, context-neutral records may not be the best measure of how good they are, as context can matter a great deal, depending on how a pitcher is used. Here are the top relief pitchers of 1970 in context, in terms of pWins and pWOPA.

Top Relief Pitchers of 1970, based on pWORL
Player pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL
Mudcat Grant9.75.50.6372.03.0
Dick Selma10.56.80.6061.82.9
Lindy McDaniel9.35.40.6301.92.8
Ron Perranoski9.77.00.5811.32.3
Wayne Granger7.84.60.6281.52.3


Finally, here are the best at three oft-forgotten positions that can nevertheless matter: pitcher offense, pinch hitting, and pinch running.

Pitcher Offense
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Bob Gibson2.32.40.7


Pinch Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Bob Bailey1.20.70.3
Vic Davalillo1.81.40.3
Ted Uhlaender0.70.20.3


Pinch Runner
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Paul Blair0.20.00.1
Chico Salmon0.20.00.1
Jose L. Ortiz0.10.00.1
Ron Woods0.10.00.1
Adolfo Phillips0.20.10.1
Don Baylor0.10.00.1


Noteworthy Players of 1970

Finally, let's take a look at some players who had noteworthy 1970 seasons.

One player made his major-league debut in 1970 who went on to be elected to the Hall of Fame: Bert Blyleven. One other player who debuted in 1970 was elected to the Hall of Merit: Bobby Grich.

The career records for Bert Blyleven and Bobby Grich, as measured by Player won-lost records, are compared in the table below.

Bert Blyleven Bobby Grich
Season Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss Win Pct. pWOPA pWORL
19702710.510.50.4990.3
1.2
302.52.40.5150.20.4
19713818.315.80.5361.9
3.5
71.70.60.7280.60.7
19723918.116.80.5191.4
2.9
13219.214.60.5682.74.1
19734019.114.10.5762.8
4.3
16221.016.40.5612.74.2
19743716.412.90.5592.0
3.3
16022.417.20.5663.24.8
19753515.312.10.5581.7
3.0
15019.715.80.5562.43.8
19763618.414.90.5521.9
3.4
14420.115.80.5612.74.1
19773013.810.90.5571.6
2.8
526.16.10.4990.40.9
19783715.613.60.5331.5
2.8
14415.113.90.5211.12.2
19793813.612.60.5181.1
2.1
15319.514.90.5672.84.1
19803711.813.10.474-0.2
0.8
15016.216.10.5010.61.8
1981208.36.90.5440.8
1.6
10012.811.60.5240.91.9
198241.31.60.445-0.1
0.0
14517.116.00.5170.92.2
1983249.18.60.5140.4
1.2
12014.112.90.5240.91.9
19843314.39.30.6052.7
3.7
11613.212.30.5160.71.7
19853717.615.10.5381.5
3.3
14415.114.80.5060.21.4
19863617.717.00.5100.6
2.3
979.59.30.5030.31.0
19873717.116.00.5160.9
2.6
19883311.314.50.439-1.4
-0.2
19893314.09.40.5982.5
3.6
1990237.18.40.457-0.5
0.2
1991
 
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS674288.4254.30.53123.4
48.4
2,006245.5210.70.53823.241.1




All articles are written so that they pull data directly from the most recent version of the Player won-lost database. Hence, any numbers cited within these articles should automatically incorporate the most recent update to Player won-lost records. In some cases, however, the accompanying text may have been written based on previous versions of Player won-lost records. I apologize if this results in non-sensical text in any cases.

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