Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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The 1983 Season as seen through the Prism of Player Won-Lost Records

I was born in Baltimore in 1968. The Baltimore Orioles won the World Series two years before and two years after I was born (the years my sister and brother were born in Baltimore). The only Orioles World Championship which I was old enough to remember and enjoy happened when I was fifteen years old, in 1983.

The Best of 1983

I calculate Player won-lost records two ways: pWins, which tie to team wins and eWins, which control for context 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
1Cal Ripken24.919.33.5
5.1
1Cal Ripken24.919.33.5
5.1
2John Denny15.910.63.4
4.5
2Lou Whitaker23.518.53.0
4.5
3Eddie Murray20.313.23.2
4.4
3Dale Murphy24.717.83.0
4.5
4La Marr Hoyt17.011.33.1
4.5
4John Denny15.910.63.4
4.5
5Robin Yount21.316.33.0
4.4
5La Marr Hoyt17.011.33.1
4.5
6Lou Whitaker23.518.53.0
4.5
6Eddie Murray20.313.23.2
4.4
7Dale Murphy24.717.83.0
4.5
7Robin Yount21.316.33.0
4.4
8Dickie Thon23.218.22.8
4.3
8Dickie Thon23.218.22.8
4.3
9Mario Soto19.716.72.4
3.9
9Mario Soto19.716.72.4
3.9
10Richard Dotson15.110.82.4
3.6
10Ron Guidry16.111.82.4
3.7


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
1Dale Murphy24.217.32.9
4.4
1Dale Murphy24.217.32.9
4.4
2Robin Yount21.717.52.7
4.2
2Cal Ripken23.519.42.7
4.2
3Cal Ripken23.519.42.7
4.2
3Robin Yount21.717.52.7
4.2
4Lou Whitaker22.217.92.6
4.1
4Lou Whitaker22.217.92.6
4.1
5Mike Schmidt22.416.62.4
3.8
5Mike Schmidt22.416.62.4
3.8
6John Denny15.312.02.4
3.5
6Tim Raines Sr.25.519.72.1
3.7
7Atlee Hammaker11.57.82.3
3.1
7Rickey Henderson22.217.02.2
3.6
8Dave Stieb16.012.02.2
3.5
8Dave Stieb16.012.02.2
3.5
9Rickey Henderson22.217.02.2
3.6
9Pedro Guerrero21.716.42.1
3.5
10Pedro Guerrero21.716.42.1
3.5
10John Denny15.312.02.4
3.5


AL MVP: Cal Ripken vs. Eddie Murray
My brother and I probably spent at least 30 hours debating who deserved the AL Most Valuable Player award in 1983. My brother was a Cal Ripken supporter, while I was a huge fan of Eddie Murray. In retrospect, understanding the idea of positional scarcity and the need for positional comparisons, I am forced to concede that my brother - and the MVP voters in 1983 - got this one right.

The next table decomposes the (context-neutral) performances of Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken in 1983 to show how Ripken ends up ahead of Murray in terms of wins over Positional Average and replacement level.

Decomposition of eWORL
Wins over Average
Batting Baserunning Fielding Position Replacement eWORL
Eddie Murray2.0-0.1
0.1
-0.3
1.3
3.0
Cal Ripken1.6-0.1
0.2
0.7
1.8
4.2


The career statistics for Murray and Ripken are compared below.

Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
Eddie Murray, career
3,025
345.7285.30.54818.7
45.0
322.4279.10.53610.736.0
Cal Ripken, career
2,995
383.3350.70.52228.2
56.5
374.9344.60.52126.854.6


National League Award Winners: Dale Murphy and John Denny
In the National League, the BBWAA voters selected Braves' center fielder Dale Murphy as Most Valuable Player and gave the Cy Young award to Philadelphia Phillies starter John Denny.

Looking at the above tables, Player won-lost records appear to agree with the voters' choices in both of these cases. The next table summarizes Murphy's and Denny's 1983 seasons as measured by Player won-lost records.

Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
Dale Murphy
162
24.717.80.5823.0
4.5
24.217.30.5832.94.4
John Denny
36
15.910.60.6003.4
4.5
15.312.00.5602.43.5


Denny's 1983 performance was more valuable in context, translating into a couple more Phillies wins than might have been expected. Perhaps the more striking result, however, is that Dale Murphy's season looks essentially identical in or out of context: on average, across all players, this is true every season by construction; but rarely is it so true for a specific player within a specific season.

The 1983 Postseason

The 1983 World Series turned out to be something of a last hurrah for two teams who had been perennial playoff participants through the 1970s: the Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies.

The best of the 1983 postseason in table form:
1983 Postseason: Total
pWins pLosses pWORL
Mike BoddickerBAL1.60.60.6
Gary Matthews Sr.PHI1.91.00.5
Al HollandPHI0.80.10.4
La Marr HoytCHA0.80.10.4
Cal RipkenBAL1.30.80.4
Rick DempseyBAL1.10.50.4


Top postseason players by round were as follows.

1983 Postseason: World Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Rick DempseyBAL0.80.20.4
Mike BoddickerBAL0.70.20.3
Cal RipkenBAL0.80.50.2
Al HollandPHI0.40.10.2
Sammy StewartBAL0.50.20.2
Scott McGregorBAL1.11.10.2


The top player listed above won the World Series MVP award, Rick Dempsey.

1983 Postseason: League Championship Series
pWins pLosses pWORL
Gary Matthews Sr.PHI1.30.30.6
Gary RoenickeBAL0.80.10.4
Steve CarltonPHI1.30.80.4
La Marr HoytCHA0.80.10.4


Best of 1983 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 1983 in eWOPA by factor were as follows.

Batting
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Mike Schmidt16.210.62.5
Dale Murphy15.910.92.2
Pedro Guerrero15.710.82.2

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Baserunning
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Rickey Henderson3.41.60.9
Rudy Law2.81.10.8

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Law's and Henderson's 1983 seasons both rank among the top 10 baserunning seasons for the seasons for which I have calculated Player won-lost records (1921 - 2017). The top 10 such seasons are shown below.

Top 10 Single-Season Baserunning Totals
(Wins over non-Pitcher Average)
Player Season eWins eLosses eWOPA
Maury Wills19624.01.41.3
Rickey Henderson19884.01.71.1
Rickey Henderson19853.51.31.1
Ron LeFlore19803.51.31.1
Tim Raines Sr.19853.51.50.9
Willie Wilson19803.11.20.9
Bobby Bonds19722.60.70.9
Rickey Henderson19833.41.60.9
Vince Coleman19853.82.00.9
Bert Campaneris19693.11.30.8


Now, back to the leading players of 1983.

Pitching
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Atlee Hammaker9.66.43.2
John Denny12.79.73.0
Dan Quisenberry7.24.62.6
Dave Stieb14.311.72.5
La Marr Hoyt13.210.72.4
Steve Carlton15.613.42.2


Next, we look at the major-league leaders in net fielding wins in 1983 by fielding position.

Fielding, P
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Rick Waits0.40.10.3
Scott McGregor0.40.10.3


Fielding, C
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Gary Carter3.01.81.2


Fielding, 1B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Enos Cabell1.81.20.6


Fielding, 2B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
John Castino5.24.30.9
Bill D. Doran6.05.10.9
Frank White5.74.80.9


Fielding, 3B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Phil Garner5.04.40.6
Vance Law4.23.60.6


Fielding, SS
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Ozzie Smith7.26.01.2


Fielding, LF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Gary Ward10.18.02.1


Fielding, CF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Chet Lemon5.33.81.5


Fielding, RF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Tom Brunansky5.84.90.9


Best by Position
Next, we look at 1983 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
Carlton Fisk13.611.11.6


First Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Eddie Murray17.813.81.7


Second Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Lou Whitaker21.818.12.3


Third Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Mike Schmidt22.216.92.2


Shortstop
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Cal Ripken23.419.82.5


Left Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Rickey Henderson21.016.51.9


Center Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Dale Murphy19.714.82.1


Right Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Darryl Strawberry17.114.51.0


Starting Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
John Denny13.110.11.7
Atlee Hammaker9.76.81.6
Dave Stieb14.511.91.6
La Marr Hoyt13.611.01.5


Relief Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Dan Quisenberry7.54.81.1


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 1983 in context, in terms of pWins and pWOPA.

Top Relief Pitchers of 1983, based on pWORL
Player pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL
Dan Quisenberry10.35.00.6762.43.3
Dave Stewart9.25.60.6231.82.6
Bob Stanley10.97.50.5921.32.5
Lee Smith8.75.10.6281.52.4
Tippy Martinez8.44.90.6351.52.4


The 1983 season was arguably the last season of the classic "fireman" relief ace mode. No relief pitcher since 1983 has earned more pWins than Quisenberry's and Stanley's 1983 totals.

Designated Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Greg Luzinski12.810.40.9


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
Tim Lollar1.31.20.4
Mike Krukow1.31.40.4


Pinch Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Dave Bergman1.40.60.4


Pinch Runner
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Tony Phillips0.20.00.1
Bob Dernier0.20.10.1


The End of an Era

The 1983 season was the final season for four Hall-of-Famers (all of whom are also in the Hall of Merit) who combined to win three Most Valuable Player and three Cy Young awards.

The next two tables compare the careers of Johnny Bench, Carl Yastrzemski, Fergie Jenkins, and Gaylord Perry.

Johnny Bench Carl Yastrzemski
Season Games pWins pLoss pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss pWOPA pWORL
 
14817.318.4-1.00.5
 
16021.420.8-0.61.0
 
15123.319.01.22.8
 
15120.018.70.21.7
 
13317.418.0-1.00.4
 
16023.420.30.92.6
261.92.5-0.2
-0.0
16127.218.03.55.4
15415.213.51.1
2.3
15725.817.03.35.1
14815.311.32.4
3.5
16223.218.31.73.5
15821.715.33.1
4.7
16123.016.32.23.9
14916.015.30.4
1.6
14822.618.11.53.1
14720.113.33.4
4.8
12518.014.11.12.4
15219.714.22.8
4.2
15218.014.21.42.7
16021.915.73.2
4.6
14817.517.4-0.40.9
14217.913.72.0
3.3
14915.813.60.51.7
13512.811.01.0
1.9
15518.217.00.21.5
14216.812.71.8
3.0
15021.518.61.12.7
12012.29.71.3
2.1
14418.215.01.32.7
13015.611.91.8
2.9
14717.113.81.42.8
11411.39.90.8
1.6
10510.310.0-0.10.9
526.24.30.8
1.2
919.07.80.51.3
11911.613.1-1.0
-0.1
13110.39.70.01.2
11010.310.1-0.2
0.6
1197.99.1-0.80.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS2,158246.3197.724.4
42.1
3,308426.5363.217.950.8


Fergie Jenkins Gaylord Perry
Season Games pWins pLoss pWOPA pWORL Games pWins pLoss pWOPA pWORL
 
132.32.40.00.2
 
323.24.8-0.8-0.4
 
4612.410.61.22.5
70.70.8-0.1
0.0
4911.412.7-0.20.9
619.510.1-0.0
1.0
3617.512.63.04.3
3820.217.42.2
3.8
4218.017.90.72.3
4021.217.72.7
4.2
3915.714.61.22.4
4322.117.23.3
5.2
4020.918.82.03.8
4021.816.73.4
5.1
4122.319.72.34.1
3924.117.34.6
6.3
3816.316.00.92.3
3618.716.12.1
3.6
4124.318.53.95.8
3816.018.2-0.5
1.0
4120.018.51.02.8
4122.814.34.6
6.2
3717.515.11.52.9
3716.614.81.1
2.6
3717.315.80.92.5
3011.211.30.1
1.1
3213.810.41.82.9
2810.310.10.2
1.3
3414.912.51.42.8
3414.810.32.3
3.5
3716.112.02.63.8
3714.914.10.6
1.9
3213.912.41.32.4
2912.311.80.4
1.5
3411.111.5-0.10.9
196.67.0-0.1
0.6
238.68.30.61.3
3414.014.50.4
1.6
3211.011.8-0.20.9
339.011.0-0.6
0.3
309.312.4-1.3-0.3
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER RECORDS664286.8250.926.8
50.7
786317.9289.323.851.3


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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