At the outset, allow me to offer the obvious caveat that wins are not anything close to the best measure of a starting pitcher. Let further note that, in most respects, using wins to measure a starting pitcher is not just useless, it’s actively misleading. I hope we don’t have to litigate that, as it’s been litigated into the ground over the years.
I also hope you appreciate that this article is not at all premised on wins making a pitcher good. Rather, it’s premised totally on the notion that win totals, whatever their utility, are kinda fun to look at sometimes. Especially in a day and age where the win totals of the best pitchers are lot lower than they ever have been, relatively speaking.
Are we cool with that? Good. Allow us to proceed.
As I mentioned in the recaps this morning, White Sox starter Lucas Giolito picked up his eighth win on the season yesterday after an impressive performance against the Indians. Only two pitchers in all of baseball have more wins than Giolito at the moment: Justin Verlander of the Astros and Domingo Germán of the Yankees, with nine each. Two others are tied with Giolito at eight: Jake Odorizzi of the Twins and Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Dodgers.
The thing is, though, that the Dodgers, Astros, Twins and Yankees are all really good teams. Indeed, they’re all in first place in their divisions and they are 1, 2, 3, and 4 in team wins, respectively, in all of baseball. Giolito’s White Sox, meanwhile, are 29-30, and stand 11.5 games out of first place. It’s a “good for the White Sox” season, but the White Sox are not a good team in an absolute sense. They’re on pace for a 79-win season. Meanwhile, Giolito is on pace for 22 wins. If that were to hold, it’d give him just a hair shy of 28% of all of the White Sox’ wins on the year.
That puts Giolito in some pretty exclusive company.