In an MLB era overwhelmed by quantitative analyses, the value and quality of a starting pitcher’s performance is no longer solely predicated on wins, earned run average and strikeouts. But even though sabermetricians have added depth and substance to statistical debates, part of baseball’s charm has been lost as well.
In a way, the game has become inaccessible to fans who love to participate in spirited debates on the elementary statistics. On-base percentage (OBP) and walks plus hits per innings pitched (WHIP)—once viewed as cutting-edge, modern statistics—astonishingly have almost become passé.
What has made the game endearing to generations of fans is the fact that everyone could easily calculate baseball statistics and thoroughly understand them as well.
With the exception of a select few outstanding starting pitchers, the complete game has become an all-but-extinct art form throughout Major League Baseball. Since we will probably never again see a starting pitcher eclipse 20 complete games in a season, the quality start statistic has assumed a role of greater importance.
Just like sabermetricians have added significance to countless baseball statistics, we now must do the same for the quality start. But, it must be done in a manner that the average fan can understand and, most importantly, calculate.
The quality start factor is a stat that attempts to fill that need.