Max Scherzer‘s 12-0 record has a lot of people saying he deserves to be the starter for the American League in the 2013 MLB All-Star Game, but there is a lot more to it than that.
You can essentially disregard a starting pitcher’s record when trying to figure out who has had a better season. Obviously it’s not a bad measure of whether or not a pitcher has been able to keep his team in games, but it’s not the best way.
No one has had more run support in the AL than Scherzer. It should come as no surprise that many of the other pitchers who receive a high amount of run support also have a high win total. Four of the five pitchers who rank in the top in the run support category also rank in the top seven in the wins category.
Hisashi Iwakuma hasn’t received nearly the run support Scherzer has and has posted a better a better ERA and WHIP. He has a 2.42 ERA compared to Scherzer’s 3.10. He has thrown more innings than Scherzer yet has only allowed 17 walks compared to Scherzer’s 25. His control is masterful, and he doesn’t give free passes.
It’s a matter of splitting hairs. Scherzer has obviously been solid as well with only Yu Darvish having more strikeouts in the American League. But Iwakuma leads the American League with a 5.94 K/BB ratio. He doesn’t fall behind hitters, and he has thrown nearly 100 fewer pitches in five more innings than Scherzer.
No matter who does get the start for the American League, there are countless options for Jim Leyland.