Matt Garza vs. The World

Ok, not really the world, but near the end of the GDT tonight there was a quick mention about how we could not trade Garz, because of his numbers against the AL East.  Off the top of my head I could remember many great starts against the Red Sox and utter ownage of the Blue Jays.  My point was that it's a pretty small sample to base such a big decision on.  At this point I got curious about the numbers, so I checked out B-Ref.  Here is a link to the workbook.  Keep in mind that these are small sample sizes, I will list the raw stats after the jump, but here are some relevant stats by division:


wOBA Babip BA OBP SLG OPS  FIP  K/9 BB/9 K/BB HR/9
AL EAST    0.287    0.249    0.226    0.290    0.361    0.651    4.19    6.10    2.90    2.11    0.90
AL CENTRAL    0.352    0.344    0.290    0.365    0.437    0.802    4.25    7.97    4.05    1.97    0.89
AL WEST    0.346    0.337    0.288    0.347    0.451    0.798    4.42    8.29    3.17    2.62    1.30
NL    0.291    0.252    0.222    0.293    0.364    0.657    4.33    7.80    3.00    2.60    1.20
Total    0.317    0.292    0.255    0.323    0.400    0.722    4.26    7.16    3.26    2.20    1.00

So what does this all mean?  Well if we step back for a sec and pretend this is a large enough sample, wOBA (my favorite statistic, though it is prone to variation at small samples) tells us that, yes, Garza has been quite a bit better against the East than the other divisions.  Of course right next to that column is BABIP showing that perhaps he has just been a little lucky against the East and not so lucky against the Central and West.  OPS and FIP agree with wOBA in this case.  Babip still has an effect on OPS, but it does not factor into FIP.  Compared to his career totals, Crane's HR/9 is slightly lower against the East and Central, while it is quite a bit over his career average against the West.  In my opinion both his Babip and HR/9 our due to come back in line and that could have quite the effect on his wOBA/OPS/FIP, whichever you prefer, that would show he is equally good against all three divisions. 

I find it interesting that Garza has pitched against the NL almost as well as the AL East so far.  His wOBA through OPS columns are remarkably similar versus the weak sisters.  As a little background, I get incredibly frustrated whenever I see Garza pitch because he could be one of the top-10 pitchers in MLB.  He allows his emotions to dictate his performance, however, and it takes away from his ability.  Perhaps one way to see this is to look at his numbers against the AL East.  One of my biggest qualms with Garz is that he walks too many guys.  Well you'll notice that his BB/9 against the AL East is the lowest versus any of the other divisions.  Indirectly, this could indicate he is more focused verse the opponents that he sees the most.  His K's are down against them, however, which could show that he is indeed more focused and not just pitching better overall.  It definitely tells us that more balls are in play where they have gone for outs at a higher rate than against the other divisions. 

Overall, I like the lower HR/9, but with his reduced K/9, as well as reduced BB/9, I'm less inclined to think that he has been owning the competition as much as there has been some luck going his way.  Here are the raw numbers that you can also find in the google doc linked above:

G PA AB R H 1B 2B 3B HR SB CS BB SO TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB  IP  R ER HR BF
ALE 37 944 854 80 193 130 34 6 23 7 1 74 156 308 20 6 3 7 0    230.0 80 71 23 944
ALC 24 595 517 85 150 103 31 3 13 1 1 59 116 226 15 8 1 10 4    131.0 85 78 13 595
ALW 17 431 386 57 111 79 15 3 14 3 3 34 89 174 9 4 2 5 2      96.7 57 53 14 431
NL 7 181 162 21 36 25 5 0 6 0 2 15 39 59 5 2 0 2 0      45.0 21 19 6 181
Total 85 2151 1919 243 490 337 85 12 56 11 7 182 400 767 49 20 6 24 6    502.7 243 221 56 2151
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