Best Pitchers of All-Time - Career
Regular Season. Sorted by Total PEVA
Greg Maddux - #1 (1986-2008)
Go to #2
Greg Maddux Career Stats
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From Stat Geek Baseball's, the Best Ever Book.
For twenty straight seasons, Greg Maddux won at least fifteen games. He came to the park, usually one with a hitter's pedigree, pitched, gave up few hits, walks, and runs, then won. He led his team to the playoffs most seasons. He struck people out, #10 on the All-Time list, that is likely a shock to some less sabermetric fans of the game. And at the end of the day, that consistency, year after year after year, makes Greg Maddux the number one pitcher in baseball history and the next first ballot pitching entrant into Cooperstown's Hall of Fame. We're going to admit something here that we likely should not. When the PEVA calculations were first run, done by season first and then totaled, we were surprised by this result. But when we dug deeper into the question, the more we found reasons for Maddux stepping into the spotlight at the pinnacle. Maddux won 355 games for the #8 spot on the career list in a time when pitchers pitched in five man rotations and were removed for closers in tight games. No, he didn't rack up the innings like the men of Cy Young's or Walter Johnson's time, that will likely never happen again due to the evolution of the relief pitcher, but Maddux did what he did in the game he was given.
His ERA + adjusted for park was #31 on the list, and suffered an increase at the end of his career; it's really the only blemish on his record. The other rate stats hold up really well. We shouldn't forget that most of the pitchers who rank higher in ERA or WHIP9 pitched in eras when people did not get lots of hits or score many runs. Maddux won twenty games only twice, but would have had two more seasons in that league had strike seasons of 1994 and 1995, his best two seasons, not been shortened. In fact, we believe that he would rank higher on other lists if those seasons were given their full credit within baseball history for being among the Top Ten Seasons of All-Time. But we'll stop defending it now, and let you ruminate over the stats below, the string of seasons from 1992 to 1998 that boggle your mind and boggled the hitters, too. And we're perfectly fine with the disagreement some might have, or a personal ranking for Maddux below this statistical one. That's what makes the baseball world go round after all.
Want more detail, check out the Stat Geek Baseball, the Best Ever Book excerpts by clicking any of the Top Five players.
Notes: Photo Credits: Walter Johnson, Grover Cleveland Alexander, and Christy Mathewson. Library of Congress.
HOF/HOFP - Hall of Fame player. PEVA - Player Rating for Season or Career. PEVA per Year - Average Player Rating per season. Seasons include all seasons played with no monimum.
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