Originally written on Tigers Weblog  |  Last updated 11/18/14
74-53, 1st place, 5 games up. “WAR – What is it good for?” Well, evaluating players, for one thing. Or so we think. As we all know, the WAR debate dominated the MVP race last year, with Cabrera and his old school hitting stats (summarized as “the best right handed hitter in our generation”) beat out the sabre-favorite Mike Trout and his 1st to 3rd ability and low GIDP. So where are we in 2013? Well, even with the historical season that Cabrera is having this year, Mike Trout is dominating him in WAR. BR WAR FG WAR BP WAR Mike Trout 7.2 8.2 8.2 Miguel Cabrera 6.3 7.5 6.7 That’s an average of 1 additional win. Worth about $4-5M in salary in the theoretical FA market where WAR sets salaries. But anyway, Joe Posnanski posted a great blog about the Trout/Cabrera debate and seems to reluctantly admit that Trout is a better player because of his overall skill in spite of Cabrera’s prodigious numbers. (Though did you know that Mike Trout is a below average center fielder this year?) It’s a good read, and I would encourage you to read the comments as well. One of the commentors noted that Cabrera is better than Trout in the Smoking Loon threesome of RE24, WPA and RBI%. I used to like WAR because it was new and complicated and I wanted to be cool. Now that I’m a dad with two kids, a mortgage, car payments, and Dora the Explorer placemats, I know I’ not cool, and I’m much more concerned about being right. And WAR is a good tool, but it’s not everything. And I’m starting to understand that the guys who live and die by WAR are greatly uninformed. There is no doubt that Trout is a better WAR player. But WAR just happens to be a shiny tool in a chest full of dozens of useful ones used to measure the value of a baseball player. On to the Mets. The Mets are the Mets. 3rd place in the NL East this year, and they actually have a worse record at home (26-33) then they do on the road (32-34). The Tigers have struggled on the road (33-30), so this could be interesting. Tonight the Boys draw new Met Dice-K.  So if like me, you’ve been wondering where he went, the answer is “NY Mets.” Lineups coming later today.

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