Why Kenta Maeda is the Twins Best Starter

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    Kenta Maeda is the best starting pitcher on the Twins. Of course Jose Berrios still has more potential, but up to this point, Maeda is statistically the Twins best starter. I’ll explain by comparing their 2017-19 stats and their 2019 stats by themselves. Results are probably different than you think. I’ve done this before but haven’t gone into more depth than I will here. Jake Odorizzi was good for the Twins in 2019, but this debate is between Maeda and Berrios for best starter.

    2017-19 Stats

    Kenta Maeda’s stats from 2017-19 are pretty good. They’re better than people give him credit for. In the past three seasons, Maeda posted a 3.35 xERA, 3.76 SIERA, 3.77 FIP, and a 3.79 xFIP. Those stats all tell how good he actually pitched. He underperformed his xERA by 0.68, which is great to see. His per-nines are also good. Maeda produced a 10.06 K/9, 2.79 BB/9, 1.24 HR/9, 3.61 K/BB, and a 1.16 WHIP in 413.1 IP in 71 starts and 34 relief appearances.

    Jose Berrios’s stats from 2017-19 are good too, but not as good. Berrios produced a 3.84 xERA, 4.11 SIERA, 3.87 FIP, and a 4.22 xFIP. Berrios overperformed his 3.80 ERA by 0.04. Moving onto his per-nines, they are pretty good. Berrios had a 8.96 K/9, 2.67 BB/9, 1.10 HR/9, 3.35 K/BB, and a 1.20 WHIP in 538.1 IP in 89 starts and 1 relief appearance.

    Maeda was better than Berrios in xERA, SIERA, FIP, xFIP, K/9, K/BB, and WHIP. Berrios was better than Maeda in ERA, BB/9, and HR/9. Obviously there are more stats out there, but most of them also point to Maeda being the better pitcher. The only real reason one could say Berrios is better is because of the big difference in innings pitched, but Maeda makes up for that in the big difference in stats.

    2019 Stats

    2019 would matter a lot more than 2017 if you’re trying to compare who is better currently, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exclude other seasons.

    In 2019, Maeda posted a 4.04 ERA, 3.26 xERA, 4.06 SIERA, 3.95 FIP, 4.04 xFIP, 9.90 K/9, 2.99 B/9, 1.29 HR/9, 3.31 K/BB, and a 1.07 WHIP in 153.2 IP in 26 starts and 11 relief appearances.

    Kenta Maeda’s 2019 MLB Percentile Rankings
    (via Baseball Savant)

    In 2019, Berrios had a 3.68 ERA, 4.03 xERA, 4.28 SIERA, 3.85 FIP, 4.32 xFIP, 8.76 K/9, 2.29 BB/9, 1.17 HR/9, 3.82 K/BB, and a 1.22 WHIP in 200.1 IP in 32 starts.

    Jose Berrios’s 2019 MLB Percentile Rankings
    (via Baseball Savant)

    Once again, I do believe Berrios has more potential, and that he will be better soon, the stats prove that Maeda is the Twins best starter right now.

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