Value Add: Kershaw vs. Corbin for No. 1

The initial Value Add Rankings feature a classic comparison. Clayton Kershaw has guided the Dodgers to victory 13 of 22 starts this season despite needing to have an "ERA Needed" of 2.91 or better on average this year. Patrick Corbin has guided the Diamondbacks to victory an incredible 18 of 21 times, and while on an average night he has needed just a 5.31 ERA to win - that figure is deceiving because it is mainly the result of five games in which his ERA Needed was over 10. Here is the breakdown of every start for both pitchers:

Note that the Dodgers did give Kershaw nine runs of support (Off) without giving up any on defense (unearned runs) or in two innings of relief (Rel). The nine runs they gave him to work with for his seven innings of work mean that Kershaw needed only to stay below an 11.57 ERA (ERA Needed) to win. That was only the second time this season (see April 23 at the New York Mets) that he could have given the Dodgers a victory even if his ERA was 10.00.

On seven occasions the Dodgers have failed to give Kershaw a single win, meaning it was impossible for him to get a victory, so he has actually won 13 of 15 games in which the Dodgers gave him even a mathematical chance - and in one of them he had to break a 0-0 tie with a home run.

Kershaw DATE IP ER Result Off Def Rel Tot. Support ERA Needed Replace Raw Adj Value Add
vs CIN 26-Jul 8 1 Win 2 0 0 2 2.25 0.15 0.85 -0.03 0.82
@ WSH 21-Jul 7 2 Win 9 0 0 9 11.57 0.54 0.46 0.00 0.46
vs COL 12-Jul 7 3 Loss 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.20 0.20
@ SF 7-Jul 8 1 Win 4 0 0 4 4.50 0.21 0.79 -0.05 0.74
@ COL 2-Jul 9 0 Win 8 0 0 8 8.00 0.48 0.52 0.09 0.61
vs SF 26-Jun 8 2 Win 4 0 0 4 4.50 0.21 0.79 -0.03 0.76
@ SD 21-Jun 6 4 Loss 2 0 1 1 1.50 0.12 -0.12 -0.04 -0.16
@ PIT 15-Jun 7 1 Victory 5 0 2 3 3.86 0.20 0.80 -0.02 0.78
vs ARI 10-Jun 7 1 Defeat 4 0 4 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.20 0.20
vs SD 5-Jun 6 2 Loss 2 1 3 -2 -3.00 0.00 0.00 0.20 0.20
@ COL 31-May 7 3 Victory 7 0 2 5 6.43 0.35 0.65 0.09 0.74
vs STL 26-May 7 4 Loss 3 0 1 2 2.57 0.16 -0.16 -0.03 -0.19
@ MIL 20-May 9 1 Win 3 0 0 3 3.00 0.17 0.83 0.02 0.84
vs WSH 14-May 8.2 0 Win 2 0 0 2 2.20 0.15 0.85 -0.03 0.82
vs ARI 8-May 7 1 Defeat 2 1 1 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.20 0.20
@ SF 3-May 7 1 Defeat 1 0 1 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.20 0.20
vs MIL 28-Apr 8 0 Win 2 0 0 2 2.25 0.15 0.85 -0.03 0.82
@ NYM 23-Apr 5 2 Victory 7 0 0 7 12.60 0.55 0.45 -0.03 0.42
vs SD 17-Apr 5.1 3 Loss 2 2 2 -2 -3.53 0.00 0.00 0.20 0.20
@ ARI 12-Apr 7.1 3 Loss 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.20 0.20
vs PIT 6-Apr 7 0 Win 1 0 0 1 1.29 0.11 0.89 -0.03 0.86
vs SF 1-Apr 9 0 Win 4 0 0 4 4.00 0.20 0.80 -0.03 0.77
Corbin   159 35 13 of 22 74 4 17 53 2.91 3.77 9.23 1.28 10.51

Kershaw has actually been worth 9.23 additional wins to the Dodgers over how many games they would have won if a replacement pitcher had started all 22 games. However, he does get an overall +1.28 adjustment for the seven games with no support (+1.40) minus some for getting to pitch home games in the pitcher friendly Dodger Statium (-0.03 for each start there).

The Diamondbacks have only failed to give Patrick Corbin a chance to win one time - giving him a "ERA Needed" of 0.00 (actually a -4.50) in New York on July 2. However, it should be noted that even if you throw out games in which each pitcher had no chance to win, that gives Corbin victories in 18 of 20 games, and even better percentage than Kershaw. He also pitches in a much tougher park for pitchers (gets a +0.2 per home appearance vs. Kershaw's -0.3).

The four huge scoring outings for the Diamondbacks make it appear they give Corbin more support than they do. In fact, on a game-by-game basis a replacement pitcher would have likely won only 6 games, thus meaning Corbin actually has been worth 12 additional wins - more than even Kershaw. While Kershaw is certainly the more dominant pitcher, Corbin has actually been more valuable even after the adjustment for the times the Dodgers have given Kershaw no support, and that puts Corbin ahead of Kershaw (12.56 to 10.51) as the No. 1 Value Add pitcher in the initial rating on Breitbart Sports.

Corbin DATE IP ER Result Off Def Rel Tot. Support ERA Needed Replace Raw Adj Value Add
vs SD 28-Jul 8 1 Loss 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.20 0.20
vs CHC 23-Jul 6 1 Win 10 0 3 7 10.50 0.52 0.48 0.02 0.49
vs MIL 12-Jul 6.2 1 Win 2 0 0 2 2.90 0.17 0.83 0.02 0.85
vs COL 7-Jul 8 1 Win 6 0 0 6 6.75 0.36 0.64 0.02 0.66
@ NYM 2-Jul 6 5 Loss 1 0 4 -3 -4.50 0.00 0.00 0.20 0.20
@ WSH 27-Jun 7 2 Victory 3 0 0 3 3.86 0.20 0.80 0.00 0.80
vs CIN 22-Jun 8 1 Victory 4 0 2 2 2.25 0.15 0.85 0.02 0.87
vs MIA 17-Jun 8 2 Defeat 2 0 1 1 1.13 0.11 -0.11 0.02 -0.09
@ LAD 12-Jun 5 4 Victory 8 0 2 6 10.80 0.53 0.47 -0.03 0.44
vs SF 7-Jun 7.1 1 Victory 3 0 0 3 3.80 0.20 0.80 0.02 0.82
@ CHC 2-Jun 6 4 Win 8 0 0 8 12.00 0.55 0.45 0.03 0.48
vs SD 26-May 6 3 Win 6 1 1 4 6.00 0.34 0.66 0.02 0.67
@ COL 20-May 9 1 Win 5 0 0 5 5.00 0.32 0.68 0.09 0.77
vs ATL 14-May 7 0 Win 2 0 0 2 2.57 0.16 0.84 0.02 0.86
vs PHI 9-May 6.1 1 Win 2 0 0 2 2.95 0.17 0.83 0.02 0.85
@ SD 4-May 7 1 Win 8 0 0 8 10.29 0.52 0.48 -0.04 0.44
vs COL 28-Apr 6.2 2 Win 4 0 0 4 5.81 0.34 0.66 0.02 0.68
@ SF 23-Apr 7.1 2 Victory 6 0 2 4 5.07 0.33 0.67 -0.05 0.63
@ NYY 18-Apr 7 1 Victory 6 0 1 5 6.43 0.35 0.65 0.02 0.66
vs LAD 12-Apr 6 0 Win 3 0 0 3 4.50 0.21 0.79 0.02 0.81
@ MIL 6-Apr 6 2 Win 9 0 0 9 13.50 0.57 0.43 0.02 0.45
    143 36 18 of 21 98 1 16 81 5.31 6.10 11.90 0.65 12.56

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