You may recall that a couple of weeks ago I set out to answer the simple question: who's better, Lincecum or Cain? Back then there was a cloud of trade talk (remember Rios for Tim?) that has thankfully evaporated. However the question still lingers. Who's the bigger stud?
In part one, my completely irrational take gave the advantage to young Tim. I felt the intangibles were slightly in his favor. Mostly because I don't automatically assume he has a higher injury risk than the sturdy Cain. In this part I will try to be a little more analytical and fact based. I don't promise much...facts and I don't always get along.
Why should we care? They are both hopefully going to be truly great, so big deal which one is better? I feel it is essential that we all pick a side, early on during their glorious careers. (It is no fair later to claim that Tim's World Series MVP out weighs Matt's pair of Cy Youngs.) Face it, the next couple years are going to be LEAN. What better way to stay positive and keep focused on a good future?
So, on to Part Two: The Stats
Well, I suck at looking up stats. I guess I don't have the patience. I did find a little bit of stuff in other peoples blogs (http://www.mccoveychronicles.com/story/2008/1/1/153325/2052). So even though I can't provide a detailed statistical break down comparing our two studs, I can give you my educated opinion, backed up with a couple numbers. Perhaps, MOC and the Mystic Zo can dig up a few more stats to throw into this stew.
My general opinion: I can truthfully say I was surprised to see a such a clear winner. I thought the numbers would be as close as the intangibles, after all both guys do seem destined for great things. However, Matt Cain clearly wins the stat war. It is hard to believe that he lost more than about 7 games last year! After Peavy and Webb, Matt was the MAN. Tim has great numbers too, but not as good. Check out a sampling of info:
10th in ERA, Cain, 3.65
Seventh in Opponent BA, Cain, .235
Fourth in Pitches Per Start, Cain, 104.7
Sixth in Quality Starts, Cain, 22
Sixth in Opponent SLG, Cain, .366
Sixth in Opponent OPS, .678
Eighth in HR per Nine IP, Cain, 0.63
Second in Fastest Average Fastball, Cain, 93.2
Second in Total Pitches 95+, Lincecum, 647
Fifth in Hits Per 9 IP, Cain, 7.79
Too bad Tim doesn't qualify for some of those categories because he got shut down early. After next year we will have a much better data base to utilize. But for right now, and without really even trying to look up Tim's numbers (I'm on vacation), I am going with MATT CAIN.
My Overall Winner: After putting this all down and mulling it over for the last couple weeks, I do feel like I have a favorite now. I really thought it was going to be The Enchanter, but it was not meant to be. My heart belongs to Matt. After what he endured last year, I see truly great things ahead. Karma.
Well, what's your take? Any important numbers that I clearly missed?
Who's better? Matt or Tim??