Hopefully, everyone has had a chance to try my two new Sporcle quizzes from last week, looking at the post individual postseasons of the Wild Card Era by Win Probability Added, for both hitters and pitchers. Today, we look at a similar topic: Can you name the position players of the Wild Card Era with the most career WPA?
This quiz might actually be a little easier than the last hitter quiz? I used a cutoff of 1 cumulative Win, which might not sound like much given how many individual hitters had 1 or more WPA in a single postseason. But as it turns out, there are only 30 players who matched that for their careers, despite there being 27 single postseasons of 1 or more Win.
I guess this goes back to my theory about hitters losing out from more opportunities to slowly erode their totals; after all, any out will bring your total down, and you’ll make an out at least 60% of the time or more. To stay above 1 WPA, even throughout your cold streaks or older years, you’ll need to build up a decent amount of big moments.
(minor quiz spoilers below)
Take Jose Altuve, for an extreme example; his hitless streak this October has cost him -0.76 WPA, but he had so much built up that he managed to stay on the list. Same goes for Justin Turner (-0.28). That wasn’t the case for Randy Arozarena or Eddie Rosario, however, who were both much closer to the 1-Win cutoff, and dropped below it.
I’ll update this quiz and all of the other new ones once the World Series is complete. I don’t foresee this one changing much (although that can always change); the single-season ones are much more likely to need names added. Yordan Alvarez remains in the lead for hitters, improving his total for the postseason to 1.39 in the ALCS. Bryce Harper also moved above the 0.8 threshold I used for my single-season quiz. After those two, it’s ALCS MVP Jeremy Peña at 0.46, and nobody else above 0.3.
On the pitching side of things, Zack Wheeler (0.95) is the current 2022 leader, with Ryan Pressly just on the outside at 0.69. Of course, all of this can change rapidly, depending on who gets hot or goes cold, especially in the case of pitchers. One really-bad outing from Wheeler or Pressly could completely ruin their chances; just look at the Astros’ first ALDS game, where Justin Verlander lost nearly 0.4 full WPA from his rough start, and Robbie Ray’s blown save was worth a full -0.913!
Anyway, check back tomorrow for the pitching follow-up, plus some World Series predictions!