The MLB Quality Start and the Loss/No Decision

I know I am not the only baseball fan who doesn’t believes a MLB pitcher who goes out and throws 6 innings and allows 3 earned runs, a 4.50 ERA, should be considered a quality start, am I?

I have made this simple spreadsheet to track the quality starts thrown in the MLB in 2012. As well, I have “created” my own stat, called Quality Start Plus (QS+). This stat requires a pitcher to throw 6 – 6.2 innings with 2 or less earned runs OR 7+ innings with 3 or less earned runs.

I do acknowledge, as stated on the Wikipedia page about Quality Starts:

An early criticism of the statistic, made by Moss Klein, writing in The Sporting News, is that a pitcher could conceivably meet the minimum requirements for a quality start and record a 4.50 ERA, seen as undesirable at the time. Bill James addressed this in his 1987 Baseball Abstract, saying the hypothetical example (a pitcher going exactly 6 innings and allowing exactly 3 runs) was extremely rare amongst starts recorded as quality starts, and that he doubted any pitchers had an ERA over 3.20 in their quality starts. This was later confirmed through computer analysis of all quality starts recorded from 1984 to 1991, which found that the average ERA in quality starts during that time period was 1.91.

The QS+ is slightly different, making sure the pitcher goes at least 6 innings and has less than a 4.00 ERA.

The second thing this spreadsheet does is track the outcome for the pitcher in his quality start. I am a huge fan of fantasy baseball, and if you’re like me, you don’t like to score the quality start because you do not want to overly reward the pitcher who gets the win in the game.

For years, I have been asking various fantasy baseball websites to offer scoring for pitchers who throw a quality start, yet their effort results in a Loss or No Decision. To me, this would greatly help balance pitcher scoring by rewarding a solid performance from a pitcher who simply did not receive run-support from his team’s offense.


  • Date – The date of the player’s quality start
  • Player – The player who threw a quality start
  • IP – Innings pitched by the player in quality start
  • ER – Earned runs by the pitcher in quality start
  • Result – The result of the pitcher in his quality start
  • QS+ – Did the pitcher reach Quality Start Plus in his quality start? (6-6.2IP and 2 or less ER or 7+IP and 3 or less ER)

I will update this spreadsheet and this page weekly with all MLB quality starts and results.

If you think fantasy baseball websites should offer a way to score a quality start in a Loss or No Decision, copy the text below and send an email to any or all the fantasy baseball websites listed below.

I believe this website’s fantasy baseball league manager/commish software should allow a way for fantasy baseball leagues to score a quality start when a pitcher receives a loss or no-decision, without over-rewarding a pitcher who receives a win with his quality start. For more information, please visit: http://crowncrazed.com/quality-start-loss-no-decision. Thank you!

Fantasy Baseball League Website Contacts

It will be very interesting to see how the win percentage among QS+ compares to the win percentage of a regular Quality Start. Currently (through 4/15), the QS+ yields ~2.64% more wins for the starting pitcher (QS 54.62%, QS+ 57.26%).

Also interesting, nearly half (46.43%) of all MLB starts are quality starts and more than a quarter of all MLB starts result in a quality start win (25.36%), while 10% of all quality starts do not qualify as QS+.

These are the stats I will be most interested in tracking as the season goes on.

If you find any errors (since I enter everything manually) or would like me to add a fantasy website to the list, send me an email.

Let me know your comments about QS+ or Losses and No Decisions in the comments below

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