The St. Louis Cardinals’ 50 greatest players

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#37 Bill Doak SP

Bill Doak was one of the team’s first great starting pitchers, pitching with the Cardinals from 1913-1924 with the team and totaling an ERA 2.93 and 3.06 FIP with the club, while totaling a fWAR of 25.4.

When looking at ERA and FIP, you’d think that his 1914 season with the Cardinals would be his best season. You wouldn’t be far off as his 1.72 ERA and 2.72 FIP are extremely good, as his 3.4 fWAR. However his 1921 season was his best season, as he went 15-6 with a 2.59 ERA (3.08 FIP), posting a fWAR of 4.0.

You may be wondering why this is his best season, its the same reason why Miller Huggins even makes this list. The “dead ball” era. Doak, pitching from 1913-1924 pitched in the height of this era. When you look at his stats from his seasons in 1913-1920.

Doak’s best seasons are highlighted by Baseball Reference’s ERA+ statistic which accounts for the era in which a pitcher pitches, he only post two greatly above average ERA totals in those years, despite regularly having an ERA under 3.00 (162 in 1914 and 121 in 1920.

While his ERA+ for 1921 is at 140, the fWAR difference shows us that the 1921 season was better mostly due to being out of the “dead ball” era. With a fWAR total of 25.4 through a total of 12 seasons, showing that his career fWAR total is largely accumulated by pitching for the club for so long.

Making him not better than some of the guys that will be ahead of him, but when you take into effect his career ERA of 2.93 with the Cardinals, he is still one of the best.

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