The Debate: Smoltz vs. Glavine

So Chipperboy and I were talking the other day about the Braves. I made the comment that Smoltz was the 2nd best pitcher behind Maddux. He took offense to the comment and we started to argue. We stopped arguing and decided that we will continue this on the blog. I agreed to post my argument first. He will post his argument tomorrow. We will then continue the debate on the forum. Feel free to join us in the debate. John Smoltz was better than and still is better than Tom Glavine. He was the second best pitcher on the Braves during the streak. To prove this we will look at the numbers.

What is the first stat that comes to mind when you think of pitchers? To me, it’s ERA. So let’s look at the career ERAs of both players. Smoltz’s career ERA is 3.26 compare that to Glavine’s poultry ERA of 3.51. When it comes to ERA+, Smoltz once again has the edge. Smoltz’s career ERA+ of 127 is good enough for 53rd all-time, while Glavine’s is 119 which places him 118th all-time. Glavine’s career WHIP is 1.309, that places him 482nd all-time. Smoltz’s WHIP of 1.1696 places him 82nd all-time.

Smoltz has better stuff. I do not think anyone can deny that. Glavine’s game has always been built around his control. But Smoltz has a better K:BB ratio and it’s not even close. Yes, Smoltz strikes out a lot more hitters, but, if Glavine’s control was so great then the number of walks he allowed should be much less. Smoltz’s K:BB is 3.02 while Glavine’s is 1.76.

If it had not been for Smoltz’s injury problems over the years, he would be approaching 300 wins. He basically did not start a game for 5 straight seasons (2000-2004). He started 5 games during those 5 years all of them coming in 2001. From 2002 to 2004, he was the most dominating closer in the game. This versatility proves just how good Smoltz truly is/was.

I am not saying that Glavine was not a great pitcher. Glavine is a 2-time Cy Young Award winner. He was a great pitcher. But he was not better than and is not better than Smoltz.

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