I wrote several articles a little while back trying to find a method of predicting wins, but after looking at the NL wins leaders for 2009, you will agree with me, wins are IMPOSSIBLE to predict.
Let's take a look:
|Wainwright, Adam SP STL||233||34||25||1||19||8||0||212||66||216||2.63||1.21|
|Carpenter, Chris SP STL||193||28||22||3||17||4||0||144||38||156||2.24||1.01|
|De La Rosa, Jorge SP COL||185||32||17||0||16||9||0||193||83||172||4.38||1.38|
|Lincecum, Tim SP SF||225||32||26||4||15||7||0||261||68||168||2.48||1.05|
|Vazquez, Javier SP ATL||219||32||22||3||15||10||0||238||44||181||2.87||1.03|
|Johnson, Josh SP FLA||209||33||23||2||15||5||0||191||58||184||3.23||1.16|
|Jimenez, Ubaldo SP COL||218||33||24||1||15||12||0||198||85||183||3.47||1.23|
|Pineiro, Joel SP STL||214||32||21||3||15||12||0||105||27||218||3.49||1.14|
|Arroyo, Bronson SP CIN||220||33||23||3||15||13||0||127||65||214||3.84||1.27|
|Marquis, Jason SP COL||216||33||21||2||15||13||0||115||80||218||4.04||1.38|
|Lowe, Derek SP ATL||195||34||21||0||15||10||0||111||63||232||4.67||1.52|
Coming into the 2009 season, who would have predicted 15 or more wins from all of the pitchers listed above barring Tim Lincecum and maybe Javier Vazquez, or Adam Wainwright?
Wainwright had 11 wins in 2008 in 20 starts and 130+ innings pitched. Knowing that he pitched for a Dave Duncan coached staff, you could make a case for him to win 15 games in 2009.
Lincecum won 18 games in 2008, so it wasn't a stretch for him to win 15 games in 2009. Plus he is the most dominant pitcher in the NL.
Javier Vazquez moved from the AL to the NL, so one could surmise he would pitch better in the NL and he did.
But the rest of these guys were probably drafted very late in most drafts. Chris Carpenter and Josh Johnson were drafted in the 9th and 10th rounds in my NL only snake draft. Ubaldo Jimenez was drafted around the 12th round.
Bronson Arroyo won 15 games? Bronson Arroyo? Seriously? Yes. If there was a Cy Young award winner based on 2nd half performance, Arroyo would have won it in a landslide. In 15 second half starts, he won 6, with an ERA of 2.24 and a WHIP of 1.043. He did this by increasing his K/BB ratio from 1.44 in the first half to 2.83 in the second half.
The Cardinals 3rd 15 game winner was Joel Pineiro, who came out of nowhere in 2009 to post his best season ever. He accomplished this by increasing his K/BB ratio from 2.3 to 3.8 and his GB/FB ratio from 1.69 to 2.26, and lowering his HR/FB% from 8.6% to 4.3% and his BB% from 5.4% to 3.1% in 2009.