2) How does taking random starts define which player's better? Both have had good and bad. Yes, baseball's a team sport but pitching largely produces an accurate individual statistic. As far as postseason goes, Bumgarner's been excellent, Sale struggled to get 190 innings, doubtful he'd pitch well in the post season with a dead arm.
3) Bumgarner had a better first year than Sale. Bumgarner's 3.10 xFIP to Sales 3.24.
4) So having a slightly better k/9 makes you a better pitcher? Bumgarner's shown slightly better command that alone doesn't make him a better pitcher.
5) You realize it's not guaranteed Sale will be better or even duplicate his first years success right? Bumgarner's better track record is only further evidence that he's more reliable and a surer commodity. Sale was absolutely filthy his first 150-160 inn but he struggled with his last 40inn. So there's much to say for a pitchers sustained success especially in the postseason.
Both of these guys are studs. It's really a great comparison.
I mixed up the birthdays. I had both their fangraphs pages open and just switched b-days. Bum's first year starting was 2010 and he had a 3.85 xFIP not a 3.10, that came in 2011.
I have stated already that Bum has the better track record.
Ofcourse Sale struggled at the end of the season. It was his first year starting since college in 2010. The Sox drafted him in June 2010, he only pitched 10.1 innings in the minors then was called up and put in the bullpen.
I used xFIP because that factors in park if im not mistaken. Bum pitches in one of the best pitchers park in all of baseball and Sale pitches in one of the best hitting parks. So I tried to use the stat that would compare them the best.
Ofcourse we are not sure if Sale can duplicate his 2012 performance. But the question was asked for right now and Sale has the better stuff, but Bum has the track record.