Tom Glavine will be in the Hall of Fame when he is eligible. The 305 wins alone will get him into the Hall of Fame. The question is: will voters look at other (real) statistics?
Wins are a dumb stat. We all know this. The team wins and loses games. One pitcher does not determine the outcome of a game alone unless that pitcher hits a home run and strikes out every batter he faces.
Felix Hernandez gave up one run in a complete game loss today against the Toronto Blue Jays. Meanwhile, Rodrigo Lopez gave up four runs in five innings in a winning effort against the Colorado Rockies yesterday. Did Lopez have the better game? Of course not.
Glavine's career rate stats are not Hall of Fame impressive: .7 hr/9, 3.1 bb/9, 5.3 so/9 and 1.74 so/bb. In his 1991 Cy Young year (his best season), he had the following rate stats: .6 hr/9, 2.5 bb/9, 7.0 so/9 and 2.78 so/bb. He had a 5.7 WAR that season, which is impressive.
I tweeted the question to Fangraphs baseball writer Dave Cameron:
"Do you think Tom Glavine is a hall of famer? After looking at his career rate stats and other advanced metrics, maybe not?"
He replied back to me:
"An easy yes."
Looking beyond his rate stats: His career WAR is 68.6 with a career FIP is 3.95. His FIP ranks 38 out of 40 pitchers with 4,000 innings pitched (or 118 out of 131 pitchers with 3,000 innings pitched. I'm still having a hard time building a Hall of Fame case from these numbers.
But then I took a look at his WAR rankings. This list does not include seasons prior to 1980, but Glavine ranks 9th. He is just above Andy Pettitte but behind Kevin Brown.
I completely respect Cameron's opinion, and he is my favorite baseball writer. I do have to disagree because I think his case is, at least, debatable.