Joakim Soria and Jose Valverde will be the two vying for the MLB All-Star Game closer. Soria has the advantage in saves with 25, MLB lead, while Valverde is nearing a historic season with a 0.92 ERA.â†µ
So the game's on the line, who should it be tonight?â†µ
In nearly the same amount of innings (Soria has thrown 35, Valverde 39) Soria has seven more strikeouts and seven fewer walks. He has saved 25 of 27 chances, which works out to more than 64 percent of the Royals’ 39 wins. That would be the second-highest percentage for a closer since the save became an official stat in 1969, behind only Eric Gagne in 2003.â†µ
The numbers show that Valverde has been remarkably lucky this year, too, and Soria a bit unlucky.â†µ
Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star goes into more detail on why Soria might be the best choice rather than Valverde. He makes a convincing case but it's hard to get past that 0.92 ERA.