The stats I can't live without 

February, 19, 2013

Matt CainAP Photo/Matt SlocumYou have to look deeply into advanced stats to fully appreciate Matt Cain's success.
Editor's note: On Tuesday, ESPN The Magazine released its Analytics Issue, with a cover story by Sam Miller about why baseball fans should embrace WAR (wins above replacement). We asked Keith Law to break down his "desert island stats," which are the metrics he can't live without when evaluating players.

Having a player's WAR (wins above replacement), even if you know which version of WAR it is, is not in and of itself terribly useful unless you know the breakdown of the numbers that went into it.