We’ve spent some time delving into the hated Red Sox, but there’s a new kid in town that’s being virtually ignored by most of us who have become so accustomed to the Beantowners being the Big Bad we need to knock off every year. Are the Rays for real, or was last year a fluke? Well, probably the greatest predictor of success (other than being declared “dead” by Chris “Mad Dog” Russo”) is the rotation , so let’s have some fun with the respective starters and compare the two clubs.
For this post, I’m mainly using the CHONE projections as most of the buzz I’ve been hearing lately is that they’re liked slightly better than Marcel. The Bill James projections are generally disliked as being overly optimistic. I’m also going to pair similar pitchers together for better comparison rather than matching them up by their place in the rotation. For example:
…………………W-L ERA IP WHIP
Kazmir: 11-7 3.58 161 1.27
Burnett: 12-7 3.88 167 1.34
I chose to pair these two, because of their relative similarity in terms of IP, and tendency to get nagging injuries. These two match up very closely, with Kazmir having a slight edge in ERA and WHIP, while Burnett is slightly more durabe (believe it or not) and gains the extra win. I’d call this one even, because Burnett is coming off of an innings-eating year and seems to have figured out how to throw without max-effort, thus avoiding injury. Both hurlers have ace potential.
Shields: 12-9 3.69 195 1.17
Sabathia: 16-8 3.41 211 1.18
Again, very similar numbers for the two top guns, with almost identical WHIPs. CC gets a slight edge for increased innings (and so wins), though Shields has a better track record if these two match up in the post-season.
Price: 4-5 4.50 79 1.49
Joba: 8-4 3.39 101 1.26
Throw out the projections on this one. Joba only wins b/c he has a little more track record. I’d call this virtually even as both these guys are soon-to-be superstars if they can stay healthy. Joba has the edge on track record, but Price has less injury history – wash.
Garza: 10-9 4.04 167 1.34
Wang: 8-6 4.47 133 1.49
CHONE kills Wanger on this one. Marcel has him at 11-4, 3.79. CHONE apparently lowballs players coming off of injury, regardless of the nature of the injury. Wang should be fine, but these two are pretty similar, once everything is sussed out. Both pretty much rely on one pitch: a hard, heavy heater. Once again, I’ll throw out the projections and call it a draw. On past performance, Wang has a clear edge, but off of last year, it’s certainly Garza, so… wash.
Sonnanstine: 11-9 4.00 180 1.24
Pettitte: 9-9 4.31 167 1.43
Again, remarkably similar production, with an edge to Sonnanstine for his lower projected WHIP.
Based on these projections, these staffs are incredibly close. I’d call them even. Not only do they project to give you similar production, but they are mirror images of each other, in many ways. Burnett and Kazmir are very similar in their nagging injury history, Wang and Garza both throw 95 mph sinkers, and Joba and Price are both great, young pitcher who are making the transitions from spot duty in the pen to full-time starter. What do you guys think? Who has the edge, here?
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