Does it Matter?: Strong Top of the Rotation

Does it Matter?: Strong Top of the Rotation

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Note 1: Based upon 2007 performance, not future projectability.
Note 2: Tables are a bugger on our site, so you’ll have the joy of reading plain text.

In 2007 I think it’s fairly clear that the top two tandems in the AL belong to the Angels and the Indians.

Angels
Lackey
Escobar

Indians
Sabathia
Carmona

After that, things get a little clouded. Below are groupings (minus the 6.00 ERA club in Texas) of playoff contenders & non-playoff contender’s top two pitchers of 2007.

New York
Wang
Pettitte

Detroit
Bonderman
Verlander

Boston
Beckett
Dice-K

Seattle
Hernandez
Washburn

With the exception of New York, the other three rotations have a few question marks in their number two spots. Bonderman wins (11 & 9) but has an Era of 5.01. Washburn is 9 & 13 and sporting his typical 4+ ERA. Dice-K has a number of strikeouts, yet is only two games over .500 and has a 4.44 ERA.

In almost every case, a majority of non playoff contending teams has a number two pitcher with an above .500 record and a sub 4.00 ERA. Of the following list, the only player that does not meet at least one of those criteria is Carlos Silva of the Twins. On poor clubs such as the Royals, Devil Rays, and Orioles, even their number two’s have solid stats, which I’ll put in quotations.

Poor Clubs:

KC
Banister
Meche & “7 & 12, 3.83 ERA”

Baltimore
Bedard
Guthrie “7-5, 3.65 ERA, 1.20 WHIP”

Tampa
Kazmir
Shields “12 & 8, 3.96 ERA, 1.12 WHIP”

Others:

Toronto
Halladay
McGowan

Oakland
Haren
Blanton

Chicago White Sox
Buehrle
Vazquez

Minnesota
Santana
Silva

What does this tell us? I’m not sure and this will probably lead me into some new research. Could it be that a strong front two isn’t as important as we’ve been led to believe? Or is this an anomaly?



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has written for mopupduty.com since 2006. Follow Matthias on Twitter, Facebook and Google +

  • The Jays might have the best top 3 for the playoffs if they actually were in contention. Halladay, Burnett (who leads the league in ERA since the all star break – your favourite stat) and McGowan are a force to be reckoned with.

  • AJ’s 2nd half ERA is somewhat misleading, as he’s missed time and only has 8 starts. The number 2 is Carmona and his 2.13 ERA in 13 starts. CC is number 3.

    Westbrook is just behind two spots behind Halladay & McGowan in AL 2nd half ERA. I’d have to go with the tribe as the best 1-2-3, as Byrd’s 15 – 6 record is hard to ignore. The Indians top three are 49 – 21 in 610.2 IP. The Jays top three are 35 – 23 in 522.1 IP. The ERA’s are pretty much a wash.

  • The difference there is Indians hitters are studs and Jays hitters are bums. That difference also translates to the Tribe being WS contenders and the Jays being…bums.

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