Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rotation Rankings: Week 4

Previous Rankings: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3

Week four of our Rotation Rankings: the statistical ranking of every rotation in Major League Baseball. For a better explanation, check out our debut rankings. More a fan of offense? Check out our Leadoff Rankings, based on every teams' first and second batters. As we get further into the season, these rankings are based mostly on season performance, with a small bias towards this week's performance when two teams were very comparable. There were some interesting ranking quirks this week, mostly because of fantastic weeks by some of the teams that had previously been lower in the rankings--something to be expected early in the season. A few teams actually improved on their season performances but managed to fall in the rankings, due solely to the fact that the teams behind them out performed them as well. Eventually these sort of things will even out, but after four weeks it's still easy enough for one great week to pull a team up 15 slots. To see which teams were the real movers and shakers this week, hit the jump!

G: Games; ERA: Earned Run Average; WHIP: (Walks + Hits)/Innings Pitched; GS: Game Score; K/BB: Strikeout-to-walk ratio; K/9: Strikeouts per nine innings

30. (LW: 27) Chicago Cubs (10-13, 5th NL Central)
This Week: 0-4, 9.26 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, 34.6 GS, 2.00 K/BB, 8.49 K/9
Season (126.1 IP): 5-10, 5.91 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 44.5 GS, 2.48 K/BB, 8.48 K/9
When your rotation starts the week ranked 27th in Major League Baseball (by our illustrious, debate-ending rankings) and then throws a 9.26 ERA, there's pretty much nowhere to go except rock-bottom. The best thing to say about any start this week was "at least four of the five runs Matt Garza gave up in six innings on Tuesday were unearned."

29. (LW: 24) Houston Astros (9-15, 6th NL Central)
This Week: 0-4, 6.27 ERA, 1.76 WHIP, 41.0 GS, 2.21 K/BB, 8.45 K/9
Season (139.0 IP): 4-11, 5.24 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 45.2 GS, 2.14 K/BB, 7.06 K/9
This Astros team actually has a pretty decent offense, not that you would know it by their record--all due to the play of their starting pitchers. J.A. Happ, just two years removed from a promising rookie year in Philadelphia (12-4, 2.93 ERA), has regressed to a 1-3 start with a 6.39 ERA in his first five starts.

28. (LW: 29) Arizona Diamondbacks (10-13, 4th NL West)
This Week: 2-4, 5.31 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 46.5 GS, 2.92 K/BB, 8.41 K/9
Season (133.0 IP): 7-11, 5.55 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 46.0 GS, 2.14 K/BB, 7.38 K/9
What's scary about this week is that, even as poor as those numbers are, the Diamondbacks had one of the best starts of the season this week--Ian Kennedy's complete-game shutout against the Phillies, a 91 gamescore. Four other starts this week were all gamescores under 36, including two in the 20s.

27. (LW: 16) Kansas City Royals (12-12, 2nd AL Central)
This Week: 0-5, 7.89 ERA, 1.85 WHIP, 34.5 GS, 1.89 K/BB, 5.16 K/9
Season (139.1 IP): 7-9, 4.91 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 46.6 GS, 2.42 K/BB, 5.62 K/9
It was known coming into the season that the hopeful future for the Royals lie in their talented young hitters--Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, and some guys that Royals brass are still grooming in the minors. The rotation just isn't good enough to cut it, especially in the better-hitting American League.

26. (LW: 25) Minnesota Twins (9-13, 4th AL Central) 
This Week: 3-1, 4.13 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 53.8 GS, 2.38 K/BB, 7.13 K/9
Season (132 IP): 7-11, 4.84 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 48.7 GS, 1.88 K/BB, 6.14 K/9
The Twins only played four games this week due to weather issues, which can't be a bad thing in Minneapolis as the Twins wait for the return of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. The rotation had three good starts balanced out by one poor one--Francisco Liriano going 3 IP, 7 ER against the Rays.

25. (LW: 30) New York Mets (11-13, 4th NL East)
This Week: 4-0, 2.58 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 55.8 GS, 2.20 K/BB, 5.17 K/9
Season (136.2 IP): 8-10, 4.81 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 47.2 GS, 1.69 K/BB, 6.45 K/9
The Mets, a week after it looked like their season might be done before the weather even got hot, won six in a row to surge back into...respectability? The WHIP is still 3rd-worst in the majors, and none of their current pitchers are blowing anybody away. R.A Dickey (1-3, 3.82 ERA) is a nice piece to have but he's their de facto ace for now, and that's just not a good sign.

24. (LW: 22) Pittsburgh Pirates (11-13, 4th NL Central)
This Week: 3-2, 4.96 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 47.5 GS, 1.79 K/BB, 6.89 K/9
Season (139.1 IP): 8-8, 4.65 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 47.6 GS, 1.42 K/BB, 5.43 K/9
It's been nine starts since Pittsburgh's had a starter throw 100 pitches (Kevin Correia threw 109 pitches on April 18th). We'd like to say that's because Pirates' starters have been effective in their pitch selection, but considering they only averaged a little over 5 innings per start this week, we'll just go ahead and say they're not pitching very well.

23. (LW: 28) Cincinnati Reds (13-12, 2nd NL Central)
This Week: 2-2, 3.68 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 52.5 GS, 3.33 K/BB, 7.36 K/9
Season (137.2 IP): 9-7, 4.90 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 49.4 GS, 2.76 K/BB, 8.30 K/9
Weird week for the Reds. On April 22nd, against the Chicago Cubs, they managed to not have a starting pitcher appear in the game--Edinson Volquez was warming up in the bullpen when a thunderstorm hit, and by the time the game started, the Reds didn't want Volquez throwing again--and the bullpen officially pitched the entire game.

22. (LW: 20) Toronto Blue Jays (11-13, 3rd AL East)
This Week: 2-2, 3.97 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 51.8 GS, 3.33 K/BB, 7.94 K/9
Season (135.2 IP): 6-9, 4.31 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 49.2 GS, 2.00 K/BB, 7.70 K/9
A talented-but-young (average age=25) rotation in Toronto bounced back from a 1-4, 7.58 ERA week with a much more solid 3.97 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, which is exactly what you want to see from a group of young pitchers. Every starter did give up at least two earned runs, however, except for Jo-Jo Reyes--who gave up 6 runs in 2.2 IP on Wednesday, but they were all unearned!

21. (LW: 21) Detroit Tigers (12-12, 3rd AL Central)
This Week: 3-2, 3.62 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 59.0 GS, 4.83 K/BB, 8.07 K/9
Season (145.2 IP): 8-10, 4.39 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 51.0 GS, 2.17 K/BB, 7.23 K/9
The Tigers rotation worked around a poor 4.1 IP, 7 ER performance by Phil Coke on Tuesday by getting Brad Penny and Max Scherzer to combine for 15 scoreless innings against the White Sox. Penny was particularly impressive in his seven innings, giving up naught but a hit for a game WHIP of 0.143.

20. (LW: 17) Colorado Rockies (16-7, 1st NL West)
This Week: 3-1, 3.72 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 37.1 GS, 2.25 K/BB, 8.38 K/9
Season (134.0 IP): 13-4, 4.16 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 50.8 GS, 1.90 K/BB, 6.38 K/9
It's been a rough start to the year for former flamethrower Ubaldo Jimenez (0-1, 6.75 ERA), the primary reason the Rockies are ranked this low early on in the season. Jorge De La Rosa managed not to walk anybody in his start on Wednesday, the first time all year a Rockies starter had avoided giving away a free pass.

19. (LW: 5) Texas Rangers (15-9, 1st AL West)
This Week: 3-2, 7.64 ERA, 1.81 WHIP, 38.5 GS, 2.14 K/BB, 8.18 K/9
Season (147.0: 13-6, 4.10 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 51.3 GS, 2.16 K/BB, 6.49 K/9
The Rangers started off the week with a sweep of the Royals, but Holland, Ogando, and Lewis combined to give up 10 earned runs in 20 innings, for a "meh" ERA of 4.50. Problem was, once they faced a pitching staff that wasn't the Royals (the Blue Jays), those numbers switched to 18 and 13, respectively--and the Rangers didn't fare as well (1-2, somehow).

18. (LW: 18) Baltimore Orioles (10-12, 4th AL East)
This Week: 1-2, 3.48 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 54.0 GS, 3.13 K/BB, 7.26 K/9
Season (124.2 IP): 7-10, 4.12 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 51.0 GS, 2.32 K/BB, 6.21 K/9
The Orioles got quality starts in four out of five starts this game, but were one of those unfortunate teams failed to move up in the rankings because of other teams just being better. Unfortunately for those Baltimore fans, the teams who were better happened to be the most dangerous teams in their division...but for now, success from Zach Britton (6 IP, 1 ER, W vs. Boston) can put off those thoughts for another week.

17. (LW: 14) Los Angeles Dodgers (13-13, 2nd NL West)
This Week: 2-2, 4.26 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 49.8 GS, 2.29 K/BB, 6.50 K/9
Season (158.1 IP): 9-11, 4.04 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 51.7 GS, 2.74 K/BB, 7.16 K/9
None of the starters really have a poor ERA, save for Ted Lilly's 5.13--Chad Billingsley is still a bit high at 4.46, but that's not atrocious at this point in the season, and very much salvagable. This is one team we're definitely keeping our eyes on to move up the rankings, especially if they can get that WHIP a little further away from the 1.40 region.

16. (LW: 7) Washington Nationals (10-13, 5th NL East)
This Week: 1-4, 4.98 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 44.2 GS, 1.15 K/BB, 3.93 K/9
Season (135.1 IP): 8-10, 3.92 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 49.3 GS, 2.05 K/BB, 5.32 K/9
What, you were expecting a rotation featuring a 36-year-old Livan Hernandez and an any-year-old John Lannan to be ranked in the top 10 all season? It was nice of the Nats to think they could hang around for a bit, but until Stephen Strasburg returns, the rotation will be sorely lacking anybody with even a semblance of top-of-the-rotation talent.

15. (LW: 12) Chicago White Sox (10-15, 5th AL Central)
This Week: 3-4, 4.57 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 51.1 GS, 2.87 K/BB, 8.54 K/9
Season (161.1 IP): 8-11, 4.02 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 52.6 GS, 2.83 K/BB, 7.25 K/9
Gavin Floyd had a good week, winning both his starts to improve his record to 3-1 while giving up four earned runs in 14 innings. On the season, Floyd has a solid 3.60 ERA and a much more solid 1.09 WHIP...yet somehow he managed to be dropped by 10% of fantasy owners on this week.

14. (LW: 11) San Francisco Giants (11-12, 3rd NL West)
This Week: 0-3, 4.50 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 51.8 GS, 2.00 K/BB, 9.00 K/9
Season (127.1 IP): 5-4, 3.96 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 52.4 GS, 2.17 K/BB, 8.13 K/9
Jonathan Sanchez (2-1, 3.21 ERA) and Tim Lincecum (2-2, 2.70 ERA) have been doing their part to help the rotation, but Madison Bumgarner (0-4, 6.17) is holding them back from a top-10 slot. Barry Zito's suffering from a foot injury, so the Giants have to stick with the struggling Bumgarner--though he is still just 21 years old.

13. (LW: 23) Boston Red Sox (10-13, 5th AL East)
This Week: 4-2, 2.11 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 64.2 GS, 3.70 K/BB, 7.80 K/9
Season (137.0 IP): 10-10, 4.01 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 52.9 GS, 2.10 K/BB, 7.03 K/9
It was a good week for the powerhouses in the AL East in general, and the Red Sox really needed a strong week to push back into contention. Josh Beckett, "Dice-K" Matsuzaka, Jon Lester and John Lackey all put up 70+ gamescores in four wins against the Angels, though they did then drop two games against the Orioles to end the week.

12. (LW: 26) New York Yankees (13-8, 1st AL East)
This Week: 2-1, 1.49 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 67.5 GS, 3.13 K/BB, 6.19 K/9
Season (121.2 IP): 8-4, 3.99 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 51.7 GS, 2.09 K/BB, 6.66 K/9
The biggest jump in the rankings this week came courtesy of the Bronx Bombers, helped out by the unlikeliest of heroes...Bartolo Colon. The 37-year-old--who hadn't pitched in the majors since 2009--won his first two starts this season, going 14.2 innings combined against the Blue Jays and White Sox while giving up just 12 hits and three runs!

11. (LW: 19) Seattle Mariners (10-15, 4th AL West)
This Week: 4-1, 2.39 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 59.5 GS, 2.33 K/BB, 6.69 K/9
Season (150.1 IP): 8-12, 3.89 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 51.4 GS, 2.59 K/BB, 7.12 K/9
King Felix started to regain his crown this week after a rough start to the season, shutting out the Athletics for 7.2 innings on Thursday for his second win of the season. He followed that up with a solid six innings against the Tigers on the road, picking up his third win while allowing three runs (two earned).

10. (LW: 3) Milwaukee Brewers (12-12, 3rd NL Central)
This Week: 2-1, 6.29 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 45.5 GS, 3.22 K/BB, 7.60 K/9
Season (143.1 IP): 9-5, 3.83 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 52.0 GS, 2.64 K/BB, 7.28 K/9
Milwaukee clung onto a top-10 ranking despite a horrid performance from the rotation, but it'll take a quick turnaround to prevent a fall into the bottom half of the rankings--not to mention losing major ground in the NL Central. Yovani Gallardo (2-1, 5.70 ERA) has been a disappointment so far this year, as he's supposed to be hitting his prime years.

9. (LW: 9) Cleveland Indians (15-8, 1st AL Central)
This Week: 2-1, 4.50 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 48.8 GS, 1.60 K/BB, 5.14 K/9
Season (141.1 IP): 12-5, 3.76 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 52.7 GS, 1.98 K/BB, 5.92 K/9
Heard the name Josh Tomlin? The 6'1" Texan righthander gave the Indians 13.1 IP in two starts this week, giving up three earned runs (2.03 ERA) on just ten hits while walking two, for a WHIP under 1.00 in just the 16th and 17th career starts for the 26-year-old.

8. (LW: 4) San Diego Padres (9-16, 5th NL West)
This Week: 0-5, 4.64 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 48.1 GS, 1.61 K/BB, 6.12 K/9
Season (146.2 IP): 4-10, 3.50 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 52.3 GS, 2.09 K/BB, 5.77 K/9
You have to feel bad for the Padres rotation, who managed to hold the Phillies to just 10 runs in their 25 innings, but still managed to lose the entire series. It's got to be incredibly frustrating to put up good numbers when your offense is so terrible, and that might account for the Padres slipping already--or it could just be a bad week.

7. (LW: 15) Florida Marlins (15-8, 2nd NL East)
This Week: 3-1, 3.35 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 58.7 GS, 2.11 K/BB, 7.49 K/9
Season (139.0 IP): 9-4, 3.76 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 53.4 GS, 2.20 K/BB, 7.12 K/9
Despite having an ERA that's 0.26 higher than the Padres, the 7th spot in the rankings this week belongs to the Marlins. Florida compares favorably to the Friars in every other category, and their last week was much better due to Anibal Sanchez's 123-pitch one-hitter against the Rockies in Miami.

6. (LW: 6) Tampa Bay Rays (12-11, 2nd AL East)
This Week: 3-1, 3.57 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 56.0 GS, 2.45 K/BB, 6.88 K/9
Season (153.1 IP): 9-10, 3.58 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 54.6 GS, 2.34 K/BB, 6.05 K/9
After the Rays' first start of the week, a 4.2 IP loss by Jeff Niemann in which he gave up five earned runs to the White Sox, you wouldn't think that Tampa Bay would managed to stay right near the top five. However, James Shields negated that with his complete-game shutout of the Blue Jays, and the rest of the rotation was pretty much par for the Rays course.

5. (LW: 13) Philadelphia Phillies (16-8, 1st NL East)
This Week: 4-2, 2.89 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 63.2 GS, 4.73 K/BB, 10.03 K/9
Season (152.2 IP): 11-6, 3.66 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 56.6 GS, 4.69 K/BB, 8.84 K/9
The Phillies' rotation continues to move towards where we thought they would be coming into the season, helped by a pitching domination of the Padres (who serve as a nice boost to any rotation's stats). In a four-game sweep in San Diego, the rotation went 3-0, throwing 29.2 IP with a 0.91 ERA and an average gamescore of 72.8.

4. (LW: 10) St. Louis Cardinals (12-11, 1st NL Central)
This Week: 4-0, 1.60 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 63.8 GS, 1.86 K/BB, 5.95 K/9
Season (148.0 IP): 12-4, 3.22 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 54.3 GS, 2.35 K/BB, 6.57 K/9
The best rotation ERA in baseball this week came courtesy of the Cardinals, helped out by 0-run performances from Kyle Lohse (7 IP @ Houston), Jake Westbrook (6 IP vs. Cincinnati), and Kyle Lohse again (9 IP vs. Washington). Even more impressive was that they managed to leap teams like the Phillies and Rays when facing half-decent offenses in the Astros, Reds, and Nationals.

3. (LW: 9) Atlanta Braves (13-13, 3rd NL East)
This Week: 4-0, 1.81 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 65.4 GS, 5.11 K/BB, 8.34 K/9
Season (159.2 IP): 10-10, 3.16 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 56.2 GS, 3.02 K/BB, 7.33 K/9
The Braves were solid top-to-bottom this week, with every starter going at least six innings while throwing gamescores of 58, 73, 62, 65, 59, 63, and 78. That's great consistency, helped by Tommy Hanson's 14 innings of one-run ball this week--he also happened to have 14 strikeouts against just one walk.

2. (LW: 2) Los Angeles Angels (14-11, 2nd AL West)
This Week: 2-3, 3.18 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 55.1 GS, 2.00 K/BB, 7.15 K/9
Season (161.2 IP): 12-6, 3.06 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 57.7 GS, 2.85 K/BB, 7.29 K/9
It's officially become the Jered Weaver show in Los Angeles. The 28-year-old is in the prime of his career, starting off the season 6-0 with a 0.99 ERA after his complete-game shutout in Anaheim on Tuesday. In addition to having half the rotation's wins, he's also the only Angels starter with double-digit strikeout games, of which he has two.

1. (LW: 1) Oakland Athletics (12-13, 3rd AL West)
This Week: 2-4, 3.59 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 51. GS, 2.50 K/BB, 5.27 K/9
Season (160.2 IP): 9-7, 2.46 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 57.7 GS, 3.13 K/BB, 7.00 K/9
The"worst" week of the A's rotation so far this week was a mixture of good (Brandon McCarthy's 8 innings, 1 ER loss against Seattle) and bad (5.1 IP, 7 ER by...Brandon McCarthy). However, each starter gave up only one walk in at least five innings in six out of the seven starts this week.

No comments:

Post a Comment