Thursday, May 12, 2011

Rotation Rankings: Week 6

Previous Rankings: Week 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Week six of our Rotation Rankings: the statistical ranking of every rotation in Major League Baseball. More a fan of offense? Check out our Leadoff Rankings, based on every teams' first and second batters.This week, we're bringing out something new: a normalized formula. For the last few weeks, we've been basically eyeballing the stats, using our knowledge of the teams as well as the numbers to try and place each time in a slot that made the most sense based on season performance, while keeping in mind how the last week went for each team. Now, however, we have a formula--using WHIP, ERA, and some other statistics, we've compared them all to league averages to come up with normalized scores, which we've then set to a ratio according to importance (WHIP being more important than K/9, for example), which gives us a final, weighted, relative score. The season stats get weighted towards 90% of the total, while the last week's statistics account for the last 10% (allowing some fluctuation based on recent performance, which is really what most Power Rankings do without realizing it). To see how much movement there was when we switched to the formula (as well as how your favorite team stacks up), 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: 25) Minnesota Twins (12-23, 5th AL Central)
This Week: 1-3, 6.28 ERA, 1.75 WHIP, 42.7 GS, 1.57 K/BB, 6.91 K/9
Season (203.2 IP): 10-18, 4.95 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 46.9 GS, 1.65 K/BB, 5.61 K/9
Minnesota is going the wrong way. Liriano followed up his no-hitter with a three-inning, four-run pounding. In six games, four starters didn’t make an out in the sixth inning. No wonder their combined record for the week was 1-3 with two no decisions.

29. (LW: 30) Chicago Cubs (16-20, 4th NL Central)
This Week: 1-2, 4.07 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 54.8 GS, 2.70 K/BB, 7.84 K/9
Season (200.2 IP): 9-15, 5.61 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 46.1 GS, 2.19 K/BB, 7.76 K/9
The Cubs manage to move out of the basement due to an awful week by the Twins. The strikeout numbers and WHIP was pretty good for the week, but the Cubs rotation as a whole has been a major reason the Cubs aren't in near the top of the division--the hitters, especially Castro and Barney, have been a big help.

28. (LW: 22) Toronto Blue Jays (17-20, t-4th AL East)
This Week: 2-4, 6.69 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 42.9 GS, 1.76 K/BB, 7.43 K/9
Season (204.2 IP): 10-15, 4.75 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 48.3 GS, 1.99 K/BB, 7.87 K/9
Not exactly the direction the Blue Jays wanted to go. Only two starters (Litsch and Reyes) made it into the seventh inning with Litsch being the only one to allow less than three earned runs in a start. This week marks the second week in a row with a WHIP around 1.5 (not good). Their game score dropped for the third straight week.

27. (LW: 24) Houston Astros (14-23, 6th NL Central)
This Week: 1-4, 5.56 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 44.6 GS, 2.19 K/BB, 7.21 K/9
Season (244.2 IP): 7-17, 4.89 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 47.3 GS, 2.29 K/BB, 7.30 K/9
Boy, the Astros must be missing that Roy Oswalt fella. After a good week with a 2.48 ERA, Houston went very far south, going 1-4 with two no decisions. Brett Myers gave up six runs twice. The only worthy starter right now? Wandy Rodriquez, who allowed five earned in 14 innings. At least they know how to strike guys out (five per game).

26. (LW: 27) Kansas City Royals (20-17, 2nd AL Central)
This Week: 1-3, 2.89 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 54.0 GS, 1.67 K/BB, 3.62 K/9
Season (216.3 IP): 9-14, 4.78 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 46.7 GS, 1.74 K/BB, 4.91 K/9
Well that’s certainly quite a way to bounce back from two horrendous weeks in a row. All the starters never allowed more than three earned in a start (compared to six such starts the past two weeks) and averaged more than six innings per start this week (compared to just over five the last two weeks). Management has to be thrilled to see the ERA drop from 6.27 to 2.89 and the WHIP drop .6 points to 1.18. Now if only the offense could get these guys some wins.

25. (LW: 6) Boston Red Sox (17-20, t-4th AL East)
This Week: 2-3, 7.51 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, 36.7 GS, 1.10 K/BB, 5.40 K/9
Season (217.0 IP): 15-14, 4.23 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 50.8 GS, 1.79 K/BB, 6.68 K/9
So this is how Sox fans are rewarded for watching two weeks of superb pitching. Last week’s 17 walks seemed to spark a trend (24 this week). Only Josh Beckett made it through seven innings this week, shutting down the Twins for no runs with five K’s but had to settle for a no decision.

24. (LW: 26) New York Mets (17-20, 5th NL East)
This Week: 2-2, 3.23 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 51.8 GS, 1.57 K/BB, 5.08 K/9
Season (217.2 IP): 10-16, 4.55 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 47.8 GS, 1.71 K/BB, 5.95 K/9
A 3.23 ERA is definitely an improvement over last week’s 4.54. But Mike Pelfrey was the only starter to record the W (he got two). After two respectable weeks, the rotation gave up 2.33 walks per game and only struck out 3.67. That ratio doesn’t work in the long run.

23. (LW: 28) Arizona Diamondbacks (15-21, 4th NL West)
This Week: 1-2, 2.95 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 55.3 GS, 1.61 K/BB, 7.12 K/9
Season (215.2 IP): 10-15, 4.88 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 48.3 GS, 1.90 K/BB, 6.80 K/9
Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson threw a combined 15 shutout innings, and the D-Backs rotation had by far their best week of the season.  They had a 2.95 ERA this week, compared to a 4.58 mark last week--their previous best.  Though the rotation for the season has a 4.91 ERA and only 1.90 K/BB, at least they are showing some signs of improvement.

22. (LW: 14) Baltimore Orioles (17-20, t-4th AL East)
This Week: 1-4, 7.63 ERA, 1.66 HWIP, 38.7 GS, 2.09 K/BB, 6.75 K/9
Season (205.1 IP): 12-15, 4.30 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 50.3 GS, 2.19 K/BB, 5.96 K/9
Baltimore’s recent run of solid starting came to an end. Not one pitcher recorded an out in the seventh inning or later. The bright spots came in the past two games against Seattle. Arrieta and Tillman combined for 12 innings of 3-run ball while striking out 11. Those were the only games any starter went six complete innings. Apparently Tillman was doing his best to recover from an eight-run shellacking against the Royals where he was knocked out after 3 2/3 innings.

21. (LW: 23) Pittsburgh Pirates (18-19, 3rd NL Central)
This Week: 1-2, 2.10 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 57.0 GS, 2.00 K/BB, 5.59 K/9
Season (219.2 IP): 13-21, 4.02 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 49.7 GS, 1.53 K/BB, 5.41 K/9
The Pirates have been steadily trending upwards in recent weeks. There most recent efforts led to a 2.10 ERA, with only Correia allowing more than two runs. McDonald and Maholm (0-1, no decision, 3 earned, 19 innings and 15 K’s in three combined starts) are continuing to show that they can be the young aces this franchise desperately needs (and will likely trade away if history repeats itself).

20. (LW: 5) San Diego Padres (15-22, 5th NL West)
This Week: 1-3, 6.82 ERA, 1.73 WHIP, 39.0 GS, 2.30 K/BB, 6.27 K/9
Season (215.0 IP): 6-16, 3.89 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 50.5 GS, 2.15 K/BB, 6.11 K/9
During a week in which they faced two mediocre offensive teams (the Brewers are 18th in runs scored, the D-backs are 16th), the Padres starters turned in three abysmal performances. Three times this week a Padres starter gave up six or more runs, leading to a rotation ERA on 6.82 with a 1.73 WHIP.

19. (LW: 8) Washington Nationals (18-19, 4th NL East)
This Week: 2-2, 5.67 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 46.2 GS, 1.50 K/BB, 5.67 K/9
Season (224.0 IP): 14-15, 3.98 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 50.4 GS, 2.09 K/BB, 5.63 K/9
The Nats starters were cruising…until this week. A 5.67 ERA (dessimated by Lannan’s 2-inning, 6-earned tanker) is not the way to follow up a 2.93 ERA last week. The staff must get their strikeouts up and cut their 1.44 WHIP significantly stay near the top of the majors.

18. (LW: 29) Cincinnati Reds (20-17, 2nd NL Central)
This Week: 5-0, 1.71 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 59.0 GS, 2.21 K/BB, 6.64 K/9
Season (204.2 IP): 14-10, 4.62 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 49.9 GS, 2.43 K/BB, 7.92 K/9
The Reds had quite a recovery after last week’s abysmal performances. Cueto, Wood and Bailey (second start) each allowed goose eggs and Bailey (first start) and Arroyo gave up one run each. A sparkling 1.71 ERA led to an undefeated week for Cincy’s starters (5-0, two no decisions).

17. (LW: 11) Texas Rangers (19-18, t-2nd AL West)
This Week: 1-3, 4.58 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 50.8 GS, 1.29 K/BB, 5.60 K/9
Season (227.0 IP): 16-11, 3.89 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 52.4 GS, 2.11 K/BB, 6.62 K/9
Colby Lewis allowed only four earned runs in 15.1 innings pitched (2.35 ERA) this week, but Derek Holland couldn't record on out in the fourth inning of his start. Despite the respectable 1.27 WHIP this week, the rotation ERA was their second-worst of the season, at 4.58.

16. (LW: 18) New York Yankees (20-15, 2nd AL East)
This Week: 3-1, 2.87 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 55.7 GS, 1.50 K/BB, 5.02 K/9
Season (207.2 IP): 14-8, 3.90 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 51.0 GS, 2.09 K/BB, 6.72 K/9
The Bombers got another good week out of everyone except Bartolo Colon (4 1/3, 5 earned). Four starters allowed two or fewer earned runs, but only got three wins. One thing to watch out for is the sudden drop in strikeouts-- 21 this week after 42 last week. A staff that relies on the K's as heavily as the Yanks can't survive with so few.

15. (LW: 19) Colorado Rockies (19-16, 1st NL West)
This Week: 0-2, 2.37 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 51.4 GS, 1.24 K/BB, 7.34 K/9
Season (206.2 IP): 15-8, 3.92 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 52.5 GS, 1.71 K/BB, 6.92 K/9
Every Rockies starter complete at least six innings this week, as the rotation pitched to a 2.37 ERA with 7.34 K/9.  Jhoulys Chacin is having a breakout season (2.68 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 7.09 K/9) at only age 23 for the Rox.

14. (LW: 20) Milwaukee Brewers (16-21, 5th NL Central)
This Week: 3-2, 4.57 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 50.8 GS, 4.33 K/BB, 8.49 K/9
Season (219.0 IP): 12-11, 4.19 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 51.1 GS, 2.92 K/BB, 7.81 K/9
The Brewers starting five continue to struggle. Gallardo seemed to get back on track in an eight-inning shutout win over the Cardinals, but one game is a small sample size. Thankfully for Milwaukee, their pitchers allowed more than 2 runs just three times (compared to eight times the past two weeks).

13. (LW: 21) Chicago White Sox (15-23, 4th AL Central)
This Week: 2-1, 3.07 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 57.5 GS, 3.25 K/BB, 5.71 K/9
Season (248.0 IP): 11-18, 3.96 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 52.8 GS, 2.49 K/BB, 6.42 K/9
The White Sox finally move out of the AL Central cellar thanks in large part to a solid week from the rotation. Gavin Floyd pitched eight shutout innings at Seattle on Saturday, but the story of the week was still Jake Peavy. The former Padres ace pitched his first six innings of the year on Thursday, striking out four while letting in four runs, though reviews were positive.

12. (LW: 17) Detroit Tigers (20-18, 3rd AL Central)
This Week: 5-1, 2.58 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 57.1 GS, 2.20 K/BB, 4.37 K/9
Season (237.2 IP): 15-12, 3.79 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 53.1 GS, 2.20 K/BB, 6.74 K/9
The Tigers have some excellent pitching going for them the past few weeks. Then again, it doesn’t hurt to have a no-no courtesy of Justin Verlander over Toronto. Detroits starting five went 5-1 with a no decision and gave up three walks or more in a start just once. But congrats to Verlander on his second career no-hitter, whiffing four Blue Jays and walking just one.

11. (LW: 16) Florida Marlins (21-15, 2nd NL East)
This Week: 1-3, 3.40 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 55.9 GS, 3.62 K/BB, 9.40 K/9
Season (219.0 IP): 12-7, 3.86 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 52.5 GS, 2.22 K/BB, 7.19 K/9
A much better week for the Florida staff. Sanchez threw seven shutout innings and Josh Johnson (7 innings, 1 earned, 7 K’s, no decision) proved that he may be the only pitcher in the league, and certainly the division, that can dance with Roy Halladay every time they face. Only Vazquez and Nolasco (in his second start) threw less than 100 pitches in their starts. Not bad.

10. (LW: 7) Cleveland Indians (23-13, 1st AL Central)
This Week: 1-1, 2.97 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 51.7 GS, 2.67 K/BB, 5.95 K/9
Season (225.1 IP): 13-6, 3.51 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 53.1 GS, 2.19 K/BB, 6.03 K/9
This marks three good weeks out of the last four. Despite having nobody pitch into the eighth inning, Carmona, Masterson and Gomez threw gems, allowing two earned runs combined. Carrasco didn’t fair too well in his second effort of the week (4 earned, 5 innings) and the WHIP (1.4) is very high for such success, which may explain the four no decisions. But in all, the Indians got a solid week out of these guys.

9. (LW: 9) Seattle Mariners (16-22, 4th AL West)
This Week: 2-2, 3.76 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 51.0 GS, 2.90 K/BB, 6.81 K/9
Season (237.1 IP): 13-15, 3.60 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 53.2 GS, 2.73 K/BB, 7.24 K/9
Felix Hernandez followed up his complete game victory over the White Sox with a poor outing (four earned runs in five innings) yesterday in Baltimore. That's the story of this Mariners rotation: inconsistent. Their Week One ERA was 2.98, and in week two it was 6.21.

8. (LW: 13) Los Angeles Dodgers (18-20, 3rd NL West)
This Week: 3-2, 3.05 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 55.8 GS, 1.88 K/BB, 7.04 K/9
Season (235.2 IP): 14-15, 3.74 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 53.4 GS, 2.65 K/BB, 7.29 K/9
Though the Dodgers rotation had a mediocre WHIP this week of 1.30, they managed to limit the damage with a 3.05 ERA. The only starter who gave up more than three runs in a start this week, Hiroki Kuroda, also threw seven shutout innings in his start yesterday to help his team to a road win.

7. (LW: 15) St. Louis Cardinals (22-16, 1st NL Central)
This Week: 3-2, 3.10 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 57.3 GS, 3.00 K/BB, 5.97 K/9
Season (237.1 IP): 16-6, 3.53 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 52.6 GS, 2.21 K/BB, 6.03 K/9
The best start of the week in the National League belonged to Jaime Garcia, who threw a two-hitter with 87 strikeouts and no walks, for a lovely gamescore of 90. Kyle Lohse and Kyle McClellan followed that start up with eight-inning, one-run performances of their own to help the Cardinals jump up eight slots in the rankings.

6. (LW: 12) San Francisco Giants (21-16, 1st NL West)
This Week: 2-1, 2.81 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 60.2 GS, 2.33 K/BB, 8.22 K/9
Season (215.0 IP): 9-1, 3.56 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 54.8 GS, 2.33 K/BB, 8.58 K/9
Though only one Giants starter threw more than 100 pitches in a start this week (Tim Lincecum threw 113 on Tuesday), the rotation must have been extremely efficient.  They went an average of 6.39 innings with a 2.82 ERA and 1.07 WHIP.  Their season WHIP is still up at 1.26, but it is on the way down.

5. (LW: 10) Tampa Bay Rays (22-15, 1st AL East)
This Week: 5-0, 1.93 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 61.8 GS, 1.72 K/BB, 7.47 K/9
Season (237.2 IP): 16-12, 3.41 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 55.0 GS, 2.26 K/BB, 6.32 K/9
The rotation stepped up big this week, sweeping the Orioles and winning two more against Toronto and Cleveland. The only blemish came with Sonnanstine on the mound (3 1/3, 2 earned). David Price continued to prove why he’s a Cy Young pitcher, allowing two runs in 16 2/3 innings, walking none and striking out 17. Not bad for a week’s worth of work.

4. (LW: 4) Los Angeles Angels (21-17, 1st AL West)
This Week: 2-2, 2.91 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 55.0 GS, 1.42 K/BB, 5.24 K/9
Season (242.0 IP): 15-10, 3.12 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 56.6 GS, 2.64 K/BB, 7.07 K/9
Only once this week did an Angels starter not complete the sixth inning (when Joel Pineiro went 5.2 scoreless on May 5th), and the rotation had a 2.92 ERA in seven games.  Despite those strong performances, the Angels starters only went 2-2 with three no decisions--two of which were given to Tyler Chatwood despite 14.1 IP and only two earned runs allowed.

3. (LW: 1) Oakland Athletics (19-18, t-2nd AL West)
This Week: 3-2, 3.22 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 57.7 GS, 2.14 K/BB, 6.43 K/9
Season (240.2 IP): 15-10, 2.62 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 57.0 GS, 2.62 K/BB, 6.77 K/9
The A's 2.62 rotation ERA continues to be tops in baseball, as they pitched to a paltry 1.17 WHIP this week. Trevor Cahill has given up four earned runs in his last five starts combined, giving him a 1.72 ERA on the season while completing the seventh inning in five of his eight starts.

2. (LW: 2) Atlanta Braves (21-28, 3rd NL East)
This Week: 2-2, 2.14 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 55.3 GS, 2.44 K/BB, 5.88 K/9
Season (240.0 IP): 15-12, 3.04 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 56.7 GS, 2.98 K/BB, 7.05 K/9
When your worst starts are two games allowing three runs each, call it a good week. When two other starters through six scoreless innings, call it a great week. When all that leads to just a 2-2 record with two no decisions, call in better hitters. This marks the third straight week with a sub-3.00 ERA. This staff is clicking on all cylinders.

1. (LW: 3) Philadelphia Phillies (24-12, 1st NL East)
This Week: 3-3, 3.00 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 59.8 GS, 7.57 K/bb, 10.6 K/9
Season (234.2 IP): 18-9, 3.11 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 59.1 GS, 4.98 K/BB, 8.97 K/9
Here they are, right where they’re supposed to be. The Phillies’ R2-C2 minus an R sits at the top after a solid week. The 3.00 ERA is a little tilted with Joe Blanton’s three earned in five innings, but the big surprise has to be Kendrick’s five innings of scoreless ball. Halladay continues to prove why he’s arguably the best in the bigs, despite the loss to Florida’s Josh Johnson in a classic 2-1 pitchers duel.

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