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Reviewing the rotations; Nats, Dodgers lead the way

Jun 18, 2012, 3:49 PM EDT

David Price Reuters

A couple of months before the season, I used my Rotoworld projections to rank the rotations, based strictly on ERA, from 1-30. Let’s look at that list now and see where each team starters’ measure up about 40 percent of the way through the season.

Projected rank – Team – Current rank

1. Phillies: 3.39 – 10
2. Cardinals: 3.648 – 7
3. Giants: 3.649 – 3
4. Angels: 3.68 – 4
5. Rays: 3.69 – 5
6. Nationals: 3.70 – 1
7. Red Sox: 3.70 – 27
8. Braves: 3.71 – 17
9. Marlins: 3.74 – 8
10. Dodgers: 3.77 – 2
11. Brewers: 3.81 – 14
12. Tigers: 3.83 – 22
13. Yankees: 3.89 – 16
14. Mariners: 3.93 – 23
15. Diamondbacks: 3.93 – 12
16. Reds: 3.94 – 11
17. Padres: 3.97 – 18
18. Rangers: 3.98 – 9
19. White Sox: 4.04 – 19
20. Athletics: 4.07 – 20
21. Cubs: 4.08 – 21
22. Mets: 4.08 – 6
23. Blue Jays: 4.10 – 15
24. Indians: 4.12 – 25
25. Pirates: 4.18 – 13
26. Rockies: 4.24 – 30
27. Astros: 4.24 – 26
28. Twins: 4.28 – 29
29. Royals: 4.32 – 28
30. Orioles: 4.36 – 24

Not too shabby, right? Eight of the teams projected to be in the top 10 are currently in the top 10. The exceptions there are the Braves and Red Sox. I was expecting good things from Mike Minor and Daniel Bard, but both have been major disappointments. The Red Sox, all of the way down at No. 27, don’t have a single starter with a sub-4.00 ERA, though Clay Buchholz and Josh Beckett have been much better lately. They won’t get back into the top 10 this year, but they’re sure to keep improving.

Obviously, the Mets have really exceeded expectations, thanks to a healthy Johan Santana and a superb R.A. Dickey. The Rangers have overcome their hitter friendly ballpark so far, but typically, ERAs do rise throughout the summer in the heat of Texas. The Pirates have been another nice surprise, but with Erik Bedard struggling of late and Charlie Morton down, they no longer crack the top 10.

The Dodgers, up at No. 2, are a team I thought would be much better last year (I had them third then behind the Phillies and Giants), but I wasn’t very optimistic about the Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang additions and I was down on Chad Billingsley headed into this season. Indeed, all of the non-Clayton Kershaw starters are outpitching their projections. They’ve even gotten a 1.82 ERA from Nathan Eovaldi with Ted Lilly out the last few weeks.

And then there’s the Nationals in first. Their top four starters have ERAs of 2.45, 2.52, 2.92 and 3.02 at the moment. I was pretty high on that group going in; the weakest of the bunch, Edwin Jackson, was the No. 42 starting pitcher in my fantasy rankings. But the consistent excellence from the rotation has been remarkable. Even Ross Detwiler, who was (wrongly) pulled from the rotation to give Chien-Ming Wang a shot, had a 3.88 ERA in his nine starts. Wang is at 5.02 after three turns.

  1. jarathen - Jun 18, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    What’s scary is that the Angels are #4 despite a poor year from Ervin Santana and an uncharacteristically uneven effort from Dan Haren thus far. This rotation can get BETTER.

    • natslady - Jun 19, 2012 at 9:30 AM

      ERA’s might rise in the heat of a DC/Ballmer summer too–we are about to have one heck of a heat wave here, right when the Nats are at home and in Baltimore.

  2. mattyflex - Jun 18, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    I’m not trying to troll because the article is fine, but WordPress has a table format that you may want to look into. This gave me a headache.

  3. Phillies Homer - Jun 18, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    “Not too shabby, right? Eight of the teams projected to be in the top 10 are currently in the top 20.”

    I was going to come on here and say that having 8 of the teams projected in the top 10 currently in the top 20 is not very good. But, you’re just not very good at writing since, I believe you meant to say, that you currently have 8 teams projected in the top 10, currently in the top 10.

    • hittfamily - Jun 18, 2012 at 10:18 PM


  4. ajcardsfan - Jun 18, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    I’m glad the Cardinals are doing as good as they are even though 2 of their starters, one being a former Ace, are on the DL. Lance Lynn has definitely done a fantastic job carrying his own weight. Wainwright is still struggling a small bit. Hopefully, when/if they return this season Garcia and Carpenter can create competition for that 5th spot (the other loser going to the bullpen – possibly Garcia) and sending Kelly back to Memphis for another season or moving somebody else in our bullpen down.

    • l0yalr0yal - Jun 18, 2012 at 4:40 PM

      That moment when no one asks “wonder what someone thinks about the Cardinals pitching staff” yet we get it regardless.

      • ajcardsfan - Jun 18, 2012 at 5:10 PM

        That moment when no one asks for a Douche bag, yet we get one regardless.

        FYI, I support the Royals when we’re not facing each other in inter-league play.

      • l0yalr0yal - Jun 18, 2012 at 5:18 PM

        Relax, baby. I’d be upset if some eight-time all-star second baseman named Yuniesky Betancourt took a series from me, too.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jun 18, 2012 at 5:34 PM

        Last weekend’s series has your chest heaving out huh Royal? I understand. I get it.
        You aren’t used to it…so you aren’t sure how to act. Act like you belong and it won’t be so obvious.
        The article most certainly mentions the Cardinals (original ranking of #2 and now #7).
        As a result, AJ can post what he deems is necessary.
        On second thought…this is a freaking blog. ANYONE can post what they deem necessary.

  5. Tyler - Jun 18, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    I’m curious where these ERA numbers come from? According to MLB and ESPN, the top 10 is as follows: Washington, LA Dodgers, San Francisco, LA Angels, Cincinnati, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Texas, NYY, Oakland.

    • tartan1 - Jun 18, 2012 at 4:48 PM

      I think the numbers are from the pre-season post (their utility in this post be-darned). I’ve got no clue where the ranks came from. I looked at R/G, ERA and a few other numbers and can’t get to the ranks.

      Not to mention, current teams in the top 10, not in the pre-season top 10:
      So, 5 out of 10 then?

      • tartan1 - Jun 18, 2012 at 4:50 PM

        It might be starting rotation ERAs, which is a very nebulous way to rank things. I suppose that’s it though.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Jun 18, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      These are just ERAs for starters. You can find them at B-ref’s split pages:

  6. rockthered1286 - Jun 18, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Scary thought is the O’s have a terrible starting rotation ERA, and they’re still 1 game behind the Yanks for 1st place. With hot bats and an amazing bullpen, imagine how good this team would be even if they replaced ONE starter (Duke, pick up the friggin phone and call the Cubs!).

  7. dan1111 - Jun 18, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    Way to go Red Sox with their -20 differential!

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