A rotation slugfest: Red Sox vs. Yankees.

Anthony McCarron of the “NYDailynews.com” does what I should have done; comparing the two rotations.  The ones in the Bronx and in Beantown.

Now who this guy is, is beyond me.  After all, I am not from New York, and rarely visit any of their papers/websites.

But the exercise itself, is quite a fun one if you are fans of
either team.  And maybe fun even if one is not.  Except those that are
fans of teams that can’t absorb 11.5 million dollars for a single
year.  And fans of teams that have no shot of signing a pitcher on the
free agent market for approximately $17 mill.

But anyway, you get my point, I am all for a salary cap, but will
love the game regardless.  Although let us be realistic, it is easier
to stick around and watch the games when one’s team is always in
contention.

Anyway, here we go.

The first point I would like to make is that he compares individual
pitchers to each other, such as CC to Beckett, AJ to Lackey, etc.  This
is the most entertaining way to do it, but is not the best or most
effective way.  The rotation as a whole is greater than the individual
comparisons, at least in terms of the regular season.

Second, I am not so sure that Beckett is even better than Lester at
this point.  And quite frankly, Lackey is probably not better than
either.  Beckett makes more sense, because he and CC have had longer
careers, and seem more comparable.  But Lester may in fact be the best
pitcher on this staff.  This coming from a guy (me) that was incredibly
hesitant to declare Lester an “Ace” after a very good 2008 campaign.

That “hesitancy” is lost, no longer, incognito, then subtracted altogether.

But anyway, if we are going to go with CC vs. Beckett, then CC gets
the nod.  He has been the better regular season pitcher each of the
last three seasons, and any signs that he couldn’t handle the
postseason have been all but erased.

Josh Beckett is very good.  But his consistency is in question the
past two seasons, although at his best, I would take him over
Sabathia.  But the overall edge goes to CC, and although there may be
an argument either way, there really isn’t much of one  :)

Although, “xFIP” may disagree…Still, I think CC is the right choice given his workload + great rate numbers.

The next matchup featured Burnett vs. Lackey.  I will revise it however, and go with Burnett vs. Lester.

As I mentioned, I believe that Lester is an ace.  I am more of a
“Burnett is a number two” kind of guy.  Because even though he always
sports a great FIP, his runs given up never really match up.  And this
came with having a very good defense behind him in Toronto,
particularly in 2008.

Lester is the obvious choice here, even though some people still
believe that Burnett’s stuff is as good as anyone.  And that may be the
case.

But stuff isn’t everything…

Lackey would of course be bumped down, and in my opinion Javier
Vazquez would be moved up a notch.  Look, no disrespect to Pettitte,
but he isn’t as good as he once was.  And although Vazquez will have a
few more troubles in 2010, so will Pettitte, I believe.  Whether the
Yankees want Pettitte starting a game three is up to them.  But for
this exercise, 2010 Vazquez is greater than 2010 Pettitte.

Anyway, Lackey wins either way :)
  Doing it in the AL, and doing it well, Lackey is the superior
pitcher, assuming his arm doesn’t fall off.  I like the acquisition of
Javy, but Lackey has the track record of success, at least slightly
better than Vazquez’s.

I guess the exercise gets better with Pettitte vs. Daisuke, rather
than vs. Buchholz.  Pettitte wins, because of Daisuke’s lack of
control.  I am actually confident that Matsuzaka will be worth more
than his base salary this season, but optimism and results are two
separate categories.  And the results point to Pettitte.

As for the fifth, I agree with “unknown scout” that Andrew uses. 
Not only do we have no idea who the scout is, we also don’t know if he
has any credibility at all.  But, he IS a scout.

Joba hasn’t exactly lit up the rotation, and Hughes hasn’t done
anything as a starter.  Buchholz has developed a good two-seam fastball
to compliment his great off-speed stuff.  It isn’t a landslide for
Buchholz over Joba, but seeing what we saw from Joba down the stretch
leaves me some asking some questions.

A slight win for Clay.

The X-factor is depth.  The Red Sox have Tim Wakefield, the
league-average starter, and Junichi Tazawa and Michael Bowden waiting
in the wings.  Those are personally more appealing than Gaudin, Hughes,
and Mitre.  Although Hughes probably still has the most upside of the
crew, the edge still goes to the Red Sox.

Overall, both great rotations, I mean really great.  But I would
take the Red Sox crop of arms, over that of the Yanks.  It isn’t a
landslide, but to me there is separation enough to leave me confident
in my choice.

Of course, the Yankees have a clear edge on the offensive side of the ball…

1 Comment

If you wish to comment, I would prefer the discussion take place at my preferred site. Thanks.

http://www.statisticianmagician.com/?p=573

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