Rotations bode 7 game WS–Watch Wacha!


Before the Cardinals from St. Louis show up at Fenway this Wednesday for Game One of the World Series, let us acquaint ourselves with our opponents and size up our chances.  Today’s result, Starting pitchers, may surprise you…

Today, in Part Three, we will compare the two teams’ Starting pitchers.  Tomorrow, in Part Four will deal with the Closers and pens and DH.

Here are the latest depth charts listed by MLB []

The 5-4 deficit is the first thing that is striking.  With the red-hot Michael Wacha as the 5th man, the Cards are at a definite advantage in depth. 

To balance the equation, Sox manager Farrell would need to add either Dempster or Doubront and neither is in the same category as the Cards’ #5 slot starter, Michael Wacha or Shelby Miller.


Cardinal manager Mike Matheny may only use his top 4 starters, but Shelby Miller, who has 39 MLB startes, gives him the ability to rest his #1 and #2 starters to re-set them into a 6th or 7th game, or…

"insert Miller as a starter."


The latest forecast from St. Louis suggests that–despite the depth chart on the MLB website,  Cards’ manager Mike Matheny may continue to substitute red-and-white hot Micheal Wacha for Shelby Miller in the 1-4 rotation and

"this would be a major factor in the Sox chances of winning the World Series."

“After not taking the mound once during the National League Championship Series, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Shelby Miller is waiting to see if he will pitch in the World Series, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Miller was the odd man out of the Cardinals rotation as the team went into the postseason. While Adam Wainwright and Lance Lynn were locks, Miller was passed up by Michael Wacha and Joe Kelly despite making 31 regular season starts.

The Cardinals instead opted to use Miller in a long-relief role, one that the team would rather not use. If Miller were to be called on, that would likely mean an injury or ineffectiveness by the game’s starter.” []

Scouts explain rookie Wacha’s success: Wacha’s fastball sits in the mid-90s, features a tight curve, but his best weapon is his phenomenal changeup.

With that major caveat, we will use the top 4 starters for our stat comparison.

First, let’s assign our proprietary raw score from [0-1500] and then we will add the Baseball Cube numbers and commentary.

  • 1. A. Wainwright        [1,450]
  • 2. L. Lynn                   [945]
  • 3. J. Kelly                    [940]
  • 4. M. Wacha                [1,240]
  • 4. S. Miller                  [920]


RED SOX [4,360], CARDINALS [4,255]  with Miller #4.

CARDINALS [4,575], RED SOX [4,360]  with Wacha #4.

By our scoring system Wacha, currently rates as the #2 starter with his 1,240 points and the “winner” shifts when he or Miller are the #4 starter.

We will assume the managers will use the rotation orders listed above and look at the 4 Baseball Cube categories and scores.


Control   K-rating     Efficiency   vsPower










TOTALS:  Wainwright [291] vs. Lester [233]



Control   K-rating     Efficiency   vsPower










TOTALS:  LYNN [232] vs. LACKEY [239]



Control   K-rating     Efficiency   vsPower











BUCHHOLZ [238] vs. KELLY [199]


Control   K-rating     Efficiency   vsPower











WACHA [299] vs. PEAVY [282]



"CARDINALS 1,021 vs. RED SOX 992."

NOTES:  While the combined total give St. Louis the edge, it suggests that the St. Louis will be favored to win Game One at Fenway, as Wainwright is 58 points better than Lester; in Game Two, Lackey is barely [+7] better than Lynn; in Game Three Buchholz is +39 to beat Joe Kelly; and Peavy [850] the veteran LOSES to  future ace Michael Wacha [920] by 70 points.  Thus, using the Baseball Cube totals:

Game One: Cards +58

Game Two:  Sox +7

Game Three:  Sox + 39

Game Four:  Cards +70

Game Five: Cards +58

Game Six:  Sox +7

Game Seven:  Sox + 39

In this model, which assumes that the 1-4 starters will repeat their order after games 1-4,

the Red Sox would win the WS in Game Seven.

But, we haven’t added our raw scores to the Baseball Cube numbers for a Grand total for these nine pitchers; so, let’s see if this alters the projections.

  • 1. A. Wainwright        [1,450] + 291 =           1,741
  • 2. L. Lynn                   [945] + 232 =              1,177
  • 3. J. Kelly                    [940]+199 =                1,139
  • 4. M. Wacha                [1,240] + 299 =         1,539
  • 4. S. Miller                  [920] + 271 =              1,191
  • 1. J. Lester   [1,320] +233 =                1,553
  • 2. J. Lackey  [1,250] + 239 =              1,489
  • 3. C. Buchholz  [940] +238 =             1,178
  • 4. J. Peavy         [850] +282 =             1,132



                                                           RED SOX 5,352, CARDS 5,596. [with Wacha #4.]

Once again, with the Baseball Cube stats and our own stats combined, the St. Louis 1-4 starters best Boston’s 1-4 starters, but, this does not factor in Shelby Miller [1,191] and that could be very significant.

Now, with our combined stats in hand, let’s look at our World Series’ projections.

While the combined total give the advantage to the Cards, it suggests that St. Louis will be favored to win the Series, let’s look at potential matchups in Games One through Four:

Game One at Fenway: Wainwright is 188 points better than Lester.

Game Two at Fenway:  Lackey is barely 312 better than Lynn.

Game Three Buchholz is +39 to beat Joe Kelly.

Game Four: Michael Wacha [1,539] +407 over Peavy, the veteran [1,132].

Thus, using the COMBINED totals for all 7 games:

Game One: Cards +188  [L]

Game Two:  Sox +312      [W]

Game Three:  Sox +39     [W]

"Game Four:  Cards +108             [SWITCH FROM W TO L FOR SOX.]  [L]"

Game Five: Cards +188   [L]

Game Six:  Sox +312         [W]

Game Seven:  Sox + 39    [W]

In this model, which assumes that the 1-4 starters will repeat their order after games 1-4, the Red Sox would win the WS in Game Seven at Fenway with Buchholz besting starter Kelly and the rest of the Cards’ staff and pen.

But, suppose Cards’ manager reshuffles his rotation deck?

Since all 5 starters are RHPs, he could change things like this:

  • 1. A. Wainwright        [1,450]
  • 2. L. Lynn                   [945]
  • 3. M. Wacha                [1,240]
  • 4. J. Kelly                    [940]
  • 5. S. Miller                  [920]


If the Cardinal Manager, Mike Methany believes that the teams are evenly matched and the World Series will go the distance, to a game 7, he would know that  the starter in the #3 slot would rotate into that final game.

Instead of Joe Kelly [940] starting, he upgrades to Michael Wacha [1,240] vs. Sox #3 C. Buchholz  [940].

If Wacha starts Game Three for the Cards, it bumps Kelly [940] to one start at slot 4 and he who would face Peavy [1,132] in Game Four and give the Sox a slight advantage; but, that would allow him to give Michael Wacha  two starts in Game 3 and the final Series’ game.

So, to paraphrase Dylan:

“Don’t follow leaders” and Wacha pitching matchups.


Tomorrow, in Part Three, will evaluate the Starting pitchers and Part Four will deal with the Closers, pens and DHs.