Red Sox fan’s guide for who to root for in AL Wild Card Game
|SP||Daniel Mengden||4.79||2.89||0.5||Gerrit Cole||2.75||4.13||5.7||Luis Severino||2.99||4.93||5.1|
|SP||Trevor Cahill||3.52||2.33||1.9||Justin Verlander||2.96||7.37||5.7||CC Sabathia||4.04||2.67||2.4|
|SP||Edwin Jackson||4.64||2.07||0.6||Dallas Keuchel||3.67||2.88||3.2||Masahiro Tanaka||4.04||4.50||2.3|
|SP||Brett Anderson||4.09||2.77||0.8||Charlie Morton||3.66||2.98||2.7||Sonny Gray||4.25||2.16||1.5|
|SP||Frankie Montas||3.91||2.05||0.9||Lance McCullers Jr.||3.56||2.76||2.3||Lance Lynn||2.45||4.10||1.4|
|SP||Mike Fiers||4.26||6.00||0.4||Framber Valdez||5.07||1.08||0.0||J.A. Happ||4.44||4.78||0.6|
This is also an easy one. Let’s take a look at how the Astros starting rotation ranks in major pitching categories across baseball: ERA: 1st, FIP: 1st, WHIP: 1st, SO: 1st, IP: 2nd, fWAR: 2nd. Only the Indians even come close to the Astros rotation. Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole form potentially the scariest pitching duo in baseball, but everyone in that rotation is hurling at a near all-star level clip.
The Yankees haven’t been too shabby either. Luis Severino has fallen out of the Cy Young discussion somewhat, but he’s still one of the best in baseball. Meanwhile, Masahiro Tanaka, C.C. Sabathia, and, more recently, J.A. Happ have formed a formidable rotation backbone. Sonny Gray and Lance Lynn have struggled, but their peripherals make it look like they have mostly been unlucky. Overall, there a few steps below the Astros in this department, but I wouldn’t feel overly confident facing this rotation in a short series.
The A’s, on the other hand, have an absolutely hittable rotation. They look at least middle of the pack on the surface with a 4.17 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. But those numbers paint a picture that doesn’t hold up to close examination. One mustn’t forget that the A’s play in one of the most pitcher-friendly ballparks in baseball. When looking at stats that neutralize environment the A’s fair rather poorly coming 19th in FIP and 20th in fWAR. Aaaand their best pitcher, Sean Manaea, is out for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury.
Starting rotation pecking order: Astros > Yankees >>> Athletics