Better WHIP/Worse ERA N.L.
|2||Micah Owings||104 2/3||5.93||1.385||87||14||-7||-3||6||3||2||8|
|4||Ricky Nolasco||212 1/3||3.52||1.102||186||28||-5||29||0||1||-2|
|5||Ted Lilly||204 2/3||4.09||1.226||184||32||-5||20||14||15||16||24|
|6||Chris Sampson||117 1/3||4.22||1.202||61||8||-4||9||3||3|
|7||Mark Hendrickson||133 2/3||5.45||1.466||81||17||-4||-4||2||-3|
|8||Aaron Harang||184 1/3||4.78||1.383||153||35||-3||-1||21||28||20||27|
|9||Joel Pineiro||148 2/3||5.15||1.446||81||22||-3||-2||1||2||4|
|10||Jason Bergmann||139 2/3||5.09||1.432||96||25||-3||-6||3||2||7|
|12||Cole Hamels||227 1/3||3.09||1.082||196||28||-3||33||25||29||24||27|
These are the 12 National League starting pitchers (100 IP or more) who had the greatest Patton $ earnings differential in WHIP and ERA in favor of WHIP. David Bush, the pitcher at the top of this list, earned $7.86 in WHIP and lost 26 cents in ERA.
What jumps out at me immediately is that this group of pitchers is better than their A.L. counterparts, earning $9 per pitcher compared to the $2 per pitcher the A.L. group earned. Not having any true bombs helps; the worst pitcher on this list - Jason Bergmann at ($6) - would have only been the sixth worse pitcher on the A.L. list.
They cost the same as the A.L. group despite the fact that they earned $4 more per pitcher in 2007. So their relative success shouldn't come as a huge surprise. The 1.273 WHIP you see here is 0.79 below the 1.352 average N.L. Roto league WHIP, while the A.L. Ratio/ERA WHIP was 0.11 below the average A.L. Roto WHIP. Despite this strong WHIP, the N.L. pitchers are still 0.28 worse than the average N.L. Rotisserie league's 4.14 ERA. These pitchers are really unlucky.
Not really, though. Their 24 HR allowed in 169 iP are right on par with the A.L.'s 22/167 numbers. You could argue that the N.L. group, in fact, is kind of lucky, and there should have been more catastrophes here than there actually were.
American League or National League, pitchers are pitchers, and we tend to see what we want to see. I'm more likely to expect better things out of Cole Hamels and Ted Lilly than I am out of Mark Hendrickson or Jason Bergmann, simply because of the number in the $ column.
This next group of pitchers are typically viewed as lucky.
Worse WHIP/Better ERA N.L.
|1||Chad Billingsley||200 2/3||3.14||1.336||201||14||7||22||17||16||14||16|
|4||Johan Santana||234 1/3||2.53||1.148||206||23||5||37||40||37||41||33|
|7||Ubaldo Jimenez||198 2/3||3.99||1.435||172||11||4||8||6||5||4||4|
|8||Jair Jurrjens||188 1/3||3.68||1.370||139||11||4||14||2||1||1||3|
|9||Matt Cain||217 2/3||3.76||1.364||186||19||4||10||18||20||19||14|
|10||CC Sabathia||130 2/3||1.65||1.003||128||6||4||32||36|
|11||Mike Pelfrey||200 2/3||3.72||1.360||110||12||4||14||1||5||-7|
|12||Ryan Dempster||206 2/3||2.96||1.21o||187||14||4||30||1||4||18|
But they don't look lucky to me. They look good.
Nine out of 12 of them earn double digits, and only Davis winds up in the red. They rack up eight whiffs per nine and give up a HR every 13.8 IP or so.
It's not like these pitchers were significantly better than the pro-WHIP guys in 2007. At $1 more per pitcher, they didn't exactly light up the world.
Notice that the expectations were higher.
The market, Patton, and Sports Weekly were all $3 higher on these pitchers than they were on the strong WHIP pitchers. And it paid off in a big way.
The biggest difference I can see is that a lot of the pro-ERA pitchers were the young guys who had the press clippings. Billingsley, Lincecum, Volquez...these guys are all worth spending a little more money on. Even if they haven't done anything yet.
I'm not sure you can take the results of this type of analysis too seriously. I'd guess the N.L. list in 2009 will look more like the A.L. list did in 2008. All you can do this year is tip your cap to these guys, and hope they do it again if you own them at a cheap keeper price.