After Dan asked me for trade advice, he wanted to know about Daniel Hudson, Chad Billingsley, and Mat Latos.
who is worst bet for rest of 2011: Hudson, Billingsley or Latos?
I only include the question because the way it's phrased is interesting. My assumption is that Dan is either trying to protect a strong ERA/WHIP or that he's middle of the pack in those categories and can't afford any blow-ups.
Using 5x5 metrics, it's a pretty close call as to who has been better.
Billingsley: 80 1/3 IP, 3.70 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 74 K, 5 W
Hudson: 86 IP, 3.98 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 74 K, 6 W
Latos: 64 IP, 3.94 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 60 K, 4 W
Using FIP, though, it's not even close. Hudson blows away the field with a 2.62. Billingsley's next with a 3.28 while Latos is way behind with a 3.86. xFIP makes things much close between Hudson and Billingsley (3.37, 3.48) and don't help Latos much (3.82).
It's funny that Dan would talk about avoiding any of these pitchers, since all three had better ERAs in May than they did in April and seem to be examples of pitchers who righted the ship. Latos is a less emphatic example of this, but all three pitchers had better ERAs in May than they did in April.
The numbers in general are close enough here where it's a matter of preference. I prefer Billingsley and Hudson, and probably have a bias toward Hudson. However, I could see where the home venue would push you toward Billingsley instead and maybe even make you a Latos believer. All three are solid 5x5 choices, but based on current performance and trends, I think Hudson's the best bet at the moment to break out and pitch like an ace. But, again, this is hunch and preference talking, not any super special insights or inside information on my part.