Tue, Jan 4, 2011
Last March, I conducted a study on pitchers who’ve posted a single-season ERA of 2.50 or less since 2000. (You can read that article here.)
In my research, I made several interesting discoveries. First, there were 11 different sub-2.50 ERA seasons between 2000 and 2005. Between 2006 and 2008, however, there were none.
2009 saw four such pitching performances, as Zack Greinke (2.16), Chris Carpenter (2.24), Tim Lincecum (2.48), and Felix Hernandez (2.49) all posted ERAs below 2.50.
This recent trend supports the notion that hitters are no longer juicing, and thus pitchers are becoming more dominant. (Keep this in mind as you prepare for your 2011 fantasy drafts.)
Second, I found that of the 11 instances of a sub-2.50 ERA season, nine of them were followed up with a significantly higher ERA in the following season. In fact, on average, each pitcher’s ERA increased by 1.01 runs per nine innings in the season following their sub-2.50 campaign.
Here’s the list. The second column shows the year in which the pitcher’s sub-2.50 ERA was posted. Column four reveals the difference in ERA for the following season.
Based on these numbers, I predicted the 2010 ERA totals for the four pitchers who posted a sub-2.50 ERA in 2009:
|PLAYER||2009 ERA||2010 ERA PREDICTION||2010 ACTUAL ERA|
Greinke’s ERA ballooned by more than two runs per nine. Carpenter’s and Lincecum’s ERA rose by approximately a full run per nine, just as the previous data suggested.
Hernandez completely blew up the system, becoming just the third pitcher since 2000 to lower his ERA following a sub-2.50 ERA season. The other two to do this were Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez, who lowered their ERA by .17 and .04, respectively. King Felix managed to lower his ERA by .22.
If we include the data from 2009-2010 with our previous findings, we should apply an increase of 0.99 runs per nine innings to any sub-2.50 ERA seasons from 2010.
Five pitchers posted a sub-2.50 ERA in 2010: Felix Hernandez (2.27), Josh Johnson (2.30), Clay Buchholz (2.33), Adam Wainwright (2.42), and Roy Halladay (2.44).
Plug in our +0.99 runs per nine to those totals, and we get the following 2011 ERA totals: Felix Hernandez (3.26), Josh Johnson (3.29), Clay Buchholz (3.32), Adam Wainwright (3.41), and Roy Halladay (3.43).
Although these ERAs remain respectable, they are a far cry from what most owners are expecting in 2011.
You’ve been warned…again.
Image courtesy of: Mark Sobba
Previous articles from Fantasy Baseball Insiders:
- 2010 Batting Average on Balls in Play Leaders: What to Expect in 2011?
- 2011 Closer’s Corner: Papelbon, Cordero & Rivera Are the Only Reliable Options
Tags: Adam Wainwright, Andy Pettitte, Chris Carpenter, Clay Buchholz, Felix Hernandez, Jake Peavy, Jason Schmidt, Josh Johnson, Kevin Brown, Mark Prior, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum, Zack Greinke