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June 15, 2007

Worse Than You Think

Although Texas can “catch” the Tigers by reducing its starters’ ERA by only 0.11, doing so would not equal them in terms of quality. Many people think of the period from the mid 1900s to the present as similar in terms of offense-heavy games, but in fact run scoring in 2007 has declined by about one-half run per team per game compared to 1996. Thus, while the ’07 Rangers and ’96 Tigers share similar rotation ERAs, Texas has performed considerably worse relative to the park-adjusted league average:

Detroit, 1996
Texas, 2007
Starters' ERA
AL Starters' ERA
Park Factor
Park-Adjusted ERA for Starters
Difference in ERA between Team and League
Pct. Diff. in ERA between Team and League
27% higher
42% higher

Texas must shave its starters’ ERA down to 6.05 to achieve equivalency to those wonderful Tigers.

Tangentially, Detroit used sixteen starters in 1996; the top five consisted of Felipe Lira, Omar Olivares, Greg Gohr, Justin Thompson, and Brian Williams. A.J. Sagar, C.J. Nitkowski, Scott Aldred and Todd Van Poppel also made between 8-9 starts each. The Tigers also featured a terrible bullpen that season, meaning that the rotation probably had a higher percentage of bequeathed runners reach home plate than Texas.

So, review those less-than-illustrious names from Detroit’s rotation, understand that the bullpen probably contributed to the rotation’s woes, and realize that Texas’s rotation is demonstrably and sickeningly worse.

Enjoy your weekend.

Posted by Lucas at June 15, 2007 07:17 PM