World Series Starting Rotations
A LOOK AHEAD AT STARTING ROTATIONS FOR THE 2014 WORLD SERIES ENTRIES
The football schedule is about to get busy again, which means we won’t have a chance to go day-by-day through the World Series with stat previews in each and every pitching matchup. So, we’ve put together the next best thing! Today in the NOTEBOOK, a look at the stat performances of projected rotation starters for both the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals.
Yesterday we talked about staff aces Madison Bumgarner and James Shields. Let’s see how those guys stack up amidst the four-man rotations that have been seeing action in October. We’ll start with the Giants, who are still the visitor in Wednesday Night’s second game...
SAN FRANCISCO’S ROTATION PITCHERS (Regular Season Only)
Madison Bumgarner: 2.98 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 9.1 K-Rate 6.6 IP-per-Start
Jake Peavy: 2.17 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 6.6 K-Rate 6.6 IP-per-Start
Tim Hudson: 3.57 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 5.7 K-Rate 6.1 IP-per-Start
Ryan Vogelsong: 4.00 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 7.4 K-Rate 5.8 IP-per-Start
Peavy only made 12 regular season starts, and probably wouldn’t look so great in ERA and WHIP over 30 starts. But, he’s definitely fresh...and he’s definitely been given a big-time spot in the rotation because of his experience. The back end isn’t scary, particularly after you account for the fact that SF plays in the National League. This is why few were picking the Giants to last so long! Let’s look specifically now at what’s happened in the postseason...
SAN FRANCISCO’S ROTATION PITCHERS (Playoffs Only)
Madison Bumgarner: 1.42 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 8.0 K-Rate 7.9 IP-per-Start
Jake Peavy: 1.86 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 4.7 K-Rate 4.8 IP-per-Start
Tim Hudson: 3.29 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 8.6 K-Rate 6.8 IP-per-Start
Ryan Vogelsong: 5.19 ERA, 1.90 WHIP, 5.2 K-Rate 4.3 IP-per-Start
Peavy has pitched like an ace, but is averaging less than 5 innings per start! You can see why Bumgarner got the nod in the opener...and why the team hopes he can carry a heavy load in this matchup. If the Giants are trailing the series entering Game Four, it’s possible that Bumgarner would come back on short rest rather than gambling with the ineffective Vogelsong. That’s a bridge the Giants hope they won’t have to cross.
KANSAS CITY’S ROTATION PITCHERS (Regular Season Only)
James Shields: 3.21 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 7.1 K-Rate 6.7 IP-per-Start
Yordano Ventura: 3.20 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 7.8 K-Rate 6.0 IP-per-Start
Jason Vargas: 3.71 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 6.2 K-Rate 6.2 IP-per-Start
Jeremy Guthrie: 4.13 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 5.5 K-Rate 6.3 IP-per-Start
From strong to adequate for an American League staff that has to face a Designated Hitter in most games. Nobody’s truly overpowering. But that’s a staff that will keep you in the ballgame if your offense can put some runs on the board. Neither of these starting rotations qualify as “championship caliber” by past standards. One of them will be drinking champagne anyway! (Note: be sure to think about an Over in Game Four if it’s Vogelsong vs. Guthrie given their vulnerability)
KANSAS CITY’S ROTATION PITCHERS (Playoffs Only)
James Shields: 5.63 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 8.4 K-Rate 5.3 IP-per-Start
Yordano Ventura: 4.85 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 5.5 K-Rate 6.3 IP-per-Start
Jason Vargas: 2.38 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 6.4 K-Rate 5.7 IP-per-Start
Jeremy Guthrie: 1.80 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 3.6 K-Rate 5 IP-per-Start
Guthrie only made one postseason start, lasting five innings and allowing one run to Baltimore. That combined with the surprising sluggishness of Shields creates an ERA chain that’s going backwards! Kansas City’s offense has made up for what Shields and Ventura weren’t giving them. To the degree there’s a weak spot in the pitching numbers...it would seem to be in this specific area of postseason starting pitching for the Royals. They’ll have to do better than this if the offense drifts back to its regular season norms.
Projected Pitching Matchups (subject to change on a manager’s whim!)
Wednesday’s Game Two in KC: Peavy vs. Ventura
Friday’s Game Three in SF: Guthrie vs. Hudson
Saturday’s Game Four in SF: Vargas vs. Vogelsong
Sunday’s Game Five in SF: Shields vs. Bumgarner (if necessary)
None of those will bring back images of Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Whitey Ford, or even Randy Johnson or Pedro Martinez. This may be the ugliest combination of starting pitchers EVER in a World Series! But, somebody’s going to step forward...and somebody’s going to fall apart. Can you figure out who?
JIM HURLEY has been working very hard on pinning down the right way to attack World Series sides and totals. Amidst another great football weekend, he’ll be passing along BEST BETS to paying clients. You can always purchase the final word here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about special offers on combination packages for football and the rest of the World Series, call us in the office at 1-800-323-4453.
Back to football tomorrow in the NOTEBOOK. Here’s what’s coming up...
Thursday: NFL Stat Preview...San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos
Friday: College Preview...#6 Oregon at California (Friday Night danger for Ducks?)
Saturday: College Preview...#3 Ole Miss at #24 LSU
Sunday: NFL Stat Preview...Green Bay at New Orleans
Monday: NFL Stat Preview...Washington at Dallas
If the World Series is still going on next week, we’ll preview Game Six (Tuesday). If the Fall Classic ends in five games, we’ll talk about opening night in the NBA. Yes, pro hoops is almost here!
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