Home > Game Previews, MLB > Red Sox Game 76 preview: Trombones!

Red Sox Game 76 preview: Trombones!

If Jon Lester has a really good start, we could throw a big parade!

1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury – .281/.348/.387 (.324 wOBA)
2. RF Shane Victorino – .277/.339/.361 (.312)
3. 2B Dustin Pedroia – .308/.393/.420 (.357)
4. DH David Ortiz – .310/.386/.610 (.417)
5. 1B Mike Napoli – .259/.343/.455 (.346)
6. LF Daniel Nava – .281/.381/.459 (.365)
7. C Jarrod Saltalamacchia – .263/.327/.475 (.348)
8. SS Stephen Drew – .215/.300/.371 (.295)
9. 3B Jose Iglesias – .423/.477/.557 (.448)

SP Jon Lester – 94.2 IP, 80 K, 33 BB, 11 HR; 4.37 ERA (98 ERA+)
4.08 FIP, 3.87 xFIP, 4.64 tERA, 3.92 SIERA

Jon Lester has had a disappointing season so far, no doubt about it. But I’ve heard some rumblings from people that he’s been only as good–or maybe even worse–than Dempster or Doubront, which is annoying. Worse yet, a cursory glance at the overall statistics would seem to enforce that:

Lester: 94.2 IP, 80 K, 33 BB, 11 HR; 4.37 ERA (98 ERA+)
4.08 FIP, 3.87 xFIP, 4.64 tERA, 3.92 SIERA

Dempster: 89.1 IP, 90 K, 42 BB, 16 HR; 4.23 ERA (101 ERA+)
4.84 FIP, 4.04 xFIP, 4.98 tERA, 4.02 SIERA

Doubront: 74 IP, 74 K, 32 BB, 6 HR; 4.38 ERA (98 ERA+)
3.53 FIP, 3.69 xFIP, 4.36 tERA, 3.81 SIERA

Similar results from all three, and although they get to it in different ways, pretty similar rate stats. There’s one major difference, though: Lester has faced much harder competition. Taking out the opponents they have in common, here’s who the three starters in question have faced*:

* If they’ve all faced the same team at least once, but one has faced them more than the others, I’m counting it for that guy. Example: All three have faced the Yankees, but Lester has faced them twice, while Dempster and Doubront have faced them once. I’m counting that as one start against the Yankees for Lester.

Lester: TBR (5th in MLB in wOBA), TEX (7th), CLE (9th), TOR x2 (10th), OAK (11th), NYY (26th), CWS (29th); average: 13th

Dempster: BAL (4th), LAA (6th), TOR (10th), MIN x2 (16th), PHI (19th), HOU (23rd), KCR (25th); average: 15th

Doubront: LAA (6th), CLE (9th), OAK (11th), MIN (16th), HOU (23rd), CWS (29th); average: 16th

Lester’s made six starts against above-median offenses, whereas Dempster and Doubront have made three apiece. Tonight, he faces the Tigers, who rank second. Of course, neither Dempster nor Doubront has faced them.

TLDR: Jon Lester’s had a somewhat disappointing season, but he’s still really good and you shouldn’t say he’s only as good as Dempster or Doubront because that isn’t true.

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  1. Ariel
    June 22, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    “The next time someone tries to tell you that Bobby Valentine was a good choice to manage the Red Sox, remind them that he wanted Jose Iglesias to be his starting shortstop this year”, Oops

    Are you the guy that wrote that? LOL, next time someone tell me that you know about baseball I will remind your hate about Iglesias.

  2. June 22, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Goog and I don’t agree on everything, but I think we’re on the same page in being highly skeptical that Iglesias can sustain his near-.500 average on balls in play; only 17 players since 1900 have had full seasons over .400, topping out at .423. Factor in his obscene infield hit rate and… well, he still would have outhit our “historically bad” expectation. I genuinely hope you can be smug about this a year from now!

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