By Brett Greenfield:
In response to the ERC article, a reader asked if any pitchers had ERA's that actually matched their ERC's. I thought it was a good question and did some investigating.
142 pitchers finished 2007 with 100+ innings.
12% of them had ERA/ERC discrepancies that were off by 15-25%.
77% of them had ERA/ERC discrepancies that were off by 2-14%
11% of them had ERA/ERC discrepancies that were off by 1%
In my last article I discussed the 12% of pitchers who had noticeable differences between their ERA and ERC.
Now I will recognize those who had 1% or less of a difference between their ERA and ERC.
The following pitchers can be labeled as "What You See Is What You Get" because their ERA and ERC are within 1% of each other:
Adam Eaton: 6.29 ERA and 6.37 ERC. He doesn't come highly recommended.
Nate Robertson: 4.76 ERA and 4.81 ERC. See Adam Eaton.
John Smoltz: 3.11 ERA and 3.13 ERC. Maybe more pitchers should spend their 30's closing games and then as they move into their 40's revert back to being a starter.
Curt Schilling: 3.76 ERA and 3.81 ERC. He's seen better days.
Jake Westbrook: 4.32 ERA and 4.34 ERC. As close as it gets. He'll be the first to admit that he's not hiding anything. He's not a bad option to round out your rotation. Start him at home where his ERA's over the last two years have been 1-2 runs lower than his road ERA.
Aaron Cook: are you kidding me? He's never reached double digit wins and in his one healthy season where he reached 200+ innings, he tallied a paltry 92 strikeouts. I'd draft Dane Cook first.
Scott Baker: 4.26 ERA and 4.23 ERC. With the departures of Garza, Santana and Silva, a rotation spot is his to lose. He could provide an ERA close to 4.00 and 160+ K's if he reached 200 innings. Not a bad guy to back your fantasy rotation.
Carlos Zambrano: 3.95 ERA and 3.91 ERC. At least there is some consensus that he's not getting better as the Cubs continue to overwork him. 2008 could be the year his ERA finally gets into the 4.00's. Despite pitching the same amount of innings in 2006 and 2007, last year Big Z managed 35 less strikeouts. His WHIP was also the highest of his 6-year career.
A thanks to Brian R. for the email suggestion. At least we found 8 pitchers that Component ERA didn't effect in 2007.