Fantasy Baseball 2012: 7 Starting Pitchers Whose ERAs Make Them Worthless

Sam DrakeCorrespondent IFebruary 28, 2012

Fantasy Baseball 2012: 7 Starting Pitchers Whose ERAs Make Them Worthless

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    To the average baseball fan, the earned run average, or ERA, is the best way to determine how effective a pitcher is.

    That is not always the case. Just like in the movie Moneyball, teams must find value in players that might not have the ERA or wins and losses. When looking at a pitcher, there are quite a few other numbers that must be looked at.

    For instance, the walks plus hits per innings pitched (WHIP), the ground ball to fly ball ratio (G/F) and strikeouts per nine innings (K/9) are just a few of the stats that teams use to find diamonds in the rough.

    Not every team has an ace like Justin Verlander or Roy Halladay, but there are some pitchers who preform well outside of their listed ERA.

    *Compared pitchers within there own respective leagues

    **The idea being that these pitchers would be useful but for their ERA

Josh Tomlin

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    2011 ERA: 4.25

    2011 Record: 12-7

    Josh Tomlin has only pitched for two years in the majors and is only 27.  He still has some learning to do, but what was really impressive was that he managed a 1.08 WHIP last year. That was the seventh-best WHIP with a minimum of 100 innings pitched.

    Another impressive stat was his strikeout to walk ratio, which was 4.24, fourth overall in the American League. Tomlin had a total of 89 punch-outs to only 21 walks.

    He does tend to give up more fly balls than ground balls, which can be worrisome for managers, but so far, he has made it work.

    Tomlin had a winning percentage over .500 because his offense managed to score 6.75 in support every time he took the hill.

Brandon Morrow

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    2011 ERA: 4.72

    2011 Record: 11-11

    Brandon Morrow is a strikeout machine. He has an impressive strikeouts per nine innings of 10.19. That is No. 1 in the American League, ahead of pitchers like Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia and Felix Hernandez. Last season, Morrow broke the 200-strikeout barrier, with 203.

    Morrow sports an acceptable WHIP of 1.29 and had 19 quality starts in 30 total games. The Blue Jays provided Morrow with seven runs of support per start as well.

    Morrow was another fly-ball pitcher, having only 181 outs be recorded by ground balls, while 309 were fly balls.

Gavin Floyd

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    2011 ERA: 4.37

    2011 Record: 12-13

    Gavin Floyd was another pitcher who loved to strike out opponents. He had a K/9 ratio of 7.02 and a K/BB ratio of 3.36. He had a total of 151 strikeouts.

    Floyd was also able to keep his total pitches down to 15.5 per inning and 3.75 per plate appearance.

    He had a induced a total of 17 double plays, which was tied with David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays and ahead of star pitchers like Josh Beckett and Jared Weaver.

    All this help him achieve a WHIP of only 1.16, which was 16th best in the American League last year.

Colby Lewis

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    2011 ERA: 4.40

    2011 Record: 14-10

    Colby Lewis broke the 200 innings pitched for the second time in his seven-year career last year. He tossed two complete games, one of them being a shutout.

    Because he pitched for the Texas Rangers, he had a lot of run support, 8.22 runs per start to be exact. He posted a K/BB ratio of just over 3 and a K/9 of 7.59. He had 169 strikeouts to 56 walks last season.

    Of his total 32 games started, Lewis had 19 quality starts, which tied him for 18th overall with Michael Pineda and Jon Lester.

    He put up a WHIP of 1.21, which was 20th overall in the American League, ahead of CC Sabathia and Felix Hernandez.

Ted Lilly

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    2011 ERA: 3.97

    2011 Record: 12-14

    In terms of ERA, Ted Lilly had a decent year; his career ERA is 4.16. However, his 3.97 this year is still pretty high. He gave up a total of 85 earned runs and 172 hits in 192.2 innings of work in 2011.

    Lilly was still effective throwing for strikes. He racked up a total of 158 punch outs and gave up 51 walks. That led him to have a K/9 of 7.38 and K/BB ratio of 3.10. Those numbers are good considering he has been in the league for 13 years.

    He did manage to keep his WHIP down to 1.16, which puts him 13th overall in the National League.

Homer Bailey

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    2011 ERA: 4.43

    2011 Record: 9-7

    What sets Homer Bailey apart is the fact that in 22 starts in 2011, 13 of them were quality starts. 

    Last season, Bailey had 106 strikeouts to only 33 walks and gave up 18 home runs in the 132 innings pitched. He had 3.75 pitches per plate appearance, which translated into 36 overall in the National League. He was only .03 points behind Roy Halladay and ahead of Zack Greinke.

    Bailey owns a decent K/9 ration of 7.23 and a K/BB ration of 3.21. He also had a decent WHIP of 1.28, which set him above the average.

    The Cincinnati Reds had hoped that he would become their star pitcher after drafting him in the first round in 2004, but he has never lived up to his potential.

Brett Myers

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    2011 ERA: 4.46

    2011 Record: 7-14

    Brett Myers' WHIP is relatively low considering his high ERA. His WHIP stood at 1.31 at the end of last season, which was lower than the average WHIP of 1.32.

    Last season, he struck out a total of 160 batters and walked 57. He broke the 200 innings pitched mark by tossing 216 total innings. He threw two complete games.

    What is strange about Myers is that he posted a lower WHIP against winning teams (1.23) than he did against losing teams (1.41).

    *Note: Myers will be transitioned to the closing role for the Astros in 2012.