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The Illusion starting pitchers

Looking at it from a different point of view, I can now start to see why some people think the Red Sox are doomed. The reason is people looking at ERA and not peripherals.

Four Names to remember

Ivan Nova, Ervin Santana, Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Harrison

These pitchers had, what looked like very good years last year. However, all of these four are very unlucky to repeat their 2011 performance.

Ivan Nova

Never was a top prospect and had an ERA 59 points lower than his SIERA.

Ervin Santana

Had his lowest career ERA at 28 years old which is older than the normal peak for pitchers, and that doesn't look like it should happen as his ERA was 57 points lower than his SIERA.

Jeremy Hellickson

Unlike Nova, Hellickson WAS a top prospect, and the Rays defense is very good. But I did a study on this and found the Rays pitching got lucky as a team even with their defense, and even if you assume they didn't, and every pitcher should be expected to have an ERA 36 points lower than their SIERA, Hellickson's ERA was 1.83 points lower than his SIERA.

Matt Harrison

Was a lousy reliever all his life. Then he had an ERA 70 points lower than his SIERA. He is now considered a decent starter. I would take Felix Doubront or Daniel Bard over him easily.

If you think Santana and Hellickson are aces and Nova and Harrison are very good pitchers, yes, we look doomed, but these pitchers were extremely lucky and you should not expect them to perform the same in 2012. These were the most extreme, but there were a couple more too.

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