Starting pitching wins championships, right? Well, no. It’s never a good idea to reduce baseball to such simplistic cliches. But starting pitching is still damn important, even if it becomes increasingly less so as bullpens inexorably account for more and more innings pitched every season.
So, let’s take a look at where the Sox starters stand statistically so far this year.
Boston Red Sox starters are:
- 29th in ERA;
- 28th in home run rate;
- 28th in fWAR;
- 27th in quality starts;
- 27th in batting average against;
- 26th in innings pitched per start;
- 26th in FIP; and
- Dead last in hard-hit percentage.
That’s, uhh, really, really bad.
Is there any reason to believe they’ll turn things around? Well, for starters (Ed. note: ha ha!) there’s some reason to believe that they’ve been unlucky. They’re in the middle of the pack for both strikeouts and walks, for one. And according to FanGraphs’ SIERA metric, which attempts to remove luck and random chance to more accurately measure a pitcher’s true talent level, the Sox starting pitching actually should be about the 13th-best in baseball, just behind the LA Dodgers and Atlanta Braves, two World Series contenders.
And SIERA doesn’t even account for the fact that we can probably expect Brayan Bello and Garrett Whitlock to provide solid production going forward, and hope for improved command from Chris Sale as well.
So all in all, how much do we need to worry about the Red Sox starting pitching right now?
Dan and Bryan talk about that in the latest episode of the Monsters Of Sox Podcast. They also touch on the lineup, which, unlike the pitching, has performed like a juggernaut so far.
And finally, they unearth the single most unintentionally hilarious account on all of Red Sox Twitter. Trust us: you need these mystery tweets in your life.
As always, thanks for listening.