John Dewan’s Stat of the Week™

Cahill, Latos and Floyd, Oh My

A hot start can make a big difference in how players are perceived for the rest of the season. However, many times these same stretches occur in the middle of the season and may go unnoticed. A miniscule season ERA or a batting average above .400 for a couple of months at the start of the season makes fans take notice. Ubaldo Jimenez had a red-hot first two months, and thanks to a flashy 10-1 record and a 0.78 ERA through the end of May, he earned the start for Charlie Manuel’s NL All- Stars. However, if Jimenez’s hot streak had come in June and July rather than April and May, would he getting the same amount of Cy Young talk? Here are the best pitchers from the first two months of the season, based on allowing opposing hitters the lowest OPS. (We’ll abbreviate Opponent On-base percentage Plus Slugging percentage as OOPS)

April/May OOPS Leaders
Pitcher Team Wins Losses ERA OOPS
Ubaldo Jimenez Rockies 10 1 0.78 .482
Jaime Garcia Cardinals 5 2 1.32 .542
Jonathan Sanchez Giants 3 4 2.90 .549
Matt Cain Giants 3 4 2.50 .558
Phil Hughes Yankees 6 1 2.70 .562
Roy Halladay Phillies 7 3 1.99 .570
Adam Wainwright Cardinals 7 3 2.28 .571
Josh Johnson Marlins 5 2 2.19 .574
Doug Fister Mariners 3 3 2.45 .580
Gio Gonzalez Athletics 5 3 3.54 .583

 

Now, let’s look at the best pitchers in the last two months:

June/July OOPS Leaders
Pitcher Team Wins Losses ERA OOPS
Trevor Cahill Athletics 6 2 2.88 .531
Mat Latos Padres 6 1 1.76 .531
Josh Johnson Marlins 5 1 1.26 .547
Gavin Floyd White Sox 4 3 1.75 .549
Felix Hernandez Mariners 5 4 2.45 .552
Stephen Strasburg Nationals 5 2 2.32 .559
Vincente Padilla Dodgers 3 2 2.12 .562
John Danks White Sox 7 4 3.45 .570
R.A. Dickey Mets 5 4 2.19 .586
Brett Myers Astros 5 3 3.00 .588

 

Regular baseball fans know about many or most of the players on the first list. Players like Jimenez, Roy Halladay, Adam Wainwright, and Phil Hughes got off to great starts, earning them attention. These great starts stick in your mind. It’s human nature. But maybe the more interesting names are the guys on the second list. Did you know that over the last two months, Mat Latos and Trevor Cahill are the top two pitchers in the league in opponent OPS? Did you know Gavin Floyd had the second best ERA over June and July, behind only Josh Johnson? In the last couple of months all of these pitchers have pitched at an exceptional level, just like the guys who did the same in the first two months of the season. But there’s no question that it’s still the players on the first list that are getting the most attention.

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Used with permission from John Dewan’s Stat of the Week™, http://www.statoftheweek.com/.

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    August 5, 2010  Tags:   Posted in: Fantasy Baseball, John Dewan, Stat of the Week, stats

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