From Last Night:
- Wainwright nearly no-hits the Rockies, settles for a CGSO
- The bullpen nearly blows Darvish’s W in Houston
- Longoria bails out Hellickson with a walk off HR against the Padres
- Stasburg allows 4 unearned runs, but loses anyway to the Cubs
- Buehrle outduels Buchholz as Lind’s HR saves the day
What I’m Watching Today:
- Matt Harvey against the Pirates (1p Eastern)
- Kuroda and Santana match up in KC (2p Eastern)
- Wilson and Sale try to buoy struggling teams on Sunday Night Baseball (8p Eastern)
The Big Question:
- Cardinals or Tigers staff, which is better?
If you evaluate the above question by WAR, it’s the Tiger easily. They’re first in baseball at 9.5 (11p Eastern Saturday), more than 2 WAR ahead of second place. The Cardinals are 5th, a full four wins back. Yet the Cards ERA is a sparkling 2.92 while the Tigers are at 3.45. If you look at FIP, the Tigers are ahead 2.58 to 3.06. This is a good lesson in run prevention and expected run prevention. The Tigers out pitch the Cardinals in two of three areas in which the pitcher has control; strikeouts and homeruns. What’s funny is that the Cardinals don’t have a much better defense. It appears that they are getting a little better sequencing than the Tigers right now. Additionally, the Tigers starters have 7.5 to the Cardinals 5.6 WAR – so the Cardinals are weighed down by a terrible bullpen. They are 1 and 2 in SP WAR and 3 and 27th in reliever WAR. It’s a fun debate however you wish to slice it and I wouldn’t mind having either starting staff, though I’m partial to the Tigers.