Once upon a time, I investigated how 2012 “OPS against” views different pitching staffs and what this means for fantasy baseball pitcher values. Specifically, I looked at the worst teams. Today, I’m going to finish that two part series and cover the best teams. I also include WHIP and BB/9 because I like to trap myself in the closet with statistics while I write a hip hopera. Without further delay, here is the list of OPS by team of the best pitching staffs (the best are ranked first):
Tampa Bay: .646 OPS, 1.17 WHIP, 2.89 BB/9
They had the lowest OPS and WHIP in addition to being the most likely to predict the exact location each hitter will hit the ball. It appears that teams have switched from using Ozzie Guillen’s voodoo to hardcore (HxC for you punx out there) predictive analysis, although both will keep me from starting my borderline hitters against a team.
Los Angeles Dodgers: .675 OPS, 1.25 WHIP, 3.35 BB/9
Had one of the worst BB/9 rates, but their park, zillions of dollars, and good, old fashioned L.A. plastic surgery can remove any imperfection. Their pitching could get even better as they have an army of starters (or darkness, if Ted Lilly were leading it).
Washington Nationals: .676 OPS, 1.22 WHIP, 3.05 BB/9
I’ll bet anybody that they’ll lead this list in 2013. No, not you, Venezuelan kidnappers.
Atlanta Braves: .684 OPS, 1.23 WHIP, 2.89 BB/9
Again, not really a surprise and should be just as good this season. As I’ve mentioned too many times in other articles, I’m all in on non-Marlins NL East pitchers.
Oakland Athletics: .684 OPS, 1.24 WHIP, 2.83 BB/9
I don’t know what Billy Beane is thinking, but I’m sure he’s well aware of fantasy baseball because he isn’t moving in the fences in Oakland. Seriously, we need to start a petition to encourage or discourage teams to adjust their parks based on fantasy baseball benefits. Who’s with me?
Cincinnati Reds: .695 OPS, 1.23 WHIP, 2.64 BB/9
Sounded crazy to me, but the third lowest BB/9 helps mitigate that park and crazy ol’ Dusty Baker. Oh yeah, and having fantastic pitching helps a bit too. Even without having the Astros to mow down, their pitching should easily top the division, no?
St. Louis Cardinals: .700 OPS, 1.27 WHIP, 2.68 BB/9
It’s not unusual to see them here, Tom Jones, since their park devours home runs. The question that nobody is asking is whether Shelby Miller will be better than Kyle Lohse this year but, hey, I don’t want to be the first one to ask it.
Seattle Mariners: .702 OPS, 1.24 WHIP, 2.77 BB/9
Walls moving in this year + Astros moving to the division this year = same position on this list in 2013? This wouldn’t dissuade me from starting my hitters against the Mariners, unless Felix Hernandez is pitching, but that’s a given.
Pittsburgh Pirates: .703 OPS, 1.29 WHIP, 3.08 BB/9
How did this happen? For the past few years, I’ve felt like they’ve had a rotation full of fantasy baseball streamers, at best. Maybe they crossed the streams?
San Francisco Giants: .706 OPS, 1.28 WHIP, 3.03 BB/9
Despite Tim Lincecum’s best (worst?) efforts, they continued their pitching dominance. How come I still have a tough time predicting them to make the World Series?