Top 5 Pitching – Team ERA
St. Louis Cardinals – 2.79Apparently, it doesn’t matter who plays for the St. Louis Cardinals. Seriously though, I love the way this small market team competes each and every year, mostly because they draft well and hold on to their home grown talent. Anyway, the Cardinals lead all of baseball in team ERA as four starting hurlers all have ERA’s under 3.54. New staff ace Michael Wacha has compiled a perfect 7-0 record in nine starts while posting a jaw-dropping 1.87 ERA. While veteran John Lackey is just 2-3, the former Angels staff ace (wow…has it been that long) has managed to limit the opposition to just 3.18 earned runs per outing. Lane Lynn (3-4, 3.46) and Carlos Martinez (4-2, 3.54) have both put up respectable ERA’s and former staff ace Adam Wainwright has compiled a stellar 1.44 ERA, though he’s made just four starts so far this season. The Cardinals are in first place in the NL Central with a solid 30-16 record.
Pittsburgh Pirates– 3.04The Pirates have put together the second best team ERA, thanks mostly to the contributions of starters A.J. Burnett (4-1, 1.37) and Gerrit Cole(6-2, 2.05). Relievers Tony Watson (1.44 ERA, 23 appearances) and Rob Scahill (1.45 ERA, 16 appearances) have both been phenomenal for the Bucs as well. The Pirates are currently in third place in the NL Central (23-22), 6.5 games behind St. Louis.
LA Dodgers – 3.25Thanks to the resurrection of former AL Cy Young winner Zack Greinke (5-1, 1.48 ERA) and slew of outstanding performances from their relievers, the Dodgers are ranked third in team ERA. I suspect the Dodgers’ pitching could get even better if and when 2014 NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw (3-3, 3.86) ever rounds back into Cy Young kind of form.
NY Mets – 3.37Starters Jason deGrom (5-4, 2.71 ERA) and Matt Harvey (5-2) haven’t been outstanding by any stretch of the imagination, but both starters have been very solid for the Mets this season in posting respective ERA’s under 3.00. However, it is New York’s overachieving bullpen that has been the foundation for their pitching success this season. The Mets (26-21) are in second place in the NL East, just 1.5 games behind Washington.
Tampa Bay Rays – 3.43I’m surprised that the Rays are ranked inside the Top 5in team ERA, seeing as how only three starters have made nine or more starts this season. Jake Odorizzi (3-5, 2.31 ERA) and Chris Archer (5-4, 2.40 ERA) have led the way for Tampa Bay while a trio of relief pitchers (Xavier Cedeno, Brad Boxberger and Kevin Jepsen) have all compiled ERA’s under 2.00 while making at least 15 appearances. The Rays’ pitching prowess has helped them to sit in second place in the AL East (24-23), just a half-game behind the Yankees.
Top Five BullpensTeam – Innings Pitched- Earned Runs – ERA
Kansas City Royals – 146.0 – 29 – 1.86 The defending AL-champion Royals (28-17) have baseball’s best bullpen, thanks to the stellar campaigns of Wade Davis (2-0, 0.00 ERA in 20 appearances), Jason Frasor (1-0, 0.60 ERA in 17 outings), Chris Young (4-0, 0.78 ERA in 14 appearances), Kelvin Herrera (1.69 ERA in 17 outings) and Ryan Madson (1.74 ERA in 18 appearances). Whew… now that’s a mouthful!