Graph of the Intermittent Time Period

Over at the Sweet Spot blog, David Schoenfield takes a stab at how the post-season rotations will line up. The Phillies will need to wait until the end of the day to be assigned an opponent, but regardless of which team it is, the Phillies will enter the playoffs with the best starting rotation, bar none. Here’s a graphical look at how the Phillies compare with the other two known playoff entrants in the National League, going by SIERA.

With Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, the Phillies have the best starter by far in the #1 and 2 spots, and have a slight edge at #4 with Roy Oswalt. The Brewers beat the Phillies at #3 because they’re using Zack Greinke behind Yovani Gallardo and Shaun Marcum, even though Greinke has been significantly better by defense-independent metrics. He has been significantly worse with runners on base: batters are hitting for a .908 OPS against him when runners are on, compared to .695 when the bases are empty.

The Phillies are slightly behind the Brewers and D-Backs in offense, but make up for it with their elite starting rotation. While anything can happen in the post-season, as last year’s San Francisco Giants can attest, there is no reason to bet against the Phillies going into October. It will be a real treat to see how this much-heralded rotation fares in the playoffs.

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11 comments

  1. Dave P

    September 28, 2011 12:55 PM

    So are the Brewers projecting Grienke to start game 3 of the divisional series?

  2. Bill Baer

    September 28, 2011 12:56 PM

    That’s what it looks like, yes. Even though Greinke has the best stuff in the Brewers’ rotation, he is still not viewed as a #1 for various reasons.

  3. Dan

    September 28, 2011 01:04 PM

    Might have something to do with the fact the he’d have an anxiety attack if he pitched in Philly. There’s not much of a bigger stage these days.

  4. Jesse

    September 28, 2011 01:12 PM

    Bill, I think he is viewed as a #1, but not starting Game 1 of the playoffs for the very reason that he’s their number one pitcher and he’s pitching tonight to get them homefield advantage (ARI is only one game back).

  5. Nick

    September 28, 2011 01:22 PM

    It’s because they want him at home, where he just doesn’t lose ball games. Ever.

  6. mratfink

    September 28, 2011 01:33 PM

    so Bill which team would you prefer to face? Brewers or D-backs? or for that matter Cardinals?

  7. Bill Baer

    September 28, 2011 02:15 PM

    Doesn’t matter to me, the difference isn’t likely to manifest in a short 5- or 7-game series. I’m more worried about randomness and the Phillies’ overall health than any possible opponent.

  8. Ryan Sommers

    September 28, 2011 02:29 PM

    Do you think that runners on/bases empty split has something to do with pitching from the stretch, or is it just noise?

  9. Bill Baer

    September 28, 2011 02:36 PM

    I’d have to dig into the Pitch F/X data and such to say anything for sure. Over his career, there’s basically no split, so my instinct is to call it noise. However, there’s certainly a possibility something changed this year where he would be significantly worse with runners on base.

  10. Dan D

    September 28, 2011 02:51 PM

    Addressing David’s question in that post, do you think Manuel would start Halladay on three days’ rest in Game 4 down 2-1? I’m inclined to say no, as Oswalt has looked pretty good recently, but….

    Well, I’m just gonna leave that “but” hanging there.

  11. Phillie697

    September 28, 2011 10:16 PM

    I would start Halladay, and have Oswalt well “warmed” all night.

    But my BIGGER issue is that you just invoked the jinx bug. We should sacrifice you to the baseball gods for even suggesting we would be down 2-1 in a five-game series.

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