Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Johan Santana will win 30 games this season

Yep, that's right. You heard it here first. It hasn't been done since the Year of the Pitcher, 1968, when Denny McClain of the world champion Detroit Tigers won 31. That same year, Bob Gibson had an astounding 1.12 ERA, the best ever for a starting pitcher. The pitching was so good that year, in fact, that Major League Baseball made the decision to lower the mound to 12-inches. The numbers have rarely come close since.

Well, that's all about to change. Here's why:

Last season, Santana was 15-13 with the Minnesota Twins and the Twinkies were 17-16 in games that he started. In the games in which he received a loss, or a no decision in which his team went on to lose, the Twins came up an average of 2.25 runs short. In Santana's losses and no decisions, his team scored just 2.5 runs per game. That doesn't account for the support lended specficially to him. So, in the 18 games in which he lost or did not factor in the decision, his impressive 3.33 ERA was undermined by his team's anemic offense. The Twins finished 12th in the AL in runs per game, averaging 4.4.

His new team, the New York Mets, have no such difficulties, finishing 4th in the NL, averaging just fewer than five runs per contest (4.96). Might not seem like much, but it is. Four-and-a-half runs in the AL is probably about 3.75 in the NL. A 3.33 ERA would be much lower also. All of this numerical jargon equates to Santana having the kind of season that baseball hasn't seen in decades.

Therefore, when Santana wins his 30th game in his last start of the regular season, I'm sending this to PTI. My projected line for Santana:

30 2 2.04 240.3 0.89 273 48

No comments: