AL East 2017 Positional Rankings: The Need for Strong Starters in the Division

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 29: Pitcher Wade Miley
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 29: Pitcher Wade Miley /
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2. Boston Red Sox – Rick Porcello, Chris Sale, Drew Pomeranz, Eduardo Rodriguez, Doug Fister, David Price

When you see that list of names, you would think it was a successful year. But, it wasn’t what Boston hoped for, and certainly not in the playoffs. Price only made 11 starts, but did have a 3.38 ERA and went 6-3. Sale was excellent, 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a finalist for the Cy Young.

Porcello, coming off his Cy Young, was not. He went 11-17 with a 4.65 ERA, allowing a whopping 38 home runs. Pomeranz was also quite good, 17-6 with a 3.32 ERA. Rodriguez continued to battle knee issues, but made 24 starts with a 4.19 ERA and a 6-7 record.

Fister was eventually signed to help push toward the playoffs, but did nothing of the sort. He was 5-9 with a 4.88 ERA in 15 starts. When you compare them to the rest of baseball, the Red Sox staff was pretty good. A 4.12 ERA was third in the AL, behind Cleveland and the New York Yankees.

The Red Sox got 64 wins from their starters, third-best in the AL. They also got a third-best in the AL five quality starts from their rotation, which included one shut out. Fifty-four percent of the Red Sox starts were quality starts, tops in the American League and behind only Washington overall.

The Red Sox game score average of 53 was tied with New York, and tied for second-best in the AL, with Houston also tied with them. One somewhat surprising statistics is that Boston allowed 234 runners on base when their starters exited, below the MLB-average.

Only Fister exits from the rotation (and has signed with Texas), and with a healthy Price, that shouldn’t affect the Red Sox in the least.