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Fantasy Baseball: Top 20 Batting Average Against Leaders for 2010

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 In the neverending quest to project how starting pitchers will fare in the wins, ERA and WHIPcategories, today I bring you the 2010 pitchers who held their opponents to the lowest BAA, or batting average against. As you can see in the table below, many of the pitchers who held their opponents to low hit rates, or BAA, had solid ERAs, and WHIP. In addition, many had very good strikeout and K/BB rates.

 

Name K/9 BB/9 K/BB
AVG 
WHIP BABIP LOB% ERA FIP E-F xFIP
Jonathan Sanchez 9.54 4.47 2.14 0.207 1.23 0.262 79.50% 3.07 4.00 -0.93 4.11
Ubaldo Jimenez 8.69 3.74 2.33 0.208 1.15 0.273 76.50% 2.88 3.10 -0.22 3.73
Roy Oswalt 8.21 2.34 3.51 0.213 1.03 0.261 77.80% 2.76 3.27 -0.51 3.45
Felix Hernandez 8.36 2.52 3.31 0.216 1.06 0.273 77.40% 2.27 3.04 -0.77 3.26
Clayton Kershaw 9.34 3.57 2.62 0.217 1.18 0.288 76.20% 2.91 3.12 -0.22 3.80
Trevor Cahill 5.40 2.88 1.87 0.218 1.11 0.238 76.50% 2.97 4.19 -1.21 4.11
C.J. Wilson 7.50 4.10 1.83 0.219 1.25 0.271 72.40% 3.35 3.56 -0.21 4.20
Jon Lester 9.74 3.59 2.71 0.222 1.20 0.297 74.50% 3.25 3.13 0.11 3.29
Adam Wainwright 8.32 2.19 3.80 0.223 1.05 0.281 79.10% 2.42 2.86 -0.43 3.14
Matt Cain 7.13 2.46 2.90 0.223 1.08 0.260 75.30% 3.14 3.65 -0.50 4.19
Mat Latos 9.21 2.44 3.78 0.224 1.08 0.288 77.40% 2.92 3.00 -0.08 3.36
David Price 8.11 3.41 2.38 0.224 1.19 0.279 78.50% 2.72 3.42 -0.70 3.99
Clay Buchholz 6.22 3.47 1.79 0.225 1.20 0.265 79.00% 2.33 3.61 -1.28 4.20
Tim Hudson 5.47 2.91 1.88 0.227 1.15 0.250 81.20% 2.83 4.09 -1.26 3.87
Jered Weaver 9.35 2.17 4.31 0.228 1.07 0.291 75.70% 3.01 3.06 -0.05 3.51
Ian Kennedy 7.79 3.25 2.40 0.230 1.20 0.265 75.50% 3.80 4.33 -0.52 4.28
Josh Johnson 9.11 2.35 3.88 0.230 1.11 0.308 79.20% 2.30 2.41 -0.11 3.15
Justin Verlander 8.79 2.85 3.08 0.231 1.16 0.298 72.00% 3.37 2.97 0.40 3.68
Ted Lilly 7.71 2.04 3.77 0.232 1.08 0.259 77.40% 3.62 4.27 -0.65 4.16
Gio Gonzalez 7.67 4.13 1.86 0.232 1.31 0.283 78.10% 3.23 3.78 -0.55 4.18



What caught my eye a few days ago, when I was researching the Jonathan Sanchez trade offer, is the fact that he, of all starting pitchers, lead MLB in BAA. I was shocked to learn that. You can see a few of the better pitchers in baseball are missing from this list, namely Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum,  and CC Sabathia.

What this chart tells me is that many of the starting pitchers with solid strikeout rates also hold their opponents to low batting averages, which makes sense. But, you also want to look at the pitchers xFIP as that gives you a park adjusted, fielding independent look at how the pitcher performed.