Feasible Fifteen?

24 08 2011

As the MLB regular season is wrapping up in these next few months, a thought crossed my mind that I wanted to share with you. With 32 games left in the regular season, which will result in about 5-6 more starts for the Rangers pitchers, is it plausible that every single Rangers starter will reach 15 wins?

I think I’ll begin this discussion with someone that won’t need much analysis – C.J. Wilson. C.J. has a team-best 3.08 ERA and a 13-5 record, which includes an ongoing 3-game winning streak. Other than two bad games in July (which every pitcher has every once in a while unless you’re Justin Verlander), he has never pitched fewer than 5.0 innings and has pitched at least 7.0 innings in over half of his starts. If any Ranger is going to attain this 15 wins, it’s going to be Christopher John, and I fully expect him to reach that number.

Next in order is 6’4″ Colby Lewis, who sits at 11-9 with a 4.07 ERA. Lewis got off to a very shaky 3-game losing streak and has shown sporadic pitching as the season has progressed. He has recorded 12 games of only 2 or fewer earned runs, but on the other hand, he has given up 6 or more earned runs in 4 games. As long as Dr. Lewis takes the mound instead of Mr. Colby, I will say it is debatable whether 15 wins will be reached or not.

Lefty Matt Harrison follows Lewis and worries me the most out of all the Rangers pitchers. Even with a sound 3.59 ERA and a decent 10-9 record, Harrison has become known for being unreliable. Not having one complete game, Harrison has reached the 7th inning only 10 times (compared to C.J.’s 16 times) and had a 4-game losing streak in April and May. There are times when he seems to be struggling to get command over his pitches and this inconsistency has been fairly… well, consistent throughout the season. Unless a strong winning streak is put together by Matthew in the upcoming month, I doubt he can accomplish this feat.

After Matt Harrison, a new starter and first-time all-star follows – Alexi Ogando. Dominating only begins to describe how the Dominican pitcher started his 2011 season, recording a 7-0 record with a 2.10 ERA; many even suggested a Cy Young award was within his reach. However, he followed this start with 3 losses in a row and 10 total earned runs. This didn’t trip up Ogando, and he has now found his footing, establishing a 12-5 record and a 3.30 ERA. Unless Ogando decides to string together another 3-game losing streak, I can envision him having 15 wins by the end of the season.

Last but not least, is the young-gun known as Derek Holland. Even though a 4.42 ERA seems to reflect struggling, that is not the case. Holland is 11-5 and has a single 2-game losing streak and a team-leading 5 shutouts. On the radio and in the newspaper in Dallas, many even debate that Holland could possibly be deemed more consistent than C.J. Wilson. He does, however, have the most no decisions (10) which could hurt him in collecting wins. I believe Holland has one more shutout in him, but it’s still questionable whether 4 more wins will occur.

Achieving this difficult goal will require many things to fall the Texas Rangers way and for all of their starters to be on their game; however, even if this 15-win pinnacle isn’t reached, it shouldn’t be considered a failure in any way. In fact, the Rangers are currently the only team in the entire league to have all 5 starters with 10 wins or more. How about that? If this stable starting pitching continues on its current course, it will be a huge advantage for the Rangers during their potential playoff run.

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2 responses

26 08 2011

I say no. I want them to, but I don’t see it happening.

25 08 2011

Colby and Derek Holland are the only 2 that might not hit 15. The rest should be fine, as they are over .500 pitchers and have 6 more starts, so mathematically 3 is in reach. Colby winning 4 of 6 will be a stretch, and I just can’t see Holland reaching the 15 win plateau.

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