September 17, 2021

The Best Starting Pitching Staffs in the Last 100 Years: Part III

May 13, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

From Part I: Pitching, pitching, pitching. You may have heard the saying, “You can never have enough pitching.” Of course, if you are going to have good pitching it begins with your starting pitching staff.

Which starting pitching staff was the best ever?

I considered and reviewed every team that made it to the World Series and some other notable ones that did not. After viewing all the statistics, teams after the Dead Ball Era were only considered. Comparatively, considering teams before and after 1920 is more an apples-to-oranges comparison than an apples-to-apples one. (You can read Part II here.)

PART III

As much as you want your starters to win games, it goes without saying they should not lose them either and that results in a high winning percentage. Starting pitching staffs with a .700 winning percentage or better:

PERCENTAGE YEAR TEAM
.741 2001 Seattle Mariners
.732 1927 New York Yankees
.728 1944 St. Louis Cardinals
.723 1971 Baltimore Orioles
.721 1954 Cleveland Indians
.720 1942 New York Yankees
.717 1986 New York Mets
.711 1932 New York Yankees
.708 1939 New York Yankees
.708 1997 Atlanta Braves
.704 1998 Atlanta Braves
.702 1923 New York Yankees
.701 2018 Boston Red Sox

Wins and winning percentage are certainly tied to starting pitching, but they can also be tied to good fielding and hitting. Earned Run Average is more of a pitchers-only statistic. In the dead ball era that lasted till 1919, every team that made the World Series had a starting pitching staff with a combined ERA under 3.00. Three in fact, had a starting pitching staff with a combined ERA under 2.00: The 1907 Cubs (1.52), the 1906 Cubs (1.63) and the 1910 Philadelphia Athletics (1.70).

Starting pitching staffs that had an ERA under 3.00:

ERA TEAM ERA TEAM
2.34 1942 St. Louis Cardinals 2.84 1963 New York Yankees
2.39 1968 St. Louis Cardinals 2.86 1972 Pittsburgh Pirates
2.40 1933 New York Giants 2.86 1954 Cleveland Indians
2.40 1925 Washington Senators 2.89 1971 Baltimore Orioles
2.46 1972 Oakland Athletics 2.90 1986 Houston Astros
2.48 1944 St. Louis Cardinals 2.92 1988 New York Mets
2.56 1985 Los Angeles Dodgers 2.92 1992 Atlanta Braves
2.64 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers 2.94 2016 Chicago Cubs
2.65 1964 Chicago White Sox 2.94 1973 Los Angeles Dodgers
2.68 1966 Los Angeles Dodgers 2.94 1941 Brooklyn Dodgers
2.72 1942 New York Yankees 2.95 1974 Los Angeles Dodgers
2.74 1975 Los Angeles Dodgers 2.95 1969 Baltimore Orioles
2.75 2011 Philadelphia Phillies 2.97 1963 Los Angeles Dodgers
2.78 1968 Detroit Tigers 2.97 1998 Atlanta Braves
2.78 1969 New York Mets 2.98 1940 Cincinnati Reds
2.80 1997 Atlanta Braves

Run production has increased in modern times and after 1968, the pitching mound was lowered to give hitters a better chance to succeed. Those recent starting pitching staffs that had an ERA under 3.00 would appear to be a more impressive accomplishment than those of long ago.

COMING SOON: Part IV

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!