The real ace

Coming into this season just about every team was frustrated with what seemed to be the best 1-2 bunch in any starting rotation. That dynamic duo is CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett.

Sabathia is the clear cut ace right? Not so fast. Sabathia may have gotten the obnoxious contract but has he really earned it? The statistics seem to think otherwise.

Burnett and SabathiaBurnett has the clear advantage in record (10-4) over Sabathia (10-7). They have the same number of wins but every loss is critical in a tight playoff race. A tight playoff race is probably exactly what New York is going to be dealing with. As New York’s “ace” Sabathia should be the stopper in the rotation. He is the pitcher that has to stop the losing streaks and shut down the big lineups.

Burnett also has a large advantage in ERA. His 3.53 is much better than Sabathia’s 3.83. New York is paying for Sabathia’s 2.70 ERA that he posted last year with the Indians and Brewers and they are not getting anything close. Burnett on the other hand has gotten even better. His ERA has dropped over half a point from last year’s 4.07.

CC SabathiaBoth are big time strikeout pitchers. You would think that Sabathia as the “ace” would be better at his own game than Burnett. Wrong. Burnett has 4 more punch outs than Sabathia in 20.9 fewer innings. Burnett’s 7.99 K/9 blows Sabathia’s 6.63 K/9 out of the water. One advantage for Sabathia is that he has the superior WHIP (1.19 to 1.35). Sabathia may pitch the prettier game but Burnett gets the job done.

One characteristic of a true ace is his clutch factor. Which Burnett is again superior in. His .44 is much better than Sabathia’s -0.92. This is extremely important down the stretch as well as in the playoffs.

Sabathia has received the ace tag and the ace contract but is he really the ace?

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12 comments

  1. Jane Heller

    I agree that AJ has been the ace this year and not CC. (So far.) CC hasn’t had run support on occasion, but that doesn’t excuse his so-so ERA. That said, I’m pleasantly surprised by AJ. I expected him to have nasty stuff, but I didn’t expect him to pitch with such consistency.

    http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

  2. crazy19canuck

    What game were you watching last night?! Kaz made it to the 8th. He’s been turning it around lately. It’s been slow to do, mind you. Hopefully, he’ll be back as good as he was – and soon.
    CC didn’t fair so well last night. Got beat up a bit. Let’s see what’s in store for Joba and Garza tonight.
    Burnett’s the Ace, I didn’t think that was even a debate – guess I was wrong. It happens.
    Ginny
    http://watercooler.mlblogs.com

  3. crazy19canuck

    What game were you watching last night?! Kaz made it to the 8th. He’s been turning it around lately. It’s been slow to do, mind you. Hopefully, he’ll be back as good as he was – and soon.
    CC didn’t fair so well last night. Got beat up a bit. Let’s see what’s in store for Joba and Garza tonight.
    Burnett’s the Ace, I didn’t think that was even a debate – guess I was wrong. It happens.
    Ginny
    http://watercooler.mlblogs.com

  4. crazy19canuck

    He would still be that pitcher if they weren’t trying to change his pitching style. He’s been struggling for the past year and a half. Just hope he can find that power again with the Rays or another team.
    Ginny

  5. southernbelle

    Hey! I totally agree that Burnett is better, and it’s not because of last night. Burnett pitches with such intensity, he is scary on the mound. He makes that face. The hitters know he has that curveball, but they still can’t hit it. CC is intense too, but he seems to get nervous when he struggles. Burnett gets angry. Don’t get me wrong, CC is an excellent pitcher. But in the offseason, I wanted CC so the Red Sox wouldn’t get him. I wanted A.J. because I knew of his super nasty stuff. I would prefer A.J. starting the world series, CC going 2nd. I hope we make it! -from Virginia
    http://southernbelle.mlblogs.com

  6. santosis

    I wrote a post on this awhile back, that essentially Red Sox fans should be happy that the Yankees tied up 250 million in these two pitchers. Sabbathia is a workhorse, but his career ERA and WHIP isn’t in line with the huge contract. Burnett has been inconsistent. More importantly for Yankee haters, he hasn’t been the picture of perfect health. My feeling (or perhaps my hope) is that Yankee fans will come to regret these contracts. Although, lets be honest, they are both better than Carl Pavano and Kevin Brown

  7. diamondgirl55

    Yeah, we made a great trade but I’m going to miss Cedeno :[ Aside from his slump, he seemed like such a great guy and the M’s were actually sad to see him leave. Oh well, we did get what we needed from the Pirates!
    And I agree, I think Burnett is better! He’s done well for my fantasy team this season! :] xoxo http://diamondgirl55.mlblogs.com

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