Tagged: A.J. Burnett

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?