What’s The Difference?

This Spring Training, I have repeatedly heard that the Red Sox have the slight edge on the Yankees because the Yankees are relying too much on their young starters. I would find a quote for you, but I have seen this is in too many places and too many times to document it completely. Anyway, I would like to formally present this complex statistical analysis to you, our valued readers:

  • Young Red Sox starters (Lester/Buchholz): 167 IP, 4.25 ERA
  • Young Yankees starters (Hughes/Chamberlain/Kennedy): 115.7 IP, 3.18 ERA

This comparison is essentially a wash, which is exactly my point. Both teams are not entirely sure what their young starters will do, yet both teams are relying heavily on them. If the implication is that relying on young starters is dangerous because they’re an unknown quantity, then this logic should apply to the Red Sox as well. I suppose an argument could be made that the Yankees are more reliant because three-fifths of their rotation could be comprised of their young starters. But I would counter by saying that, with Curt Schilling out until mid-season, the Red Sox are just as reliant.

If the numerous sportswriters and analysts are looking for advantages the Red Sox have over the Yankees, this is not one of them. The Red Sox have a better bullpen and better defense; those are good answers. Saying the Yankees are in trouble because of their reliance on young starters while ignoring the same issue for the Red Sox is lazy analysis.

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