Eye on October: The Battle Of The Dodgers’ No. 3 Starter For NLDS

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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Next up in the conversation is Anderson — the one year, $10 million gamble made by the front office this season that has worked out FANTASTICALLY. Dubbed “risky” by Yahoo! Sports (which was accurate), Anderson has avoided injuries so far and put together an excellent season.

He holds a 9-9 record, 3.75 ERA, 113 strikeouts and a 1.37 WHIP in 172.2 IP (30 starts).

Like Wood, Anderson has remained relatively consistent throughout the season — allowing more than four runs in a start just three times all season. But check this, Anderson has allowed more than three earned runs in just five starts all season.

For a point of reference, Clayton Kershaw has four such games and Zack Greinke has two. By no means is that to imply Anderson is in the same conversation as the two aces. It does however, make a statement about Anderson’s consistency that’s been underappreciated.

Now what do the sabermetric folks have to say?

According to FIP, xFIP and WAR, the numbers are once again comparable. Wood’s full-season FIP and xFIP are 3.76 and 3.94, respectively, while his WAR is 2.5. Anderson posts a FIP and xFIP of 4.03 and 3.55, and a 1.6 WAR.

So, now what? We’re looking at two pitchers with nearly identical seasons — both by traditional and sabermetric standards. What about postseason success/experience? Well, Wood appeared in two games in 2013 (neither as the starter) and has pitched 3.1 innings, allowing four runs; none of which were earned, while striking out three.

Anderson, on the other hand, has made two appearances (in 2012 and 2013). One as a starter, going 6.1 innings with one earned run ALLOWED. To be fair, however, Anderson’s one start (in 2012) was a gem — six shutout innings in which he scattered just two hits and collected six strikeouts.

All this to say, it’s murky.

If I had to choose today, I think Anderson’s tenure with the team, his one postseason start and his overall experience (six seasons versus two) gives him a slight edge. That said, if Wood can string together a couple starts anywhere near his last one, then things might get interesting.


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    1. You need to be a fan of whatever team just won the WS. Being a real fan seems a bit tough for you.

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