It's really been a tale of two halves for the 2016 Red Sox rotation, as they now rank 5th in the AL with a team ERA of 4.10. Porcello has maintained his role of the anchor of the pitching staff while David Price has looked sharp as of late, lowering his ERA to 3.87. Drew Pomeranz has looked sharp, Buchholz looks like he's resurrected a 2016 pathetic campaign, and E-Rod is slowly starting to have a decent season.
But more importantly, this staff is leading the charge in important September baseball games for the first time since this team won the World Series back in 2013.
So why not compare this rotation to the most recent World Series champs?
2016 Rotation: 78-61 team record 2013 Rotation: 97-65 overall team record
Porcello (19-3, 3.23 ERA) Lester (15-8, 3.75 ERA)
Price (15-8, 3.87 ERA) Buchholz (12-1, 1.74 ERA)
Pomeranz (2-4, 3.97 ERA *with Boston*) Lackey (10-13, 3.52 ERA)
Wright (13-6, 3.33 ERA) Peavy (4-1, 4.04 ERA *with Boston*)
Rodriguez (2-6, 4.83 ERA) Doubront (11-6, 3.87 ERA)
Buchholz (4-8, 5.32 ERA *in starts*) Dempster (8-9, 4.64 ERA)
The first thing I notice is the win totals; the 2013 Red Sox' team leader in wins was Jon Lester with only 15 wins. Granted, Clay Buchholz only made 16 starts in 2013 due to a neck injury that he suffered on a bizarre play against the Angels. But looking at the 2013 Red Sox, the top 3 leaders in wins are 15, 12, and 11 (Lester, Buchholz, Doubront); as for this season, we are only in September and the top 3 wins leaders are 19, 15, and 13 (Porcello, Price, and Wright).
This team's offense, on paper, is far superior to the one in 2013, but it baffles me that a 97-win team would only have one starter eclipse the 15 win total. Then you have to look into the bullpen and see guys like Koji Uehara (1.09 ERA in 2013, 4.38 this year) and Junichi Tazawa (3.16 ERA in 2013, 4.53 this year) being so vital in the back end in 2013 and so pathetic this year. So the bullpen really was an X-factor in 2013.
Which rotation would I take though?
It's really tough but I think I would take the 2013 rotation. Despite the win totals, the 2013 rotation was far more consistent and had less question marks in them. Aside from Buchholz, we knew what that 2013 staff was capable of and, as we wind down the 2016 campaign, there are still many questions surrounding these guys. Plus the 2013 team had a team ERA of 3.79 (6th in the AL).