November 21, 2016
Fantasy Categorical Breakdowns
The Landscape: ERA
The league-wide proliferation of home runs has fueled a rapid increase in run scoring over the past two seasons. After nearly a decade of offensive decline, major-league pitchers were the ones most adversely affected by the recent onslaught of round trippers. A confluence of factors like injuries, the aforementioned offensive uptick, and fewer starters eclipsing the 200-inning plateau have widened the gap between the upper echelon fantasy starters and the remainder of the talent pool. Before we take a deep dive into the fantasy ramifications of these latest developments, within the context of ERA, let’s survey the overall landscape.
League-average ERA and Runs Allowed per game (2002-2016)
Life comes at you fast. Just two years ago, during the 2014 campaign, major-league pitchers post the lowest single-season ERA (3.74) in nearly three decades. Back in days when Orel Hershiser, Bret Saberhagen and Greg Maddux helped lead the way to a league-wide 3.71 ERA in 1989. This past season, pitchers were tagged for more runs per game (4.48), and recorded their highest ERA (4.19), since 2009.