Oakland Athletics Season Predictions: A Guide To 2016

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2016 Predictions: The Pitching, Continued

Lowest ERA:

Andrew: Sonny Gray
Mark: Henderson Alvarez (starter)/Sean Doolittle (reliever)
Melson: Ryan Madson
Katrina: Ryan Madson
Rich: Sonny Gray
Rylan: Sonny Gray
Samantha: Ryan Dull

Gray received the most votes, due to the fact he had the third-best ERA in the American League last season among qualified starters. Only fellow Cy Young nominees David Price and Dallas Keuchel topped him. At 2.73, it was the best among A’s starters.

But reliever Ryan Madson posted a 2.13 ERA for the Royals, and at least two staffers think he’ll post similar numbers again in 2016. His 3.09 FIP suggests the Royals defense picked him up in ways that the A’s defense is not likely to repeat, but as someone who hasn’t had an ERA over 3.30 since his days as a starter in 2006, he’s a safe pick here.

Dull did not allow a run prior to the final Cactus League game, so he’s another potential ERA king despite last year’s shaky finish to the season.

Mark added this explanation to his vote: “Henderson Alvarez will have the lowest ERA among starters. Sean Doolittle will have the lowest among relievers, and Josh Reddick will have the lowest among position players pressed into pitching.”

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Lowest FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching):

Andrew: Jesse Hahn
Mark: Sonny Gray
Melson: Sean Doolittle
Katrina: Chris Bassitt
Rylan: Sonny Gray
Samantha: Chris Bassitt

Last year, Hahn and Bassitt posted 3.51 and 3.76 FIPs, respectively, while Gray posted a 3.45 FIP. Gray pitched in quite a few more innings, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see either of them pass him, even though Hahn is starting his season in the minors.

Doolittle is also a solid pick, given that in his last full season in 2014, he posted a 1.71 FIP. Last year, he only pitched 13.2 innings but posted a 2.99 FIP.

Next: 2016 Predictions: The Questions