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What It Takes To Win: ERA

Next up in our What It Takes To Win series, ERA.  The goal here is to determine the stats needed to achieve fourth place in each of the ten common roto categories.  The league type: 12-team mixed with 14 hitters, 9 pitchers, 3 bench spots, 2 DL spots.

In the first league, a 3.74 ERA was necessary for fourth.  In the second league, 3.71 was required.  I know we are short on data here, but I would be comfortable aiming for a team ERA of 3.73.  Using my first seven picks on hitters, I've still been able to assemble teams in mock drafts that project in the 3.76-3.79 range.

Since your three closers should hopefully improve your team ERA a bit, how many starters are projected to come in under 3.90?  I found 39, from Rich Harden at 3.11 to Ryan Dempster at 3.89.  The latest drafted is John Smoltz (3.68 ERA, 19th round), while the latest drafted who can rack up decent innings are Jered Weaver (3.75 ERA, 19th round) and Derek Lowe (3.61 ERA, 14th round). 

Out of roughly 72 starters drafted, 39 of them are projected to have ERAs under 3.90.  Using a 100 IP minimum, 50 pitchers were under 3.90 in real baseball in 2008, 44 in 2007, 34 in 2006, and 45 in 2005.

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