Wadderboiz wrote:My point is not, to make wins the be all end all of fantasy pitching statistics. Rather to shed light on the fact that pitching for a winning club with a terrific offense, is a strong factor to consider, when evaluating two very similar pitchers. The original poster was clearly torn between the two, The points I'm attempting to highlight are as follows:

- In terms of actual statistics Hughes lead Morrow in 3 of the 4 SP fantasy categories last season. (CBS projects the same in 2011).

- The odds of winning games as a starting pitcher are direct result of run support.

- Run support is not some arbitrary "lucky" figure, it is directly reflective of the offense of the team you pitch for.

- There are more benefits, of pitching for the best offense in baseball, than the simple measurable statistics (i.e. pitching with a lead more frequently).

- In this instance the tangibles are similar, however Hughes will be given a better opportunity for success than Morrow.

Hughes was better than Morrow on last year's stats, but we're trying to predict who will be the better pitcher this season. It's not about the numbers they put up last year, it's about paying for who could put up the better numbers going forward. According to some sabermetric indicators, Morrow pitched better than his actual output, which is a good probability that he'll continue to improve this year. Hughes' ERA/WHIP will be affected some by his ballpark and the last two years, he's yielded a high strand rate. If Hughes had thrown 180 innings in '09, it would have been likely that he was on the path to taking a regression, similar to last year.

Also, winning games isn't entirely reliant on run support. It's a significant factor, but not the clear-cut significant factor. Pitchers are more likely to be in line for a win if they pitch deep into games, which requires some deal of efficiency in pitch count (aggressiveness in the count, limiting runs and walks, etc.).

Re: Projections... I don't trust one projection source over another, but take into account most/all of them and then come up with my own conclusions. Here's a rough projection I have for both...

Hughes: 185 IP, 15 W, 160 K, 4.00 ERA, 1.25 WHIP

Morrow: 180 IP, 12 W, 195 K, 3.80 ERA, 1.30 WHIP

Like I said before, they're quite close. Hughes' BB rate is better than Morrow and he figures to be the safer bet to be efficient. I will say that Morrow's improved K/BB rate and his FIP/xFIP are tantalizing enough to think he has better upside this year. Also, Morrow had a really high .342 BABIP and that should normalize. Hence, a sub-1.35 WHIP.