Should Ted Lilly Owners Jump Ship?

Jul 9, 2011


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After going 1-4 with a 7.01 ERA in June, Ted Lilly was likely dropped in a number of leagues, especially when word came out that he had a sore elbow. He was given an extra day of rest before his last outing, which yielded a quality start. Considering he went nearly a month without a quality start, that must have been a relief for Lilly (and his fantasy owners).
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One start, especially one with a 4.50 ERA, does not signify a turnaround per se, but he does have a reasonably good chance of building on that start against the Padres on Sunday. If he can string together two quality starts, that could give him some momentum heading into the second half of the season.
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Speaking of the second half, Lilly has been significantly better in the second half over the course of his career. His winning percentage is .093 better in the second half (51-36, .586) than the first half (67-69, .493). His ERA is 4.10 in the second half, which is 21 points lower than his first half ERA. His WHIP is seven points lower in the second half. His K/9 is 7.8 in the first half and 7.5 in the second.
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Last year was no different. After going 3-8 with a 4.08 ERA before the All-Star Break, Lilly closed out going 7-4 with a 3.17 ERA. You’d have to go back to 2007 for the last time his second half ERA was worse than the first.
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Plus, the two teams that pounded him the hardest (Twins and Tigers) reside in the AL Central. Lilly’s ERA against the National League this year is 4.27.
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So before you give Ted Lilly his pink slip, you may want to enjoy his favorable match-up against San Diego and take it from there.
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