The first stat to look at regarding if a pitcher’s ERA is real is to see how close it is to his FIP. Sabathia’s ERA and FIP may as well be on different planets. While his ERA is low, his FIP is at 4.66 suggesting that he’s just as bad at giving up home runs and walks as he has been for years now (his FIP has been over 4.00 every season since 2012). This is only the third worst part of his charade.
He’s striking out less people per nine innings than he ever has. Only 5.4 K’s per nine coupled with over 3 walks per nine has his K:BB ratio at a putrid 1.56. That’s simply not good, and would be the worst ratio he’s ever had if it holds. Even worse is what you see when you dig deeper into opposing hitters’ total performance against him this year. Though they’re only hitting .221 against Sabathia, their BABIP sits at .232. In his best seasons, including 2007 when he won the Cy Young, his BABIP was near or over .300 (.314 in 2007).
These numbers not only don’t suggest a resurgence, but they hint at Sabathia having possibly the worst season of his career. As a 36 year old pitcher with a ton of mileage on him, this wouldn’t be shocking news to anyone with active brain cells. The only thing that would boggle someone’s mind is the fact that he’ll earn $25 million to be a shitty pitcher.