With the regular season rapidly coming to a close, the Boston Red Sox recently decided to pivot to a four-man rotation for the remainder of the year.
In total, seven pitchers have spent substantial time in Boston’s rotation at some point this season, but the club clearly has four arms that it’s most confident in.
Today, we’re going to rank those four pitchers.
How do they stack up against each other?
Let’s find out.
4. Nick Pivetta
Nick Pivetta has been a nice surprise for Boston this season.
The righty has done a very nice job stabilizing the back end of the team’s rotation.
He hasn’t been elite by any means, but he has certainly been serviceable.
The 28-year-old has a 4.63 ERA, 4.44 FIP, and 1.34 WHIP across 28 starts.
Of those 28 starts, he has allowed four earned runs or fewer in 27 of them.
That’s a pretty big accomplishment.
If the Red Sox advance past the Wild Card round of the postseason, Pivetta will likely find himself getting a start in the playoffs.
3. Eduardo Rodriguez
On the surface, Eduardo Rodriguez hasn’t had a great 2021 season.
He has an underwhelming 4.97 ERA and 95 ERA+ over 29 starts.
However, if you do a little digging, you’ll find that the lefty is having one of the best years of his career according to a variety of predictive statistics.
His 3.44 FIP, for example, is more than a run-and-a-half lower than his ERA.
This implies that he has been absurdly unlucky, as FIP is essentially a predictive ERA.
The hope is that Rodriguez’s fortune will change once the postseason rolls around.
— Tyler Milliken (@tylermilliken_) September 22, 2021
The 28-year-old already has one World Series title to his name, and he’d surely love to get another.
2. Nathan Eovaldi
Nathan Eovaldi is having one of the best years of his career.
He has been Boston’s horse all season long, and there’s no telling where this team would be without him.
Over 30 starts, the veteran has a 3.58 ERA and 132 ERA+.
He leads the league in FIP (2.71), home runs per nine innings (0.7), and walks per nine innings (1.7).
He was named an All-Star over the summer for the first time in his career.
Eovaldi was massive for the Red Sox during the team’s 2018 World Series run, and the club would love to see a similar outcome this time around.
There’s a slight chance the 31-year-old could start for Boston in the AL Wild Card Game if that’s where the team lands.
1. Chris Sale
Chris Sale has made seven starts since returning from Tommy John surgery, and it’s clear that he’s still an elite arm.
Chris Sale's slider is gross. 🥴 pic.twitter.com/iwdfQWWt5Z
— MLB (@MLB) September 17, 2021
He has a 2.57 ERA, 3.82 FIP, and 1.29 WHIP on the year.
The Red Sox are 6-1 in his outings, which is exactly what fans were hoping for when the lefty came off the injured list.
The 32-year-old has allowed two earned runs or fewer in all seven of his starts so far.
If Eovaldi doesn’t get the ball in the Wild Card Game, then it will certainly be Sale who does.
It seems like a toss-up at this point.
Last time we saw Sale in the postseason, he got the final out of the 2018 World Series.