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The Cardinals starters compared to preseason expectations

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How is the starting pitching staff doing so far this year?

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, we took a look at how the Cardinals position players were doing compared to expectations, now let's take a look at the starting pitching (I will spare everyone from a look at the bullpen).

First Mike Leake. This is what he's done so far:

Mike Leake IP K/9 BB/9 GS ERA FIP WAR
2016 111 6.2 1.4 18 4.14 4.01 1.4
Pace 204 6.2 1.4 33 4.14 4.01 2.6

This is where we and the various projection systems had him at the beginning of the season.

Mike Leake Projections

The strikeouts and WAR were about right, but VEB was a little ambitious with the ERA and FIP. One thing to keep in mind is that runs are up this year so FIP in 2016 is going to be a bit higher overall.

Up next, Adam Wainwright. Here is what he has done so far.

Adam Wainwright IP K/9 BB/9 GS ERA FIP WAR
2016 110.1 7.0 2.4 18 4.49 3.46 2.2
Pace 203 7.0 2.4 33 4.49 3.46 4.0

wainwright proj

So that ERA is ugly, and the walks are a bit higher, but the FIP and WAR are both solid.

Now for Michael Wacha. This year:

Michael Wacha IP K/9 BB/9 GS ERA FIP WAR
2016 105.1 8.0 3.1 18 4.36 3.70 1.7
Pace 193 8.0 3.1 33 4.36 3.70 3.1

wachaproj

Wacha has been a bit inconsistent this year. His FIP and WAR aren't too bad, but the walks have been slightly higher than what you would like to see.

And now, the oft injured, but usually good when he plays, Jaime Garcia:

Jaime Garcia IP K/9 BB/9 GS ERA FIP WAR
2016 101 7.8 3.2 17 4.01 3.93 1.3
Pace 186 7.8 3.2 31 4.01 3.93 2.4

jgarciaproj

While his health has been better than expected, the performance is a bit short of what we are accustomed to seeing. He will be one to watch for the second half to see if he can turn things around. And finally, Carlos Martinez:

Carlos Martinez IP K/9 BB/9 GS ERA FIP WAR
2016 107.1 7.6 3.0 17 2.85 3.50 1.9
Pace 197 7.6 3.0 31 2.85 3.50 3.5

His projections:

martinezproj

VEB was a bit optimistic on El Gallo, particularly on the strikeouts. He's on a solid pace for innings. His walks are decent, and hi ERA is exactly what was predicted. The FIP is higher this season, and that puts him just slightly off that 4-win pace, but a better second half with his peripherals could easily remedy that. Repeating the run-scoring theme I wrote above, Carlos Martinez's FIP last season was 3.21 and his FIP- (100 is average and lower is better) was 84, but this year his FIP is up to 3.50, but his FIP- is still down at 85.

We will see how they do in the second half.