Run Support Winners and Losers Through June

With the season near its midway point, pitchers have a really good idea of how much their offense is able to help them.

Now that the month is over, it's time to look at the run support winners and losers thus far in baseball. For reports on previous months, click here and here.

Note: All stats where pitchers are among league leaders are among starters who have started five or more times.

Pitchers With the Best Run Support

PlayerRuns per Game
Jesse Chavez6.06
Marco Estrada5.50
Scott Kazmir5.41
Tommy Milone5.40
Wei-Yin Chen5.38

Through the 2014 season, Jesse Chavez is the only pitcher who has remained on this list at the end of each month. Chavez has finally found himself as the leader in the MLB, after being the maid of honor for the previous two months. The Oakland righty ended up having a better month, even though he started and ended on bad notes. He improved from a 3.90 ERA for the month of May to a 3.30 in June, displaying his continued regression towards 3.50 FIP. Chavez improved his WHIP from last months average and struck out 23 batters again. Even though he only went 2-1, the A’s won four times when Chavez took the mound in June thanks to his run support, losing only once over his five starts.

Even though Marco Estrada joined the list for the first time this season, he has scuffled throughout the year and had a horrible June. With an ERA over 7.00 for the month, the righty could only log one quality start. The Brewers only went 2-3 when Estrada was on the mound despite the fact that they averaged less runs than what he was allowing.

Scott Kazmir and Wei-Yin Chen both appeared on the list for the second time, with Chen returning after not being there in May.

Chen has had a very average year with a 1.30 WHIP and a 4.19 ERA. However, June was the first month where he averaged an ERA under 4.00. But it wasn't enough for the Orioles in half of his contests. Chen kept his walks to a minimum on the month (six), but he struggled with the long ball, letting up eight over the course of 34.1 innings. These homers knocked in 11 of the 14 earned runs he allowed on the month, so clearly he needs to readjust his approach. His month would have been very impressive if Chen had not had such a terrible final outing, where he let up five in 3.2 innings against the last place Rays.

Kazmir and Chavez are joined by a third A’s starter, Tommy Milone, which shouldn’t surprise anyone, given that the team scores a little over five runs per game, the best average in the MLB. Milone himself has been a worthy recipient of the excess run support with his 3.79 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. However, his FIP is very concerning (4.58) and it might be showing what has begun to surface, given the Milone had a 4.15 ERA in all of June.

Pitchers With the Worst Run Support

PlayerRuns per Game
Jeff Samardzija2.41
Eric Stults2.47
Ian Kennedy2.47
Brandon McCarthy2.65
Ubaldo Jimenez2.90s

Unfortunately for Jeff Samardzija, he's still the best at getting no run support. Settling atop the list for the second month in a row, the Cubs’ ace had a down month. He threw really well in three of his outings, leading the Cubs to a win once, but struggled in the other three, with the team going 1-5 when Samardzija started in June. His 5.45 ERA was largely due to his 40 hits he allowed over 33.0 innings, on top of 10 walks and four hit by pitches. While Samardzija will figure out his pitching problems, he won’t get a lot more than his current 2.41 runs per game average.

Ian Kennedy is another repeat offender, and is joined this month by his teammate Eric Stults. Both have let Padre fans down to this point, guiding their team to a horrific 2-9 record when they toed the rubber in June. While both only received 2.47 runs per game, Kennedy had an awful 5.46 ERA and Stults was even worse at 6.16. With the Padres having the worst runs per game average in the league (2.93) it’s safe to assume that these two won’t get a lot more help next month either.

Brandon McCarthy and Ubaldo Jimenez are still struggling to get run support, and they still are having trouble finding success on the mound. Both have ERAs over 4.50, and displayed little sign of change last month, with ERA’s in the 4.80 to 4.90 range. Largely due to his control, McCarthy has been able to maintain a 3.88 FIP, showing potential for him and the Diamondbacks as the season reaches its midway point. Jimenez’s control, however, has been quite the opposite, allowing 22 walks over 26.0 innings. That contract Jimenez received just before the season started is beginning to set in as a really poor investment for the O’s.