2010 projected leaders: ERA

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Over the next several days, I’ll be dipping into my 2010 projections and presenting some leaderboards.
NL
1. Tim Lincecum – 2.78
2. Roy Halladay – 2.83
3. Chris Carpenter – 3.06
4. Adam Wainwright – 3.18
5. Johan Santana – 3.31
6. Clayton Kershaw – 3.33
7. Josh Johnson – 3.35
8. Dan Haren – 3.41
9. Tommy Hanson – 3.43
10. Chad Billingsley – 3.47
The ERA crown remains Lincecum’s, but Halladay might have to be considered the Cy Young favorite, given that he should receive better offensive support. Halladay has a tougher ballpark to deal with, but he will be helped by the Phillies’ superior defense.
AL
1. Felix Hernandez – 3.06
2. Zack Greinke – 3.13
3. Cliff Lee – 3.17
4. Jon Lester – 3.35
5. Justin Verlander – 3.53
6. CC Sabathia – 3.54
7. Josh Beckett – 3.58
8. Brett Anderson – 3.60
9. Rick Porcello – 3.74
10. John Lackey – 3.80
I have Anderson and Porcello joining the ranks of the AL’s elite, but other candidates include David Price, Clay Buchholz and Max Scherzer.
Greinke would still be the AL’s best pitcher if he finished so slightly behind Hernandez. That’s because King Felix has an all-world defense backing him up, while Greinke is almost certain to get subpar defensive support.

Minor League Baseball had its worst attendance in 14 years

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Baseball American reports today that total attendance at minor league baseball games reached a 14-year low in 2018. Total attendance was 40,450,337. That’s a drop of 1,382,027 fans compared to last season.

Around a third of that drop is attributable to fewer scheduled games but, as Baseball America notes, even when you go to average attendance per game, there was a sharp drop off this season. BA suggests that this represents a leveling off after over a decade’s worth of large increases in minor league attendance. Which sound pretty plausible. Overall, attendance numbers are still massively above where they were 15-20 years ago, so this seems more like a correction than a real problem. The BA article goes into some good analysis of the decline.

All of that said, revenues are up for the minors, in large part because of merchandise sales and because minor league ballparks have a lot more amenities and better concessions than they used to have and fans are willing to pay for them.