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.

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and reliever T.J. McFarland have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. McFarland, in his third of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $1.675 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $1.275 million. McFarland ended up settling for just under the midpoint of those two figures.

McFarland, 29, was terrific out of the bullpen for the D-Backs last season, finishing with a 2.00 ERA and a 42/22 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. While the lefty may not miss a lot of bats, he does induce quite a few grounders. His 67.9 percent ground ball rate last season was the third highest among relievers with at least 50 innings, trailing only Brad Ziegler (71.1%) and Scott Alexander (70.6%).

McFarland was dominant against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .388 OPS last season, but the D-Backs deployed him nearly twice as often against right-handed hitters, who posted an aggregate .764 OPS against him. It will be interesting to see if the club decides to use him more as a platoon reliever in 2019.