The Matt Garza race is finally over. Despite last minute surges from the Oakland A’s and Boston Red Sox, the Rangers have acquired Matt Garza, albeit for a huge package.
Despite pitching in the National League since 2011, Matt Garza is no stranger to the DH. Between 2006 and 2010, he pitched for both the Twins and the Rays.
Taking a quick look at his numbers, it’s clear that he favors pitching in the NL. He posted his best ERA (3.32), WAR (4.9), K/9 (8.95), Home Run Rate (0.64), and FIP (2.95) in 2011 as a member of the Cubs. In 5 American League seasons, he has posted ERAs of 5.76, 3.69, 3.70, 3.95, and 3.91. In 3 National League seasons, he has posted ERAs of 3.32, 3.91, and 3.17, despite being a very similar pitcher in terms of walks and strikeouts.
More striking are his sabermetric league splits. In the American League, he never posted a FIP or xFIP better than 4.14. In the National League, he has posted numbers below that consistently, including a 2.95/3.19 FIP/xFIP mark in 2011. So far this season, he has a 3.17 ERA, 3.78 FIP, and 3.85 xFIP.
It also must be considered that he’s going to a better offensive division as well as a more hitter friendly park. The vast improvement from the Cubs’ offense to the Rangers’ should get him more wins, but his ERA, FIP, xFIP, HR/9, K/9, and WHIP will probably all worsen considerably. If I had to guess, in his final 12 (or so) starts, he will post a W/L around 6-4, but with an ERA of around 4.20, as well as increased homers allowed and a lower K/9.
He projects to be a good, but not great, starter for Texas for the remainder of the season.