Most undervalued pitchers in baseball

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RA Dickey 150x150 Most undervalued pitchers in baseballWhen you think about what defines a major league pitcher as having value, there are several things that come to mind.  Topping the list is total number of wins, strikeouts, and of course, earned run average (E.R.A.), however only one of these is an accurate illustration of a pitcher’s overall strength and value.  Let me explain: The number of wins a pitcher gets for his team can be misleading, dependent on his teammates run support during each of his outings.  The number of strikeouts that a pitcher throws can be a bit of a flashy stat, as an out is an out.  When it comes down to it, E.R.A. is the primary element that determines a pitcher’s value to his team.  It cancels out the defensive troubles a team may have, as well as the offense (or lack thereof) that a pitcher may have backing him.  In the end, the E.R.A. that a pitcher posts is the truest measure of his success for that season, and best reflects his overall value.
Over the last 2 complete seasons (excluding the current 2012 season), there have been exactly 10 pitchers in the MLB who have finished the season in the top 25 in E.R.A.  The challenge that I have for all readers right now is to list those 10 pitchers without scrolling down to find the answers.  Being able to name even 7 of these pitchers is an impressive feat, and getting 8 or more is phenomenal.  Go ahead and try to make a list right now…
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