Pop Quiz

OK, here are the questions:

1) Which hitters are the current leaders in groundball-to-flyball ratio?  Who leads in flyball-to-groundball ratio?

2) Who is the only pitcher in the majors who is in the top 10 in both strikeouts and inducing double play grounders?

3) Of the starters with at least 10 starts, who has the highest average game score?

4) Which rookie has been the most productive so far this season?

Bonus Question:
5) You have two pitchers.  The media (and numerous fans) claim that one is becoming a borderline Hall of Fame candidate.  The other is a journeyman starting pitcher.  Which one is which:

Pitcher A
Pitcher B

OK, now for the answers:

1) Leading the majors in G/F is Jacque Jones (2.65).  Third behind him is Hideki Matsui (2.37).  So if you are looking for a second half surge in home runs from these guys, you may be disappointed because it's extremely difficult to hit lots of home runs when more than 2/3 of the balls you hit are on the ground.  The rest of the top 5 are Mark Grudzialanek (2.40), Cesar Izturis (2.33) and Luis Castillo (2.31)

As for the flyballs, Mike Lowell leads the majors (0.57) so there's no reason why he can't continue to be among the leaders in home runs this season.  Also in the top 5 are Tony Batista (0.58), the Marlins' Alex Gonzales (0.63), Carl Everett (0.64) and Jason Giambi (0.66).  A surprising entry into the top 10 is Jeff Conine (0.74).  Richard Hidalgo is 12th at 0.74.  Neither has hit many homers so far, but might have surprising second halves in the home runs department.

2) Roy Halladay, who is 8th in strikeouts with 96 and tied for 10th in double play balls with 13.  

3) Surprisingly, it's Jason Schmidt.  Taking into account strikeouts, baserunners and runs allowed and innings pitched but excluding ballpark factor, Jason Schmidt has been the best overall starting pitcher in the majors so far this season.  Just behind him are Hideo Nomo, Esteban Loaiza, Kerry Wood and Mike Mussina.  Kevin Brown, Mark Prior, Woody Williams, Barry Zito and Randy Wolf round out the top 10.  

If you remove the 10 start qualifier, Jose Contreras and Johan Santana rank as the top average game scorers, followed by Schmidt.  If they get a chance to start regularly, both would be very nice additions to a fantasy staff.

4) The answer is two part: Hideki Matsui has created the most runs per game (46.0), followed closely by Rocco Baldelli (45.8).

However, if you want the rookie with the greatest rate of creating runs, it's Scott Podsednik.  A line-up of Podsedniks (has a nice ring about it, yes?) would score 6.13 runs per game.  A team of Baldellis (5.67), Mark Teixeiras (5.54), Angel Berroas (5.35) and Matsuis (5.31) would follow behind.

5) If you said pitcher A was the guy that many people think is one of the best pitchers in the American League, then you are probably a Yankee fan because pitcher A is Andy Pettitte.  Pitcher B is Steve Trachsel.  All of the numbers listed are their career numbers except for Trachsel's ERA.  The number listed is his ERA while he's been a Met.  His actual career ERA is 4.33, but 8 of his 11 years in the majors have been spent pitching in hitter's parks.  And while Yankee Stadium isn't as pitcher friendly as Shea, historically it has been a better than average park for lefties to pitch in.

Trachsel has been in the majors 11 years and accumulated 1784 innings.  Pettitte has been in the majors 9 years and accumulated 1680 innings.  My point is not that Trachsel is Pettitte's equal; it is that the difference between the two does not substantiate the accolades that Pettitte so often receives.  In short, he's only marginally better than Trachsel.