Jon Lester – Boston Red Sox / Oakland Athletics / Chicago Cubs
There is an ongoing debate about whether Jon Lester may or may not be one of the most overrated pitchers of the last century.
On one hand, he’s authored a career pitching line of 190-108 with a 3.56 ERA, a 3.66 FIP, and an 8.4 K/9 ratio over his career. He’s also put together a unique postseason resume, including being a part of three World Series winners and owns a career line of 9-7 with a 2.51 ERA, and a 7.8 K/9 in the playoffs.
However, there are also detractors that will say he’s gotten by with sub-par stuff because he was a part of some very good Red Sox and Cubs teams. He’s never won a Cy Young or winning an ERA crown, despite twice being a 19-game winner.
Regardless of how you feel about his career as a whole, there is little denying what he has done to the Angels since 2010.
In 63 regular season innings of work, Lester owns the lowest ERA (2.14) and FIP (2.40) against the Halos. Angels hitters have struggled to the tune of .221/.260/.294 with and have also managed just two home runs against Lester in that span. Only Dallas Keuchel has a lower hard-hit rate against Anaheim that Lester’s mark of 22.9%.
And let’s not forget what Jon Lester has done against the Angels in the postseason, even if it came prior to 2010. Between 2008 and 2009, he made three ALDS appearances against the Angels, holding them to four runs (three earned) over 20 innings of work (1.35 ERA) and striking out 16 in the process.
Lester is in the last season of his current contract with the Cubs, but at 36-years-old, he will be looking to latch on with another team next season if he doesn’t return to Chicago. Angels fans will be happy if he steers away from Anaheim.