July 31 is nine days away. The blockbusters, smooth deals, and sleepers are still with their respective teams, but this won't remain much longer. Two pitchers, Matt Garza and Jake Peavy, seem to be all the rage for teams looking to get into contention, and would love pitching depth. Garza will be a free agent following the season, while Peavy has one more year remaining on his current contract. For many teams, this is the deciding factor between going after Peavy or Garza. But, what pitcher will give you the best benefit for this season?
Matt Garza and Jake Peavy are both great, commanding pitchers. You don't need to see their numbers to recognize that. Both, however, have had stays on the DL. When healthy, Peavy and Garza are great pitchers as you can see in their numbers. Peavy also is a three-time All Star and a Cy Young award winner, while Garza has yet to crack the awards column.
Garza and Peavy both rack up the strikeouts, and keep their WHIPs pretty low. Peavy has a lower ERA, but also has pitched in nearly 800 more innings than Garza. In the long term, Garza would always be a better option, as he is the younger pitcher. But, for one year who would be the better pitcher down the stretch?
Peavy's career numbers show that Peavy has been a better pitcher, but his prime may be behind him. If you look at both Peavy's and Garza's numbers this year, you can get a real feel of what type of pitcher each team is looking at.
As you can see, Matt Garza's 2013 numbers have been slightly better than Peavy's. What really separates the two pitchers is that Garza's ERA is nearly a run lower than Peavy's. Garza has been dominant, when healthy of course. Peavy has been declining, but can still put up above average numbers for a pitcher.
In my opinion, I believe that Garza will help a contending team more than Jake Peavy. Even though Peavy has two years left on his current deal (vesting option for a third), he probably will continue to decrease, while Garza is still in his prime.
GMs have their reasons for one pitcher over another, and honestly, they won't go wrong going for either target. But, I think Matt Garza has the highest chance of getting you over the hump, and into the World Series.