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Lester a huge add for Athletics

8/1/2014
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Jon Lester has been one of the best left-handed pitchers in Red sox history.The Boston Red Sox traded pitcher Jon Lester and outfielder Jonny Gomes to the Oakland Athletics for outfielder Yoenis Céspedes.

The A's are getting a pitcher enjoying the best season of his career. Lester was awful in 2012, but managed to post a 3.75 ERA last season. This year though, Lester is on pace to set career highs in ERA, Fielding Independent Pitching, innings per start and walk rate.

Lester has harnessed his arsenal – he’s increased his strikeout rate while decreasing his walk rate each of the last three seasons. In fact, he’s improved his walk rate each season since 2010.

Beware The Curveball

Jon Lester Curveball Effectiveness
Last 2 Seasons

Lester’s curveball has been a dynamic pitch for him this season, getting far more swings-and-misses and swings out of the zone than it did last season.

About twice as many of Lester’s strikeouts are coming via the curveball as last season. Batters are chasing every other two-strike curveball that’s thrown out of the zone – they chased less than one-third last season.

Postseason Success

He can not only help them during the regular season, but if his past success is any indication, he'd really help in the Fall Classic. Lester has a 0.43 ERA in his World Series career. According to Elias, that's the lowest of any starter with at least 20 career World Series innings in MLB history.

Overall in the postseason, Lester has a 2.11 ERA. According to Elias, that's the fifth-best of any starter with at least 75 innings since 1913.

Lester’s 11 career playoff starts are one less than the A’s current starting rotation combined – Scott Kazmir (seven), Jason Hammel (three) and Sonny Gray (two). Jeff Samardzija and Jesse Chavez have never started a postseason game.