Advanced Stats - Pitching: Friday, August 10th

I know some people still resist technology and the rise of numbers in baseball. People like Goose Gossage often like to tell you that the nerds ruined baseball. But sometimes it can be a marvelous thing and make the game more fun too.

Last night, Justin Verlander got bombed by the Mariners. He was throwing fastballs right down the pipe and allowed three home runs before being ejected after two innings. Due to recent technology, the Houston broadcast was able to tell us that Verlander had increased his fastball usage to 75% last night (not that he meant to throw that many in such hittable spots). And thanks to Fangraphs, I was able to figure out why he threw so many fastballs to the Mariners last night. They have the fifth worst performance against fastballs in in the majors. Because I was able to watch this, next time his turn comes up, I won’t be wondering if something is wrong with Justin Verlander.

Let’s talk about tonight’s 14 game slate now.

As always, don’t forget to check lineups, umpire assignments, line movement, ownership projections and the weather forecast as they are released later in the day, all of which may change the equation and help you decide between two pitchers of otherwise equal value in a pinch. All of these things are available right here on the site.

Legend

Starting Pitching Main Chart

Pitcher Team Team
Def
SIERA
L2Yrs
IP/GS
L2Yrs
GB%
L2Yrs
Park
Run
Hm/Rd
xFIP
SIERA
L14
Opp Opp
Hm/Rd
Opp L/R
wRC+
Opp L7
wRC+
Anthony DeSclafani Reds -2.4 4.26 5.8 40.8% 1.04 3.76 4.45 Diamondbacks 88 88 127
Austin Gomber Cardinals -0.9 4.73 5.1 35.7% 1.04 5.18 4.35 Royals 81 82 74
Blake Snell Rays 2 4.31 5.3 42.0% 1.01 4.27 5.22 Blue Jays 103 94 134
Brett Anderson Athletics 2.3 4.87 4.3 50.6% 0.92 4.38 5.30 Angels 110 86 117
Burch Smith Royals 4.9 4.29 4.0 40.1% 1.04 4.65 5.11 Cardinals 102 95 121
Carlos Rodon White Sox -5.3 4.19 6.1 43.4% 0.96 4.83 5.13 Indians 98 106 100
Clay Buchholz Diamondbacks 0.7 4.45 5.5 40.2% 1.04 4.29 3.66 Reds 99 95 74
Derek Holland Giants -6.4 4.84 5.2 38.4% 0.91 4.62 3.93 Pirates 95 96 91
Dylan Bundy Orioles -8.8 4.30 5.8 34.2% 1.04 4.69 3.28 Red Sox 107 118 127
Ervin Santana Twins 0.5 4.53 6.2 40.0% 1.02 4.77 6.82 Tigers 89 74 23
Felix Pena Angels 3.5 4.16 4.4 40.7% 0.92 4.06 7.46 Athletics 117 107 68
Freddy Peralta Brewers 6.2 3.71 5.3 30.3% 0.99 4.01 3.89 Braves 92 94 77
Gerrit Cole Astros 0.8 3.61 6.1 42.2% 0.89 3.37 2.87 Mariners 105 101 105
Jeremy Hellickson Nationals -4.1 4.80 5.3 39.2% 1.01 4.80 4.16 Cubs 110 106 101
Jon Gray Rockies -1.8 3.54 5.6 47.0% 1.35 2.98 3.98 Dodgers 103 112 84
Jordan Zimmermann Tigers 2.7 4.85 5.3 32.7% 1.02 4.87 5.08 Twins 84 96 99
Jose Urena Marlins 0.5 4.73 5.5 46.7% 0.90 4.86 5.34 Mets 100 94 96
Kenta Maeda Dodgers -5.1 3.71 5.2 39.2% 1.35 3.81 5.12 Rockies 87 79 67
Kevin Gausman Braves 4.2 4.24 5.7 44.6% 0.99 4.12 4.88 Brewers 93 95 118
Kyle Hendricks Cubs 9.1 3.94 5.9 47.1% 1.01 3.89 2.35 Nationals 90 98 108
Marco Estrada Blue Jays -4 4.79 5.5 29.0% 1.01 5.11 7.25 Rays 97 98 73
Masahiro Tanaka Yankees 6.2 3.52 6.0 48.4% 1.03 3.15 2.35 Rangers 86 95 123
Mike Leake Mariners -1.4 4.29 6.0 52.1% 0.89 4.07 3.70 Astros 105 107 109
Mike Minor Rangers 2.8 3.76 5.6 38.4% 1.03 4.18 2.63 Yankees 125 123 77
Nathan Eovaldi Red Sox 6 3.62 5.6 44.1% 1.04 3.72 4.25 Orioles 97 90 94
Shane Bieber Indians 5.8 3.57 5.7 44.3% 0.96 4.07 3.44 White Sox 96 93 62
Trevor Williams Pirates -3.1 4.75 5.4 44.4% 0.91 4.76 4.82 Giants 101 93 66
Zach Eflin Phillies -8.1 4.49 5.6 40.4% 0.91 4.79 3.75 Padres 92 82 141
Zack Wheeler Mets -5.4 4.26 5.6 45.2% 0.90 4.00 2.52 Marlins 80 85 40
Jacob Nix Padres -2.7 0.91 Phillies 85 93 74


Derek Holland has probably been helped by his new home park, but he still has a 30.6 K% over the last 30 days and has allowed just five ERs over his last 16.1 innings, all on the road. He’s been okay and actually has the eight highest strikeout rate on the board for the season (24.2%), plus he gets to pitch in his home park tonight against an average offense vs LHP at best. In terms of run prevention, it’s one of the more favorable park adjusted matchups on the board. His velocity did spike up out of the pen a couple of times, but has also been up in some recent starts, though it was back down around 92 mph in his last start. He’s been throwing a few more sliders, but not a ton more. It has been a tremendous pitch this season though (.248 wOBA, 41.5 Whiff%) and he’s throwing it to RHBs a lot more this season (22.7%, .260 wOBA, 40.2 Whiff%).

Gerrit Cole tops the board with a 35.1 K%, 2.89 SIERA (by nearly half a run) and .290 xwOBA. Our triple crown! He’s struck out at least eight in five straight starts. While he’s only completed seven innings once in his last 11 starts, he has recorded outs in the seventh in two of his last three. The Mariner are a quality offense with just a 19.9 K% vs RHP, but hopefully, he won’t make the same fastballs right down the pipe mistakes that Verlander did last night. It also may be the most negative run environment in baseball.

Jose Urena has just a 6.3 K-BB% over his last five starts, completing six innings just once with a 38.2 Hard%. He’s still missing enough bats to be useful (18.2 K% last 30 days) at the right price and has league average estimators in a great park, which gives him a very favorable park adjusted matchup against an average offense. The Mets don’t strike out a lot (21.6% vs RHP), but have just an 11.5 HR/FB vs RHP.

Kevin Gausman struck out just two Mets in his debut for Atlanta. He’s struck out just two in three of his last four starts now. The good news: he failed to allow a HR for the first time in eight starts. The upside is certainly for more strikeouts. Though it was just 4.6% in his last start, his 11.1 SwStr% is still the highest of his career this year and in line with the last few seasons. On the one hand, the Brewers have a lot of power (15.6 HR/FB on the road, 16.6 HR/FB vs RHP) and they’ve recently added more power. On the other hand, he must greatly benefit from leaving the AL East, is now pitching in a neutral park and the Brewers have just a 95 wRC+ with a 25.2 K% vs RHP this year.

Masahiro Tanaka struck out nine of 21 Red Sox he faced last time out, but threw 97 pitches in 4.2 innings. He’s struck out 26 of his last 73 batters over 19.2 innings, allowing just that one run. He has a 30 K% over the last month without raising his SwStr%, but it was so high previously that it still supports this. At 14.1%, it’s the highest on the board. We all know the risk (19 HRs in 18 starts). However, he’s actually only allowed five of them at home this year, though with a similar GB% and Hard% to his road numbers, that’s probably just a fluke. The Rangers have some power (14.8 HR/FB), but remember, even though this is a very power friendly park, it’s an overall run environment downgrade for this offense. They Rangers also have a 25.3 K% vs RHP.

Mike Leake has gone at least six innings in four straight starts and 17 of 23 starts this year. He’s completed seven innings seven times. It’s never about the strikeout rate (14.6%) with him. He has the ability to pitch deep into games and the contact management has greatly improved (51.5 GB% and 32.4 Hard% over his last 10 starts). He’s always a threat to have one or two sent over the fence, but this is one of the few spots he can call a park upgrade from Seattle (in terms of overall run environment) and while he’s facing an offense missing most of their top bats (though Correa may be back tonight).

Nathan Eovaldi has already paid off for the Red Sox through two starts: 15 IP – 0 R – 1 BB – 9 K. A quick look at his Statcast pitch map for these two starts shows that he’s continued to elevate the fastball (as he did in Tampa this year) despite not accumulating a lot of strikeouts. The Yankees and Twins generally aren’t very high upside matchups. I still feel good about this. The Orioles are (24% vs RHP). It’s not a great park, but it’s better than Fenway. Surprise, he has the third best xwOBA on the board (.297).

Shane Bieber has a 19.0 K-BB% through 10 starts, still his lowest at any level since being drafted. He also has some really dangerous platoon splits (LHBs .397 wOBA, 35.2 GB%, 48.9 Hard%). I’m trying to come up with LH White Sox batters, who he might have a problem with and mostly drawing a blank….Moncada? Palka? He gets a park upgrade against an offense with a 19.0 K-BB% at home and 18.9 K-BB% vs RHP.

Clay Holmes will replace Trevor Williams and I just noticed this now at noon. He’s started two games for the Pirates, strikeout out six Brewers without allowing a run in six innings in his more recent one a month ago. He has a fastball and a 24 K% through 16 AAA starts, but not much else and an eventual bullpen move was expected in some pre-season scouting reports. Tonight, he’s in San Francisco (16.0 K-BB%, 10.5 HR/FB vs RHP).

Zach Eflin threw eight innings, striking out six Marlins in his last start, but it was the fourth straight start he’s allowed at least three runs with a total of 13 innings over the previous three with just nine strikeouts. He has just a 16.2 K% over the last month, but seems to still be managing contact fairly well despite results. His .284 xwOBA is second best on the board over the last month. He gets a significant park upgrade tonight against an offense that exceeds a 25 K% at home and vs RHP. However, the Padres also have the highest wRC+ (141) in the majors over the last week with a higher HR/FB (23.1%) than strikeout rate (21.3%). The 7.7 Hard-Soft% gives a little something away though.

Zack Wheeler has not allowed a run in his last 13 innings striking out 16 Braves and Pirates, two of the lowest strikeout rates against RHP in baseball. His velocity shot up around June and continues to be around 97 mph. He’s gone at least seven innings in five of his last eight starts with the lowest aEV on the board (85 mph) among those with more than a few starts to add to his increasing strikeout rate (25%). Tonight, he gets a rare park upgrade against an offense with an 80 wRC+ and 8.7 HR/FB at home with a 15.9 K-BB% vs RHP. He’s struck out 16 of the 50 Marlins he’s faced this season, allowing two ERs in 13 innings.

NOT AS GOOD AS THEY LOOK (OR THE FADE LIST)

This list is reserved for pitchers who may look attractive because their ERAs are much lower than their estimators. The reason for this is usually extreme BABIP, LOB, and/or HR/FB deviation from the norm.

League AVG (.290 BABIP – 72.8 LOB% – 13.1 HR/FB)

Blake Snell (.242 – 87.1% – 11.7) through four innings six days ago. His previous outing was three innings four weeks ago without a minor league rehab appearance in between. Who knows what the Rays have in mind tonight?

Clay Buchholz (.263 – 84.9% – 11.1) has had an impressive run for the D’Backs with estimators still below four, but he’s still probably not the kind of pitcher I want to pay more than $8K for in a tough park like Cincinnati (12.0 K-BB% vs RHP).

Carlos Rodon (.212 – 79.9% – 10.4 – 12.5% unearned run rate) does have five straight starts of at least six IP with two runs or less. In fact, he’s pitched into the eight in three of them with a 1.2 Hard-Soft% over that span. However, he also has a 12.6 BB% over that span and has struck out more batters than he’s walked in just three of them as well. He may have some upside, but probably costs more than I’m comfortable with against the Tribe.

NO THANK YOU (In order from least to most offensive)

Freddy Peralta had a nice bounce back start (6 IP – 2 ER – 2 BB – 8 K – 22 BF) in a sweet spot at home against the Rockies. He’d previously allowed 11 runs in 13.2 IP (3 HR – 11 BB – 17 K – 65 BF). The good news is that he continued to accumulate strikeouts. The bad is that his SwStr rate over the last month is just 8.9%. The Braves have just a 20.7 K% vs RHP.

Jordan Zimmerman had his best start of the season (and maybe as a Tiger) against the Rangers (8 IP – 1 R – 11 K). He then allowed 13 runs over his next 14.2 innings (24 hits, six HRs) before bouncing back in Oakland last time out (6.1 IP – 2 ER – 6 K). However, he’s now allowed multiple HRs in four straight games with a 36.8 GB% and 43.4 Hard% in that span. The Twins don’t have a ton of power left in that lineup (10.9 HR/FB vs RHP), unless Sano returns to form, but they don’t offer a lot of upside (21.6 K% vs RHP).

Mike Minor has been pitching some of his best baseball of the season: 18 IP – 5 ER – 2 BB – 19K – 67 BF. He’s affordable with a park upgrade and the Yankees are missing some of their more powerful RH bats. That moves him up the list a bit, but not off this portion of it. It’s still a pretty terrible spot.

Kenta Maeda has allowed 13 ERs over his last 17 innings (four HRs, five BBs, 15 Ks, 75 BF, 45.5 Hard%) and now Coors.

Jon Gray has had great results (at least seven innings in all four starts), but slightly worse peripherals since returning from the DL. He still has the fifth highest strikeout rate on the board (27.7%), but I just can’t pull the trigger at home against the Dodgers, especially if his aim is going to be throwing more four-seamers to generate more ground balls at home (56.3 GB%). It may be better for real world results, but not daily fantasy. He does have a higher strikeout rate overall at home this year, but just a mediocre 12 of 54 batters at Coors since returning.

Jacob Nix has a 20.5 K% through nine AA starts this year. It’s the 22 year-old’s highest strikeout rate outside of rookie ball. I have no idea why he’s pitching in the majors right now after just one AAA start (6 IP – 3 K). He’s probably over-matched, but has decent control and is in a great park and a matchup with some upside (Phillies 25.7 K% vs RHP), though they have upgraded the offense. Stranger things have happened when the opposing team knows little about a debuting pitcher (though probably more than me), but he’s not minimum priced. I really have no idea where to place him on this board.

Austin Gomber gets his third start. He had a 26.6 K% through 11 AAA starts, but has a 12.6 BB% through 26.1 major league innings mostly out of the bullpen. He’s allowed 12 HRs in just under 100 innings combined and his 12.5% Barrels/BBE is highest on the board. The Royals do have a 16.2 K-BB% (82 wRC+) vs LHP.

Felix Pena allows too much hard contact (90.1 mph aEV, 43.5% 95+ mph EV are both worst on the board). That he somehow has been able to keep that to just 7.8% Barrels/BBE is probably what keeps him going. He’s facing an offense that makes a ton of hard contact (23.5 Hard-Soft% vs RHP is easily the split high today). I’m certainly going to want some exposure against him. He’s also seen his strikeout rate crater recently, with just four of his last 56 batters against eight walks as the velocity seems to be dropping. This ride could be over. By wRC+ (68) the A’s have gone cold, but they also have a 31.5 Hard-Soft% over the last week.

Anthony DeSclafani has the upside of a league average strikeout rate with the downside of ALL the Home Runs (15 in 11 starts, 10 in seven home starts).
Dylan Bundy has allowed at least three HRs five times this season.

Brett Anderson

Burch Smith

Marco Estrada

Ervin Santana has been awful with just a 4.6 SwStr% through three starts.

Peripherals (Pitcher)

Pitcher and Opponent K% & BB% for titled splits, similar to the Main Chart.

Pitcher Team Split K% BB% HR/FB Hd-St% Split K% BB% HR/FB Hd-St% Split K% BB% HR/FB Hd-St% Split K% BB% HR/FB Hd-St%
Anthony DeSclafani Reds L2 Yrs 20.0% 6.6% 18.5% 22.7% Season 19.8% 7.1% 20.5% 29.5% Home 23.8% 8.1% 27.8% 31.2% L14Days 19.2% 6.4% 7.1%
Austin Gomber Cardinals L2 Yrs 20.7% 12.6% 13.0% 11.1% Season 20.7% 12.6% 13.0% 11.1% Road 21.7% 16.7% 15.4% 19.4% L14Days 23.3% 13.3% 25.0%
Blake Snell Rays L2 Yrs 24.8% 11.0% 10.9% 14.3% Season 28.0% 10.0% 11.7% 15.6% Road 23.9% 12.2% 12.2% 13.2% L14Days 20.0% 13.3% 20.0% 40.0%
Brett Anderson Athletics L2 Yrs 12.9% 7.2% 16.1% 14.4% Season 11.4% 6.0% 15.0% 15.3% Road 14.1% 7.6% 13.5% 13.5% L14Days 6.1% 4.1% 18.2%
Burch Smith Royals L2 Yrs 22.7% 11.2% 17.4% 30.6% Season 22.7% 11.2% 17.4% 30.6% Home 23.0% 11.1% 16.2% 32.5% L14Days 18.2% 11.4% 27.3% 35.5%
Carlos Rodon White Sox L2 Yrs 23.7% 9.3% 13.3% 14.1% Season 20.2% 9.9% 10.4% 10.1% Home 20.1% 8.6% 14.1% 12.0% L14Days 18.9% 11.3% 6.3% 5.7%
Clay Buchholz Diamondbacks L2 Yrs 19.3% 7.2% 8.7% 17.9% Season 21.9% 6.0% 11.1% 19.9% Road 20.4% 5.7% 8.2% 13.0% L14Days 28.3% 9.4% 18.2% 24.3%
Derek Holland Giants L2 Yrs 19.6% 10.1% 15.2% 20.8% Season 24.2% 8.7% 12.6% 20.7% Home 22.1% 10.8% 13.1% 20.6% L14Days 26.2% 9.5% 18.2% 11.1%
Dylan Bundy Orioles L2 Yrs 22.6% 7.9% 14.2% 17.1% Season 25.2% 7.2% 17.5% 19.9% Home 22.1% 6.7% 13.6% 16.6% L14Days 25.5% 3.9% 33.3% 20.0%
Ervin Santana Twins L2 Yrs 20.0% 7.5% 11.7% 7.3% Season 13.2% 5.9% 13.3% 11.4% Road 19.2% 6.3% 9.4% 6.2% L14Days 8.9% 6.7% 18.2% 8.1%
Felix Pena Angels L2 Yrs 24.0% 10.6% 15.2% 22.4% Season 21.3% 10.1% 14.7% 25.2% Home 25.0% 10.0% 10.0% 21.6% L14Days 6.7% 16.7% 14.3% 13.0%
Freddy Peralta Brewers L2 Yrs 33.2% 13.1% 8.8% 21.6% Season 33.2% 13.1% 8.8% 21.6% Road 33.1% 14.9% 7.4% 24.5% L14Days 33.3% 14.3% 9.1% 10.0%
Gerrit Cole Astros L2 Yrs 27.2% 7.4% 14.2% 11.1% Season 35.1% 8.5% 14.7% Home 28.0% 7.3% 12.8% 7.5% L14Days 32.7% 6.1%
Jeremy Hellickson Nationals L2 Yrs 16.1% 6.1% 13.9% 10.2% Season 18.6% 4.1% 13.5% 7.6% Road 16.9% 5.0% 11.6% 9.3% L14Days 15.9% 14.3%
Jon Gray Rockies L2 Yrs 26.4% 7.2% 12.0% 13.2% Season 27.7% 6.9% 13.7% 19.9% Home 25.8% 6.6% 14.3% 8.8% L14Days 23.2% 7.1% 11.8% 30.7%
Jordan Zimmermann Tigers L2 Yrs 16.9% 6.1% 13.4% 22.7% Season 22.5% 4.9% 13.3% 14.9% Home 17.7% 4.9% 11.8% 25.0% L14Days 18.2% 9.1% 26.7% 25.0%
Jose Urena Marlins L2 Yrs 17.1% 7.9% 13.6% 18.5% Season 19.6% 7.0% 13.9% 26.0% Home 17.0% 8.0% 11.7% 18.7% L14Days 17.0% 12.8% 25.0% 15.6%
Kenta Maeda Dodgers L2 Yrs 26.2% 7.4% 13.5% 12.4% Season 28.0% 8.4% 10.4% 22.1% Road 26.0% 7.3% 15.8% 14.0% L14Days 16.7% 10.4% 16.7% 34.2%
Kevin Gausman Braves L2 Yrs 21.2% 7.5% 14.6% 13.5% Season 19.0% 6.1% 15.9% 13.6% Home 22.2% 7.8% 17.2% 14.9% L14Days 13.5% 7.7% 8.3% 15.0%
Kyle Hendricks Cubs L2 Yrs 21.8% 6.2% 14.6% 8.6% Season 20.0% 6.2% 16.5% 9.8% Home 20.8% 7.1% 17.1% 11.0% L14Days 31.3% 18.2% 6.5%
Marco Estrada Blue Jays L2 Yrs 20.6% 8.5% 10.6% 7.5% Season 17.6% 7.1% 9.2% 10.1% Home 21.2% 8.2% 11.3% 7.7% L14Days 9.1% 11.4% 4.5% 8.6%
Masahiro Tanaka Yankees L2 Yrs 25.4% 5.5% 19.9% 12.6% Season 26.3% 6.3% 20.2% 19.3% Home 28.4% 5.2% 17.7% 11.7% L14Days 38.6% 6.8% 12.5% 39.1%
Mike Leake Mariners L2 Yrs 15.6% 5.0% 12.4% 16.2% Season 14.6% 4.9% 12.9% 19.2% Road 15.2% 5.8% 11.8% 21.3% L14Days 17.0% 15.4% 4.7%
Mike Minor Rangers L2 Yrs 23.5% 6.1% 10.4% 15.3% Season 20.3% 5.4% 12.5% 21.0% Road 23.2% 7.4% 8.0% 9.4% L14Days 29.8% 2.1% 10.0% -6.3%
Nathan Eovaldi Red Sox L2 Yrs 22.4% 3.3% 13.6% 14.2% Season 22.6% 3.3% 13.9% 12.9% Road 20.5% 3.7% 18.6% 9.0% L14Days 18.0% 2.0% 15.0%
Shane Bieber Indians L2 Yrs 23.5% 4.5% 9.7% 34.1% Season 23.5% 4.5% 9.7% 34.1% Road 19.2% 4.8% 12.0% 32.5% L14Days 26.9% 5.8% 17.2%
Trevor Williams Pirates L2 Yrs 17.5% 8.1% 10.6% 8.4% Season 16.4% 8.2% 9.4% 9.3% Road 16.9% 10.6% 11.9% 8.2% L14Days 16.3% 6.1% 6.7%
Zach Eflin Phillies L2 Yrs 17.5% 5.0% 16.1% 13.2% Season 22.5% 5.2% 12.0% 8.0% Road 14.9% 4.9% 10.1% 13.4% L14Days 19.2% 1.9% 21.4% 22.0%
Zack Wheeler Mets L2 Yrs 22.4% 9.0% 13.1% 7.1% Season 23.5% 8.1% 9.0% 1.7% Road 22.5% 8.5% 11.9% 9.6% L14Days 33.3% 4.2% 6.6%
Jacob Nix Padres L2 Yrs Season Home L14Days

Peripherals (Opponent)

OpTm Split K% BB% HR/FB Hd-St% Split K% BB% HR/FB Hd-St% Split K% BB% HR/FB Hd-St%
Diamondbacks Road 23.8% 9.2% 13.7% 17.8% RH 23.5% 9.6% 12.0% 20.1% L7Days 17.9% 9.2% 14.3% 24.4%
Royals Home 19.9% 7.2% 6.9% 25.0% LH 23.1% 6.9% 9.0% 16.8% L7Days 19.8% 5.9% 6.3% 17.2%
Blue Jays Home 22.1% 8.3% 14.1% 13.2% LH 21.5% 7.9% 13.8% 12.3% L7Days 20.8% 6.1% 19.3% 9.5%
Angels Home 21.1% 9.0% 14.5% 22.0% LH 21.1% 8.6% 12.2% 17.8% L7Days 19.6% 7.6% 16.1% 13.1%
Cardinals Road 23.0% 9.3% 15.8% 18.7% RH 21.8% 8.2% 13.4% 20.9% L7Days 17.9% 9.3% 10.9% 17.1%
Indians Road 20.0% 8.0% 12.2% 20.2% LH 18.4% 8.7% 11.4% 18.0% L7Days 15.3% 11.8% 14.3% 22.5%
Reds Home 22.8% 10.7% 13.2% 23.9% RH 21.3% 9.3% 11.2% 19.2% L7Days 22.6% 4.5% 9.4% 3.9%
Pirates Road 20.9% 7.1% 13.4% 18.5% LH 21.9% 8.8% 13.1% 13.0% L7Days 22.6% 7.1% 12.9% 18.9%
Red Sox Road 20.7% 8.9% 14.0% 19.6% RH 18.7% 8.6% 14.6% 19.3% L7Days 19.7% 12.1% 17.9% 16.2%
Tigers Home 20.7% 6.9% 8.5% 23.8% RH 22.6% 6.9% 8.0% 17.7% L7Days 24.2% 5.7% 3.3% 14.2%
Athletics Road 21.8% 8.3% 15.2% 22.4% RH 21.8% 8.4% 13.2% 23.5% L7Days 20.6% 6.7% 12.5% 31.8%
Braves Home 20.3% 8.2% 10.6% 19.5% RH 20.7% 7.8% 11.1% 18.2% L7Days 21.7% 2.8% 15.1% 16.1%
Mariners Road 18.5% 7.2% 12.8% 19.3% RH 19.9% 6.7% 13.8% 15.4% L7Days 15.9% 4.8% 13.1% 14.1%
Cubs Home 20.0% 9.8% 12.2% 10.3% RH 20.6% 9.6% 12.7% 14.2% L7Days 21.7% 7.2% 14.0% 12.2%
Dodgers Road 21.7% 10.6% 13.2% 21.2% RH 22.7% 9.7% 15.8% 19.4% L7Days 32.3% 8.8% 13.5% 31.3%
Twins Road 22.6% 8.3% 9.5% 16.0% RH 21.6% 9.0% 10.9% 21.2% L7Days 26.8% 7.5% 13.2% 25.4%
Mets Road 21.7% 10.2% 13.8% 18.7% RH 21.6% 9.5% 11.5% 15.9% L7Days 22.0% 10.6% 8.9% 21.5%
Rockies Home 20.9% 8.1% 15.5% 14.0% RH 23.2% 8.3% 13.9% 15.4% L7Days 18.0% 7.7% 11.3% 17.2%
Brewers Road 23.1% 7.6% 15.6% 13.1% RH 25.2% 8.2% 16.6% 18.1% L7Days 24.1% 7.0% 21.2% 32.9%
Nationals Road 21.7% 9.4% 13.6% 14.7% RH 20.3% 9.7% 14.0% 12.9% L7Days 16.7% 8.7% 9.9% 11.5%
Rays Road 22.9% 7.8% 11.7% 16.2% RH 22.1% 8.2% 10.7% 15.7% L7Days 19.6% 12.9% 6.3% 9.5%
Rangers Road 26.0% 8.3% 13.4% 16.4% RH 25.3% 9.4% 14.8% 21.5% L7Days 20.9% 9.2% 15.3% 20.0%
Astros Home 20.2% 9.6% 12.4% 11.0% RH 19.9% 9.4% 13.2% 16.1% L7Days 21.7% 9.1% 12.7% 17.2%
Yankees Home 22.0% 10.9% 18.8% 22.0% LH 23.7% 11.4% 19.2% 22.2% L7Days 21.5% 9.9% 16.0% 17.9%
Orioles Home 20.7% 7.8% 14.0% 9.8% RH 24.0% 7.2% 14.0% 13.6% L7Days 23.9% 4.3% 21.3% 25.5%
White Sox Home 26.1% 7.1% 11.7% 6.2% RH 25.7% 6.8% 13.6% 11.2% L7Days 33.5% 9.1% 13.7% 23.7%
Giants Home 21.6% 8.1% 10.3% 19.7% RH 23.9% 7.9% 10.5% 18.6% L7Days 27.6% 6.5% 7.8% 17.9%
Padres Home 25.2% 9.1% 12.3% 20.9% RH 25.7% 7.8% 10.6% 17.0% L7Days 21.3% 8.6% 23.1% 7.7%
Marlins Home 20.6% 7.5% 8.7% 17.3% RH 22.7% 6.8% 11.5% 16.1% L7Days 19.6% 3.0% 12.2% 10.5%
Phillies Road 25.3% 9.8% 11.4% 8.4% RH 25.7% 9.7% 14.3% 9.0% L7Days 23.6% 10.7% 11.1% 16.0%

K/SwStr Chart (2018 LG AVG – 21.5 K% – 10.1 SwStr% – 2.13 K/SwStr)

Getting called strikeouts can be a skill, but it’s usually not a sustainable one at a large deviation from the league rate (catcher framing and other factors may make some difference here). K% correlates heavily with SwStr% though. Look for a large difference and you might find a potential adjustment before anyone else.

Pitcher Team K% Season SwStr% Season K%/SwStr% K% L30 Days SwStr% L30 Days K%/SwStr%
Anthony DeSclafani Reds 19.8% 8.0% 2.48 21.4% 7.8% 2.74
Austin Gomber Cardinals 20.7% 10.8% 1.92 25.0% 10.5% 2.38
Blake Snell Rays 28.0% 13.5% 2.07 16.1% 11.2% 1.44
Brett Anderson Athletics 11.4% 6.4% 1.78 11.0% 5.2% 2.12
Burch Smith Royals 22.7% 10.3% 2.20 21.7% 11.8% 1.84
Carlos Rodon White Sox 20.2% 9.7% 2.08 23.2% 11.2% 2.07
Clay Buchholz Diamondbacks 21.9% 10.4% 2.11 25.0% 12.4% 2.02
Derek Holland Giants 24.2% 10.9% 2.22 30.6% 15.3% 2.00
Dylan Bundy Orioles 25.2% 12.7% 1.98 20.2% 9.8% 2.06
Ervin Santana Twins 13.2% 4.6% 2.87 13.2% 4.6% 2.87
Felix Pena Angels 21.3% 11.1% 1.92 12.3% 8.7% 1.41
Freddy Peralta Brewers 33.2% 12.0% 2.77 28.7% 8.9% 3.22
Gerrit Cole Astros 35.1% 13.7% 2.56 34.0% 12.7% 2.68
Jeremy Hellickson Nationals 18.6% 8.7% 2.14 17.8% 8.4% 2.12
Jon Gray Rockies 27.7% 13.5% 2.05 23.2% 13.7% 1.69
Jordan Zimmermann Tigers 22.5% 9.7% 2.32 17.2% 8.6% 2.00
Jose Urena Marlins 19.6% 8.6% 2.28 18.2% 8.0% 2.28
Kenta Maeda Dodgers 28.0% 13.9% 2.01 25.5% 14.1% 1.81
Kevin Gausman Braves 19.0% 11.1% 1.71 10.9% 8.4% 1.30
Kyle Hendricks Cubs 20.0% 9.0% 2.22 26.1% 9.0% 2.90
Marco Estrada Blue Jays 17.6% 9.6% 1.83 9.1% 7.4% 1.23
Masahiro Tanaka Yankees 26.3% 14.1% 1.87 30.0% 14.2% 2.11
Mike Leake Mariners 14.6% 7.7% 1.90 12.8% 6.0% 2.13
Mike Minor Rangers 20.3% 9.9% 2.05 24.7% 10.6% 2.33
Nathan Eovaldi Red Sox 22.6% 10.8% 2.09 19.4% 11.6% 1.67
Shane Bieber Indians 23.5% 10.7% 2.20 24.2% 9.4% 2.57
Trevor Williams Pirates 16.4% 7.1% 2.31 12.6% 4.6% 2.74
Zach Eflin Phillies 22.5% 10.2% 2.21 16.2% 7.9% 2.05
Zack Wheeler Mets 23.5% 11.0% 2.14 25.0% 10.9% 2.29
Jacob Nix Padres


Derek Holland did strikeout seven out of 10 batters out of the pen, but he still has a 15.3 SwStr% over the last 30 days that includes four starts, having been below 12.8% in just one of those. I don’t think anybody was expecting that.

Kevin Gausman has been below a 9 SwStr% in four of his last eight starts. The trend is not good. The velocity has been trending upward though and he’s probably still in line for at least a few more strikeouts though.

ERA Estimators Chart (2018 LG AVG – 4.21 ERA – 4.2 SIERA – 4.16 xFIP – 4.23 FIP)

How a pitcher’s ERA matches up against his defense independent estimators.

Pitcher Team Season
ERA
Season
SIERA
DIFF Season
xFIP
DIFF Season
FIP
DIFF Season
DRA
DIFF ERA
L30
SIERA
L30
DIFF xFIP
L30
DIFF FIP
L30
DIFF
Anthony DeSclafani Reds 4.98 4.39 -0.59 4.98 -0.54 5.70 0.72 5.33 0.35 6.16 4.27 -1.89 4.53 -1.63 5.78 -0.38
Austin Gomber Cardinals 4.10 4.72 0.62 4.10 0.56 4.71 0.61 5.28 1.18 4.50 4.19 -0.31 3.99 -0.51 4.65 0.15
Blake Snell Rays 2.27 3.75 1.48 2.27 1.36 3.52 1.25 2.87 0.60 5.14 5.96 0.82 5.51 0.37 5.72 0.58
Brett Anderson Athletics 4.64 4.83 0.19 4.64 -0.02 4.91 0.27 7.46 2.82 3.63 4.60 0.97 4.4 0.77 4.67 1.04
Burch Smith Royals 6.41 4.29 -2.12 6.41 -1.76 5.37 -1.04 5.96 -0.45 8.27 4.29 -3.98 4.21 -4.06 4.89 -3.38
Carlos Rodon White Sox 2.94 4.67 1.73 2.94 1.98 4.57 1.63 6.10 3.16 1.26 4.23 2.97 4.09 2.83 3.22 1.96
Clay Buchholz Diamondbacks 2.68 3.99 1.31 2.68 1.29 3.75 1.07 3.92 1.24 2.95 3.92 0.97 3.64 0.69 4.24 1.29
Derek Holland Giants 3.88 4.02 0.14 3.88 0.18 4.05 0.17 3.89 0.01 2.13 2.91 0.78 3.11 0.98 3.15 1.02
Dylan Bundy Orioles 4.38 3.83 -0.55 4.38 -0.23 4.96 0.58 4.80 0.42 5.73 4.46 -1.27 4.97 -0.76 7.38 1.65
Ervin Santana Twins 6.14 5.88 -0.26 6.14 0.38 6.70 0.56 10.38 4.24 6.14 5.89 -0.25 6.52 0.38 6.70 0.56
Felix Pena Angels 4.97 4.37 -0.60 4.97 -0.82 4.39 -0.58 4.89 -0.08 6.89 6.31 -0.58 5.68 -1.21 5.77 -1.12
Freddy Peralta Brewers 3.54 3.71 0.17 3.54 0.51 3.51 -0.03 4.46 0.92 5.95 4.57 -1.38 5.46 -0.49 5.85 -0.10
Gerrit Cole Astros 2.64 2.89 0.25 2.64 0.40 2.76 0.12 2.30 -0.34 3.04 2.96 -0.08 2.96 -0.08 1.50 -1.54
Jeremy Hellickson Nationals 3.56 4.02 0.46 3.56 0.41 4.07 0.51 4.07 0.51 3.08 4.13 1.05 4.43 1.35 4.10 1.02
Jon Gray Rockies 4.73 3.31 -1.42 4.73 -1.72 3.11 -1.62 2.90 -1.83 1.52 3.68 2.16 3.51 1.99 3.05 1.53
Jordan Zimmermann Tigers 4.31 3.94 -0.37 4.31 -0.19 4.24 -0.07 3.79 -0.52 6.43 4.60 -1.83 4.74 -1.69 7.34 0.91
Jose Urena Marlins 4.66 4.11 -0.55 4.66 -0.59 4.21 -0.45 3.86 -0.80 7.58 5.36 -2.22 5.5 -2.08 7.10 -0.48
Kenta Maeda Dodgers 3.73 3.56 -0.17 3.73 -0.27 3.19 -0.54 2.60 -1.13 5.48 3.57 -1.91 3.61 -1.87 4.15 -1.33
Kevin Gausman Braves 4.47 4.18 -0.29 4.47 -0.35 4.55 0.08 3.90 -0.57 6.23 5.39 -0.84 5.57 -0.66 5.32 -0.91
Kyle Hendricks Cubs 4.07 4.07 0.00 4.07 -0.17 4.36 0.29 3.10 -0.97 4.61 3.05 -1.56 3 -1.61 3.52 -1.09
Marco Estrada Blue Jays 4.65 5.13 0.48 4.65 0.77 4.64 -0.01 6.93 2.28 4.09 7.25 3.16 7.08 2.99 4.97 0.88
Masahiro Tanaka Yankees 3.76 3.44 -0.32 3.76 -0.32 4.34 0.58 3.90 0.14 1.78 2.87 1.09 2.6 0.82 2.85 1.07
Mike Leake Mariners 4.16 4.46 0.30 4.16 0.10 4.30 0.14 4.39 0.23 4.34 4.35 0.01 4.15 -0.19 3.91 -0.43
Mike Minor Rangers 4.53 4.19 -0.34 4.53 -0.10 4.40 -0.13 6.57 2.04 4.35 3.55 -0.80 3.55 -0.80 4.31 -0.04
Nathan Eovaldi Red Sox 3.38 3.59 0.21 3.38 0.27 3.83 0.45 3.08 -0.30 3.42 4.09 0.67 4.17 0.75 3.11 -0.31
Shane Bieber Indians 4.58 3.57 -1.01 4.58 -0.99 3.17 -1.41 3.85 -0.73 6.53 3.66 -2.87 3.74 -2.79 3.01 -3.52
Trevor Williams Pirates 3.88 4.92 1.04 3.88 0.96 4.34 0.46 5.05 1.17 0.82 5.48 4.66 5.25 4.43 3.74 2.92
Zach Eflin Phillies 3.61 3.86 0.25 3.61 0.35 3.86 0.25 4.78 1.17 5.63 4.69 -0.94 4.69 -0.94 7.40 1.77
Zack Wheeler Mets 3.89 3.99 0.10 3.89 -0.02 3.42 -0.47 3.33 -0.56 1.95 3.45 1.50 3.12 1.17 2.28 0.33
Jacob Nix Padres


Derek Holland does have a .224 BABIP and 85.1 LOB% over the last month. That definitely is not sustainable.

Shane Bieber has a .376 BABIP.

This is a light section for a full slate, but we’re getting late in the year. Numbers are regressing.

BABIP & Statcast Chart (2018 LG AVG – .290 BABIP – 43.2 GB% – 21.2 LD% – 10.1 IFFB% – 86.4 Z-Contact% – 36.3 Z-O-Swing%)

A few years back, both Dan Rosencheck and Steve Staude separately found that high Infield Fly Ball (IFFB) rates and low Zone Contact (Z-Contact) rates correlated well with lower BABIP for pitchers. I won’t pretend to know how much of the variation in BABIP can be explained by these factors, but since they seem to have some effect, here they are. See if you can use it to your advantage.

It’s presented as the difference between team and pitcher BABIP allowed because team defense can explain a lot of the variance from league average on its own. A pitcher with a much lower BABIP than his team allows is a red flag absent further supporting evidence, while a pitcher with a much higher BABIP than his team allows may have something to offer in the future, especially with the right indicators.

Pitcher Team Team BABIP Pitcher BABIP Diff GB% LD% IFFB% Z-contact% Z-O-Swing%
Anthony DeSclafani Reds 0.296 0.268 -0.028 37.6% 21.3% 5.5% 88.7% 36.6%
Austin Gomber Cardinals 0.288 0.275 -0.013 35.7% 31.4% 8.7% 85.6% 33.7%
Blake Snell Rays 0.278 0.242 -0.036 43.3% 19.7% 7.2% 81.3% 35.6%
Brett Anderson Athletics 0.275 0.319 0.044 52.7% 19.9% 10.0% 90.9% 34.4%
Burch Smith Royals 0.311 0.310 -0.001 40.1% 18.6% 5.8% 83.9% 42.5%
Carlos Rodon White Sox 0.288 0.212 -0.076 41.6% 15.2% 10.4% 88.7% 43.6%
Clay Buchholz Diamondbacks 0.283 0.263 -0.020 40.2% 21.3% 11.1% 87.7% 36.8%
Derek Holland Giants 0.295 0.284 -0.011 37.8% 22.5% 12.6% 84.4% 38.0%
Dylan Bundy Orioles 0.316 0.286 -0.030 35.2% 19.2% 7.8% 85.4% 34.4%
Ervin Santana Twins 0.309 0.327 0.018 18.9% 24.5% 16.7% 97.1% 30.0%
Felix Pena Angels 0.290 0.309 0.019 46.1% 24.3% 8.8% 86.4% 33.9%
Freddy Peralta Brewers 0.277 0.208 -0.069 30.3% 17.4% 7.0% 81.6% 37.8%
Gerrit Cole Astros 0.279 0.269 -0.010 35.0% 22.0% 13.3% 80.0% 37.8%
Jeremy Hellickson Nationals 0.289 0.275 -0.014 46.4% 21.9% 18.9% 86.4% 30.4%
Jon Gray Rockies 0.301 0.335 0.034 47.6% 23.6% 13.7% 84.4% 37.2%
Jordan Zimmermann Tigers 0.291 0.293 0.002 32.1% 23.1% 13.3% 88.9% 33.8%
Jose Urena Marlins 0.293 0.297 0.004 52.1% 18.2% 11.1% 87.7% 37.8%
Kenta Maeda Dodgers 0.287 0.312 0.025 39.5% 25.1% 6.3% 83.7% 36.3%
Kevin Gausman Braves 0.280 0.318 0.038 47.1% 20.6% 10.6% 84.9% 36.9%
Kyle Hendricks Cubs 0.280 0.279 -0.001 46.7% 22.4% 9.9% 85.8% 27.6%
Marco Estrada Blue Jays 0.308 0.276 -0.032 25.4% 19.4% 15.5% 83.3% 43.7%
Masahiro Tanaka Yankees 0.286 0.255 -0.031 47.0% 17.9% 10.6% 83.4% 32.0%
Mike Leake Mariners 0.299 0.300 0.001 49.3% 21.1% 6.5% 92.2% 34.3%
Mike Minor Rangers 0.301 0.272 -0.029 36.2% 20.5% 13.2% 85.6% 36.8%
Nathan Eovaldi Red Sox 0.290 0.230 -0.060 44.3% 16.4% 16.5% 85.4% 39.4%
Shane Bieber Indians 0.294 0.376 0.082 44.3% 20.5% 4.8% 85.8% 31.9%
Trevor Williams Pirates 0.301 0.266 -0.035 39.7% 21.4% 8.7% 91.2% 36.8%
Zach Eflin Phillies 0.293 0.270 -0.023 38.0% 20.7% 11.0% 85.1% 40.1%
Zack Wheeler Mets 0.302 0.301 -0.001 43.6% 21.7% 12.3% 84.2% 34.6%
Jacob Nix Padres 0.306


Kevin Gausman immediately gains 36 freaking points in team defense BABIP!

Masahiro Tanaka has an improved defense and strong profile. I don’t really have a problem with this.

Nathan Eovaldi has a .230 BABIP and I can’t figure out why it hasn’t factored more into his ERA. Some things are a mystery. He has a great profile, but it’s not sustainable. The defensive shift between teams is almost negligible.

Shane Bieber shouldn’t have a sustainable BABIP. He doesn’t get a lot of popups, but the rest of the profile is fine. Look at the Statcast table though: 89.7 mph aEV. Lefties murder him.

StatCast Chart (2018 LG AVG – .314 wOBA)

All stats from BaseballSavant.com.

Player Team xwOBA wOBA-xwOBA xwOBA
H/A
wOBA-xwOBA
H/A
xwOBA
L30 Days
wOBA-xwOBA
L30 Days
Effective
Velocity
Exit Velocity Barrels BBE 95+ MPH
ExV
BBE
Anthony DeSclafani Reds 0.332 0.014 0.313 0.059 0.335 0.007 0.600 88 7.1 36.100 183
Austin Gomber Cardinals 0.389 -0.064 0.384 -0.026 0.360 -0.027 0.500 84.8 12.5 33.300 72
Blake Snell Rays 0.298 -0.030 0.314 0.000 0.318 -0.020 0.200 86.6 6.6 27.800 302
Brett Anderson Athletics 0.378 -0.007 0.365 -0.024 0.355 -0.026 -0.800 88.5 9.3 42.000 150
Burch Smith Royals 0.362 -0.003 0.360 -0.005 0.343 -0.010 0.400 89 10.0 41.800 170
Carlos Rodon White Sox 0.316 -0.041 0.330 -0.025 0.316 -0.041 -0.900 86.8 5.6 34.300 178
Clay Buchholz Diamondbacks 0.332 -0.041 0.325 -0.048 0.339 -0.013 -0.200 88 7.8 37.300 166
Derek Holland Giants 0.345 -0.031 0.353 -0.020 0.333 -0.034 -0.800 87.9 8.2 36.600 317
Dylan Bundy Orioles 0.347 -0.011 0.329 -0.015 0.341 -0.018 -1.200 89.1 10.2 38.600 342
Ervin Santana Twins 0.431 -0.021 0.295 -0.019 0.431 -0.021 -0.300 88.9 11.1 36.100 36
Felix Pena Angels 0.339 -0.011 0.301 0.032 0.336 -0.023 -0.900 90.1 7.8 43.500 115
Freddy Peralta Brewers 0.300 -0.038 0.321 -0.038 0.302 -0.041 1.500 86.7 7.2 36.000 111
Gerrit Cole Astros 0.290 -0.032 0.294 -0.014 0.316 -0.038 -0.500 88.2 7.2 40.800 306
Jeremy Hellickson Nationals 0.322 -0.016 0.320 -0.008 0.323 0.023 -1.200 86 8.4 31.000 239
Jon Gray Rockies 0.292 0.018 0.285 0.015 0.271 -0.001 0.400 88.2 4.1 34.900 318
Jordan Zimmermann Tigers 0.319 0.005 0.353 -0.003 0.300 0.024 -0.400 88.1 9.7 36.900 236
Jose Urena Marlins 0.327 -0.010 0.332 -0.005 0.311 0.011 -0.600 87.8 6.2 36.000 369
Kenta Maeda Dodgers 0.306 -0.008 0.305 0.014 0.326 -0.038 -0.700 86.6 6.2 31.900 276
Kevin Gausman Braves 0.348 -0.002 0.349 -0.004 0.348 -0.004 -0.500 88.5 7.8 40.400 411
Kyle Hendricks Cubs 0.328 -0.017 0.320 -0.015 0.322 0.007 -0.800 85.7 6.5 32.500 400
Marco Estrada Blue Jays 0.345 -0.012 0.320 0.015 0.311 -0.048 -1.800 87.3 10.1 34.800 316
Masahiro Tanaka Yankees 0.323 -0.024 0.310 -0.020 0.306 -0.049 -1.200 87.2 8.0 36.100 263
Mike Leake Mariners 0.372 -0.045 0.353 -0.031 0.352 -0.034 -1.800 89.8 6.9 40.800 448
Mike Minor Rangers 0.355 -0.033 0.306 -0.006 0.333 -0.064 -1.000 88.5 12.4 36.400 354
Nathan Eovaldi Red Sox 0.297 -0.034 0.323 -0.020 0.306 -0.027 -0.900 88.1 7.4 33.700 202
Shane Bieber Indians 0.328 0.017 0.336 0.011 0.319 0.017 0.200 89.7 6.9 35.800 159
Trevor Williams Pirates 0.340 -0.034 0.331 -0.011 0.347 -0.034 0.700 85.7 7.2 30.700 345
Zach Eflin Phillies 0.306 -0.010 0.314 0.011 0.284 0.001 0.100 86.8 6.4 34.900 249
Zack Wheeler Mets 0.309 -0.021 0.313 -0.001 0.293 -0.037 0.900 85 5.8 28.300 360
Jacob Nix Padres


Gerrit Cole is a fine pitcher, but I’m not sure we’ve had many days (if any) where .290 was the lowest xwOBA on the board.

Pitcher Notes & Summary

Here we rank pitchers by value tiers with their overall rank in parenthesis next to the name for the top few. These are not hard and rigid rankings. Everything is fluid and can change depending on ever evolving situations throughout the day. This is the more opinionated part. If there are questions, it’ll help show you where my imaginary boundaries are drawn.

There are seven pitchers above a 25 K% on this board. That’s great, right? We probably can’t even consider more than a couple of them.

Value Tier One

Shane Bieber (4) has gotten at least two sixth inning outs in nine of 10 starts. He’s around $8K with more than enough upside in this spot against a lineup without too many dangerous LH bats.

Value Tier Two

Zack Wheeler (2) has seen his price shoot up quickly. He’s not a $10K guy and has been very much worth it recently. He combines great contact management with an increasing workload and strikeout rate, while he finds himself in perhaps the top park adjusted matchup on the board from a run prevention standpoint at least.

Value Tier Three

Kevin Gausman has not been trending in the right direction with his strikeouts. However, he immediately benefits from getting out of a bad AL East park into a more neutral one and maybe even more so from having a real defense behind him. While the Brewers present a very dangerous matchup, they also present some upside and he’s just too cheap (below $7K) for his talent level here.

Masahiro Tanaka (3) is a high priced pitcher in a dangerous spot. We know the risk and the Rangers have been hot. However, this is a park downgrade for them and he’s pitching his best ball of the season. He has great upside and this matchup offers the same.

Jose Urena has league average numbers and a great park against an average offense at best. That gives him some value at a low price, but the stock has been falling recently.

Clay Holmes is a min-priced pitcher in a great park and a spot with some upside. He might be slightly capable here? I really have no confident in his placement anywhere here because he showed up late to the party today, but I do feel comfortable in at least considering him in a few lineups due to the matchup.

Derek Holland is throwing more sliders to RHBs with tremendous results. Why not? What could it possibly hurt when RHBs were above a .400 wOBA against him last season? The Pirates don’t strike out a lot, but don’t do a ton of damage either. He’s in a great park at a reasonable price.

Gerrit Cole (1) is the fairly clear top pitcher on the board and he’s been pitching well, even if not consistently getting as deep into games as we’d like to see. He’s also easily the most expensive pitcher on the board in a difficult spot, but in a great park.

Value Tier Four – These guys seem basically in line with their price tag. They are either barely usable and shouldn’t hurt you too much, but might not help you much either or have such a wide range of outcomes that you can’t see much benefit beyond the risk.

Nathan Eovaldi is becoming expensive. He has some upside, even if he doesn’t always reach it (more than five Ks in just three of 12 starts, but at least eight in each of those three). He’s in a high upside spot and I like this change in approach overall.

Zach Eflin would have been a bit further up this board about a month ago. A matchup against the Padres in San Diego would seem a great spot and it probably still is even if they’ve been the hottest offense on the board. However, their ascension seems to coincide with his descent. Maybe there’s still enough there to make something of this at $8.5K.

Mike Leake has no upside, but he’s a cheap arm who many not hurt you much in a spot that’s probably a bit better than most people realize. If using Tanaka, Wheeler or Cole, a cheap SP2 may be necessary.

You can find me on twitter @FreelanceBBall for any questions, comments, or insults.

About the Author

  • Matt Trollo (MTro86)

  • Matt has written for ReupSports in the past where he developed his unique pitching charts. He probably watches and reads more about baseball than any normal human being would find enjoyable, accumulating an incredible wealth of mostly useless knowledge, while he patiently waits for his jedi powers to manifest. In addition to writing the Advanced Pitching Charts column for RotoGrinders, MTro86 also heads up the premium MLB News Alerts during baseball season.

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