9/3 MLB: Picking Pitchers Using Stats
Its been a while, so hello Grinders. Wednesday and Thursday I did not like the slate and honestly not enough plays to even write an article. There are a lot of mid tier plays today that make it easy to fade the two aces in today’s slate. So lets analyze the 11 game evening slate using recent stats.
Ivan Nova has been amazing since moving from the American League to the National League. Since joining the Pirates Nova is 4-0 with a 2.87 ERA 0.99 WHIP 31.1 IP 22Ks and 1 walk (6.32 K/9, 0.29 BB/9). Although he is facing a team that is second in BB% rate in the last 14 days (10.3% BB % rate), the Brewers have a 29.9% K % rate which is tops in MLB. They are in the bottom 10 in WRC, WRC , and .293 WOBA). Nova’s last start was against MIL, where he went 6 IP 1 ER and 4 Ks in a Win. And I would not be surprised if he did the same today. He is an excellent play in Cash and GPPs.
Vince Velasquez is only on this list because of his strikeouts. He has been dreadful in his last 7 starts. 0-4 6.57 ERA 38.1 IP 1.62 WHIP 46 Ks 15 BBs (10.8 K/9, 3.52 BB/9). He is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA 12 IP 10 Ks vs ATL. Velasquez is a better pitcher at Home with a 4-3 record 2.91 ERA 1.07 WHIP 77 Ks in 58.2 IP (11.81 K/9). Atlanta has been one of the best offenses in baseball the last two weeks. First in BB % rate (12.5% BB rate), First in WRC (81 WRC), top 5 in WRC + and WOBA (122 WRC +, .356 WOBA) and bottom 5 in K % rate (18.5 % K rate). Velasquez is a pure GPP play only because of his strikeouts.
C.C. Sabathia has been average all year and average in his last 7 starts (3-3 4.95 ERA 43.2 IP 49 Ks 16 BBs 1.28 WHIP 10.18 K/9 3.32 BB/9) but is on this list for 2 reasons. 1. He has pitched very well vs Baltimore this year especially at Baltimore (1-2 2.49 ERA 25.1 IP 21 Ks 11 BBs 1.26 WHIP 7.46 K/9 3.91 BB/9 vs Baltimore in 2016) (1-0 12 IP 0 ERs 11 Ks 8 BBs 1.33 WHIP at Baltimore) and 2. Baltimore struggles vs LHP. Bottom 5 in WRC, WRC +, and WOBA vs LHP (124 WRC, 79 WRC +, .295 WOBA). He dominated Baltimore in his last start before he allowed baserunners in the 7th inning vs BAL. CC is also a better pitcher on the road 6-3 3.45 ERA 1.25 WHIP 66 Ks in 73 IP. He is a sneaky GPP play in what I think will be a low scoring game.
Kevin Gausman has been one of Baltimore’s most consistent pitchers all year. In his last 7 stars he is 4-3 with a 3.63 ERA 39.2 IP 45 Ks 15 BBs 1.41 WHIP (10.21 K/9, 3.40 BB/9) He has dominated the Yankees this year going 1-1 with a 0.98 ERA in 27.2 IP 24 Ks 3 BBs and a 0.94 WHIP. He last start he went 7 scoreless innings scattering 7 hits and 9 Ks with no walks vs the Yankees. He is a great pitcher at Camden Yards going 5-1 2.48 ERA 1.09 WHIP 52 Ks in 65.1 IP. The Yankees offense has been average all across the board in the last two weeks especially with Gary Sanchez going from Super Saiyan to regular Gary Sanchez recently. Gausman is an excellent cash play and will be a low owned GPP play. Excellent contrarian play.
Tannar Roark has been amazing all year. Especially in his last 7 starts. 5-1 2.36 ERA 45.2 IP 29 Ks 17 BBs 1.16 WHIP. He is 0-1 vs the Mets but he has pitched 9.1 IP with 1 ER and 7 Ks vs the Mets this year. His lack of strikeouts is why he isn’t a must play and is facing a Mets team that has been hitting homeruns in bunches the last 2 weeks (23 in last 13 games). He is a groundball pitcher and facing a rookie so he is favored (WSH -126). I wouldn’t play him in cash or GPPs. I would only play him on sites where Wins are important or where his price is reasonable.
Michael Fulmer has struggled in his last two starts. 0-2 7.59 ERA 9 ER in 10.2 IP 5 Ks and 2 BBs 1.59 WHIP. He has pitched well vs KC this year 13.1 IP 3 ER and 10 Ks. He has been given 6 days rest today after being given 7 days rest before facing the Angels. He only went 5 IP and gave up 3 ERs. He isn’t a must play but I think this is an underrated pitching duel vs Ventura. In the last two weeks KC has been an average team across the board which is better than the way their offense was in the first 110 games. 21st in BB rate and K % rate (7.1% BB rate, 19.3 % K rate) 19th in WRC, 20th in WRC +, and 18th in WOBA (50 WRC, 86 WRC +, .305 WOBA). He isn’t a must play but will be low owned if you want to go contrarian.
Yordano Ventura has been very good ever since the scuffle he had with Manny Machado. There were talks about trading this guy after that game and he has responded since with a 5-5 record in 83.2 IP 3.55 ERA 71 Ks 25 BBs and a 1.20 WHIP. In his last 7 starts he is 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 43.1 IP 35 Ks 15 BBs 1.20 WHIP. He has dominated this hot Detroit team going 2-0 with a 1.82 ERA in 24.2 IP 22 Ks 6 BBs 1.26 WHIP. Detroit has been the best offense in baseball the last two weeks especially with Romine driving in runs and Justin Upton getting hot in the latter part of August. This is a pure GPP play.
Rich Hill is an ace. Rich Hill is like Casper cause I haven’t seen him much in the last 7 weeks. He went 6 scoreless vs the Giants with 3 Strikeouts. He is facing a struggling SD team that is bottom 5 in WRC, WRC+, and WOBA in the last two weeks (35 WRC, 70 WRC+, .274 WOBA) They are also second in K % rate in that same span (29.8% K rate). He has only given up 2 home runs in 15 starts and has a 50% Groundball rate. With his blister problem I believe he will be low owned but is a great cash and GPP play.
Rick Porcello has 18 wins in 27 starts. He had 9 wins all of last year. He is 5-1 with a 2.52 ERA in 53.2 IP an average of 7.2 IP per start 44 Ks 4 BBs and a 0.78 WHIP. He had the typical 7 IP 3 ER in his last two starts vs TB but is facing a terrible OAK offense. Forget the 18.9% K rate over the season. Oakland is 4th in K % rate over the last two weeks (24.8 % K rate) and 29th in ISO, WRC, WRC +, and WOBA in that span (.102 ISO, 20 WRC, 62 WRC +, .260 WOBA). He is 5-3 with a 3.49 ERA on the road with a 1.05 WHIP 75 Ks 17 BBs in 87.2 IP (7.7 K/9, 1.75 BB/9). He will be a popular cash and GPP play and someone I would not fade.
Jose Fernandez is tricky today. WHY, because he is facing the best home offense in baseball. He struggles on the road 3-5 4.02 ERA 1.28 WHIP 91 Ks in 65 IP. And his teams offense has been dreadful the last two and a half weeks. But he has K upside and is facing a Cleveland team that has been average the last two weeks. They have been bottom ten in ISO, WRC, WRC +, and WOBA in that same span (.129 ISO, 49 WRC, 86 WRC +, .302 WOBA). Fernandez has struck out 43% of RHB and 27% of LHB. His K upside will be limited because Cleveland has 8 LHB’s in the Lineup today. He will be the most popular today But I will fade.
Good Luck – Paul