Ray's Ramblings - Final Friday, 2018
Archer and Arrieta are done for the season. Bundy cannot stop allowing homers. Vargas closed strong, and old hands like Lester and Verlander weren't that bad. In the bullpen, Diaz, Hand, Chavez, Peralta and Leclerc are surging. Astudillo, Dahl, Rendon are hot. Freeman has been good, but? Cron has hit a lot of balls deep for the Rays. Ray also looks at who has been hot the last week.
8: The league-worst blown save total of three men. Brad Boxberger has 32 saves, Sergio Romo 24 and Ryan Tepera seven. Tepera is bad, but what about Edgar Santana who is the worst with seven blown saves and not a single save.
Chris Archer will not make his final start of the season due to continued soreness in his left groin area. He finishes the season with a 4.31 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 162 strikeouts over 148.1 innings. That 6-8 record isn’t going to assuage the pain that anyone who drafted him has either.
Jake Arrieta made 31 starts for the Phillies covering 172.2 innings. Unfortunately for his owners, he was pretty much a league average arm with a 3.96 ERA, a 10-11 record, a 1.29 WHIP and a mere 7.19 strikeouts per nine. The loss of strikeouts is a legitimate concern for his future value as well since the mark per nine had been at least 8.67 in each of the previous four seasons. For the third straight seasons, the swinging strike radio went down, from a career-best 11.1 in 2015 to a terrible 7.8 percent this season.
Dylan Bundy has a 2.12 HR/9 rate this season. Add up the top-4 men in the category – Jacob deGrom, Carlos Martinez, Brad Keller and Trevor Bauer – and they total 1.79. That’s how hideous that Bundy has been. Speaking of homers, the man with the worst HR/FB ratio is Anthony DeSclafani at 20.0, just ahead of Ross Stripling and Joey Lucchesi, who both had a mark at 19.1 percent.
Jesse Chavez, now of the Cubs, has had a tremendous season with five wins, five saves, seven holds, a 2.63 ERA, a 1.09 WHIP and 89 Ks in 92.1 innings. Always like his swingman skill set, but man, was this one hell of a season out of nowhere.
Edwin Diaz has an xFIP of 1.80, the best amongst relievers who have thrown 30-innings. I could give you 20 guesses for who is number two and I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t have guessed the name Dellin Betances (1.84). I could give 80 guesses and I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be able to name the guy who is fourth in baseball – Oliver Perez with a 2.44 mark.
Brand Hand is the only man with 17 saves who also has 10 holds. He has 32 saves by the way.
Jose Leclerc picked up his 12th save Thursday. He’s had one hell of a season for the Rangers with a 1.56 ERA and 0.85 WHIP to go along with a rather large 85 punchouts over 57.2 innings. Heck of a season.
A two-headed snake… call Syfy Channel.
Jon Lester isn’t the pitcher he once was, his strikeout per inning mark the last four seasons fell to a terrible 7.38 this season, and his 3.17 BB/9 rate was a seven-year high, and he also posted a 1.19 HR/9 rate, his second-worst mark in 11 seasons. But… he still went 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA providing his owners with value as he reached 180-innings for the 11th straight season.
Wily Peralta has 14 saves. Has anyone noticed? That’s one more than Robert Gsellman and two more than Brad Brach.
Jason Vargas shut out the Braves in his final start of the season over seven innings of work. Don’t really know where it came from, but Vargas really channeled the past down the stretch, as he was one of the more effective hurlers in the Senior Circuit. Over his final eight outings, he went 5-1 with a 2.62 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP, an 8.26 K/9 and 4.10 K/BB ratio. Pretty impressive and totally unexpected.
Justin Verlander had a 3.15 BB/9 rate last season, so of course, he’s cut that number in half this season. Not only is his 1.56 walk rate per nine a career best, but it’s also his first season under 2.15 since 2011, the only time in his career that he’s had a mark that low.
Willians Astudillo is one heck of a story. From the dash around the bases to the fact he was the last player in the game to strike out in September (min. 25 plate appearances), to his 6th multi-hit effort in nine games to push his slash line up to .357/.372/.524 over 27 games. A hell of a final push.
C.J. Cron has just about the quietest 29 homers in the game. Cron has more homers than Mike Moustakas, Didi Gregorius, Charlie Blackmon, Cody Bellinger, Anthony Rizzo etc.
David Dahl has now homered in 4-straight for the surging Rockies.
Getting smacked, by an octopus. It happens.
Freddie Freeman has an impressive slash line of .308/.386/.502. Still, this will be his first season under .400 in the OBP category in three years, his first season in three with an SLG below .569, and after OPS marks of .968 and .989 the last two seasons, his current mark of .887 has to be slightly disappointing. He’s also averaged 31 homers the last two seasons and this year the mark is just 23. He’s been solid but slightly off his expected pace that he flashed the last two seasons.
Jorge Polanco is batting .290 with a .346 OBP. Didi Gregorius is at .268 and .336.
A.J. Pollock stole 39 bases in 2015. He was hurt in 2016, 12 games played, but returned in 2017 to see his steal total halved (20 in 112 games). Unfortunately, he’s nearly seen his steals total halved again as he has just 12 in 111 games this season. He has a career-best 21 homers, but with the game the way it is nowadays, a 20/10 season is worth about half of what a 10/20 season is.
Be careful when you drink. Even a scooter could get you a DUI.
Jose Ramirez has been crazy good on his way to an epic season for the Indians: 38-105-107-34. Notice I left out the batting average. The mark, .312 and .318 the past two seasons, has fallen all way down to .272 this season as he’s hit a pathetic .221 the last 60 games (he hit .302 in the first half) and an even worst .175 in September.
In 2016 Anthony Rendon went 20-85-91. Last season he went 25-100-81. This season he’s at 24-91-87. Yes, he’s good and consistent.
Another season, another 24 homers, 85 RBI, 82 runs scored and a .351 OBP for Carlos Santana.
Chris Shaw of the Giants just hasn’t fount it. He’s 10-for-53 with a single homer since being called up.
Guys streaking the last week…
Brian Anderson has a homer, six RBI and a 203 wRC+.
Freddy Galvis .510 wOBA.
Yan Gomes has two homers, four RBI and a .762 SLG.
Yuli Gurriel .500 with three homers and 11 RBI.
Trey Mancini has hit .346 with a .414 wOBA with four RBI and four runs scored in six games.
Renato Nunez has a .474-3-7 line.
You can hear Ray, Monday through Friday, on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). Ray is on The Fantasy Drive 8-10 PM EST Monday-Friday, and he’s also on the Guru Elite Show Thursday from 2-4 PM EST. You can follow Ray on Twitter at @baseballguys.