Ray's Ramblings - Hot Hitters, SP Review
The pitchers reviewed in this piece are as follows: Cahill, Fedde, Fiers, Freeland, Godley, Hendricks, Lucchesi, Morton, Norris, Rodon, Rodriguez, Ryu, Skaggs, Snell. On offense, here are some of the men who have been hot the past two weeks: Cano, Dickerson, Encarnacion, Gordon, Yuli Gurriel, Haniger, Inciarte, Martini, McCutchen, McNeil, Mondesi, Muncy, Palka, Pederson, Pham, Piscotty, Rosario, Seager, Stewart and Voit.
Everyone wanted to make Trevor Cahill into a thing. He’s just not. He’s tossed 106 innings, his highest total in four years, but he’s been terrible down the stretch with a five-game run of gut-wrenching work: 1-2, 7.45 ERA, 2.02 WHIP, 0.87 K/BB ratio and 6.98 BB/9. He’s crushed folks of late. Crushed them.
Erick Fedde has one more start set up, in Colorado Saturday. He’s allowed five runs over his last three starts, though he’s failed to work five innings in two of the outings and he’s walked four guys each of his last two times out. Not a target this weekend.
Mike Fiers continues to impress. Since the start of August, he’s made 10 starts going 5-1 with a 2.79 ERA, a 0.99 WHIP and a 4.55 K/BB ratio. Even the elevated 1.74 HR/9 mark hasn’t done anything to extinguish his extended run of success.
Kyle Freeland has a 2.84 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP, as a Rockies hurler.
Zack Godley allowed two runs Sunday to lower his ERA to 4.75. He’s had a terribly disappointing season.
Kyle Hendricks is doing it again – getting outs. I’ve had a lot of folks ask me over the course of 2018 whether or not they should even hold on to Hendricks. Hopefully you listened and you did hold him. Through 32 starts he’s tossed a career best 191 innings and his ERA (3.49) and WHIP (1.15) are impressive per usual. He’s been dynamic the last seven outings as well allowing two or fewer earned runs every time out. Over those seven outings he has a 1.55 ERA, a 0.91 WHIP and a 6.00 K/BB ratio for the Cubs.
Joey Lucchesi was bombed for seven runs in his last outing, a terrible time to go nuclear. That effort raised his ERA to 4.14 and his WHIP to 1.32 heading into his last start. He’s also 8-9 over 124 innings as one of the more league average guys going (he’s only been saved by his 137 Ks in 124 IP).
Charlie Morton left his outing Sunday after one inning because of reduced velocity. Recently back from a shoulder injury, Morton kept up the fight for the majority of the season on his way to 164 innings. He’s been fantastic with a 3.18 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 197 punchouts, but will his health disappear when the team needs him most in the playoffs? The team is saying he will make one more start before the season is over to check on his health. We shall see.
A new line of thought on Jack the Ripper. Did he not attack whores? By the way, whores is a great word, isn’t it?
Daniel Norris of the Tigers, a one-time elite level prospect, is just 25 years old and trying to establish himself in the team’s long-term plans. He’s continued to be up and down this season, but he’s looking to end things on a high note. Over his last two outings he’s allowed three runs over 10.1 innings.
Carlos Rodon, yet again, is turning into a pumpkin. Here are his last five starts: five runs, five walks, five walks, five runs and six runs. In those five September starts, he’s done a lot to tarnish the good will he had created (6.84 ERA, 5.81 K/9, 5.13 BB/9, 1.71 HR/9, 1.82 WHIP). In the end, it’s another season with injury and moderate results for the supposed top of the rotation arm. He loves to crush souls.
Dereck Rodriguez has made 18 starts (20 outings) for the Giants, and it’s been a tremendously successful season. He’s had an out-of-nowhere season that includes a 2.50 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP and generally impressive work – given the zero in the expectation column when the season began. He’s not maintaining these levels moving forward, but it’s been a hell of a season.
Hyun-Jin Ryu has a 2.00 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP over 14 starts. The answer is never Ryu, except this season as a spot starter, where he’s been terrific. Note that he hasn’t even thrown 80-innings this season, and that’s just not gonna do for a starting pitcher, at least not one you can depend on.
Tyler Skaggs has a 9.30 K/9 rate and a 3.91 ERA. He’s also thrown an MLB high 122 innings this season, in his sixth season, so by all accounts he’s been effective. Still, he’s been hideously disappointing of late as, wrapped around injury, he’s gone 0-3 with a 15.75 ERA and 2.50 WHIP over four outings. He's been battered mercilessly for 23 hits, with seven walks, over 12 innings.
Blake Snell should make one more start, trying to punctuate his AL Cy Young statement. Over his last nine starts, he’s 9-0 with a 1.03 ERA and 74 strikeouts. Those numbers have only been matched or exceeded by two men, ever over a nine-game stretch.
For my thoughts on 2-start pitchers this week check out the Week 26 Fantasy Baseball Elite Podcast.
Here are some numbers for the last two weeks:
Robinson Cano, who many left for dead, has been blazing the last week helping lead to a .400-2-14 line over 12 games. The strong finishing kick has his average up to .304 and his OPS up to .854. For his career, the numbers are .305 and .848. Yep, same as always.
Corey Dickerson has seven RBI, seven homers and a .406 average his last 10 games.
Edwin Encarnacion has 31 homers and 100 RBI. He’s now hit 31 homers in seven straight seasons. He’s also driven in at least 98 runs in each of those seven seasons as well. The last 10 games he has a .323/.500/.613.
Anyone notice that Alex Gordon is producing? Yes, that Alex Gordon. He has three steals and 11 RBI his last 13 games while posting a .355 wOBA.
Yuli Gurriel has hit .400 with 14 RBI and a 207 wRC+ over 11 games.
Criminals to be released if they allow work on their brain?
Mitch Haniger has 12 runs scored and a .460 OBP.
Ender Inciarte has scored 14 runs his last 12 games while batting a robust .381 with a .460 OBP.
Nick Martini has a .382/.475/.500 slash line the last 11 games for the Athletics.
Andrew McCutchen is sporting a .405 wOBA his last 12 games.
Jeff McNeil just won’t stop hitting. He’s stolen two bases while batting .340 with a .509 SLG the last two weeks.
Adalberto Mondesi has five homers and six steals, not to mention 11 RBI and 10 runs scored. He’s blazing to the finish line raising his profile for ’19 exponentially.
Is the Earth flat? Do people still believe it is?
Max Muncy has nine runs and nine RBI his last 12 games with a massive .512 OBP.
Daniel Palka has hit six homers in 11 games with a .433 wOBA.
Joc Pederson only faces righties, but over his last 36 plate appearances, he has hit five homers with a .917 SLG.
Tommy Pham has a 230 wRC+.
Stephen Piscotty’s last 12 games have included 11 RBI, 11 runs scored and a 175 wRC+. He’s up to 26 homers, 85 RBI and 75 runs scored for the Athletics.
Amed Rosario has stolen four bases, hit two homers, scored 10 times and posted a .300 average his last 14 games.
Kyle Seager has been disappointing this season, but the last two weeks he’s gone .300/.378/.575 for the Mariners.
D.J. Stewart has two homers, a steal, and a .280/.367/.640 slash line his last 10 outings.
Luke Voit’s last 10 games: four homers, 10 RBI and 10 runs scored.
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.