Ray's Ramblings - Pitcher Report - 8/10
Bauer is dominating all comers at the moment. Blach is getting men out, even if he never dominates. Bridwell has been a life saver for the Angels. Happ is just a guy, sorry. Kluber and Sale are dominating in historically impressive ways. Marquez is pitching very well, even if he is a Rockie. Maeda isn't going deep in games, but he's still found success of late. Miranda is a batting practice machine. Perdomo is just a guy. Brandon Woodruff has been effective in two outings for the Brewers. Should you be excited?
Trevor Bauer’s last three outings: 8 IP (1 R), 7 IP (1 R), 7 IP (1R). Over those 22 innings, he’s struck out 22 batters with three walks. We’ve seen this from Bauer before. Yes, he’s uneven. Yes, he’s not someone you can fully trust. If the question is – can he lock in and dominate an opponent? – then the answer is another unqualified yes. With all the uncertainty, and the mess at the starting pitcher position this season, a healthy guy who can generate strikeouts while setting down an opponent is pretty much a must get in mixed leagues.
Ty Blach usually struggles to reach more than 90 mph on the gun, and his 6.7 swinging strike percentage is awful. Really it is. The resulting 4.43 K/9 rate is potentially disastrous. On the plus side, the lefty of the Giants has walked just 1.90 batters per nine, has a mere 0.70 HR/9 rate and is generating a 45 percent ground ball rate. He also has a 1.96 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP and 18 strikeouts his last 18.1 frames. Getting it done is the kid, even if it’s a bit smoke and mirrors.
Parker Bridwell was a $1 pickup in AL LABR by yours truly. Can’t get a much better return on that dollar than I have. In 11 outings, 10 starts, Parker has gone 6-1 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. Since the start of July, he’s made six starts going 4-0 with a 2.33 ERA and 1.0 WHIP as he’s flat out streaking right now. The 26-year-old rookie has a mere 9.2 percent swinging strike rate, along with a poor 5.73 K/9 rate. He’s succeeding now by avoiding the walk (2.18 per nine) and... and... I’m still searching for it. Much like Blach he’s pitching well, though, the skills do not suggest that continued success is a lock. Bridwell has a mere 0.99 GB/FB ratio, has been allowing 1.36 homers per nine and has been very fortunate with his 87 percent left on base percentage. As great as he’s been, it would be far from shocking to see him post an ERA a good run and a half above his current level the rest of the way.
J.A. Happ has struck out 15 men while allowing two runs his last two starts. Alas, he’s also walked four batters in 2-of-3, as the good comes with a little sprinkling of bad. Over his last six outings, he has a 4.28 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP, as he’s allowed 1.57 homers per nine. It’s actually worse than that as he’s also given up four unearned runs, leading to 20 runs over 33.2 innings. Just a guy.
Corey Kluber is a monster. Since coming off the DL on June 1st, he’s 8-1 with a 1.70 ERA. During that time, he also has a 13.4 K/9 rate and a 1.423 BB/9 rate. He became the first pitcher since MadBum (2015) to toss back-to-back complete games with 10 strikeouts. He’s also tossed 13-straight games with at least eight strikeouts. The all-time record is 15-straight held by Randy Johnson. He did it twice (1999 and 2000).
German Marquez of the Rockies is on a hell of a roll right now. He’s tossed six consecutive “quality starts” with a 2.95 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 41 strikeouts over 39.2 frames. His left on base rate is high at 80 percent, and his BABIP is a bit low at .267, but the overall performance suggests that his recent numbers aren’t out of the realm of the expected given how he’s pitched. Same time, he has allowed a large 25 percent line drive rate, though his 45 percent ground ball rate plays. Even at Coors this season, he has a 1.28 WHIP which is completely respectable. Hard to give a full-throated yes to adding him everywhere, but there shouldn’t be any innings worry with the righty; he threw more than 185 innings last season, who is on his game right now.
Kenta Maeda has gone 4-0 with a 1.33 ERA his last five times out, as the Dodgers finally seem committed to just letting him start. Maeda has allowed only two homers in the five starts, while walking seven men. He’s still not going deep in games, only one outing has he recorded more than 15 outs, but it sounds like they have found a winning formula with the righty in Los Angeles.
Ariel Miranda has collapsed. Over his last three outings, he’s allowed seven homers. Over his last 10 outings, he’s allowed 18 homers leading to a 5.90 ERA and just one victory.
Luis Perdomo isn’t someone you can trust, as there’s a lot of up and down for the Padres’ hurler. Over his last four outings, he’s allowed only one homer, only two in eight games actually, but here are the runs allowed the last four trips to the bump: four, four, five and two. He’s given the Padres some length, at least, with six innings in each of the four outings. His role right now would appear to be shooting for a quality start.
Chris Sale is 14-4 with a 2.57 ERA, a 0.88 WHIP and a 12.77 K/9 rate. The dude has 229 punchouts against just 29 walks in his 23 starts. Sale has made 15-starts this season with at least 10 strikeouts. Since 2000, only two men have had as many in a season (Randy Johnson 23 and Pedro Martinez 15). Here’s a link to more of his strikeouts feats.
Brandon Woodruff had another solid outing for the Brewers. "I thought Brandon did a nice job," manager Craig Counsell said. "He fell behind some hitters more than he did in Tampa. He still made pitches, got himself back into some counts and did a nice job.” Woodruff has worked to clean up his mechanics, they often got away from him in college, to help harness his stuff. Woodruff sits at 93-94 mph most of the time, and the pitch has decent sink to it. His slider is also an above average pitch, meaning that most of his stuff plays very well in the bottom of the zone. A competitor who also owns a passable change up, he profiles as a 4th type of starter at the big-league level. Woodruff has made two starts with just eight punchouts in 12 innings, and the five walks are a bit troubling. He’s a streaming option in mixed leagues who appears to be an arm on par with the likes of Trevor Bauer and Michael Wacha.
Ray Flowers can be heard Monday-Friday, 8-10 PM EDT on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). You can also hear Ray Sunday nights at 8 PM EDT PM on the channel talking fantasy sports. Follow Ray’s work on Twitter (@baseballguys).