Ray's Ramblings - Sept Arms & Bats
Ray takes a look at arms and bats. On the bump, Buehler has been great, nearly as impressive as Buchholz. Freeland isn't too far behind either. Meanwhile, Eflin is done, Morton is struggling and so is Edwin Jackson. Nova has been solid as well as Teheran. What about Syndergaard? Is he ever truly going to "get there"? Ray also takes a look at the men at the dish the last two weeks who have been excelling including names like Bregman, Kiermaier, Bogaerts, Acuna, Soto, Villar and Camargo. Ray also touches on the returns of Abreu and Judge.
Walker Buehler has made 19 starts (20 outings) with a 3.09 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. He’s also punched out 122 batters in 110.2 innings and his 4.21 K/BB ratio speaks to just how dominant he has been. The only issue for him of late has been the homer with four games of two allowed his last 10 outings. Otherwise, he has the makings of a potential run to being a top-25 starting pitcher next season if he can stay healthy.
Clay Buchholz is having a dream season. Over 16 starts, CB is 7-2 with a 2.01 ERA and 1.04 WHIP for the D’backs. He’s been remarkable really, highlighted by his work of late which includes more than two earned runs just once in 10 outings and a total of three earned runs his last five outings. Like I wrote, remarkable. Inexplicable, but remarkable.
Zach Eflin is done. His second half includes a .305 BAA, a 6.35 ERA, a 1.61 WHIP and a 2-5 record. #MoveOn
Jack Flaherty has thrown just 10 innings his last two outings while walking nine batters. He seems to be struggling just a little bit down the stretch with some worry about the growing innings pitched total (164 though he did toss 170 last year so he should be OK).
Kyle Freeland has allowed as many as three earned runs just twice in nine starts. Honestly, he’s been pretty remarkable with a 14-7 record and a 2.91 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. He owns a .289 wOBA on the road this season, but he’s also been superlative at home with a .294 wOBA (.214/.395/.380). He’s usable everywhere - has been for months now - and is having one of the five best starting pitching seasons in Rockies history, I do believe.
Edwin Jackson has failed to last five innings in 3-of-4 outings, allowing 11 runs in 18 innings. He’s still been tremendous with a 3.26 ERA and 1.16 WHIP over 14 starts, but he’s slowing (predictably) and has allowed six homers his last five outings.
Charlie Morton returned from a short stay on the disabled list for the Astros and pitched effectively against the Red Sox allowing two runs over five innings. Note that he’s failed to throw more than 5.0 innings in each of his last four starts, and over the last three, he has seven walks, 13 strikeouts, and three homers and 11 runs allowed over 14.2 innings. Wearing down? Injured? Bad luck? I’m way more inclined to think it’s one of the first two than the third option. Note that the Astros need/want him right for the playoffs, so it seems unlikely they will be piling up big innings on his arm in September.
Ivan Nova is on a nice role. Over his last five outings he’s allowed more than two runs just a single time for the Pirates.
In the second half, Noah Syndergaard has a 3.99 ERA, a 1.35 WHIP, an 8.31 K/BB ratio and has only been able to keep things from turning downright poor because he’s kept the ball in the park (0.31 per nine). I’m getting closer to formulating my full opinion on Syndergaard, and I have to tell you that I’m thinking he’s just not anywhere near the elite type of hurler some folks think he is. Talented? For sure. But he seems to be closer to Jon Gray than he does to Max Scherzer.
Julio Teheran dropped his WHIP to 1.16 his last time out. He’s allowed one earned run in 3-of-4 outings during which time he’s allowed a single homer. That run has dropped his ERA down to 3.95. #BetterThanMostThink
Jose Abreu has been activated from the DL after missing time with a testicular torsion issue, and yes, it’s as bad as it sounds. He hit the DL with two homers and 10 RBI his last six games played, though it’s obviously unclear how he will perform right out of the chute.
Khris Davis has 41 homers and 108 RBI. That’s 3-straight seasons with 40-100. Bryce Harper has never had one season of 40-100.
Aaron Judge was supposed to miss 3-4 weeks according to the Yankees. As of today, seven weeks later, he still has pain in his wrist. "The pain is not gone. It's still broken," Judge said, before adding, "I knew I was going to be back in some meaningful games here down the stretch. I'm just excited to get closer.” It’s believed he will return in the regular season, but it sure sounds like when he does return that he won’t be anywhere near 100 percent.
Kevin Kiermaier has finally found his stroke. Over his last four games he has gone deep three times. Here are the numbers since the month of September starter: .520-3-7-8 with a .657 wOBA over seven outings. He’s constantly hurt, but the bat makes him a legit pickup addition off waivers. Late word has him visiting doctors though...
Marcell Ozuna has returned from the DL swinging an impressive bat. Over his last five outings he’s produced at least one hit each time out for a total of 10 hits. Amongst those 10 hits are five homers while driving in six and scoring six times. He’s up to .278-21-75, which are similar numbers to his 2016 effort of .266-23-76. As was said this offseason, his 2017 was gonna be the outlier (.312-37-124).
Stephen Piscotty has two homers in five games, four in seven games and five in nine games. He has a hit in 11-straight games. If you haven’t been paying attention, that leaves him with a .265-23-74 line which isn’t half bad for a guy who started out poorly.
Justin Turner is out of control. Over his last 33 games since returning from the disabled list, Turner has hit .386 with eight homers, 23 RBI and 28 runs scored. Out of control.
The last two weeks…
Ronald Acuna just won’t stop producing. His last 13 games have included a .433 wOBA, four homers, three steals and 12 runs scored.
Xander Bogaerts is up to 21 homers and 93 RBI. Did you notice? The last two weeks he’s hit .372 with two homers and nine RBI.
Alex Bregman led baseball with six homers. He was one RBI behind Christian Yelich for the MLB lead. Bregman also scored 12 runs to tie for the league lead with Mookie Betts, Anthony Rendon, Ronald Acuna, Francisco Lindor, George Springer and Lorenzo Cain. Bregman also led baseball with a .458 average, ahead of Kevin Kiermaier .429, Betts .415 and Anthony Rizzo .400.
Johan Camargo keeps on hitting down the stretch. His last 13 games: .367-5-10-11.
David Fletcher has scored 10 runs with two steals.
Robbie Grossman, on no mixed league rosters, has a .488 OBP his last 11 games.
Nomar Mazara had four homers and 14 RBI.
Billy McKinney had hit .333 with a .370 OBP and .500 SLG.
Jeff McNeil’s slash line: .341/.400/.512.
Adalberto Mondesi had three homers, three steals and a 197 wRC+.
Tommy Pham had an impressive .390-2-8-10-1 line in 10 outings around injury.
Amed Rosario had three steals with a .391/.429/.565 slash line. He also scored eight times in 11 outings.
Andrelton Simmons had three homers, two steals and 11 RBI.
Juan Soto continues to have one of the more remarkable rookie seasons of all-time. He has a .471 OBP and nine RBI the last two weeks.
Gleyber Torres hit four homers with 13 RBI and a 196 wRC+. He’s back in the groove.
Jonathan Villar has seven steals the last two weeks, the best in baseball, and one more than Trevor Story. The following guys swiped four bags: Francisco Lindor, Charlie Blackmon, Treat Turner and Joey Wendle.
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.