Welcome to Ronnie’s Run Down! This column looks at some fascinating matchups and facts that might pique the interest of the reader as that day’s games are reviewed. This is just my attempt at creating come compelling thought on any given day. There are nine innings in baseball, and nine points in my daily run down.
- Freddie Freeman is leading all hitters in the month of August with a 48.6% LD. In 47 PA he has a .401 wOBA and he’s hitting .357/.426/.500. Line drives are the highest percentage hit in the game. The league is hitting .683/.677/.905 on line drives for the season with a 341 wRC+. On grounders the league is slashing .235/.235/.256 and on fly balls, .230/.225/.689.
- Yankee third baseman Miguel Andujar has been the most clutch hitter in the Majors in August. He has a .86 WPA, a 1.41 +WPA, and a 4.90 RE24 for a league leading 0.67 CS. On the sason he is slugging .523 when his team is within one run, he’s hit 9 of his 17 home runs when his team is behind, and he is slashing .309/.347/.485 when his team is within one run after the 6th inning.
- Justin Verlander is going for his 200th career win tonight as the Astros play host to the Colorado Rockies. Verlander is currently enjoying his best season since 2012. His 6.6 H/9 is his lowest since his Cy Young season in 2011, and his 158 ERA+ is his best since 2012. He has a 11.7 K/9 which is thus far the highest of his career. The Rockies offense ranks 24th in the league with a 84 wRC+ on the road.
- Giancarlo Stanton is enjoying a very good August. He’s slashing an impressive .313/.382/.750 and making 47.2% HC. The Yankee behemoth also has a crazy high .438 ISO while leading the Majors with 6 HR for the month. In tonight’s game he will face lefty J.A. Happ of the Tampa Bay Rays. Stanton has a 203 sOPS+ against left handed pitching on the season.
- Cody Bellinger has the 4th highest fWAR in the NL for the month at 0.7. He has a 216 wRC+ and a .490 wOBA in 39 PA. In that time he has a 32.1% LD and he’s only making 3.2% SC. His opponent today is Giants hurler Andrew Suarez. The San Francisco lefty has an 86 ERA+ on the season and has given up 11 runs on 18 hits and 4 home runs in his last 11 innings.
- Chris Sale and Trevor Bauer may be running away with the Cy Young race, but James Paxton deserves to be in the conversation. His 11.3 K/9 is the best by a Mariner since a young man named Randy Johnson pitched for the Seattle club. He ranks 4th in the AL in both SIERA (3.04) and K/BB% (24.7%). Paxton takes the hill today in Oakland. The Athletics have the 3rd highest strikeout rate in the AL over the last week at 23.5%.
- Jesus Aguilar’s 66.7% HC is the tops in the Majors for August. That HC has helped him to a 188 wRC+ and 4 home runs. He isn’t just hitting with power, he’s showing very nice patience with a 21.4% walk rate in 42 PA.
- Nick Markakis is arguably having the best year of his career, and definitely his best season since 2008. He currently has a career high 139 wRC+ as is his .509 SLG, he’s also leading the Majors with 147 hits while keeping a nice 9.8% walk rate. Tonight he steps in against Miami righty Trevor Richards, a pitcher that uses his fastball 55.8% of the time. Markakis is 2nd in the NL with a 5.5 wFA for the month.
- Pretty much any pitcher facing the White Sox is set up for a great night. The South Chicago club has an astonishing 35.9% strikeout rate in their last 7 games with just a 5.5% walk rate. The team has a -1.1 fWAR in that time while making just 27.6% HC. The Tigers Blaine Hardy is tonight’s lucky hurler. He is allowing only a 17.7% LD in his last 4 starts. On the season Hardy has a very low 5.8% walk rate and a 9.9% HR/FB.