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.
- Jakob Junis’ 0.2 fWAR is the 2nd lowest in the AL among qualified pitchers. On the surface he looks like a terrible play on any given day. Junis, however, has really pitched well over his last 5 starts. In that time he has a 10.7 K/9, a 51.4% GB, and a 3.40 SIERA. He takes the hill on the road against the White Sox, an offense that ranks 27th in the league with -0.2 fWAR over the last 2 weeks. Junis has a better xFIP on the road (3.97) than at home (4.54).
- Michael Conforto is still making amazing HC. Over the last 7 days he is leading the Majors with 75.0% HC. Combine that HC with a 17.2% walk rate and he’s been pretty valuable over the last week. He is not, however, the most valuable Met in that time, that moniker goes to Brandon Nimmo. The New York outfielder has a .574 wOBA and a 272 wRC+.
- The Pirates Trevor Williams is dead last in the NL with a 4.95 SIERA. He also ranks dead last with a 6.00 K/9. Williams has only given up 2 runs in his last 29 innings, but his 5.17 xFIP suggest that luck has played a huge role in that. The Pirates are at home tonight against the Cubs. Anthony Rizzo has been the hottest Cub, over the last week he has a 20.0% walk rate and a 146 wRC+.
- Carlos Carrasco is 2nd in the AL over the last 30 days with a 2.35 SIERA. In that time he’s made 5 starts with a 11.50 K/9 and just 1.07 BB/9. Thanks largely to a 52.4% GB, he’s allowed only 0.8 HR/9. The Indians take on the Orioles at home in Cleveland. Baltimore is 13th in the AL in the last 7 days with 32.0% HC as a team.
- Tampa Bay infielder Willy Adames has been swinging a hot bat as of late. In his last 23 PA he’s hitting .474/.565/.737 with a 17.4% walk rate. He’s stolen 4 bases as well in that time and leads the Majors with 1.0 BsR. Adames faces Brian Johnson (Not from AC/DC) on the road in Boston today. Johnson has given up 10 runs, 5 walks, and 5 home runs in his last 13 innings. Adames hits much better on the road (111 sOPS+) than at home (80 sOPS+).
- No starting pitcher in the game is giving up more HC than Cole Hamels. He leads the Majors with 44.7% HC against him on the season. That HC has lead to a 3.99 xFIP on the year. Since Joining the Cubs, Hamels has pitched like it’s 2011. He has a 10.0 K/9 in 3 starts with Chicago, and 2.76 xFIP. In 18 innings he has given up just 2 runs and owns a 5.0 K/BB.
- The Padres Cory Spangenberg leads the Majors with a 25.0% walk rate in the last 7 days. He’s not just drawing walks, he’s making a lot of noise with his bat hitting .412/.565/.824 in 24 PA. He’s got a tall order tonight as the San Diego hosts Arizona. The Diamondbacks trot out lefty Robbie Ray. Spangenberg is hitting just .162/.184/.351 against lefties on the season.
- James Shields has given up 8 home runs in his last 5 starts, that’s the 2nd most in the Majors over the last 30 days. He’s thrown 31 innings in that time and walked 11 hitters. He starts today against division rival Kansas City Royals. Salvador Perez has a .391 ISO in his last 6 games while making 55.6% HC.
- David Peralta is making the best HC for the month of August with a MLB leading 65.1%. That HC has lead to a .401/.446/.788 slash with 5 home runs in 56 PA. An interesting nugget here is that Peralta is spreading the ball around nicely; he’s pulling 32.6% of his BIP, going up the middle 32.6%, and going oppo 34.9%.