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.
- Lucas Giolito is unquestionably the worst starting pitcher in the Major Leagues. He ranks dead last with a 5.88 SIERA, 50 points above the next highest total. He also has the highest walk rate in the Majors with 12.7% and he owns the 2nd worst strikeout rate at 13.8%. One big problem is that Giolito has the 5th worst fourseam fastball in baseball in terms of weighted runs, and that’s his most used pitch at 59.0% frequency. Giolito takes the hill today on the road in Tampa Bay. Any time Giolito pitches, chances are his opposition are going to have a good day.
- Matt Chapman is building quite a breakout season in his sophomore year in Oakland. He ranks 7th in MLB with a 4.5 fWAR and his 14.0 dRAA ranks as the highest among all third baseman, in fact, it nearly doubles Kyle Seager’s 2nd best 8.5 dRAA. Chapman has even picked his game up since the second half began. He ranks 1st since the break with 1.3 fWAR and his 2.2 dRAA is the best among players at any position. Today he takes on Detroit lefty Blaine Hardy. Chapman has a 130 wRC+ against left handed pitching on the season.
- Jose Ramirez is currently tied for the AL lead in both home runs (32) and stolen bases (25). The last American League hitter to accomplish that feat was Ty Cobb in 1909. Ramirez ranks 1st in the Majors in ISO (.331), 2nd in fWAR (7.3), and 3rd in both wOBA (.430) and wRC+ (174).
- Kole Calhoun is riding a hot hand in his last 11 games. In 50 PA he’s hit 5 home runs and batted .357/.460/.833 while making 55.2% HC. That nice contact has helped him to a 31.0% LD, which likely explains his very high .417 BABIP.
- Salvador Perez is making the best HC in MLB since the break at 60.5%. He’s shown great power with a .367 ISO in 52 PA in the 2nd half. He steps in against Jake Odorizzi today. The Rays pitcher has a 95 ERA+ on the year with a 4.45 FIP.
- German Marquez is throwing today against the Milwaukee Brewers. Marquez throws 50.0% fourseamers and 20.4% curveballs. Neither of those pitches have a positive weighted runs but combine for -6.5. The Brewers are making 42.9% HC in their last 7 games. Two Brewers to watch in this game are Christian Yelich, who has a .555 wOBA in his last 13 games, and Lorenzo Cain who is making 55.0% HC in that same time frame.
- Gio Gonzalez throw 4 pitches and he distributes his use of those pitches remarkably evenly. He throws a fourseam fastball (25.7%), sinker (27.0%), changeup (21.5%), and a curveball (20.3%); his fastball is his best pitch at 11.4 wFA. He takes the hill tonight against the Reds, a team that has a 85 wRC+ in their last 13 games.
- The Indians Mike Clevenger has only 1 win in his last 5 starts with a very high 4.85 ERA. His peripherals seem to indicate that he’s pitched much better than his ERA would suggest. He is striking out 11.83/9 in those 5 starts with a 3.55 K/BB. He also has a 3.47 SIERA in that time. One problem could be a pretty high .370 BABIP which would be a further indicator that bad luck, or bad defense played a large role in his runs allowed.
- Colin Moran has an extremely high 52.4% LD in the 2nd half while making 42.9% HC. The line drive is by far the highest percentage hit in baseball. When hitting a line drive the league is hitting .684/.678/.907 with a .224 ISO and a .679 wOBA. On a side note, the league is making 50.4% HC on line drives.