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.
- Andrew Heaney takes the hill tonight at home against the Detroit Tigers. The Angels lefty has a 5.00 K/BB in his last 5 starts with a 3.75 SIERA. The Tigers offense is in a terrible funk. In the last two weeks they have the worst wOBA (.251) in the Majors. Their 29.7% HC ranks 26th in baseball.
- Jed Lowrie has the highest second half HC at 57.5%. Unfortunately that HC hasn’t turned out much in the way of results. Lowrie’s second half wOBA is just .250 which is very unusual for a hitter with such a high HC. One other unusual stat is his very low .200 BABIP. This is mostly due to his 45.0% FB, his lack of power means those hard hits are turning into deep flyouts. Lowrie faces Rich Hill tonight, who has just a 28.0% FB in his last 20 innings. Lowrie’s HC should pay off in this matchup.
- Nick Pivetta might just have the largest discrepancy between how his pitching has his results, of any pitcher since the break. The Phillies righty has a 14.34 K/9 in his last 3 starts with a 14.00 K/BB. His ERA is an extremely high 5.71, but his 1.90 SIERA suggest that he is greatly out pitching his earned runs. The Diamondbacks, Pivetta’s opponent tonight, have just a 92 wRC+ in the last two weeks.
- Christian Yelich is having a very strong week. In 7 games he has a .485 wOBA and he’s slugging .733. His success is likely due to a crazy high 70.8% HC. Yelich is having more than just a good week, he leads all hitters in the 2nd half with 1.9 fWAR, and he ranks 2nd in the NL with 54.4% HC.
- The Cleveland Indians are the only team in the Majors with 3 players that have a 5.0 fWAR or higher. Jose Ramirez (7.5), Francisco Lindor (6.1), and Trevor Bauer (5.3) account for 55.4% of this top heavy teams 34.1 fWAR. Only three other players have even a 1.5 fWAR and all three are pitchers.
- Nolan Arenado has one of the biggest home/road splits of any player in the NL. At home in Colorado, he has a .332 ISO to go along with his 160 wRC+. On the road, his ISO drops to .241 (still a very good number), and his wRC+ goes down to 122. The big move comes from his wRAA, which is much higher at home (27.5) than away from Denver (8.1). Arenado faces Pittsburgh’s Jameson Taillon at home today at Coors Field.
- Madison Bumgarner is struggling through what is arguably his worst season of his career. In just 11 starts, Bumgarner has a career high 3.65 BB/9, and his 7.56 K/9 is his lowest since 2010. His 2.97 ERA looks good on the surface, but his 4.58 SIERA suggests that he isn’t pitching as well as it seems. Houston Astros switch hitter Marwin Gonzalez is on fire over his last 6 games, recording a .409 ISO with a 46.2% HC in 26 PA.
- The Phillies are absolutely making the poorest quality contact in baseball over the last week. They rank dead last with 29.8% HC and their 21.7% SC is the highest in the Majors. Tonight the Phillies face Zack Greinke of the Diamondbacks. Greinke ranks 5th in the NL with a 3.32 SIERA. He has a 2.26 xFIP in his last 3 starts and he’s holding opponents to a .210 wOBA while allowing a 22.4% SC.
- Seven hitters in the Majors have a strikeout rate below 11%. Of those, only Andrelton Simmons and Michael Brantley have over a 100 wRC+. Conversely, there are seven hitters with a strikeout rate over 29%. Of those, four (Joey Gallo, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Brandon Nimmo) have a wRC+ over 10.