Much has been written about how well pitchers have performed the past few seasons. Or put another way, much has been written about how hitters are faring worse than they have in a long time, especially in regards to walking back to the dugout after striking out. I’m not smart enough to give you a fantastic answer in regards to why this trend is continuing. However, I am going to tell you my favorite aspect of it, at least as far as one team in concerned. Velocity.
The Miami Marlins’ rotation is currently throwing harder on average than any starting rotation measured during the PITCHf/x era.
Pretty cool, right? They might not claim the title, but it’ll be interesting to see if they’re able to hold on. The Marlins’ rotation wasn’t projected to be terribly good. Most of the positive WAR projected from the group was attributed to Jose Fernandez. So far they’ve beaten their cumulative projections in route to the eighth lowest ERA and and third lowest FIP, respectively. They’ve been able to do that thanks to their ability to get ahead. The Marlins’ rotation – on top of their good work preventing runs – is getting themselves into 0-1 counts 63.9% of the time; good for the fourth highest rate in the majors. The Marlins’ starters are getting ahead in the count and then begging hitters to actually beat them. They’ve posted a league best 52.8% zone% to this point. Basically, the Marlins’ staff is saying: “Here’s a 94 mph heater. Do something with it.” And so far, opposing batters haven’t been able to do much.
Weather around the country should be good today, which is always a plus. The Baltimore Orioles’ offense has been absolute raking as of late, and they get Jeremy Guthrie today. The Detroit Tigers get Phil Hughes today, which means that it could turn into an absolute bloodbath quickly. Clay Buchholz hasn’t looked nearly as good as he did last year, and he squares off with a Blue Jays’ lineup that packs a wallop on occasion. If his command deserts him again, it could be a long day for Mr. Buchholz.
The Daily Five
Anthony Rizzo – $7,111
Poor Rizzo. He’s been phenomenal to start the season, but he isn’t getting much help. Estrada seemingly always give up a long ball or two, and Rizzo is my pick to keep it going today.
Jenrry Mejia – $15,884
Mejia’s been a Fangraphs’ favorite for quite some time now. His ability to punch out hitters at high rate makes him my favorite bargain pitching play today.
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