If you haven’t noticed by now, I usually like to spotlight a player who is struggling or excelling and shine a little light on why either is happening. Ian Kennedy will be our focus today. After being traded to San Diego by Arizona last season, Kennedy was pretty good (3.97 xFIP). And because of how he pitched down the stretch and the park he now calls home is so friendly, he was a target many people had going into draft season. Man, oh man, has he rewarded the owners (myself included) who either drafted him or picked up off of waivers.
Kennedy’s strikeout rate has spiked an incredible amount, and San Diego’s catchers may have a little to do with that. Both Yasmani Grandal and Rene Rivera grade out fantastic framers, according to the numbers. 25% of Kennedy’s strikeouts have occurred when a batter was caught looking. His highest percentage since his fantastic 2011 season. He’s caught opposing batters looking 14 times already, compared to 33 last season in 181 innings. Kennedy’s been able to leverage an increase in velocity, phenomenal catchers, and more ground balls into fantastic numbers so far. And I see no reason why he can’t continue it going forward.
C.C. Sabathia’s periphreals are fine, but I – along with everyone else – is still worried about the fact that when he misses his spot balls leave the yard. Miller Park isn’t the best place to pitch if you’re struggling with the long ball. Kyle Gibson doesn’t miss many bats in general, and the Tigers have a ton of bats. How long can Collin McHugh keep this up? Finally, what are the odds that Nathan Eovaldi actually knocks the bat out of a Padres’ player’s hands tonight? 50%? Higher?
The Daily Five
Dillon Gee – $16,996
The Phillies’ offense hasn’t been very good so far. Gee has. He’s had endurance problems in the past, and hopefully he’s able to get past those this year. For today, though, I’m not too worried about long term worries.
I love the Tigers offense. I like them even more today versus Mr. Gibson and his 5.04 xFIP.
Carlos Gomez – $7,908
I mentioned Sabathia’s homer issues earlier. Gomez is my pick to somewhat ruin his day.
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