Usually I riff a little on pitching. There are two reasons behind that: I love pitching and I find it easier to analyze because the pitcher, for the most part, controls most of their fate. Sure defense plays a role, but I usually look at stats that take that into account in the first place.
If there was ever a pitcher that embodies “peripherals are more important at this stage of the season,” it’s Shelby Miller. If you focus on traditional stats, Miller hasn’t been that bad. He’s racked up six wins (!) and has a 3.18 ERA. As we know, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Miller’s been very, very lucky; not just with babip, either. Miller’s wiggled out of trouble a ton, evidenced by his 87.7% LOB%. His strikeout rate has plummeted ~5% while his walk rate has increased ~5%. All in all, Miller’s k-bb% (perhaps my favorite metric) has decreased nearly 10 percentage points. Not good.
Surely you, the astute Fangraphs reader, have known for a little while that Miller’s pitching on borrowed time. If you haven’t shopped him yet, do it quickly.
If the intro didn’t give it away, I’m targeting Shelby Miller today, weather pending. The Yankees lineup isn’t as potent as we’re used to seeing, but they’re still decent versus right handed pitching. The hitters we will be using are, anyways. Unfortunately, the weather might ruin my plan, so if it does I like the following match-ups: Brewers’ offense versus Bud Norris, Indians’ offense versus Hector Noesi, and the Dodgers’ offense versus Homer Bailey.
Speaking of Bailey, I’m still a fan. Until he can quit leaving balls over the middle though, I have no problem lining up hitters against him.
The Daily Five
Betting against Miller, if the weather cooperates.
Khris Davis – $6,194
Davis has been swinging the bat well of late, posting a .346 wOBA in May. His strikeout rate is worrisome, but I like his upside at this price.
Bartolo Colon – $12,769
There aren’t many attractive starting pitcher options near the bottom end of the spectrum today, but I like Bartolo enough to plug him in. His underlying numbers actually haven’t been too bad, so hopefully a reversal of fortune is in order today.
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