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We’re Going Streaking: AL SP Surgers

I will never recommend chasing after a hot streak or benching a player until he “shows signs of life”. But sometimes, especially when it comes to pitchers, players do make real changes that have a positive effect on their performance. While I have no idea if these particularly pitchers have, it’s always interesting to identify who the best pitchers have been over the last 30 days from a skills perspective.

These 10 American League starting pitchers have posted the lowest SIERA marks over the last 30 days:

Joe Blanton 28.5% 2.2% 3.71 2.50
Chris Sale 30.7% 5.7% 3.15 2.53
Yu Darvish 31.3% 6.6% 3.15 2.64
Rick Porcello 24.0% 4.0% 4.10 2.66
Max Scherzer 30.8% 6.0% 2.31 2.79
Felix Hernandez 23.3% 5.3% 3.15 3.01
Doug Fister 19.1% 3.7% 3.67 3.18
Dallas Keuchel 20.0% 3.9% 2.59 3.26
Ervin Santana 20.1% 5.7% 2.14 3.28
CC Sabathia 21.0% 4.9% 4.34 3.35

Surprise, surprise, Joe Blanton has actually been a damn good pitcher over these past 30 days! That’s a 39:3 K/BB ratio over that time span. Wowzers. And even though he has managed to to post a .256 BABIP and a respectable LOB%, home runs have been a problem as usual. A 22.9% mark is crazy even for him though. Blanton remains an enigma and he’s going on his fourth straight year of significant SIERA underpeformance. Amazingly, even with that .256 BABIP in the last 30 days, his season mark still stands at .355!

Chris Sale just doing his thang. And after last year’s ominous velocity trend, he’s now averaging a full mile per hour more. Too bad the White Sox offense stinks, leaving him with a sub-.500 record and causing his awesome season to fly under the radar.

Yu Darvish keeps on chugging along, though the home run ball bit him. He now has a surprising 16.5% HR/FB ratio on the season. That’s not going to last, though the .258 BABIP and 81% LOB won’t either. He leads baseball in season SIERA.

For all of Rick Porcello‘s skills improvements, his ERA doesn’t seem to want to decline. He’s either the best sneaky buy low or a tease.

Dallas Keuchel?! And here I was stacking righties against him in my daily fantasy contests. He’s an extreme ground ball pitcher and he has always exhibited excellent control. But the strikeout rate is a surprise. Keep in mind these metrics also include his Tuesday relief outing when he struck out 6 batters in just 2.2 innings. I’m extremely hesitant to recommend him in leagues, but even if his strikeout rate does decline, his other skills are good enough that maybe he’ll earn some positive value in AL-Only leagues.

Has decreased velocity led to C.C. Sabathia‘s inflated HR/FB rate? His strikeout rate is down a bit, but everything else looks good. Seems to me it’s just a bit of bad luck so far with the long ball. His velocity has also trended upward. In his first outing of the season, he averaged just 89.7 mph with his fastball. He has now averaged over 91 mph in his last two outings, which is still down slightly from last year, but no longer a degree to panic about. There are a lot of interesting buy low names from the preseason top pitchers group and I think Sabathia is a good one.