The Major League Baseball regular season has been a roller coaster so far, with some starting pitchers making incredible strides and others experiencing some difficulties. However, for many pitchers, their success or failure over the course of the 162-game season is directly related to how well they start the campaign.
Michael Sarris, a baseball analytics writer for The Athletic, has identified four starting pitchers who are due for some better results in the near future. These pitchers have shown some promise but have yet to deliver consistently solid performances. Here’s a closer look at Sarris’s picks:
1. Luis Castillo, Cincinnati Reds
Castillo has been one of the most inconsistent pitchers in the league for the past few seasons, but he has also shown flashes of potential with his electric fastball and impressive changeup. Sarris believes that Castillo is due for some better results soon, as his peripheral numbers are much better than his overall performance. For example, he has a high strikeout rate (11.7 K/9) and an xFIP of 3.22 that suggests he has been better than his 4.70 ERA indicates.
2. Aaron Civale, Cleveland Indians
Civale has been a pleasant surprise for the Indians this season, posting a 3.48 ERA in his first eight starts. However, Sarris thinks that he has actually been better than that, as his peripheral numbers suggest that he could be a legitimate ace. Civale has a low walk rate (1.4 BB/9) and a high ground ball rate (54.1%) that should help him to keep the ball in the park and induce more efficient outs.
3. Anthony DeSclafani, San Francisco Giants
DeSclafani was a steady but unspectacular starter for the Reds from 2015-2020, but he has turned things up a notch with the Giants this season. Sarris thinks that he is due for some better luck soon, as he has been victimized by a high BABIP (.336) and a low strand rate (66.7%). DeSclafani has a solid strikeout rate (9.2 K/9) and a low walk rate (2.2 BB/9) that bode well for his chances of success.
4. Joe Ross, Washington Nationals
Ross has been a bit of a wild card for the Nationals over the past few seasons, but Sarris believes that he has some untapped potential. Ross has a high strikeout rate (9.8 K/9) and a low walk rate (2.0 BB/9) that suggest he can be a reliable starter. He will need to work on his home run rate (1.7 HR/9), however, as he has given up too many long balls in his career.
In conclusion, these four starting pitchers are due for some better results in the near future thanks to their impressive peripheral numbers and untapped potential. While some may have shown flashes of promise over the past few seasons, this could be the year they finally put it all together and establish themselves as reliable starters for their respective teams.