Pitching Regression Candidates April 8th-14th

Pitching Regression Candidates April 8th-14th

Hello Friends! With two weeks of this current season in the books, pitching form is beginning to take shape but it’s important not to put too much stock into it. Sample sizes are important for regression analysis so let’s continue to utilize past data in addition to what is going on this year.

Jake Arrieta

Despite winning the prestigious Cy Young Award four years ago, Arrieta has not been a productive pitcher recently and further examination into his advanced metrics support this hot take.

Over a 61 start sample size in 2017-2018, Arrieta produced an 8.7 % and 7.8% swinging strike rate respectively resulting in below average Skilled Earned Run Averages (SIERA) above 4.00 and declining strikeout rates from 8.71 K/9 to 7.19. Further signs of trouble can be seen this season with the veteran’s poor 4.5% swinging strike rate, loss of control (4.5 walks per start), and horrific 6.51 SIERA.

Future regression can also be found when looking into other peripherals. In two starts this season, Arrieta’s Left On Base Percentage is at an unsustainable 92.1% and his hard hit and fly ball rates have all spiked. It would be wise to ignore the deceiving 2.77 Earned Run Average (ERA) and fade this declining pitcher!

Carlos Carrasco

After producing a 7.71 ERA in two starts, Carrasco’s 2019 season appears to have gotten off to a rough beginning, but there are plenty of reasons to remain optimistic.

The first sign of future positive regression can be seen through the fluky amount of contact this Indians’ pitcher has allowed this year. For his career, Carrasco’s Batting Average on Balls In Play (BABIP) stands at .308 which allows us to treat his current .560 BABIP as a data outlier. Yes, his 70.4% hard-hit rate is scary but when compared to his 31.8% career rate we should expect that to regress positively too.

Let’s take a look at his skill set to see if there are any obvious signs of declining ability. Despite the terrible looking ERA, Carrasco’s 11.5% swinging strike rate is on par with his career percentage (12.5%) and his 2.58 SIERA looks extremely promising. When considering his overall strikeout production (16 SOs in nine innings), there really is little reason to be concerned about his talent.

Overall, after closely examining Carrasco’s advanced metrics we should feel good about his future performance. Ignore the negative recency bias and confidently play this Cleveland starter in all fantasy formats especially when pitching at Progressive Field!

Brett Anderson

We should know by now ERA and wins are not a good indication of performance so let’s not weight Anderson’s 2019 success too heavily.

Let’s first take a look at this veteran’s pure ability. In 11 innings pitched, the Oakland starter has produced a concerning 5.46 SIERA and a dull 6.6% swinging strike rate. Combined with his lack of control (six walks), we can count on regression hitting this left-hander hard soon.

We can also treat Anderson’s 2019 “success” as somewhat of an outlier when examining his career statistics. In 147 starts, the 31-year old’s swinging strike rate is  7.4% and his 6.47 K /9 is considered below average. Don’t be fooled by his current 2-0 record and 2.38 ERA and heavily consider stacking against Anderson!

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