10 Important Stories From 08/13/20 Box Scores: Which Breakouts Are We Buying, Starting Pitchers To Sell & More


It was a career day for Tomas Nido, who went 2-4 with 2 HR, 6 RBI and 2 R. Brandon Lowe enjoyed another big day at the dish, going 2-5 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 3 R (he’s hitting .309 with 5 HR and 16 RBI). The biggest day belonged to Mookie Betts, who went 4-4 with 3 HR, 5 RBI and 4 R. What else happened on the field that we need to know about? Let’s take a look:

1) Is This David Peterson Breakout For Real…

It was another impressive outing for the rookie, who needed just 74 pitches to get through 5.0 innings against the Nationals. He allowed just 1 R (0 earned) on 1 H and 2 BB, striking out 3. Interestingly he wasn’t generating many groundballs in this one, with 4 groundballs vs. 9 flyballs, as he entered the day with a 47.9% groundball rate. However, if that’s his “standout” skill it’s easy to envision things going in the wrong direction in short order. Just look at some of the other underlying numbers entering the day:

  • SwStr% – 10.0%
  • O-Swing% – 29.1%
  • Hard% – 41.7%
  • Control – 3.24 BB/9

Obviously this is a very small sample size and he has the advantage of being a southpaw. There’s more strikeout potential and he should start generating more groundballs. There’s risk, but he should be a solid option moving forward.

2) Is There Any Hope For Tyler Glasnow…

Despite his team giving him 10 runs in the first 4.0 innings, Glasnow struggled. He needed 84 pitches to get 12 outs, allowing 5 ER on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out 8. Glasnow has now made four starts, failing to get past 4.2 innings in any of them. The first two weren’t bad, but he’s now allowed 9 ER over his past 6.2 IP and has 10 BB over 15.1 IP overall. Granted he does have 27 K, but is that really enough? He’s generally shown better command and more of an ability to generate groundballs (34.8% entering the day), but he’s also been hit extremely hard (50.0% Hard%). Long-term he should figure it out, but we wouldn’t be afraid to bench him this season if the situation calls for it.

3) J.T. Realmuto Continues To Show Why He’s The Elite…

An offensive catcher is hard to find, and there are only a few you can count on. In fact you can count them on one hand, but only one is truly elite and that’s Realmuto. He went 2-4 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R yesterday, putting him at .292 with 7 HR and 17 RBI. As it is he entered the day with a 50.0% HR/FB, so he obviously will likely slow down in the power department. However he also should improve upon a .259 BABIP, so the AVG will be there and the power won’t disappear. There may be no other catcher in his class today.

4) Rio Ruiz Homers For Second Straight Day…

He went 2-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, putting him at .271 with 5 HR and 11 RBI on the season. He has had some swing and miss issues, entering the day with a 13.9% SwStr%, and he may not be able to carry an elevated BABIP (he’s pull heavy, with a 19.4% Oppo%). He also will likely see his home run pace slow, considering he entered the day with a 30.8% HR/FB. In other words he’s the type of player to ride while he’s hot, but then be prepared to move on from.

5) Is This The Year Hunter Renfroe Puts It All Together…

The Tampa Bay offense exploded for 17 runs against Boston, and Renfroe was right in the middle of it. He went 3-6 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 3 R yesterday, and while he’s hitting .200 he now has 4 HR and 14 RBI on the season. He also has shown an improved approach at the plate this season:

  • SwStr% – 11.5%
  • O-Swing% – 23.7%

Couple that with the .182 BABIP he entered the day with and there’s obviously upside. He has the potential to really breakout, so now’s the time to buy if you can.

6) Could Nick Senzel Finally Breakout…

He went 3-4 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 1 R, putting him at .262 with 2 HR and 8 RBI over 42 AB. He’s added 5 doubles and shown a strong approach, with 10 K vs. 5 BB. Just look at some of these underlying numbers and see the optimism that you should have:

  • SwStr% – 9.6%
  • O-Swing% – 22.1%
  • Hard% – 51.7%
  • BABIP – .250

In other words everything points to a significant breakout coming. Yesterday could’ve been a sign, and now may be your last chance to buy.

7) Anthony Desclafani Completely Lays An Egg…

There were a few ugly starts yesterday, though Desclafani is right at the top of the list. Taking on the Pirates he got just 6 outs, as he allowed 9 ER on 9 H and 2 BB, striking out 1, while getting touched up for 3 HR (including one from Gregory Polanco). He had tossed 11.0 shutout innings over his first two starts, though we all knew he wasn’t going to be able to maintain that type of performance. Let’s not forget that he’s continuously been hit hard in recent years and home runs have always been an issue. While he’s not as bad as last night’s start, he also isn’t more than a streaming option.

8) Yu Darvish Dazzles Against The Brewers…

Going 7.0 innings he allowed 1 ER on 1 H and 2 BB, striking out 11 as he made one mistake (a home run to Justin Smoak). He’s now 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA and since his first start (3 ER over 4.0 IP) he’s allowed 2 ER over 20 IP. He also now has 27 K vs. 4 BB over 24.0 IP on the season, and with control having been an issue at times that goes a long way to explaining the success. Can he maintain it? Maybe, maybe not but there’s a chance he’s going to pitch like one of the elite this season. There’s no reason to sell high on him.

9) After A Rough Start, Julio Urias Impresses But Is He Worth The Investment…

He allowed 2 HR in the first inning, but he completely settled down after that. Ultimately Urias allowed 2 ER on 5 H and 0 BB, striking out 3, over 6.1 IP. In 21.1 IP he owns a 2.53 ERA and 1.13 WHIP, though while he’s been good you have to wonder if now is the time to sell on his name value. Just look at the “skills”:

  • Strikeouts – 5.48 K/9 (11.8% SwStr%)
  • Control – 2.53 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 37.9%

With that type of groundball rate, it’s no surprise that he allowed 2 HR yesterday and it’s a problem that will likely continue. There is upside in the strikeout rate, but with a 50.0% Hard% does it matter? There’s far more downside than upside, so cash in now while the value is high.

10) What To Make Of A Disastrous Start For Chris Paddack…

He lasted just 3.0 IP allowing 6 ER on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 1. Of the 6 HR slugged by the Dodgers, including 1 HR for the returning Corey Seager, Paddack allowed 3 of them. While Paddack’s name brings appeal, home runs have been a problem this season (7 HR over 25.2 IP) and they will continue to be so (1.62 HR/9 for his MLB career). Couple that with an inflated Hard% (51.9%) and with the fact that he isn’t fooling opposing batters quite as much as he did a year ago (10.1% SwStr%, 28.1% O-Swing%) and everything appears to be pointing in the wrong direction. It’s not to say that he can’t turn things around, but right now there’s little to get excited about.

Sources – ESPN, Fangraphs


  1. Hello Professor,

    With Muncy struggling with his fractured left finger, is it time to move on in this sprint and add Lowe?

    Thanks again for your thoughts

  2. Hi Professor, I dig Luke Weaver, but he’s killing me. Would you be patient or drop him for Peterson in a 12-team H2H dynasty league? Thanks again.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here